Tony Robbins wants you to invest now

Image of Tony Robbins meditating with a speech bubble that says "Get in the game."

Image of Tony Robbins meditating with a speech bubble that says "Get in the game."

Everybody loves Tony Robbins, right? The guy is a superhuman. So when he published his first book in almost 20 years and it wasn’t about peak potential or flow, but about how to win in the money game, people took notice. Well, don’t go out and buy the book just yet. It’s 688 pages and has mixed reviews. Let me help distill his best advice into something more easily consumable. Here are some of the better takeaways from an interview he did with Inc. (video after the break).

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Index funds all day long baby

A chart showing that index fund expense ratios are lower than actively managed funds.

An image that reads, "DIY Investing: Index funds all day long".

The easy way to beat 90% of professional investors is to invest that money in low cost index funds through ETF’s. That’s it. That’s all you need to know. It took me 10 years to learn this, but when I figured it out and back tested it, I laughed at how obvious and simple it is. Then I wondered why no one was teaching this. This should be taught in middle school and retaught in high school.

So I vigorously scoured the internet and sure enough, tons of intelligent, respectable advisors and financial magazines tout the benefits of index investing and how professional fund managers don’t “beat the market”. And when professional investors say don’t “beat the market”, the market = index funds. It all seems so obvious, yet for some reason it’s not.

So I’m here to bring the obvious to light. It’s index funds all day long, baby. Follow this advice and you’ll be earning money like those wealthy 1% who pay less tax than you. If you can’t beat ‘em, the least you can do is join them.

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What to know before you start DIY investing

Image of title that say DIY Investing - what to know before you start

Image of title that say DIY Investing - what to know before you start

Do-it-yourself or DIY investing has never been easier. If you have access to the internet and aren’t afraid of technology, then you’ve got a chance to earn money on your savings like the 1% (buzz word for the super wealthy). In this multi-part series I’m going to show you how to invest in stocks, bonds, and index funds the easy way so that you can get your money earning more money. Here’s what you need to know before you start DIY investing.

1. Debt Free

First of all, you need to be out of debt except for a possible mortgage on your house. If you have any debt (credit card, personal loans, student loans), you need to take the money you’ve saved and pay that off first. There’s nowhere else where you can get a guaranteed return on your money so easily. What does that mean? If your credit interest rate is 15%, whatever you pay off – you’re essentially earning 15% back by not having to pay that interest. Debt is negative interest on your money. Paying it off is a guaranteed return. Even a 4% guaranteed return is better than trying to cover that debt by earning more in the market. Pay off your debts first. Don’t be a slave.

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Why Investing Beats Savings Accounts

A chart showing the growth of $10,000 invested and saved.

A chart showing the growth of $10,000 invested and saved.

I hope this chart is self-explanatory. But in the case that it might not be. Let me explain it for you. If you had $10,000 in March of 2005, this is how much money you’d have if you had either put it into a savings account (red/orange line) or had invested it in the stock market (blue line).  It’s 2015 now and 10 years later, this is how much money you’d have in your account. Which would you prefer? This chart shows why an investment account is better than a savings account.

So, if you’ve paid off your debts, saved up a couple $1,000 and now you’re curious about how to put that money to work, look no further. You’re asking yourself, “what should I do with X dollars?” Should you invest in the stock market or put it into a savings account? Look at that chart and you tell me.

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Rise of the Financial Robo-advisors

robo-advisors-header-150x150

An image of logos for Betterment, Wealthfront, and Wisebanyan and the text Rise of the Robo-advisors.

It should be obvious by now that the internet is shattering traditional businesses by democratizing access to information and allowing for technology to reduce costs and simplify transactions. Well the newest target of advancing technology on the internet is the financial advisor. With the rise of robo-advisors like Betterment, WealthFront, and now Wisebanyan, the traditional brick-and-mortar financial advisors are looking like Radioshack and Barnes and Noble of the early 2000’s (that is to say not likely to last much longer). Intelligent Gen-X’ers (born in the 60’s and 70’s) and Millennials (born between 1980 and the 2000’s) are comfortable with technological disruptors and overall tend to embrace them. And the rise of robo-advisors for under 40’s will be another disruptor.

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Tony Robbins Stronghold Financial Review – Caution

Image from the front of the Stronghold financial website showing Tony Robbins.

Image of the Stronghold Financial homepage with Tony Robbins face.

This is a review for the new tool endorsed by Tony Robbins by Stronghold Financial that apparently gathers your investment portfolio details and compares them to an asset allocation laid out by the investment firm, Stronghold Financial Group.

Like many others in my generation (young 30’s), I found out about Stronghold Financial from listening to Tim Ferriss interview Tony Robbins (listen here on iTunes, or on Tim’s site here) . Tony Robbins is a ridiculously inspiring human and listening to him speak about anything will light a fire under your tail and make you want to live a better life and be a better person.

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Super Easy 7 Layer Dip for your Super Bowl Party

7-layer-dip

Image of a Mexican 7 layer dip.

Just like every group of friends needs the friend who usually hosts a Super Bowl Party, you also need the friend who brings that awesome 7 layer dip. If you don’t have that friend, now’s your chance to guarantee an invite to every ‘bring a dish’ party your friends throw – become that guy (not “that” guy).

I’m not going to make you “cook” anything. You don’t have to do anything other than buy the ingredients and layer them. Literally, I’m going to give you the easiest 7 layer dip recipe that you might actually search this site for more awesome recipes – sorry, I’m not a stay-at-home Dad with nothing better to do. This is the only recipe you’re going to get.

Let’s get to it.

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How to Create a Super Bowl Betting Chart

3-fun-betting-chart-numbers-super-bowl

Super Bowl Gambling Poster Blank

Materials:

  • Poster board
  • Magic marker (black, permanent)
  • Deck of cards (or random numbers 0-9)
  • Basket, hat, or bowl (for the money)

Set-up:

  1. Draw lines dividing the poster board into 11 x 11 squares (draw 10 lines horizontal, and 10 vertical).
  2. On the top edge write one Team Name, on the left edge write the other Team Name
  3. Have people ‘buy squares’ for $1 each.
  4. People write their name in any of the inside 10×10 squares (it’s random).
  5. After all the squares have been filled up, grab the deck of cards.
  6. Fill in the top edge with numbers 0-9 using the deck of cards to make the numbers random.
  7. Do the same for the left edge.

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Make 2014 One of Your Best Years Ever

Happy New Year folks! 2014 is going to be probably one of the best years of my life. Hope it will be for you too. Here are some ideas to help you make that happen:red_wine_bottle_and_wine_glass

  1. Drink a bottle of wine instead of that beer or liquor.
  2. Fast every-now-and-then. Once a week isn’t too hard. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xvdbtt_eat-fast-live-longer-hd_shortfilms)
  3. Buy more fruit. Eat a banana in the morning. Have an orange when you’re hungry but it’s not quite lunch (10:30 am?). Blueberries and strawberries are always good.
  4. Learn something. Take a cooking class, a rock-climbing class, a yoga class, or learn to code (http://www.codecademy.com/), or learn a new language (http://www.livemocha.com/learn-spanish).
  5. Save some money and then spend it on yourself. (https://home.capitalone360.com/online-savings-account) Then save some money and don’t spend it. (https://www.scottrade.com/)
  6. Call your mom and tell her you love her. Call your pops, siblings, grandparents, and a few of those friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just ask ‘em what’s up in their life. Then listen.
  7. Make a plan for the weekend. Go somewhere new an hour away or more. Hike a mountain, visit a historical site, go to a different beach, and take your favorite people with you. Make a plan.
  8. Volunteer. Give a few hours Saturday morning to help somebody. It can be your neighbor, your friend, your church, or a local charity. Offer your time and effort.

And make 2014 one of your best years ever!

What to Do in Chinatown Singapore

Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Roof GardenSingapore can be done in a day and a half. The best thing to do is to stay in Little India and visit Chinatown.

In Chinatown, visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum just down the street from the Sri Mariamman Temple (Hindu), which isn’t far from the Jamae Mosque (Muslim). That’s Singapore in a nutshell – a harmony of cultures.

At the Buddha Temple go upstairs to the free Buddhist museum on the 3rd floor. They have tons of Buddhist relics from around the world and have done a good job telling the story of Buddha in a designed path through the museum. Take your time. Read a bit. Learn a bit.

Then hit up the stairwell and sneak up to the roof. You’ll find a lush rooftop tropical garden surrounding a large Buddhist prayer wheel. Grab the wheel, walk in a circle and make a prayer. It’s okay. You’re allowed to be there.

For lunch, go behind the museum to the Chinatown Complex (food hawker center). There are 1,000 food stalls. Take a deep breath and find a stall that sells ‘chicken rice’. When I was there it was #172. It should cost S$3. Wait for it. Make sure to take the little tray of red sauce. The dish will look bland – you will be surprised.

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