Growing up in a family of modest means, I watched my parents spend much of their lives working to pay the bills. When I was 15, I got a job at a grocery store and began working long hours to pay my own bills, often wondering whether the choice of how I spend my time would forever be tied to the need to earn money.

The few people I knew who were financially independent had either inherited their wealth, or had started successful companies. The latter told me that, in all honesty, some luck was involved and that the majority of companies fail.

Hoping not to rely on luck, I began reading books about personal investment, and what I discovered was very exciting—practically anyone can achieve financial freedom. I put the principles into practice, and over the next 15 years confirmed that they work!

It seems profoundly important that the path to financial freedom is so accessible—just by following a set of basic principles, with discipline. At the same time, it seems tragic that so many never get there, simply because they are unaware.

That’s why I wrote this guide.

The problem with many books about personal investing is that they are too long and complex. The basic message that everyone should be investing gets lost in discussion of choices and optimization. My approach in this guide is to present the core principles as concisely as possible—and in the process motivate and convince you to get started today.