money master the game 7 steps to financial freedom

When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is. – Oscar Wilde

Money – Master the Game, by Tony Robbins is a how-do guide on how to achieve financial freedom. I read this book as a suggestion from a friend and was certainly not disappointed in spending a few days getting through this book. Many times when I go to read a book, I am trying to learn different concepts and ideas to help me improve in my life. Money is a 600 page book filled with good information on investing, saving, and life. That being said, there were some drawbacks to the book, which I will outline later in the post.

I am drawn to books on financial freedom because I’m interested in managing my money appropriately. I plan to read more books like this in the future.

Summary of Money – Master the Game

Money is about learning about how we as investors can become financially free. Robbins has been a life coach for many years and has wrote this book for people who want to improve their financial situation. Coming from a relatively poor family, he has been able to build a strong following as a life coach and has influenced many people. I’m interested in reading more of his material after reading Money.

Money is broken into 7 sections:

  1. The first section is essentially 80 pages getting you motivated to improve your financial well-being. By saying “yes” to pursuing financial freedom, you are setting yourself up to become the best person you can be.
  2. The second section talks about becoming an insider to the world of mutual funds and finance. Robbins talks about the 9 myths of the finance industry; many of these myths have been talked about for years. A summary of the myths is: mutual funds and actively managed funds do not beating the market despite charging high fees. In addition to the funds charging large fees for under-performance, target funds are not much better.
  3. Section three helps you determine your “number”. How much money do you need to retire comfortably? How much do you need to retire and have no worries? How can you reach retirement faster? Robbins discusses tax efficiency, index funds, and decreasing spending in this section as well.
  4. Section four talks about different asset classes and defines the Security Bucket, the Risk Bucket, and the Dream bucket that should be a part of every person’s asset allocation. The security bucket is made up of cash, cash equivalents, bonds, your house, pension, annuities, and a few other things. the risk bucket is made up of equities, options, commodities, foreign currencies, and real estate. The dream bucket is whatever is left for pursuing your dreams! He discusses how important asset allocation is and how true diversification is the only free lunch.
  5. In the fifth section, Robbins continues to discuss asset allocation. He interviewed Ray Dalio (CIO and Chairman of Bridgewater Associates) and David Swensen (CIO at Yale University) to discuss their optimal asset allocation. Here, Robbins provides you specifics into creating a strategy which has performed well in the recent past. Ray Dalio believes a near-optimal strategy is to have even risk across the following categories: inflation, deflation, rising economic growth, and declining economic growth. His target asset allocation would look something like this: 7.5% gold, 7.5% commodities, 30% stocks, 40% long-term bonds, 15% short-medium term bonds. David Swenson, on the other hand, has a slightly different view: 20% US Equities, 20% Foreign Equities, 20% REIT exposure, 15% Long-term bonds, 15% TIPS, 10% Emerging Markets. I believe both of these asset allocations could be good and I’m doing more research into what would be best for me.
  6. The sixth section is a compilation of interviews with titans of the investing world. These interviewees include Charles Schwab, Carl Icahn, David Swensen (CIO at Yale University), Ray Dalio (CIO and Chairman of Bridgewater Associates), Mary Callahan Erdoes (CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management), T. Boone Pickens (Energy Investor), and a few others. These interviews are beneficial in they provide us additional perspective on the financial markets.
  7. The seventh and final section talks about the future and how once on the path to financial freedom, you will be a much improved person. Robbins emphasizes showing gratitude and giving back to charity once you achieve financial freedom. This is best captured in the quote by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Money is fairly comprehensive in the concepts and material it covers. It covers topics from investing in index funds to reduce investment costs and fees, dollar cost averaging and buying and holding, saving more as you get raises, etc. It was very beneficial to me in that I was able to learn about investing in gold, annuities, or different commodities. One downside is, the book did not go into detail on these subjects.

My Takeaways

One big takeaway I had from Money was to switch my 401(k) to a Roth 401(k) from traditional. With a traditional 401(k), you don’t pay taxes now, but will pay tax on any withdrawals, (effectively paying tax on any gains in the future). With a Roth 401(k), you pay taxes on the amount now, but in the future, your withdrawals are tax-free. Robbins argues that in the future, taxes will most likely be higher than lower (look at the world’s debt!).

And Criticisms…

Some criticisms I have of Money are for how long the book is, it could be shortened. There were multiple chapters that seemed to go on and on about things we had already learned earlier in the book. “Repetition is the mother of skill”, but at times it was a little excessive. In addition to repeating himself throughout the book, he constantly is plugging in sales pitches for his companies and friends. I get it, he is a successful businessman and entrepreneur and wants to advertise his great products. However, at times, it seemed that was his intention. I could be wrong.

Another criticism is many of the products that Robbins talks about can only be accessed by the rich. When a person reaches retirement, hopefully they will be rich; however, during the accumulation phase of life, you won’t be able to access a lot of the different investment vehicles he discusses.

Meaningful Quotes and Passages

Here are some meaningful quotes and passages from Money:

  • Realize how lucky you are and all the wealth you possess in love, opportunities, health, friends and family. Don’t get rich, start rich.
  • You can be young without money, but you can’t be old without it – Tennessee Williams
  • The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there – Vince Lombardi
  • Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons – Woody Allen
  • Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. – William A. Ward
  • Remember the golden rule: he who has the gold makes the rules – Unknown
  • Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves. – Peter Lynch
  • When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is. – Oscar Wilde
  • We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill
  • Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me – Steve Jobs

Our Recommendation for Money: Master the Game

All in all, Money is a decent book on the topic of financial freedom. I would recommend Money for people who are looking for to improve themselves and get motivated to improve financially; . That being said, Money lacked substance and stayed at the surface on a good amount of the content covered. It did open my eyes to thinking about investing in other products, such as precious metals, annuities, etc., but the book did not go into enough detail on these products.

I’m still curious on these other investment vehicles, but will have to do more research. There are definitely better books out there for details to achieve financial freedom.

Have you read any material of Tony Robbins? What books on financial freedom would you suggest I read? Which have been beneficial and influential to you?

The Miracle Morning

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”

The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod, is all about waking up early to supercharge your performance throughout the day.

In The Miracle Morning, Hal discusses how the average person does not devote the necessary time to personal development. By waking up early and carving out time to work on themselves, people can become the best versions of themselves.

If you aren’t a morning person, Hal gives a strategy for increasing your “Wake up Motivation Level”. His strategy includes setting intentions before bed (last thought in the night = first thought in the morning), moving your alarm clock across the room, brushing your teeth, drinking a full glass of water, and getting dressed in your workout clothes.


Once you are awake, Hal’s morning program is called S.A.V.E.R.S. and stands for:

  • S = Silence (Mediation / Prayer / Reflection)
  • A = Affirmations.
  • V = Visualization.
  • E = Exercise.
  • R = Reading.
  • S = Scribing (Journaling / Writing)

Hal suggests spending time in each of these 6 areas. Depending on the morning, you can spend as little as 6 minutes on all 6 sections or take as long as you want to complete all 6.

For me, I spend about 10 minutes on the first 3, 10 minutes on exercise (some body weight exercises and stretching), 30 minutes on reading (Goal of reading 75 books for 2017), and 10 minutes on Scribing. The importance of the completing each of these tasks is outlined in the book. I hope to focus more on Silence and Visualization in the coming months.

“Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.” If we are at peace with our inner being, we will be at peace with the world around us.”

Before reading The Miracle Morning, I was waking up around 7:30 AM, getting to work at 8:30 AM, and while I was performing well, I wasn’t achieving greatness. After a month of the S.A.V.E.R.S. program, I’m waking up at 6:30 AM, getting some personal development time in, and getting to work at 8:30 AM. I’ve noticed my mind is sharper and I’m able to focus with a greater intensity than before.

Remarkable Quotes and Passages from The Miracle Morning

Some memorable quotes and passages from The Miracle Morning:

  • Find time for personal development each day.
  • Your level  of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.
  • Every time you choose the easy thing, instead of the right thing, you are shaping your identity, becoming the type of person who does what’s easy, rather than what’s right.
  • Now matters more than any other time in your life, because it’s what you are doing today that is determining who you’re becoming, and who you’re becoming will always determine the quality and direction of your life.
  • The moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life.
  • If you don’t control your habits, your habits will control you.
  • Don’t wait to be great.
  • If you want your life to improve, you have to improve it yourself.

Our Recommendation for The Miracle Morning

I recommend The Miracle Morning to anyone looking to supercharge their performance and improve their life. Like I mentioned above, The Miracle Morning is a quick read, has many motivational quotes and passages, and gets you fired up to improve your life!

Readers: are you a morning person? What is your strategy for personal development?

Yesterday morning, I sat down with The Alchemist and 6 hours later finished it. Wow, what a book. I’ve read a fair number of books in the past few years, but none of them have kept me on the edge of my seat like The Alchemist.

The Alchemist is a story about a boy who is searching for his “Personal Legend”.  Essentially, a person’s “Personal Legend” is that person’s purpose, destiny, calling, etc.  The boy realizes he is being called by the world to go find his “Personal Legend”. The Alchemist tells the tale of the boy’s journey.

Summary of The Alchemist

In the beginning of The Alchemist, the boy has a dream about treasure and he goes to see a gypsy about it. The gypsy tells the boy the treasure is by the Pyramids of Egypt. After his meeting with the gypsy, in which is didn’t like, he meets a peculiar character who introduces himself as the King of Salem. The King know all about the boy’s past and present, and tells him he should go searching for the treasure. The King speaks of each person’s Personal Legend and that by going to search for the treasure, the boy can realize his Personal Legend.

In addition to speaking of each person’s Personal Legend, the King talks about language of omens. “Everything in life is an omen. There is a universal language , understood by everybody, but already forgotten.” Omens are signs of the world and if interpreted and watched for, can enable humans interact and communicate with the world and non-human beings. Omens are very important for people trying to realize their Personal Legend.

Initially, the boy is a little bit hesitant, but then he then sets off on an epic journey that spans from Spain to Egypt. Along the way, he is confronted with different challenges and has to overcome them. He has to deal with thieves, to learn about being a crystal merchant, learn the ways of the desert, and speak the language of the world. At the end, he finds his treasure, but only because he followed through in trying to find his Personal Legend.

Remarkable Quotes and Passages from The Alchemist

Here are some quotes and passages which had an impact on me:

  • “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
  • “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
  • “… people need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want. We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”
  • “That’s the principle that governs all things. In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closet to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force. Everything on earth is being continuously transformed, because the earth is alive and has a soul. We are part of that soul, so we rarely recognize it working for us.”
  • “Courage is the quality most essential to understand the Language of the World.”
  • “Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and one day it will return there.”
  • “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams,, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
  • “What you need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World test everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward the dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, on ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon’.”
  • “Your eyes show the strength of your soul.”
  • “Love is a force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World. When I first reach through to it, I thought the Soul of the World was perfect. But later, I could see that it was like other aspects of creation, and had its own passions and wars. It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that’s where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”
  • “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

My Recommendation

The Alchemist is a must read. The takeaways for me include living in the moment, never getting too high or too low, and realizing all things happen for a reason.

Have you read The Alchemist? What did you think?

The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson

The Slight Edge, a fantastic personal development book written by Jeff Olson, is all about how you can improve in life and reach your goals. The Slight Edge is all about doing a little bit each day and finding success through simple actions.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have complete control over the direction that the rest of your life takes.

the slight edgeHumans are creatures of habit. Every day, we make simple decisions: what to eat, should we exercise, should I call my parents, should I read my book, etc.

With these decisions, there a few questions that come with them:

  • Are the decisions you are making helping your life?
    • Or are they detrimental to your life?
  • Are they bringing you closer to your goals?
    • Or are you still a long time away from achieving those goals?

The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson, walks us through a strategy to achieve success in anything we want in life.

What do you want to achieve in your life? Well, first, you have to start. You have to be consistent. A positive attitude helps keep you going, and with consistent actions over time, you can achieve your goals and create the life you want to create.

The rest of this post includes a summary of The Slight Edge, takeaways from The Slight Edge, and a reading recommendation for you.

Your philosophy creates your attitudes, which create your actions, which create your results, which create your life.

Book Summary of The Slight Edge

The Slight Edge is a mindset and a way of living a life of success.

Having a slight edge in your life is your ticket to success and a life that you want.

With the Slight Edge, you can accomplish anything and everything you can dream of doing.

The best part of all of this is that The Slight Edge is actually a pretty simple concept.

What is the Slight Edge?

So, what is the Slight Edge?

Essentially, the slight edge is your philosophy of life.

The slight edge is your driving force; your philosophy creates your attitudes, which creates your actions, which creates your results, which create your life. You should live your philosophy each day.

By performing tasks which will are located on the path to your goals, you can achieve anything.

The following is a graphic of the Slight Edge:

the slight edge

The Slight Edge is a mindset and philosophy that is all about doing the little things. By be disciplined in the details, all of the bigger picture things and actions will be taken care of over time.

What are some examples of The Slight Edge?

One of the best examples of The Slight Edge comes from personal finance. The power of compounding and compound interest is such a great example of the Slight Edge.

You can see this from the following example and question:

Would you rather receive $1 million dollars today, or would you rather take a penny, but double it every day for a month?

The first day, you have 2 cents, the second day, you have 4 cents, the third day, you have 8 cents… two weeks in, you have $81.92. Well, guess what? At the end of the month, you end up with over $10 million dollars. You only started off with a penny, what happened?

That’s the power of time and the slight edge.

Yes, you started off with a small amount, and for a long time, you didn’t have much, but 30 days later, boom, $10 million bucks – much more than $1 million!!!

The Slight Edge at Work!

Another example of The Slight Edge is with working out. At first, you are weak, but over time, if you are consistent, you will get into shape, build your dream body and become strong.

It won’t happen overnight, but you will find success.

“Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

Powerful Quotes from The Slight Edge

Below are a number of powerful quotes from The Slight Edge.

These The Slight Edge quotes are all about self improvement and how you can become better as a person by applying the principles and concepts of The Slight Edge.

  • What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.
  • The secret of time is simply this: time is the force that magnifies those little, almost imperceptible, seemingly insignificant things you do every day into something titanic and unstoppable.
  • In a world filled with instant coffee, instant breakfast, instant credit, instant shopping, instant information, and 24/7 news, we have come dangerously close to losing touch with reality and believing we have access to instant life. But life is not a clickable link.
  • Successful people form habits that feed their success, instead of habits that feed their failure.
  • Growth creates abundance, and that abundance in turn creates responsibility. The more success we have, the more greatness we step into and the more abundance we experience, the more responsibility we have to the world around us.
  • Success doesn’t come out of nowhere. It can’t be conjured up out of thin air, brought to you by the genie from Aladdin’s lamp simply because you rubbed it and thought good thoughts. Success does come from a small beginning, often a beginning so tiny that it seems invisible and most people miss it. But there has to be a beginning.
  • All true success is built from a foundation of study plus street smarts.
  • “Knowledge without practice is useless and practice without knowledge is dangerous.” – Confucius
  • You truly are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, in all aspects of your life.
    • Show me where you fish and I’ll show you what you catch.
  • Every decision you make is a slight edge decision.

Each of these Slight Edge quotes are fantastic and I use them in my life when I need motivation.

Takeaways from The Slight Edge

With all books you read, it’s important to have takeaways and action steps to apply in your life.

If you don’t apply what you’ve read, then what’s the point of reading a self help book?

For me, The Slight Edge taught me that I need to treat everyday with purpose and to live intentionally.

One of my favorite quotes from The Slight Edge is the following:

What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.

Every day, I try to apply The Slight Edge and do a little bit to get closer to my goals.

Each day, even if it’s just doing a little bit of work for fifteen minutes, going on a walk, or trying to learn something new, I know that as long as I do just a little bit, I can push myself along to on the path to success.

With this slight edge philosophy and slight edge mindset, I know that with my efforts, I can achieve anything I want in my life.

I can create a life which is the life I want.

The Slight Edge book has been life changing for me, and I hope it will be life changing for you as well.

The Mastermind Within Recommends The Slight Edge

The Slight Edge is a fantastic book and a great addition to my library. I plan to read it many times over in the coming years. It was a motivating, easy, and refreshing read.

For you, I definitely recommend The Slight Edge and think it would be a great addition to your library. Reading The Slight Edge will help you cultivate a winning mindset and a mindset towards taking action.

It’s all about taking small and simple disciplines and turning these into wild success. Focusing on the daily actions you can control will allow you to achieve your goals and dreams.

Start today and watch yourself grow into what you want.

The Slight Edge, by jeff olson
Check out this awesome book!

Readers: What daily habits do you have which have been beneficial to your success? Do you have any bad habits you want to get rid of? Have you experienced the compound effect in your life?