Book Review: Rich for Life by Dennis Sy

Book Review: Rich for Life by Dennis Sy

♫”Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy…”♫

These are the lyrics of Pharell William’s hit song “Happy”. I love this song and was listening to it while reading Rich For Life by Dennis Sy.

Rich for Life by Dennis Sy

It made me wonder, what does make people happy? It’s different strokes for different folks, I guess, but I sure know what makes a lot people stressed and anxious – money problems.

So is the opposite true? Does one feel happy when he GET RICH? If that’s the case how could one stay rich (and happy) for life?

Let’s take a look if this book can deliver on it’s premise of teaching you on how to stay rich for life.

Book Highlights

One thing you need to know about the author Dennis Sy is that he is a senior pastor at Victory Greenhills, and is the man behind the blog Act Like A Man, a blog about biblical manhood.

Having such deep roots in religious service, it would come as no surprise that this book will try to connect the lines between God and people’s unending desire to get rich.

1. Money is your servant, not the other way around.

“What you Tolerate, You Cannot Change”
Tweet: “What you Tolerate, You Cannot Change” - @dennissiasy, Author of Rich for Life. See the review at

True enough, the first five chapters of the book talks extensively about the role of money in our lives looking at it from the context of God. He wasn’t shy in sharing his experience as a well-off guy from a Chinese family who lost his hard earned savings because of greed.

This made him ponder his values. He was what people would consider “rich” financially, yet there was a tremendous feeling of lack in him. This is where he draws the line between “GETTING RICH” and “BEING RICH”.

Here lies the central theme of the book – distinguishing one from another. One may think that such a subtle difference in wording seems trivial but he goes in-depth in depicting a picture on how a person’s view of money can create a massive change in one’s fortune.

A great example of which is his depiction of lottery winners who would get a sudden windfall of money and would just return to poverty in a short amount of time, while there are those who’ve won and donated most of it to charitable causes and just set aside a little for themselves, who lead a much more fulfilling life despite giving most of the money away. 

Same luck, different mindset = massively opposite results.
How this can happen is what the first half of the book is all about.

2. Managing Money in the Real World

Book Review: Rich for Life

After laying the groundwork on how you view what “rich” is, the next chapter is all about the practical ways you can manage and grow money.

He shares plenty of real-world strategies he does to support his family – you must remember that he is a pastor and his source of income could only go so high, yet he can has fortunately been able to provide via a combination of – 1 God’s provision (something that a person can’t control) and 2. Responsible stewardship of money (something that you and I can do.).

He goes on to tackle several topics, some of which are:

A. Storehouse Principle: Money with a Purpose – Know what every Peso’s job is for you (i.e. household expenses, investments, retirement, children’s education etc.). Create several bank accounts for each purpose and schedule automatic fund transfer to them regularly. By telling your money what to do, not only do you show who is boss, but you also feel empowered and in control of your life.

B Materialism and Debt – One often leads to the other. Materials are not bad in itself, but one has to have limits and see it’s effect on himself financially. Once you’re already there, he shares specific techniques on how to get out of debt.

C. How to Choose the Right Insurance for You – Insurance can be CONFUSING – especially life insurance. He shares valuable tips on how to get the most for you money and what to avoid.

D. The Power of WRITTEN FINANCIAL GOALS – He succintly puts it in this perspective – we budget for our wedding and for building our house because they are BIG investments. How about budgeting for your life?

3. The Blessings of Giving

Book Review: Rich for Life by Dennis Sy

Getting rich is often viewed as accummulating as much as you can – similar to hoarding, I guess. The last few chapters talks about using yourself (and your money) as a channel to bless more people. Allowing the money to flow through you, instead of you putting a blockage and filtering everything to your wallet.

The hoarding approach reflects our feeling of lack, that there might not be enough for us and our family. The book turns this perspective on its head and encourages you to go from fear to faith. Believing that God will provide for your needs and think in abundance.

More often than not, whatever you give often comes back in some blessing multiple folds of what you have given – but Dennis warns against giving with having something in return in mind. Giving should be done without expectation and done in it’s purest form.

My Evaluation

So does it really make you Rich for Life?

Let me say this – it has the ability to make you feel rich by the time you put this book down even without one Peso being added to your bank account.
It doesn’t try to live up to the typical notion of rich, which is strictly looking at it in the financial point of view.

In a nutshell, what I’m trying to get at is it’s not your next “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyokasi. If you’re looking for a finance book chock-full of strategies to grow your money – this isn’t it. There’s one caveat though, if you’ve been reading A LOT of those kinds of books and still aren’t getting anywhere (financially) now might be a good time to try something fresh and take a good look at this book.

It seeks to achieve “Rich for Life” promise by turning your perspective about money around from one of lack to abundance. By the mere fact that you are reading this blog post, you’re already richer than majority of the world. A lot of people are dying of hunger and even less have internet access, right?

It uses a lot of Biblical reference all through out the book and relates the purpose of money in your hands based on the bigger plans of God for you.

So why does Dennis do this? He believes that the way to successfully change our financial habits relies on 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. Hence by digging deeper into your understanding of how money works (God’s purpose for it) rather than how to work your money, he is tapping into your psyche that will make you change the way you behave (80%), since you probably already know or can easily know all the financial strategies out there (20%). You just need a strong reason to implement them.

Now of course, we can’t just sit in the corner and be happy just “feeling” rich, there are physical needs that money addresses. The financial advice contained in this book is best for people struggling with debt and having a difficult time in managing their expenses.

Best Fit

People in debt / who can’t control their expenses – Uncontrollable spending and debt often goes hand in hand – it is a heavy burden to shoulder. I believe this book is a great fit for people in this circumstance to understand their behavior on a deeper, spiritual level coupled with financial “baby steps” advice to get them out of debt and live a life free of the burden that comes with it.


Available at National Bookstore and House of Praise branches. Also available at

Allan Ngo (@allanngo) writes at the Truly Rich Club Blog. You can reach him via email at

Book Review: Rich for Life by Dennis Sy

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