While I was in California this past week, I spent a few days at my brother’s new apartment before his wedding this past Saturday. Among the piles of books not yet placed into a bookcase was something familiar: I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi (review here). Ramit is a colleague of mine, a personal finance blogger who published a book that quickly became a favorite.
How Ramit saved my brother
My brother, who we’ll call Stewie for the sake of anonymity, is both a systems administrator and a musician; he earned good money from a day job which he then used to help fund his band’s national tour last year. But tours are expensive and money runs out. When I asked, he credits Consumerism Commentary and Ramit’s book with helping him get his finances in order and out of debt from the tour, and I think he mentioned Consumerism Commentary only to be nice. Stewie is an avid reader and has read a number of other books about basic money management and investing but I Will Teach You to Be Rich is the only one he feels provided concrete advice and suggestions for being smart about money.
I know Stewie was truthful because when he gave me a check to pay for the restaurant hosting his wedding ceremony and reception, the check was drawn from a Schwab Bank Investor Checking account, an account recommended several times throughout Ramit Sethi’s book.
The six-week “Boot Camp”
Today Ramit Sethi is releasing a new project. He has created a “Boot Camp,” a six-week program designed to empower participants to make better financial decisions. Through the Boot Camp, Ramit places participants with similar financial goals together and provides them with the tools, information, and most importantly, the motivation to get started and the group accountability to maintain action.
Here is how it works. At the start of each week, participants receive excerpts from I Will Teach You to Be Rich with additional content and worksheets. This is followed with a webcast, a video discussion on the week’s topic, downloadable so you can watch or listen on your iPod or computer when you have time. Each week will also feature special guest speakers including Andrew Jolls (ex-executive of FICO and founder of VideoCreditScore.com), Charlie Hoehn (author of Recession-Proof Graduate), and Chris Guillebeau (traveler and author of The Art of Non-Conformity). A complete curriculum including guest speakers is included below.
If Ramit had created the Boot Camp one year ago, I would have recommended the program to my brother. And this is coming from someone who was originally a skeptic of Ramit. When he first launched his blog in August 2004, I wondered how a pompous graduate student at Stanford could teach people to be rich without a long history of personal experience being rich. But his writing is captivating, he understands people, and provides the tools for getting things done.
How much does it cost?
At $199, the program might be a bit expensive for someone who is trying to figure out how they’re going to make their next rent payment. I’m confident this program will help a participant save at least $199, recovering the cost of the program, and the tools within will provide a lifetime of benefits. Ramit is offsetting the high price by offering a 30-day money-bank guarantee, so you can participate in most of the program and back out before the end if it is not working for you.
I’m generally a critic of seminars like Rich Dad Academy and Landmark Education, but with Ramit, I know the information will be sound, specific financial advice designed to inspire and motivate, not an up-sell scheme where you have to pay more for the “deluxe” package in order qualify for the useful information.
I expect the next time the Boot Camp is offered, the price will be significantly higher as he tweaks the service to include more materials and guest speakers.
Registration for the Boot Camp is only open through Friday, November 6.
Here is a taste of the Boot Camp, a twelve minute video of Ramit Sethi talking about automating your finances with specific tips for setting up accounts and directing your funds to the right places at the right times. (If you are reading through an RSS reader, you may need to click through to view the video.)
If you want to listen to more from Ramit before signing up, listen to my interview with Ramit from earlier this year. If you opt to join the Boot Camp, come back and let us know whether you like it.
Boot camp curriculum and guest speakers
Week 1: Optimizing your credit cards
Speaker: Andy Jolls: Thursday, November 12, 10:00 pm EST
Week 2: Beat the banks and negotiate for lower bills
Speaker: Charlie Hoehn: Thursday, November 19, 10:00 pm EST
Week 3: Open 401K and Roth IRA
Speaker: Chris Guillebeau: Tuesday, November 24, 10:00 pm EST
Week 4: Conscious Spending
Speaker: Penelope Trunk: Tuesday, December 1, 10:00 pm EST
Week 5: Automation
Speaker: Shannon Sofield: Thursday, December 10, 10:00 pm EST
Week 6: Investing – setting up portfolio
Speaker: Pam Slim: Thursday, December 17, 10:00 pm EST