Ten years ago, I published my book, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.”
Do you remember what also happened 10 years ago?
In March 2009, we were in the depths of a once-in-a-lifetime financial crisis and full-blown recession. Chances are, you know someone who was laid off.
In fact, it was so bad that, as The New York Times noted:
On March 9, 2009, the day the bull market was born, the stock market, like the economy, was in deep, seemingly existential distress. The S&P 500 was down 57 percent from its 2007 peak.
Compounding the pain was the nationwide collapse in home prices, which landed a direct hit on most households’ greatest source of wealth.
Yes, my book was published at the bottom of the worst financial crisis of our generation.
The day it launched, it became the #1 book on all of Amazon, then sold out within hours, and became an instant New York Times best-seller.
That was what happened in public, but behind closed doors…
…my publisher was freaking out. Before the book went to print, they frantically asked me if I wanted to change any of my advice because of the recession.
I was like, “Why would I? Long-term investing doesn’t change.” They were concerned.
If you bought the first edition of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” and applied the book’s lessons when it was released, you’re financially set for life.
And now, after receiving the 19,435th email correcting or yelling at me about the interest rates I published in the book, I am thrilled to say that the new, updated version of the IWT book is here!
In the 10 years since the first edition, I’ve added 80 pages with new tools, new insights on money and psychology (including why millennials continue to believe buying a house is always the best investment — untrue), a greater focus on managing money when you have a part-time side gig, and integrating money and relationships.
A majority of the things I said in the book 10 years ago still hold true today.
I’m proud that the advice I gave in the first edition stood the test of time (I’ve included dozens of real reader testimonials in the new book to show it). That’s the kind of advice I like — timeless advice that doesn’t fall apart after a few years. It doesn’t change with the whims of the market.
Below is a Q&A I put together as part of my publisher’s press kit, and I wanted to share my answers on what’s new, what I’ve learned, and what’s changed with you too.
Fortune called you “the new finance guru,” but your background is in technology and psychology — how did you come to occupy this spot within the world of personal finance?
Anyone who chooses to write about personal finance is a little weird. In my case, I don’t really get that excited learning the intricacies of Roth IRAs any more. But ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by human behavior — today more than ever.
Why do we claim we want to do something, then do exactly the opposite? (In the book, I explore the similarities between fitness and finance.)
When does it make sense to let peer pressure affect us — and when should we ignore it? (Should you buy a house? What if you want to spend $1,000/month on clothes, or eating out, or traveling? I show you how to decide.)
Most of all, understanding psychology taught me why most personal finance advice (like “stop spending money on lattes” and “keep a budget”) is forever doomed to failure. There is a better way.
Reaching financial independence seems like it takes a lot of work — what are the first steps you recommend readers take?
The good news is you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to be rich — you just have to get started. Follow the automation system in the book, which will automatically move your money to save, invest, and give you guilt-free spending every month.
I show you exactly where to start, including the best accounts to use (and the ones to avoid), where your money should go first, then second, and so on … and finally, how to invest your money for real growth.
Plus, answers to questions like “What’s the best way to get free vacations using points?” and “Am I too late to start investing?”
The real fun comes in deciding what your Rich Life looks like: Do you want to pay off your debt years faster? Or travel for 4 weeks every year? You decide. Then use your money to create your Rich Life.
“I Will Teach You to Be Rich” features real reader results and testimonials throughout the book. What have your readers found to be the most effective during their personal finance journey?
I love this question. We included an incredible number of reader stories in the book, showing how they used this book to create their Rich Lives:
Notice when you look at their photos — they’re men, women, young, old, black, white, and every possible combination. The diversity is breathtaking. And representation is important. I want every reader to know that there is someone out there who looks like you and talks like you … who created their own Rich Life.
How has the insurgence of cryptocurrency, robo-advisors, and more shifted the way money is used and the relationship between money and technology?
What’s funny is if you ask most bitcoin speculators what the rest of their portfolio looks like, they’ll give you a blank stare back. “What? Portfolio? LOL, what a Luddite.”
I have zero tolerance for scams and fads that deprive ordinary people of their money. As an investment, bitcoin is great — only after you’ve already built a diversified portfolio.
In reality, if you want to make high-risk investments, it’s important to have a diversified portfolio first. Then, you can take 5-10% of your investments and go high-risk. I show you how and when it’s appropriate. Sadly, for the vast majority of bitcoin speculators, they fell all in with yet another fad.
Robo-advisors are a real presence, especially for my readers. I cover my thoughts in the book, including when to use a robo-advisor vs. a traditional advisor (and the exact accounts I use).
In the book, you focus on the importance of having the right mindset to attain a Rich Life. Why is that mindset important?
Think about the invisible money messages you grew up with. For example, how many of us had parents who said, “We don’t talk about money in this family.” Or “Easy come, easy go.”
In the book, you’ll be surprised to discover that your own spending behavior might be guided by the phrases you heard decades ago.
And once you understand your own behavior, you can change it. I’ll show you exactly how to rewrite your invisible money scripts and focus on the future.
What have you learned about integrating finances when marrying since your recent nuptials?
I’m still learning!
This was one of the most eye-opening financial journeys I’ve ever been on. I had to learn to compromise and to see money as a team. Along the way, my wife and I had a lot of tough conversations: How do we see money? How do we want to use money? Should we sign a prenup? I cover this in Chapter 9.
What do you hope readers walk away with after reading the second edition of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich”?
I’ve always wanted people to know a few key things about money:
- You can spend extravagantly on the things you love, as long as you cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.
- Buy as many lattes as you want. Get the 10 Big Wins right, and you’ll never worry about $5 expenses.
- Don’t listen to everyone. Buying a house isn’t always the best investment.
- It’s not too late. You can take control of your money this week. Nobody is going to do it for you.
- Most people say money is about “no”: no lattes, no vacations, no fun. I want to show you how to reframe money to saying “yes”: YES, I can take an extravagant vacation. YES, I can pay off debt years faster. And YES, I can decide on my Rich Life — and use this book to create it.
Mark your calendars: The book officially comes out on May 14, 2019! Order the book now on Amazon.
Thank you for reading, and if you’re a long-time reader, for your support all these years.
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