Course review: How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance

I review “How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance”, an online course by Ramit Sethi (from I Will Teach You Be Rich).

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A while back, I talked about purchasing a personal finance course.

In response to the obvious question, I never want to feel like I know everything, and always want to remain open to new ideas. Also, over the past few years I feel like I’ve advanced pretty far in my goals toward financial security, and want to know if my financial future looks just like my past, or I start to do things differently at some point.

So when Ramit Sethi started advertising his course “How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance“, I was interested.

Okay, you’ve earned my click.

Interested enough to spend the $497 to enroll.

Well, I’ve since gone through the course, taken lots of notes, and put some (but not all) plans into action.

And now it’s time for a review of the course.

So read on for a review of Ramit Sethi’s “How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance”.

Note: My goal here is to share my experience with the product, and not to share spoilers. I have no interest in leaking content from the course. If you feel like this course is worth it for you after reading this review, then I believe you should enroll. Stealing isn’t nice.

Course structure

The course is structured as a collection of lessons, primarily video, but with supporting documents where relevant. The videos are divided into three modules.

There are 14 videos, with a total approximate view time of about 2.5 hours.

Now length isn’t everything. If you’ve ever gotten access to a “three hour video course” and found that it’s just a webinar with all of the intro/outro noise that goes along with it, you know that density of content matters.

And I was happy to see that each video was tightly focused on content.

Most of it, at least when not showing visual aides, was a close up of Ramit’s mug:

Ramit’s mug

After each video, most of them had a call to action, and a super long comment section below where attendees post their intention or progress.

I’ll share one example of this because it’s both appropriate and also unintentionally humorous.

Here’s something you might not expect. I want you to take $500 and spend it on something extravagant that you previously thought would have been unimaginable.

Um, Ramit, I hate to be a wag, but do you know how much I just spent on this course?

I mean, I know what you’re getting at, but seriously, as someone whose money story was that I couldn’t make any, that I was destined to be a poor person, always one step up from minimum wage and destitution … and then to spend $500 dollars on a course that all but requires you to be a high-earner and financially secure as a prerequisite?

Yes, I previously thought this would have been unimaginable. Check.

Main idea

The main idea for this course is that once you’ve reached a certain level of knowledge and acuity with your finances and once you add in significant wealth or income, you should be changing how you think about and act with your money.

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For example, when you have very little money, every dollar counts. When you have lots of debt, paying it off quickly matters. If you have no investments, starting off strong and quickly is important. A $50 fee hurts.

But when, for example, you make over $100,000 a year, a $50 fee doesn’t mean nearly as much. Spending an hour on the phone to get that $50 fee waived now might be like spending an hour on the phone to get a $0.50 fee waived when you were just starting out.

When we’re used to thinking about $50 being a big deal, then we may not notice when eventually, it isn’t a big deal anymore.

This is why your relationship to money needs to change as you grow wealth. It’s not about “secrets of the 1%” or anything, it’s about focusing on what has the most impact.

And I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve felt throughout the years that my relationship to money really has changed as I’ve built wealth and income. I’ve written about this topic before.

So then, the question becomes: How do you do this? What do you change?

Modules

The course is divided into three modules, which I would characterize as:

  1. Optimizations to your financial situation
  2. Building a financial team to help you manage your money more effectively
  3. Determining what is important in your life, and living up to those ideals

I have a sense that different people are going to find some of these topics more relevant than others. For example, while the first and (especially) the second module had me taking page after page of notes, the third module sort of had me searching for the speed-up button.

This isn’t to say that that third module wasn’t as high quality as the others. It’s just that, in my line of work, focusing on your emotional relationship to money, figuring out what’s important, and setting goals to that end, is very much my solid ground of knowledge and experience. I got that part.

On the other hand, moving away from being so hands-on with my finances and—gasp!—hiring others to help me manage my budget, my taxes, and my investments? I’m backing away slowly toward the exit here.

That’s why this content was important for me to hear. What once worked for me may be holding me back today.

My thoughts

Not every course you take is going to be uniformly useful. I’m sure you recall your classes where some sections were super interesting and others were a snoozefest. Frankly, for some classes, a single light bulb idea, if bright enough, can make the entire class worthwhile.

So an important metric of a review is: did the course have specific and actionable knowledge for me?

And the answer for this is a solid Yes. I took notes throughout the course, downloaded all the worksheets, and made myself an action plan. Some of those plans are short term, others are a longer process, but I feel like the argumentation was sound, and the advice solid.

It was also dense enough with information that it is definitely worth me going back and rewatching some of the videos. I’ve also downloaded all of the audio too, as I’ve found that repeated background listening (more so than direct and focused attention) helps me with retention.

An unanswered question is whether, when I go to implement some of these suggested actions, whether they will either a) be possible, or b) helpful for someone in my situation. It’s hard to know whether that might affect my view of the course.

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Is it worth the money?

I don’t know how much this course will cost when the doors re-open again. It may be more than $497. Also, I don’t know when the course will be offered again. (While I think that if you’ve purchased an IWT course in the past that you are eligible to buy this course at any time, I can’t guarantee that is the case.)

But let’s say that the offer is for $497, and it goes live tomorrow. Should you buy it?

Here are some of the suggested prerequisites for joining the course:

  • You’re earning 6 figures or your net worth is over $100k
  • You’re already implementing most of the strategies Ramit suggests in his book
  • You feel like you’re doing well, and want to know what’s next

It’s that first one that feels most right-on. You need to have a large income or a high net worth (compared to the median), otherwise, you’re just not ready yet. This isn’t meant to be mean, it’s just that the lessons in the course aren’t as relevant to someone who makes a median income, rents, doesn’t have much in the way of investments, or has credit card debt.

So if that describes you, you should hold off.

The next question is whether this course is worth the money.

This is a personal decision, and will be different for everyone, but I’ll characterize the answer as this:

Does spending $500 on a personal finance course feel difficult? Does it scare you or bring up resistance for you? And yet, does it seem possible, without having to sacrifice your lifestyle or put it on a credit card? If so, then the course is absolutely worth it.

As a financial coach, I hear the resistance to pay for help with money all the time. “If I’m having trouble with money, why would I give extra to you?

It shouldn’t be difficult to make your money back using the actions specified in the course. In fact, it doesn’t seem hard to be able to earn many times that, and without a ton of effort.

On the other hand, the $500 has to feel like something to you. If your financial situation is such that $500 itself is a rounding error, then perhaps this course isn’t for you. Not because it’s not geared toward you, but because you may be less likely to be motivated to implement the actions in the course because you didn’t put enough down on it.

So you tell me. Does $500:

  • Feel way out of your league? It probably is. Skip it.
  • Not even a blip on your radar? Maybe don’t bother. Skip it.
  • Feel like a stretch, but doable? Then go for it. Sign up.

I know I’m happy with my purchase. Even if he talks about how much he hates the name “Mike” in the course.

I’m offended by this.

Have you purchased the Advanced Personal Finance course? What did you think?

Also, this was an independent review, and I received no commission at all for this work. Ramit Sethi has no idea who I am.

Everyone struggles with money, but most will try to muddle through on their own. Will you be different? I help people from all over the world reach their financial goals. Let’s talk.

4 Comments

  1. Renat Gabitov

    He does say that. I was laughing. Thanks for the course review!

  2. Damon

    I believe the course is now $99 a month for 12 months or a “best value” $997 one time payment.

    • Mike Pumphrey

      Thanks for the update. I’d believe that. I bought this course a few years ago now, and I’m sure it wasn’t going to stay the same price forever.

Comments are closed.