With the possible exception of what the Treasury Department turns out, "Money: Master the Game" -- Tony Robbins' new book -- may be the most valuable stuff in print. It's absolutely jammed with advice you can take all the way to the bank.
Tony boils his message down to "7 simple steps to financial freedom." I, in turn, have seven compelling reasons why you absolutely have to sink your teeth into "Money" cover-to-cover:
-- Tony's stories sing. For Tony, caring and giving are the most powerful urges to build financial stability in the first place. When Tony was 11, a stranger saved Thanksgiving Day by appearing like magic at his family's front door with bags chock-full of groceries. At 17, "working nights as a janitor," Tony spent Turkey Day treating a couple of families to dinner himself. He describes one young woman whose motivating financial dream was to "buy a ranch and turn it into a church camp." As the old saying wisely put it: "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
-- Tony's all-star team of financial experts is jaw-dropping. They include David Swensen, "the rock star of institutional investing ... who grew Yale University's endowment from $1 billion to more than $23.9 billion in less than two decades." Then there's Mary Callahan Erdoes, who "oversees more than $2.5 trillion as CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management." She offers families some very sage advice about asset allocation, the delicate balancing art of not stacking all your investment nest eggs in one basket. And we hear from Carl Icahn, one of the world's most successful investors the last 25 years.
-- Wisdom whacks you at every corner. Whether it be Mark Twain, saying: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started," or Doug Warren, author of "The Synergy Effect," who contends, "Baby boomers have been the primary mice used in the great 401(k) retirement experiment." The longer we live, the more knowledge we acquire. But, knowledge isn't power until we put it to work. "Knowledge is not mastery. Execution is mastery," Tony declares. "Execution will trump knowledge every day of the week."
-- Commonplace conclusions are always out of place. How do you get started? Tony recommends asking yourself: "What's the price of your dreams?" On money matters, Tony stresses, "We've been taught to think, 'This is too complex' or 'This is not my field.'" Tony is intent on making you an insider. His mission is for you to "know the rules before you get in the game." Tony has some attention-getting ideas: "You'll learn why chasing returns never works (and) why nobody beats the market long-term." He'll also equip you with some energizing skills that really work: "You'll ... learn about a proven way of growing your money with 100 percent principal protection, and tax free to boot (IRS-approved)."
-- Tony's candor is unflinching. There's no substitute for experience, and you have to be prepared to acquire it, no matter what age you are. Tony points to the sobering setback all adults have likely tasted: being on the losing end of a video game with a youngster. "So why do these kids always win? Is it because they have better reflexes? Is it because they're faster? No! It's because they've played the game before."
-- "Money" is tool-rich. There are quick links to sites that help you do a quick self-assessment and actually design a workable plan. Not all of this is easy, but every inch of it is clear.
-- Constructive advice is the heart of Tony's message. "Money" combs the complex wilderness and etches expert maps to guide you. But you still need to be able to size up talent. As Tony says, "not all professionals have equal skill or experience."
Tony Robbins is the hands-down master of behavioral breakthroughs. As he maintains, "I'm not a positive-thinking coach. Quite the opposite: I'm a prepare-for-anything coach." Bottom line: You'll not find a better heads-up map.
Mackay's Moral: When it comes to money, get the sense right and the dollars are sure to follow.