The Goods and Bads in Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins

This over 700-page book is probably one of the thickest I’ve read this year. If you’re considering whether this is worth your time or whether it is the same old ‘track your spending, invest in funds’ advice, this article is for you because I’m going to be completely honest about the goods and bads of this “Money Master the Game” book by Tony Robbins.

To be honest, I do not have a good impression about this book despite that Tony Robbins is a well-known coach. Here are why:

The first 50 or so pages are filled with hooks (no substantial content)

I understand the need to hook people up for reading the book but using 50 or so pages to do so is a bit too much. There are paragraphs to establish authority e.g. telling readers how the interviewees are great investors and how they have managed to achieve 20% compound annual return for 30 years etc. You can also find many somehow ‘exaggerated’ and over-the-moon promises to save the financial lives of the readers, just like carrots hanging before the cart e.g. having an automated, passive investment portfolio so that you don’t have to work for money again, imagine how your life would be if you don’t have to worry about financial crisis etc. All of these promises are rather untested and empty in my view. These ‘selling pages’ have really challenged my patience to continue to read this book.

The apps

There are a number of mentioning about an apps that the author has developed to go with the book that would really help readers to implement and execute the ‘steps to riches’. The author also mentioned that the interview with the ‘great investors’ can be viewed on the apps. Yet, when I go and search for the apps, I could not find it. The books were found in the search result but not the apps. That could be my own problem but it feel kind of deceptive to me.

Despite all that, there are some good stuffs in the book:

Tapping into the knowledge of the great investors

The author has the network of some of the greatest investors in the world (which include founder of Vanguard, Billionaire, and founder of Bridgewater, Warren Buffett, Paul Tudor Jones founder of Robin Hood, etc.) and he interviewed them to come up with this book (section 6 of the book — the billionaire’s playbook). This book contains quite some gems of wisdom by those investors. The principles and the way that they handle their money and investment is definitely one of the plus of this book because many of those investors are not easily accessible.

Practicality

Overall, I would say that 90% of the suggestions made in this book is practical and executable by ordinary working people (regardless of occupation even starting with little capital). There are some uncertainty and gaps in actual execution though. For example, the book mentions an asset allocation method that in the past 30 years you can achieve 10% return but for 4 years (and the maximum loss is but 3.9% which is really minimal). Nonetheless, how many people really have the patience and perseverance to invest and hold onto the portfolio in a disciplined manner for 30 years? It goes to the fundamental of investment — that true investment is actually boring (rather than exciting). And I think this is one of the principles to learn from this book.

3. Fundamental money management principles

Although I do not agree with everything Robbins said in the book, there are some fundamental personal finance and money management principles that we can all benefit from this book. For example, that the best way to save money is when we don’t see the money at all (by setting up an automatic transfer or separate income account), asset allocation (section 4 of the book), all seasons income plan (section 5). These fundamental personal finance principles are very helpful for beginners who are looking to get started with proper investment and want to go for early retirement or financial freedom.

All in all, I think this book has its goods and bads. Personally, I would think the interviews and access to the investors are worth the price of the book, but you should also think for yourself whether the strategy recommended in the book fits you (or to what extent it fits you).

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Connie C

Writes about Career acceleration; FIRE Retire in 10 years; Passive investment; Abundant mindset