on June 20, 2004
Firstly, I would like to state that I'm a Van Tharp fan. I read his "Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom" at least 15 times. I think that book and Marcel Link's "High Probability Trading" are the best books written about trading in a long time. I rated both as 5 stars.
There are good things and bad things about this book.
The good things: The Financial Freedom Number Concept alone is worth the price of the book and 1 of the stars. It was quite a revelation that you become financially free when your monthly passive income exceed your monthly expenses. It may be a blinding flash of the obvious, but most people don't realize it until someone points out that fact. The other good things about this book are that there are strategies that work in up, down and sideways markets. The system expectancy and risk control methods are included (but I already read them in his other 2 books).
The bad things: The down side is that there is too much damn advertising and it's damn irritating. I had to look twice to make sure it wasn't a "Wade Cook" book. I deducted 2 stars from the rating to show my disapproval!!!
Van K. Tharp, you DA MAN!!! But if you write another book, can you just please just write new material and leave out the marbles game thing, and the expectancy thing, and the position sizing thing? You already wrote them in your other 3 books. And if you have to put in all the damn advertising, at least have the decency to put in all in the appendix and not all over the book. Thanks.
on June 16, 2004
This book is completely different to Tharp's usual genre. Rather than being based just around trading and systems, this book stretches much further into financial freedom principles and is much more detailed about various strategies that are available to invest in - especially if the market happens to turn sour once again. It's better to understand what is going on in the markets and take the necessary steps earlier rather than later.
I have been studying investing for a number of years now and although I wanted to take short cuts and learn everything from each guru book that I read - I realised that there is a lot of study and patience required if you want to invest wisely. With the plethora of information bombarding us everyday it's hard to know who to trust. As a client, I have met Van, DR and Steve and feel that they are all men of integrity.
I was happy with some of the new ideas that I learnt from this book because it provides the reader with alternatives and different things to consider, as well as giving plenty of resources and additional follow up information if you want to pursue any of the avenues that they suggest.
on May 31, 2004
I've gotten at least some tiny bits of wisdom out of every book I've ever read...even books I pick up for a dollar at the Goodwill store. This book is no exception...I got some tiny bits of wisdom out of it and it will end up in the Goodwill store priced at a dollar.
The very best scams always have elements of truth in them. There are a few...precious few...worthwhile ideas in this book that the authors gratuitously tossed in. But more often than not, the authors focused on describing the pitfalls of attempting various investment strategies on your own.
Then the authors slyly suggest that you go to one of their websites and subscribe to their newsletter/system/secret formula, etc. These newsletters/systems/secret formulae are expensive and will guarantee financial freedom for the authors, but probably not for you.
I have no quarrel with business people using whatever schemes they choose to lure in customers. Unfortunately for me, I foolishly assumed that book authors would be above using a book as their lure. I'll be far more careful in the future.
This book should have been titled. "Read This Book, Then Subscribe to our Expensive Newsletters/Seminars/Tapes, etc. to Learn More About Investment Strategies That Occasionally Worked in the Past, and May Work in the Future."
Look for my copy in Goodwill.
on June 23, 2004
Safe strategies is the best book every written relating to financial freedom. The authors do a fantastic job of taking the complex macro world of finance and simplifying it into very simple and easy to apply models. These simple models only require about 20 minutes a week of your time for you to know which strategies / markets to be getting into, or staying with or avoiding. And the bonus is that they also provide you with clear cut and simple guidelines on how to implement the appropriate strategy given the current financial climate.
The books' genius is in it's simplicity, everything is spelled out in plain english and the referred resources are fantastic tools for mentoring you towards your objectives. The authors have just done so much groundwork for you, in all the investing arenas, be that bonds, stocks, realestate, cash or commodities or mutual/hedge funds. And the real kicker is that it doesn't matter whether the Dow is going up or down, there is always something you can do to further your progress towards your financial freedom goals.
This book is the best book ever written in the financial genre, though I suspect that it won't be widely acknowledged for another decade or so. I believe that money flows towards integrity, freedom and responsibility. This books reeks of those three qualities.
I found my financial freedom four years ago (age 29) after spending my 20's learning what this book can teach you in a few weeks. This book can take your journey of learning from decades to months. Do your self a favour ... committ to safe strategies.
on June 24, 2004
Finally, a book where you can get some real how to's. This book offers a great explanation of what financial freedom is and how you can achieve it. One of my favorite aspects of it are the action items throughout the book and the many references to free downloadable materials as supplements to the book! So often you read a book- and think what a great concept but have no support or simplified ways to take action. This is a book I reference often-- mine has many highlights and stickies on it already.
on June 19, 2004
I have been investing myself since about 1980, in Real Estate, Stocks and my own business. I have read pretty much everything I can get my hands on from economics, math, business, to investing as in the classic trading books and options strategies. I did read Van Tharps' "Trade your Way to Financial Freedom" I liked that one and learned a fair amount.
I'm not sure what happened to Van Tharp, if he needs money or what, but I found "Safe Strategies" to be about one level above an infomercial mentality. The only reason this is one level above is because I bit and bought this book because of Van Tharp's name.
I guess if you if you are just starting out hopefully this will wake up your interest in making and taking care of your money.
Most of this book to me was comical, especially chapter 12, The Real Estate strategies. There is another name for most of those strategies and that is bank fraud, my opinion. Any Real Estate investing that talks about funds held outside of escrow then being "forgiven" after closing and not being disclosed should send a red flag up to you. The slang for this is Texas Earnest money. If Berry has ever actually did some of his deals and can sleep at night great, not for me. I've seen this deals come to me and usually laugh at the people attempting to make them. I ask what seminar you go to or where did you read this.
Read Chapter 12 and ask yourself how stupid do people have to be to accept his offers.
Oh you can say hard-up yeah ok good luck finding them, much less reselling the property. But hey everybody has to learn for themselves I guess.
I could on about this book but I have already wasted enough time with it between reading and now this.
I will say if you want to read a couple of great books about the stock markets, in my opinion, check out 'Trade Like A Hedge Fund" by Altucher; "Practical Speculation" by Niederhoffer and anything written by Dr. Elders, for options, "Options as a Strategic Investments" by McMillian.
Hey if you like this new Van Tharps book, so be it. Sure there a few good ideas that are rehashed like position sizing and really just being disciplined but my area for many years has been real estate so when i read things that in my State would most likely get people into trouble i feel a duty to at least warn them about this.
on June 8, 2004
This book goes straight to the heart of sound financial investing with straight-talking, easy-to-grasp and clearly presented concepts on the foundations of common-sense investing: how to manage risk, preserve existing capital, and use your investing power to create an investment income where you are making more than you spend (i.e. at that point you are, in the words of the author, 'financially free.'). In my mind, the book has earned its price many times over just by clearly defining and explaining these fundamental 'need-to-know' concepts of successful investing. The authors offer their readers further value by evaluating the current conditions in several major investing arenas (including the stock market, mutual funds, real estate) and presenting a series of low-risk, easy-to-implement safe strategies that are specifically designed for investing in these current uncertain and often volatile market conditions.
Jack Schwager, in his original book, 'Market Wizards,' devoted a chapter to profiling Van Tharp, one of the principal authors of 'Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom.' It looks like Van Tharp has not only survived, but thrived, throughout the differing and sometimes euphoric, sometimes tragic, market conditions of the last several decades. He and his associates draw on decades' worth of depth of experience and breadth of understanding across various-and radically varying-market conditions, and are able to put the recent and current investing scenario into a coherent perspective that will appeal to everyone who wants to improve their investing performance in a safe, solid, 'I can sleep at night' way. I found it hard to put the book down, I refer to it frequently for practical strategies, and probably many others will have a similar experience. Whether you're looking for down-to-earth ways to begin investing, or whether you're already an investor and looking for highly successful, proven ways to increase your investment income, this book is an obvious and highly productive 'must-have' for your life and library.
on June 1, 2004
This literally is one of those rare books that should be on everyone's "must read" list. In a world where we are bombarded with messages about how life consists of working hard so that we can retire at age 65, this book shares ways for every single person to become financially free at any point in their life. Best of all, the authors lay out step by step methods for implementing the ideas that they share.
In the opening chapter, the authors start with "What it takes for you to never have to work again." In that section, they help readers identify their all-important "Financial Freedom Number". This is the current difference between someone's monthly passive income, and their monthly expenses. By the time the first chapter is over with, readers have a clear picture of where they want to get to financially. Chapter two contains excellent ideas on how to save for financial freedom, including the idea of "Pay Yourself First". Using that concept, people prepare for their own financial freedom first, before distributing the rest of their income.
In a book full of paradigm shifting concepts, without a doubt, one of the most powerful ones is in the chapter titled "Getting Out of Debt in Just a Few Years". In that chapter, the authors go step by step through a very practical, possible, and incredibly powerful method by which people can quickly become debt free. Not only that, but after using this method to become debt free, people will be in fantastic position to gain their financial freedom, and never have to work again if they don't want to.
As readers get deeper into Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom, they will learn about different ways to generate passive income, such as through the stock market, real estate, and other means. These sections are not merely high level descriptions of how to be successful. The authors take readers by the hand and walk them step by step through how to be successful.
If you never get beyond the third chapter of Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom, it will still be a book that forever changes your views about wealth. If you take the time to read it all, this book will become your map for never having to work again.
on June 1, 2004
I have to strongly disagree with the above reviewer who found little substance to this book. I'm not sure what that reader was looking for but in my opinion, the 3 authors delivered everything they promised and more.
Over the past 5 years, I have read the vast majority of the books related to financial freedom, investing, and real estate transactions. The information extracted from these books has helped me personally exit the rat race and work/invest in areas that I am interested in. I wish this book was around when I started that journey because it would have helped me short circuit the process.
I believe this book will appeal to two, distinct sets of readers. First, people who are starting to get exposed to the concepts of financial freedom will find the first 4 chapters very helpful. For many people of this type, the concepts of their financial freedom number will be a major "aha" type moment. Once you grasp this concept, then every purchase, job, and investment is viewed in a different way. For others seeking financial freedom, getting exposed to simple, but powerful debt management techniques will literally change their life.
The second group of people that will get a lot from this book are those who want to simply grow their investments for the future. There is a number of definitive techniques that can be used to invest portions of your portfolio. In addition, a real estate technique is described that I can personally confirm works for generating 20-50% annual returns and is available to almost anyone in their local markets. Finally, Van Tharp introduces some powerful concepts of maximizing growth while minimizing risk. I use his concepts of R multiples daily and if you invest your hard earned money, you would be wise to understand these sections of the book.
In general, I found this to be an excellent book and would recommend to anybody who asked me. I would describe this book as a Kiyosaki book with meat. Since I am a fan of Kiyosaki's Cashflow Quadrant, that is a pretty strong recommendation.
on June 1, 2004
While other books are more technical about various markets, this book provides the fundamental reasons for changes in stock, currency, interest rate, real estate, commodity and other markets. Even more important, there are simple, workable strategies that anyone can use for a few minutes a week to beat 80% of the professional money managers and 90% of the people who invest. You can use it to manage your 401k, and any other portfolio, large or small. Best of all, it provides simple concepts and tactics for becoming financially free! The secret to success--"how much to risk"--is presented clearly and quickly (something you'll never see from any other author). There are references to many other resources, almost all of them free. Since there are so many investment secrets, I hope people don't follow the advice and strategies in this book, because it will be that much easier for those of us who do.