Trying to learn about money is a taboo subject. Who should you talk to? Who should you trust? Who really has your best interest in mind? It is hard.
Over the past few years, it has been my personal mission to master money. I have read dozens and dozens of finance-related books. I have had many conversations with both big-name and small-town financial advisors. I have asked the hard questions and I’m here to share my findings.
But first, let me tell you a story about a conversation I had with a financial advisor out of Milwaukee. I shared my entire portfolio with him and told him all of my goals. He then told me that I needed to spend $50,000 on a life insurance policy for the next 6 or 7 years. He claimed I would see a huge return on it. So, I said alright and asked him how much he made in commission from selling this policy to me. He freaked out! How am I supposed to trust the system if I’m not being told the truth?
The moral of the story is that the game is rigged. The people who are supposed to be helping us are profiting off our vulnerability. So, what do we do? Luckily, very generous people who I trust have shared their knowledge through these three books…
Money: Master The Game by Tony Robins
This is the book that fueled my excitement to want to learn about money. If you get it, please don’t be intimidated because by it’s almost Harry Potter size. I mean, if you could learn everything about money in 90 pages, something would be wrong! This book walks through the technical step-by-step formula that guides you to the right people and actions.
One of my favorite parts of the book is a conversation about creating a portfolio that will be okay despite any market condition. It is called the all-weather portfolio and was founded by Ray Dalio. It historically tracks through the entire market since it was created while keeping your personal goals in mind.
If you're not investing at all because you're scared of losing your money, let me tell you something. Truth is, you may lose your money! There are going to be ups and downs, but the point is not what the market looks like today or even tomorrow. You need to think long-term.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
The second best book that I’ve ever read about money is titled I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I love this book because Sethi’s approach is very brass. He takes out all of the fancy financial jargon and makes it a very readable text. If you're not investing at all currently, you may find his words as a kick in the ass. But hey, sometimes when we are slacking off, that is all we need to get us going!
My favorite part of the book is Ramit’s power of negotiating fees. When most people sign up for something that they have to pay — rent, utilities, mortgage — they take the price they are given and pay it. This book opened my eyes to the fact that I could reduce my costs of living without sacrificing anything crazy. That’s pretty fascinating.
Another big takeaway for me was the fact that Sethi didn't tell me to stop going to the coffee shop every morning. A lot of finance writers use the example of saving $5 on coffee every morning leads to saving $150 a month which leads to millions over x amount of years. Instead of coffee, Ramit focuses on your mortgage. Even with the low interest rates that are happening right now, over the span of 30 years, you're spending way more than you buying a $5 coffee every day for the rest of your life. Your mortgage could be causing thousands and thousands of dollars in debt against you! Keep drinking your coffee; lower your interest rate instead.
Quit Like A Millionaire by Kristy Shen
Lastly, my third favorite book about money is called Quit Like A Millionaire. Kristy was one of the first authors I ever met in real life! I love her financial approach because she is big on maximizing life. Shen teaches you how to leverage your financial strategy to pay you an income to live off of with the goal of retiring super freaky fast.
I think she is one of the thought leaders in the Fire Movement. If you've never heard of the Fire Movement, it is a program that stands for Financial Independents Retire Early. Kristy is featured in one of the most amazing documentaries out there called Playing With Fire. If you want to ditch all of these books, at least promise me you will watch this film. It’s truly inspiring.
Shen and her husband retired at age 31. What makes them different is that they didn't settle down in a home. They continue to travel the world and visit hundreds of countries. She explains how in Asian Culture, one of the most successful things you can do is own a home. I think this is similar to Mexican culture. In fact, when I explained that I would be living in a van to my dad, he didn't seem very on board. He is stuck in thinking that the traditional milestones like owning a fancy car and a nice house are the trophies of success in life. I disagree; I think owning your time is most rewarding.
That being said, this book is all about implementing the financial strategies that will allow you to control and own back your time.
No matter what level of experience you have with money, these books are great. Money is something that people avoid talking about but I want to encourage the opposite. It’s actually a very important tool that we need to understand confidently! I promise once you do, you’ll gain control of your time and your life.
Have you already read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know!
Peace and God bless.
I make new content every single week, so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube and follow my Instagram @brambilabong and TikTok at @AdrianBrambila. I also have tons of resources and courses on my website that you won’t want to miss. Head over to www.adrianbrambila.com to learn more about what I do and how I live a financially free life.