Profile for theshortstack > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by theshortstack
Top Reviewer Ranking: 106,292
Helpful Votes: 180

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
theshortstack (London)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
Price: £9.49

136 of 144 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only one winner in this Game, 2 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Where to start with this ... As a relatively new investor (been saving in an ISA for the last 18 months), I bought this on a whim, not expecting any massively deep insights, but hoping for a sugar coated overview of investing/saving to hopefully learn a bit more about the various options open to me.

What I got though was a confusing mixture of hype and celebrity that has left me needing to write this review for some kind of therapy despite only being half way through the book.

The first thing to say is that, despite a couple of weak protestations to the contrary, this book is aimed squarely aimed at the US market. You're not going to find any mentions of ISAs or the FTSE in here. Instead, all examples, numbers and case studies are focused on the US and the performance of the S&P 500.

And it's stretched out over 700 pages. Man, is it stretched out. This could be a 100 pages long if it weren't for descriptions of Tony's seminars, his house in Florida, the resort he owns in Fiji (which comes highly recommended by Oprah Winfrey don't you know!), other famous people he knows, summaries of the whole book at the end of most chapters (which ironically show just how short the book could be!) and on-going promises about what this book's going to do for your life.

For example, a whole chapter is dedicated to how incredibly important it is to get your portfolio allocation right. All of his rock-star investment buddies stress that you need to decide how much of your savings are going to be put into your `Safe Pot' and how much is going to go into your `Risk Pot.' Once you've decide this, you shouldn't change your mind - after all this is the bedrock of everything you're going to be doing in the future and is ultimately what is going to decide your financial future. According to the book "it's the most important financial decision you'll ever make."

So how does Tony suggest you go about making this massive decision? "Play around until you find a number feels right to you ... Write down those numbers. Walk around in them. Live in them. Own them. Done? Okay!"

And that is the issue of the book summed up in one short paragraph. Everything is so hyped and built up, that when the pay-off comes you can't help but feel disappointed. Either because you feel short changed at the fact that the real key piece of information/support you need has been skipped over (as above) or that you haven't learned anything new (yes, passive funds are cheaper than active funds).

If I was feeling generous I would say that this was down to the fact that Robbins appears to have based his book on a number of half-conversations that he's had with friends or overheard down the pub and not really followed them through in the book.

If I was feeling less generous, I would say that this is ultimately down to clever marketing. And, as with most forms of American advertising, that marketing comes with a healthy dose of fear.

As with all good advertising, you've got to get people off their ass and taking note of what you're saying and what better way to do that than to stress that people aren't managing their finances properly and therefore dying in poverty. And it's only going to get worse as the head of Innovation at Google no less says that we could soon be living to 120! You don't want to die in poverty do you? Do you??

This is then followed up with the skimming-over of key facts (and the avoidance of giving any proper support) which are hidden behind cunning reminders that if you get this wrong you could lose all your savings. Which would obviously result in you dying in poverty.

But that's ok, you don't need to worry about understanding or risking getting it wrong because Tony has partnered up with a handful of people across the country who will do all the work for you. They'll tell you exactly where you're going wrong and what your portfolio should look like (presumably also mentioning exactly how many of their funds you should be investing in at the same time ).

And if you don't have a portfolio yet, Tony has found the best 401k (presumably the American equivalent of an ISA) in the country.

And these partners don't just get mentioned once or twice - they're pushed down your throat in the first half of the book pretty much any time a financial expression is used.

When you couple this with the fact that Robbins doesn't trust his audience to understand what a 50:50 split means (seriously!), you certainly get the impression that this book is aimed at those people who are quite happy to have themselves whipped up into a frenzy of activity, blinded with enough science so that they don't know what to do and then sent off to a series of partners that will happily allay their fears for a small percentage of an investment portfolio and a cut to Mr Robbins.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. This is actually quite a patronising book that shows Robbins knows how to Master the Money game very well but won't offer anything of value to regular investors - especially if you're based outside of the US.

So, why the 2 stars? Well at the heart of this book, is probably a half-decent investment strategy (focus on passive funds rather than overpaying for active funds, make sure you know your charges and look to re-balance often), but there are so many books that explain this more completely and relevantly than this one. And you'll be up and running in half the time that it takes to read this.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2015 9:43 AM GMT


The Day Today : Complete BBC Series (2 Disc Set) [1994] [DVD]
The Day Today : Complete BBC Series (2 Disc Set) [1994] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Coogan
Price: £5.75

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ich nichten lichten, 20 April 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Superb. Just superb. This is comedy at its absolute best. The writing spawned a new generation of comedy that we've seen in shows such as Alan Partridge, Smack The Pony and Father Ted and Chris Morris is nothing short of a comedy genius. His parody of Kurt Cobain (singing an ad campaign for "Panty Smile" sanitary products) and his rendition of "Uzi Lover" make this box set worth the money alone.
Other gems include Alan Partridge reporting live from the rally driving championships, Barbara Wintergreen's report from Florida state penitentiary and the coverage on the outbreak of "War!". But there are really far too many classic moments to list. It's all one long laugh from beginning to end and is a must for anybody who enjoys top class comedy!
Peter, you're lying in a news grave!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2008 1:29 PM GMT


Die Another Day - Special Edition [DVD] [2002]
Die Another Day - Special Edition [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Pierce Brosnan|Halle Berry|Rosamund Pike
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish!, 29 Oct. 2003
I've been a Bond fan for as long as I can remember (who hasn't?!?), but I have to say that the Bond franchise has been going downhill since Pierce Brosnan took on the title role. Nothing against him at all - I think he makes a great Bond - it's the writing that has deteriorated so horribly over the last four films. I have the whole Bond box set on DVD, but I won't be adding this to my collection.
Goldeneye was a great way to reawaken the franchise after so many years off the big screen, but since then the clever plots and storylines seem to have been replaced by "impressive" computer graphics and bigger stunts. This steady decline culminates in Die Another Day.
The film starts off so well. Bond being captured in Korea and having to endure a year of imprisonment and torture seems to promise the harder, grittier and more realistic edge to the character that was missing so horribly from the previous two films.
Unfortunately though, it doesn't take long for this credibility to be thrust out of the window thanks to a big space laser suddenly appearing from no-where, ice palaces and invisible cars(whoever thought of that idea needs some sort of a slow painful death). Somebody needs to remember that Bond's world is supposed to be our world. This isn't some galaxy far, far away. It's supposed to be right here, right now.
Even allowing for the whole idea of "bringing Bond in to the 21st century", this is a poor film. It relies too heavily on cliches from a pervious era. Bond's one liners are predictable and unamusing and when a whole audience collapses into fits of laughter while watching Bond windsurf his way out of trouble, you know something is wrong.
Please, please, please can we get rid of James Bond "The Superhero". Let's get back to the writing that made Bond the succesful franchise is it today: good strong plots acted out by believable characters in a world that we can all relate to.
If you're thinking of buying this DVD, don't! It's the worst Bond film yet. Any of the other 19 films would be a much better purchase! Bond 21 now needs to be an absoloute cracker in order to stop the franchise sliding in to oblivion, and on current form that's looking highly unlikley.


Page: 1