Hi, I'm Ramit Sethi, the New York Times best-selling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and the founder of IWT and GrowthLab.
In 2009, I wrote the book on personal finance. It immediately soared to the #1 book on all of Amazon, sold out within hours, and became an instant New York Times best-seller. And in 2019, we released the second edition.
My New York Times best-selling book on personal finance
This is the book that introduced a generation to a completely new way to manage your money — automating your finances, guilt-free conscious spending, negotiating against your banks and credit cards, and automatic low-cost investing to grow your money.
Since then I've been called a "Wealth Wizard" by Forbes magazine (placed next to Warren Buffett), and the "New Guru on the Block" by Fortune magazine.
I've also been featured by The Today Show, ABC News, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and many more.
Wall Street Journal
The press is nice, but most importantly, I've helped tens of thousands of people take control of their finances, pay off their debt, negotiate away annoying fees, land better jobs, earn money on the side, start investing, and give themselves an entirely new outlook on life.
Hearing from happy, successful students is one of the best parts of my day.
I'm proud that my book has become a cornerstone on the fundamentals of personal finance.
What do you do once you're making a good income, you’ve paid off your debt, you have a comfortable emergency savings fund, and your investments are growing?
I started to hear from more and more people who’d already done the basics and were left wondering:
These people were usually earning very good incomes and had a healthy investment portfolio. Telling them “Cut back on spending” was irrelevant. So was “just save more.” They’d already done that and still had money left over.
What’s next? What are people at the next level — and the level after that — doing?
These were the same questions I’d had to tackle myself as my net worth grew. Where should I be looking to invest now? How were other people in my situation handling risk? And did they change their spending?
I knew there was more to personal finance than just automating my savings and 401(k).
And I found it.
Let me tell you what I learned about advanced personal finance.
I’ve seen money from both sides of the table — from growing up in a suburban middle-class family of 6 where my dad worked, my mom stayed home with us, and money was always tight — to living in Manhattan while I run a multimillion-dollar business.
That journey has opened my eyes to so many aspects of money that I never would have imagined.
Put yourself in the shoes of young Ramit, growing up in Sacramento, California.
Soccer player extraordinaire and soon-to-be personal finance author Ramit Sethi
As a kid, I didn’t think about money a lot. It's only looking back that I realize the frugality juggling game my parents, both immigrants from India, were playing to provide a healthy lifestyle for 6 of us. My mom cooked at home for almost every meal. We rarely went on vacations — and when we did, it was sack lunches and a road trip to see family in LA.
It was a running joke how we squeezed all 6 of us into a single, budget motel room. But that’s what you have to do when you’re raising a big family on one income.
I learned lots of money messages from my parents:
Those were the good money messages.
But I also learned money messages that wouldn’t serve me later in life:
Growing up, price was always the #1 consideration. We’d drive our cars for 10+ years, and we’d comparison shop when buying anything. When we made decisions about where to eat or where to go, money was always a consideration — usually the consideration. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to not have money be the deciding factor.
Now imagine something different.
Imagine wanting to travel somewhere, then just deciding and buying a flight — not worrying about the price. Or trying to decide between two different meals that sound good at a restaurant … and then ordering them both. Or buying a Tesla because it's cool.
I've always been serious about footwear
When I grew up, I got serious about personal finance.
And I grew my money using the same system I describe in my book. I saved aggressively. I automated my low-cost investments. I started to explore the “edges” of my system, including maxing out my accounts and even making several angel investments.
Suddenly, I wasn’t sure what to do next. I’d already maxed out my accounts — so what now?
It felt like I'd won the game and found myself back at square one.
Now I was back in research mode (advanced edition). Fortunately, since I’d written a best-selling book on personal finance and I’d grown my business, I had access to more advanced people and resources.
This time around, I spoke to other founders — people who had millions of dollars (some sitting purely in cash) — and asked what they did with their money. Where did they invest it? What did they spend differently on now vs. before?
I talked to private advisors in NYC, venture capitalists, and private equity investors. I learned some interesting facts, but also a lot of fluff and nonsense.
The best insights came from other successful high earners — some entrepreneurs and some employees — who had slowly mastered the advanced game of personal finance over the years. These people were not always easy to find. Some outwardly successful people had terrible personal finances, but some had proven to be extremely adept with their money.
"Once you have a certain amount of money, nobody wants to talk about it."
In short, it’s no surprise that successful smart people spend lots of time applying their smarts to their money. The solutions they had come up with were often brilliant and counterintuitive. The hard part was finding people who would actually divulge their methods. As you know, once you have a certain amount of money, nobody wants to talk about it.
They opened up to me. I interviewed dozens of them, pulling out all the advanced tactics, never-discussed strategies, and mindset shifts behind their finances.
Then I took action. I took my own money and began building my own advanced personal finance system. I incorporated my own insights on psychology, risk, and systems. I “stress-tested” different advisors. I changed my spending to align with my own definition of my Rich Life.
I think it's safe to say little 10-year-old Ramit would be blown away by my life today.
And one aspect in particular: Freedom.
Most people who geek out on personal finance totally miss this point. They live their lives in Excel spreadsheets, optimizing for every last percentage point, but forget that life is lived outside the spreadsheet. Money buys you freedom — now how are you going to use it?
Today, instead of worrying about money, I can proactively decide how I want to live my life. I get to choose what's important and enjoyable to me and use my money to add more of it to my life.
What's important to you? Travel, relationships, convenience, luxury? Maybe it's generosity or health or self-improvement? Or something else.
Personally, I love convenience. It’s one of my core values. I love spending my money to make areas of my life easier, simpler, faster, and even hands-off.
That's why I spend $50,000 a year on a personal trainer, personal chef, and nutritionist. Now I don't have to think or worry about eating well or staying in shape. I tell them my goals and they take care of all the details. All I have to do is show up.
To others, this might seem crazy, but to me, I’ve consciously designed my Rich Life.
That's also why I've hired a full-time virtual assistant for the past 10+ years — it’s the best money I've ever spent.
My VA manages my calendar, schedules all my calls and meetings, books my travel (she even knows my favorite seat on my favorite airline), handles gifts, and tons more.
I even built an entire system to make sure that I would eat healthily when I travel — which my VA runs for me.
One of my favorite conveniences: healthy food waiting for me at the hotel when I arrive
As you can tell, I’m a little obsessed with convenience. But all of this convenience means I can spend all that time saved on the things I love — like finding new hot sauces, exploring NYC, or just plain taking naps. Oh yeah, and working on growing my business!
This can seem crazy to you — I know! Maybe you’re not obsessed with convenience like I am.
But I bet you’re obsessed with something. And money could help you go deep, really deep, into it.
3 examples of how my friends spend their money:
When you learn how to manage your money at an advanced level, you can design the life you want to live. Your savings, investing, and even spending naturally change because you’re at an advanced level.
So why don't more people make the leap to advanced personal finance? Why do otherwise successful, driven, and intelligent people succeed in saving and earning more…
…but still keep operating with the same rules that they grew up with 20 years ago?
The sad answer is no one's ever told them how to do it.
Here's a lesson you don't learn in PF 101:
The wealthy are playing a financial game that most people don't even know about. This can be uncomfortable, confusing, and even scary — but also exciting if you know the rules. The stakes are higher, but so are the rewards.
However, no one is talking about this!
Judging by the financial advice online, everyone else is trying to save $50, to pay their next credit card bill, or — if they're really "advanced" — to live like a pauper so they can stick it to the man and retire at 30 (for another 50 years of hobbies like going for walks and visiting the local museum on free days).
That's not the life I want to live.
If you’re successful, you can't talk about it with your friends or family. Best case scenario, they think you're whining. "Must be nice to have problems like that." Worst case scenario, you start seeing odd displays of jealousy and anger. Expecting you to pick up the check every time. Grumbling when you take another vacation. Or asking you to invest in a hare-brained scheme.
Who can you talk to?
Where do you turn to for new information?
How do you stack up against other people like yourself?
You've already maxed out your 401(k) or make too much to contribute to a Roth IRA — congratulations on your success, btw — but what do you do then? How do you find help when you have more complicated problems and bigger goals than 99% of everyone else?
As your net worth grows, some of the financial tactics you were using stop making sense. Beliefs that helped you when you first started are now holding you back.
If you want to master the level you're at now, you have to reconsider each of these beliefs.
You made it this far because you worked hard, you stayed disciplined, you didn't listen to get-rich-quick schemes, and you followed a proven system. You've already won.
The next step is learning how to protect, keep growing, and enjoy the freedom you've earned.
The first requirement for building your own Advanced Personal Finance System is taking care of the fundamentals of personal finance. These are the basic blocking and tackling of finance I map out in my book:
But once those are done, how do you know if you're ready for Advanced Personal Finance? There are a few signs. Read below — how many of the following apply to you?
10. You're earning 6 figures or your net worth is over $100,000
9. You've already read and implemented most of the strategies in my book
8. You're facing new PF challenges — kids, multiple investment accounts, aging parents, etc. — and need more advanced help
7. You update a spreadsheet at least once a month to track how much time you have until you reach "your number" and are able to retire
6. You're maxing your contributions to your 401(k) or Roth IRA and want more
5. You're earning a high income, but still feel guilty spending money
4. You have no one around you to talk about money with
3. You impulsively read personal finance blogs even though you already know exactly what they're going to say
2. You're bored of index investing and want to take a swing at a high-risk, high-reward investment
1. You're doing well for yourself and keep asking "OK, what's next?"
If you said "That's me!" to any more than three of these, it’s time.
It's time to discover what millionaires, CEOs, and the really rich know about money that 99% of people don't.
What do you want more of in your life? More fun? More luxury? More time? More travel?
You can create the life you want. I'll show you how. (And I'll show you the things you're not thinking about but should be.)
It's time to protect all your hard work, to grow it and enjoy it.
It's time to move past the basics and take your personal finances to the next level.
How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance is a brand new online course that gives you an insider's look at how high net worth individuals manage their money.
This is advanced — we focus on the questions, challenges, and opportunities unique to individuals who have already mastered the basics and want to know "What's next?"
This is fast — we've condensed everything into 13 detailed lessons. Take it at your own pace and revisit whenever you want.
This is practical — we've included worksheets, tools, scripts, case studies, checklists, and quick-start guides to make it easy to apply what you'll learn to your own finances.
How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance will show you how the rules change as your net worth grows — and how to keep winning.
My Personal CFO: Inside my “Advanced Personal Finance System”
Advanced personal finance optimizations
Reduce your taxes
Behind the scenes of my personal finance team
Protect your wealth
Grow your investments
A new model for money management
The invisible costs of DIY personal finance
How to build your Team of Experts from scratch
How to overcome your invisible money scripts
The best money I ever spent
What’s your #1 Money Dial?
How to use money to live a better life
What do they care about? What do they do differently? And most importantly, how do they do it?
How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance takes you inside my own advanced personal finance system…
And that's just a sample of the insights packed into this course.
If you're ready to make the leap into advanced personal finance, you'll learn what to do, when to do it, why it's important, and how to actually make it happen.
That's not all, though. I've also packed the course with a whole slew of useful worksheets, tools, and templates to make shifting into advanced personal finance easy and clear.
Each of these is a major opportunity for savings, if you know what to look for and who to ask
Fast-track your results with these ready-to-use email scripts
I'll show you how to outsource implementing the strategies in the course
Go deep on advanced topics with bonus case studies
Step-by-step instructions for building your own financial team
This program is full of fun, eye-opening challenges to show you how millionaires think about spending
Every lesson in How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance comes in video, audio, and transcript formats
The best strategies for learning more — at your fingertips for the rest of your life
If you have credit card debt, you shouldn't join. Sorry, your first duty is to pay it off. You will not be allowed in until you do, and if I find out you joined with CC debt, I will ban you from ever purchasing any of my products again. This rule has cost me millions of dollars over the last couple of years, but it's the right thing to do. I'm not interested in opening this course to everyone — just the right people.
If you're still struggling to implement most of the fundamentals in my book, you shouldn't join.
If you're a frugality zealot, this isn't for you.
If you're looking for some insider stock tips or get-rich-quick tips on secret investments, why are you reading this?
If you are not earning six figures or don't have a net worth of at least $100,000, you're not ready for this material. Keep working, keep saving, keep investing. You'll get there.
But if you are a high earning or high net worth individual who's mastered the basics of personal finance and wants to know "what's next?" this course is for you.
My book gives you the fundamentals of personal finance: automating your finances, incorporating psychology into your finances, guilt-free conscious spending, no-nonsense index investing, and a whole lot more.
How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance shows you what comes next. You'll learn how millionaires think about and manage their money.
This is advanced material that other books and blogs don't cover for 2 primary reasons:
This course doesn't replace working with a financial planner or accountant. In fact, if you choose to work with an advisor, this course will show you how to find the right experts you can trust. Ultimately, you’re the CEO of your own money.
Beyond that, there are commonalities among advanced personal finance investments and opportunities you can take once you reach this level, which this course covers.
Finally, we show you the psychology of advanced personal finance in the course. Real, practical, hands-on psychology learned from having gone through this, as well as interviewing many others who have achieved financial success.
This course is not about stock picks, loopholes, or other random investments. Nor is it about flavor-of-the-month investment hype. Just like my book, How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance gives you a no-nonsense system for making the most of your money without devoting your life to crunching numbers.
I'll show you the critical areas you need to button up, and I'll show you how to dedicate money — worry-free — to play in whatever speculative investments interest you the most.
This course is focused on personal finance, not business finance. Business owners can use this material to manage their personal finances — like I do — but managing your business accounting is outside the scope of this course.
The course is 3 weeks long. You have lifetime access to the material. In the course, we show you the key actions to take now and how different moments in your life present financial opportunities (e.g., having a child). This course will become a lifetime companion that we believe you’ll revisit for years as your personal finances grow and you reach new levels of success.
One more question:
Is this the only way to learn how to win the game of Advanced Personal Finance?
No, of course not.
I've already walked you through the long process I went through to discover all the hidden ins-and-outs of Advanced Personal Finance.
You could do the same:
I listed all of that out to impress upon you that there is a reason most people don't know how to play — let alone win — the game of Advanced Personal Finance. It can be a long, complicated, and exclusive road. You can't DIY. And what you don't know could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars — even millions — over your lifetime.
But it doesn't have to be difficult or mysterious anymore.
We've packed a lot into How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance, and I want to make sure that you not only get all that content before you fully commit to this — I want to give you 60 days to let it digest, integrate it into your life, and make sure this is really working for you.
Try the entire course. If you don't LOVE it, I insist that you get 100% of your money back. I'll even eat the credit card processing fees.
It's simple: Join the program and try it for yourself. If our Advanced Personal Finance System doesn't help you uplevel your finances within 60 days, I want you to email me. Show me you did the exercises, and I'll give you all your money back.
This guarantee lasts 60 days, which completely covers the course. That means you can try the ENTIRE course and then decide if it's right for you.
How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance will show you how millionaires think about and manage their money — and how you can do the same. And it's 100% risk-free.
When you join How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance, you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at my complete financial system:
When I was learning Advanced Personal Finance, one of the most eye-opening and helpful things a few people did for me was to show me their exact investment portfolios, asset allocations, and all of the things their advisors did for them.
The first time I saw it, my jaw dropped.
I want to do the same for you. That's why I've included two additional bonus items in this course.
Ramit’s Investment Portfolio — This is a breakdown of my current asset allocation and investment portfolio, plus the thinking behind it. (This alone is worth the price of admission.)
25 Tasks My Team Does for Me — The best part of Advanced Personal Finance is that you don't have to be the one to make it all happen. This bonus item shows you the wide variety of tasks my financial team does for me.
You know why I created this program? Because once I got the basics of money in place, I started realizing there was a lot more to talk about.
Like you, I started out just trying to save my first few thousand dollars. But once I hit the point where a few thousand dollars is a rounding error, what changes?
This was radical for me — it meant I didn’t have to worry about cutting back on everything, or trying to save money (which was the invisible script I grew up with). Once your entire financial identity changes, what does it mean for the habits and systems you’ve been building?
I also noticed that once my financial situation reached a certain state, there were very few people I could talk about it with. When it comes to this stuff, who can you talk about it with? Who do you know that really “gets it” and is willing to have a conversation with you?
Looking back, once I got to an advanced level, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I had checked all the obvious checkboxes … what else should I be worrying about?
I wanted to hire someone to help with the day-to-day. What should I be looking for and how do I avoid getting ripped off?
I noticed other people like me getting bored with target-date funds. What are these rich-people investments that everyone talks about?
I even noticed this with simple things like spending. I wanted to start buying nicer clothes and eating at better restaurants. But what are the right places to go? Am I really “that guy” now?
These are questions that almost nobody talks about! But I had them — and I know you do, too.
It's time to uplevel your financial game.