Tony Robbins is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. For more than 37 years, millions of people have enjoyed the warmth, humor, and the transformational power of Mr. Robbins’ business and personal development events. He is one of the nation’s top life and business strategists. He’s called upon to consult and coach with some of the world’s finest athletes, entertainers, Fortune 500 CEOs, and presidents. Robbins is a founder or partner in over a dozen companies in industries as diverse as a 5-star Fijian island resort to custom 3D printed Prosthetic limbs. Through the Tony Robbins foundation and his matching funds, Tony has provided over 400 million meals in his partnership with Feeding America. He lives in Palm Beach, FL.
Money Master the Game CHAPTER 1.1
IT’S YOUR MONEY! IT’S YOUR LIFE! TAKE CONTROL
Money is a good servant but a bad master.
—SIR FRANCIS BACON
Few words have the power to provoke such extreme human emotions.
A lot of us refuse to even talk about money! Like religion, sex, or politics, the topic is taboo at the dinner table and often off-limits in the workplace. We might discuss wealth in polite company, but money is explicit. It’s raw. It’s garish. It’s intensely personal and highly charged. It can make people feel guilty when they have it—or ashamed when they don’t.
But what does it really mean?
For some of us, money is vital and crucial but not paramount. It’s simply a tool, a source of power used in service of others and a life well lived. Others are consumed with such a hunger for money that it destroys them and everyone around them. Some are even willing to give up things that are far more valuable to get it: their health, their time, their family, their self-worth, and, in some cases, even their integrity.
At its core, money is about power.
We’ve all seen how money can have the power to create or the power to destroy. It can fund a dream or start a war. You can provide money as a gift or wield it as a weapon. It can be used as an expression of your spirit, your creativity, your ideas—or your frustration, your anger, your hate. It can be used to influence governments and individuals. Some marry for it—and then find out its real price.
But we all know that on some level it’s an illusion. Money isn’t even gold or paper today, it’s zeros and ones in banking computers. What is it? It’s like a shape-shifter or a canvas, assuming whatever meaning or emotion we project on it.
In the end, money isn’t what we’re after . . . is it? What we’re really after are the feelings, the emotions, we think money can create:
that feeling of empowerment,
of helping those we love and those in need,
of having a choice, and
of feeling alive.
Money is certainly one of the ways we can turn the dreams we have into the reality we live.
But even if money is just a perception—an abstract concept—it doesn’t feel that way if you don’t have enough of it! And one thing is for sure: you either use it, or it uses you. You either master money, or, on some level, money masters you!
How you deal with money reflects how you deal with power. Is it an affliction or a blessing? A game or a burden?
When I was choosing the title of this book, a few people were actually outraged at the suggestion that money could be a game. How could I use such a frivolous term for such a serious topic! But, hey, let’s get real. As you’ll see in the pages to come, the best way to change your life is to find people who’ve already achieved what you want and then model their behavior. Want to master your finances? Find a financial master and imitate how he or she deals with money, and you will have found a pathway to power.
I can tell you right now, I have interviewed many of the wealthiest people in the world, and most of them do think of money as a game. Why else would anyone work ten or 12 hours a day after they’ve made billions of dollars? And remember, not all games are frivolous. Games are a reflection of life. Some people sit on the sidelines, and some play to win. How do you play? I want to remind you, this is a game that you and your family can’t afford to lose.
My promise to you is this: if you will stay with me and follow the 7 Simple Steps in this book—the steps that have been distilled from the world’s most successful financial players—you and your family will win this game. And you can win big!
But to win, you have to know the rules and learn the best strategies for success from those who have already mastered the game.
The good news is that you can save years of time—and in a few minutes—by simply learning the pitfalls to avoid and the shortcuts to experiencing lasting success. The financial industry often works to make this topic feel incredibly complex, but in reality, once you get past the jargon, it’s relatively simple. This book is your opportunity to stop being the chess piece and become the chess player in the game of money. I think you’re going to be very surprised at how, with an insider’s understanding, you can easily transform your financial life and enjoy the freedom you deserve.
So let’s get to it. Just imagine what life would be like if you had mastered this game already.
What if money didn’t matter?
How would you feel if you didn’t have to worry about going to an office every morning, or paying the bills, or funding your retirement? What would it be like to live your life on your own terms? What would it mean to know you had the opportunity to start your own business, or that you could afford to buy a home for your parents and send your kids to college, or have the freedom to travel the world?
How would you live your life if you could wake up each day knowing there was enough money coming in to cover not only your basic needs but also your goals and dreams?
The truth is, a lot of us would keep working, because that’s the way we’re wired. But we’d do it from a place of joy and abundance. Our work would continue, but the rat race would end. We’d work because we want to, not because we have to.
That’s financial freedom.
But is it a pipe dream? Is it really possible for the average person—more importantly, for you—to make this dream a reality?
Whether you want to live like the 1% or just have the peace of mind from knowing that you won’t outlive your savings, the truth is you can always find a way to make the money you need. How? The secret to wealth is simple: Find a way to do more for others than anyone else does. Become more valuable. Do more. Give more. Be more. Serve more. And you will have the opportunity to earn more—whether you own the best food truck in Austin, Texas, or you’re the top salesperson at your company or even the founder of Instagram.
But this book isn’t just about adding value—it’s really about how to go from where you are today to where you truly want to be, whether that’s financially secure, independent, or free. It’s about increasing the quality of your life today by developing the one fundamental skill that the vast majority of Americans have never developed: the mastery of money. In fact, 77% of Americans—three of every four people—say they have financial worries, but only 40% report having any kind of spending or investment plan. One in three baby boomers have less than $1,000 saved! Polls show that fewer than one in four trust the financial system—with good reason! And stock ownership has been hitting record lows, particularly among young people. But the truth is, you don’t earn your way to freedom. As you’ll see later in this book, even multimillion-dollar earners such as Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, boxer Mike Tyson, and actress Kim Basinger lost it all because they didn’t apply the fundamentals that you’ll soon be learning. You have to be able to not only hold on to a portion of what you earn for your family, but, more importantly, multiply what you earn—making money while you sleep. You have to make the shift from being a consumer in the economy to becoming an owner—and you do it by becoming an investor.
Actually, a lot of us are already investors. Maybe you first got into the game when Grandma bought you a few shares of her favorite stock just for being born, or perhaps your employer auto-enrolled you in the company’s 401(k), or maybe you first became an investor when a friend told you to forget the Kindle and buy Amazon stock instead.
But is this enough? If you’re reading this now, my guess is that you know the answer: no way! I don’t have to tell you it’s not your parents’ and grandparents’ investment world. The plan used to be so simple: go to college, get a job, work your butt off, and then maybe get a better job with a bigger corporation. After that, the key was to find a way to add value, move up the ladder, invest in company stock, and retire with a pension. Remember pensions? A promise of a never-ending income for life? They’ve become relics.
You and I both know that world is over. We live longer now on less money. New technologies keep coming online, stoking a system that often seems designed to separate us from our money instead of helping us grow it. As I write these words, interest rates on our savings hover near zero, while the markets rise and fall like corks on the ocean. Meanwhile, we’re faced with a financial system of limitless choices and mind-boggling complexity. Today there are more than 10,000 mutual funds, 1,400 different ETFs, and hundreds of global stock exchanges to choose from. It seems like every day we’re pitched more and more complex investment “instruments” with an alphabet soup of acronyms: CDOs, REITs, MBSs, MLPs, CDSs, CETFs . . .
How about HFT? That’s short for high-frequency trading, where 50% to 70% of the tens of millions of trades that churn through the market each day are now generated by high-speed machines. What does that mean for you? It takes only a half second, or about 500 milliseconds, to click your mouse to complete your E*Trade order. In that short time, the big boys with the supercomputers will have bought and sold thousands of shares of the same stock hundreds of times over, making microprofits with each transaction. Michael Lewis, bestselling author of the HFT exposť Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, told 60 Minutes, “The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism, is rigged . . . by a combination of the stock exchanges, the big Wall Street banks, and high-frequency traders . . . They’re able to identify your desire to buy shares in Microsoft and buy them in front of you and sell them back to you at a higher price!” How fast are these guys? One HFT firm spent a quarter of a billion dollars to straighten the fiber-optic cables between Chicago and New York, reconstructing the landscape and literally terraforming the earth to shave 1.4 milliseconds off its transmission time! But even that’s not fast enough. Some trades already take place in microseconds—that’s a millionth of a second. Soon HFT technology will allow these trades to happen in nanoseconds—a billionth of a second. Meanwhile, they’re laying cable on the ocean floor, and there’s even talk of solar-powered drones acting as microwave relay stations to connect exchanges in New York and London.
If all of this leaves you reeling, I’m with you. What are your chances of competing with flying robots trading at the speed of light? Where do you turn to find a path through this high-tech, high-risk maze of choices?
An expert is an ordinary man away from home giving advice.
The problem is, when it comes to money (and investing), everybody has an opinion. Everybody’s got a tip. Everybody has an answer. But I’ll give you a hint: they rarely have one that will really help you. Have you noticed how beliefs around money are like religion and politics? Conversations can get intense and emotional. Especially online, where people without any real knowledge or mastery will promote their own theories and criticize others’ strategies with such vehemence, even though they have no proven track record. It’s like a psychologist on Prozac telling you how you can have a fulfilled life. Or an obese person telling you how to get thin and fit. I tend to separate pundits into those who talk the talk and those who walk the walk. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of hearing from all these “experts” who tell us what to do, but haven’t produced results in their own lives.
If you thought you were going to hear from another investment guru making crazy promises, you came to the wrong place. I’ll leave that to the financial entertainers who scream at you about buying the hottest stock, or implore you to save your money and put it in some mythical mutual fund. You know the one, where they promise you’ll continuously compound your money with 12% annual growth. They dole out advice that too often has no basis in reality, and often they don’t even invest in the products they push. Some of them might sincerely think they’re helping, but people can be sincere and be sincerely wrong.
I want you to know I’m not one of those “positive thinkers” who’s going to pump you up with a false view of the world. I believe in intelligence. You have to see things as they really are but not worse than they are—that view of life only gives you the excuse to do nothing. You may know me as the “smiling guy with the big teeth” on TV, but I’m not here to tell you to do a bunch of affirmations—I’m the guy who’s focused on helping you dig deep, solve real problems, and take your life to the next level.
For 38 years, I’ve been obsessed with finding strategies and tools that can immediately change the quality of people’s lives. I have proven their effectiveness by producing measurable results where others have failed. So far I’ve reached more than 50 million people from 100 different countries through my books, videos, and audio programs, and another 4 million in live events.
What I’ve known from the beginning is that success leaves clues. People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else does. I’m interested in those people: those who have a relentless hunger to learn and grow and achieve. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not deluded. I’m aware there are very few people in the world who are fit and healthy and who sustain it. Most people don’t have decades of sustained love and passion in their intimate relationships, nor do they experience ongoing gratitude and joy. There are very few people who maximize their business opportunities. And there are even fewer who start with little or nothing and become financially free.
But a few do! A few do have great relationships, great joy, great wealth, and endless gratitude. I have studied the few who do versus the many who talk. If you want to look for obstacles, what’s wrong is always available. But so is what’s right! I am a hunter of human excellence. I seek out those individuals who break the norms and demonstrate to all of us what’s really possible. I learn what those few extraordinary individuals do that’s different from everybody else, and then emulate them. I find out what works, and then I clarify it, simplify it, and systematize it in a way to help people move forward.
Ever since the dark days of 2008, when the global financial system nearly melted down, I’ve been obsessed with finding a way to help everyday people take control of their money and fight back against a system that’s often been rigged against them. The fix has been in for years, and it hasn’t gotten a whole lot better with all those so-called reforms on Capitol Hill. In some areas, it’s gotten worse. To find answers, I interviewed 50 of the most brilliant, influential players in the world of money. In this book, you won’t get talking heads, and you won’t get my opinions, either. You’ll hear it straight from the masters of the game: self-made billionaires, Nobel laureates, and financial titans. Here’s just a sampling of a few of the masters of money that you will be learning from in the pages ahead:
∑ John C. Bogle, the 85-year-old sage with 64 years of stock market ...