Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overview of Effective Investing Strategies
This article is a review of the Tony Robbins book “MONEY: Master the Game”. My objective in this article is to share the key points I found in the book-- not to give you all the details about the key points, because that would make the article too long. I intend to point out the sections of the book that I found most helpful, so you can read those sections yourself.

Before beginning the review, I would like to share my point of view about investing and money matters. I find these subjects to be a low-frequency topic. For much of my life, I have viewed money as a tool used by the Illuminati to control the masses. It seems to me that the Illuminati have attempted to control most of the money themselves, keep it out of the hands of the masses, and then use the money to amass great power for themselves. There is no judgment in this view because this is the game we have all agreed to play here in 3D. 

I, like many of you, am looking forward to a time when money will no longer be necessary. However, at this point in time, there is no way to know how long the transition to such a society will take. Perhaps it will take 5 years, 30 years, or even longer. As long as we live in the current 3D reality, we will need to use money. The book is a valuable source of education on how to invest money so it works for you--and you are free to spend your time as you see fit.

I have two overall impressions of the book. First, there is a lot of very good information in the book that I believe will be helpful to anyone who wants to invest their money. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in investing. Second, the book is very long, over 600 pages. It will take a lot of time to read the whole thing. The author's writing style contains a lot of what I call “fluff." I suspect that if someone had wanted to “just cover the facts,” the book could have been much shorter. 

In the rest of this review, I will share the material in the book that I think would be most helpful in deciding how best to invest your funds. I assume that you will have a lump sum of money to invest after the GCR occurs. In contrast, much of the material in the book is meant for those who  accumulate money to invest over an entire lifetime of working and saving. Thus, I will ignore the material in this review that does not fit the lump-sum investment scenario.

Chapter 2 covers 9 myths that are common in the investment industry. The chapter, and most of the book, is broken down into sub-chapters. Each sub-chapter covers one of the myths. 

Myth #1 says “invest with us and we’ll beat the market.” Many financial advisers will try to convince you that if you follow their advice, your investments will outperform the overall financial markets. The performance of the markets is usually measured by various Indexes. The S&P 500 is one such Index. It doesn't matter whether you are talking about Mutual Funds, individual stocks, or bonds, very few financial advisers recommend investments that will perform better than these Indexes. There are a small number of advisers that regularly beat the markets, but these are probably outside our reach (they are either closed to new clients or they require a net worth higher than most of us are likely to possess). So rather than trying to beat the returns of the market, the best advice is to invest in low-cost Index Mutual Funds, which are made up of the investments tracked by the various Indexes.

Myth #2 claims “our fees are a small price to pay.” Most people invest using Mutual Funds made up of a lot of different stocks, bonds, commodities, etc. The good thing about Mutual Funds is that they reduce risk by diversifying the portfolio across a lot of investments. There are two broad categories of Mutual Funds: Indexed Funds and Managed Funds. The Indexed Funds invest in the same mix of assets that is held by the Market Index they are modeled after. These funds usually have very low fees and their performance will track very closely to the Index they are modeled after. The portfolio of Managed Funds is picked by the fund managers. These Funds have fees that are 10 to 30 times higher than Indexed funds. So the fund managers are paid these fees no matter how the fund performs. The fund managers would have us believe that they are so good at what they do that the portfolio will outperform the market as a whole. Analysis of these funds shows time and again that, their claims simply are not true. You are far better off to invest in Indexed Funds because they will on average perform better than Managed Funds and have much lower fees.

Myth #3 alleges “our returns, what you see is what you get”. The truth is that the returns reported by Mutual Funds aren't actually earned by investors. There are a lot of reasons why this is true and the chapter goes into all of the reasons. You can cut through the claims by going to This website will show you exactly what the actual return is on your money over that period of time-- if you know the amount you started with in your investment and how much you have now.

Myth #4 says “I’m your broker, and I’m here to help.” This chapter describes the difference between a broker and a financial adviser (Fiduciary). A broker makes recommendations on what you should buy to achieve your goals. However, in many cases, the broker will earn a commission when you make the purchase. This means their advice can be influenced by what they get from the transaction. Their recommendations don't have to be the best product available, or even represent your best interest. All they have to do is provide you with a product that is “suitable,” meaning it meets the general direction of your goals and objectives. A Fiduciary on the other hand, gives you conflict-free advice. They are paid for the advice they give. By law, they must remove any potential conflicts of interest and put the client's interest above their own. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisers (NAPFA) is a trade association for fiduciary advisers. Their website,, allows you to search the country for fee-only fiduciary advisers. The chapter offers some guidelines for selecting an adviser. Stronghold Financial, a fiduciary adviser company, has created a website,, that will analyze your current investments, assess how much risk you are taking, quantify the true fees you are paying, and suggest a new asset allocation strategy. The service provided by Stonghold's website is free, while most advisers would charge $1000 or more for this same service.

Myth #7 says “I hate annuities, and you should too.” There are many types of annuities. An annuity is a product, usually offered by an insurance company, designed to provide an income stream over some period of time. Some well-known financial authors say all annuities are terrible investments. It is a mistake to lump all annuities in the same bucket. The first annuities were created over 2000 years ago when Roman citizens deposited money into a pool. Those who lived longest would get increased income payments, subsidized by those who didn't live as long. In modern times, the concept works the same way. The book discusses all the major types of annuities offered today. The author does not recommend variable annuities because they are based on Managed Mutual Funds that have very high fees and under-perform the market. If you want a variable annuity, Vanguard and TIAA-CREF offer extremely low-cost variable annuities with a list of low-cost Index Funds to choose from. Later chapters in the book (5.3 and 5.4) cover traditional income annuities and Fixed Indexed annuities, which the author recommends as a means of generating income for life.

Myth #8 would have us believe “you gotta take huge risks to get big rewards!” Nothing could be further from the truth. The most successful investors don't speculate with their money. Warren Buffet's top 2 rules: Rule 1 - don't lose money; Rule 2 - see Rule 1. The top investors look for opportunities that provide an asymmetric risk/reward-- where you risk a little but make a lot. Only foolish investors try to make a big return with no downside protection. Smart investors also look for ways to make money when the markets go up and lose nothing when the markets drop. These objectives can be achieved with these types of investments: structured notes, market-linked CDs, and Fixed Indexed annuities. The book explains each of these investments.

In chapter 3.1 the author talks about five levels of financial health: financial security, financial vitality, financial independence, financial freedom, and absolute financial freedom. He describes what can be achieved at each level and he provides tools to help compute the amount of money needed to live at that level. 

Chapter 3.1 also discusses how to live the lifestyle you desire. There are 6 basic human needs that drive our behavior: Certainty, Uncertainty/Variety, Significance, Connection/lLove, Growth, and Contribution. The trap that many people fall into is using money to meet the Significance need. The discussion was helpful as it challenges the reader to think about the lifestyle he/she wants to live, and what is necessary to live that lifestyle, rather than using the money to fulfill a need to feel Significant. Here are a couple of examples: rather than buying a new private jet for $65 million, you can charter a jet for $2,500 an hour. Rather than buying a private island and building a resort for $40 million, you could lease a villa on a secluded island $350,000 for a week.

There is a section in chapter 3.5 that discusses what the author calls “Money Power Principal 4,” which states “tax efficiency is one of the simplest ways to continuously increase the real returns on your portfolio.” I found the discussion in this section worthwhile. 

Chapter 3.7 talks about ways to change your life and lifestyle for the better. The author discusses a number of interesting ideas for saving money while still living the lifestyle you desire. He recommended an article that talked about the best places to retire on $75/day, He also pointed out the seven states in the US that do not have a state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. He also suggests living in places like Bali, Fiji, Uruguay, and Costa Rica, where you can improve your lifestyle and lower your expenses.

Chapter 4.1 discusses asset allocation, which is the most important investment decision you will make in your life. It is more important than any single investment you will make. There are only three tools you can use to reduce your risk: security selection (stock picking), market timing, and asset allocation. Asset allocation is by far the most important of these three tools. Asset allocation is your long-term strategy for diversified investing and it is how you stay wealthy. It is more than diversification. It means dividing up your money among different asset classes or types of investments (i.e. stocks, bonds, commodities, or real estate) and in specific proportions that you decide in advance. Reading this chapter will not tell you what strategy you should use for asset allocation, but it will thoroughly explain the concept.

Chapter 4.2 talks about risk and growth of your investments. Earlier in the book the author had talked about dividing your assets into various buckets: Security, Risk/Growth, and Dreams. The Risk/Growth bucket is where most of your risk and growth will be. The author talks about the various asset classes that belong here. I found the entire chapter worthwhile. One gem in the chapter described a sample portfolio that was used to grow Yale's endowment funds from $1 billion to $23.9 billion. He also gives a link to a website where you can judge your own risk tolerance, The biggest take-way from the chapter is: it is the kiss of death to put all of your money in the Risk/Growth bucket.

Chapter 4.4 talks about timing of investments. From my perspective, the best part was the discussion of the relative merits of “dollar-cost averaging” vs lump-sum investing. This is a rather detailed discussion but definitely worth the read. Another key concept covered is, re-balancing your investments across the asset classes every six or twelve months.

Chapter 5.1 was perhaps my favorite part of the book. It describes the “All Season Portfolio” created by Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. This portfolio has produced an average return of 9.88% from 1974 through 2013. It is relatively safe by earning positive returns 85% of the time over those 40 years. It has had only six years wherein it lost money during those 40 years – the average loss was 1.47%. It has very low volatility, with the worst loss during the 40 years only 3.93%. This strategy states that there are only four possible market environments: higher-than-expected inflation; lower-than-expected inflation; higher-than-expected economic growth; and lower-than-expected economic growth. The problem is that no one knows which condition will hit the market next. The All Season Portfolio is designed to do well in all four of these conditions. The chapter explains all the details of this Portfolio and what investments are used with it. Chapter 5.2 describes how this Portfolio has performed in various market conditions. These two chapters were worth the price of the book.

Chapter 5.3 and 5.4 discuss how to use annuities to create a guaranteed income for life. Annuities have significant advantages. Your deposit is 100% guaranteed (you can't lose your money and you retain total control). You account value growth is tied to the market-- so you get gains from the market going up, but you will not lose a dime if the market goes down. They provide tax-deferred growth. Your income payments can be made tax-free, if structured correctly. There are no annual management fees. Immediate annuities are for those who want to make a lump-sum payment and get an income for life. Deferred annuities are for those who want to make a lump-sum payment or payment over a period of time, and who want to start receiving the life-time income at some future date. There are three types of deferred annuities: Fixed annuity, Indexed annuity and Hybrid “Indexed” annuity. A good place to educate yourself about annuities is

Chapter 5.5 talks about private placement life insurance (PPLI). These policies offer some amazing benefits: unlimited deposit amounts; no tax on the growth; no tax when accessed (if structured correctly); and any money left over for your heirs cannot be taxed. In order to access PPLI, you normally have to be an Accredited Investor, which usually requires an annual deposit of $250,000 for at least four years. TIAA-CREF now offers a PPLI to a non-Accredited Investor with as little as a few thousand dollars to invest. You can learn more by visiting their website, It appears that the PPLI is a whole-life insurance policy. A better solution might be the 770 Account, which you can read about on this post,

Chapter 7.2 shifts the focus away from money and talks about how we can make decisions that determine the quality of our lives. The author says there are three key decisions we make every moment that determine our life quality: 1) What are you going to focus on?  2) What does that mean?  3) What am I going to do? He describes each of these questions and the implications they have. He closes the discussion of the three questions with a simple exercise you can do each day to improve your emotional state. I found this material interesting and helpful. 

Chapter 7.3 talks about ways that money can be used to make you happier. The author mentions three key points from the book "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending" by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. First, money can be used to invest in experiences such as travel, learning a new skill, or taking some courses, rather than acquiring more possessions. Second, money can buy time for yourself by outsourcing your most dreaded tasks. Third, you can use money to invest in others, which makes you happy. A lot of time is devoted to the third use of money and I found the material was worthwhile. 

In closing, I would highly recommend the book. I hope this review will save you time by pointing out the sections that may be most helpful to you. 


Messages In This Thread
Overview of Effective Investing Strategies - by it-man - 09-17-2015, 06:53 PM

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)