9 Key Learnings From MONEY MASTER THE GAME

9 Key Learnings From MONEY MASTER THE GAME

I heard about “Money Master The Game” years ago. As a trader I thought “Meh, what could possibly be in here that Schwager, Tharp, O’Neil, Minervini, and others haven’t covered?”

It fell further and further down the list… until now.

Turns out that even with 20 years of trading experience under my belt, there were still lots of great lessons in this book!

Here are my 9 biggest takeaways from Money Master The Game by Tony Robbins that I believe will help you in your trading journey.

1. Taxes Kill Compounding

taxes and feesNo surprise here. The less money you have, the less it can compound.

But did you know how bad it can be??

Here’s a quick example:

Let’s keep the math simple. You start off with 100k.

You’re able to make it compound at 20% a year.

Solid. At this pace it’d take you 13 years to hit 1mil.

Now let’s tack on a measly 3% tax, fees, or other expenses. 3% is nothing right?

Guess what? That measly 3% costs you 2 years of your life! Instead of 13, it now takes 15 years to hit 1mil.

Not a big deal? 2 years is nothing? Alright…

What if you were to take a look at both accounts after 20 years?

The first account ends with a balance of 3.8M. The second only has 2.3M!

…But hey, what’s 1.5M between friends, right?

Think of your cash like precious seeds for your money garden.

The more you can plant, the more you can grow and harvest faster! Taxes and fees are holes in your bag of seeds. Patch them up as quickly as you can!

2. Three Steps To A Breakthrough

steps to a breakthroughTony says that in order to have a breakthrough you must:

  1. Change your strategy.
  2. Change your story.
  3. Change your state.

Awesome! How can we do all that?

1. Model Success

No one needs to come up with their own trading strategies from scratch. There are TONS of successful strategies already out there.

One of the best spots to find them is in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards series. Those books are transformative and I highly recommend them.

2. Stop Sleep Walking

Your story is the limiting beliefs you have. You might be hanging on to them consciously or unconsciously. Do you have awareness of them? Do you know where they’re leading you too?

I wrote an entire blog posts about the 4 Walled Prison Of A Trader’s Mind. Give it a read and it’ll help you gain awareness.

3. Shake Things Up… Literally

Your physical and emotional state can keep you exactly where you are. Think about it, when you’ve made any kind of bold decision in your life, how have you felt? Were you sad? Depressed? Or were you excited?

In this clip, Tony discusses how motion creates emotion.

When you’re able to get all 3 of these aligned, that’s when you get your breakthrough!

Be careful! When you don’t have all 3, you could be jumping out of a plane without a parachute!

Think about it, suppose you’re feeling bold and decide to go skydiving. You’ve gained awareness that it’s one of the most freeing experiences a human can have…

Excited, you immediately charter a plane, fly to 10,000ft and jump!

…Do you have a plan to land safely on the ground or did you forget to check your parachute?

no parachute


That’d never happen though… Right?

Well, you might not literally jump out of a plane without a parachute. But if you don’t have these three in place, you’re likely doing the equivalent with your trades.

3. How Much $$$ For Financial Freedom?

money master the gameA lot of people say they want ‘financial freedom’ but they’re not clear on what that actually means in real dollars. It can also mean different things to different people.

For most, ‘financial freedom’ is some pie in the sky number that ends up being an excuse not to act rather than something that inspires action.

To gain clarity, Tony breaks ‘financial freedom’ down into 3 steps: Financial Independence, Vitality, and Absolute Freedom.

Financial Independence

Think of financial independence as being able to cover your basic living expenses. Mortgage or rent. Credit debt. Food. Utilities. Basic Transportation. Student loans.

How much do you need to cover those things each month? Take a moment and figure it out. We’ll wait…

Got it?? Good.

Now multiply that by 12. That is your financial independence number!


I was too!

When I did this exercise, I thought I’d need at least $250k/year. Turns out, I only needed $84k for my family of three! A LOT more manageable!

Financial Vitality

Think of financial vitality as being able to do and buy the things you want.

Buy the car you want. Donate to whom you want. Give the kind of gifts you want. Take the kind of vacations you want to take.

How much are those things? What would you spend on average per month for them?

You know the drill. Take a moment and figure it out.

Got it? Great!

Now multiply that by 12 and add it to your financial independence number. Congrats! This is what you need for financial vitality!

I was shocked that I only needed another $48k for this. $132k/year gets me and my family of three to financial vitality!

Absolute Financial Freedom

Now for absolute freedom! Go wild!

If you’re living your wildest dreams what would that cost? Where are you traveling to and how often? Do you own boats? Jets? Mansions? A sports team? What do those things cost on a monthly basis?

You’ve come this far. Take one more moment and tally them up. How much are they per month?

Now add those together, multiply by 12, and add it to your vitality number.

BAM! You’ve got a pretty clear idea of what you need to achieve absolute freedom!

Exciting, isn’t it?

Was your number higher or lower than you thought it would be?

For most, its dramatically lower.

At the onset, I thought I’d need to be clearing at least $5mil a year for absolute freedom. Turns out $500k does it!

When goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Relevant like this, they become a lot easier to hit.

But we need one more thing… We need to make them Timebound.

When are you going to start taking steps toward these? Next month? Within 6 months? A year? …Or right now?!?

4. Pay Off Your Mortgage 2X Faster!

money master the game

If you consistently pay next month’s principal this month, it ends up cutting the time to pay down your mortgage in half!

Sounds difficult? It’s not! Especially in the beginning.

Take a look at your next statement. Next month’s principal might only be 5-10% of the full payment if you’re still early in the process.

Wouldn’t it be worth it to throw in a tiny bit more to cut your payment time in HALF??

5. Where Can You Start Saving Right Now?

money master the game

This isn’t “suck it in and tighten the belt” advice, but if you’re like most, there’s likely a few spots where you’re wasting some money. Remember, every dollar is a seed towards YOUR freedom.

What subscriptions haven’t you used in a long time that are just giving you another bill?

Where does your money go each month? There’s lots of helpful sites like mint.com that can help you figure it out.

What recurring payments can you cut or reduce?

My friend and blogging mentor Bob Lotich has a LOT of great ideas for how you can cut costs. Check out his blog, SEED TIME.

When trading or investing for retirement, ALWAYS get something with a tax benefit. IRAs are a great place to start.

6. Diversify Where It Counts!

money master the gameThis is the one spot where diversification really matters… among asset classes! If you only own a single asset class and it tanks, you’re screwed!

Think about it like this, suppose you own 50 different stocks.

You tell yourself that you’re diversified. You even made sure to not have more than 2 stocks in the same industry group.

What happens when the next crisis like 2007-2008 rolls around? All stocks tank and you have a diversified mess on your hands.

You need to own several non-correlated asset classes.

Here’s a few: Cash, Stocks, Bonds, ETFs, Forex, Crypto, Real Estate, Businesses, Insurance, CDs

David Swensen, Chief Investment Officer at Yale University

David suggests diversifying both within an asset class and among asset classes.

I’ll add that you want to diversify your timing as well (don’t buy all at once).

Trends can persist for a long period of time. If a trend is going to be meaningful, you’ll have lots of opportunities to get in. But if you go all in at the wrong time, you’ll blow yourself up very quickly.

Here’s how Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world approaches asset allocation.

According to Money Master The Game, Ray’s asset allocation in the “All Weather Portfolio” looks like this:

  • 30% Stocks
  • 40% Long Term US Bonds
  • 15% Intermediate US Bonds
  • 7.5% Gold
  • 7.5% Commodities

Ray aims to be diversified among the top performing asset classes so I presume this mix gets tweaked accordingly. However, the principal remains the same. Diversify among top performing, non-correlated asset classes.

7. Better Questions Get Better Results

money master the game

Tony says that if we want better answers, ask specific questions.

For example, suppose David Swensen asked: “How can I make the most money for Yale?” This is way too broad.

“How can I invest Yale’s accounts to maximize profits while minimizing drawdowns to no more than -10%?” Now we’re getting somewhere. We know where to focus our efforts.

I’ll add that we don’t want to get TOO specific either… There is a sweet spot.

What if David asked “How can I day trade Yale’s capital on the 5min chart using options on SPY?”

Super specific. He’d have found an answer. But would he have built Yale’s endowment and investment funds to over 25 billion?

Questions are the answer. Specificity is great. But if we are too narrowly focused, this can become a roadblock. We want to see the whole picture. The forest, trees, and the leaves (something I get into in my E.A.G.L.E. Trading System).

Tony and Ray believe the market can’t be timed consistently…

In a sense this is true. You’re not going to be right all the time. But do you need to be right all the time in order to win?

Of course not! You can be right 30% of the time if your reward:risk is 3:1 or better and still come out ahead.

Paul Tudor Jones goes for 5:1 trades, is also interviewed by Tony in Money Master the Game, and is one of the best traders of all time.

Timing the market can be done. Trading the market successfully can be done.

To become elite and beat the averages at anything, you must take the actions the average are not willing to take.

This comes back to the question “What is your trading goal?”

If your goal is to achieve average returns that match the market, just buy the index. A great way to do so is to buy the ETFs “SPY” (mirrors the S&P 500) or QQQ (closely resembles the top 100 stocks in the NASDAQ).

If your trading goal is super performance, then read the rest of this blog, and grab the free Trader’s Thoughtbox while you’re at it.

** This is perhaps THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON from Money Master The Game… Self Awareness. Understanding what you want and going after it. **

8. Four Rules Of Billionaires

money master the game

  1. Don’t Lose
  2. Risk a little to make a lot
  3. Anticipate and diversify
  4. You’re never done

Don’t Lose

This doesn’t mean never having a losing trade. Even the best traders in the world have losing trades.

What it does mean is that you have a system with a positive expectancy. If you trade it 100 times, you’re coming out on top.

It also means that you’re able to consistently execute this system. A system that you can’t execute is worthless to you.

You want to be operating like a casino. Casinos don’t care if they lose a few hands. At the end of the night they always come out on top. Why? Because the odds are stacked in their favor and they have the risk management strategies in place to win.

You can and should do the same with your trading.

Risk A Little To Make A Lot

You want asymmetric reward to risk. Remember Paul Tudor Jones. He risks $1 to make $5 on every single trade! He’s able to consistently find opportunities like this because he’s constructed systems to do so.

Again, you can do similar. What you want is a system that provides you with an edge that you can consistently execute. THAT IS HOW YOU TRADE LIKE A CASINO.

Anticipate And Diversify

There are many ways that you can anticipate market moves. I do so by studying historical price action. I diversify in all of the ways mentioned earlier. Across non-correlated assets, within asset classes, and across time.

You’re Never Done

We’re all students of the market. Our education is never done. We’ll only ever know a small fraction of what can be learned.

Be open to fresh perspectives. At the same time, be aware of limiting beliefs, especially when you hear things like “can’t” or “won’t”. Due your own due diligence. Ask questions. What beliefs do you want to hold? What will bring you closer to your goal faster? Joyfully?

Our discussion group TRADER’S MINDCHAT, is continuously pushing the boundaries and expanding our trading awareness.

9. Other Key Learnings

money master the game

Charles Schwab: Part of the key to success is the struggle. Don’t completely take that away from anyone. The goal people need is progress.

Where focus goes energy flows. Focus on what you have vs what you don’t.

Buy experiences for yourself. Buy time for yourself. In the end, those are the things that matter most.

Giving is healing.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderfully. THAT’S what matters to me.” ~Steve Jobs

Suggestion from Tony: Divide your money into thirds.

  • 1/3 give to yourself
  • 1/3 give to those you know
  • 1/3 give to those you don’t know

The secret to life is giving. It’s not about “me” its about “we”. 

What are you thoughts?

Drop them down in the comments below…

Stalking A Swing Trade

Stalking A Swing Trade

If you want to swing trade, you need to have patience. Like a lion quietly waiting in the bush. You need to stalk your trades.

Then when the time is finally right… YOU POUNCE!


After riding it up from Jan – June, I kept it on a special “interesting ideas” watch list. This is the spot where I keep all my ideas that i don’t want to lose track of.

I’ll check this list every weekend and see what’s setting up. There’s about 100 ideas on this list.

On Nov 16 I saw $CYBR setting up. I shared my thoughts on this idea in TRADER’S MINDCHAT.

Here’s what I wrote:

Seeing a symmetrical triangle down on the daily and below. I’m aware of the potential resistance at the 200dma and 40wk line. If we bust above there, we’ve got a clear run to highs at 148. Do we get there? Who knows. That’s why we look at the target as a POTENTIAL and we call it “Potential R”. It’s the next major level of resistance. . Always manage your reward:risk throughout the trade.

$CYBR 02-16-2020 Software Bullish Symmetrical Triangle

Daily and below $115.70 $111.70 $148.00 8.08


This gave us a potential 8R trade! I love that s***!

Check out the TRADE-EMOTIONATOR to calculate the right amount to buy every time.

$CYBR broke out Nov 18. Here’s how I’m playing it.

  1. I am playing it on the 2HR. While I’m AWARE of many timeframes (I keep track of monthly, weekly, daily, 2hr, 30min, 15min), when trading, it’s important to trade on just one.
  2. I hit 1R (1x the amount I risked) when CYBR touched 119.76. That prompted me to raise my stop. Support developed just above my entry point and I moved my stop up to 116.10
  3. I’m using the 5ema as a trailing stop for 1/4 of my position. Same deal for the 10ema. If we close below that, I’ll sell another 1/4.
  4. My ultimate profit target for this is 148. IT’S RARE to get there smoothly. With that profit target, this trade started out as an 8:1 reward:risk. IF at any point the price action makes the ratio less than 3:1 w/o creating a fresh area of support, I’ll take 25% off.

swing trade What are your thoughts? Drop’em below or join TRADER’S MINDCHAT and engage with us 24/7!

Avoid The “Gun Show”

Avoid The “Gun Show”

Have you ever gone to a gym or been to a beach and saw those guys with the gigantic arms and scrawny little chicken legs?

This reminds me of a lot of traders… Way too many traders treat their trading like this. They focus on charts and not much else.

Are you guilty of this? I was at one point. 

From my own experience and from the traders I’ve spoken with over the years, this never ends well.

Most blow up their accounts.

Only a few persevere long enough to learn that it takes a helluva lot more than charts to be a successful trader!

What Leads ALL Traders To Success…


Whether they realize it or not, ALL consistently successful traders follow the Trading Mindwheel.

You might be thinking “WTF is a Mindwheel?”

It’s the 7 core things all traders need in order to zoom down the path of success.

When any one of these are missing, it’s like trying to drive on a flat tire.

If you’ve ever felt stuck at any point in your trading, I can guarantee it’s related to a hole in one or more of these areas.

Mastering the Mindwheel IS your ticket to trading success!

Where To Start?

trading chartsAre you a newbie?

If you’re relatively new to trading, start with 1. Environment and work your way around the wheel.

Have you been trading awhile?

If you’ve been in this game a while, do a self assessment. On a scale of 1 (I suck) to 10 (I’ve completely mastered this), how do you rate yourself in each of the 7 Mindwheel categories?

The more honest you are with yourself, the faster you’ll be able to patch those holes and get speeding toward your goals.

The 7 Core Parts Of The Mindwheel

1. Environment

Does your trading environment fit you? When was the last time you checked? Do you have clarity? Could key elements have greater clarity?

2. Trade Style

Have you explored a variety of trading systems and styles?  Have you found the timeframe that works best for you?  That feels right?  There are thousands of tactics, the key is lining it up with your personality.

3. Risk-itudes

Where do your trades fall on the Fear vs Greed spectrum?  Are you closer to the betting the farm type or clinging to pocket change?  Winning traders find balance, leverage, and asymmetric reward:risk. They manage it throughout the trade.

4. Pattern Mastery

The market IS human emotion on parade.  We can see collective hope, fear, & greed materialize before us.  Learn how to read it.

5. The Art Of Trading

Betting the right amount at the right time, and ensuring it happens rests not only on you, but on your team (including your broker).  The Trade-Emotionator can help your figure that out!

6. Write Right

Trading w/ clarity involves writing out your plans, reviewing them, and tracking them.  It helps us learn and evolve.  The Trade Tracker gives you core questions to ask yourself on every trade.

7. Vision-Vestment

You made some great trades, made some money, but riches and wealth aren’t the same thing. What are you doing with it? How is it continuing to grow, to serve you, to serve others?

This is the step that keeps tread on the tires. Keeps you motivated. Helps you enter the top 1% of traders in the world.

Neglect this step and eventually your tire becomes bald. It’ll get a flat. You’ll lose your passion and end up walking the rest of the way.

You Don’t Have To Go It Alone

Trading is akin to learning how to ride a bike. You can learn on your own or have others help you.

Whether you have help or not, you’re still going to take some bumps along the way.

The difference is that you’re FAR more likely to learn how to ride if you get help and you’ll be doing it a helluva lot faster too!

No one talks trading like this.

In all of the trading books I’ve read (my personal favs are here), courses I’ve taken, or seminars I’ve attended over the past 20 years, no one talks about the Mindwheel.

That’s why I’m constructing this blog, developing a course, writing a book (look for it mid-2020), and coach traders one on one.

Want me to be YOUR trading coach?

I’m very picky about which traders I work with. I only work with serious action takers who are open minded.

If that sounds like you, check out the rest of the details on the coaching page.

Book the FREE 20min Sesh and we’ll assess where your trading is at right now. Where you’d like it to be. And the steps needed to get you there.

How To Stop Trades From TURNING SOUR!

How To Stop Trades From TURNING SOUR!

Ever notice that trades are kinda like milk? Hold any of them for too long and they turn sour?

If you’re like me, you’ve had this happen to you more than you’d like to admit.

Well, I’m glad to tell you that those days are over!

That’s right! There’s a few simple steps you can take right now to prevent trades from ever turning sour on you again!

Types Of Sour Trades

These are the 3 trades that leave the worst taste in your mouth. They’re so bad, I’ve given each of them a special name…

  1. Mediocre Employee: Does just enough to keep you holding on but goes nowhere.
  2. Indian Giver: Runs up quickly, giving you nice gains, and then comes in hard, taking them all back.
  3. Half Breed: One minute it’s bullish, the next it’s bearish.

You’ve experienced all 3 of these before. Luckily, the solution to kicking them to the curb is simple.

There are 2 primary ways to kick these kind of trades to the curb when they show up in your portfolio. Trailing Stops and Back Stops.

This video gives you the step by step of how to use them.

Trade Styles – Straight Up or Blended

Trade Styles – Straight Up or Blended

Why do most trades leave a bad taste in your mouth?

What did O’Neil, Dalio, Minervini and other Market Wizards do differently?

The answer is simple. They understood that becoming a master trader is the same as becoming a master mixologist.

Like trading bartenders, they tasted different styles. Figured out which combos worked well together and which didn’t.

They knew there’d be failures…

Tasting and testing. Trying and failing. They understood that everyone’s taste buds are different. But the thing that mattered most in this bar would be finding a blend that they each loved themselves.

They each tested hundreds of combos until they discovered their own perfect blend.

Giving themselves loads of time to discover the right combinations, they entered this game with the intention of being in it for the long haul.

Becoming a Trade-Ologist

trade stylesFailure is part of the game and should be seen as a growth opportunity.

Ray Dalio knows this all too well. In his book Principles, he describes the hundreds of failures he and his hedge fund Bridgewater had over the years.

Was he discouraged? Yeah, a bit. When he lost nearly everything including his staff and was only an army of one, it can be a bit discouraging.

But like any hero, he picked himself up. Dusted himself off. And carried on.

You can do the same!

Every failure Ray had was an opportunity to grow, to get better, to design stronger and more efficient systems. This perspective enabled Ray to build what is now the biggest hedge-fund in the world!

You can adopt the same perspective!

What if you saw every failed trade as a learning opportunity? Could you flip the script? Become a Master Trade-Ologist yourself?

Getting Started

To find out which trading cocktails you like, you’re going to have to try a few.

Thankfully, you don’t have to start from scratch. There’s a lot of recipe books out there!

Start with Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards. He interviewed the best Trade-Ologists on the planet. You’re bound to find a few you like. When you do, dive deeper into their content. Learn their step by step so you can learn to mix your own!

When you’re ready for other trading recipes, check out our book recommendations page.

What To Avoid…

Every so often you’ll come up with a bad combo. That’s okay. It’s all a part of the trading process and if you’re paying attention, it won’t take you long to figure it out.

This is why testing styles is crucial!

What you want to avoid is what most traders do…

Rather than letting the market tell you that your latest blend is a hit and that you should start putting it on the menu, most traders rush right in.

They run over to the bar.

Grab a bunch of random bottles off the shelf.

Throw s*** together and hope for the best.

Not only that, they’ll pour whatever money they’ve got into it!

What they’ve done is produced diarrhea in a bottle and now they’ve got it by the truckload.

Sound disgusting? It should!

Don’t f’n do this with your trading account!

It’s insane when you talk about it like a drink but traders do this all the time with their trades.

After they blow up, then they hit the bar for real… ordering a well blended drink.

If only they made the connection…


You can have any trade style you like. Straight up or blended. Complex or simple. It doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is that it tastes good to you. That you can execute it well. And that it helps you meet your trading goals.

What’s your favorite trading style? Drop it down in the comments.