Tony Robbins’ 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (100% in 1% Book Summary)

Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins

Concept

  • The promise is to create an income for life without having to work again.
  • The idea is to create an extraordinary quality of life on your own terms.
  • Start rich with gratitude.
  • Achieve your dreams by (1) unleashing your desire or focus; (2) taking massive and effective action; and, (3) good luck!
  • With the strategies summarized below, the only thing that could hold you back is a defeated story based on beliefs you will fail.

Strategies

  1. Establish an automated plan for savings and investments. Spend at least 10-15% of your income on yourself, before any day-to-day expenses, to benefit from compound savings. Every time you get a raise, put a portion toward a higher percentage of income invested.
  2. Protect yourself from marketing myths. Analyze your current portfolio at StrongholdFinancial.com. Choose low-cost index funds over mutual funds. The (likely tax-deductible) cost of a large fee-only independent registered investment advisor (through a third-party custodian) plus the cost of the investments should be under 1.25%. Risk a little to make a lot with structured notes, market-linked certificates of deposit, and fixed indexed annuities.
  3. Set realistic goals to achieve financial dreams at masterthegame.tonyrobbins.com. The calculator will guide you on how much you need to save (and how long it will take) for five levels of financial freedom. For instance, a moderate outlook shows me never having to work another day starting 13 years from now – much better than the standard age of 65+. To get there even sooner: (1) Save, i.e. minimize fees, pay next month’s mortgage principal this month; (2) Earn, i.e. add more value in your job or business; (3) Reduce taxes, i.e. run a not-for-profit, defer, invest in a Roth; (4) Find investments with a risk:reward ratio of 1:5, i.e. real estate investment trusts; or, (5) consider moving cities for greater purchase power.
  4. Make investment decisions with proven asset allocations. Decide what portion you will invest in growth (i.e. high risk, high yield) and what portion (i.e. 60%) in security. Divide a big win from growth investments to reinvest in both growth and security, and save some for a luxury. Diversify across markets, classes, and time with dollar-cost averaging: making equal contributions to all investments monthly or quarterly. Rebalance your portfolio annually. Tax-loss harvesting uses losses to lower taxes.
  5. Develop a guaranteed lifetime income plan. Balance your portfolio in terms of risk rather than by amount of money. “Every investment has an ideal environment in which it flourishes,” so have 25% of your risk in each season: (1) high inflation (commodities/gold, TIPS i.e. inflation-linked bonds); (2) deflation (treasury bonds, stocks); (3) high growth (stocks, corporate bonds, commodities/gold); and (4) low growth (treasury bonds, TIPS). This translates to 30% in stock indexes, 15% in 7-10 year Treasuries, 40% in 20-25 year Treasuries, 7.5% in commodities, and 7.5% in gold. Upon retirement, invest in deferred fixed indexed lifetime income annuities with a guaranteed lifetime income rider. Private placement life insurance protects from growth tax, allows loans, and death benefits are tax-free too. Also consider a living revocable trust.
  6. Learn how billionaires invest. The book details the expert interviews with Carl Icahn, David Swensen, John C. Bogle, Warren Buffett, Paul Tudor Jones, Ray Dalio, Mary Callahan Erdoes, T. Boone Pickens, Kyle Bass, Marc Faber, Charles Schwab, and Sir John Templeton. Here, I’ll summarize: anticipated and diversify; high achievers are never done.
  7. Follow an action plan. Decide to focus on what you can control and find empowering meaning in what you see. This creates the emotional state to take action, to grow, and to contribute. Increase happiness by investing in experiences, buying time for yourself, and investing in others. Most of the billionaires interviewed give most of their money away. You can donate a fraction of a dollar every time you use your credit card to end hunger, slavery, and disease through SwipeOut.

Clearly, there is a huge amount of detail you’d get from reading the full book (and all proceeds go to charity), but above are all the main points as I see them.

Top 12 Current TV Shows: Funny, Emotional, Quirky, Quality, Not-Guilty Pleasures

1. The Good Wife

This one has some of the best acting and character development I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot. I get excited every time I see a new episode is ready to watch. Even the signature subtle opening each time makes me tingle in anticipation of my favourite escape. Though it’s a scripted drama, there are frequent funny moments. The plot centres around the married wife of a politician in scandal who returns to work as a lawyer. It’s got all the intrigue of a law case per episode with the cuteness of Matt Czuchry (who won my crush back in Gilmore Girl days).

2. Parenthood

This one is great to watch with your mom. The current finale season is particularly superb at pushing those teary-eye buttons following the struggles and loves of three generations of a family. And speaking of Gilmore Girls, it features Lauren Graham, as well as Peter Krause from Six Feet Under, plus the beautiful Erika Christensen.

3. Homeland

Of all the shows listed, this is the one loved just as much by my boyfriend as by me. It’s intelligently scripted with outstanding performances, particularly from Claire Danes. She plays the main character, an intelligence officer with bipolar depression, who starts the series suspicious of a war hero returned from Iraq. The suspense and twists will keep you wanting more.

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How much sugar is right for you?

According to the calories-in-calories-out approach, a daily 2,000 calories of cookies and ice cream is just fine because you likely won’t gain weight. Meanwhile, it’s actually harder to feel satisfied on that amount of sugar-based food because calories are so much more condensed, besides which eating a little chocolate generally makes people want more chocolate – and so, this approach isn’t very sustainable for most people, nevermind the worrisome lack of essential nutrient. Furthermore, a calorie is not the same as any other calorie – metabolic consequences can differ drastically.

Sugar, in particular, even when not increasing total caloric intake, is linked to insulin resistance and high triglyceride levels, and thus increased likelihood of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It can even lead to tooth decay in the absence of adequate dental care. The World Health Organization and American Heart Association sets 100-150 calories (or 5% of total calories) as the limit on added sugars daily. That’s less than a can of pop, less than a chocolate bar. Even naturally occurring sugars, as in fruit, are only overall healthier because they come with vitamins and minerals, therefore those sugars should also be limited – the USDA recommends two cups of fruit per day.

One meal high in sugar won’t cause any lasting harmful effect overnight – even potential weight bloating goes away after a few days. Over time, though, chronically high sugar consumption can speed up our aging process and lower our cognitive functioning. Not to mention, it’s been shown that sugar activates the same regions of the brain as cocaine. In fact, a study showed mice overwhelmingly chose sugar over cocaine. There is even a convincing argument the inflammatory effect is linked to depression and anxiety.

Most health associations recommend moderation in everything, including sugar. The intention, one assumes, is to propose the most realistic improvement, or “reduced harm” as is an approach to drug addiction. Many health professionals, meanwhile, insist on “zero sugar,” some including fruit fructose. One theory is that keeping even a small amount of conventional candy in rotation will continue cravings for sugar as well as offset nutritional value from otherwise healthy meals, and even maintain side effects some people experience like headaches or the crash-and-burn of a “sugar high.”

My personal opinion, at this point in time, is to advocate for a modified cold turkey approach. For example:

  1. I am currently obsessed with President’s Choice chocolate peanut butter ice cream. This is first on my list to replace, reduce, and ideally eliminate. I believe it might be more effective to target that goal before going on to reduce the next worst culprit.
  2. When ready, I want to try out a day without any added sugar and keep total sugar (including naturally forming) for each meal below 5g, i.e. 1 tsp. I want to see how it feels. Maybe try it for a week. I definitely don’t want to calculate forever, but I understand the need to practice until I develop instinct on how much sugar works for me.
  3. The most important element in all this is to avoid feeling too stressed and behaving too strictly around sugar. I want to be able to eat ice cream every once in awhile without thinking and feeling too much about it.