Tony Robbins has the ability to captivate and motivate through his writing and speaking as few others can. He’s built significant wealth in his own life and has access to some of the best money minds around.
His new book Money: Master The Game shares his process for achieving financial freedom in today’s world. At over 600 pages there was A LOT of good information. This collection of 10 tips represents the best money advice Tony Robbins had to offer in Money: Master The Game.
Tony Robbins Money: Master The Game Book Summary
#1. Your Savings Rate Is The Most Important Decision Of Your Financial Life
“As you can see, the “machine” can’t start working until you make the most important financial decision of your life. The decision? What portion of your paycheck you get to keep. How much will you pay yourself—off the top, before you spend a single dollar on your day-to-day living expenses? How much of your paycheck can you (or, more importantly, will you) leave untouched, no matter what else is going on in your life? I really want you to think about this number because the rest of your life will be determined by your decision to keep a percentage of your income today in order to always have money for yourself in your future.”
What it really all comes down to is how much you choose to save. That is how much of your income you put away month-after-month. This is the most important decision you’ll make.
#2. Money Plays An Important Role In Your Life
“Whether we let money control us, or whether we take control of it.”
I enjoyed what Tony had to say on the role money plans in one’s life. Being good with money has A LOT of benefits. So, it’s important to take the time to master it.
#3. Look For Small Risks For Big Rewards
The goal for an investor is to take the smallest risk possible and earn the highest possible reward. Tony talks a lot about how the best investors in the world take the above concept, also known as asymmetric risk/reward, and use it to their advantage.
Tony had this to say about Paul Tudor Jones, a billionaire hedge fund manager:
“One of Paul Tudor Jones’s greatest successes is that he knows he can be wrong and still be successful because he uses asymmetric risk/reward to guide his investment decisions. He’s always looking for what he calls a 5:1 investment—where if he risks $1, he believes he can make $5.”
As I’m a very passive investor, not trying to beat the market, I find this lesson more applicable to business strategy. For example, I like the story Tim Ferriss shares about how he decided to start his podcast. Instead of committing long-term to run a podcast, Ferriss decided to record six episodes. By committing to six episodes, the worst-case scenario or “risk” was having a few conversations with friends and learning a new skill (interviewing/podcasting)
In a book I’m reading now Expert Secrets, it tells the story of an entrepreneur who wanted to learn how to dunk a basketball. So, he recorded some YouTube videos of his progress It turns out his YouTube videos were a big hit. Many people wanted to learn how to increase their vertical. A few years later, these YouTube videos turned into a million-dollar business.
The “risk” to identify a market was very small — the time it took to record and publish a handful of videos. However, the rewards have proven to be quite large.
When I look back over my own life, a lot of good things happened when I took “small” risks. For example, I look at the decision to start this blog. The monetary risk was quite small. While I invested my time before the site was profitable, the entire time I was learning, growing, and adding valuable skills.
Looking at the decision from this point of view, the risk was a few dollars a month and around 10 hours a week.
Not bad, right?
#4. Take Advantage of Compounding
“What’s the biggest misstep most of us make right from the start? Malkiel didn’t even hesitate when I asked him. He said the majority of investors fail to take full advantage of the incredible power of compounding—the multiplying power of growth times growth.”
It’s a cliche in the personal finance space to talk about the power of compound interest. But while it’s a cliche–it doesn’t change that when you start investing matters.
You want to take as full advantage of compound interest.
For me that means two things:
- Getting out of high-interest debt as fast as possible
- Getting started investing as fast as possible
#5. Money Can’t Make You Happy By Itself
“Money can’t change who we are. All it does is magnify our true natures.”
Similar to what famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden meant when he said, “Sports don’t build character…they reveal it.” Money will never make you happy, but it can make you happier.
I talk about this concept in detail in my post titled “How to Get Rich Quick: The Not-So-Secret Formula.”
#6. Index Your Way To Riches
“Don’t be sold that someone is going to beat the market. Instead, align yourself with the market!”
While the book discusses many investing strategies, the core strategy Tony advises is to index. That is invest in index funds like the S&P 500, instead of trying to pick the stocks in the S&P 500 that will go up. As a passive, index investor myself, I agree with most of Tony’s thoughts here.
The idea is to sock money away in index funds, then focus on increasing your savings rate.
This will make you far richer then someone who is always trying to beat the market–yet doesn’t save a large percentage of their income.
#7. Create a Better Story
“You can use your story, or your story can use you.”
As Tony comes from the personal development space, there’s a lot of good thoughts on the book about having the right money mindset.
Much of what we do on a daily basis is determined by the story we tell ourselves.
We all have beliefs about money. These beliefs determine our behaviors. It’s important then to craft beliefs that guide us to success and happiness.
I liked the example he used of a friend with negative beliefs towards investing. He worked with her to identify the false beliefs and create a new story:
“Here’s her new story, and it could be yours: “If I just happen to use this simple system of compounding, I can make a lot of money, I can go wherever I want, I can live however I truly want, I can be financially free. There are no limits except the ones I impose on myself.”
#8. Create Value, Then Become Rich
“Money is nothing more than a reflection of your creativity, your capacity to focus, and your ability to add value and receive back. If you can find a way to create value—that is, add value for a massive number of people—you will have an opportunity to have a massive amount of economic abundance in your life.”
One of the strongest negative beliefs about money in our culture is that wealthy people are greedy, or not charitable, or just got lucky, etc…
But by and large the wealthy are quality individuals who created a lot of value for others. Of course, there are exceptions but those exceptions are rare. For example, look at the work of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos. These three have created massive value in our society, created millions of jobs, made many of our lives better.
Related: Elon musk’s Favorite Books
#9. Have a Purpose
“I’ve found that if you try to figure out a percentage to save without really knowing what you’re saving for, it’s not going to happen”
Whenever you’re trying to make a change in your life, a great first step is to determine your purpose.
By setting your purpose upfront, you’ll much more likely to get through the inevitable setbacks along the road.
#10. The Importance of Fees
Tony didn’t have nice things to say about a lot of the financial service industry. The primary reason–fees.
When discussing 401(k) plans, Tony reveals:
“The average 401K plan administrator charges 1.3% to 1.5% annually (according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office). That’s $1,300 for every $100,000 just to participate in the 401(k). So when you add this 1.3% for the plan administrator to the total mutual fund costs of 3.17%”
It’s important for us to understand and any all fees. If not accounted for, they can be one of the largest expenses of your life.
Tip: My favorite financial tracking app, Personal Capital, has a free tool called Fee Analyzer. This will help you uncover any and all fees and benchmark you towards other investors.
Bonus – BE GRATEFUL
“The wealthiest person on earth is one who appreciates.”
While becoming wealthy is a noble goal, those who have the most, need the least. Changing your mindset about what you “need” in life, is the fastest way to becoming wealthy.