How to Say No

This is a special episode of the podcast. When I wrote Tribe of Mentors, I reached out to many different experts, leaders, athletes, and entrepreneurs who are the best in the world at what they do. More than 130 people said yes — but many others said no. This episode covers rejection, and — more specifically — how to turn down seemingly good options. How to say no to seemingly burdensome “obligations,” and say yes to the critical few opportunities. Understanding the difference — and how to do it — can make a significant impact on your life and your happiness. Enjoy!


How to Say No

  • Listen to it on iTunes.
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Want to hear another conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Debbie Millman, in which we discuss how favorite failures and why busy is a decision. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):

Busy is a Decision – Debbie Millman

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This podcast is also brought to you by AudibleI have used Audible for years, and I love audiobooks. I have two to recommend:

  1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  2. The Tao of Seneca by Seneca

As a listener of The Tim Ferriss Show, you can join Audible for just $4.95 per month for your first 3 months (it’s regularly $14.95). This offer is available to new Audible members only and it ends December 31, 2017. Go to or text “tim” to 500-500 to get started. Choose one of the above books, or choose any of the endless options they offer. That could be a book, a newspaper, a magazine, or even a class. It’s that easy. Go to and get started today.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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10 Short Life Lessons From Steven Pressfield

The below profile is adapted from the new book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, which features practical and detailed advice from 130+ of the world’s top performers. Enjoy!

Steven Pressfield (@spressfield, has made a professional life in five different writing arenas — advertising, screenwriting, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and self-help. He is the best-selling author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, The Afghan Campaign, and The Lion’s Gate, as well as the cult classics on creativity, The War of Art, Turning Pro, and Do the Work. His Wednesday column on is one of the most popular series about writing on the web.

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

This’ll sound crazy, but I have certain places that I go to, usually alone, that summon up for me earlier eras in my life. Time is a weird thing. Sometimes you can appreciate a moment that’s gone more in the present than you did when it was actually happening. The places that I go to are different all the time and they’re usually mundane, ridiculously mundane. A gas station. A bench on a street. Sometimes I’ll fly across the country just to go to one of these spots. Sometimes it’s on a vacation or a business trip when I’m with family or other people. I might not ever tell them. Or I might. Sometimes I’ll take somebody along, though it usually doesn’t work (how could it?).

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

I’m probably hopelessly out of date but my advice is get real-world experience: Be a cowboy. Drive a truck. Join the Marine Corps. Get out of the hypercompetitive “life hack” frame of mind. I’m 74. Believe me, you’ve got all the time in the world. You’ve got ten lifetimes ahead of you. Don’t worry about your friends “beating” you or “getting somewhere” ahead of you. Get out into the real dirt world and start failing. Why do I say that? Because the goal is to connect with your own self, your own soul. Adversity. Everybody spends their life trying to avoid it. Me too. But the best things that ever happened to me came during the times when the shit hit the fan and I had nothing and nobody to help me. Who are you really? What do you really want? Get out there and fail and find out.

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

The single book that has influenced me most is probably the last book in the world that anybody is gonna want to read: Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. This book is dense, difficult, long, full of blood and guts. It wasn’t written, as Thucydides himself attests at the start, to be easy or fun. But it is loaded with hardcore, timeless truths and the story it tells ought to be required reading for every citizen in a democracy.

Thucydides was an Athenian general who was beaten and disgraced in a battle early in the 27-year conflagration that came to be called the Peloponnesian War. He decided to drop out of the fighting and dedicate himself to recording, in all the detail he could manage, this conflict, which, he felt certain, would turn out to be the greatest and most significant war ever fought up to that time. He did just that.

Have you heard of Pericles’ Funeral Oration? Thucydides was there for it. He transcribed it.

He was there for the debates in the Athenian assembly over the treatment of the island of Melos, the famous Melian Dialogue. If he wasn’t there for the defeat of the Athenian fleet at Syracuse or the betrayal of Athens by Alcibiades, he knew people who were there and he went to extremes to record what they told him. Thucydides, like all the Greeks of his era, was unencumbered by Christian theology, or Marxist dogma, or Freudian psychology, or any of the other “isms” that attempt to convince us that man is basically good, or perhaps perfectible. He saw things as they were, in my opinion. It’s a dark vision but tremendously bracing and empowering because it’s true. On the island of Corcyra, a great naval power in its day, one faction of citizens trapped their neighbors and fellow Corcyreans in a temple. They slaughtered the prisoners’ children outside before their eyes and when the captives gave themselves up based on pledges of clemency and oaths sworn before the gods, the captors massacred them as well. This was not a war of nation versus nation, this was brother against brother in the most civilized cities on earth. To read Thucydides is to see our own world in microcosm. It’s the study of how democracies destroy themselves by breaking down into warring factions, the Few versus the Many. Hoi polloi in Greek means “the many.” Oligoi means “the few.”

I can’t recommend Thucydides for fun, but if you want to expose yourself to a towering intellect writing on the deepest stuff imaginable, give it a try.


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

I just wrote a book called The Knowledge about my favorite failure and guess what? It failed too. In all truth, when my third novel (which, like the first two, never got published) crashed ignominiously, I was driving a cab in New York City. I’d been trying to get published for about 15 years at that point. I decided to give up and move to Hollywood, to see if I could find work writing for the movies. Don’t ask me what movies I wrote. I will never tell. And if you find out by other means, BE WARNED! Don’t see ’em. But working in “the industry” made me a pro and paved the way for whatever successes finally did come.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?

I would not have a billboard, and I would take down every billboard that everybody else has put up.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

I’ve never invested in the stock market or taken a risk on anything outside myself. I decided a long time ago that I would only bet on myself. I will risk two years on a book that’ll probably fall flat on its face. I don’t mind. I tried. It didn’t work. I believe in investing in your heart. That’s all I do, really. I’m a servant of the Muse. All my money is on her.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

I’ve always been a gym person and an early morning person. But a few years ago I got invited to train with T. R. Goodman at a place called Pro Camp. There’s a “system,” yeah, but basically what we do (and it’s definitely a group thing, with three or four of us training together) is just work hard. I hate it but it’s great. T. R. says, as we’re leaving after working out, “Nothing you face today will be harder than what you just did.”

In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to? What new realizations and/or approaches helped?

I got a chance a couple of years ago to visit a security firm, one of those places that guard celebrities and protect their privacy — in other words, a business whose total job was to say no. The person who was giving me the tour told me that the business screens every incoming letter, solicitation, email, etc., and decides which ones get through to the client. “How many get through?” I asked.

“Virtually none,” my friend said. I decided that I would look at incoming mail the same way that firm does. If I were the security professional tasked with protecting me from bogus, sociopathic, and clueless asks, which ones would I screen and dump into the trash? That has helped a lot.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

I have a friend at the gym who knew Jack LaLanne (Google him if the name is unfamiliar). Jack used to say it’s okay to take a day off from working out. But on that day, you’re not allowed to eat. That’s the short way of saying you’re not really allowed to get unfocused. Take a vacation. Gather yourself. But know that the only reason you’re here on this planet is to follow your star and do what the Muse tells you. It’s amazing how a good day’s work will get you right back to feeling like yourself.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Great, great question. In the world of writing, everyone wants to succeed immediately and without pain or effort. Really? Or they love to write books about how to write books, rather than actually writing . . . a book that might actually be about something. Bad advice is everywhere. Build a following. Establish a platform. Learn how to scam the system. In other words, do all the surface stuff and none of the real work it takes to actually produce something of value. The disease of our times is that we live on the surface. We’re like the Platte River, a mile wide and an inch deep. I always say, “If you want to become a billionaire, invent something that will allow people to indulge their own Resistance.” Somebody did invent it. It’s called the Internet. Social media. That wonderland where we can flit from one superficial, jerkoff distraction to another, always remaining on the surface, never going deeper than an inch. Real work and real satisfaction come from the opposite of what the web provides. They come from going deep into something — the book you’re writing, the album, the movie — and staying there for a long, long time.


The above was taken from Tribe of Mentors, which shares short, tactical life advice from 130+ world-class performers from every imaginable field. Many of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, and artists are part of the book.

Get Tribe of Mentors at these fine retailers or at your local bookstore!  Barnes & Noble Amazon Apple iBooks | Books-A-Million | Indigo

Here’s a partial list of people included: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and roughly 100 more. Click here to see the full list, sample chapters, and more.

Use the Order Button Above and get a similar or related assignment. Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.

4 Short Life Lessons From Bozoma Saint John

Photo credit: Tua Ulamac

The below profile is adapted from the new book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, which features practical and detailed advice from 130+ of the world’s top performers. Enjoy!


Bozoma Saint John (@badassboz) is the chief brand officer at Uber. Until June 2017, she was a marketing executive at Apple Music after joining the company through its acquisition of Beats Music, where she was the head of global marketing. In 2016, Billboard named her “Executive of the Year” and Fortune included her in their “40 under 40” list. Fast Company has included Bozoma on its list of “100 Most Creative People.” Bozoma was born in Ghana, and she left the country at 14 with her family to immigrate to Colorado Springs.

What are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

I love Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. Her writing style is incredibly poetic and complex. She doesn’t “allow” any laziness in reading her work; so beyond the incredible story, I learned to take my time to absorb the characters, and to reread passages when there was so much to unpack. It was also the book I asked my late husband to read when he dropped his pickup line to get to know me better. Our first date was a book review — and clearly he passed with flying colors. Two months later, he presented me with a painting of his interpretation of the book as a birthday gift. I knew then that I wanted to marry him. Anyone who could take his time to read, comprehend, and interpret Toni Morrison’s work, based on my recommendation, was someone I wanted to spend significant time with. That experience taught me that when people care, they’ll go beyond the extra mile to understand you. So Toni Morrison helped me set a high bar.

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

I love to people watch. I can literally do that all day long. It’s fascinating to watch people go by. There’s so much you can learn about a culture by just watching its people walk with each other. Great places to people watch are food courts in American malls, street-corner cafes in Paris, the market in Accra . . . fashion, etiquette, PDA . . . all of it can be learned and make the observer a more respectful participant in that culture.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

I sleep. Or rather, I nap. There’s no conundrum that a 20-minute nap can’t help me unpack. It’s like a refresh button for my mind. I wake up clearer and more able to make the “gut” decision because I’ve stopped thinking. Whatever I’m feeling when I wake up is the feeling I go forward with.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why? Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?

Hands down, it would be “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We spend far too much time complaining about the way things are, and forget that we have the power to change anything and everything. I’d have a secondary quote too: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror” — Michael Jackson. Same message; different delivery.


The above was taken from Tribe of Mentors, which shares short, tactical life advice from 130+ world-class performers from every imaginable field. Many of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, and artists are part of the book.

Get Tribe of Mentors at these fine retailers or at your local bookstore!  Barnes & Noble Amazon Apple iBooks | Books-A-Million | Indigo

Here’s a partial list of people included: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and roughly 100 more. Click here to see the full list, sample chapters, and more.

Use the Order Button Above and get a similar or related assignment. Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.

Tribe of Mentors Giveaway

If you have any interest in winning many of the “favorite purchases of $100 or less” that are featured in Tribe of Mentors, then the next two minutes of reading are definitely worth your time.

I’ve partnered with StackSocial to offer you the ultimate Tribe of Mentors giveaway. We are offering an “Apple Dream Setup” as the grand prize, and there are tons of runner-up prizes (see below).

For those of you who really want to win, it’s simple: sign up (it’s free), and every time you share, you receive another five entries. So spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter vastly improves your odds.

Click here to sign up. And if you haven’t picked up a copy of Tribe of Mentors, please check it out!

Grand Prize: The Apple Dream Setup Prize ($3,050 value)

Is any introduction really necessary here? Win this giveaway, and you’re bringing home a complete set of Apple’s flagship products. An entire tech makeover is just an entry away!

  • Apple MacBook Pro ($1,300 value)
  • Apple iPhone X ($1,000 value)
  • Apple AirPods ($150 value)
  • Apple Watch 3 ($400 value)
  • Apple TV 4K ($200 value)

1st Runner Up: The Tribe of Mentors Top-Tier Tool Kit #1 ($913 value)

Sourced from some of the most successful, productive people in the world, each of these products was named by a mentor (in Tribe of Mentors) as an extremely impactful purchase in their life.

  • Manduka Pro Black Yoga Mat, chosen by Leo Babauta
  • Weight Blanket by Weight Idea, chosen by Whitney Cummings
  • Apple Pencil, chosen by Debbie Milman
  • Beats Solo3 Wireless Beats, chosen by Turia Pitt
  • The HeartMath Inner Balance, chosen by Adam Robinson
  • Hearos Xtreme Protection NRR 33, chosen by Andrew Ross Sorkin
  • Native Union iPhone Charging Cable and Tata Harper Be True Lip Treatment, chosen by Brene Brown
  • LithiumCard Wallet Battery with Smartphone Charger, chosen by Aisha Tyler

2nd Runner Up: The Tribe of Mentors Top-Tier Tool Kit #2 ($549 value)

From apparel and tools to help you wake up in the morning, to reusable shopping bags, this tool kit stresses the importance of doing the simple things consistently well.

  • Under Armour SC30 ICDAT Men’s Basketball Short Sleeve Shirt, chosen by Marc Benioff
  • Phillips Wake-Up Light with Colored Sunrise Simulation, chosen by Mathew Fraser
  • The Five Minute Journal, chosen by Annie Mist Thorisdottir
  • MacBook SleeveCase by WaterField Designs, chosen by Sam Harris
  • ChicoBag Original Reusable Shopping Tote: 4-Pack, chosen by Patton Oswalt
  • Incase City Collection Compact Backpack, chosen by Ben Stiller
  • Apple AirPods, chosen by Ben Silbermann
  • Tile Mate Key Finder, chosen by Neil Strauss

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How to invest like a couch potato

I want to tell you the story of two people: Andrew and Mary.

Both are 21, fresh out of college, and have the same jobs in the same industry.

When it comes to investing, though, Mary decides to start putting money into a diversified portfolio of mutual funds. It’s not a lot at first, but over time she puts more money into her funds as she earns more.

Andrew, on the other hand, buys a few individual stocks after watching The Wolf of Wall Street — but sells them as soon as prices dip a little.

Occasionally, he puts away an arbitrary amount of money in a savings account and doesn’t seriously start investing until he’s in his 50s.

Fast forward 40-ish years. The two are now closing in on retirement age. However, their financial situation couldn’t look more different.

Mary is well off. She has a sizeable nest egg due to her decision to invest when she was 21, and doesn’t have to worry about money when she decides to retire soon.

Andrew didn’t start investing until long after Mary started. As a result, he has to consider forgoing retirement while he saves up enough money. This makes him a crotchety old man and he spends his days shouting at children and small animals who venture onto his lawn.

Okay, that’s a little dramatic — but there’s something to learn here. On paper, Andrew and Mary seemed to be on the same path. Same age. Same education level. Same job. So what was the difference between them that set them on completely separate financial situations?

Simple: Mary was a couch potato.

What’s couch potato investing?

I love index funds.

I love them so much I’m going to name my firstborn son “Index Fund Sethi” and his mother will hate me. And one of the best ways I’ve found to leverage index funds is by building a lazy portfolio.

I’ve talked about them before, but to recap, a lazy portfolio is a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds that allows you to be hands-off with your investing. That means no active trading, no checking your stocks every day, and no paying some hedge fund manager (who won’t beat the market anyway) to handle your money.

Couch potato investing simply refers to investing in a lazy portfolio — more specifically, a specific lazy portfolio “recipe.”

These “recipes” are formulas for different combinations of funds and bonds that investors can base their portfolios on.

For example, last week we talked about a lazy portfolio recipe from Taylor Larimore. His portfolio suggests you split up your asset allocation so it’s 42% U.S. stocks, 18% international stocks, and 40% bonds.

As a result, your portfolio would look like this:

Screen Shot 2017 10 31 at 6.42.09 AM 2

However, the couch potato portfolio is actually simpler. Here’s why:

Scott Burns’ Couch Potato Investing Strategy

Personal finance writer and co-founder of Scott Burns developed the Couch Potato Investing Strategy in 1991 as an alternative for his readers, who were paying money managers to handle their investments.

The recipe is INCREDIBLY simple:

  • 50% in total stock market fund (like S&P 500)
  • 50% in total bond market fund (a fund made of many different bonds)

And voila! You have your couch potato investing portfolio.

Burns also suggests these two funds that correlate with those asset classes:

  • Vanguard Index 500 Fund (VFINX)
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX)

pasted image 0 402
Really complex. I know.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to the above fund recommendations. Most brokers such as Schwab and T. Rowe Price offer comparable funds such as Schwab’s S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX) and T. Rowe Price’s Equity Index 500 Fund (PREIX).

Burns also suggests you utilize strategic asset allocation and rebalance your portfolio each year so that you always have an even split of bonds and stocks.

“This doesn’t look diversified at all!” you may be saying. “There are only two funds in this portfolio.”

This is the beauty of index funds like the S&P 500 — they ARE diversified because they invest in 500 different companies. This means they’re much less volatile.

Sure, you’re going to see returns come in slowly. But if you keep your cash in the market over time, history shows that you’re VERY likely to make money.

How likely? Over 40 years, the Couch Potato Investing Portfolio earned an average of 9.78% annually — a number the vast majority of money managers fail to beat.

“I want my own couch potato portfolio! How do I start?”

Luckily, there are a TON of reputable brokers out there who can help you start investing.

Unluckily, there are a TON of shady brokers who are only out there to take your money.

Luckily, I have a list of awesome, trusted brokers you can reach out to today to get your own couch potato portfolio.

My suggestions:

  • Vanguard (This is the one I use)

    • Phone #: 877-662-7447
  • T. Rowe Price

    • Phone #: 800-225-5132
  • TIAA

    • Phone #: 800-842-2252
  • Charles Schwab

    • Phone #: 800-435-4000

Signing up is ludicrously easy too:

  • Step 1: Go to the website for the brokerage of your choice.
  • Step 2: Click on the “Open an account” button. Each of the above websites has one.
  • Step 3: Start an application for an “Individual brokerage account.”
  • Step 4: Enter information about yourself — name, address, birth date, employer info, social security.
  • Step 5: Set up an initial deposit by entering in your bank information. Some brokers require you to make a minimum deposit, so use a separate bank account in order to deposit money into the brokerage account.
  • Step 6: Wait. The initial transfer will take anywhere from 3 to 7 days to complete. After that, you’ll get a notification via email or phone call telling you you’re ready to invest.
  • Step 7: Log in to your brokerage account and start investing 50% in total stock market fund and 50% in total bond market fund. If you want to follow Scott Burns’ recommendations, purchase these funds: VFINX and VBMFX.

NOTE: The wording and order of the steps will vary from broker to broker but the steps are essentially the same.

You’re also going to want to make sure you have your social security number, employer address, and bank info like account number and routing number available when you sign up, as they’ll come in handy during the application process.

The application process can be as quick as 15 minutes. In the same time it would take to watch this handsome weirdo give a talk on how much to charge your customers, you could set up a new brokerage account and start investing in your future.

If you have any questions about funds or trading, call up the numbers provided above. They’ll connect you with a fiduciary who works for the bank in order to give you the best advice and guidance they can.

Automate your investing from your couch

Let’s take this couch potato concept even further and automate your finances so you don’t have to worry about sending money into your portfolio each month.

If you want to find out more about how to automate your finances, check out my 12-minute video explaining it here:

If you’re relatively new to investing, I’m so happy you’re here. Simply by doing your research, you’re already ahead of 99.99% of people out there when it comes to planning for your financial future.

That’s why I want to offer you The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance.

In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Master your 401k: Take advantage of free money offered to you by your company…and get rich while doing it.
  • Manage Roth IRAs: Start saving for retirement in a worthwhile long-term investment account.
  • Spend the money you have — guilt-free: By leveraging the systems in this book, you’ll learn exactly how you’ll be able to save money to spend without the guilt.

Enter your info below and get on your way to living a Rich Life today.

How to invest like a couch potato is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

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How I got $100,000 in college scholarships

If you want to offset the cost of college, there’s no better way to do it than by getting scholarships.

And it doesn’t matter where you come from or even if you weren’t a “good” student. ANYONE can get scholarships as long as they have the right systems.

I know — because I built a system that helped me earn six figures in scholarships to go to Stanford.

That’s why I want to share the exact system I used to earn six figures in scholarships for college today.

How to get scholarships in 3 steps

Step 1: Adopt an application mindset

Step 2: Find the scholarships that will earn thousands

Step 3: Apply to ALL the scholarships

Step 1: Adopt a scholarship application mindset

One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people just hope they get “a scholarship” for college.

Instead of hoping you get one scholarship, you need to reframe it to “I hope I get a LOT of scholarships.”

This is a mindset of abundance — and it’s incredibly important when you start applying for different scholarships.

Which means two things:

  1. Instead of hoping you get a huge scholarship or full ride, you need to apply to as many as possible. After all, $500 here and $1,000 there can really add up.
  2. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get one you apply for. Scholarships are a numbers game, and many have only a handful of applicants.

Use every resource at your disposal — apply to any and all relevant scholarships you can find. Once you cast a wide net, you increase your chances of getting more money for school IMMENSELY.

Step 2: Find the scholarships that will earn thousands

If you’re a high school student, you have a lot of scholarship resources available to you. They can be broken up into five areas:

  1. High school career centers
  2. Library and bookstore
  3. Scholarship search sites
  4. Ethnic organizations
  5. Friends and family

With these resources, you’ll be able to earn thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Here’s how:

High school career centers

First, go to your high school career center. If your high school doesn’t have a career center, your school’s counselor can help you with this too.

Most high school career centers keep an updated list of scholarships sorted by date. Go through this list and make note of every single scholarship that applies to you. You should literally be writing down the information for each one — you’ll need it when you actually start the application process.

Do this in a Google or Excel spreadsheet. When recording, I suggest you write down the scholarship name, the amount it’s worth, a due date, and whether or not you’ve applied yet.

When you put it together, here’s what it might look like:

Scholarship name

What it’s worth

Due date


IWT Scholarship




Of course, you can be as detailed as you want with your spreadsheet and include things like GPA requirements and whether or not you need an essay.

Once you’ve exhausted your school’s list of scholarships, call up other high schools and ask them if you can go in and talk to them about what scholarships might apply to you.

That’s right. I want you to call up other high schools in your city to see what scholarships they have. They’ll actually LOVE this because no high schooler ever goes out of their way to get scholarships.

If you show just a little bit of initiative in your educational future, they’ll be more than happy to help you out. Do the exact same thing you did with your school’s scholarship resources and record all the ones relevant to you.

When I was in high school, I ended up applying for 60 scholarships from my high school’s career center — and earned thousands for college in the process.

Library and bookstores

Once you’re finished exhausting all of the scholarships from your high school, head to a bookstore or library and pick up the latest copy of an annual scholarship book.

These books are comprehensive catalogs of grants and scholarships you can earn as a high school student. They’re FANTASTIC resources if you’re looking to find cash for college.

Here’s a list of a few good scholarship books to look for:

  1. The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2017 by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe ($19.71)
  2. Scholarship Handbook 2017 by The College Board ($22.51)
  3. Scholarships, Grants & Prizes 2017 by Peterson’s ($24.09)

I’ve included the Amazon links here so you can check them out — but I highly suggest purchasing these at your local bookstore so you can get started ASAP!

Once you get the book, do what you did with your high school’s scholarship resources and make note of all the scholarships you’d like to apply for.

Scholarship search sites

Once you’ve looked at all the scholarships you can through the aforementioned resources, you can turn to different search engines and websites that can help you find scholarships.

Many of them even include features that allow you to search for specific criteria like:

  • School-specific scholarships
  • Amount of money earned
  • GPA requirements
  • Essay requirements

You can set up email alerts so that you are automatically notified when the sites find scholarships that fit your specific needs too.

Here are a few suggestions for great sites to help you look for scholarships:


Ethnic organizations

Ethnic organizations of all stripes tend to offer scholarships. These can help you earn hundreds — if not thousands — in scholarship money.

Many of these are ethnicity-based, meaning that you’ll have to be a certain race or background in order to qualify for the scholarship.

A few suggestions:

  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
  • The United Negro College Fund
  • The Hispanic Scholarship Fund
  • Irish ancestry scholarships
  • German ancestry scholarships

Of course, simply fitting the racial criteria for ethnicity-based scholarships isn’t enough. You’re going to have to knock the application out of the park (more on that later).

Friends and family

Talk to your friends, parents, and parents’ friends to see if they know of any scholarships.

There are a lot of companies that offer college scholarships — companies that the people you know work at. So ask around! Some of the best scholarships come from some of the most unexpected places.

When I was applying for scholarships, my sister was working at Kaiser — which offered a college scholarship to relatives of Kaiser employees.

My mom is a teacher and she knew about a scholarship offered through the California Teachers Union.

These are scholarships barely anyone applies to because many high schoolers simply don’t know to ask about them. So when you DO find out about one, you automatically have an advantage over everyone else.

If you feel odd about it, know that every person wants to help out a high schooler. They won’t think it’s “weird.” In fact, they’ll find it admirable.

Which brings us to my favorite part…

Step 3: Apply to ALL the scholarships 

Okay, so now you have your (hopefully) large list of possible scholarships to apply to. It’s time to apply to ALL of them.

This might seem like an incredibly daunting task. After all, these applications generally require you to do two things:

  1. Send a letter of recommendation
  2. Write an essay (or a few short ones)

However, there’s an easier way to go about the process that doesn’t involve writing 60+ unique essays.

Don’t get me wrong: Each application is going to take time and a bit of nuance in order to create a compelling case for you that’ll have the reader clamoring to give you the scholarship money.

But you can make the process a lot more effective and simple if you just look at the letters of recommendations and essays.

Get letters of recommendations

Most high school students are afraid to ask for letters of recommendations. It’s a little bit awkward to ask a teacher or other trusted adult to write a glowing recommendation for you.

HOWEVER, if you were a good student and established a good relationship with your teachers, they’ll be more than happy to help you out with your letter of recommendation. Most students never do this so they’d be happy to help.

You’re going to want to approach it the same way I approach asking for a testimonial: politely and with the majority of the work done already.


When you reach out to your teacher for a letter of recommendation, you’ll want to give them several things:

  • A broad view of what you want them to highlight
  • 2-3 key points they should touch on (maybe it’s something specific to the scholarship?)
  • Your resume so they have a reference to your accomplishments

If you provide them practically everything they need, they’ll be more than happy to give you an awesome letter of recommendation. In fact, many teachers will just ask you to write a draft that they can edit and sign.

Write a college application essay that stands out

When it comes to writing an amazing scholarship essay, I’ve developed a highly complex intricate process of algorithms and systems that you need to follow EXACTLY if you want your writing to soar.

The steps are:

  1. Figure out what most students will write about
  2. Write something else

…and that’s it.

Why does this work? Most scholarship essays bore judges to tears.

Put yourself in the shoes of the person who will be reading your application — they’re going to be reading hundreds, maybe even THOUSANDS of these a day. And the fact of the matter is 99.99999% of the applications they read will be almost exactly the same.

Oh, you got good grades? You were in a bunch of extracurriculars? That mission trip you took to Honduras junior year was “life-changing”?

Get in line. What’s particularly unique about any of those things? Not a whole lot.

And if you fall into the same formula as everyone else, I guarantee you your application won’t get a second glance.

However, if you subvert the expectations of the scholarship judge, you’ll grab and hold onto their attention — allowing you to properly make your case.

To do that, you need to follow the aforementioned two steps.

First: Figure out what other students will write about

You’re sitting down at your laptop, the scholarship essay prompt is in front of you, and you’re ready to dive in.

Before you write a single word…STOP!

Think about the other people applying for the exact same scholarship — what are THEY going to be writing about?

What’s the easy answer to the prompt…and how can you subvert that?

Back when I was applying, I had one essay prompt that asked, “If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?”

Classic prompt. So I started thinking.

Nelson Mandela? Meh…that would be the “logical” choice. And to be honest, dinner with Mandela wouldn’t be the most exciting thing for a 17-year-old kid.

Maybe President Clinton? That’d be cool for bragging rights…but what would we talk about?

Given this prompt, I could have just written some BS about Mandela or the President but I would have sounded like every other person applying for the scholarship. Plus, I didn’t really want to meet them.

It’s almost like the people applying forget that it’s a competition. Would a coach say to his players, “Okay guys, we’re playing against every team in our division next week, so we’re just going to do the same plays over and over”?

No. So why would you want to do that too?

So when it came to who I wanted to have dinner with, I decided to go with my gut and pick someone different: Chris Rock.

Which leads me to the next step…

Next: Write something unique instead

When you take a step back and consider the common answers to the prompt, you’ll be able to come up with an answer that will subvert the judge’s expectations and keep their attention.

In my case, while other students wrote about historical figures, I chose Chris Rock, the famous comedian.

My essay went on to argue that though he’s perceived simply as a comedian, he’s actually a highly astute social commentator. His jokes revealed the things we want to say but won’t articulate — because we’re afraid to.

I even deconstructed one of his jokes and went into an in-depth analysis of why it was an examination of the racial attitudes our society holds.

And it worked.

My approach was offbeat — yet professional. When looking for the unique angles, you shouldn’t make it offensive or inappropriate. Instead, aim to make it deep, personal, and a little bit against the grain.

To show you what I mean, here are a few common essay prompts — as well as the boring responses judges will typically see AND an example of a good answer.

Question 1
“Is it fair that professional athletes earn millions of dollars?”

Typical boring answer: “No way! We should be paying that money to teachers and firefighters. Athletes are just playing a game.”

What’s wrong with it? You could find this opinion in the “Letters to the Editor” section of any newspaper. It doesn’t matter if the answer is right — it plays everything safe and is BORING.

Better answer: “Salaries aren’t decided by fairness. They’re decided by supply and demand. LeBron James is a millionaire because millions of fans pay to see him perform. Besides, if the athletes weren’t getting the money, the owners would. Those are the only two options.”

Question 2
“Which major world problem would you solve if you could only pick one?”

Typical boring answer: “I would end world hunger. Every man, woman, and child deserves this basic requirement of human life.”

What’s wrong with it? The reader makes no human connection to you. Why on earth would they want to read more?

Better answer: “My life changed forever when I spoke at my best friend’s funeral. Standing there under the storm clouds, I felt a personal duty to make sure no one sees suicide as their only way out.”

Question 3
“Respond to this statement: America’s middle class is in trouble.”

Typical boring response: “The middle class is America’s heartbeat. We need to put big corporations in their place to make room at the table for everyone.”

What’s wrong with it? This is such a cliche answer, the judge won’t help but roll their eyes. Reading an answer like this will have them mentally checking out before you can say, “Full-ride scholarship.”

Better answer: “Classes aren’t fixed groups of people. Most of us move in and out of different classes throughout our lives. In fact, many people who were in the middle class twenty years ago are in the upper class today.”

These answers practically grab you by the lapels and COMMAND attention. They stand out like a lighthouse in the ocean of boring applicants.

This is the difference between following the crowd and hoping for the best versus thinking strategically and winning the game.

Key things to remember to get any scholarship

Before you jump into the system above, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re applying:

  • After you write the essay, get at LEAST two other people to proofread it for you. You might think your first draft is perfect — but chances are it’s not. Plan to go through a few drafts before you land on the one you’ll be submitting.
  • Barely anyone applies to the majority of these scholarships — so you’ll already have a huge advantage by applying at all. The Craigslist Penis Effect is strong with scholarship applications. Leverage that knowledge.
  • Some scholarships require you to interview — so you need to prepare. Remember to prep for it by practicing interviews a LOT. That means doing them in front of a mirror, having your friend run through questions with you, and reading up on interview strategies. Here are a few great resources from IWT that’ll help you:

    • 3 tips to dominate your interview
    • Unexpected tips to prepare you for your interview
    • How to craft the perfect answers to interview questions

Check out my video on how you can crush your interview below:

What to do AFTER I get the scholarships?

Once you get your first scholarship, CONGRATS!!!

You’re now ahead of a vast majority of your peers when it comes to paying for your education — but it shouldn’t end there.

If you want to truly prepare yourself for college, I’ve created a video series where I break down the truths that no one tells you about it.

Check it out below.

When it comes to scholarships or even school in general, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room — you just have to do the work.

If you’ve read all this, try doing just one step today. Not tomorrow, not after you finish that physics quiz, but TODAY.

Take someone out to lunch. Send an email to that professor you admire. Ask someone a question. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be today.

It’s easy to take the “safe” route. It’s much tougher to build your own confidence to do things differently — let alone at all.

But if you’re willing to take that first step, I want to help you.

Join my free email list to learn my secrets to earning more, learning, and finding a passion that’ll earn you money forever.

How I got $100,000 in college scholarships is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

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We messed up. An apology from Ramit

I want to apologize for yesterday’s email.

If you’re subscribed to I Will Teach You To Be Rich, you received this email yesterday.

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I see a lot of things wrong in that email.

  • “Guaranteed to beat.” (no, nothing is guaranteed in investing)
  • “People have always been stupid.” (why is this even here?)
  • “Made-up money that only exists on the internet” (all currency is made up…so what?)

Why did we send such an inflammatory email? One that doesn’t even represent what I really think about Bitcoin?

I want to explain how this happened, my actual views on Bitcoin, and finally what we’re doing about this.

First, my comments on yesterday’s email.

  1. It was unnecessarily dismissive of Bitcoin, which has had a major impact on money, technology, and culture in the last few years.
  2. It was over-sensationalistic and clickbait-y.
  3. It didn’t sound like us.
  4. It had nothing to do with the post it was linking to.
  5. It was not aligned with my view on Bitcoin.

In a world of hype, I believe in cutting the B.S. and being honest with you, and this email failed.

That No-B.S. view is why I don’t allow anyone with credit card debt to join our flagship courses, which costs us millions of dollars a year. One of our core values is “No B.S.” (it’s why that phrase is even on the cover of my NYT best-selling book). So when we’re guilty of it, we need to recognize it and apologize publicly. Yesterday’s email was B.S. We messed up. And we 100% deserve the heat from it.

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Plus the tons of responses on Twitter (you can see them using this search).

It’s no wonder that when we sent an email like yesterday’s, people were mad. I don’t blame them.

How this email went out

We have a team of dozens of people at IWT. While IWT started with just me writing, now we have teams of engineers, product developers, and writers. My goal is to share my views with our team, and together, we share them with the world. I do everything I can to empower my staff to create great material. We talk often about our company values, the ways we can push our students to think bigger, and the fun approaches we can use to help our readers live their Rich Lives.

In an effort to push the envelope, we got aggressive and got away from the things that made us who we are. We tried to take a hot topic (Bitcoin) to get you to click on a not-as-hot topic (lazy portfolios). There was no reason to do that. It didn’t add to anyone’s understanding of either topic. We should have led with quality and creativity and let the quality of the blog post stand on its own. We don’t need to resort to clickbait tricks.

Here’s a note from our Editor in Chief. But as CEO, it’s ultimately my responsibility.

Whenever a friend and I have a disagreement, we sit down and hash it out over some buffalo wings. So let’s clear the air. I’m going to share my thoughts on Bitcoin. You might agree or disagree, but you deserve to hear it straight.

A few starting points:

  • Money is a small, but important part of a Rich Life. I believe money is important, but there’s more to a Rich Life than a big bank account. I share this because money is important — but that’s not the sole thing that guides me, or our readers.
  • Investing is one of the most powerful ways to grow your assets. I’m no stranger to investing — I’ve invested millions of dollars, and I believe in investing your money and investing in your intellectual capital through books, training, conferences, and more.
  • Here’s where I invest my money. I invest primarily in passive investments — index funds — and I have a few individual stocks and angel investments. This is exactly what I recommend in my book on personal finance. I could make millions of dollars recommending terrible investments to my readers with fat commission fees…but I will never do that.

“Do you believe in Bitcoin technology?”

  • Yes, I believe in Bitcoin technology. We only have to look at the major impact Bitcoin has had to know that the technology is real. Beyond that, I don’t have a strong opinion on the tech. I have strong beliefs about Bitcoin as an investment — but as for the technology, I respect the technical innovations that are happening in fintech as a result of Bitcoin.
  • I’m critical of Bitcoin when viewed through the lens of asset allocation and personal finance. When I talk about Bitcoin, I’m not evaluating it as a technology. (See my above comment.) I’m critical of it when I see people investing all their money into Bitcoin.

“Do you believe Bitcoin is a good investment?”

  • Maybe. Undoubtedly, it’s beat all other asset classes in the last two years. However, I’m personally not investing in Bitcoin.

“So what is your problem with Bitcoin?”

  • Nothing, if you treat it as an investment in your portfolio. If anyone wants to invest 5% or 10% of their portfolio, great! In my personal finance book, I specifically encourage people to set their portfolios up, and if they want to invest a small percentage in fun investments, go for it.
  • But when people put all their money in one investment, that’s not investing — that’s speculation. 
  • The language around Bitcoin is filled with hype and handwavy arguments. As the price of Bitcoin gets higher and higher, the language used to talk about it becomes increasingly frantic and frenetic. The fundamentals of the investment (which nobody understands) become cloudier and focused purely on the price. If you look at Bitcoin investment communities, a huge percentage of the comments are simply people encouraging others to “HODL” (the community’s word for “HODLing” onto crypto for the long term) and get other people to buy more. There’s little recognition of how Bitcoin fits into an overall portfolio.
  • Your asset allocation matters more than any individual investment. This core investing concept is something I rarely see in the Bitcoin community, along with the core investing concept of risk. (Note: I’m using the term “risk” as the technical investment definition, not just “Can I withstand this going down 30% for a few days?”) Nobody needs to talk about asset allocation while the price of a single investment is skyrocketing…until it isn’t. I’ve had people call me “old man” and “Luddite” for not putting my entire portfolio into Bitcoin. That’s not sound portfolio strategy. There’s a reason why every sophisticated investor understands the power of diversification and asset allocation.

“But Bitcoin has beat everything else.”

  • True. But higher prices create lots of accidental geniuses. The higher the price goes, the more people think they’re geniuses. It’s easy to handwave against all arguments and simply say, “LOL! Look how much money I’ve made!” That sort of argument can seem like a mic drop. Until it stops working. When I’ve asked some Bitcoin investors how they think about their overall portfolio, diversification, asset allocation, a few have had good answers. Most have no answer at all. They simply say, “Dude, look how much money I’ve made.” Again, that’s not investing. That’s speculation. History has shown that long-term investing is more than picking one investment, no matter how high it goes.

“Are you just bitter that you missed out?”

  • No, I’m intentional about my investments. I’m not bitter that I “missed out” on Bitcoin as an investment (nor should you ever invest based on “missing out”). Again, if you’re investing 5-10% of your portfolio in speculative or fun investments, great.
  • I don’t mind if you disagree with me. I’ve taken heat for my views on real estate before. Same for my negotiation techniques. But millions of people read them, many used them, and we had vigorous debates. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but we should have an honest discussion, not use cheap tricks and insults (like our above email). Investing is fun but it’s also serious, and it involves a lot of nuances. I want to have that kind of discussion with you.

So, to sum up:

  1. I’m sorry for yesterday’s email and I take responsibility for it. In 13 years, this is the second apology note I’ve written. That email didn’t reflect my views or our values as a company.
  2. We’re making internal changes to ensure that all of our material reflects our values. I know you have a lot of choices, and you read our material because you want to know surprising, counterintuitive, but data-backed methods to living a Rich Life. We’ve written about personal finance, business, psychology, careers, and more. And we’re going to keep at it.
  3. Thank you for trusting me and our team with your attention. We’ve got much more coming your way.


P.S. Now it’s time for me to stop talking and start listening. I’d love to hear from you. Do you agree? Disagree? I’m leaving comments open for the next week and I want to hear what you’d like to tell me about Bitcoin. What should I be paying attention to? How has Bitcoin changed the way you think about investing? Please let me know.

We messed up. An apology from Ramit is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

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All about strategic asset allocation

I hope you’re ready. We’re about to discuss one of the hottest, most exciting investment topics out there.

No, I’m not talking about putting your money in Tesla.

And I’m not even talking about how awesome Bitcoin is.

I’m talking about something even MORE exciting:

Strategic asset allocation

Strategic asset allocation is the practice of setting a goal for each of your asset classes (e.g., stocks, bonds, cash), and rebalancing it every year as you realize earnings on your investments.

 This is a great tactic if you want to:

  • Focus on long-term financial goals
  • Enjoy a hands-off approach to your portfolio — and not wring your hands over how the market is performing
  • Reduce your risk as an investor

Think of your investment portfolio as a garden: If you want your zucchini to be only 15% of your garden, and they start growing like crazy and take over 30%, you’ll want to rebalance by either cutting the zucchini back, or getting a bigger backyard so the zucchini is back to covering only 15%.

I know, I know. I should start I Will Teach You To Garden.

You’ll want to rebalance your portfolio every 12 to 18 months to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investments.

Let’s take a look at a non-gardening example:

Imagine you’re a 24-year-old who just opened up a brokerage account with $3,000. If you want to employ strategic asset allocation, you’ll want to set certain percentages you’ll want in each asset class based on your goals.

Since you’re young and have many years before retirement, you might be more willing to take risks with your portfolio. Considering this, you decide to be aggressive and put your money in 80% stocks ($2,400) and 20% bonds ($600).

A year later, you discover that your stocks accrued 20% from your initial investment, while your bonds have earned you just 2%. This leaves your assets at 82% stocks ($2,880) and 18% bonds ($612).

Now your assets are “unbalanced” in accordance with the goals you set for them and it’s time to rebalance them.

In order to stay in line with your strategic asset allocation strategy, you’ll need to take 2% or about $57.60 out of your stocks and into your bonds. That’ll leave your portfolio nice and balanced at 80% stock and 20% bonds once more.

Of course, your goals will change over time. As you get older, you’ll find that you might want to be more conservative with your investments, and you can change your asset allocation percentage so they fit your needs.

Why does this strategy work? Two reasons:

  1. No constant trading. That means you can just purchase your lifecycle funds (more on that in a bit) and let them ride the market for a year. There’s no constantly trading, worrying about BS commission costs, or dealing with hedge fund managers who’ll just lose your money anyway.
  2. Easy accommodation of your goals. If you find that you want to change how much you allocate in each asset class as the years go by, you can do that and it’ll be fine. These are your finances after all, and you get to decide what to do with them.

THAT’S strategic asset allocation.

How do I employ strategic asset allocation?

People always email me questions like, “Ramit, I have $XX,XXX. How should I invest it??” And, frankly, I can’t tell you that. Because it depends on your answer to a few specific questions…  

“When do I need the money?”

If you need your money sooner (between two and three years from today), you might consider investing in a conservative portfolio. That’s because the market can be incredibly volatile in the short term.

On the other side of the coin, you might want to invest more aggressively if you’re saving money for retirement (assuming retirement is 10+ years away). Over a long period of time, the market trends upwards.

Check out this graph that’s tattooed on my back I love it so much.

S and P 500 chart 1950 to 2016 with averages 3
I have to update the tattoo every year. It gets painful.

This is how the S&P 500 has performed since 1950. Notice how even in the down years, the market bounces back.

Because of this, your risk is mitigated over a long period of time. You can pick nearly any 15-year window on this chart and end up ahead. But if you invest for short term, you will need to invest more conservatively (if you pick a 3-year window, your odds get worse).

“What’s my risk tolerance?”

So now that you know what your timeline looks like, ask yourself: Am I actually comfortable with risk?

If you are comfortable with it, how much risk are you willing to take?

If the market took a 20% nosedive tomorrow, would you be okay with that? Or would you be scrambling to cut your losses?

I used to teach a class on personal finance and during one of the sessions, I drew a picture of a rapidly falling fund. Then I asked, “What should I do?”

Inevitably, a good chunk of the class did their best Wall Street stockbroker impression and yelled, “Sell! Sell! Sell!”

So now I want to ask: What would YOU do?

  • Sell immediately and cut your lossesor
  • Hold onto the fund

Well, knowing how the S&P 500 has trended for over half a century now, you should know the answer: If you’re young, hold onto the fund.

That’s why, if you’re in your twenties, you should be comfortable investing more in riskier investments (e.g., stocks) rather than safe ones (e.g., bonds).

If you’re older, your risk tolerance is likely going to be lower. As such, you’ll want to reconfigure your asset allocation so you’re investing in safer investments such as bonds as opposed to riskier ones like stocks.

“What are my goals?”

Your investment choices depend not only on your timeline and risk tolerance, but also your goals.

Are you saving up for a car that you want in two years?

Or are you planning on paying for a wedding in five?

Maybe you want to just make sure that you have a nice little nest egg for retirement 30 years from now.

No matter what your goals, recognizing what they are will help you determine how to approach your strategic asset allocation because they’ll help you answer the above two questions.

Why don’t people rebalance their portfolio?

So now you know that rebalancing your allocations to stay in line with your goals is important…so why is it that I still find older people with 90% stocks AND college grads with 50% bonds?

The main reason people don’t maintain a reasonable asset allocation is because of human psychology. As humans, we fall victim to simple psychological biases.

Even when you have charts like this with great suggestions:

Picture 5

…people will still fail to rebalance their assets over time.

After all, why would you want to take your money out of one asset class that performed well over the year and put it into one that might have disappointed you?

The trick to addressing these psychological biases: Automation. More specifically through a target-date fund (aka lifecycle fund).

Lifecycle funds: An easy way to invest

This is one of my favorite investments of all time, because they are:

  • Automated
  • Easy enough for anyone to get started
  • Safe ways to earn money through investments

These funds automatically diversify your investments for you based on how old you are. So instead of actively rebalancing your stocks every year, this fund automatically does it for you.

As you get older and retire, for example, your lifecycle fund will automatically change to a more conservative asset allocation so you don’t have to worry about any drops in your retirement account.

Lifecycle funds can also be described as “funds within funds” (Yo dawg…) or collections made up of other funds.

For example, a single lifecycle fund might include large-cap, mid-cap, and international funds (all of which include their own stock selection). This sounds complicated but it actually makes everything very easy for you as you only have to own one lifecycle fund and the rest is taken care of for you.

That said, lifecycle funds aren’t for everyone. After all, they only factor in one variable: age. Everyone has different investment goals, and these funds aren’t tailored to your individual situation.

However, they are designed for people who don’t want to mess around with rebalancing their portfolio at all. For you, the ease of use that comes with lifecycle funds might outweigh the loss of returns.

One thing you should note: Most lifecycle funds require between $1,000 and $3,000 to buy. If you don’t have that kind of money, don’t worry. Check out my article on how to make money fast to help you get there.

For a more in-depth explanation, check out my video all about lifecycle funds, which was clearly filmed many lifecycles ago.

Master your personal finances

Though lifecycle funds are an easy way to approach your investments, you might want to be more hands-on when it comes to your asset allocation — and that’s okay! It’s YOUR personal finances, which means these are your decisions to make.

No matter what you choose to do, you want to make sure that you have a solid foundation in place for your finances, which is why I have something for you: The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finances.

In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Master your 401k: Take advantage of free money offered to you by your company…and get rich while doing it.
  • Manage Roth IRAs: Start saving for retirement in a worthwhile long-term investment account.
  • Automate your expenses: Take advantage of the wonderful magic of automation and make investing pain-free.

Enter your info below and get on your way to living a Rich Life today.

All about strategic asset allocation is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

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The 5 best (and worst) frugal living tips we know

Everyone, I have a confession to make…

…I’ve been WRONG about ultra-frugality this whole time.

That’s right. It turns out that ultra-frugal living tips — ones that’ll save you literally DOZENS of dollars every year — are the best solutions to your financial woes.

Who do I have to thank for opening my eyes?

Why, websites with listicles for the “XX best frugal living tips” of course! Without their amazing, not-at-all-scream-inducingly awful insights on human psychology and personal finance, I wouldn’t have realized that my life of eating avocado toast, drinking lattes, and doing the things that I truly love are actually holding me back from a Rich Life.


Whoa, sorry about that. There must be a gas leak in my apartment. What I meant to say was ULTRA-FRUGAL LIVING TIPS ARE COMPLETE BS. If you think that clipping coupons and listening to frugal living “experts” will get you closer to living a Rich Life than focusing on the Big Wins, you’ve got another thing coming.

I’m sick of seeing terrible frugal living “advice” out there. That’s why I want to put the heat on some of the absolute dumbest advice I’ve ever seen in my life.

These are actual, real tips I’ve found on a certain website millions of people go to for personal finance help every month.

Sit down, students. Class is in session.

Bad frugal living tip #1: “Make DIY things and stop paying for stuff!!”

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LOL you know what’s an easy way to have guests NEVER want to go to your house again? By being so damn frugal that you make ugly chairs and tables that collapse at the slightest breeze instead of buying them.

Hell, unless you actually like DIY (which is fine!), nobody should turn to it as a way to save money on your day-to-day. Why? We should use our time to do things we love. If you’re making things out of obligation to your bank balance, it’s time to “DIY” yourself a new bank balance. The problem isn’t that you don’t have a chair. It’s that you don’t have the extra money to buy the one you need.

The reason people turn to crappy advice like this is purely psychological. Our culture has convinced us that we shouldn’t spend money on simple luxuries and so we turn to advice like “Just make your own clothes and cut your own hair! It’s cheaper!!!”

My thoughts on that:

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Instead, I have a way that’ll let you spend your money on exactly what you want every month.

Alternative frugal living tip: Make a conscious spending plan and spend on the things you love

Conscious spending is the be all and end all solution to indiscriminately cutting out things like buying lattes to make your own coffee at home because you don’t know how much you can actually spend each month. 

This system lets you know how much money is in your bank account to spend without you worrying about having to make rent and pay the bills, because it’s already been done for you.

How? Through automated finances. This is the system where your paycheck automatically divvies up and transfers to where it needs to go as soon as you receive it.

Here’s a 12-minute video of me explaining exactly how to do it.

Bad frugal living tip #2: “Get multiple credit cards for their bonuses!!”

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If you like watching your credit score fall faster than a college freshman after his first keg stand, I have some frugality advice you’ll love: Open up a bunch of credit cards for their bonuses!!!

It’s free money!!


No. Not only is opening up multiple credit cards going to negatively impact your credit score, but it’s also such a SMALL win, it’s not even worth it.

Sure, your credit utilization rate will be up — but that, in a way, can actually be a bad thing. Signing up for four different credit cards because of their perks (which exist SOLELY to sucker you into getting the card and running up a huge balance) is giving yourself four more avenues to fall into debt. And if you’re in a position of signing up for cards just so you can squeeze out the cash back perks, candidly, you shouldn’t open new credit cards.

And in an age where the average American household has nearly $17,000 in credit card debt, do you think it’s a good idea to give yourself more opportunities to dive head first into debt? No, I didn’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE certain credit cards because of their perks — but you shouldn’t just sign up for one with the hope that you’ll make quick cash. It should be a long-term effort that happens only after you’ve paid off all of your debt.

Alternative frugal living tip: Get your credit score and improve it

Improving your credit score is potentially worth tens of thousand to you. Seriously. Here’s why:

Imagine there are two people: Olivia and Andrew.

Olivia has a few credit cards and makes sure she pays her bills in full and on time. As a result, her credit score is 760, which is awesome.

Meanwhile, Andrew keeps doing dumb stuff like opening up multiple lines of credit because he’s swayed by the bonuses. He often forgets to pay a few of his bills on time, and when he does he only pays the minimum. As a result, he has a credit score of 620, which is abysmal.

Eventually, they both decide to buy a similarly priced house. Who do you think has to pay more for the house in the long run?

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Source: Data calculated in June 2017.

Over 30 years with a mortgage of $200,000, Andrew will end up paying nearly $68,000 more than Olivia in interest — all because his credit score is sub-640.

This is a BIG Win (unlike opening credit cards just for the rewards).

And it’s not just homes. Your credit score impacts purchases on cars, getting apartments, and can even affect whether or not you get a job (47% of employers run credit checks on potential hires).

So don’t be like Andrew. Instead, check out my articles explaining exactly how you can improve your credit score and get out of debt, and put yourself on the path to saving tens of thousands today.

Bad frugal living tip #3: “Take surveys for quick cash!!”

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I want everyone to say it with me.


Sure, they give you money — but it’s bad money.

I’m talking about making a few dollars for a half hour of your time.

Say a survey pays $10 and it takes 30 minutes to finish it. That’d be $20 an hour you’re making, which is good…right?

NOPE. Especially when you consider the fact that:

  1. Those surveys come few and far between.
  2. You could be putting time into finding a stable job you love.
  3. You could use the same half hour to save hundreds of dollars with just a few phone calls.

And I’m going to show you exactly how those phone calls can help you save right now.

Alternative frugal living tip: Take advantage of hidden income

Hidden income is money that you could be saving right now through simple negotiation tactics (instead of weird scammy “gigs” like taking surveys).

It’s pure 80/20 rule — where 80% of your results come from 20% of your work.

With just a few one-time, 5-minute phone calls, you can save HUNDREDS a month on bills for your:

  • Car insurance
  • Cell phone plan
  • Rent
  • Cable
  • Credit card

It’s simple too — there are only 3 things you need to do to negotiate with these companies on fees and rates:

  1. Call them up.
  2. Tell them, “I’m a great customer, and I’d hate to have to leave because of a simple money issue.”
  3. Ask, “What can you do for me to lower my rates?”

Of course, you’re going to want to adjust this formula for whatever company you’re calling. Check out my video on negotiating your bills for a great system that’ll help you out.

Along with your bills, you can also be EARNING more money through salary negotiation.

This is actually one of the easiest ways to earn more money. And in many cases, getting a raise only takes a single, 15-minute conversation with your boss.

If you’re interested in learning how to boost your income for life, check out my Ultimate Guide to Salary Negotiation (it’s free). It includes HD videos, word-for-word negotiation scripts, and walks you through each step in the process of getting a raise.

It’s a quick win, and you should absolutely capitalize on it. But if you’re looking for something that takes a bit more time — with a lot more upside — you should consider starting a side hustle.

Which brings me to…

Bad frugal living tip #4: “Sell your hair on eBay for cash!!”

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As a hairy guy, this should be great news since I’m probably walking around with a small fortune attached to my body. Unfortunately, though, I don’t want to meet the person who wants to buy my hair.

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The type of guy who wants to buy my hair

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE it when people embrace their inner-entrepreneur — but my issue with selling your hair is that it’s not a long-term solution to your money problems.

If you want to sell your hair because you were cutting it anyway, I still don’t think it’s worth your time and energy to try and sell it. Your time is valuable. Instead of spending it being a human hair farm (that’s my new punk rock band name btw), I’d like to suggest a better way to do it…

Alternative frugal living tip: Sell your skills with a side hustle

From my years of experience running my own business and teaching thousands of people to start their own as well, I’ve found that there’s no best way to work towards your own Rich Life than by starting your own freelance side hustle.

By utilizing the skills and talents at your disposal, you can start freelancing and generating a steady source of income on the side like these students did.

And the best part: You don’t even have to quit the job you already have. By working on your freelance hustle for an hour after work and a few hours on the weekend, you can easily start gaining clients and earning more money this week.

To help you get started, check out my article on how to make extra money on the side. It’ll give you a solid system on how exactly you can get your hustle up and running.

Bad frugal living tip #5: “Sign up for clinical trials for extra income!”

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Have you ever wanted a gig in science but didnt want to do the whole “school” thing? You can make money by devoting many hours out of your week to have actual scientists observe and study you!

…or you can save your time and energy and devote yourself to learning skills that’ll actually get you the job you want and earn you cash.

I’m not saying that clinical trials are bad. There is a lot of good that can come from participating in clinical trials. They’re incredibly important when it comes to advancing medicine and scientific research — and if you have a rare disease or abnormality, you can help doctors and researchers better understand how to treat others like you.

However, I want to make one thing clear: CLINICAL TRIALS ARE NOT A CAREER!!

And yet, so many people actively treat things like taking surveys and participating in clinical trials for cash as a way to make “income.”

Instead of trying to make a quick buck by signing up for clinical trials, try this:

Alternative frugal living tip: Sign up for my newsletter

You should always be in a state of curiosity. Ask questions when you don’t understand something and don’t be afraid to seek out more information through books, courses, or schooling. It’s only then that you can hope to truly live your Rich Life.

Your thirst for education should be constant and voracious. I don’t care if you’re reading this in your twenties or your sixties. There’s always something new to learn that you can add to your well of knowledge to draw upon.

That’s why I want to invite you to sign up for my newsletter. Every day, you’ll receive some of the best insights and systems into personal finance and development out there. If you’re sick of all the scammy “tactics” and snake oil salesmen, you can stop worrying.

IWT’s got your back.

The 5 best (and worst) frugal living tips we know is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

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3 lazy portfolio recipes that make money

What’s the best way to invest your money?

  1. Individual stocks — and hope one of them becomes the next Google.
  2. Bitcoin — and constantly annoy your friends with unsolicited humblebrags of how much you’re allegedly making.
  3. Low-cost, diversified portfolio of index funds — and actually make money.

If you answered anything other than C, send me an email with your address so I can come to your house and slap you.

It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you make. There’s no better way to assure you’ll be rich one day than by investing in index funds.

And when you leverage multiple index funds it becomes a powerful tool called the lazy portfolio.

What’s a lazy portfolio?

A lazy portfolio is a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds that allows you to…well, be lazy. That means no active trading, no checking your stocks every day, and no paying some hedge fund manager (who won’t beat the market anyway) to handle your money.

It just gives you results.

It’s the set-it-and-forget-it approach to investing, allowing you to set the same asset allocation in your portfolio for a lonnngggggg time (typically for 10+ years).

Does this sound boring? Yes.

Will it make you rich? Oh, yeah.  

That’s because lazy portfolios generally have:

  1. Fewer fees. Many mutual funds come with a bunch of dumb costs because they’re handled by money managers. Index funds do not, because you’re just investing in the whole market, so transactions are handled by computers that are happy to take much less money.
  2. Less risk. Since index funds invest in the entire market, they’re MUCH less volatile. You’ll earn money slowly, but if you keep your cash in the market over your lifetime, I promise you’ll make money.

Check out the graph of how the S&P 500 has performed since 1950.

S and P 500 chart 1950 to 2016 with averages 2
The S&P 500 since 1950.

If you want more information on getting started actually purchasing funds for your portfolio (or if you just need a solid primer on investment basics), be sure to check out my articles below:

  • All about stocks and bonds
  • How mutual funds work
  • Roth IRA vs CD: Which is best for you?
  • How much should I have in my 401k?

If you don’t know how to purchase funds yet, I highly suggest you at the very least read my How mutual funds work article. In fact, do that now. (Don’t worry, this article will still be here!)

When you’re done, I want to show you a few funds to get you started in building a lazy portfolio for yourself and start earning money in the market today.

How do I build my lazy portfolio?

Good news: Building a lazy portfolio is easy. You do it the same way you would put money into any other fund.

However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way of doing things when it comes to a lazy portfolio. That’d be like saying that there was only one single fund or bond that EVERYONE should put exactly XX% of their money in…which is wrong.

Luckily, there are certain “recipes” that people have leveraged to help them earn money on their investments. These recipes differ in terms of how many funds are in the actual portfolio and also how the assets are allocated.

They are also completely malleable, which means you can change them whenever and however you want depending on your financial goals.

While there are many different recipes out there, they generally break down into three categories:

  • Two-fund portfolios
  • Three-fund portfolios
  • Four-fund portfolios

Below are three portfolios that I suggest that fall into each category — along with suggestions for funds you can put in them.

Rick Ferri’s Two-Fund Lazy Portfolio

The 60/40 rule of asset allocation is a tried-and-true rule of thumb for approaching your portfolio. And it’s ludicrously simple:

  • 60% stocks
  • 40% bonds

That’s it.

Of course, you’re going to want to find funds that fit those asset classes. One great combination of funds (as well as their stock symbols) recommended by Rick Ferri, founder of Portfolio Solutions, is:

  • Vanguard’s Total Bond Market ETF (BND)
  • Total World Stock ETF (VT)

If you choose to set this up as your lazy portfolio, your asset allocation will look like this:

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You can change how you allocate these assets depending on your risk tolerance too. If you’re willing to put a little bit more into the market via stocks — a riskier choice — you can put more into the Total World Stock ETF. Otherwise, you can place more into bonds and get a more assured return.

Taylor Larimore’s Three-Fund Lazy Portfolio

Developed by the guy who Jack Bogle called “The King of the Bogleheads,” this fund is another one that’s pure 60/40 rule. However, unlike the aforementioned two-fund portfolio, this one suggests investing in both international index funds as well as stock market index funds.

The percentages for the asset allocation look like this then:

  • 42% U.S. stocks
  • 18% international stocks
  • 40% bonds

As a Boglehead himself, Larimore suggests going with Vanguard funds here:

  • Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
  • Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX)
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBTLX)

If you choose to set this up as your lazy portfolio, your asset allocation will look like this:

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If your assets don’t look like the Mercedes symbol, you’re doing it wrong.

Over the past decade, this fund has returned roughly 7%, according to the Wall Street Journal — which beats out the VAST majority of actively managed funds and even the S&P 500. It’s a no-brainer if you want to invest in an easy, hands-off portfolio that will give you gains.

Speaking of no-brainers…

Dr. Bernstein’s “No-Brainer” Lazy Portfolio

As a neurologist turned financial wizard and author of The Intelligent Asset Allocator and The Birth of Plenty, Dr. William Bernstein has championed the power of the index fund over individual stocks and bonds for YEARS. So it’s no surprise that he suggests you put your money in a lazy portfolio that’s made of a few of them.

One portfolio that he suggested in The Intelligent Asset Allocator is called the “No-Brainer” Portfolio, and is comprised of four equal funds:

  • 25% U.S. stocks
  • 25% small-cap U.S. stocks
  • 25% international stocks
  • 25% bonds

You can see why it’s a “no-brainer.” This portfolio also gives investors a chance to diversify their risk (since there are four equally distributed funds) over time.

Here are his suggestions for the funds you can invest in:

  • Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)
  • Vanguard Small-Cap Index (NAESX)
  • Vanguard Total International Stock Index (VGTSX)
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (VBMFX)

If you choose to set this up as your lazy portfolio, your asset allocation will look like this:

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Over the past decade, this portfolio has had an annual return of about 5% — which is in line with the S&P 500. It’s a great one for anyone who likes low-risk, assured returns.

Other recipe suggestions

Those are just a few solid recipes that I suggest.

If you’re a weirdo like me, and want to dive even deeper into the world of lazy portfolios and asset allocation, here are a few great recipes for portfolios for further reading:

  • Dr. Bernstein’s Coward’s Portfolio
  • Rick Ferri’s Three-Fund Portfolio and Core 4 Portfolio
  • Bill Schultheis’s Coffeehouse Portfolio

No matter what you choose, remember that when it comes to your lazy portfolio, there’s no right or wrong way to go about. It’s just what matters to you and your goals. That’s it. One of these lazy portfolios might make perfect sense to you while the others seem AWFUL…and that’s fine! It’s your finances, and ultimately, it’s you who gets to make the decisions.

How to invest in your lazy portfolio for peak laziness

When you finally invest in your lazy portfolio, you can take your laziness even further by automating your finances.

I. Talk. About. This. A. LOT. But that’s only because it’s the best way to invest, save, and earn money. This system allows you to automatically send your money where it needs to go as soon as you receive your paycheck.  

how to automate your finances 1

To find out more on how to automate your finances, check out my 12-minute video explaining it here:

If you want a deep dive into my exact systems on investing, saving, and earning, I have an offer for you:

The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance

In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Master your 401k: Take advantage of free money offered to you by your company…and get rich while doing it.
  • Manage Roth IRAs: Start saving for retirement in a worthwhile long-term investment account.
  • Spend the money you have — guilt-free: By leveraging the systems in this book, you’ll learn exactly how you’ll be able to save money to spend without the guilt.

Enter your info below and get the free PDF in your inbox today. You won’t regret it.

3 lazy portfolio recipes that make money is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Use the Order Button Above and get a similar or related assignment. Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.