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It's Not About the Money: A Financial Game Plan for Staying Safe, Sane, and Calm in Any Economy Paperback – March 31, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Financial planner by day, yogi by dawn, Kessel offers holistic financial advice in this Buddhist-influenced debut promising both a better financial strategy and greater fulfillment and happiness. More money doesn't necessarily mean more enjoyment of life and freedom from worry, Kessel argues; people are often unhappy with their financial lives because traditional ways to think about money—spend less, save more—work from the outside in rather than the inside out. Kessel highlights the benefits of focusing awareness inward, allowing for the integration of outer actions with inner understanding. He explores eight financial archetypes (including The Pleasure Seeker and The Empire Builder), helps readers determine their type and suggests ways to overcome the problems each type typically faces. Pleasure Seekers, for example, should take a weekly break from wanting or redefine the things that bring them pleasure. The rewards will be an abiding sense of financial fulfillment, a sense of security and confidence about the future and a greater ability to reach important financial goals. Readers interested in an Eastern-influenced approach will find useful advice on how to think about money, as well as insight into what makes us tick. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

What YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE does for your relationship with earning and spending money, Brent Kessel does for your relationship with investing. This book is clear, kind, helpful and empowering.. (Thich Nhat Hanh, author of The Art of Power)

“What’s your heart’s desire--spiritual fulfillment, or wealth? The good news is that it’s not an either/or proposition--you can have both. This magnificent book will show you how to get your ego out of the way so you can align your financial decisions with your heart and soul.” (Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Lead Like Jesus)

“Kessel has a unique perspective on money. He is able to open people’s eyes to the financial world and at the same time show them how to look inward for value. Anyone who wants to not only be rich but lead a rich life should read this book.” (Thomas M. Kostigen, Dow Jones’ MarketWatch columnist and author of What Money Really Means)

“Brent Kessel combines some of the most sophisticated knowledge of financial planning and investment strategies with a sincere and grounded practice in the meditation arts. By reading this book, people will benefit in ways they never imagined possible. I highly recommend his work.” (George Kinder, author of The Seven Stages of Money Maturity)

This book does a beautiful job at helping us make peace with money and our relationship to it. I highly and enthusiastically recommended It’s NotAbout the Money for anyone with any amount of money!” (Liz Pulliam Weston, nationally syndicated personal finance columnist, MSN Money Expert, and author of Your Credit Score and Deal with Your Debt)

“Brent Kessel is one of the financial planning profession’s true thought leaders around what may be the most important issue of our time: How can each of us find personally fulfilling strategies that will lead us toward a life of happiness and spiritual prosperity?” (Bob Veres, editor, Inside Information)

“Brent Kessel is one of the most thoughtful, thorough and knowledgeable investment professionals that I’ve met. His advice on blending the personal and financial aspects of life have served him well in doing an outstanding job for his clients.” (Jim O’Shaughnessy, author of What Works on Wall Street and How to Retire Rich)

“It’s rare that a book on personal finance succeeds equally well on both sides of the coin. Brent Kessel has pulled it off. This is one that’s rich in solid, practical advice--but not at the expense of the human spirit. (Lee Eisenberg, author of The Number: A Completely Different Way To Think About the Rest of Your Life)

“Brent Kessel will change your relationship with money in a way that may also enhance the richness of your life.” (Tom Bradley, President, TD AMERITRADE Institutional)

Kessel offers “holistic financial advice” in Buddhist-influenced debut promising both a better financial strategy and greater fulfillment and happiness. (Publishers Weekly)

This is a financial-planning guide unlike any other on the market, thanks mostly to Kessel’s skillful combination of yoga and wealth-management expertise. . . . Zen and the art of money management. (Booklist)

A great job of marrying the emotional, spiritual and practical aspects of money, financial planning and wealth management. Highly recommended. (BellaOnline)

[It’s Not About the Money and] the accompanying interactive quiz will help you learn more about your own archetypal patterns--from “saver” to “pleasure seeker” to “empire builder”--and give you the insight and power to change. (Forbes.com)

This book does a beautiful job at helping us make peace with money and our relationship to it. I highly and enthusiastically recommended It’s NotAbout the Money for anyone with any amount of money!” (Richard Carlson, author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff)

Brent Kessel has written something sophisticated, psychologically accurate and helpful to a person trying to live at the center of all this constant getting and spending. This is a book that succeeds admirably in helping us to understand ourselves, our goals and our relationship to money.” (David Whyte, author of The Heart Aroused and Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work As a Pilgrimage of Identity)

“Kessel shows how being mindful of our relationship to money can free one of anxiety and even turn money into a tool for compassion. (Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhis monk and bestselling author nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

It’s a remarkably transformative book--the myriad of exercises Brent shares brought me to tears several times...VERY powerful stuff. (philosophersnotes.com)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061234052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061234057
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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...
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"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.
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