“The Wise Investor: A Modern Parable About Creating Financial Freedom and Living Your Best Life” highlights the life of Ryan Brooks, who realized he wasn’t living out the dreams he once had. He works too much and doesn’t have much time or money for himself and his family, so he embarks on a journey to improve his life and finances. Readers are drawn into it, experiencing the adventure through Ryan’s eyes, and as the story unfolds, insights and accomplishments are not only instructive, but inspiring, accessible to anyone who makes the effort.
This is Rich Fettke’s second book. Twenty years ago, he wrote Extreme Success, which outlined a seven-step plan for effortless success. 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 self-reflection adventure stories that lead to personal transformation. He says: “Each of us has the power to ensure financial freedom by believing what is possible in our lives and taking action to make it happen. If you agree, your transformation has begun.”
In “The Smart Investor,” the protagonist is an unfortunate husband, father, and wage slave who learns real estate investing with the help of a mentor. But this story isn’t just about making money. Mentors inspire Ryan to reach greater heights financially and personally. As Fettke explains: “The power of a story goes beyond simply conveying facts and information; it emotionalizes the information, allowing it to inspire changes in our attitudes and behaviors.”
The book caught the attention of legendary real estate guru Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote the first best-selling financial book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and the foreword to Fettke’s new book. In a way, 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 act in a way that will put you on the path to financial freedom and a life of purpose.”
Guidance is the main theme
Although the book is fictional, it is based on Fettke’s own real-life experiences and transformations. A major theme of this book is the importance of finding a mentor or coach to help guide and encourage you. Not only is Fettke a master-certified business coach who has coached hundreds of people over two decades, he also had his own personal trainer during the same period.
In this book, readers can experience how a coach can keep you on track by holding you accountable for any plan you make and encouraging you to achieve your goals. Fettke created the conversation between Ryan and his coach, John Weise, based on his own experience as a coach and trainee, although he currently identifies more strongly with the coaching role.
As he explained in an interview on his wife Casey’s “Real Fortune Show” podcast: “Having a coach is like having other people out there asking questions we didn’t ask ourselves… ‘How are you doing? Are you the best version of yourself? What’s working? What’s not working? Where can you be? Improve? Where can I love more? Where can I give more? How can you create more? It just helps me outdo myself. That’s why I think the coaching process is very powerful.”
But it’s not just positive voices that move us forward. Fetek also featured a kid in the story who tried to protect Ryan by stopping him. It’s what holds many of us back — those doubts about making a change or doing something outside our comfort zone. It’s an inner voice that can be negative and even annoying at times. But there’s a way to silence that voice, and that’s something Ryan has to deal with.
By confronting and communicating with your inner kid, you can basically allow yourself to move on, Fettke says. He said: It’s like putting the ego aside and saying: “Well, kid, if you want me to be better, this is what I need to do.” And realize that’s how we learn. This is how we grow up. It was like watching our little grandson learn to walk. He would fall while walking. But then he would stand up again. ” Fettke says it’s this constant feedback that helps him understand what’s working and what’s not so he can get better.
Another interesting story embellishment is the mentor’s use of adventure sports to help Ryan strengthen his quest. It’s an activity Fettke is passionate about. He is often found climbing sheer rock cliffs or walking along high lines across canyons. Of course, it’s not necessary to create wealth or live a better life, but if you’re a gamer, it definitely adds spice to the story as well as real-life adrenaline!
share life experience
The lessons Fettke describes in the book are based on his own experiences and stories he has heard from others. Many of these shared experiences came from people Fettke and Kathy interviewed on The Real Fortune Show. But for Fettke, the most profoundly life-changing experience happened some 20 years ago, before he and Kathy were in real estate. Fettke was told he had inoperable skin cancer and had just six months to live. As Fettke described it, the diagnosis “left him dead in place.” As he spent months of self-reflection amid fear and despair, Casey took on the role of breadwinner. She discovered real estate and found mentors who could teach her about investing.
Fortunately, the doctor’s diagnosis was wrong. Cancers can be cured, but they cannot go back to their past lives. Fettke and his wife have fully committed to their new role as real estate investors and generating passive income. They also wanted to share what they had learned with their friends, so they formed a small network. The network has since grown into a diversified real estate investment firm called RealWealth, which currently has approximately 60,000 members.
Fettke wrote “The Wise Investor” to share more of what he’s learned over the past 20 years or so. In addition to the stories, this book provides a list of useful tools and resources. You’ll have access to Ryan’s notebook with key highlights and insights from the story, a Life Wheel assessment map that you can use to identify areas in your own life that need improvement, and a recording called “Future Self” that Fettke conducts as a guide each year for RealWealth member workouts. Additional 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 Smart Investor, and a former TV news writer in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Behrens is a graduate of UC Berkeley and currently resides in Southern California.