This book has never really been just about money. What it’s really about is creating an extraordinary quality of life — life on your own terms.
– Tony Robbins, Money: Master the Game, pg 576
That quote above pretty much seals what this book was trying to convey to its readers. From the outset, one wouldn’t know what to make of Tony Robbins 2014 book titled Money: Master The Game.
Maybe it was a book on finance, or how to make money, or how to be financially free.
Turns out, it was all of that — and some.
In a nutshell, this 600+ page book is a guide on how properly invest your earnings into a retirement account that allows you to live your best life freely, without worrying about your finances. The basis of this book came from the late 2008, early 2009 financial crisis, when millions of Americans (and people all over the world) lost much of their retirement incomes. Tony saw how millions of people were personally affected that the money they thought was saved up over years was gone, and he wanted to put an end to that.
So he went out and interviewed around 50 of the best financial minds in Wall Street & business, those who didn’t lose as much (or gained) money during the meltdown, and found out what their “secrets” were and how the individual investor can better prepare for the next crisis. The overall findings from those conversations were then split into 7 separate steps for all of us to easily understand.
In addition to the 7 steps, Tony also challenges you to find your purpose and reason WHY you want to earn money. Like, what is money to you? What does it mean? Personally, that’s something I never truly thought about until reading this book (I’m happy to say I found my purpose & reason).
Finally, Tony also encourages you to find ways to save and/or earn more money so you can invest the difference into your retirement account. He also encourages you to give back, as giving is the secret to living — which is his words — with numerous studies showing that giving money to people in need increases your happiness, no matter the amount you give. The blessings you receive are two, three fold.
So why did I read this book? At first, I wanted to get the real tools on how to properly navigate the “saving for retirement” process. But while reading this it became much, much more. It became about WHY I should even go out and MAKE MONEY in the first place. What was the purpose of me “sacrificing” everything to solve the “money problem”? It was a TRUE transformation…a common theme for people who read or watch one of Tony Robbins seminars (he got me, too).
In all, I would have to say that although this book is 600+ pages, this is one of the top 3 books I’ve ever read in my life. It’s just that good (so good, I actually stopped running my platform Dubata® for the past 2 weeks just so I can completely focus and finish this incredible book).
So if you feel you can’t read over 600 pages of non-fiction (totally understandable), Tony made an updated, shorter version called Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook that came out in 2017, which you can get here. Or you can read my GRAND summary below, chapter by chapter, which you will find very useful. I’ll even come back to this summary as a refresher on a later date — it’s just that good.
In the below summary I won’t reveal all the details (so you can buy the book), but I’ll reveal enough information so you’ll feel you learned something new after reading all of this.
Are you ready?
Here we go — please stay with me until the very end. The corresponding sections and chapters below actually go with the book. My summaries of each chapter are in bold:
SECTION 1 – WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE – JOURNEY BEGINS WITH THIS FIRST STEP
Chapter 1.1 – Take control of your money & learn about COMPOUND INTEREST
Chapter 1.2 – Here’s where you learn the 7 steps to financial freedom — and how to create an income for life (it’s really true!)
Chapter 1.3 – Set aside a SET percentage, no matter how small, for your retirement. Put the money in a bank savings or retirement account (like Schwab.com or tdameritrade.com). It doesn’t matter.
Chapter 1.4 – If you haven’t set a percentage to save your money yet, why not?? What’s holding you back?
SECTION 2 – BECOME AN INSIDER & KNOW THE RULES
Chapter 2.0 – Describes the 9 myths you may hear in finance & investment
Chapter 2.1 – 96% of ACTIVELY MANAGED mutual funds do NOT beat the market, so don’t invest in it. Go passive & use index funds, like Warren Buffett and many others do
Chapter 2.2 – Watch out for the fees (No, seriously. They add up & take at least $100k – $1 million from your retirement over a period of time)
Chapter 2.3 – If you lose 10% of your money and gain it back, your average return is 0% — but the ACTUAL money you see left is different.
Chapter 2.4 – Get a Fiduciary, not a Broker to advise you. Fiduciaries are like doctors, they HAVE to work in your best interest (bet you didn’t know about that one)
Chapter 2.5 – Your 401(k) / 403(b) have fees too. What’s yours? And get with the Roth program if you can.
Chapter 2.6 – Target-Date Funds are overrated. There’s a major downside to it as well.
Chapter 2.7 – Don’t let anyone tell you Annuities are terrible — well, some of them are.
Chapter 2.8 – High reward does NOT have to equal high risk.
Chapter 2.9 – Even with all this info, we still won’t do the right thing. Why?
SECTION 3 – WHAT THE PRICE OF YOUR DREAMS?
Chapter 3.1 – How much money do you think you’ll need to be financially free? 1 million? 10 million? 1 billion? (This section got me. I realized I needed MUCH LESS MONEY THAN I THOUGHT for me to be free). You’ll also learn the 6 EMOTIONAL REASONS WHY PEOPLE NEED MONEY (another major eye-opener)
Chapter 3.2 – How much do you REALLY need in order to be free? Exact calculations are done via his app, explained in this section. You’ll also learn about the 5 LEVELS OF FINANCIAL FREEDOM which is very crucial.
Chapter 3.3 – How to save more money & reinvest the difference
Chapter 3.4 – How to earn more money & reinvest the difference (tip: become MORE VALUABLE by learning new skills, or start your own business to solve a major problem you’re passionate about)
Chapter 3.5 – How to reduce your portfolio fees + taxes & reinvest the difference
Chapter 3.6 – Don’t take too much risk, but get more returns to speed up the process
Chapter 3.7 – Change your lifestyle (live in a new city/country) to save extra money & reinvest the difference
Whew! Let’s keep going…
SECTION 4 – MOST IMPORTANT INVESTMENT DECISION
Chapter 4.1 – Create a diverse portfolio by putting your money in different asset classes (known as Asset Allocation) to reduce risk. Risk means to not LOSE MUCH MONEY. You’ll also learn about the “Security Bucket”.
Chapter 4.2 – Items (assets) that can go into your “Risk/Growth” Bucket.
Chapter 4.3 – There’s a dream bucket, which allows you to enjoy your progress until you hit retirement age (or your “critical mass” — which is the MAX money you need to earn a living without working in your retirement years)
Chapter 4.4 – Trying to “time” when the stock market rises / falls is a losing game for the average investor. So it’s time to get a proven asset allocation that reflects anticipations…
SECTION 5 – THE ALL SEASONS PORTFOLIO + YOUR LIFETIME INCOME PLAN
Chapter 5.1 – You’ll learn Ray Dalio‘s proven strategy & portfolio here, which never lost more than 4 percent in the last 75 years! First time it was ever publicly revealed.
Chapter 5.2 – Further tests of Ray Dalio’s strategy for the skeptics. Also, check this 30-min video from him, which discusses in PLAIN, EASY DETAIL how the economy is run. Great stuff!
Chapter 5.3 – How annuities can get your lifetime income (and when to use it)
Chapter 5.4 – The different types of annuities, and the one to avoid
Chapter 5.5 – How the ultra-wealty use the PPLI (Insurance), which is like a Roth account. This is used to legally reduce your taxes. You can use something similar as well.
SECTION 6 – LEARN HOW THE BILLIONAIRES DO IT (INTERVIEW SECTION)
Chapter 6.0 – Intro (not all people Tony interviewed were featured, but some were…)
Chapter 6.1 – Carl Icahn and what an Activist Investor does
Chapter 6.2 – David Swenson, the man who turn $1 Billion of Yale’s Endowment into $23.9 Billion (he still works there)
Chapter 6.3 – John Bogle & how he created the first index fund with Vanguard
Chapter 6.4 – Warren Buffet’s secret
Chapter 6.5 – How Paul Tudor Jones got 28 STRAIGHT years of positive returns, including the 1987 & 2008 crashes
Chapter 6.6 – A brief primer on Ray Dailo, again
Chapter 6.7 – Mary Callahan Erdoes, a woman who manages trillions for JP Morgan Chase’s assets.
Chapter 6.8 – An oil man, T. Boone Pickens, and his philosophy
Chapter 6.9 – How Kyle Bass predicted the 2008 US housing crash & 2008 Europe Debt crisis (he started in 2006 but was prepared)
Chapter 6.10 – Marc Faber’s never optimistic about the market
Chapter 6.11 – How Charles Schwab changed the game for the individual investor
Chapter 6.12 – The legend of Sir John Templeton (RIP) and how he made his money during WWII (great story)
SECTION 7 – JUST DO IT, ENJOY IT, AND SHARE IT!
Chapter 7.1 – What’s in store for the future, especially in technology, health, etc.
Chapter 7.2 – WHAT’S YOUR TRUE LIFE PURPOSE, EVEN WITH MASSIVE INCOME?
Chapter 7.3 – The secret to living is giving. Never forget that and you’ll have a prosperous life!
And that’s it!
I didn’t include everything, as much, much, much more was explained in layman’s terms (like what stocks, bonds, notes and commodities are). I just wanted you to get a gist of what I learned in this 600+ page book.
In all, if you want to:
- Learn how to properly allocate your retirement account with the right mix of stocks & bonds & commodities to not lose
- Understand why you’re making money, which deals with your emotions, and
- Understand your true purpose for your life’s goals in relation to making money
Then get this book and get your read on! Once again, if 600+ page is too big for you, then get the updated, smaller 200+ page version by clicking here.
Take care and much love!