Five Day Weekend by Nik Halik and Garrett B. Gunderson: Should You Read It?


The first time Five Day Weekend caught my attention, I was in Atlanta Airport on my way back from my honeymoon.  The cover is stark and striking, and it reminded me of a similar title I’d read a year or so before called Four Hour Workweek.

Indeed, I assumed based on its similar title that it would be a book about life design and freedom. A perusal of the inside flap proved me right.

I didn’t buy the book right away. Instead I decided to wait and purchase the title on Audible since I do about 70% of my “reading” via audio books these days. I love the ability to listen while I do other things. I can listen while I drive, walk, or do housework.

When I got home, I promptly put the title in my wish list and then just as promptly forgot about its existence. For nearly two years!  Recently I’ve been on a non-fic kick. I’ve had a desire to read more books that keep me motivated to stick to my financial path. I like books that talk to me about my career and about business in general.

If you’re thinking about reading Five Day Weekend, here was my experience with it.

It’s Motivational

Five Day Weekend offered exactly that motivational punch I was looking for.  It starts off with a reminder to “get your financial house in order.” Then it asks you to set money aside for financial growth opportunities. And finally, it invites you to try out riskier investments with extra money from the cash flow earned from your investments.

The latter part of the book waxes philosophical about business, ethics, and the time we get here on earth.  The authors will also talk to you about the things they’ve been able to do and experience by growing their wealth. They’ve been astronauts, slept in ancient tombs where famous men in history have also gone, and much more. Some people find this offputting, like bragging. For myself, I look at it as 1) motivation and 2) the author’s credentials.

Because I listened to the book, I didn’t get an opportunity to write down many of the concepts. Here are the main assertions the authors make.

Five Day Weekend Asserts that Insurance is Good

The authors really sold the idea of buying insurance to protect the assets you grow.  Everything from homeowner’s insurance to car insurance to business insurance to perhaps the most important insurance of all:  disability insurance.  Imagine if you couldn’t earn an income.  Don’t you want to protect it with at least short-term disability insurance?

The other huge push the authors made was for whole life insurance.  Not only is this a way to invest your money, it has a guarantee that you can never lose the money you put in. And, if you’re buying the right policy, you can borrow against it. Not from it, mind you, like a 401(k), but against it, where the policy is used as collateral.

According to the authors, when you borrow against your whole life policy, you take advantage of the interest from the loan.  If the loan isn’t paid back, the whole life carrier simply takes the loan money back from the payout of your policy. That protects your credit in case you miss a payment or two.

Honestly, whole life insurance used in this manner was the most interesting concept I read about in the entire book. It was easily my biggest takeaway.  My goal is to spend a lot more time researching whole life policies. If they seem like a smart move, I’ll shop for a policy that works for me. Then I’ll overfund it with extra money.

Tax Lien Investing

The authors indicate that tax lien investing is a great way to earn excellent interest rates. It all depends on the property and the state the tax lien is in.

Essentially, a lien is placed on homeowners who have defaulted on their property taxes.  You as an investor can then buy the lien from the state. Once you own it, you can charge interest to the homeowner at a high rate.  Tax liens can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or many thousands of dollars.

Most homeowners end up paying back the property tax amount, plus interest.  This is a benefit to the homeowner who is essentially refinancing the property taxes. That buys the homeowner more time to pay it back. The state, in turn, gets their funds freed up immediately. This is because you are effectively paying the taxes on behalf of the homeowner. Then you win by earning high interest over time on the tax lien.

A Low-Risk Investment

Tax lien investing has very low risk. That’s because if the property owner doesn’t pay back the loan, you can legally foreclose on the home. The property becomes yours. Ultimately, you’ll have purchased a property for a tiny fraction of its worth.

This sounded almost too good to be true to me. So when I got home from work the day this part came up, I immediately started researching tax lien investing.

I discovered that large organizations have gotten into the game. Ultimately, the opportunity for lucrative tax lien investing has narrowed considerably.  Most tax liens are auctioned off to the person or company who bids for the lowest interest rate. Large organizations are bidding low enough that individual tax lien investors don’t find that the time spent on searching for suitable properties is worth the return.

Sadly, this has made tax lien investing difficult, time consuming, and not terribly lucrative in recent years. Still, it’s something I might at least try to investigate as I start developing cash flow in the future.  Right now my bets are hedged on real estate and rental properties.

Sharelording

This was a concept I felt I didn’t understand and want to dive into a bit more.  The idea is that you rent stocks out to someone for a few weeks. Meanwhile, the renter attempts to earn money on those stocks.  I’m honestly not really sure I understand how this works. But it was another of those concepts that I felt I should look into more. It may be something I’d want to try in the future.

The idea is that it’s the same as a landlord, but with shares.  Get it?

Flipping Houses is Active Income

I love the idea of flipping houses.  It honestly sounds like a lot of fun. But Five Day Weekend reminds me that flipping houses can be lucrative but is also a full-time job.  My first goal is to find sources of passive income in order to free up my time to do what I like. Then I can look at potentially flipping houses, preferably as I come to better understand the real estate market.

Should You Read Five Day Weekend?

If you’re further along in the designing of your own lifestyle, Five Day Weekend won’t teach you much. But it may introduce some new concepts worth investigation as you build and design your lifestyle of freedom.

You may like this book if you need a dose of inspiration or motivation in your own financial journey.  Five Day Weekend has a mix of practical and philosophical advice. It even includes reminders to do things like eat well, take care of your social life, and learn to say no to things that don’t get you excited or that don’t drive your personal goals.

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