This book's contents can be summarized in one sentence: it outlines a life-changing philosophy and plan for financial independence.
However, this summary does not give credit to the number of features that enhance this riveting book. Some of these features are as follows:
(1) THE AUTHORS LIVE WHAT THEY TEACH. For example, one of the authors, the late Joe Dominguez was a financial analyst on Wall Street before taking an early retirement (at age thirty-one). Did he make a killing on Wall Street that enabled him to do this? No! What he did was to decide to take back his life by gaining control of his money and eventually gain financial independence through a nine-step program.
(2) A MULTI-DISCIPLINE BOOK. As mentioned, part of the magic of this book is that it teaches a life-changing philosophy. But within this philosophy you'll find other areas such as finance, economics, history, simple mathematics, environmental science, psychology, and spirituality. All these are blended together to form an interesting and instructional narrative.
A cornerstone of this book's philosophy is the following equation: MONEY = LIFE ENERGY. That is, you have to work or expend energy to make money. Most people see their life energy as precious.
(3) PRACTICAL ADVICE. Practical advice on how to save money can be found throughout this book. But the truly practical and another magical part of this book is its NINE-STEP PROGRAM. Readers have a chance to peruse the final, workable form of this program that leads to financial independence. (Financial independence as defined by this book is the amount of money that is ENOUGH for you or you and your family.)
A highlight of this program is that you only have to WORK FOR A FINITE PERIOD OF TIME.
A cornerstone of this practical advice, besides the nine-step program, is FRUGALITY. Don't worry! Frugality does not mean budgeting.
(4) DIAGRAMS. This book has many diagrams, charts, and tables. These help the reader gain a concrete understanding of all concepts introduced.
(5) REAL-LIFE STORIES. This book is permeated with real stories of ordinary people who have decided to follow the nine-step program. What I found interesting when reading these stories is their reasons as to exactly why they decided to follow the program.
(6) END-OF-CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND CHECKLISTS. These summaries highlight the major concepts introduced in the chapters. Many chapters also have a handy checklist.
(7) THE EPILOGUE. This is really an end-of-book summary. The steps of the nine-step program are summarized for review, reference, and reminders. The idea here is to read the corresponding chapter for further details. This summary comes in very handy!
(8) REFERENCES (or resources) and NOTES. There are a large number of notes (footnotes allocated to the back of the book) and many useful references.
(9) FINAL WORDS. Many people would not consider this a feature of this book but I think the fact that the authors were able to end the main narrative of the book with these important words indicates that the book was well planned out. These words are as follows: "There is more to life than nine-to-five."
Finally, the book's authors advocate that when you build up savings that you invest in long-term bonds. Critics (mainly investment "experts") who have read this book say that the rate of return on more aggressive but risky investment vehicles (such as stocks) provide a higher rate of return in the long term. What they fail to realize is that the authors are talking about investing your money in vehicles that will give you a STABLE and CONSISTENT monthly income that you can live off.
In summary, this book creates an awareness of how you are spending your money and your precious life energy. It is that awareness that will transform your dealings with money and lead to financial independence.
In conclusion, those who do not value their life energy need not get this book. But for those who do value their life energy, this inspiring and unique book is your essential guide!!