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I never expected to breeze through a 352-page Finance tome at 30,000 feet in the air, but two days ago, it happened. We were headed to Bangkok from Milan on a ten-hour flight, and despite the long list of free movies to choose from, I decided to read Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier—a book I’d been eagerly anticipating for months. Grant has been a friend of mine ever since we met at Fincon in back in 2017 and I was beyond excited to hear that he was writing a book that same year. I was even more excited when we ended up with the same publishing house –Penguin—and as a result, had the privilege of peaking behind the scenes of his book writing process. Turns out that process took over 2800 hours and involved many late-night sessions and sometimes writing for 14 hours straight! Grant is the ultimate hustler. In fact, I’ve honestly never met anyone else who works as hard as he does. So, when his book came out on Feb 5, and I could finally get my hands on Financial Freedom, I couldn’t wait to devour it.
Now, before I get into why this book was captivating, let me start by saying I hardly ever read books on flights. With so many free movies to distract me, sleep weighing down my eyelids, and tiny text that makes me nauseous as we hurled through the air at breakneck speed, getting through a thick book wasn’t my idea of fun.
But as soon as I read the first page of Financial Freedom I was hooked.
Why? Well, let me give you a taste:
How I Went from $2.26 to $1 Million in Five Years
“Waking up in my childhood bedroom, it felt like I as back in middle school, but I was actually twenty-four years old, unemployed, and living with my parents—a situation all too familiar to millennials like me.
It was August 2010. I’d moved back home two months earlier after being laid off from my job as a researcher at a newspaper…
…The savings account I’d labeled DO NOT TOUCH right after I’d lost my job had $0.01 in it. My checking account was scarcely better: $2.26, barely enough to afford a side of guacamole, let alone a whole burrito.”
Dude. I feel you. The struggle is real.
Okay, so how does our intrepid hero go from broke to a cool Million in five years? Well, you have to read the rest of the book to find out.
And I’m so glad I did, because Financial Freedom has so much actionable advice, specific details, and a ridiculous amount of Mathing Shit Up (all told through a breezy narrative), I couldn’t believe how much value I was getting from a single book. I felt like Grant had taken the best advice from what could’ve been 3 books–side hustles, index investing, real-estate investing–and combined it all into one accessible guide.
Here’s are a few of my favourite things about Financial Freedom:
The specific details provided in this book are phenomenal and overwhelming (my condolences to his copy editor for having to edit all this!) and you can tell Grant went all in with providing as many specifics as possible to prove his points.
For example, he uses mathematical examples to illustrate that the relationship between money and time is not strictly linear. Sacrificing more time to make money isn’t always necessary.
He also shows you his entire portfolio, opens up about everything he invests in, and tells you how he got to $1 million in 5 years. I love it when authors are transparent about their finances–it really helps readers break down their journey so they can reproduce it.
Mathing Shit Up
Now, as you know on this blog, we love “Mathing Shit Up”. In this book, not only does Grant Math Shit Up, he goes above and beyond by giving you tons of useful calculators—that he built himself—as a companion to the book. My favourite is the “price of freedom” calculator, which you can use to calculate the effect your purchases have on your time to FI.
Hypercharge Your Earnings with Side Hustles
Grant is known as a side hustling genius and for good reason. He was able to make $300,000/year from side-hustles while working full-time job as a digital marketer earning $50,000/year.
In his chapters on increasing your income, he tells the story of how he left no stone unturned looking for opportunities to make more money and build his side income. He also gives you actionable, specific tips on how you can do it too. For example, he tells you how to figure out (with math) how valuable you are to a company based on your skills, seniority, and how much it would cost the company to replace you. And then he gives you advice on how to negotiate a raise and increase your worth by grabbing hold of opportunites at work and networking like a boss.
Changing Your Mindset about Money
Grant helps us realize that, at the end of the day, it isn’t about money. It’s about time. Time spent doing what you love, and time spent with the people you love.
And now that I’ve read all 352 pages, I can honestly see how much love and heart Grant put into this book. The sheer effort it took to get all this information into one readable tome is mind-boggling.
Grant is incredible, and I suspect that he might not even be human. Does he ever sleep? No one knows.
I’m so incredibly proud of my friend for all the hard work and heart he put into this book, and I have to say, it paid off immensely. Because even though I know a lot of the investing and tax minimization advice already, I still learned a lot–especially about networking and side hustles–ideas that I never would’ve thought of.
Thanks for the inspiration and the knowledge, Grant! You are a tour de force!
In the interest of full disclosure and honesty, now that I’ve told you everything I love about the book, let’s talk about a few things that we disagreed on (because how boring would the world be if we were all in agreement 100% of the time?)
Grant recommends keeping no more than 5% of your portfolio in non-US stocks but doesn’t go into specifics on why. In our opinion, non-US stocks are necessary for diversification, and given that not all readers will be American, keeping more than 5% of their portfolio in non-US stocks may make sense and may yield some dividend tax benefits as well for non-US readers.
Grant and I agree that you shouldn’t jump into real estate without doing the math first. However, he doesn’t include home ownership costs in his calculations. In our experience, as well as in other finance books (like Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You To be Rich”), these extra costs could add as much as 40-50% to your monthly mortgage. Definitely not negligible.
He also combines REITs and gold into one category and says you can ignore them. In our experience, REITs are a useful passive alternative to real-estate investing that provides a steady yield while letting you participate in the real estate market without physically owning property. I get that Grant loves hustling, but passive investments give you the flexibility to spend your time on things that matter to you—which is exactly what Grant is proposing when he says time is worth more than money. So I feel like the advantages of REITs could’ve been mentioned here.
The Abundance Mindset
Grant says that in order to take advantage of opportunities to make more money, you need to let go of the scarcity mindset and embrace the abundance mindset. That’s all fine and good, and in the case of entrepreneurship and side hustles, that makes sense. However, not everyone has this mindset, and people who live with scarcity, not through their own choice but through circumstances beyond their control, will not have an abundance mindset.
They struggle to take risks for big gains. That’s why some people will be better suited to a less risky portfolio allocation and full-time job rather than becoming an entrepreneur. On the plus side, Grant does acknowledge that he got to where he is by taking risks others wouldn’t have taken, to show that not everyone will be able to stomach the level of risk he can. That’s very much appreciated and helpful to hear.
But other than those small nitpicks, I think this is a phenomenal resource to help you make more money and get to FI faster.
One of my favourite things to spend money on is books—and in this case, I definitely think this is a worthwhile purchase. Grant goes above and beyond to teach you as much as possible and give you all the tools you need to figure out how you can reach financial independence on your own terms.
If you want a copy, click on the below links to buy. (Full disclosure: these are affiliate links).
If you’re American: Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need (US Store)
And for those who buy his book by Feb 16, Grant and I will give you a priority pass to our upcoming webinar, talking about “How to Escape from the 9 to 5 to live your best life!”
We’ll be sharing some of the best tips from both our books, and space is limited so don’t wait! Pick up your copy of Financial Freedom and send your receipt to cody<AT>millennialmoney.com.
We’d love to see you at the webinar!
What do you think? Do you want to learn how to increase your income by reading this book?
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