Hello, MoneyLangers! Welcome to another MoneyLang featured article. Our featured writer for this week is Robert Rolih, author of The Million Dollar Decision, one of the bestselling books in Personal Finance and Investing. The Million Dollar Decision aims to help people in making decision when it comes to business. It a very interesting and helpful book especially for newbies in business and investment. Luckily, Robert gathered all the knowledge he has and wrote a book to help everyone!
We wont make this long. Mr. Robert has explained everything in this interview so please enjoy reading and please share this with your friends!
Get to know the Author
Name: Robert Rolih
Background: Please see http://robertrolih.com/about-robert-rolih-investing/ (Robert’s story section)
Favorite gadget: Kindle
Hobbies: My family: wife and two kids 🙂 Plus if I have some spare time I sometimes read a good Science Fiction book.
What is your recent book about?
We all want to live a life of wealth and freedom. In order to achieve this, we need to start investing a part of the money we make. But unfortunately, when we invest our money, we are not aware that the game of investing is rigged. And that the people who should be on your side (brokers, financial advisers, financial “gurus” …) will make sure that we end up losing most of our investing returns and in many cases even the money we have invested.
That means that when you invest your money, you think that your money works for you but in reality, it only works for the financial industry.
The Million Dollar Decision is all about how to avoid that fate. By reading it you’ll finally discover how to make sure your invested money works for you…and not for the financial industry. In the book, I show how an average family can easily save more than $1m by following my guidelines.
What inspired you to write your book/s?
It will probably surprise you that 10 years ago I had no clue about investing, I had no clue about money management and I had no clue about personal finance. Even more: I hated these topics. So now you are probably wondering how did I end up teaching people about them… Well, it’s an interesting story.
I was born in a backwater village in a small country with a population of only 2 million. My parents were poor as a church mouse and I had no special talents. So if you were a neutral observer at that time you would say that I will never amount to anything.
But I had something that changed that fate. And that was this vision where I saw myself as a successful business owner in the future. You know as a teenager I would go to the library in a town nearby and borrow business books. My favorite author was Brian Tracy. And I would read these books about goal setting and business skills for hours and hours.
So in 2001 when I was a student living in a student dorm an opportunity presented itself and I started my company from zero. As luck would have it my business grew and in 2005 I was able to organize my first seminar with the legend itself – with Brian Tracy! Brian and I became friends then and that was also a year where I had my first six figure personal income. So it was like dreams come true!
But you know financial success also brings a lot of major problems. And my biggest problem I had was “Where to put all that money?”. As an entrepreneur I didn’t know anything about investing. Even more… I hated investing and personal finance. So I trusted my money to financial advisers and gurus.
Then, after couple of years me and my wife wanted to see where we stand financially and I asked them to send me the account statements. And when I opened them my hearth just stopped. My money was almost gone.
After that I was fortunate that I organized another seminar with Brian Tracy, and I invited him to dinner where I told him about my problems. And right there, Brian said something that changed my life: “Robert it doesn’t matter how much you earn. All that matters is if you have the skills to manage and invest your money.”
At that time I realized: I did not have these skills. I blindly trusted the financial industry.
And then I made perhaps the most important decision in my life: “No matter how much time and money it will take – I will become one of the most financially literate people in the world”.
So in the next years I invested heavily in my financial education. I went to all the best seminars, I read more than 300 books and the most important: I started to research what is going on behind the scenes of the financial industry.
At that time I realized that the financial industry rigged the investing game so cunningly that even experienced investors are losing most of their potential returns – without even being aware of it.
That is why I now teach people how to get out of that rigged game of investing and to take responsibility for their own money and investing. It’s easy and it takes very little time. We only think it’s hard because the financial industry brainwashed us to think that way.
What is the best chapter in your book people should read and why?
Chapter 2: The Six Dark Forces of Investing. The first dark force I talk about is the Commission Camouflage Effect and it has a profound effect on our investments.
When we invest our money we can hardly grasp the effect of commissions and fees the financial industry charges. And it’s not our fault. As you will see it’s almost impossible to understand them.
Let me give you an example. If you invest your money in a simple mutual fund as more than 50% of American households do, you might know that you are paying some commissions. Usually it’s around 2% annually. And this doesn’t sound much. When your financial advisor tells you that you are paying 2% management fee annually your brain goes: “OK… this is not a problem. They take 2 and I keep 98.”
The problem is that our brain can only do simple calculations: “2% out of $1,000? Hmmm… 1% of $1,000 equals $10, so 2% must be $20. I have no problem with that! We did that in school! I’m a math genius!”
But when you add a longer time horizon maybe 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, our brain just can’t process the math any more. If I ask you how much is 2% deducted annually for 30 years in a market that grows by 8% on average. Your brain goes: “Are you kidding me? I’m not R2D2!”
Our brains are just not wired to calculate this kind of complex calculations. And that is perfectly natural. Nobody, can do this kind of calculations.
That is why we subconsciously make some approximations and assumptions. Our brain goes “If 2% of my invested money in one year is a small number then 2% annual fee can’t be a serious problem over the long run.”
But unfortunately, our brains fail us badly in this case.
In reality these 2% management fees can destroy your financial future. Usually, they can take away more than half of all the returns that you could get in the future.
If I say it again: a small 2% fee can take away more than 50% of all your investment returns. And you are not even aware of it.
The financial industry knows it and takes full advantage of it. That is why they will never explain to you the effect of commissions over the long run. They will just put the commissions in the small print for you to make false assumptions regarding them.
That is why I tell my clients:
The problem is not the commissions. The problem is the effect of these commissions over the long run, because our brains aren’t equipped to understand it.
If you could give one piece of financial advice to our readers, what would it be?
When you are thinking about investing the first step is to make sure that you don’t do anything stupid with your money. Like Warren Buffett said: the first investing rule is Don’t lose money.
So, stop listening to all the financial gurus, advisers, and brokers out there. And don’t fall for the ads promising you quick millions. When you see a product that is heavily advertised, there is a good chance that it’s a very bad product for investors. So just stay away from it. Two examples are binary options and Forex trading. Start to use them and you will lose your money. Guaranteed.
As an author, which book/s made the most impact on you?
Brian Tracy and his book Maximum Achievement. I read it as a teenager and when reading it I decided to make something out of my life.
What would you like to ask the next author being interviewed?
How does your book stand out in the crowded market?
Bonus question from Mr. E.R. Yescombe: How does he/she manage his/her time when combining authorship with another career?
Writing The Million Dollar Decision was an integral part of what I do in my business. So for me writing the book was a joy and I knew that it’s my no. 1 priority if I wanted to make a big leap forward in business.
There we go! To Mr. Robert Rolih, sir, thank you very much! Thank you for the time you gave us and most especially for patience in explaining everything.