For years I thought I had my finances and investments figured out. I had a financial advisor and felt well taken care of. I was grateful to have this smart man advise me and manage my investments for my retirement.
Whilst we never socialized, he became a trusted telephone friend. We talked about our kids, and jobs and life. He sent me Christmas and birthday cards. I thought I was set.
A few years ago, Tony Robbins published a hefty 600-page book, Money: Master the Game. The publicity and promotion for this book was so convincing that I bought a copy and devoured it.
Tony interviewed the most successful investors in the U.S., men (yes, they are all men… grr…) who are billionaires. They shared their investment philosophies and strategies and the stories of how they became billionaires.
What do financial wizards and billionaires have in common with me? The rules for investing are the same, whether you’re a billionaire or a person like me. Their advice is simple and logical. No magic tricks or secrets.
The more I read, the more I was shocked. Why? Finally, I was reading the truth about investing. I learned about the financial services industry and its practice of hiding fees and commissions, of a financial advisor’s natural inclination to sell investments which had high fees and hidden commissions.
I learned about the power of compounding, asset allocation, and how to rebalance a portfolio – and why that is important.
The deeper I got into the book, the sicker I felt in my soul. I realized I was being manipulated by my financial advisor. He wasn’t doing it personally to me, it is just the way the industry is structured.
It was a scary moment. I realized I could no longer continue the way I had been. I called my financial advisor and asked the questions I never previously knew to ask. His uncomfortable answers convinced me even more that I would leave him and take control of my money.
After reading the book, I felt confident enough to withdraw all my investments from my “trusted” financial advisor. I transferred them to a low-cost brokerage house that operated with fiduciaries who would give me advice when I needed it.
It was one of the scariest moments of my life. And once I did it, within months I saw the rewards of my decision, both financial and emotional. I was empowered.
A fiduciary is a financial advisor who has no relationship to any financial products and who earns no fees or commissions from any recommendations they make to you. A fiduciary is responsible for helping you make the best decisions for you – and not for their wallet – if they make a recommendation of a particular investment.
If the person you seek advice from is not a fiduciary, walk away. If the person who manages your money is not a fiduciary, walk away. If your financial advisor is a fiduciary and something else, walk away. You want a fiduciary only.
A 600-page book is a daunting read, so Tony Robbins wisely decided to slim it down into a more recent installment, Unshakeable. It’s a brilliant title and a brilliant book, and yes, I suggest you read it. The book is available in many formats: audio book, hard cover, Kindle and paperback.
Tony’s mission is to make you feel unshakeable in your ability to take care of yourself financially and to feel unshakeable in less-than-good times.
He’s very clear in communicating the fact that the financial markets go through good times and bad. But if you are set up to be unshakeable, you will get through any financial scenario or economic crisis.
It is never too late to do something about your financial situation. In keeping with my how to feel like a millionaire on a retirement budget series, I wanted to give you this report so that you too can review your situation and become unshakeable.
At the time I read the first book, I was in my early 60s. I took the plunge and took control of my finances. Just by lowering the fees and banishing the high commissions I previously paid, I have experienced significant growth in only a few years, and that’s not even considering the returns of the stock market over the last several years.
So, even with the market dipping due to the various crises of recent years, I am unshakeable, thanks to Tony Robbins. And that’s the point.
This is not a paid or sponsored post. It is merely my book report and a story about my experience of how I learned about the financial services industry and the simple rules of investing.
Giving advice about money is delicate. We all have our phobias, fears, beliefs, secrets and traditions about money. Some people refuse to talk about money. The only thing I’m asking you is to consider doing some homework about your finances in whatever way feels comfortable to you.
Reading a book is private and not threatening. You can read a book and do nothing, or you can read a book and do something. Either way, you will have valuable information – and information is power.
Are you worried or excited about retirement? Or maybe a little of both? Are you satisfied with how you are handling your finances and investments? Do you feel empowered and in control, or overwhelmed by it all? What lessons and advice can you share with us regarding your financial education? Please join the discussion below!