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Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity

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Western culture is riddled with destructive myths about money and prosperity that are severely limiting individuals' power, creativity, and financial potential. In "Killing Sacred Cows," Gunderson boldly exposes ingrained fallacies and misguided traditions in the world of personal finance.


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Western culture is riddled with destructive myths about money and prosperity that are severely limiting individuals' power, creativity, and financial potential. In "Killing Sacred Cows," Gunderson boldly exposes ingrained fallacies and misguided traditions in the world of personal finance.

30 review for Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chazzle

    Really mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I really liked it because it had lots of interesting tidbits that "never make it to the scorecard", in other words, intangible reasons to consider factors much, much more important than the "almighty" dollar. And, of course, since the book has a myth-busting mentality, it spurs thinking. On the other hand, at times the book gave me a headache, with almost cultish repetition of certain key phrases. It's almost as if the author is saying, "Don Really mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I really liked it because it had lots of interesting tidbits that "never make it to the scorecard", in other words, intangible reasons to consider factors much, much more important than the "almighty" dollar. And, of course, since the book has a myth-busting mentality, it spurs thinking. On the other hand, at times the book gave me a headache, with almost cultish repetition of certain key phrases. It's almost as if the author is saying, "Don't believe everybody else, just nod in agreement as I feed you that key phrase for the 10,000th time." So, if you can get past the repetition, I believe you can benefit from the thought provoking opinions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Frisco

    WOW. I'm a bit surprised that this is so poorly rated on here. I found this to be thoroughly groundbreaking for me. It does a phenomenal job of tying together the concept of value creation and an abundance mindset in purely financial terms, and showing how the accumulation mentality falls short in critical areas of life. I blew threw this in a day and it's thoroughly changed my outlook on money. Must-read, if only to challenge your own thoughts for holes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I must admit that I didn't finish this book - it was hard to read. The quotes within the body of the text were distracting and the changes of margin widths were annoying. Besides the layout, I felt that this book is not for everyone. There was an emphasis on materialism and I felt that the author taught some things that were contrary to what church leaders have taught. I also thought the author was pushing his own agenda and think he probably sells whole or universal life insurance, which I am v I must admit that I didn't finish this book - it was hard to read. The quotes within the body of the text were distracting and the changes of margin widths were annoying. Besides the layout, I felt that this book is not for everyone. There was an emphasis on materialism and I felt that the author taught some things that were contrary to what church leaders have taught. I also thought the author was pushing his own agenda and think he probably sells whole or universal life insurance, which I am very wary of. He spoke a lot about finding your "Soul Purpose" - something you would do all day, even if you didn't get paid for it - then pursue that purpose to create wealth beyond all that you can imagine. Problem is - what if your "Soul Purpose" is something for which you don't get paid? John said that he would like to be a missionary full time - where is the money in that? We sometimes need to do hard things or things that we don't necessarily love in order to fund our Soul Purpose - maybe he talked about that near the end. The author assumes that everyone's "Soul Purpose" is something that could be turned into a business venture. I may pick this up again, and I'm going to check out his website, but I'm not a fan.

  4. 5 out of 5

    S

    I can see how an average person might be find this book to be a paradigm shifter as it's written with all sorts of economic buzzwords, both real and made-up. The basic premise is you can only count on yourself for financial success. 401ks, investments, etc are riskier than the financial industry wants you to believe. If you focus on wealth, you will always be poor. Focus on adding value to the world! Do what you love and the money will come! Focus on cash flow instead of savings! No, no and no. I can see how an average person might be find this book to be a paradigm shifter as it's written with all sorts of economic buzzwords, both real and made-up. The basic premise is you can only count on yourself for financial success. 401ks, investments, etc are riskier than the financial industry wants you to believe. If you focus on wealth, you will always be poor. Focus on adding value to the world! Do what you love and the money will come! Focus on cash flow instead of savings! No, no and no. Investing in yourself is far riskier than any financial asset since there's no diversification of risk. If what you love is doing nothing or non-profit, the money will NOT come. Cash flow will get you through life as long as you always have positive cash flow. You'll need savings for when cash flow isn't positive. But I guess you won't even notice that you're starving if you focus on adding value to the world instead of your (lack of) wealth.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James Knowles

    I've listened to Garret Gunderson in person and on the radio quite a bit, so there was little there that was new. However, the material is excellent and bears consideration. The reason people struggle financially is because they're basing decisions on flawed ideas. You can' rise above the quality (good or bad) of the information you believe. This book cuts to the heart of the most common faulty beliefs about money in our age. Stephen Palmer shows his talent for writing. I don't know where his vo I've listened to Garret Gunderson in person and on the radio quite a bit, so there was little there that was new. However, the material is excellent and bears consideration. The reason people struggle financially is because they're basing decisions on flawed ideas. You can' rise above the quality (good or bad) of the information you believe. This book cuts to the heart of the most common faulty beliefs about money in our age. Stephen Palmer shows his talent for writing. I don't know where his voice begins or ends, but the material is well organized and reads easily.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I really enjoyed this book because it not only taught me about finance but also about making a better life for myself and those around me. The author teaches that happiness = prosperity, not money! The other most influential concept of the book is to seek out our soul purpose in life and to always be investing in ourselves, with regard to our human life value. It was an uplifting book about a topic that can be such a drag.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James Davis

    This book is where I learned about the difference between producers and consumers. It motivated me to be a creator, a starter, and a producer of value. It reinforced my belief that when you strive to create value in the world that money will naturally follow.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Philip Athans

    Immediately after finishing this book I turned off my 401(k) contribution and never looked back. And no, I don't believe everything I read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    This book was recommended to me. I found it meandered and unfocused in its presentation and if there were any gems to be learned I didn't have the patience to decipher them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diana Nagy

    Okay...this book...its a must read. No joke. This book is the one financial book you need to read today and its the only financial book you'll ever need in regards to investing and saving. It's worth every penny, no matter if you paid 10 cents or 10 dollars. In fact, in my opinion, its worth thousands. Especially to those of you who have spent that amount in your 401K's. Not smart, people. Get out of the 401k. It isn't going to do for you what you are going to do for yourself with your money aft Okay...this book...its a must read. No joke. This book is the one financial book you need to read today and its the only financial book you'll ever need in regards to investing and saving. It's worth every penny, no matter if you paid 10 cents or 10 dollars. In fact, in my opinion, its worth thousands. Especially to those of you who have spent that amount in your 401K's. Not smart, people. Get out of the 401k. It isn't going to do for you what you are going to do for yourself with your money after you read this book. I have always followed this advice, and while I am not rich, I am definitely in the black when my expenses and assets are calculated. Way way way in the black. And that's a good thing. It's where you want to be. But let me tell you one thing. I learned the hard way about credit cards and debt. Now I don't have any. Not one. And I used to have 9 credit cards that were eventually all maxed out. I was addicted to shopping. Not that I'm not still addicted, just not so bad. Now I pay cash for everything. If I don't have the cash, guess what? I don't buy it. And you know what I've found anyway? A lot of the things I just "had to have" I ended up finding something better and cheaper, something which ended up making me a lot happier just by waiting and saving up for that fantastic thing that I didn't always end up buying anyway. Just like my husband taught me (although he needs to learn to follow his own advice sometimes), there's always going to be a good deal somewhere. In fact, you will probably run into one every single day. And he's right. There are good and even great deals everywhere but no matter how good of a deal it is, it doesn't mean you have to take it. There will be another deal later with a better item for a better price and it's likely to be much newer and nicer than the one you wanted initially. If you don't have the cash to pay for it, you're not meant to have it at this time. Please read this book and take its advice. Our world needs to change. Our children need to change. They need to not follow the footsteps that most of their parents are sending them in. They learn what we show them. And building up debt is not the answer. Building up assets, investments and savings are. But they have to be the right investments. Obtained the right way. For the right price. And trust me. They're out there and they're easy to come by. It will only take a little bit of research but you will get there.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Arrett

    I have rarely encountered such a poorly composed piece of writing. Rather than persuading the reader of his ideas on finance, as author Gunderson clearly wishes to do, the book rambles from idea to idea with little form or direction. Even setting aside the collection of half baked notions the author wishes to bestow upon the reader, it is clear no serious effort was made to edit and clarify the content of this book prior to publication. It is a poor piece of work through and through. Having finis I have rarely encountered such a poorly composed piece of writing. Rather than persuading the reader of his ideas on finance, as author Gunderson clearly wishes to do, the book rambles from idea to idea with little form or direction. Even setting aside the collection of half baked notions the author wishes to bestow upon the reader, it is clear no serious effort was made to edit and clarify the content of this book prior to publication. It is a poor piece of work through and through. Having finished the book I am left wondering exactly who Gunderson is trying to persuade. Anyone who has enjoyed even a modicum of financial success will quickly lose confidence in the author's ability to speak on the topic of finance. The author does not have a strong grasp on any of the topics he attempts to cover - debt, insurance, common business financial documents (Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Statements, Etc...). It is as though he read one article or had a cursory encounter with each topic and then decided to write his book as though he had some expertise. One section in particular provided me a great deal of amusement - the author spends a lot of time dancing around the concept of debt, and in particular his odd definition of "debt" as only the situation where one's liabilities exceeds one's assets. Any "debt" not meeting that standard is, per the author, to be celebrated and labelled a "liability." It's an odd hair to split, but Gunderson splits it and circles around it for page after page treating his discovery as especially novel and "sacred cow killing." I kept waiting for him to use the word that applied - insolvency (i.e., when liabilities exceed assets), but I'm fairly certain that hadn't come up in the one article he must have read on debt in his working life. This book is bad and many of its ideas, if executed, would leave the average reader financially worse off. Gunderson charges at the reader with a series of myth-busting ideas that are questionable on their face and never manage to persuade. I'd urge anyone to steer clear of this book and spend their time reading any of the truly excellent business and financial books on the market...or at least one that passed across an editor's desk.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rayfes Mondal

    The author makes strong claims about 401ks being bad that don't hold up. His claim that even employer matches aren't what they are cracked up to be are wrong. This is mostly a self-help book telling people to find their Soul Purpose and pursue that and that lives have meaning when we serve others. Nothing wrong with that but I was looking for hard economic data and life coaching. The author falls into the camp of investing in rental properties to generate cash flow instead of saving for retirement The author makes strong claims about 401ks being bad that don't hold up. His claim that even employer matches aren't what they are cracked up to be are wrong. This is mostly a self-help book telling people to find their Soul Purpose and pursue that and that lives have meaning when we serve others. Nothing wrong with that but I was looking for hard economic data and life coaching. The author falls into the camp of investing in rental properties to generate cash flow instead of saving for retirement. That's fine but it has risks and requires work just like the stock market. A balanced portfolio would have both. He has a good chapter on insurance and why you shouldn't have least amount once you have assets which is true for auto, homeowner's and umbrella policies. But I don't think whole life insurance policies are good. Insurance should be used to take care of people who depend on your income. A term policy that covers when your children are under 18 is sufficient. For your spouse a term policy that covers you until your retirement is sufficient since after that point if you've planned properly she'll have enough from your inheritance. I liked his view of money isn't the most important thing but when you become prosperous by following your Soul Purpose that you shouldn't feel bad about it. There's a lot of talk about the retirement mentality being wrong. That most people feel like they suffer through their working years to save enough for retirement and when they do retire they've become so stingy that they can't enjoy their money. That can happen but I don't think passive investment strategies like index funds through 401ks are bad and you'll want that money later if you don't make F-you money off of your Soul Purpose. I've taken plenty of chances in my life and career and am better for it. So much of this book was either "Duh" or wrong that I got very little out of it. I felt like I was reading an infomercial and then I realized the author puts on seminars and such so I guess I was!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Oh where to begin? My life will be better if I never again hear the sentence, "For more information, go to KillingSacredCows.com". There are a lot of interesting thoughts in this book and the evaluation of cultural wisdom isn't a bad idea. However, the broad brushstrokes the author uses to paint the picture are often fear-mongering and do not speak to educated use of the financial industry. This book did get me thinking but mostly about why the arguments were hollow or incorrect. So many fallaci Oh where to begin? My life will be better if I never again hear the sentence, "For more information, go to KillingSacredCows.com". There are a lot of interesting thoughts in this book and the evaluation of cultural wisdom isn't a bad idea. However, the broad brushstrokes the author uses to paint the picture are often fear-mongering and do not speak to educated use of the financial industry. This book did get me thinking but mostly about why the arguments were hollow or incorrect. So many fallacies... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of... I did find the conversation of cash flow versus net worth to be an interesting perspective and will probably spend more time contemplating that particular topic. I think my biggest issue with the author's point of view is that investment in oneself is only useful as long as one desires to and actively can contribute to society and the economy. There's also some discussion of legacy that I find particularly off-putting because the author seems to come from the perspective that everyone should be making decisions based on what will preserve their money and legacy. I don't really consider monetary legacy to be a worthwhile investment of my time or resources so we have a philosophical difference about why one is productive. I want the last check I write to bounce. Teehee. ;-) The author states in the audiobook that he wrote with the intention of being thought-provoking. In that aim, I think he was successful. I do not agree with a significant portion of what he wrote and I do not approve of the judgmental way some of the information is conveyed but it did get me thinking about a few things. I don't think it'll change any of my life plans but it wasn't a bad audio track for a few hours.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    The positives: This was an easy book to listen to and was full of good self-help advice to get started in personal financial planning. I like how much emphasis he puts on finding your own financial path and investing in yourself, which he calls “soul purpose.” It was nice to hear that versus how much money you need to make just to survive. It’s an incredibly positive approach to long-term planning. The negatives: 1) I agree with others that he repeats himself too much, 2) there isn’t a lot of re The positives: This was an easy book to listen to and was full of good self-help advice to get started in personal financial planning. I like how much emphasis he puts on finding your own financial path and investing in yourself, which he calls “soul purpose.” It was nice to hear that versus how much money you need to make just to survive. It’s an incredibly positive approach to long-term planning. The negatives: 1) I agree with others that he repeats himself too much, 2) there isn’t a lot of real financial advice, and 3) this is one long advertisement to visit his website. I would recommend this book to anyone who is just getting started or just making real money - college kids, newly single people, etc. and I am glad I read/listened to it. But it just could have been better, hence the three stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    There are so many cultural and societal myths that boil just above the surface of truth waiting to be despoiled, yet few do the work to weed them out. They can be found in education, relationships, health, medicine, even finance. And here is where Sacred Cows comes in to save the day. What do you know about the 401k myth (or 403b, if public)? I know a LOT for I have been deceived. I have also first-hand seen my life suffer via the education, health, work, and finance myths. What do you know abou There are so many cultural and societal myths that boil just above the surface of truth waiting to be despoiled, yet few do the work to weed them out. They can be found in education, relationships, health, medicine, even finance. And here is where Sacred Cows comes in to save the day. What do you know about the 401k myth (or 403b, if public)? I know a LOT for I have been deceived. I have also first-hand seen my life suffer via the education, health, work, and finance myths. What do you know about retirement myths that may be preventing you from fully enjoying retirement. Debt may not be what you think it is. Or assets for that matter. Grunderson has earned quite a reputation to cutting to the core of sacred financial myths that just may save your financial life. Certainly worth a read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I skim-read this book (can you do anything else with these self-help type books?). Things I liked: principles of responsibility, productivity, and abundance. Things I didn't like: no examples that didn't include real estate or entrepreneurship, the term "Soul Purpose" (not that I could come up with a better term), and that it is basically a sales pitch for his consulting (not that I blame him for trying.) It did make me think about my retirement plan and consider doing something unusual instead I skim-read this book (can you do anything else with these self-help type books?). Things I liked: principles of responsibility, productivity, and abundance. Things I didn't like: no examples that didn't include real estate or entrepreneurship, the term "Soul Purpose" (not that I could come up with a better term), and that it is basically a sales pitch for his consulting (not that I blame him for trying.) It did make me think about my retirement plan and consider doing something unusual instead of the 401k and IRA thing. I agree that those products have been pushed on everyone--and there must be a reason for it and that the reason is probably not because they really benefit us so much.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kunal Sampat

    This book is less about finances and more about the philosophy of life, of which finance is a huge part. I found many parts of the book repetitive. However, the repetition does help reinforce the points the author is trying to make. The author provides a list of questions you should be asking in life and before making any financial decisions. I loved this list of questions. The links, as mentioned in the book, on the killingscaredcows.com website don't work.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    I vacillated between 3.5 and 4. Lots of great material in this book, however, the writing is boring and repetitive. Don't dismiss the book because of that, like I said, full of useful and eye opening information.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Gunderson exposes how the scarcity mindset can ripple out in all aspects of our lives, and how to convert our thinking and actions to achieve greater productivity, achieve our dreams, and life with more purpose.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shaeley Santiago

    Thought-provoking exploration of common financial/retirement myths

  21. 5 out of 5

    Moseray Smart

    Good insight, I’m under the impression that financial books tend to simply pull information out of each other. No wonder why I enjoy Biographies more. It is still a good read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dan Korth

    I didn't read this book for a long time because I figured he was going to just tell me to not invest in a 401k. While I wholeheartedly agree with that position I didn't see the need to read it again. I was pleasantly surprised to find this is far more about developing the mindset of a producer and arranging one's finances to allow them to be empowered with money and able to live a very intentional and purposeful life. Really enjoyed the book and got a lot out of the discussions about the differe I didn't read this book for a long time because I figured he was going to just tell me to not invest in a 401k. While I wholeheartedly agree with that position I didn't see the need to read it again. I was pleasantly surprised to find this is far more about developing the mindset of a producer and arranging one's finances to allow them to be empowered with money and able to live a very intentional and purposeful life. Really enjoyed the book and got a lot out of the discussions about the difference between a consumer and producer mindset. Being a consumer leads us to live in scarcity and shrink whereas a producer mindset drives us to grow and expand every aspect of our life. Overall great stuff. I recommend this book. Fair warning, Garrett is going to pitch his websites quite a bit...but he wrote and awesome book and helps a lot of people so he has a right to pitch his stuff.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brad Mills

    Overall I thought it was very good, however it's too long. It takes a contrarian approach to money management, which is refreshing to see. This book doesn't make you feel bad for indulging in a bit of luxury or buying that expensive iPhone. It makes you realize a lot of financial myths. It doesn't contain a lot of "meat" either, seems primarily used as a sales tool for the Wealth Factory program, which does seem valuable. Contrasted to Money Master The Game, there's at least sing exercises in that b Overall I thought it was very good, however it's too long. It takes a contrarian approach to money management, which is refreshing to see. This book doesn't make you feel bad for indulging in a bit of luxury or buying that expensive iPhone. It makes you realize a lot of financial myths. It doesn't contain a lot of "meat" either, seems primarily used as a sales tool for the Wealth Factory program, which does seem valuable. Contrasted to Money Master The Game, there's at least sing exercises in that book to get you started on a path of figuring out how to optimise your expenses and goal setting exercises. I would recommend Killing Sacred Cows, and after reading it, I'll be signing up for their private program.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Drake

    The focus on not reducing costs but instead creating value is a good paradigm shift. Instead of focusing on saving for retirement, using the money on investments that actually do something for us NOW, (like buying property and then renting it), instead of the money sitting in a bank account. Kyle cease style of keeping the money in flow and working and increasing our value in the world by investing in ourselves and producing (serving) more to earn more. The actual advice for money I didn’t find The focus on not reducing costs but instead creating value is a good paradigm shift. Instead of focusing on saving for retirement, using the money on investments that actually do something for us NOW, (like buying property and then renting it), instead of the money sitting in a bank account. Kyle cease style of keeping the money in flow and working and increasing our value in the world by investing in ourselves and producing (serving) more to earn more. The actual advice for money I didn’t find useful, but mindset was good.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ian McGaffey

    This book has some practical ways to better your financial awareness and tries to make the reader more critical of the financial advice they are give. This is all well and good, but the author has his own vision of how people should live their financial lives with seemingly litle room for variation. I guess if you are critical of financial advice you should be critical of the authors as well. I did enjoy the range of myths the author tries to debunk and overall the book did get me thinking about This book has some practical ways to better your financial awareness and tries to make the reader more critical of the financial advice they are give. This is all well and good, but the author has his own vision of how people should live their financial lives with seemingly litle room for variation. I guess if you are critical of financial advice you should be critical of the authors as well. I did enjoy the range of myths the author tries to debunk and overall the book did get me thinking about my perceptions of financial ideas.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Like most "how to" or "new theory" books, this got a little churchy at the end (and the author is quick to offer to take more of your money to help you be independent). But the meat of the content on abundance versus scarcity as an economic framework, and how accumulation theory and dumping money into stocks and 401ks one neither understands nor controls is excellent. The content on seeking value over price is excellent as well.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I have to say this book really was surprising and I appreciate the advice. The key takeaway is to think rationally about your financial decisions and not follow the crowd. Make the decisions that fit your life the best! Rating this book was still somehow difficult. I believe the main reason is that there was a lot of killing of cows, but not so much advice imparted on what TO DO. And because of this I gave it three stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Les Dossey

    Garrett lays bare the truths about money, investing and financial mindsets. He turns the financial management world upside down and shakes loose many of the destructive myths preventing millions of people from obtaining real prosperity. A must-read for entrepreneurs.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Lane

    Seems like a large advertisement for buying life insurance and then borrowing against that to buy homes and other cash-flowing assets, rather than investing in a 401k. I don't mind alternative forms of investment, but did not appreciate the round-about approach

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Merchant

    I love this author(s). This is the second book I've read and their insight and looking beyond traditional financial knowledge is amazing. I love the fact they push value creation as the path to wealth not traditional paths.

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