Review: Automatic Wealth, the 6 steps to financial indepence by Michael Masterson

automatic-wealth-michael-masterson-1-728-150x150Overview: This is a book that I re-read every year or two. While I don’t agree with many of his ideas, one of the two BIG IDEAs that he emphasizes over and over is one I do agree with. That is the importance of having multiple streams of income (consequently, the other BIG IDEA is radically increasing your income). He gives a lot of practical advice for ways you can actually start increasing your net worth through side businesses, real estate (rentals & flipping), and “more risky” investments like stocks and bonds.

Who will benefit most by reading this book: People who have jobs in sales or are looking for a career change to one that involves sales. Budding entrepreneurs or those willing to invest considerable time up-front to start side businesses. People who like to work really hard and are willing to do a lot of reading and risk taking up front.

How the rest of us can benefit: There is so much good advice in this book that I feel everyone can benefit, even if you don’t agree (like I do) with much of what he says. Implementing his advice will make you a more productive worker, make you aware of different kinds of investment opportunities, and perhaps motivate you to action.

Complete Review: Masterson’s six steps to automatic wealth include 1. Facing the facts (understanding what wealth means to you), 2. Planning to become wealthy, 3. Developing wealthy habits, 4. Radically increasing your income, 5. Getting richer while you sleep (with multiple streams of income), and 6. Retiring early (if you want to). His focus is definitely on steps four and five, which is great because it makes this book more practical.

Masterson really spends a lot of time explaining the importance of being able to sell something… with his background in copywriting and sales this makes a lot of sense, but is a unpractical for most people (people who like the security of their jobs and don’t want to “sell” anything).

He uses most of the book to detail ways in which you might “radically increase your income.” These productivity tips are very helpful but can be found in other “self-help” type books (like 7 Habits, and Getting Things Done). However, if you apply the advice it is likely that you will radically increase your income, this just comes at the expense of a lot of hard work.

I appreciate that Masterson talks bluntly about getting wealthy in 7-15 years instead of the traditional 30-40 year bar that most financial gurus use. If you understand that it is possible to “get rich quick” by taking risks and working really hard, it is more likely you will follow his advice—and it will work.

The reason I’ve returned to this book repeatedly is that he gives great rationale for investing in real estate. Books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and No Money Down might inspire you to think about real estate investing, but Automatic Wealth gives you numbers about how and why that might work. He explains the pros and cons of owning both rental properties (an equity play) and buy and flip properties (an income play). This advice will help you set realistic goals for real estate investing.

Published: 2005, 278 pages, 8 CDs (8:45)
Reviewed: June 2009 by Tyler Christensen
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Tyler Christensen
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Tyler Christensen

Tyler is a husband and dad, professor, writer, web designer, and DIYer.
Tyler Christensen
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