“The Wise Investor: A Modern Parable About Creating Financial Freedom and Living Your Best Life” highlights the life of Ryan Brooks who realizes he isn’t accomplishing the dreams he once had. He works too much and has very little time or money for himself and his family, so he embarks on a journey to elevate his life and his finances. The reader is swept along for the ride, experiencing the adventure through Ryan’s eyes as the story unfolds with insights and accomplishments that not only teach but inspire and are obtainable by anyone who makes the effort.
This is Rich Fettke’s second book. Twenty years ago, he wrote “Extreme Success,” which outlines a seven-step program to succeed without struggling. His new book comes in the form of a parable. Fettke says he was inspired by Joseph Campbell and “The Hero’s Journey” to create more of a self-reflective adventure story that results in personal transformation. He says: “Each of us has the power to secure financial freedom by believing in what is possible in our lives and taking action to achieve it. If you agree, your transformation has already begun.”
In “The Wise Investor,” the protagonist is an unhappy husband, father, and wage slave who learns about real estate investing with the help of a mentor. But the story isn’t just about making money. The mentor inspires Ryan to reach greater heights both financially and personally. As Fettke explains: “The power of the story goes beyond simply relaying facts and information; it emotionalizes information, allowing it to stimulate a change in both our attitudes and actions.”
The book snagged the attention of legendary real estate guru Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote the No. 1 bestselling finance book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and the foreword to Fettke’s new book. In part, he writes: “Fettke has created a story that is more than just a fairy tale. It will captivate you, educate you, and inspire you to behave in ways that put you on a path to financial freedom and a life of purpose.”
Mentoring is Major Theme
Although the book is fiction, it is well-grounded in Fettke’s own real-life experiences and transformations. One major theme in the book is the importance of finding a mentor or coach to help guide and encourage you. Fettke is not only a master certified business coach who’s coached hundreds of people for more than two decades, but he has also had his own personal coach throughout that same period of time.
In the book, the reader can experience how a coach can keep you on track by holding you accountable to whatever plan you’ve mapped and encourage you to reach for your goals. Fettke created the dialogue between Ryan and his coach, John Weise, based on his own experience as both coach and coachee, although he currently identifies more strongly with the role of coach.
As he explains in an interview with his wife, Kathy, on her “Real Wealth Show” podcast: “Having a coach is like having someone else there to ask the questions that we’re not asking ourselves… ‘How are you living? Are you being your best self? What’s working? What’s not working? Where can you improve? Where can you love more? Where can you give more? How can you create more?’ It just helps me see beyond myself. That’s why I think the coaching process is incredibly powerful.”
But it’s not just the positive voice that drives us forward. Fettke also portrays a gremlin in the story that tries to protect Ryan by holding him back. It’s something that holds many of us back—those doubts about making changes or doing something outside of our comfort zone. It’s an inner voice that can be negative or even nasty, at times. But there’s a way to quiet this voice, which is something that Ryan has to deal with.
Fettke says by confronting and communicating with your inner gremlin, you can essentially give yourself permission to move on. He says: It’s like putting the ego aside and saying: ‘Okay, gremlin, if you want me to be better, this is what I need to do.’ And to realize that that’s how we learn. That’s how we grow. It’s like watching our little grandson learning to walk. He would walk along and fall. But then he’d get up again.” Fettke says it’s that constant feedback that helps him to know what does and doesn’t work so he can get better.
Another interesting embellishment to the story is the mentor’s use of adventure sports to help Ryan supercharge his quest. This is an activity that Fettke is passionate about. He’s often found climbing sheer rock wall cliffs or walking along a high line that’s stretched across a gorge. Of course, that’s not a requirement for creating wealth or living a better life, but it certainly adds spice to the story as well as some adrenaline in real life, if you’re game!
Sharing Life Lessons
The lessons Fettke portrays in the book are based on his own experience as well as stories he’s heard from other people. Many of those shared experiences come from people Fettke and Kathy have interviewed on “The Real Wealth Show.” But the most profound life-changing experience for Fettke happened about 20 years ago, before he and Kathy got into real estate. Fettke was told he had inoperable skin cancer with just six months to live. As Fettke describes it, the diagnosis “stopped him dead in his tracks.” And while he spent several soul-searching months in fear and despair, Kathy stepped into the role of breadwinner. She discovered real estate and found mentors who could teach her about investing.
Fortunately, the doctor’s diagnosis was wrong. The cancer was curable, but there was no turning back to their old lives. Fettke and his wife had become fully committed to their new roles as real estate investors and the creation of passive income. They also wanted to share what they had learned with friends, so they formed a small network. The network has since grown into a multifaceted real estate investing company called RealWealth with a current membership of about 60,000 people.
Fettke wrote “The Wise Investor” to share more of what he’s learned in the last 20 or so years. In addition to the story, the book also provides a list of useful tools and resources. You’ll get access to Ryan’s Notebook with important highlights and insights from the story, a Life Wheel assessment diagram that you can use to determine where your own life needs improvement, and an audio recording called “Future Self” that Fettke does as a guided exercise every year for RealWealth members. Other resources include information on RealWealth, real estate investing, and Fettke’s personal list of recommended books, podcasts, and websites.
Donna Behrens is a podcast producer and writer for RealWealth, a beta reader for “The Wise Investor,” and a former television news writer in the San Francisco Bay area.
Behrens graduated from the University of California – Berkeley and currently lives in Southern California.