Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook
This short, wisdom-rich, and crisply written book couldn’t be more timely. Even better, its insights and recommendations are timeless. Investors and, more important, those who currently are not investing should read it and take what it says to heart.
Never have we had such a long bull market that has been accompanied from the beginning by such caution and outright pessimism about the durability of the rise. The stock market never goes in a straight line, up or down, and every dip it has taken since 2009 has been met with wails of woe that we are in for another horrific slide. A result of this aversion to investing is that tens of millions of people who should be in the market, particularly millennials, are not. Tony Robbins aptly points out that regarding the accumulation of assets, especially for retirement, they are making a very costly long-term mistake by staying on the sidelines.
What helps make this volume so credible is that the author is up front in dealing with the pervasive anxieties about our economic future, worries that made the 2016 election cycle so stunning. He acknowledges that, yes, eventually we will experience a real bear market. But the possibility of such an event is no reason for individuals to stay away and simply sit on their hands. Big downturns in the market happen periodically, but the long-term trend of stocks has always been upward. By taking to heart the truth that emotions are enemy number one when it comes to investing, individuals can devise strategies that will enable them to outperform the market and most professional managers.
Robbins carefully and thoughtfully shows how you can be the master of your investment fate instead of sitting fearfully on the sidelines or getting whipsawed by reacting to market volatility in panicky, damaging ways. What should you do when stocks plummet? How can you find opportunity when everyone else sees disaster? He provides sensible rules that will keep you from making costly mistakes and, even better, explains what actions to take—such as recalibrating your allocation of assets—that can lay the foundation for fulsome future returns.
Enemy number two is fees. Expenses come not only from advertised costs but also from a variety of hidden charges. Thanks to compounding, these outlays over time can literally reduce your nest egg by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remember that each dollar in expenses means one less dollar that can grow in coming years. This is why you should take a careful look at your 401(k) to discover what exactions might be eating away at it, like termites do with a house. Even index funds can hit you with unnecessary charges. As for a popular investment instrument, annuities, their charges can do to your money what Godzilla did to cities. An informed investor will be a far richer investor.
A lot of regulatory changes are taking place in the world of managing money, most notably from the US Department of Labor (DOL). This book helpfully walks you through these.
Finally, Robbins makes the point that wealth creation is not an end in and of itself but is a crucial aspect of achieving a purposeful life, a truth too often ignored. My grandfather B. C. Forbes, who founded our company just about a century ago, observed in the first issue of the magazine that bears his name that “the purpose of business is to produce happiness, not to pile up money.”
We can hope only that more people, especially the younger ones just starting their working careers, will take Robbins’s investment message to heart: get in!
He’s right. Millennials are making the same mistake a previous generation made decades ago—a generation that was scarred by the catastrophe of the Great Depression. Those folks’ fear of stocks was all too understandable. From 1929 to 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went down what today would be the equivalent of 17,000 points! That’s a plunge of almost 90%. The 1930s was plagued by high unemployment. Then came World War II. No wonder most Americans vowed never to go near a stock.
Yet after WWII, the United States entered a great period of prosperity. Stock prices went up manyfold. Sadly, all too many people stayed out or overinvested in seemingly safe bonds; they could hardly know that the debt market was starting what turned out to be a 35-year bear market. Investors lost staggering sums to the inflation that pummeled the bonds’ principle. These people missed out on a fantastic opportunity to enrich their lives.
So never forget about these two ferocious foes of stock market success: fear and fees.
Will this sage book make Tony Robbins rich? No. All the proceeds are going to Feeding America, which provides free meals to those who need them. In this, Robbins exemplifies a basic truth that is often ignored: commerce and philanthropy are not polar opposites; they are two sides of the same coin. In free markets, you succeed only by providing a product or service that others want—that is, you prosper by meeting the needs and wants of others. Philanthropy is about meeting the needs of others. The skill sets required in each of these spheres may differ, but the fundamental objective is the same. In fact, successful businesspeople often become successful philanthropists. Bill Gates is only one example of many.
Tony Robbins demonstrates that by creating resources, by producing something, you gain the means to help others. His book will be your invaluable guide to enabling you to do the same—and on a scale you may never have thought possible.
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|Epub||January 6, 2018|
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