Friday, October 16, 2015
The Money Game and Tony Robbins
Yes. “They” are out to get you. If you play their game by their rules, you will lose. They are looking for docile debt slaves who are willing to be trapped in a never ending cycle of, “buying what you don’t need, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t like.” “They” are looking for deaf, dumb, and blind tax donkeys who don’t understand they are giving away most of their life to a combination of national, state, and local governments and the apparatchiks and members of the nomenklatura who actually benefit from their loss. How bad is it? Enquiring minds want to know. 54.4% of the average American’s total earnings over the course of a lifetime go to taxes of all sorts. 17.25% of the average American’s total earnings over the course of a lifetime go pay interest on personal debt. That leaves you with 28.5% of your hard earned money to pay your bills, buy a few nice luxuries, and retire with dignity. Those are average numbers. I expect the poor pay more in interest and less in taxes. So, how to escape the trap? I am currently reading Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker famous for his boxed courses sold by TV infomercial and his unfortunate fascination with fire walking. As a mechanical engineer I understand that fire walking has nothing to do with a mental state and everything to do with the proper preparation of the bed of red hot coals. A sufficiently thick layer of ash has a very low coefficient of heat transfer. Anyone foolish enough to engage in such nonsense can safely walk across such a properly prepared bed of coals. It proves nothing. If I were to lay an iron grate across the same bed of coals, anyone, no matter how spiritually advanced, would suffer serious burns. Iron has a very high coefficient of heat transfer. Having covered the obvious criticism from the knowledgeable reader, let’s continue with the story. Tony Robbins has built a $500 million net worth by combining classic old school motivational speaking techniques learned from his mentor, Jim Rohn, with his deep understanding of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a psychological method developed from the work of Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, and others. Obviously, his methods work. Tony Robbins set out to discover a more or less idiot proof method for the “little guy” to get a share of the money available to those who choose to invest in the stock market. As a student of NLP, Tony Robbins believes in the power of modeling, what is termed “best practices” in management studies. Using his contacts with the rich and famous, Robbins set out to learn what they know and practice, then condense their knowledge into a set of techniques that could be practiced by an average American. After having read almost 300 pages of a 600 page tome, I can condense what he has to say into a few words. Buy an age appropriate mix of low cost index funds in small incremental amounts over the course of a lifetime and retire rich. Start small. Start today. The rest of it is long emotional passages meant to capture your attention and motivate you to take actions that will radically alter your life. This method works on his Youtube videos. I bet they really work at his live events. I would kind of like to participate in one those conferences some day. However when reading the book, I keep finding myself wishing he would get to the point. If you know nothing about investments, want to change your life, and you respond well to this writing style, it appears that Money: Master the Game will be a very good first book for the beginner contemplating his initial steps into the world of investments. When I first started on this journey to financial freedom, I would have loved to get my hands on this book.