I Will Teach You to be Rich: Summary & Review

i will teach you to be rich book cover

I Will Teach You to be Rich is a beginner’s personal finance book that teaches the basics of money-saving, money accumulation, and simple but popular money investment strategies.

Bullet Summary

  • Spend less
  • Invest early
  • Automate your investment

Full Summary

About the Author:
Ramit Sethi is an author, marketer, social skills coach, career coach, and personal finance coach. He is also the author of Earnable,  Dream Job, Mental Mastery, How to Talk to Anybody, Advanced Connector Package, etc.

Adapt A Conscious Spending Plan

Samit says that a conscious split of income would look something like this:

  • 50-60% fixed costs
  • 10% investments
  • 5-10% savings
  • 20-35% spending

If you’re struggling focus on making more instead of saving.

Automate Your Money Allocation

Samit recommends you set up a system that automatically allocates your money according to the above split.

Personally, this feels like an overkill and a limit on your personal enjoyment and freedom.
Maybe you can automate investing and automate some payments so you save time, but automate everything… ?

Be Frugal, Not Cheap

Frugal is not the same as cheap. Frugal care about the value first, not just the cost. They think long-term and are willing to spend for what they care about.
Cheap care about costs in a way that negatively affects the people around.

Don’t Try to Predict the Market

Nobody can predict the market, says Ramit who espouses the same theory of A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

Then, why not invest in index funds, which simply replicate the market?

This is an idea similar to Unshakable and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.

My Note:
Psychology applied to finance (ie.: behavioral economics) shows that it’s not impossible to beat the market. It’s just very difficult for most “normal” folks.

Start Investing Early

The earlier you invest, the more you’ll be able to take full advantage of the compound interest.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich suggests maxing out your 401(k) if you have an employer which matches your contribution.
That makes a lot of sense of course.
And then add some Roth IRA -another form of retirement plan which you can better control- and lifecycle funds, which shift into safer investments as you approach retirement.

My Note:
However, I have to add that Money Master the Game, the top investment book Tony Robbins wrote with people of the caliber of Ray Dalio, does not recommend 401k and target-date funds.

i will teach you to be rich book cover


A Bit Simplistic For Any Non-Beginner
Most people reading, understanding, and enjoying TPM as a go-to self-development resource will probably find this book a bit too beginner-level for them.

Misnomer: I Didn’t Learn How to Be Rich
The title is misleading.
To me teaching someone to be rich is teaching entrepreneurship or hard skills. Teaching how to manage money is more like accounting or money management.
Read The Millionaire Fastlane to understand exactly what I mean.

The Millionaire Fastlane: Summary & Review

The Compound System Only Works To Make Already High-Income Folks Wealthier
I find most of the personal finance books to be geared to people that either badly misspend or to people with a higher than average income.
For poor and low-income folks there’s just too little spare cash to truly become “rich” in a lifetime.

Didn’t Like Investment Recommendations
Some of the investment recommendations run against what I have read -and agreed with- in other books.


Love the Automation
I love the automation idea for some of the expenses and investments.
It saves not just money, but time. Which is also money, just better :).

Spend and Save
I felt particularly close to the idea of cutting mercilessly for all those things that don’t really improve your life.
While spending for what you really love and making your life worth living.

Detailed How To
If you’re really a beginner -and if you live in the US- I Will Teach You to Be Rich lays out a plan which you can follow step by step. That can be very useful if you fit the description.


I Will Teach You to Be Rich is a good book on money management for beginners.

In that respect, much similar to The Total Money Makeover, The Richest Man in Babylon, and most other personal finance books.

The main weakness is that most personal finance books work best only under two scenarios:

  1. You are spending too much and not optimizing -if you’re being mindful already, you’re covering the basics already-
  2. You have a high income with which to “play around” -otherwise, the compound interest won’t make you rich-

I’m glad these guys are out there to teach the basics to the first guys (those with easy credit card finger trigger).
But if you’re not falling into both the first and second category, then the benefits are limited.

I’m not a crazy spender myself, which makes the value of I Will Teach You to Be Rich more limited for me.

I’m more after entrepreneurship and internet marketing than paying off debt. But if you still need to get your spending under control, then I Will Teach You to Be Rich can help.

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