Summary of Money: Master the Game

Published on January 25, 2018

Money: Master the Game is by Tony Robbins, a world class self-help guru. The 600+ pages is way too long, and written like the way he talks.

The content is structured in “7 simple steps” to financial freedom. But they are actually just 7 chapters, and pretty incoherent.

In Chapter 2, he listed 9 myths about financial products and financial advisors, in 100 pages!

In Chapter 6, he bragged and titled as such: Invest like the 0.001%: The Billionaire’s Playbook. That is so click-baity. In another 100 pages, he provided the interviews he had with 10 very rich people, including Warren Buffett! But wait, Warren Buffett did NOT grant him an interview.

Buffett told him “everything he had to say about investing is already published”. Tony Robbins wrote 2 page about his encounter with Buffett, quote things Buffett had said publicly, and included him in his book. He is lending Warren Buffett’s name. Smart.

Still, I am not investing like them billionaires.

That said, there are some worthy learnings.

Ray Dalio’s All Weather Portfolio

The gist of the investment advise is to construct a portfolio that can withstand ups and downs.

Ray Dalio is a guy we should listen to. Prior to reading this book, I have known Ray’s Principles, his explanation of how the economics work, and his TED talk.

Asset allocation is the most important investment decision.

  • 30% Stocks such as S&P 500 ETF
  • 15% Intermediate term government bonds
  • 40% Long term government bonds
  • 7.5% Gold
  • 7.5% Commodities

Ray’s has large allocation to bonds to counter the volatility of stocks.

NOTE: Ray said this sample portfolio is a over simplified version. In his hedge fund, he uses many other advanced financial instruments. So, don’t think this is the holy grail.

Modern Portfolio Theory

Harry Markowitz is a Nobel prize winning economist. His theory shows that an investor can construct a portfolio of multiple assets that will maximize returns for a given level of risk.

Mathematical model, if you can do serious math.


Jack Bogle founded Vanguard Group in 1974, when index funds were just an academic theory. He bet his company on the idea that low-cost ETF would outperform most of the managed funds.

His advice for investors:

Don’t open the Wall Street Journal! Don’t watch CNBC! Get a life! Spend time when your family. Or read a good book.

His portfolio allocation:

  1. 60% Stock ETF
  2. 20% Bond ETF
  3. 20% Government Bond ETF

Vanguard focus on being minimal cost, maximum tax efficiency and no sales load. Even Warren Buffett endorses too.

More Self-Help

Tony Robbins is self-help guru, and he included some good pointers even in a financial book.

Self-esteem can be measured by how much we feel we control the events in our life VS feeling that life’s events are controlling us.

To live an extraordinary life, you have to master the game of not only money, but also relationships, fulfillment and health.

Priming is a concept in psychology affecting our emotions, motivations, and actions. Tony begins each day spending 10 minutes doing these:

  1. Reflect what I’m grateful for
  2. Ask for health and blessings for all those I love
  3. Three things I want to accomplish. Envision them as if they were already achieved and feel a sense of celebration and gratitude for them.