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Let me first congratulate and thank Tony for donating all of his profits from this book to Feeding America. His massive donation provided 50 million meals.
This book is incredibly long (about 700 pages), and honestly one of the best uses of that much paper I’ve seen in a long time. Let me say right away, I’m a huge Tony Robbins fan, but I’m an even bigger fan of the truth. So, I hope this review comes off as truthful rather than simple praise. Ninety percent of the lessons and concepts in this book are spot on, as they should be; Robbins interviewed 50 of the most successful financial minds alive today, before writing. However, when you interview that many people there’s bound to be differences of opinions. If you’re not paying close attention you might miss some of the contradictions. I don’t necessarily blame Tony for this though as most of the contradictions mainly exist because of differences in the risk profiles of individuals. For added complexity this book is supposed to be valuable to the beginner and remain valuable all the way to the expert. That’s a huge challenge, but I will admit I learned a great deal from this book and made some powerful distinctions. Also, there is a good amount of filler. The filler follows Tony’s signature style of focusing on mindset. He often says success is eighty percent psychology and only twenty percent mechanics. I understand what he means by that, nevertheless I love the step-by-step, and get lost in the mindset.
The book is organized into seven steps. In a nutshell they are as follows
Lesson 1: Become an investor, not just a consumer.
The book starts out from a painful place, the 2008 financial crisis. Tony then brings something up many of us haven’t thought about or may not realize. We are living longer than ever before and it now stands that, for a married couple, there is a 50% chance that one spouse will live to be 92, and a 25% chance that one will live to be 97. Given such life expectancies can we really expect to work 40 years and retire for 40 years, all while saving only 10% or in some cases 0% of our income?
Robbins goes on to stress the value of compound interest.
Tony tells a story from his youth. He went to a Jim Rohn seminar, where he learned the the secret to building wealth – Become more valuable to others. How do you become more valuable? Work harder on yourself than your job. The story also illustrates the value of investing in yourself, whether that be books, seminars, or other training. He basically says if it’s free you’ll act like it and you won’t apply what you’ve learned. On the other hand, if you pay for the self-help, you are much more likely to put it in use in your life. Invest in yourself first.
Lesson 2: Know the rules of investing, and become an insider.
One of the best ways to speed up investing is to know the rules. Know where the fees are and avoid them at all costs. A fee increase of even 1%, compounded over a lifetime could result in the loss of 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars at retirement. He talks about how the search for a financial advisor should be hard, and the advisor needs to be a fiduciary, if you use one at all. For mid to high income earners the focus should be on Tax efficiency. Tony Robbins actually moved out of California to Florida for this exact reason, tax efficiency. Sir John Templeton even went as far as renouncing his US citizenship for tax purposes.
Lesson 3: Properly value the cost of your dreams
Tony says, he often starts out his seminars with a question. How much do your dreams cost? Robert Kiyosaki actually gives a great answer to this exact question in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad. Tony however attacks this question from a different angle. He tells a story of a young man from one of his seminars. This guy bravely answered Tony’s question with 1 billion dollars. They proceeded to cost out his lifestyle- private jet, an island, a luxury home and vehicles. Tony suggested renting instead of buying the jet and island he won’t be using them enough to requiring buying them. After a little back and forth Tony adds up the total cost, he can get his dream lifestyle with only 10 million dollars not 1 billion...