Book Review: The Ten Year Turnaround by Matthew Paulson

Nonfiction, Financial, Business

My review of The Ten Year Turnaround is a short summary of what I liked, didn't like, and a collection of quotes and thoughts.

What I liked

I liked how this book offers a framework of how to achieve financial freedom by offering advice to help anyone develop the capacity to creating and maintaining wealth. It is not a step-by-step guide and is not full of fluffy, fictional stories. It's solid, actionable advice that comes from the personal experience of a financial expert.

What I didn't like

A small portion of each chapter is specifically targeted towards faith based advice, specifically Christians. It was a turn off to me, but it is easy to skip over those sections for anyone not interested.

The Ten Year Turnaround Summary

The Ten Year Turnaround is a blueprint for how someone can achieve financial freedom with a framework on how to achieve it and (thankfully) skips the step-by-step approach, instead encouraging readers to create their own path towards success. The book is split into two distinct sections: The first half is big picture focused on mindset and the second half is focused on tactical advice, which is focused on fundamental financial topics such as budgeting, investing and giving.

The book offers practical advice with personal stories sprinkled in from the author on his journey to financial freedom. While I found the book to be full of good advice, the authors story is heavily influenced on founding several internet businesses which may be a turnoff to some. However, it echoes the truth in our society that building wealth is done through building businesses and non-traditional investments, instead of mutual funds.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to achieve financial independence. This is the exact type of book I wish I would have read in high school or college. While it is written for those starting out their path towards financial freedom, it offers practical advice for those at any level covering topics from how to increase your income, to choosing investments, and the proper insurance to purchase. It's a good, all around book to put in your reference collection no matter what stage of your journey.

My Notes

These are my notes of The Ten Year Turnaround by Matthew Paulson. My notes are bullet points of my takeaways, thoughts, and my favorite quotes. This summary also includes key lessons and important passages from the book.

  • ​​It did make me recognize my financial situation wasn’t carved in stone. If I was willing to work hard, improve my skill set and take advantage of opportunities when they appeared, I could dramatically change my financial lot in life.
  • A ten-year turnaround begins with the recognition that your current financial plan won’t lead to the long-term financial results you desire.
  • While almost everyone would like to be wealthy few take the time to consider how much money they would need to reach that goal. Or set the goal. Or work hard to achieve the goal.
  • The first step toward achieving total financial freedom is setting a goal post for your journey.
  • Financial freedom boils down to savings, investments and businesses that create cash flow to cover your dream spending plan so you don’t have to work if you don’t want to.
  • You will need to increase your income through the course of your life if you want to achieve financial freedom before retirement age.
  • Setting a ten-year goal without any interim goals between now and then is a recipe for disaster.
  • If you maintain health, establish healthy relationships, and are committed to lifelong learning you are much more likely to be financially successful: Fitness, Family, Social, Career, Intellectual, and Spiritual (I am not religious so this doesn’t speak to me but for many it will).
  • Being a multimillionaire won’t make you dramatically happier or solve any of your personal problems. Accumulating wealth will only impact areas of your life that are directly related to money.
  • Money will make you more of what you already are. Start prepping to be the person you want to be well before you build a meaningful amount of wealth.
  • Traditional retirement savings is not enough.
  • The best way to create a massive amount of wealth through the course of your life is to start and grow a business.
  • Your income and career path are not static.
  • Many people have a very narrow view of what education looks like and what role it can play in their livesIf you have larger aspirations for life, you are going to need to adopt a more dynamic view of your identity.
  • Your long term career and financial success will depend on your ability to increase the amount of value that your provide the marketplace over time.
  • Earning a great income won't be enough to build wealth unless you also know how to manage the money that comes in. You would be surprised how many doctors and lawyers live paycheck-to-paycheck because they don’t know how to manage their money.
  • Remember your personal happiness comes from within and not from having nicer stuff.While charitable giving might only seem tangentially related to wealth building, it has been an important part of my ten-year turnaround.

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