April Book Giveaway — The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9–5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich

by Vinaya HS on April 18, 2012

in Finance

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Thumbnail of The 4-Hour Work Week Book by Tim Ferriss
I am totally hooked to this book.

I’ll say that again. I am totally hooked to this book.

I’ve only read through about a hundred pages or so, but each page has made me stop and think quite a bit about life, work, and personal finances. I’m so hooked that I wanted to giveaway a copy ASAP. This book’s going to make you seriously question every aspect of your life as you lead it today. Note that down.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll end-up answering –

  • What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?

  • Is it really necessary to work like a slave to live like a millionaire?

  • How has being “realistic” or “responsible” kept you from the life you want?

  • How has doing what you “should” resulted in sub-par experiences or regret for not having done something else?

  • Look at what you’re currently doing and ask yourself, “What would happen if I did the opposite of the people around me? What will I sacrifice if I continue on this track for 5, 10, or 20 years?”

I believe this book will be a revelation for you just as it has been for me.

Here’s how you can win a copy of the book –

Answer this simple question.

What are the top-3 financial mistakes that you’ve committed and how are you recovering from these?

Remember the more detailed your response is the better is your chance of winning the book. Leave your response in the comments section along with your email address.

I will announce the winner in about a week’s time. Thanks for participating.

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Aparna April 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM

The top 3 financial mistakes that I have committed
a) Buying insurance policies, health insurance policies without understanding the policy structure. I bought a few policies due to pressure from relatives and agents.

Action steps
1. Get knowledge about how insurance policy works and the returns that I would be getting at the term of maturity.
2. Surrender or make the policy paid-up if the policy is junk

b) Having too many bank accounts
Action steps
1. Close bank accounts that are inoperative, thereby accumulating funds in one or two accounts. This will also help in better financial management and gives me an opportunity to build wealth

c) Not thought much about retirement planning
Action steps
1. Find more about retirement plans and find alternate wealth building strategy for the same purpose
you’ve committed and how are you recovering from these?

Anoop April 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Well, the book asks valid questions which everyone in this world should ask themselves.
Every Individual would love to work 4 hrs a week & still be a millionaire, but that ain’t gonna happen unless the individual in question wins over a lottery or becomes a corrupt politician. I agree those questions it asks for are all reasonable but unfortunately its not realistic for upper middle class especially for one’s who lack ideas to become rich & one’s who cannot live without a monthly pay check.. We can look at ourselves what we would like to do after 5 years / 20 years, but there are lot of other parameters which might determine the output after 2 decades.. In the 1st place if everyone of us knew what we would be after 20 years, people like you wouldn’t be sat here writing a blog & me commenting on the blog :)

Rakesh April 18, 2012 at 9:34 PM


Seems to be a good read. Interesting points highlighted.

Is it really necessary to work like a slave to live like a millionaire?

I don’t think we would want to be in the mercy of our children at the time of our retirement. If not planned properly we might end up in an old age orphanage too.
We Indian’s like/prefer to work hard now and have a peaceful life during retirement.

As for my top 3 financial mistakes -

1. Did not invest early. I started very late and have a lot of catching to do.

Action plan – Did start SIP’ s in MF but the monthly investment was very high. If i had done the same 10 years back my monthly investment would have been much less. Failed to realize the power of compounding.

2. In-adequate Life /Health Insurance policies. I had a couple of endowment, pension plans but not adequate term plans. If i would have died my family would have to struggle to meet ends.

Action plan – Dumped the endowment, pension plans and bought term plans for a very large sum. Now i feel comfortable even if i have to die today my family will not have any problems on the monetary front. Have to increase the cover of my health policies.

3. Not educating spouse. My wife was not aware of all my investments, bank, life, health insurance details. If i would have died she would have a tough time to get hold of all the information.
Action plan – Started educating my wife on all my investments. Made her read Manish’s Jagoinvestor book. Now she is back of me to get all the financial information and also to start planning for short/medium term goals.

Tushar Jain April 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Top 3 mistakes I have done
1) Even though I started investing early in my life, I didn’t managed my portfolio actively. MFs and equities purchased 5 years back were still in my portfolio sitting as junk assets. I was living on the notion that ultimately these investments will grow over the long period of time, hence didn’t sell them when the market was good in between. My focus was on buying new equities rather than harvesting the old ones. As a result, some of the stocks in my portfolio had taken a beating of as high as 80-90%.

Action taken: Have taken a conscious call of the equities which are in risky/cyclical /non performing business and are just blocking my capital. Sold them whenever the market has gone high. Better to invest the capital in some growing asset rather than a decling/junk asset.

Learning>> All Equities are not like trees who grow tall over the long period … We need a clear cut and realistic strategy/target when to exit from the stocks.

2) Making big purchases on impulse and through credit cards. Sometimes converting the purchase to an EMI.

Action step: Delaying the big purchase and Creating saving-funds.It gives me ample time to sit back and think whether I actually need the stuff or it’s just an impulse purchase. It saved me some precious bucks which would have otherwise gone towards purchasing iPAD, a sofa set and a double door refrigerator ,even though I didn’t require them.

Learning: think and save before you spend.

3) Wasn’t having an idea of where I was spending my salary. I was literally living paycheck to paycheck.

Action taken:So during one month, i listed down each and every expense of mine to see where I am overspending. With this information in my hand, I am trying to use my one paycheck to cover expenses for two/three months, and trying to control my wasteful and extravagant spending. Also making ERE charts to compare my expenses versus savings.

Learning: It always pays to see where your money is going. It pains a lot when you find how ruthlessly you have been spending your hard earned money.

Saumya Kosuri April 19, 2012 at 7:37 AM

1. Clubbing Insurance and Investment – Endowment policies
2. Not opening a PPF account
3. Failing to diversify investments

Sainath Reddy April 19, 2012 at 10:54 AM

My top-3 financial mistakes:

1. Failing to continue the commitment of keeping aside some part of money every month. Just of 6months of my career I stared to keep some part of money aside every month, I used to transfer to another savings account. I had done this for almost 7-8months then for some reason I had used that amount for a requirement and did not continue the same. I think instead of just putting into a savings account I should have opened a RD or SIP in a mutual fund so that I would have been more disciplined. Now I started RD to not repeat the same mistake.

2. While closing my HSBC account, Tata-AIG offered me a health insurance policy for parents, I fell for it in few minutes of talk. the monthly EMI looked minimal but after a month I realised I could get better health insurance policy for my parents through my company and that too for lesser amount. So immediately I called the customer care of TATA-AIG to cancel it, and total time required to close it was about 45days on repeated calls almost every week, meanwhile they deducted second emi on my credit card, then fought for it to revert that money, Felt very relieved and happy after getting back that money. Lesson learned when closing any account/loans dont hear anything from the other party, just finish your work and later think about it :).

3. Now its been 4 years of my earning period, and because of my first mistake, not saving every month and not planning for expected expenses in mid-term , last year for an emergency I had to take 2 personals loans at higher interest rates(by that time I already had my car loan). Because of this as soon as my salary got credited 70% of my salary was going into EMIs :( :| Had to bear this burden for almost 14 months now I have pre-closed one PL and Car loan now coming towards debt free life, but still 1 more year to go.

Thanks GOD because one of my friend advice I never linked insurance-investment at the beginning of my career I always feel good and laugh about it whenever I hear about any ULIP plan :)

Vinaya H S April 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

@Aparna –

It’s those relative-cum-insurance-agent again! I wonder if we’ll really ever be able to get away from them. And consolidating your bank accounts is definitely a step in the right direction.

And how are you going about your retirement strategy? The early-retirement way or the traditional retirement way?

@Anoop –

I think you completely missed the whole point of the book (and the post!). :-) Seriously!

Vinaya H S April 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM

@Rakesh –

I am very very happy. The objective behind these book giveaways, which is for you take action and control over your personal finances is being achieved. Splendid! I think you’re on a solid footing now.

@Tushar –

“All Equities are not like trees who grow tall over the long period … We need a clear cut and realistic strategy/target when to exit from the stocks.”

I’ll quote you on this. :-)

I’m with you on the sofa set adventure. Many years back, I bought a set for 55k and then sold it in less than a week for 35k. :-(

Vinaya H S April 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

@Soumya –

Thanks for sharing your list. Have you been able to take action on these? Could you share your plan?

Vinaya H S April 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

@Sainath –

Here’s a recent comment — “banks know it all about how to make your money theirs money”. :-) And I’m glad that you’re headed towards a debt-free life. That’s indeed the very first goal that you ought to accomplish. Good luck!

Mantosh Kumar April 23, 2012 at 1:09 AM

1. Mixing Insurance and Investment without understanding the policy: – While opening bank account in my first company, the agent suggested me to take insurance cum investment policy. Without understanding the policy structure I signed the documents thinking that it would help me save some tax and plus I would have insurance cover and in the end I would also get more money compared to what I would be investing. After 1 year when I got myself educated little much about financial discipline and I found that I was making fool of myself by mixing insurance and investment together, that was only sucking my hard earned money. I learnt that I should take separate scheme for both of them and not to mix them. There were some insurance policies in market that would serve the same purpose and that too with 1/10 of what I was giving for that policy. Whatever money I was paying to that scheme monthly could have covered me for the whole year in some other insurance (ONLY) scheme.
Action Taken: I surrendered that policy. Though I lost some money but I learnt my lesson that I should not mix investment and insurance together. I then took separate policy for insurance. I also started diversifying my investments in schemes like RD and PPF, Mutual Fund.
2. At the beginning of my career, I used to buy on impulse and that too through credit cards and to make it worse, sometimes converting the purchase to an EMI.
Action Taken: First ask yourself, DO I REALLY NEED THIS. Now I usually don’t carry my credit card with me always. Think before spending.
3. I started investing in share market and that too without getting proper knowledge about trading. In the first investment, I lost around 800 INR . But fortunately I learnt my mistake early and then I took help of one of my friend who is working in this trade to help me to learn basic things of trading.
Action Taken: Before investing in share market, get all the information about that company financial history. Google its past record. Obviously you will have to take some risk but take risk wisely not on some blind faith. Don’t investment all of your money in a particular share but invest in different companies and also invest only a part of your income (say 10-20%) in trading. The ultimate lesson is, DON’T FALL IN LOVE AND DON’T MARRY WITH SHARE and yes DON’T BE TOO MUCH GREEDY.
Overall Lesson: I learnt that you should be wise enough not to purchase on impulse and without any necessity. Don’t mix insurance and investment. Understand all the structure of the scheme or policy before signing anything. Don’t sign anything because someone is saying. Go through all the details on your own. Every month, invest some part of your income. To make it easy set some recurring instructions in your bank account that would automatically transfer that much amount to that investment or whatever scheme. Have a secondary saving bank account in which you save something every month. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY “ Don’t put all your eggs in a single basket”.

Vinaya H S April 23, 2012 at 3:33 PM

@Mantosh Kumar –

Thanks for sharing your experience. Good that you got out of the insurance noose that early.

T S Ashok April 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Hi Vinaya,

I do not know how to prioritize my mistakes into top 3 as i did many many reg
financial things..

1. When i joined in my first job during 2001, my friend approached my for my first
lic endowment policy. As the name was familier, i took it and everyone told that it
was for reducing tax..then yoy, many insurance policies from many friends, relatives
, known persons,etc.., and my yearly premium for all the policies was around 1.3 lakhs..
Sadly nothing was term policy. After 6 years i slightly woke up after seeing the
result in ULIP..and after reading the financial blogs, I Came to know that I was a big fool
..I was very shame…Then, I surrendered all my policies( my friends shouted on me..) and took
one Term policy..I got huge loss and if i had invested in any investment instruments, i would
had earned a lot of money to buy a home..currently i am recommending only term policies to my

2. When the BSE was >20k i started investing in MFs..(Great Na..).And that too NFO!!(LOL).
In that the biggest mistake was i insisted my father also to put his retirement(OMG!) money also
in MFs..thank god that he invested only 60K(too much!).But after two three years, i was not able
to face my father and also i had a huge loss in all my MFs..I thought that increment of 200 to 250 in
Existing fund is tough. but increment of 12.5R from Rs.10 is very easy(What an idea sirji..)..
AFter loosing huge money, and after reading the blogs, i surrendered all dubba Funds and invested in
HDFC Prudence & top 200 in SIP..

3. Trading..(Junjunwala told in a TV that “Retail people should not trade!! It is my 24Hrs profession.
Even i also lose money, then how a retail can trade and become a millioner shortly!!”) BUt I saw this matter very
late..When i saw this in TV , i lost huge money in trading. buying in morning,selling in evening..reading paper
and buying, seeing tv and buying, buying.. and selling with loss..i thought that long term means upto evening..
ha ha..As i Am regular reader of all blogs like subramoney, Capital advisor, jagoinvestor,etc.,, i have stopped
trading and STARTED INVESTING WITH PORTFOLIO ALLOCATION..Now i am seeing that the stocks are growing slowly in long term
and i am watching those stocks once in a month and i am happy.And now i know that how to retire early..ha ha.

Vinaya H S April 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM

@T S Ashok –

Wait till you see the next Art of Finance illustration (hint: it’s about insurance agents). :-)

I’m really glad that you’re following all of the popular personal finance blogs that have an India-perspective. What I generally like about these blogs is the “actionable” advise that the authors give.

But which one do you think is the best of the lot? He he he…please say Capital Advisor…please… :-)

No seriously, I’d really like to know and also what particularly attracts you about that blog?

T S Ashok April 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Hi Vinaya,
Capital Advisor is very Good. No doubt at all.( It is in a friendly manner..It is like talking to a friend..). But at the same time, other blogs also has it’s unique features..You all are really doing a great job by providing awareness to all of us(With Free of Cost..LOL)..Keep going.. We are with you and many will follow..

Vinaya H S April 25, 2012 at 8:00 PM

@T S Ashok –

Thanks for the encouragement. :-)

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