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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about your bizarre reactions to money
This is a really different way of looking at money. The author gets you to think about what emotional reactions you have to common financial situations (e.g. I hate thinking about money, I love piling it up, I WANT that car!). Basically he says we might feel many of these at various times, and the way we were raised may have a lot to do with the dominant patterns...
Published on April 4, 2008 by SAO

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Different View of Archetypes and Money Types
I first read of archetypes in the book "Money Magic: Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment" by Deborah L. Price (originally published in 2000 as "Money Therapy: Using the Eight Money Types to Create Wealth and Prosperity"). The archetypes in Kessel's book are a bit less distinct in their habits and attitudes about money and how it impacts one's...
Published on May 8, 2008 by Steven S. Shagrin


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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about your bizarre reactions to money, April 4, 2008
This is a really different way of looking at money. The author gets you to think about what emotional reactions you have to common financial situations (e.g. I hate thinking about money, I love piling it up, I WANT that car!). Basically he says we might feel many of these at various times, and the way we were raised may have a lot to do with the dominant patterns. Then asks if acting on those emotional impulses is really working for you. Without criticizing, he gives ideas on ways to lighten up on yourself, how to get out of your rut...and states that often just trying a different behavior, and observing that the world doesn't come to an end, allows you to get increasing control of your reactions over time rather than always being driven by your unconscious drives (or your parents' unconscious drives).

It's really easy, fun reading. As I read about the eight "archetypes" or common patterns he points out, I admit I felt a bit superior to some...but when he got to my main pattern it was scary how accurate he was! Actually several patterns can apply to a person at different times or in different situations, so there's a lot of hands-on advice. (The little online quiz took about 2 minutes and confirmed pretty much how I'd classified myself using the book.)

The interweaving of Eastern thought and quotations was interesting without being gimmicky. I got a lot out of this book and I'm no spiritual guru.

At the back is a "Conscious Investor" chapter that I thought would be a rehash of every other financial self-help book. But instead of the usual "you can beat the market" cheerleading, it's a clear explanation of a pretty rational way to invest. The appendix "Nuts and Bolts" is like a one-chapter basic financial advice book...the key things to know or find out about, without having to read a whole book. (This chapter's about the money at least.)

Bottom line, it's useful, thought-provoking, fun without being insubstantial, and gives concrete advice for managing your irrational relationship to money...and pointers on money nuts and bolts too.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that is spiritual, thoughtful and practical all rolled into one, May 6, 2008
Are you ready to discover your money personality? You know, the one that acts like a four year old one day and a mature adult the next. Brent Kessel in his book, It's Not About The Money: Unlock Your Money Type to Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance explores the emotional and intellectual aspects of how we deal (or don't deal) with our finances.

Brent Kessel did a great job of marrying the emotional, spiritual and practical aspects of money, financial planning and wealth management. It's Not About The Money is the type of book you'll want to make time to read, study, work the activities and absorb the material on both an emotional and intellectual level.

Part One: First we have to understand what is happening inside on an emotional level before we can work on outside circumstances. Here are some of the emotional/spiritual highlights I gathered within the first few chapters:
~ We all get what we think we deserve.

~ Financial freedom requires more of a focus on our inner life than on our outer financial circumstances.

~ Inner wealth often leads to outer wealth.

~ To truly understand our relationship with money, it's important to embark on an inner journey in which money is the primary focus.

Part Two: This part focuses on recognizing and understanding your core money personality.

Brent Kessel believes that to understand where we are as adults, we have to understand are financial archetypes. Archetypes are the powerful financial energies within us that make up our day-to-day financial life and often have roots in childhood. The author analyzes eight money personalities/archetypes.

In this section he has us work on how to recognize our money personality, probable causes for why we view money the way we do, why this personality may or may not be working for us and possible solutions for solving what isn't working. Brent does this by taking us through different activities for each of the eight money personalities. This section is an eye-opener!

Part Three: This is the intellectual side of money management. Here is when It's Not About The Money gets into investing, financial planning and using your core story to help you make money.

Once you know your core money story and understand how it affects your life, you can gain power and control over money. Brent shows you how to use your money personality to help make money.

Brent believes when investing stay true to yourself, your money personality and core values. Become a "conscious" investor who invests in a board range of stocks that will universally help the climate and humanity. Your best financial decisions are the ones that support "what is most important to your essence."

Part Four: This is the nuts and bolts resource section. Here you will find pages of valuable information which standing alone is worth the price of the book.

My overall impression of It's Not About The Money: Unlock Your Money Type To Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance is that I'm very glad I read the book. Brent Kessel wrote a book that is spiritual, thoughtful and practical all rolled into one. This book could very well help you make peace with your inner four year old who just may be controlling your adult financial future. I highly recommend!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, transformative book, April 2, 2008
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"Don't get me wrong. I am by no means saying that you can't be both wealthy and happy. But whether you have a seven-figure trust fund or a pile of unpaid bills on your kitchen table, the path to freedom requires that you focus more on your inner life than on your outer financial circumstances." ~ Brent Kessel from "It's Not About the Money"

If you, like me, have struggled with integrating your spirituality with your economics, your self-awareness with your bank balance, and all the rest of the challenges that go with showing up consciously around money in our often frenetic lives, Brent Kessel, "financial planner by day, yogi by dawn," is your friend. And, his book, "It's Not About the Money," is a must-read.

"It's Not About the Money" is all about pointing us to the spiritual path within our relationship to money--helping us master this part of our life to help us live in integrity with our highest ideals. As Brent wrote the book, he traveled around the world, interviewing such spiritual and investment luminaries as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Harold Kushner, David Whyte, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Harry Markowitz, Vanguard Funds founder John Bogle, Ram Dass, and Joseph Goldstein.

It's a remarkably transformative book--the 50+ exercises Brent shares brought me to tears several times--as I re-lived traumatic episodes around money from my childhood and witnessed how these experiences have affected me throughout my adult life. AND how I can now use this awareness to better understand my financial archetypes and create a more conscious life around money. VERY powerful stuff.

You're going to want to get this book to dive deeply into Brent's brilliant process of discovering your Core Story that's running your show and which of his eight archetypes show up in your life--from "The Guardian," "The Pleasure Seeker," "The Idealist," and "The Saver" to "The Star," "The Innocent," "The Caretaker," and "The Empire Builder."

It's quite remarkable to see which of these archetypes shows up when and how. And, as I said, what you can do about it. So, I think you'll really enjoy Brent's many Big Ideas and what the yogi/financial planner has to say about achieving spiritual and financial abundance!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Different View of Archetypes and Money Types, May 8, 2008
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I first read of archetypes in the book "Money Magic: Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment" by Deborah L. Price (originally published in 2000 as "Money Therapy: Using the Eight Money Types to Create Wealth and Prosperity"). The archetypes in Kessel's book are a bit less distinct in their habits and attitudes about money and how it impacts one's life than those described in Price's book. And the "how to" exercises don't seem to be as well defined in helping one to understand how their Core Story (which Price calls the "Money Biography") has developed through subconscious patterning. But the application of using the knowledge of one's "Money Type" (a term first used by Price in her books) in developing a financial planning and investing strategy is unique and quite helpful. Concerning the exercise determining one's "money type", I find it not as well structured as that of Price's, which is on her website at [...] As J. Butterworth said, "This is a very creative adaptation of Price's book with great practical information." I too would have given a higher score had the archetype concept not already been published and applied through Price's work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book controlled my impulse shopping!, May 1, 2008
When I would be upset or hurt or feeling low or stressed out, I would take my credit cards and go shopping. I'd buy items (clothes and shoes and handbags mostly) because it made me feel good and I'd chat with the salesperson who would always tell me how great whatever it was looked with me wearing or holding it. I'd convince myself it was on sale, so that in itself was a reason to buy it. Then I'd get home to realize I already have 3 pair of red shoes, dresses, purses, whatever. Well, I read It's Not About the Money, and figured out it's my core story; it's my "wanting mind" never having enough; it's the Star in me saying 'look at me' and the Caretaker buying things for my grown children that they dont even want. I learned, thru Brent Kessel's meditations and practical suggestions, thru his case studies and wise financial advice, that if I tell myself to just walk away and think about that purchase - do I really need it? what will I use it for? who am I trying to please?-- then usually I forget about it by the time I've walked down the mall, or I satisfy myself with an item of much less value. In essence, I control my habits now instead of them controlling me, and I am saving money and feel good and enjoy going shopping in my own closets (finding all those items with the pricetags still on them from previous crazy impulse buys!) I refer to the book again and again and it is now one of my best reference books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That is right!, April 15, 2008
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Brent has distilled for us what he has learned from years of being a financial planner and years of spiritual seeking. He challenges people to examine their relationship to money and unearth the hidden motives which drives them in self destructive ways. Drawing on meditation and yoga practice he offers simple exercises to bring awareness to these behaviors so that we can understand them and undermine their counterproductive effects. In a society that is besotted by consuming and anxious about money and security Brent offers straight forward and very useful insights. After presenting us with the psychological/spiritual challenge of money and ways of addressing it, in an appendix Brent offers the nuts and bolts of sensible investment and saving strategies for the various money personality types he explores in the book. Although not immediately obvious his financial strategies would make life much simpler and more secure for people who flounder around in the hype of television money programs or the headlines of the business sections of newspapers which engender greed for ever growing wealth or fear that all will be lost. If people followed Brent's sage wisdom there would be a lot less dot com busts or subprime debacles and their lives would be more at ease. Read this book.

Charlie Fisher, author of Dismantling Discontent: Buddha's Way Through Darwin's World. (For the sake of full revelation, Brent's business partner was a student of mine many years ago and I look on their firm with grandfatherly interest).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, life changing, and practical, April 8, 2008
A must read for everyone! This book is unique in that it addresses the fundamental issue that all of the other personal finance and investment books out there seem to overlook, which is that you must first understand your own motivations, behaviors, patterns, etc. surrounding money before you can begin to transform your financial life. This book has done so much for me and I have recommended it to all of my friends and family. The beauty of the book is that it not only helps to recognize these imbalances in ourselves, but it also gives advice on how to address them in an easy to understand and practical way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book makes concepts easy to understand and apply, May 17, 2008
By 
rs (New Hampshire, USA) - See all my reviews
This is one of the most inspiring books I've read on the subject of money in a long time. What I like about it is that it is written in an easy to read manner that makes the concepts very accessible. Whether you are attracted or put off by the link to yoga and eastern thought, don't let that get in the way - this is a book about money, and the author draws upon all traditions to illustrate his points.

Read this book with an open mind - if necessary, read it downstairs, in the basement, in a closet with the door closed and the light on, at night after everyone else is asleep, if that'll make you feel secure and certain that no-one can see your reactions. Then be brutally honest with yourself as you work through the archetypes, recognize your behavior patterns, and identify your core story. The experience will be transformative. Then try to follow the suggestions - that'll be harder, but the results will be worth it. Even if it takes you just a few steps in the right direction, it'll be time well spent.

You may want to revisit the concepts after an initial reading, but that will be efficient because the book is easy to follow. The book is well organized with chapters & sections for various archetypes, so that in the future the reader can just refer to the pertinent sections.

The primary complaint some readers may have about the book is that actual investment advice is presented in summary form. However I would suggest otherwise - there is plenty of reading material out there with details of the practical steps. This book has many references that can guide you in the right direction. What is key in this book (and its important to recognize this) is that it links it to you, specifically, by working through how you are likely to react under various circumstances. From my personal experience, I can say that once you get there, the rest is downhill.

May you find the harmony you are searching for.

It's Not About the Money: Unlock Your Money Type to Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 8 Archetypes, August 16, 2011
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This review is from: It's Not About the Money: Unlock Your Money Type to Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance (Hardcover)
This book is about Kessel's 8 Financial archetypes (see the review before mine for a detailed description). As another reviewer said, this book is worth it if only for the 8 archetype descriptions. While I was reading the book I had a visceral response to some of the information, so I know that it was pushing some unconscious buttons--some of the descriptions are very accurate.

However, the solutions chapter, "The Middle Way," was a failure for me. I thought that I was going to get some really effective, detailed advice about how to deal with my main archetypes, and instead was treated to generic self-help. In other words, the author states that it's going to take time to deal with and embrace the internal co-existence of your "Core Story" and your wise/mature self. And that the child-like part of you, from which your Core Story stems, will rebel, but you must be patient-- Duh! This chapter could have been ripped out of a book that I read 18 years ago.
The book goes into its third section-- investment. I don't know where this fits in for people who are just starting to get a grasp on their archetypes, especially if they are not an Empire Builder, Saver, or Guardian. So, with this chapter the author started to remind me of Suze Orman. That is, I have never been able to connect with her advice because it seems that it's for people who have considerable wealth or savings.

The 8 archetypes makes this book a good buy--used. But I have yet to find a spiritual finance book that has concrete solutions. If anyone has any suggestions let me know!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allowing me to consciously release "the parking brake" in my relationship with money, April 10, 2008
By 
Donal Murphy (San Leandro, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The analogy I use in reviewing Brent Kessel's wonderful book, "It's Not About the Money," is that working through it has made me realize that I have been relating to money similar in experience to driving around in my car, being unable to figure out why it drives so sluggishly no matter how much gas I give it, only to realize that I've been driving around with the parking brake on the entire time.

Brent's compassionate and practical insights have provided me with a structure and format for an ongoing examination of my unconscious familial, cultural, and social conditioning around money. He has provided me with the tools to release the "parking brake" on my relationship with money. I respect and appreciate Brent's approach which doesn't promise 10 easy steps to vast riches like so many other books. Brent provides an approach which recognizes that this is a life-long exploration and relationship. I would recommend this book to anyone ready to commit to a long-term, evolutionary, and revolutionary relationship with money, and the intention to be happy, free and feel abundant whether you have $10 or $10 million to your name.
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