Listen Money Matters - Free your inner financial badass. All the stuff you should know about personal finance.

By | Andrew Fiebert and Matt Giovanisci

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Subscribers: 7608
Reviews: 13

 Mar 17, 2020
a whole lotta nothing usually, and occasional pitches for investment strategies and products that would benefit the show hosts if you bought them but like 'we make so much money that even if we make money off you it's actually bc we're nice

 Feb 1, 2020

Oren Turner
 Jan 28, 2020
A lot of inaccurate information.

 Oct 17, 2019
Matt and Andrew are two of my favorite most genuine guys on the interwebs. No BS, heartfelt stuff, and just great to listen to. Love the podcast and them, even if I may not share their political opinions, but who cares right?

 Aug 23, 2019


Honest and uncensored - this is not your father’s boring finance show. This show brings much needed ACTIONABLE advice to a people who hate being lectured about personal finance from the out-of-touch one percent. Andrew and Matt are relatable, funny, and brash. Their down-to-earth discussions about money are entertaining whether you’re a financial whiz or just starting out. To be a part of the show and get your financial questions answered, send an email to

Episode Date
5 Questions: Foreclosures, Bootcamps and Timing The Market
Today is 5 questions episode and we will be talking about foreclosures as a real estate investment, coding bootcamps, timing the market, Fundrise IPO and managing financial goals in your relationship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 30, 2020
How to Buy Income-Producing Websites
It is no secret that Andrew and I each own multiple online businesses that earn us passive income. Before we started we had no idea what we were doing. It’s not easy to start a website from scratch and if you’re not already building an online business you might not even know what a great idea looks like. Today we’re talking about how you can buy an existing online business.  We have a special guest on the show today, Blake Hutchinson, the CEO of We’ll get into the details of buying on the platform, what to look for, and how to properly value an online business. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 23, 2020
The Modern Payday Loan
Today we are talking about payday loans or what some new fin-tech companies are now calling “early wage access”. These companies seem to be disguising predatory lending with shiny new apps geared towards millennials making it even easier to get a payday loan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 16, 2020
The Coronavirus Stock Market Meltdown
Today we are talking about the elephant in the room, the Coronavirus and the Stock Market Meltdown it caused what we’re doing, what you can do and how to survive the madness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 09, 2020
5 Questions: Dividend Stocks, The Fisher Effect and Employee Stock Options
Today is 5 questions episode and we will be talking about dividend stocks, The Fisher Effect, employees stock options. non-taxable accounts and what to do if history repeats itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 02, 2020
Where Should You Bank? Traditional vs Online Banks
Looking for a high interest rate? Online banks are the way to go. Need to deposit checks? You will need a brick and mortar bank for that? When looking for the best place to put your money pays to shop around and compare. Today we talk about some of the pros and cons to keeping your money in an online bank or a traditional bank and which banks we like best. Show Notes Chime Bank Betterment Azlo Fidelity SmartCash Ally Smarty Pig Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 24, 2020
The Rule of 55, Explained
Today is we are talking about the Rule of 55. We’ve gotten quite a few listeners who have asked us to cover this so today we wanted to explain exactly what it is and how it works.  The Rule of 55 isn’t the only way to access your 401k early so, were also talking about other ways to tap into your 401k and what would be the right reasons to take advantage of these early distributions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 17, 2020
To Franchise Or Not To Franchise
Today we are answering a question from a listener, Andres about buying into a franchise and how they look as business opportunity. We get into actual franchise profitability, compare two popular franchises and explain how one franchisee makes over $2 billion a year. Show Notes Franchise Index Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 10, 2020
How Female Breadwinners (Really) Make It Work
Outdated gender roles persist both at home and in the office, here’s how one woman makes it work. Our guest today the Director of Global Partnerships and founder of Breadwinning Women at Google, and the host of her own podcast Working Wife, Happy Life. Bethanie Baynes. She talk about her experience being a bread winning woman. Bethanies Website Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 03, 2020
5 Questions: Inverse ETF’s, Saving For a House and REIT Investing
Today is 5 questions episode and we will be talking about REIT investing, inverse ETF’s, Gold, saving for a house and IRA’s. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 27, 2020
The World Has Gone Mad and the System Is Broken
Ray Dalio recently published an essay called “The World Has Gone Mad and the System is Broken”. When looking at the current state of the global economy he said: “This set of circumstances is unsustainable and certainly can no longer be pushed as it has been pushed since 2008. That is why I believe the world is approaching a big paradigm shift.” Besides being a huge fan of Ray’s, we think his essay does a great job of explaining the major forces at play in the global economy and we found it fascinating so I wanted to discuss and share with everyone. Here are the four reasons Ray believes “The World has Gone Mad and the System is Broken” Show Notes The World has Gone Mad and the System is Broken The Golden Butterfly Betterment Everyday Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 20, 2020
Why Rich People are Cheap
Accordingly to the Fidelity Millionaire Outlook Survey, 86% of millionaires are self-made. Even more remarkable, 78% of them started out as middle class or poor. Only 22% grew up in the upper class. That means that the vast majority of millionaires built their wealth the old fashioned way: hard work, consistent saving and investing in the long-term. We’ll explain why rich people are cheap and how you can adopt their simple habits to become a millionaire yourself. Show Notes Warren Buffett Documentary HBO Honey MrBeast Spending 1,000,000 in 24 Hours Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 13, 2020
How We're Investing Our Money This Year
We’re often asked where we are putting our money and, that question has never been more important to us personally. Especially considering the direction the winds are blowing and our feelings with what is happening in the world. We'll be talking about how we're investing our money this year and what is coloring our decisions. Show Notes The Golden Butterfly Investing Strategy Fundrise Real Estate Investing Our Investing Blueprint Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 06, 2020
How To Retire Early with Mr. Money Mustache (Rebroadcast)
Mr Money Mustache didn't retire because he was making so much money from his blog. He had actually been retired for six years before he started writing. The blog was born when he looked around at his friends who had good jobs but were still living paycheck to paycheck. They bought into what has long been sold as the American Dream; go to college, get a job, buy a house, fill that house with as much stuff as it can hold (and when it can't hold anymore, rent a storage unit), have some kids, and get stuck in an unfulfilling job, dreaming of freedom that will always be out of reach. Retire, maybe at 65 if you're lucky, and live out your days, just kind of existing, hoping your money will outlast you. The best years of your life long past. But what if you could be retired by thirty? MMM started the blog out of frustration, he wanted to show them, and now us, that they could do what he did. And an empire started. Original Broadcast Date September 8, 2014  Full Article Here Show Notes Mr Money Mustache: Everything you need to know to retire early. The 4 Pillars of Investing: A book that helped MMM get his start. Betterment:  Start investing your 50% today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 25, 2019
How to Reduce Taxable Income With Advanced IRA Strategies
The biggest expenses in life are taxes and interest. If we can minimize those two things, we will put much more money in our own pockets and add many more years to our retirements. Our guest, the Mad Fientist delves deep into advanced IRA strategies. Find out why you should have one and which one will best fit your needs. Original Broadcast July 22, 2014  Full Article Here Show Notes The Mad Fientist: Brandon's website and podcast. Betterment: Our favorite investing tool. Use this link and get six months with no fees! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 18, 2019
Go Fire Yourself With Laurel Staples (Rebroadcast)
Laurel Staples joins us to teach us how to forget the American dream and talk about her journey becoming an entrepreneur. Start living our own dreams on our own terms. In 2007 Laurel quit her job as a mechanical engineer to launch her popular blog, Go Fire Yourself. In January she will publish her book about how to quit your day job and run your own business. Original Broadcast Date August 18, 2014 Full Article Here Show Notes Smuttynose Bouncy House IPA: an all-occasion American ale. Martini: made with Blue Coat gin and vermouth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 11, 2019
Are We Loving Our Kids Too Much with Adam Carroll (Rebroadcast)
What a weird concept. Loving your kids too much. But it can be true. By giving them too much, by coddling them from every possible disappointment, we turn them into ineffectual adults. From ensuring that everyone gets a trophy to always giving them money when they ask, kids today can't handle normal disappointment and have never had to work or struggle for anything. Mom and Dad are always waiting, poised to smooth whatever path their children are on. But in the name of loving them, we're taking away character building opportunities. This episode was originally broadcasted on October 22, 2014 Full Episode Here Show Notes Succeed Faster: Adam's site to help you build a bigger life. Broke, Busted and Disgusted: Adam's upcoming documentary about student loan debt. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 04, 2019
Personal Money Horror Stories (Rebroadcast)
It’s almost Halloween and nothing is more frightening than money horror stories. Close the blinds, turn off the lights, light a candle and prepare to be scared. Matt and Andrew haven’t always been smart with money, well Andrew mostly has. But even they have finance horror stories and will share them with us. This episode was first published on October 31 2014 Show Notes Hopfish IPA: An English style IPA. The Bowery Boys Haunted Brooklyn: Here’s a special Halloween treat. One of my favorite podcasts. If you like history or just scary stories, check out the Bowery Boys annual Halloween podcast devoted to ghost stories of Brooklyn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 28, 2019
The Yield Curve Is Inverted and It's Ok
We tend to talk about stocks much more often than bonds. Why? Because since LMM began, our audience has skewed young, most of our listeners are in their twenties and thirties. But the show has been around for seven years now. Those who have been with us from the beginning are seven years older. We want to serve our audience, so we need to focus a little more on bonds. Most of you know the basics, and we've covered bond investing in the past. Today we have returning guest J. David Stein to go a little deeper into the weeds and talk about the yield curve. Full Article Here Show Notes Flatter Flatter: An IPA from SingleCut Beersmiths Blue Light Rain: An unfiltered German Pilsner from Knotted Root Brewing Company Money for the Rest of Us: J. David Stein's site and podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 21, 2019
5 Questions: Time Shares, Fuck You Money and Peer to Peer Lending
We get dozens of emails from listeners each week asking really thoughtful financial questions. When a question needs a detailed answer or might be helpful to others, we turn it into part of a 5 questions episode. Today we have 5 questions about buying a timeshare, the Lending Club strategy, f**k you money, buying a rental property, and what to do with a million-dollar inheritance. Full Article Here Show Notes Cape May City To Shore: A Double IPA Thick Blueberry Goo: A smoothy style Berliner Weiss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 14, 2019
Socially Responsible Investing: Invest In The World You Want to Live In
There are a lot of bad things happening around us: climate change, weekly mass shootings, rampant opioid addiction, income inequality.  Rather than feeling helpless and frustrated, let’s take matters into our own hands. That’s where socially responsible investing comes in. You can invest in the world you want to live in. Full Article Here Show Notes HopHands: An American Pale Ale Wisp: A Belgian style whip Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 07, 2019
Grow Your Wealth With Passive Investments In Farming
Agriculture is the one industry that touches every person on the planet. Agriculture produces the food we eat, the liquids we drink, the clothes we wear, and the furniture we sit on. There are nearly 7.5 billion people on earth, all of whom consume what agriculture produces. Which makes investing in agriculture seem like a no brainer. Full Article Here Show Notes Fat Orange Cat: A white stout brewed with coffee and chocolate Melcher Street: A double dry-hopped IPA Dallas Blonde: An American blonde ale. Harvest Returns: Grow your wealth with passive investments in farming and timberland Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 30, 2019
Rewired Not Retired: How to Engineer The Life You Love
The FIRE movement has carved out a big niche in the personal finance space. FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early but if you quit traditional work in your 30s or 40s, what will the rest of your life look like? Three or more decades is a lot of time to fill and sitting on the porch in a rocking chair or playing golf aren't going to be enough to fill it. The 30s to 60s can be the prime of life. We're still filled with energy, ideas, and ambitions. Full Article Here Show Notes Apricot Compote: A Sour from Evil Twin Brewing. The Frugal Engineers: Kim and her husband's site.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 23, 2019
5 Questions: Debt Consolidation, Combining Finances and Long Distance Move
We get dozens of emails from listeners each week asking really thoughtful financial questions. When a question needs a detailed answer or is of interest to a lot of people, we turn it into part of a 5 questions episode. Today we have 5 questions about debt consolidation, saving money on a move, combining finances, living paycheck to paycheck, and capital gains. Full Article Here Show Notes Lightful: A German-style wheat beer from Tired Hands Brewery. Yule Smith: A double hopped IPA.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 16, 2019
Diversifying Your Retirement With Alternative Assets
We talk a lot about making sure your portfolio is diverse enough to insulate your investments from risk. But if you want to ramp up returns, consider diversifying your retirement with alternative assets. How can you do that? A Self Directed IRA is one of the most powerful tools in your retirement arsenal. Alternative investments can improve your chances of retiring with enough money. Full Article Here Show Notes Apricot Compote Sour: A refreshing summer beer from Evil Twin. Alto: The Alto platform provides users with a simple interface to set up, invest with, and manage a diversified portfolio of alternative assets.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 09, 2019
The Business of Babies
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that it costs nearly a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child from birth to age 18.  That tally does not include the cost of a college education. The largest piece of that pie lies in housing and transportation at a whopping $107,000. Next, you’ll factor in childcare and education at $44,000. (See? I told you this shit is expensive). Following that is clothing/miscellaneous and healthcare at $33,000 and $20,000 respectively. Let’s get crazy and add the cost of college into that number.  Now we are easily pushing over $350,000 to raise one child. Having kids is not a business decision for most people but it comes with many of the same considerations. There are no “one size fits all”. Let's look at some things to consider before embarking on what I called my new business and what you would probably call your family. Let's talk about the business of babies. Full Article Here  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 02, 2019
Financial Vital Signs: Net Worth By Age and How to Get There Without Flatlining
Knowing your personal net worth is one of the most important aspects of personal finance. It's one of the best indicators we have to know if we are on target to meet our goals. Whether you want to be debt-free, buy a home, pay for college for your children, or to retire you need to be on target. Your net worth is a way to see what is holding us back. It's a very strong indicator of your overall financial health. Figuring out your net worth is easy. Add up the total value of all of your assets. Add up the total value of all of your debts. Now subtract the assets from the debts. You might have a positive net worth or a negative one. Not really into math? We hear you. We know someone who will do the math for you for free. Personal Capital will give you a complete picture of your net worth, compare yourself to others average net worth in your age or income bracket and track progress towards your goals. They also do a ton of other things for free like track your spending, analyze fees, investment checkups, and help your retirement plan. You can thank us later. Full Article Here Show Notes Personal Capital - Track Your Net Worth Mint - Budget Like a Badass Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 26, 2019
The Lowdown on Libra: Facebooks New Cryptocurrency
In its ongoing quest for world domination, Facebook is set to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra. And a digital wallet to store those Libra called Calibra. Given the company's somewhat shady privacy practices, would you trust Facebook with your money? Full Article Here Show Notes Passion Pool from Mikkeller and Friends: A gose. Craft Lager from Upslope Brewing Company: An American style lager. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 19, 2019
5 Questions: Weed, Buying an Engagement Ring, and Bull Markets
We get dozens of emails from listeners each week asking really insightful financial questions. When a question needs a detailed answer or is of interest to a lot of people, we turn it into part of a 5 questions episode. Today we have 5 questions about spending a raise wisely, investing in a bull market, what to do with an inheritance, how to pay for an engagement ring, investing in weed stocks, and a bonus question about gold. Full Article Here Show Notes Boont Barl: An amber ale. Dogfish Head SeaQuench: A sour ale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 12, 2019
How to Start and Monetize a Blog Quickly
Andrew and Matt share their stories and the lessons they learned creating a blog that makes passive income but more importantly, they are going to spell out the exact steps they took to achieve financial independence. They will cover: How to Start a Blog (Step-by-Step Guide) – Everything you need to get started in under 10 minutes with $160. The act of paying someone to host a blog for you is easy. How to Monetize your Blog – The only two ways that matter and the one you should avoid at all costs. Your Creation Strategy – Make what people are actually looking for. Also, 80% of SEO is bullshit. I am not special, the internet is filled with people doing exactly what I do. The difference is, I’m just going to tell you for free. A Blog’s Growth Trajectory – What you should expect in year 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. It’s all about appropriate expectations because slow and steady wins the race. Going viral is bullshit. Winning online isn’t about being the fastest, it’s being the one left after everyone else gave up. How You Will Fail – It’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen a lot. Learn about the “Equal-Odds Rule” and how it applies to every success you’ve ever seen. For me, my failures have been far more instructive than what I’ve actually done right. Full Article Here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 05, 2019
The Smart Way to Buy Property
Buying a house is a long-held tenet of the American Dream, one of the milestone markers of adulthood. But there are a lot of misconceptions about homeownership. And there is a lot of misleading information about the process of how to buy a house, some of it seems deliberately misleading. An uninformed buyer is an easy mark for predatory real estate agents, home inspectors, contractors, banks, and mortgage brokers. Buying a house to live in rather than to rent out is not an investment. In reality, it’s usually a terrible investment. That’s because, at the end of the day, owning a home takes money out of your pocket: You’re paying property taxes, you’re paying maintenance, you’re paying insurance. There are all of these other things that happen with your home that you’ve got to pay for. But every decision we make doesn't have to be based strictly on dollars and cents. No matter what we are, anyone else tells you, sometimes you just really want a house. A home of your own feels like stability. It allows you to put your stamp on your environment. A home is something a lot of people want when they decide to have children. We respect all of those reasons, so if you're bound and determined to do it; we want to show you the smart way to buy a property. Full Article Here Show Notes Psionic Blackberry: A sour from Unsung Brewing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 29, 2019
The Three P’s of Success
Everyone wants to find success both in their personal lives and their professional lives. Because success is an almost universal desire, there are thousands of books, podcasts, articles, TV shows, and seminars that claim they can teach us how to be successful. And all of the people selling those books and other things have a vested interest in making finding success seem harder and more complicated than it needs to be. But we like to keep things simple and assume you want the same. We love Marcus Lemonis of the TV show The Profit. He is a successful business person and on the show, takes failing businesses and teaches the owners how they can simply achieve success using the Three P's of Success. There is no magic formula, no book to buy, no seminar to attend. You can spend a single hour after you finish reading this (for free!) and implement one small suggestion for each of the Three P's into your personal, professional, and financial life. Making small changes or minor improvements will not only make you more successful but make your life easier too. Building habits and creating systems are the small picture things that make up the big picture things. No one can overhaul their life in a single step but step-by-step, things get better and easier. So what are the Three P's of Success? Let's find out. Full Article Here Show Notes Mikkeller and Friends Shake Your Stack: An Imperial Stout A 3 Hour Plane Ride with Sean Penn: Matt's own New England IPA Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 22, 2019
5 Questions: The 4% Rule, Staying Financially Motivated and Passive Income
We get dozens of emails a week asking financial questions. Sometimes we get a question so good, we want as many people as possible to hear it and the answer. That's how 5 questions episodes were born. We have questions about the 4% rule, staying financially motivated, and making passive income. Let's answer some questions. Full Article Here Show Notes Gose Dragon's Milk-White: A  white stout. Matt's Home Brew: A Kolsch. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 15, 2019
A Dollar Today Or A Dollar Tomorrow: Leveraging The Time Value of Money
A dollar today isn't the same as a dollar tomorrow, that's the time value of money. Risk and return are expecting a dollar risked to earn more than a dollar. The time value of money and risk and return are two core concepts in personal finance. Luckily, each boils down to a pretty simple statement. The core principle of the time value of money means your dollar today is worth more than your dollar tomorrow. Risk and return say that if you are to risk a dollar, you expect gains of more than just your dollar back. For each unit of risk you take on, you expect a slightly more significant unit of return. Even though these money concepts are easy to simplify, I want to dig a bit deeper into each of them. Full Article Here Show Notes Mikkeller Brewing Passion Pool - Gose-style ale with Passionfruit and Sea Salt American Solera Movement and Color Member Blend - Foeder Ale Refermented with Chambourcin and Norton Grapes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 08, 2019
Paying Off Your Mortgage Strategically
For most people, their mortgage is their biggest debt. And we all know that debt is bad. Debt is an emergency that we must pay off as soon as possible. But is all debt bad? Is paying off your mortgage quickly a good personal finance strategy? Paying off your mortgage more quickly has its advantages when done strategically but there are downsides too. We get a lot of emails asking about paying off mortgages early and people site various reasons for wanting to do so. A lot of people want to join the FIRE movement. They want to quit their jobs, retire much earlier than the typical retirement age of 65, and sometimes start a business with their extra money and time. Mr. Money Mustache is the God Father of the FIRE movement. He paid his mortgage off years ago to be able to live on something like $30,000 a year. Some people just hate the idea of having any debt hanging over their heads and as we wrote, a mortgage is the biggest source of debt for most. And there are some homeowners who have a bad interest rate and want to save as much money as they can in a bad situation. Yes, the idea of being mortgage free is seductive but before you decide anything, we want to show you how to pay off your mortgage strategically. Full Article Here Show Notes Peachy Bones: An India Pale Ale Jam Skate: A Double IPA Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 01, 2019
How To Get Rich (Without Getting Lucky)
We all want to get rich or rather wealthy. Being wealthy is much different and much better than being rich. If you want to know how to get rich without getting lucky, Twitter can teach you. A Twitter thread from Naval went viral in the spring of 2018. Full Article Here Show Notes Jam Skate: An American Imperial IPA. Trillium Brewing: A Double Dry Hopped India Pale Ale. The Tweet text that inspired this episode.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 24, 2019
Zero to FIRE With Airbnb
Most people are familiar with Airbnb, the site that lets owners rent out a room or an entire home to travelers. Airbnb has become such a hit that many people use it exclusively when traveling for pleasure, work, or any other reason. Goodbye cramped hotel room, hello fully furnished house! And Airbnb isn’t just a hit with those renting a place to stay. Airbnb is the most profitable way to make money in the gig economy. What it did show was that 85% of gig economy workers make less than $500 per month. But, Airbnb hosts, on average, make more than any other gig workers and are raking in an average $924 per month. In fact, Airbnb can be more, a lot more, than a way to make a little money on the side. You know Airbnb but you may not be familiar with the acronym FIRE. It stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. And it’s more than an acronym. FIRE is a whole movement championed by people like Mr. Money Mustache and Tim Ferriss. And the Retire Early part doesn’t mean retiring at 55, it’s more like retiring at 30. If you’re grinding away at a 9-5, have a lot of responsibilities, are in low-paying work, or don’t have a second home just sitting around waiting to host Airbnb guests, you might think this episode isn’t for you. But wait until you hear the crazy story our guest is going to share. Zeona went from zero to FIRE using Airbnbs that weren’t even hers! Setting yourself on FIRE with Airbnb can be done by just about anyone. Full Article Here Show Notes You’re Killin Me Smalls: A session ale IPA The Truth Imperial: An IPA from Flying Dog Zeon's consulting site Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 17, 2019
Five Questions: Raising Rich Kids, Hiring Help and A $2 Million Inheritance
We get some interesting questions from our listeners, and we like to address them on the podcast so the answers can help anyone who might have similar questions. Today we’re answering questions about raising rich kids, hiring help, and a $2 million inheritance. Full Article Here Show Notes Saigon Scooter Selfie: A Vietnamese Style Coffee stout Hell or High Watermelon: A wheat beer brewed with real watermelon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 10, 2019
Increasing A Property's Value With Home Improvements
For most people, their home is their most significant investment. As such, you not only want to protect your investment but increasing a property's value is important too. The right home improvements can do it.  Doubling your property’s value might be a little too ambitious for anyone who isn’t a professional real estate flipper or property developer, but some money spent in the right places will improve your property’s value. Full Article Here Show Notes Oak and Orchard :A sour from Epic Brewing. Hammertime Porter: A name Andrew and Matt made up in the absence of the actual name! Simple Wealth:A tool Andrew built to help compare rental properties.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 03, 2019
You Can Get Free Financial Help
The whole reason LMM started was to give as many people as we could reach free financial help. And in the past seven years, we’ve done that. We know because we get emails daily from people telling us that the show has helped them. We have dozens of shows and hundreds of articles that give free financial help to anyone who finds us. But not everyone can find us. There are millions of people who have no idea what a podcast even is. And because LMM is a podcast and a website, we are naturally limited to what we can do to help people. Most of what say and write is broad and general, meant to help the most people possible. For those with specific circumstances, it can be hard to translate our general advice into actionable advice. Some people are so lacking in personal finance education that even the material we create, especially for beginners is beyond them. And our content is only available in English which not everyone speaks or reads. Some people can absorb information through reading or listening, but not everyone learns the same way. Some people need intensive, tailored, one on one help. We want to help everyone possible but can’t do it alone. But you can get free financial help, one on one support right in your community. Full Article Here Show Notes KBS: A barrel aged stout Space Clouds: An American wild ale. Get or give free financial help. How to reach our guest Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 27, 2019
You Can't Time The Market - But Can You?
If you are interested in personal finance, you’ve probably heard the term timing the market. There is some debate about whether market timing is a good investment strategy or something impossible, or nearly impossible to do. You probably can't time the market. Unless you’re Warren Buffett which you are not. Even if you’re just a casual observer of economic news, you hear a lot of questions about what’s happening with the stock market or the housing market. These questions create a lot of speculation, but what should the average investor which most of us are, should be doing with our investments based on all of this speculation and crystal ball gazing? By not timing the market are we losing out on price movements that could net us significant market returns? If we’re on the brink of another Great Recession does the buy and hold strategy that LMM has been preaching from the beginning still stand? Should we stick to our index fund or should we all become day traders? It’s enough to make even the soberest long-term investors second guess themselves. We’ve attempted to address some of these issues with our Golden Butterfly, Recession Fire Drill and Investing in the Age of Anxiety episodes. But those episodes have generated some additional questions from listeners about investment decisions and timing the market. We’ll tackle those questions for you. Full Article Here Show Notes Alien Church: A New England style IPA. Cheap Cologne: Matt's own Kolsch. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 20, 2019
How to Become A Profitable Person
If you run your own business, you go to great lengths to make sure that your business is a profitable one. Both Andrew and Matt run their own businesses. They regularly go over their accounting to see if the businesses are spending too much money and if they are, where? Do the profit margins need to be increased? How much money is being held in reserve in case of a period of lower cash flow? But how many of us do these things and ask these questions when it comes to our personal finances? We watch every penny going into and out of the business’s bank accounts but we’re much more cavalier about our personal bank accounts. It’s the weird dichotomy where we will sometimes say mean or rude things to friends or loved ones that we wouldn’t dream of saying to a stranger. Perhaps it’s because it’s easier to be objective about our business than our personal life. Ever how much you consider your business to be your baby, a part of you, it’s not you. Your life, which your personal finances are a big part of, is you. Your business is a thing but you’re a person and people have desires. You’ve never treated your business to a new pair of shoes or an expensive dinner out. How about yourself? Exactly! The question we’re asking is if you looked at your personal finances as if you were running a business, would you still be in business? You already run a profitable business, let’s focus on becoming a profitable person. There are seven principles to becoming a profitable person. We’ll explain each one. Full Article Here Show Notes Ten Fiddy Barrel-aged Imperial Stout Tor Triple Black IPA from Norway Black Ball or Bale Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 13, 2019
All Things Gold
Some people who are hesitant to invest in the stock market are willing to invest in gold. Why? Gold is tangible, you can see it, hold it, and keep it right in your own house (or bunker). You can buy it from some guy in a late night infomercial. You can buy it with images of the fallen Twin Towers on it. Or an American eagle. You can’t say any of that about investing in the stock market! When you own stock, you don’t own a tangible thing. You have to deal with some slick stockbroker if you want to buy and sell it (you don’t). And stocks don’t come in a limited edition collector’s box. LMM hasn’t discussed gold very much in the past and like a lot of you, thought it was something only Doomsday preppers were interested in so not really relevant to us or our audience. But while doing research for the Golden Butterfly episode, we learned some legitimate reasons for investing in gold and none of them are related to the zombie apocalypse that is surely coming. Many of our listeners wanted to know more about it too, why and how to invest in gold. We got a lot of emails asking questions. You asked and we answered. This is all things gold. Full Article Here Show Notes Northwestern University CFP Program - Prepare for a career as a financial planner  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 06, 2019
How Wills and Trusts Work, and Where to Start
We know that none of you likes to think about death, but it’s inevitable, and you have no idea when. For the majority of us, the most important thing in our life is the well being of our family. We work hard for them; we take care of them. But how can you do that when you’re no longer here? By establishing a trust fund and a will. Don’t wait; there’s no reason to. You can finish reading this, spend a few minutes and a few hundred dollars and make sure your family is taken care of. Because what else is there? Full Article Here Show Notes 18 Watt Session IPA: An IPA from SingleCut. Fruh Kolsch: A German-style beer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 29, 2019
5 Questions: Bond ETF’s, Books and Liquidating Stocks
We love getting listener questions and we’ve had a lot recently so it’s time for 5 awesome questions from you. We’ll cover bond ETFs, the books we love, transitioning investments, long term investing, and retirement planning. Thanks, Everyone! We really appreciate your questions. After nearly seven years of episodes, we sometimes feel like we've covered everything but you all always throw something new at us. And if you're wondering about it, lots of other listeners are too. That's why we do these 5 questions episodes, so we can address your questions to a wider audience. Keep them coming! Show Notes Little Sal: A sour aged with blueberries. Fruh Kolsch:A fermented beer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 22, 2019
Investing In The Age Of Anxiety With The Broke Millennial
Fear and anxiety are two different things. Some of us fear investing because we don’t know how to invest and that’s understandable. Investing can be intimidating. It has a language all its own which seems foreign to beginners. There are plenty of people who have a vested interest in making it seem more complicated than it is. If you don’t think you can possibly understand how investing works and how to invest successfully, you are more willing to pay someone else to do it for you. And perhaps the reason we fear investing most, it’s our money on the line. If you get it completely wrong, you can lose money, a lot of it. People who are anxious about investing don’t necessarily fear it. They speak the language, they’ve educated themselves on how to invest well, and they understand that while you can lose money, over the long haul, you make money when you invest. The anxiety is tied to the things going on around us that we can’t control. A recession is coming and probably sooner rather than later. Many investors in their 30s and 40s remember the impact of the last big recession all too well. Jobs lost, homes lost, retirement savings decimated. Automation is going to eliminate not only jobs but entire industries. And wages have been stagnant since the 1970s. When you put all of these things in a big pile, well, you can see why people might feel anxious. But we have to overcome our anxieties just as we have to overcome our fears. Investing in the age of anxiety is tough, but we can do it. Full Article Here Show Notes Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout: Aged in Bourbon barrels Aun Mas Cafe Jesus: Evil Twin Brewing Broke Millennial: Where you can find all things, Erin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 15, 2019
Marie Kondo Your Finances So They Spark Joy Too
Marie Kondo and her brand of decluttering and organizing are everywhere right now so we thought we’d hop on the bandwagon. And it’s not really much of a stretch. Our finances can become as cluttered and chaotic as our homes. But the consequences of disorganized finances can be much worse than those of a disorganized house (unless we’re talking Hoarders level of disorganized). When your finances are a mess, it can cost you money. Late fees, returned payment fees, deposits for utilities. Organizing your home and your finances have another thing in common. Neither is a one time job. If you let it go for too long, the job becomes completely overwhelming. But if you just do a few little things every so often, a big job just becomes a series of small tasks many of which can be taken care of in just a few minutes. Get ready to Marie Kondo your finances so they spark joy! Full Article Here Show Notes   Goose Island Bourbon Stout Oak Aged Stout Vanilla Dogfish Head Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 08, 2019
The Infinite Banking Concept
If you’ve ever heard of using your whole life insurance policy (whole life as opposed to term life insurance) like a savings account to borrow against for personal use, then you’ve heard of the Infinite Banking Concept (IBC) - whether you realized it or not. The idea behind it advocates becoming your own bank by leveraging your whole life policy for easy access to cash while sidestepping high-interest payments from lenders in the form of loans. The main point of the IBC is that you lose money to creditors on the various loans you take out over your life. Things like:MortgagesCar loansCredit cardsCollege loansAll of the above examples will deplete your wealth over your lifetime in the form of interest payments. What the IBC advocates is by aggressively saving your money in whole life insurance, you could use that money to fund big-ticket items like a house or college tuition with your policy and not lose money to interest payments. It’s like an interest-free loan. In essence ~ Be your own bank. Full Article Here Show Notes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 01, 2019
Help, I Need Money Now!
Did you know that almost half of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 to cover an emergency? And if ever there’s a genuine ‘need money now’ situation, it’s an emergency. If that isn’t shocking enough, 25% of those earning more than $100,000 are among that 47%. Sooner or later it happens to the best of us; you’re in a position where you need money now. If you are in a jam and need to come up with extra funds in the short-term, don’t stress out just yet. We’re here to help you make money today.It's scary to be in this position, and you might be tempted to do things that will make the problem even worse. Take a deep breath and read on. We are going to help you find the money you need. Full Article Here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 25, 2019
Ramit Sethi on Mastering Money Psychology
Today on the show we have New York Times bestselling author and founder of I Will teach You To Be Rich Ramit Sethi on the show to talk about Mastering Psychology. If you follow all things personal finance, you know the name, Ramit Sethi. He wrote the best selling book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich and it was published at the worst point of the financial crisis in 2009. Ten years on, 98% of the advice in the book is still applicable. The recipe for getting rich doesn't really change very much over time. Now on the eve of its tenth anniversary of his first super successful book, comes a significant cover-to-cover revision. At the core of the revised book is Ramit’s shows you step-by-step how to beat banks and credit cards at the fee game, automate your savings and investments, negotiate a raise, manage student loans, and enjoy vacations and other things you love by practicing conscious spending. Full Article Here Show Notes 18 Watt Session: An IPA from Beer Smiths. Technicolor Splendor: A Double IPA You can preorder your copy of Ramits' new bookhere. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 18, 2019
5 Questions: Debt Forgiveness, Credit Scores and More Golden Butterfly
It's time for 5 questions about debt forgiveness, credit scores, and more Golden Butterfly. We got a ton of great questions lately, and the Golden Butterfly episode generated a lot of interest, so we wanted to dive a little deeper. We've been doing 5 questions episodes more regularly because we get so many great questions so keep sending them in! Full Article Here Show Notes Imperial Doughnut Break: Evil Twin Brewing. Canvas:Outer Range Brewing Company Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 11, 2019
Money Advice We Would Give Our Younger Selves
Oh to be young again or even just younger than you are now. Just think of all the things you would do differently. You wouldn't waste so much time dating losers, you would have taken better care of your health. So many mistakes. Youth is wasted on the young as the saying goes. But perhaps no mistakes sting quite so much as the money mistakes we made. Maybe you got into credit card debt, bought a house you couldn't really afford or lost a bundle on a bad investment. Or perhaps worse, waited so long to invest that you're scrambling to catch up so you can have enough money to retire. We all have the benefit of hindsight when it comes to the dumb things we did or did not do when we were younger. We can't change those mistakes but we can learn from them, correct them where we can, and not make them again. We have made a lot of money mistakes and we'll probably make more in the future. But looking back, this is the money advice we would give ourselves. Full Article Here Show Notes Grim Blended Mix:A Cultured Sour Ale High Fiving a Million Angels: Matt's own brew, a New England Style IPA Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 04, 2019
The All Weather Portfolio and The Golden Butterfly
A lot can happen over the decades. There will be recessions, bear markets, bull markets, political upheaval, possibly even depressions. What should we do with our money in each of these scenarios? Do we up-end our asset allocation every time some pundit is on CNBC screaming at us? Certainly not. One of the key components of our investment philosophy is to set it and forget it.  When you are constantly buying and selling based on the prevailing economic conditions, you’re practicing the exact opposite of set it and forget it investing. We need to create a portfolio that performs well in all conditions. Well, we don’t need to create this portfolio because someone has done it for us. And that someone is not just anyone. He happens to be Bridgewater Associates hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, one of history’s legendary investors. Ray Dalio created what is known as the All Weather Portfolio which contains the exact asset allocation you need to make money in any kind of economy. But Ray Dalio’s All Weather Portfolio has some competition, in the form of the Golden Butterfly Portfolio. LMM is a huge Ray Dalio fan. Can the Golden Butterfly best our boy? We love a good smackdown so we’ll breakdown the All Weather Portfolio and the Golden Butterfly Portfolio. May the best portfolio win. Full Article Here   Show Notes Philoso Raptor Jersey City Belgium Style Ale Double Dry Hopped Coriolis Effect New Zeland Style IPA Get Started Investing Betterment Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 25, 2019
Case Study: Andrews 3 Rental Properties 2.5 Years Later
Rental properties can be a great source of passive income but there are a lot of variables. What do you need to know to make sure you buy the right rental properties? Well, doing is the best way to learn anything. We podcasted about rental properties and wrote about rental properties and built a tool to help you find and compare rental properties. Oh, and Andrew and Laura bought 3 rental properties in quick succession. Mistakes have been made and lessons have been learned. Is cash flow the most important determining factor? Do you need to pay a management property? That cuts into your profits after all. Once you have a set of criteria that a house must meet in order to be a good real estate investment, should you change it? If so, when and why? If a tree falls in your front yard in Georgia but you live in Hoboken and don’t hear it, did it really fall? A few years ago LMM went on something of a rental property tangent. We were excited and you all got excited too. But then some big things happened. LMM became a full-time occupation, new sites were built and launched. During that time, we got lots and lots of emails wanting advice on buying rental properties and lots of people requesting an update on how the properties Andrew and Laura bought were doing. Did they regret buying them? Were they planning to buy more? We heard you. So here it is, 3 rental properties and 2.5 years later, we’re spilling the tea. Full Article Here Show Notes Raspberry Blush McKeller and Friends: A delicious sour New England Style IPA own brew Roofstock - A Marketplace for Turnkey Rental Properties Simple Wealth - Research and evaluate rental properties and build a profitable real estate business. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 18, 2019
5 Questions: Smart Saver, Student Loans and S-Corps
We love 5 questions episodes because they are based on questions our listeners want answers to. We’re going to cover questions related to Betterment’s Smart Saver Account, student loans, investing with Fidelity versus Vanguard, your house as a retirement fund, and incorporating a business. Full Article Here Show Notes Side Squeeze: Gun Hill Brewing Echos: Outer Range Brewing Company Keep Em Coming! Thanks to everyone who wrote in with questions. We choose questions that cover topics lots of people are writing in about so we can reach a lot of you in one place. If you have questions, hit us up at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 11, 2019
Your 10 Year Plan for a Remarkable Life
We’ve all made New Year's resolutions and then a year later, failed to achieve them. What if instead of planning ahead for one year, we made a ten-year plan? Ten years is a long time. You have time to fail and learn and try again. If you want to achieve not just a few resolutions but a remarkable life, you need to embrace the idea of creating a ten-year plan. Full Article Here Show Notes Pillow Hat Little IPA Outer Range Shade it Black IPA Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 04, 2019
What Should Matt Do With His Rental Property?
The American Dream. Most of us were brought up with the idea of the American dream and home ownership has been sold to us as a fundamental part of that dream. But what’s so great about owning a home? Is it a great investment? No, it isn’t, not if you’re planning to live in it yourself. An investment is something that makes you money. A house does not make you money, not even after you’ve paid off your mortgage because you still have to pay for things like repairs, maintenance, and property taxes. Ideally, your home does make money once you sell it but there is no guarantee of that as we’ll see when we look at Matt’s numbers. Full Article Here Show Notes Big Ass Money Stout: Evil Twin I Love You With My Stout: Evil Twin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 28, 2019
Recession Fire Drill: $250 Trillion World Debt Edition
A majority of economists polled by the Wall Street Journal think that a recession is in our future in 2020, 59% to be exact. Another 22% say 2021 making over 80% of economists think we’re between 1 and 2 years away from a recession. Ray Dalio, our hero and spirit animal, said in February 2018 that we were about two years away from a recession. So, according to him, we have one year left. It’s time to seriously prepare. We were about 2 years from a recession, 1 year ago. 2019 is either the year you must get your shit together.  There is no try. You saw what happened to the unprepared in 2008. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 21, 2019
Be Like Benjamin Franklin
He was a writer, a publisher, a statesman, an inventor, and a renowned ladies man. Ben Franklin was a civic activist, an abolitionist and founded the Philadelphia Abolition Society, the first abolition organization in America. He was the first person to petition Congress to abolish slavery two months before his death in 1790, decades before the country fought a Civil War over the issue. He was timeless because Benjamin Franklin quotes are still relevant today. And he knew a thing or two about money because Forbes ranks him as the 89th richest man in American history. That even though he never patented any of his inventions. He preferred to gift them to the public as so many were things he invented to make everyday life easier. Full Article Here Show Notes Alien Church: A New England IPA Galaxy Double Dry Hopped Juicy Bits Weld Works Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 14, 2019
The Truth About The FIRE Movement
Today we’re talking about The FIRE Movement and the skills and mindset used to become Financially Independent which are diametrically opposed to a life of Early Retirement.  In fact, Early Retirement will kill you. Figuratively and literally. F.I., R.E., and F.I.R.E. aren’t destinations, they’re milestones. The movement, that stands for "financial independence, retire early", generally involves frugality and saving as much money as possible in order to get out of the rat race and spend your days doing what you want but having the freedom to live the way you want takes discipline and planning. Show Notes Gun Hill Side Squeeze - : Belgian Saison  (ABV): 5.10% Hip To the Lingo WeldWerks Brewing Co. - New England-style IPA brewed with Amarillo, Simcoe, & El Dorado hops (ABV) : 7.1%  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 07, 2019
Your Money Modus Operandi
Maybe you shop too much or are afraid of investing. As it turns out, it’s mostly your personality that guides how you deal with your finances. We call it your Money Personality and we want to break down what the four personality types are and how you can lean into them to improve your finances. Your money beliefs shape your decisions. So by understanding or recognizing your money personality you can find your weak spots and fix them as well as improve on your strengths. Knowing what drives your financial decisions can help you reach your money goals. Full Article Here Show Notes:   ScorpionBowlIPA - Stone Brewery. To create a recipe so tropical and fruity without the addition of fruit was no feat our team of brewers would leave up to the gods. They took floral and citrus notes from Mosaic, Loral and Mandarina Bavaria hops to dish up a mouthwatering fruit punch to the palate. Get deserted on your own island or share with others. One thing is for sure: there is no need to light this one. It is already on fire. Shelter- Outer Range Brewing Co. is focused on brewing the great styles of craft beer that inspire us—Belgians and IPAs—and will strive to become a place and source of inspiration for the people that choose to leave the life below. Money Habitudes - Money Habitudes is an engaging, non-threatening way to help people recognize patterns and perspectives on money. Listen to Advanced IRA Strategies Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 10, 2018
Use Your Friends to Amp Your Salary
Today we have guest David Burkus on the show. He is a best-selling author, a sought-after speaker, and business school professor. His newest book, Friend of a Friend, offers readers a new perspective on how to grow their networks and build key connections—one based on the science of human behavior, not rote networking advice. We talk to him about salary transparency and using a network to grow your career and make more money. Show Notes: Friend of a Friend David's Website Philoso-Rapper Beer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 03, 2018
The Retirement Account Showdown
We all know how important it is to be saving for retirement, the earlier the better. But when it comes to choosing the best retirement accounts the waters can be a bit murky. Today we're talking about all the different types of and help you decided which retirement accounts are best for you. Show Notes: Beer Geek Breakfast Mikkeller and Friends Harvest Special Ale Southern Tier Listen Money Matters Community to send in catchphrases The Financial Toolbox Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 26, 2018
5 Questions: Vesting, Budgeting Styles and Starting a Blog
This weeks we are covering five listener questions are on vesting, budgeting styles, starting an opportunity fund, IRA's and starting a blog. Question One: Balance between the spender and the saver What I struggle with the most it getting my spouse to follow the budget. I have tried mint, and YNAB and a cash envelope system. How do I get her to follow a budget. Or maybe how do I 'trick' her into it? I'm not going to leave my spouse because of some money issues that don't cause us negative effect. We just aren't making gains in our life. What happens when your partner has a different view on budgeting that you do? How do you find a system that works for both styles? Question Two: Starting a Blog Better to start a blog sooner or wait till there is more content? Start now with 1 article, or wait 2 months and start with 15? Question Three: IRA’s Now a days people tend to make more and more lateral movements in their profession, collecting more and more IRAs. I was wondering if there was any research out there that suggests that merging IRAs to a currently higher performing IRA tended to outperform keeping a more diversified portfolio. Question Four: Opportunity fund Andrew has described the concept of an opportunity fund and has also mentioned that this current bull market run may be due for a significant correction. I am 31 and currently have a 90/10 stock/bond split in my Betterment account. If its more likely than not that a correction hits the stock market soon and prices drop, would it be prudent to slide my Betterment portfolio to a more conservative stock/bond ratio (say 60/40 or 50/50) in advance of this future correction. This would sort of be like a hedged "opportunity fund" within my Betterment account, and this extra money in bonds could then be used to buy more stocks once the correction has fully hit and stock prices are low. What do you think? Question Five: Vesting My employer enrolls all employees in an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan). Essentially, every year, each employee will receive a percentage of their base salary in stocks of the company, depending on how well the company does that year.  After I have worked for the company for so many years I become fully vested in the stock I have been given. Before that time I am only partially vested (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%). Once I retire or leave company I will be forced to sell the stock back to the company at my vested percentage, I can't do anything with the stock before that. My question is how would you incorporate an ESOP benefit into your Financial Blueprint? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 19, 2018
Deep Pocket Predators
Unfortunately, there are quite a bit of predatory financial schemes out there including pyramid schemes, sold debt, predatory lending, eve your financial advisor. In this episode, we’re going to try and shine a lite on them so in the very least you can approach them “eyes wide open”. Show Notes: Heaven Hell or Hoboken from 902 Brewing Co - IPA Beer Avery Promiscuous - Barrel aged Sour Beer The Financial Gym- Put your assets to work Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 12, 2018
The Personal Finance Blueprint 2.0
The Personal Finance Blueprint 2.0 will show you how to build a strong financial foundation and show you when and where to start with investing. Show Notes Freddie Murkury IPA Mikkeller Brewing San Diego Leftover - Matts new home brew Betterment Smart Saver Simple Bank- No ATM fees here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 05, 2018
How to Make Passive Income a Reality
There is a lot of chatter in the personal finance world about passive income, why you need it and how great it is. But what is it and why is it such a topic of conversation? Passive income is money that you earn without doing much to make it. Some passive income ideas take a degree of upfront work to earn, like writing an e-book and some don't take any effort at all, such as investing with a robo advisor. Today we talk about what exactly passive income is and understanding the non-passive nature of building it. Full Article Here Show Notes: Seated:  You nee to use Seated to book restaurant reservations. Every time you complete a reservation, you get a gift code for up to 25% of your bill that you can use at Amazon, Uber, or Starbucks. The rewards are available within 24 hours of your completed reservation. Laura and I almost exclusively eat out with Seated because it saves us so much. Paribus: Receiving refund checks are our favorite past-time. As it turns out, stores owe you money but they don’t pay if you don’t ask. That’s where Paribus comes in – they go to bat for you. Price drop? Get cash back for the difference. Deliveries arrive later than advertised? Get cash back. Fundrise: Did you know that investors with 20% allocated to real estate outperform those who only invest in stocks and bonds? Diversify without the dramatics of actual tenants. The minimum investment is $500. Lending Club: The banks had a monopoly on personal loans until Lending Club came along. Now you can get a loan sourced from normal people. Reduce the cost of your debt and refinance. Lending Club has competitive rates and borrower benefits. Drop: Earn cash rewards from your favorite brands. Drop is the free app that's giving out millions in cash rewards for the spending you do everyday. BizBuySell: BizBuySell is the Internet's largest and most heavily trafficked business for sale marketplace, with more business for sale listings, more unique users, and more search activity than any other service. BizBuySell also has one of the largest databases of sale comparables for recently sold businesses and one of the industry's leading franchise directories.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 29, 2018
The Science of Buying Happiness
Can money buy happiness? Science is here once again to save the day and show us exactly how to spend our money (or our time) to increase our level of happiness. We'll investigate the science of buying happiness. If you aren't buying happiness, you're using your money the wrong way.  Full Article Here Show Notes Beer Geek Breakfast: An Oatmeal Stout. Rumpkin: A pumpkin beer aged in rum barrels. Join the Listen Money Matters Community on Facebook by visiting to send in new catchphrases for the show. And if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to talk about, email us at All the tools and resources we usually mention on the show are available at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 22, 2018
5 Questions: Making Money, REI and Timing the Market
We get all kinds of great questions, and it can be hard to choose just five, but everyone is interested in making money, we have a ton of questions about real estate investing, and timing the market is something we covered years ago so wanted to revisit it for our newer listeners. We love listener questions, and we have good ones. Here are 5 questions about making money, REI, and timing the market. Full Article Here Show Notes Southern Tier Pumpking: The first pumpkin beer of the season! Southern Tier Pumpking:Rum barrel aged. Join the Listen Money Matters Community on Facebook by visiting to send in new catchphrases for the show. And if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to talk about, email us at All the tools and resources we usually mention on the show are available at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 15, 2018
5 Simple Rules That Will Help You Make Better Financial Decisions
There are dozens and dozens of figures and formulas around anything related to investing but some of us (me) are math deficient and even if we are math savants. Sitting around calculating things before making any investment decisions is the total opposite our LMM’s Set It And Forget It philosophy. So if you have these few back pocket rules in mind, the mathematics of investing will be less mysterious. We know math is hard, but the mathematics of money are really straightforward and can help you make better financial decisions. Full Article Here Show Notes River Horse Tripel Horse:A Belgian Style Tripel Ale. WeldWerks Brambleberry Sour:A wheat ale. Join the Listen Money Matters Community on Facebook by visiting to send in new catchphrases for the show. And if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to talk about, email us at All the tools and resources we usually mention on the show are available at Ahrefs is the secret to LMM’s success. They cover every aspect of SEO. If you want to start a blog or improve traffic to an existing one, this is the tool. You can win a free Lite annual subscription by tweeting @ahrefs and @MoneyMattersMan and telling us why you should be our winner. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 08, 2018
Women and Money with Suze Orman
If you’re interested in personal finance, you know who Suze Orman is. She has written nine best-selling books, is a financial advisor, a speaker, and a television and podcast host. Suze’s book Women & Money addresses some of the financial issues that are unique to women. Full Article Here Show Notes Schlafly India Pale Lager: A clean, malty lager. Brunch: Matt’s homebrew Be Good or Be Gone:Suze sold out the legendary Appollo theater. The event was filmed. You can catch Suze Orman: Women & Money October 1 on the OWN Network. Ahrefs is the secret to LMM’s success. They cover every aspect of SEO. If you want to start a blog or improve traffic to an existing one, this is the tool. You can win a free Lite annual subscription by tweeting @ahrefs and @MoneyMattersMan and telling us why you should be our winner. Join the Listen Money Matters Community on Facebook by visiting to send in new catchphrases for the show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 01, 2018
How To Handle Your Student Loans Like A Pro
Millions of us have student loan debt, and it hampers our progress towards financial independence. Let's get rid of it! We'll teach you how to handle your student loans like a pro. Because student loan debt is such a serious issue and because there are so many different ways to deal with it, we wanted to bring in an expert. Travis Hornsby from Student Loan Planner to explain how to handle your student loans. Full Article Here Show Notes Schlafly Kolsch:A classic, golden ale. Vincent Van Couch: An American wild ale. Ahrefs is the secret to LMM’s success. They cover every aspect of SEO. If you want to start a blog or improve traffic to an existing one, this is the tool. You can win a free Lite annual subscription by tweeting @ahrefs and @MoneyMattersMan and telling us why you should be our winner. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 24, 2018
What Is Tracking Your Net Worth, Worth?
Do you know your net worth, does it matter? Yes, knowing your net worth is important, and that number is important because what gets measured gets managed. If you don't know this number, you don't have an overall picture of how financially healthy you are. There are tons of numbers to track when it comes to your finances, and net worth is one of them. But what exactly is net worth and is it a number worth tracking? Full Article Here Show Notes Schlafly Ibex Celler:A Barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Armadillo Ale Works Brunch Money:An Imperial Golden Stout Ahrefs is the secret to LMM’s success. They cover every aspect of SEO. If you want to start a blog or improve traffic to an existing one, this is the tool. You can win a free Lite annual subscription by tweeting @ahrefs and @MoneyMattersMan and telling us why you should be our winner. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 17, 2018
What The F**k Are Stock Buybacks (And What Do They Mean For You)?
In fact, 2018 has been a record year for stock buybacks. By the end of the year, companies are predicted to have spent $1 trillion on buybacks. So why are so many buybacks happening now? The GOP tax cuts. The economy is doing well, and a lot of companies have a surplus of cash and don’t want to sit on it because it puts them at risk of being bought and it pisses off shareholders who want that money returned to them in either dividends or an increase in stock value. So what the f**k are stock buybacks exactly and what do they mean for you? Full Article Here Show Notes Schlafly Proper Cider: A raspberry hard cider. WeldWerks Conflict Resolution:An 8.2 ABC sour IPA. Thank you to our sponsor: Ahrefs Ahrefs is the secret to LMM’s success. They cover every aspect of SEO. If you want to start a blog or improve traffic to an existing one, this is the tool. You can win a free Lite annual subscription by tweeting @ahrefs and @MoneyMattersMan and telling us why you should be our winner. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 10, 2018
The Easiest Way to Practice Travel Hacking with Credit Cards
Traveling is one of life's great pleasures, and it can be done for less money than you think. Especially if you have the right travel rewards cards and know how to use them. You can certainly go down a rabbit hole of ways to earn and maximize points. But realistically most of us don't have the time or patience for that. These are travel hacking tips that anyone can do. Anyone who pays off their credit cards in full every month. Full Article Here Show Notes Schlafly Local Oak:An ale aged in Missouri white oak tanks. Schlafly India Pale Lager:Tangerine and citrus flavors combined with a malty profile. Ahrefs is the secret to LMM's success. They cover every aspect of SEO. If you want to start a blog or improve traffic to an existing one, this is the tool. You can win a free Lite annual subscription by tweeting @ahrefs and @MoneyMattersMan and telling us why you should be our win. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 03, 2018
Investing Tips When You Don’t Have Money to Invest
Investing advice is often crafted for high earners. What about the rest of us? We have investing tips when you don’t have money to invest. The most important component of investing is not having a lot of money to invest; it’s the amount of time whatever money you can scrounge up is invested. So start checking your coat pockets and couch cushions. Full Article Here Show Notes Chimay Pierre Trappist Grand Reserve Ale: A dark ale. Raspberry Lemonade Milkshake:An IPA from WeldWorks Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 27, 2018
An Honest Approach to Work-Life Balance with Kevin Lawrence
Work-life balance gets a lot of ink but how do you achieve it? We'll show you an honest approach to work-life balance with Kevin Lawrence. Work-life balance has become one of those annoying buzzwords, but it does have merit. We'll strip away the touchy-feely aspects of the concept and teach you how to achieve it. Full Episode Here Show Notes Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy: A traditional weiss beer with refreshing natural lemonade flavor that makes it the perfect summer beer. WeldWerks Spectral Class: A New England style IPA. Modelo Negra: A full-flavored lager. Your Oxygen Mask First: Kevin's book. Where you can find more information on Kevin. Now Discover Your Strengths: Find out what you're good at. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 20, 2018
How The Current Economy is Affecting Your Wallet
The media loves to talk about the economy in a broad sense but what does it mean for us individually? We'll explain how the current economy is affecting your wallet. There are four major economic topics that are generating most of the ink in the past several months. What's happening in the current economy and should we worry? Full Episode Here Show Notes Neither host is drinking beer this week! I think that is a first. The Financial Toolbox: All the best stuff we use to manage our money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 13, 2018
How The Hell Does Someone Save Up For a House?
Buying a home is still the American dream for many people but with home prices going up and up, how can you save up for a house without sleeping in your car? With the median home price in the U.S. at $188,900, it seems impossible. How the hell does someone save up for a house? Buying a home is such a part of the American dream. It seems like once you reach certain milestones that are considered part and parcel of being an adult, every which way you turn, someone or something is telling you to buy a house, you must buy a house! But should buying a home still be a part of the American dream? Full Article Here Show Notes Dead Guy Ale: An ale aged in whiskey barrels. Stick's Pale Ale:  A sessionable pale ale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 06, 2018
5 Questions: 401ks, FOREX, Cash, Rentals, and Leveraged Buyouts
We have awesome listeners, and they send in great questions so from time to time we like to answer then on air. If you want to know about 401ks, cash, rentals, and leveraged buyouts, we’re covering it with five awesome questions from you.   Full Article Here Show Notes In the Steep: A double dry hopped IPA. Toolbox:All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 30, 2018
Big Money Mistakes + Big Changes
If you’ve listened to LMM from the beginning, you’re going to hear a familiar voice today. If you’ve never heard our early episodes, the voice is going to become familiar.  Matt was the original co-host of LMM and was there for about the first 250 episodes of the show. He and Andrew disagreed about the direction of the show, and after a frustrating recording session, things blew up, and Matt left. But like Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Andrew and Matt just can’t stay apart. Full Article Here Show Notes So we begin a new chapter at LMM. We will miss Thomas, but this won't be the last you hear from him. If you haven't already, check out his College Info Geek podcast and tune in to future episodes because he'll come back from time to time. If you want to hear some of the old LMM episodes featuring Matt, their still available. One of my favorites was Money for the Love of Freedom. If you like what you hear, stay tuned to LMM and check out Matt's podcast, Money Lab. Salt of the Dog: Brewed with sea salt, coriander, and grapefruit puree. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 23, 2018
Live With Money Not For Money
What if we were to value other things in our lives in the same way or even more than we value money? Imagine if it weren’t about money? What if we viewed money for its actual intent, survival?Money is essential, but it shouldn’t consume your thoughts or your life. We should live with money, not for money. This is a podcast about money, but we also believe that money shouldn’t be the most important thing in your life. We have to live with money, but there is more to life than accumulating as much money as you can. Full Article Here Show Notes Bitches Brew: An American Double/Imperial Stout by Dogfish Head. Fat Lama: Borrow almost anything. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 16, 2018
Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all: The History and Evolution of Cash
We’re Listen Money Matters, but we’ve never discussed money. Get ready to holla. Dolla dolla bills y’all: The history and evolution of cash. Societies haven’t always used cash to transact business. The evolution of cash is pretty fascinating. Money is around 3,000 years old. Before that, societies bartered. I make candles. You make shoes. I need shoes, and you need candles. I give you some candles, and you give me some shoes. This isn’t a great system though. How many candles are the shoes worth? What if I need shoes, but you don’t need candles? There needed to be a better system. Full Article Here Show Notes Stillwater Artisinal Recess: Dry hopped sour ale. Pod Recommendation:50 Things That Made the Modern Economy LMM Community: Join your fellow money nerds!   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 09, 2018
The Biggest Financial Mistakes People Make and How to Fix Them
We all make mistakes, but financial mistakes can be especially costly. These are the biggest financial mistakes people make and how to fix them. There are some mistakes you can’t fix, but financial mistakes usually don’t fall into that category. It’s not always easy, but most financial mistakes can be rectified. Joy Liu from The Financial Gym is here to tell us about the biggest financial mistakes she helps her clients fix. Full Article Here Show Notes Tool Box: All the best stuff we use to manage our money. The Financial Gym:A personal trainer for your money! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 02, 2018
What is an IPO? How They Work and Should You Invest In One
You’ve probably heard the term but might not know what it means. What is an IPO? IPO stands for initial public offering and sometimes called “going public”. It’s the first time a company sells stock to the public. Before an IPO, a company is private with a few shareholders, typically the founders and sometimes professional investors. There have been so big IPOs in the last decade. Some killed it, and some landed with a thud. We’ll explain what an IPO is and whether or not you should invest in one. We’ll explain how they work and whether you should invest in one. Full Article Here Show Notes Siracha Hot Stout:  A chile beer brewed by Rogue Ales. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 25, 2018
Bounce Back From a Market Correction With an Opportunity Fund
No one can predict the future but based on past events; a market correction is coming. You need to start preparing for a market correction with an opportunity fund. We are in the second longest boom cycle in the history of the US. In exactly 12 months we will be tied for the longest with that boom cycle ending in the dot-com bubble in 2000. The low, slow burn of this recovery prevented things from overheating, and we avoided the fast boom-bust cycles that the economy has experienced in the past. There are some signs pointing to an upcoming correction. Full Article Here Show Notes Transmitter Saison Ale: An earthy, dry beer with hints of pepper and fruit. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 18, 2018
What It's Really Like To Drive For Uber
Over the past several years, ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber have made a remarkable splash in cities across the country. These ride-sharing services give users a platform to request a ride from freelance drivers who can get them from point A to point B safely and conveniently. If you’re looking for a low-cost way to make some extra cash, ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft are a great choice. Want a behind the scenes look at what it's really like to be a driver? We'll talk to Harry Campbell, The Ride Share Guy to find out. Full Article Here Show Notes The Ride Share Guy: Harry's Website for Uber and Lyft Drivers Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 11, 2018
Do Things That Scale: Starting a Business That Will Take Off
There are only so many hours in a day so you need to build a business that can grow while you’re sleeping, on vacation, or working on your next business. You have to do things that scale when starting a business that will take off. While we are discussing scaling a business, there are plenty of other areas of life that you can scale including investing and video games. To scale a business means to create a system, product, or service that can generate more money through some resource that isn’t your time. Scale is a concept that is meant to support infinite growth. When starting a business, you want to find ways to apply your time and money that are scalable and to shift your focus from things with a hard maximum return to things that have the potential to be infinitely scalable.   Full Article Here Show Notes Board Meeting: A coffee flavored brown ale. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Do Things That Don't Scale: The essay Andrew mentioned by Paul Graham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 04, 2018
A Master Class on Diversification with Adam Grealish
You’ve heard the term diversification, but you might not know precisely what it means. Turns out it’s more complicated than just owning stocks and bonds. We are going to deep dive and give you a master class on diversification with Adam Grealish.   Full Article Here Show Notes Board Meeting: A coffee flavored brown ale. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Betterement:  A great investing platform and where Adam Grealish works. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 28, 2018
Out of Control Spending and The Refrigerator Method
Almost 50% of Americans cannot come up with $400 if they needed it urgently. 1 in 3 Americans has $0 saved for retirement. In the U.S. it seems we’re much better at spending money then we are saving. This spending problem is leaving too many American households living paycheck to paycheck with close to nothing saved for the future. The savings rate has been falling for most of the past few decades. Maybe we stopped saving when our income growth flatlined after the recession, maybe it’s because we’re being buried in student loan debt, or maybe consumerism has taken over but it doesn’t change the cold hard truth that most people are not prepared for retirement at all.   Full Article Here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 21, 2018
What the F**k Are Annuities?
Annuities are not exactly transparent, and neither are the people selling them. They are almost always a terrible investment, and when we explain what the f**k are Annuities, you will understand why and stay far away from them. There is so much misleading information out there for Annuities in no small part because the financial incentives for selling them s is very high. We will take an unbiased look at them. We’ve never accepted a dollar from an annuity company, and there probably won’t be any beating down our door after this! Full Article Here Show NotesTroegenator: A Double Bock with notes of caramel, chocolate, and dried fruit. Toolbox: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 14, 2018
What to do After a Job Loss To Can Get back On Your Feet
The worst has happened. Whether their fault, your fault or nobodies fault, you lost your job. We don’t want to make a bad situation even worse by making big financial mistakes. This is what to do after a job loss so you can stay or get back on your feet quickly. We have all probably suffered a job loss at some point so we know how scary it can be. But there are lots of things you can do to mitigate the damage.   Full Article Here Show Notes Blunderbuss Barleywine Ale: Aged in oak barrels. Toolbox: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 07, 2018
5 Questions: LLCs, Winning The Lottery And Budgeting
We get a lot of questions from listeners, and sometimes they are so good, we want to share them with everyone. Today we answer five awesome questions from you about LLCs, winning the lottery, budgeting an irregular income, Roth rollovers, and buying quality. Full Article Here Show Notes Dog Fish Head 60 Minute IPA: A continuously hopped IPA. LMM Toolbox: All of the best stuff we use to manage our money Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 30, 2018
How to Become Great at Anything: The Truth Behind The 10,000-Hour Rule
There is a lot of misinformation about the 10,000-hour rule theory of self-improvement, and it turns out now all 10,000 hours are the same. We delve into the truth behind the 10,000-hour rule and show you how to become great at anything. It's not really about the number of hours you put into something; it’s about deliberate practice. Full Article Here  Show Notes Arrogant Bastard: An aggressive beer that is probably too good for the likes of you! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 22, 2018
How to Buy a House Without Putting 20% Down
Whenever you hear people talk about buying a home, they insist you need a 20% down payment. But there are ways around that. We will show you how to buy a house without putting 20% down. There are some good reasons to put 20% down when you buy a house. But that isn’t realistic for everyone, and it’s not only rich people who deserve to own a home. If you are dreaming of buying a house but can’t come up with 20% down, there are programs that can help.   Full Article Here Show Notes Arrogant Bastard: An aggressive beer that is probably too good for the likes of you! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 16, 2018
28 Tax Deductions You Didn’t Know You Could Write Off
None of us likes paying taxes, and everyone agrees that the tax code is too complicated. But taxes are not meant as a show of our civic commitment but as a series of incentives set by the government to encourage citizens to do things that grow the economy. And if you look at things that are deductions, buying a home, having a kid, and starting a business, you can see what the government wants us to do to bolster the economy. You know the typical write-offs, but we found 28 tax deductions you didn’t know you could write off. These are tax deductions that most people will be eligible for. If you have a business, you can check out the episode we did on LLCs and S Corps. Full Article Here Show Notes Lagunitas Brown Shugga':An American strong ale. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 09, 2018
The Scariest 1%: The Impact of Fees in the Long Term
You’re paying your money manager for his or her expertise, right? They know all the secrets and tricks to picking the right stocks and making the right investments. They know things you will never understand. Well, they don’t. According to the analysis, 99 percent of actively managed US equity funds sold in Europe have failed to beat the S&P 500 over the past 10 years. You need someone with expertise to make sure you don’t lose all of your money when the market is volatile. You don’t. Andrew did the math. Full Article Here Show Notes Serpent's Stout: An American Double, Imperial stout. How Not To Be Wrong: The math behind everyday things. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 02, 2018
The Real Difference Between a Rich Mindset vs. a Poor Mindset
Maybe you are rich. Maybe you are poor. Maybe you have experienced being both at some point in your life. If you haven’t figured it out yet, being rich isn’t all about money. It’s about well-being, abundance, having time, success, and the right mindset. There are definitely social issues that contribute to poverty, however, rich vs poor mindsets can also drive wealth and success. There are many poor people with a rich mindset, financially poor due to circumstance. And there are many trust fund babies with a poor mindset. Full Article Here Show Notes: Order of Man Podcast Menfluential Conference The Dip By Seth Godin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 26, 2018
Money Making Ideas: Smart Ways to Increase Your Income
At a certain point, you can’t save any more money; there just isn’t anything left to cut. And really, saving money is not nearly as impactful as making more. So whether you want to increase your income to pay off debt, save for a home, take a vacation, or retire early, we have ways to do it. Here are our favorite money making ideas. Full Article Here Show Notes Cellar 3 Silva:  An Imperial stout. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 12, 2018
Knowledge is Power: Why Knowledge Is More Valuable Than Money
The most valuable thing in the world is knowledge. Everything else in our lives, money, health, things, love, they can all come and go. They can all be taken away from us. The one thing that no one can ever take from you once you have acquired it is knowledge. You can lose your money, all of it, and all of the stuff it brought you in an instant and through no fault of your own. But the knowledge you have earned is something that no one and nothing can ever take from you. Full Article Here Show Notes Impending Descent: A Russian Imperial Stout Deep Work: How to focus without distraction. Tax-Free Wealth: The book that started Andrew's rental property obsession! So Good They Can't Ignore You:Debunking the follow your passion myth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 05, 2018
The Amazing Tax Benefits Of An LLC
The two most expensive things in life are taxes and interest, and we want to avoid both. One of the best ways to avoid taxes is by starting a business. We want to illustrate the massive tax advantages allowed to small businesses and how utilizing these advantages can be as beneficial if not more so as compared to traditional retirement accounts. Also, they can be used in conjunction with retirement accounts for an added big advantage.  Today we will discuss LLC vs S Corp and the amazing tax benefits of having a business. Full Article Here Show Notes Disclaimer: We are not tax advisors, and you should consult with one before you start deducting things like crazy and stuff like that - both Thomas and Andrew do. Impending Descent: A bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. Gusto: A cloud-based payroll, benefits, and human resource management solution for businesses. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 26, 2018
5 Questions: Individual Stocks, Student Loans and The 4% Rule
LMM loves listener questions. If you’re wondering, other people are too and doing a five questions episodes allows us to reach more of you. Today we have five awesome questions from you. Today we will answer your five awesome questions about individual stocks, student loans, the 4% rule, You Need a Budget, and investing 101. Full Article Here Show Notes Asahi Super Dry: A Japanese beer with a refreshing barely flavor. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Thanks guys, we love reading your questions. You keep asking, and we'll keep answering! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 19, 2018
What the F**k are Stock Options?
What the f**k are stock options? Options are one of those personal finance concepts that can be intimidating if you aren’t familiar with it but when distilled down, is pretty straightforward. Our guest today, Kal Zurn, from Sharper Trades will break down what stock options are, how they work, what they are used for and why you should care. Full Article Here Show Notes Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 21: An old ale style beer. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 12, 2018
Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
There is nothing more nerve-wracking than a job interview. All those questions and always the dreaded, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Today we’ll have you navigate the minefield that is a job interview. As we have discussed in our future of work episode, the face of employment is changing. More than ever we need to be able to stand apart from the competition. One important way to do that is to improve your interview skills. Full Article Here Show Notes Export Stout Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 05, 2018
How The National Debt Actually Works
The national debt is big boogeyman during election years but how bad is it really and do you need to worry about it? We hear a lot about the national debt, but many of us don’t really know what it is or how it works. Today we will have an a political discussion on how the national debt actually works. There are all kinds of doomsday scenarios surrounding what would happen if the US were to default, but the likelihood of that is pretty low. It could happen but it almost certainly won't. So like Warren Buffett, you can sleep tight and now let the national debt keep you up at night. Full Article Here Show Notes Harviestown Ola Dubh: Ale aged in whiskey casks Understanding the National Debt and Budget Deficit: Youtube Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 29, 2018
The Importance of Understanding the US Healthcare System
Our healthcare system is the worst in the developed world, but you can’t opt out of it. Because it affects us all, we need to discuss the importance of understanding the US healthcare system. Our guest today is here to explain how consumers can take back some control of healthcare costs. David Vivero is co-founder and CEO at Amino a healthcare transparency company working to connect everyone to better, more affordable care. Full Article Here Show Notes Grimm Sour Ale: A double dry hopped ale. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 22, 2018
Free Money: Will Universal Basic Income Be Part Our Future?
When the robots steal our jobs, we will have to have money coming in from somewhere to house and feed ourselves? One way to do that is through universal basic income. Last week we spoke about the future of work when automation wipes out 47% of American jobs. That episode begs the questions, will universal basic income be part of our future? Will free money be the answer to our problem? Today we look at the pros and cons of universal basic income and see how free money will effect out future. Full Article Here Show Notes The Crisp: A German-style Pilsener. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 15, 2018
The Future of Work is Changing
Robots are going to take our jobs. Things are changing faster now than even during the industrial revolution. We have to start planning now because the future of work is changing rapidly. This episode is not meant to scare you. It’s meant to prepare you for the changing employment landscape. Breaking the looms is not a long-term solution. Full Article Here Show Notes Double Negative: An Imperial Stout by Grimm Back Flipping Robot: From Boston Dynamics Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. The Rise of Robots: From Vox Automation and AI are Destroying Jobs, Not Work: From Quartz The Rise of Machines: From In a Nutshell Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 08, 2018
How to Interview and Hire a Financial Team
You can DIY a lot of your financial life, but sometimes you need some help. But you only want to choose the best people when it comes to your money. Today we’re discussing how to interview and hire a financial team. Shannon McLay from Financial Gym is our guest today. Financial Gym provides one on one personal training to help people achieve their financial goals. Full Article Here Show Notes Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Financial Gym: Get financial personal training Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 01, 2018
Protecting Yourself From Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft
Data breaches have been in the news recently, and the headlines are scary. Today Farnoosh Torabi joins us to discuss protecting yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft. Farnoosh Torabi of the So Money podcast is the Chase Slate Financial Ambassador. She can give us the insider’s scoop on how to protect our data and our credit scores from fraudsters and even ourselves. Full Article Here Show Notes Grimm Artisanal Ales: A dry hopped sour ale. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 25, 2017
Cheap Meals: Good Food On A Tight Budget
Most of us spend too much on food. You can still eat well or maybe better than you currently are, and spend less money. Looking for a way to make cheap meals that hit the spot? The shopping trolley is one of the easiest places to cut spending. Here is our ultimate guide to saving money on groceries and making good food on a tight budget. Full Article Here Show Notes The Science of Cooking Cooked on Netflix Kitchen Confidential  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 18, 2017
Understanding Financial Bubbles
There are a lot of personal finance terms thrown around that many of us don’t understand so when we hear them, we just nod and smile. But LMM is all about education, so we’re going to devote this episode to understanding economic bubbles. Bubbles are nothing new. The first bubble may have happened nearly 400 years ago. Our episode a few weeks back on cryptocurrencies got us thinking about economic bubbles. It’s an interesting subject so we wanted to delve further into bubbles. Full Article Here Show Notes Super Going: A dry-hopped ale with orange zest. Woodchuck Cider: An amber cider. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 11, 2017
How To Retire: What To Do With Your Time And Money
We spent years accumulating money for retirement, but when we finally get there, it’s all about decumulation, counting down your money. Learn how to retire and what to do with your time and money. We talk a lot about early retirement, but today we’re talking to someone who’s living it. J. David Stein retired at 46 and had since launched his successful podcast, Money for the Rest of Us. Full Article Here Show Notes Money for the Rest of Us: People like us, invest like this. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 04, 2017
The BRRR Strategy: How Cash Out Deals Work
Rental property is LMM’s favorite form of passive income. But if you want to maximize your real estate investments, you’ll have to get a little less passive. We’ve covered many of the basics about rental property, and now we’re going to go deeper. We will explain the BRRR strategy and how cash out deals work. Full Article Here Show Notes My Name is Citrus Maximus:An IPA with a hint of grapefruit. Roofstock: Turn key rental property. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 27, 2017
Getting Rid of the Victim Mentality
Today we’re joined by Wes Chapman, founder of A Human Project. Wes shares his story and tells us how getting rid of the victim mentality can bring us greater success. Wes is the founder of A Human Project, an organization that incubates creative, scalable solutions to systemic problems and gathers together the greatest minds to solve global issues in education, health, and society. Full Article Here Show Notes Cappuccino Stout:A heady mix of beer and caffeine. Sour Monkey Victory Brewing: An American wild ale. Wes Chapman: Wes's site. Building a World of Worth: Wes's TedX talk. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 13, 2017
5 Questions: Frugality, IRAs and Saving in College
We get a lot of great questions from listeners and readers. And if one of you asks a question, dozens of other people have the same question. In order to reach you all, we like to do five questions episodes. So here they are, five awesome questions from you! Is there such a thing as being too frugal, Betterment or Vanguard, how can you save money in college, what should you do with an IRA, where should your emergency fund live? We’re going to find out.   Full Article Here Show Notes Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 06, 2017
The Art of Meaningful Conversation
Small talk only gets you so far. If you want to improve your career, your relationships, and your life, you have to move past small talk to something deeper. Today we interview two experts on the art of meaningful conversation. Mollie Kinsman Khine and Taylor Buonocore are the inventors of  Convers(ate), a game designed to spark conversation. Full Article Here Show Notes Truck Stop: A honey brown ale. Conversate Kickstarter: The campaign is live until November 10, 2017. Convers(ate)'s Website: Check out the details of the game.Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 30, 2017
The Newbie’s Guide To Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency Market
Money has been around for thousands of years and now there is a new form of money on the scene. A cryptocurrency is a form of digital money. It uses cryptography to create secure, digital transactions that are in theory, anonymous. That’s why it’s the preferred medium of payment when buying illegal things like drugs on the dark web. BitCoin was the first cryptocurrency, created in 2009 and is the most well-known. But, what even is cryptocurrency? This episode is the newbie’s guide to the cryptocurrency market. Full Article Here Show Notes Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 23, 2017
Lessons Learned Investing in Rental Properties
Allison Karrels has been investing in rental properties for several years. She currently owns nine properties so she has a lot of experience. With all the things That could go wrong with rental properties, Allison has only had two major repairs over the years, neither of which were surprises which is pretty amazing. She does a lot of research on exactly what she wants. It wasn't always that way. Today she shares her lessons learned investing in rental properties.   Full Article Here Show Notes Ghost Pepper: An imperial stout. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 16, 2017
What The F**K Are Commodities
What the f**k are commodities? Stocks and commodities are both traded but that's where the similarities end. Carley Garner, author of Higher Probability Commodity Trading, joins us today to teach us all about commodites; what are they and why are they important.   Full Article Here Show Notes Hop Rod Rye: An American IPA. Decarley Trading: Carley's brokerage firm. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 09, 2017
Retire Happy – Optimize Your 401K Account With Blooom
For many Americans, their 401k’s are their primary or maybe only, retirement account so we need to get the most value we can from them. We’re joined by a previous guest. Chris Costello joins us to talk about how to retire happy when you optimize your 401K account with Blooom. Blooom helps people manage their 401k’s. Once upon a time, only people with serious money had access to financial advice but technology has made investing and financial services more democratic and available to a much larger pool of people. Full Article Here Show Notes Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin:A seasonal beer packed with pumpkin, Saigon Cinnamon, and Habanero peppers. Blooom: See how healthy your 401k is today. Linkedin: Get in touch with Chris Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 02, 2017
The Debt Free, One Year College Alternative At MissionU
We have covered the problem of student debt many times and we are always trying to find alternative ways to get a good education without being saddled with debt. Today we will show you a  way not only to get a great education that will put you on the path to a great career without incurring debt but also takes a fraction of the time that getting a traditional college education takes. We’re very excited to have found this guest and bring him to you. Today we’re joined by the founder of MissionU, Adam Braun, to discuss the debt free, one-year college alternative.   Full Article Here Show Notes Adam's e-mail if you have questions about MissionU. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Instagram: Follow MissionU Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 25, 2017
Invest or Pay Off Debt? That is the Question.
There are a lot of questions in personal finance but maybe the biggest is invest or pay off debt? That is the question we get at LMM most often. There is a lot of emotions involved when it comes to making financial decisions but this framework largely removes emotion. This is straight up what you should do to optimize your finances. So, what should you do first, invest or pay off debt? Today Andrew has done the math. Full Article Here Show Notes Even More Jesus Evil Twin Brewing: An Imperial Stout. Sour Monkey: A sour ale from Victory Brewing Company. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Student Loan Debt Mortgage Debt Pay Off vs Hold Excel Spreadsheet (found in the bowels of the internet) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 18, 2017
10 Real Estate Investor Commandments
Rental property investing is one of the best ways to earn passive income but you need to understand the potential for failure. There are a lot of rules when it comes to real estate but there are ten that should never be broken. These are 10 real estate investor commandments. Full Article Here Show Notes Even More Jesus: An Imperial Stout from Evil Twin Brewing. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 11, 2017
This Financial Life With Broc
Some of our this financial life guests were just getting their financial footing and we got to learn along with them. Broc is doing pretty much everything right so his this financial life gives us the chance to learn from him. He and his wife even managed to pay off their mortgage in just five short years! Full Article Here Show Notes Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 04, 2017
Dear Debt, It’s Over. We Need to Break Up.
As we continue our back to basics series, we’re going to talk about debt. We interview the founder of the blog, Dear Debt, We Need to Break Up. Melanie Lockert of Dear Debt who paid off $81,000 in student loan debt joins us to discuss all things debt related. It's so much harder to build wealth and achieve financial independence when you are dragging around debt. If you have high-interest debt, start making a plan today to get it paid off as quickly as you can so you can stop paying debt and start growing your money. Full Article Here Show Notes Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale: A sour brewed with lime, black limes, and sea salt. Dear Debt: Melanie's blog. Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up With Debt: Melanie's new book. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 28, 2017
5 Questions From You: Mortgage, Credit Cards and Retirement
We haven’t done a five questions episode for awhile. Here are five awesome questions from you about mortgages, credit cards, and retirement. Your questions about mortgage rates, side hustles, rental properties, and analyzing individual stocks.   Full Article Here Show Notes Ashes to Mashes, Nuts to Butts: An American amber/Red ale style beer. Simple Wealth: Make your life easier as a real estate investor. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 21, 2017
Finding the Perfect Rental Property Neighborhood
The most important thing in real estate is location, location, location. Today we discuss the key factors to finding the perfect rental property neighborhood. Zach Evanish from Roofstock joins us to discuss what factors to consider when choosing a rental property neighborhood. Full Article Here Show Notes Bend the Knee:A Belgian-style golden ale. Roofstock's Neighborhood Ratings: The five criteria used to measure investment risk against potential return. Tool Box: All the best stuff to manage your money. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 14, 2017
Know Your Worth With Adrian Granzella Larssen
None of us deserve to be undervalued so we will tell you how to know your worth with Adrian Granzella Larssen.  Do you think you are being paid what you’re worth? How do you know what your position is worth? Adrian Granzella Larssen from the Muse is here to discuss getting what you’re worth. Show Notes Sanguinem Aurantiaco: A blood orange beer from Evil Twin Brewing. Sam Adams Summer Ale: An American pale ale. The Ultimate Job Search Course: The Udemy course from The Muse. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Tool Box: All the best stuff we use to manage our money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 07, 2017
The U.S. Financial Diaries with Jonathan Morduch
Much has changed for the average American family from a financial standpoint in the last few decades. Much of the advice we receive is outdated in today’s climate. A study is based on 235 families from all across the United States. For one year they gave the authors access to every detail of their financial lives. The families were not among the poorest nor were they among the richest. A quarter was below the poverty line, half were at or making two times the poverty line, and a quarter were above the prior group.Today we discuss The U.S. Financial Diaries with Jonathan Morduch. Full Article Here Show Notes The Yin Evil Twins Brewing: The black of the black and tan. The U.S. Financial Diaries: More information about the study, the people involved, and the book. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 31, 2017
Investing Is Not Hard And Anyone Can do It
Many people are afraid to get started investing. Some are scared to lose money, feel they don't have enough money or it can be due to lack of personal finance knowledge. Investing is not hard and anyone can do it. You can start investing with any amount money and the earlier you start, the better. We'll explain the fundamental concepts, lingo, types of investments and the basics of how to start investing. You got this! Full Article Here Show Notes An Mas Chili Jesus: 12% ABV, what else do you need to know? Krane Financial Solutions: Justin's fee only investing firm. teaches business owners how to be smart with their money so they can fund personal goals. Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 24, 2017
Understanding Rental Property Depreciation and Taxes
When buying investment properties, most people focus on the cash flow. However, there are greater benefits that are sometimes overlooked – rental property depreciation and tax benefits. It can get complicated but we want to lay it all out for you. Full Article Here Show Notes Great Lakes Turntable Pils: Earthy with the aroma of fresh hops. Craig Cody and Company: Craig's CPA company. Secrets of a Tax Free Life: Get a free copy of Craig's book Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 17, 2017
How to Spend Your Money with Farnoosh Torabi
There are certain things that we should splurge on. When we spend more money on things like good food, a good mattress and bedding, and good medical care, we improve all the other aspects of our lives. You can’t function properly if you don’t eat and sleep well. Spending money to see a functional medicine doctor rather than a pill pushing doctor can preserve your quality of life for decades. When the inputs are quality, the outputs will be quality. Full Article Here Show Notes Simple Wealth:Research and evaluate rental properties. Farnoosh: You can find Farnoosh's books and podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 10, 2017
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck with Mark Manson
We love the word fuck, so that's what turned our heads when we saw this book. But the key word is subtle. We have to care about some things but we need to be more conscious of who we value and what we care about. We only have so much time and energy. But it's not always obvious what we should give a fuck about. You have to figure out who and what matters. We all get to choose what we give a fuck about, and we choose every day whether we realize it our not. You have a finite supply of fucks to give. Don't waste them. Full Article Here Show Notes Evil Twin Yang: An Imperial IPA. Mark Manson: Author, thinker, life enthusiast. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: Get Mark's book. Tool Box: All the best stuff we use to manage our money. LMM Pro: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 03, 2017
Choosing The Best Rental Property Management Company
Owning rental property doesn’t have to mean being a hands-on landlord. What you need to know when choosing the best rental property management company. If you’ve been an LMM listener for awhile, you know that rental property is one of the best sources of passive income. If you don’t want to get calls about leaky roofs in the middle of the night, we’ll teach you what you need to know when choosing the best rental property management company. Full Article Here Show Notes Roofstock: The company has a special offer for LMM listeners. Roofstock’s Marketplace fee will be waived for your first purchase from the moment the episode goes live (June 26th) through the last day of July. That saves you an average of more than $500 Tool Box: All the best stuff we use to manage our money. LMM Pro: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 26, 2017
How To Live In A Van (And Do What You Love)
Ever dreamed of living in a van down by the river? Our guests actually do. They’ll tell us how to live in a van and do what you love. You hear about people who decide one day just to give up the 9-5 life most of us live to do something different, and today we speak to a couple who did just that.   Full Article Here Show Notes Ommegang Abbey Ale: A rich, fruity brew. Syd and Macky's Website:Follow along on the adventure and find their new Youtube channel. Instagram: Syd and Macky's IG for the hardcore bike fans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 19, 2017
Rewrite Your Money Story With Belinda Rosenblum
We all have preconceived notions around money, many of them unconscious. If we can tease those notions to the forefront, we can conquer them and the behaviors they cause that hold us back financially. Break old money habits and change your mindset around money. Today we rewrite your money story with Belinda Rosenblum. Full Article Here Show Notes Ommegang Abbey Ale: A rich, fruity Burgundian brew. Dogfish Head SeaQuench: A sour made with lime and black lime. Belinda’s Personal Finance Workshop:Start to shift your money destiny and rewrite your money story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 12, 2017
22 Life Changing Lessons From Warren Buffett
The Oracle of Omaha is a font of wisdom. He is perhaps the most successful investor in history. So he knows a lot of lessons we can all benefit from. Here are 22 life-changing lessons from Warren Buffett. Whether you want some words of wisdom on investing or how not to be a better person, there are Warren Buffett quotes to guide you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 05, 2017
5 Questions: 401k Loans, Side Hustles, Student Loan Interest Rates
Sometimes we get awesome questions from our listeners and we like to do an episode around them. Today we have five awesome questions from you about 401k loans, side hustles, student loan interest rates, buying a home and early retirement. Full Article Here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 29, 2017
Put Your Financial Adult Pants On
The future is creeping up on all of us. If you’ve been avoiding thinking about it, it’s time to get serious about retirement and your goals. Some of us put off worrying about money for a long time. When you’re in your twenties and thirties, retirement seems so far away that it’s not worth thinking about.  But the clock is ticking and you are wasting the most powerful thing in personal finance, the power of compounding interest. The longer your money is invested, the more it grows. There is no substitute for the power of time. This is the time to pay iff your debt, grow your income, start investing. and grow that net worth. Whether you think about the future or not, it’s happening. Well, there is no time machine to take us back and invest our money earlier but if the best time to start investing was when you were 18, the second best time is now. We know, adulting is hard. Full Article Here Show Notes Cascade Kriek Ale:A sour ale from Cascade Brewing Ace Pineapple: The world's first pineapple cider. LMM Pro: Research and evaluate rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 22, 2017
It’s About Time You Stop Wasting Money
All of us have spending leaks, money we spend that we shouldn’t. We’re getting back to basics. While you were all busy investing in real estate and monitoring your portfolios, you’ve been steadily wasting money. We’re all guilty of it, but from time to time we need to go back to personal finance 101 and take a hard look at how much we are spending day to day. Stop wasting money already!  And remember what gets measured gets managed. Full Article Here Show Notes Cascade Kriek Ale:A sour ale from Cascade Brewing. LMM Pro:Research, evaluate, and track rental property. Toolbox:All the best stuff we use to manage our money. Community: Join the conversation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 15, 2017
Getting Financially Naked With The Broke Millennial
Money is almost as taboo a subject as sex and arguably, just as important in a relationship. But too few people bring it up. Today we are getting financially naked with the Broke Millennial.  How to talk about money, with yourself, your partner, your friends, and your parents. Full Article Here Show Notes Elliott Ness Lager: An amber lager from Great Lakes Brewing Company. Broke Millennial:Get your financial life together. Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together: Erin's new book. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 08, 2017
Need Some Money Motivation?
No matter what your financial goals are, sometimes reaching them can feel like a slog. Do you need some money motivation? We got you. We are going to motivate you to take action, to stop making excuses and to finally do what you already know you need to do. At the end of this month, you’ll be motivated to take on the world. Because when you change your money habits, you will change your life.   Full Article Here Show Notes Toolbox:All the best stuff we use to manage our money. Community: Join the conversation. LMM Pro:Research, evaluate, and track rental property. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 01, 2017
Make Your Kid A Money Master With Eva Baker
Good personal finance habits start young. Our children don’t get much personal finance education in school so it’s up to parents to provide that education. There are things we can do throughout their childhood to turn our kid into a money master. Today we take to Eva Baker from Teens Got Cents. She started Teens Got Cents as a home school project when she began to get interested in personal finance. She started doing some research but found that most information was geared toward adults and there wasn't much to help kids. Eva saw a gap and decided to fill it and that's how her site started when she was just 16. Eva blogs about how teens can shop smart, get a great part time job, go to college debt free, save money, and start their own business. In 2015 she founded The Teenpreneur Conference. This annual conference brings together teen business owners as well as teens who want to start their own business in a community that truly is by teens, for teens. Full Article Here  Show Notes Vanilla Porter Breckenridge Brewery: A porter brewed with real vanilla. LMM Tools: All the best stuff we use to manage our money. LMM Pro:Research, evaluate, and track rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 24, 2017
Master the Decision Making Process With Matt Bodnar
Do you hate making a decision? Sometimes the fear of making a decision means we miss out on a good opportunity.  We make dozens of decisions every day. Some of them are minor like what to wear to work, and some are major like deciding between buying a rental property or a house to live in. When you learn to master the decision-making process you can improve every aspect of your life, your job, your health, your relationships and not least of all, your finances. Today we will get you off the fence and show you how to master the decision making process with Matt Bodnar. Full Article Here Show Notes Riverhorse Tripel Horse: A Belgian style ale brewed with spices. The Science of Success: Get the guide to making better decisions. The Science of Success Podcast: Unleash your human potential. Mindset: The book that changed Matt's life by Carol Dweck. Seeking Wisdom:Peter Bevelin Poor Charlie's Almanack: Peter D. Kaufman and Ed Wexler Predictably Irrational: Dan Ariely Influence: Robert Cialdini Thinking Fast and Slow: Daniel Kahneman   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 17, 2017
Wealthsimple Review – A Chat with CEO Michael Katchen
We love robo-advisors, and lots of other investors do too. But admittedly, robo-advisors are missing that personal touch some investors prefer. We found the best of both worlds in Wealthsimple. This is our Wealthsimple review along with a chat with CEO Michael Katchen. Full Article Here Show Notes Personal Finance for Engineers - Adam's presentation on Personal Finance. Not only for engineers but certainly focuses on their blind spots. Signup for Wealthfront - Get your first $15,000 invested for free! Special for LMM fans, the ultimate try before you buy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 10, 2017
Monetizing Your Passion and Building Your Business
Lots of us dream about turning our passion into a money-making business, and it can be done! In our on-going series about starting an online business, we discuss monetizing your passion and building your business.  Remember, our goal is to earn at least $1,000 a month by month 12 of your business and to see a clear trend towards growth. If you quit your job to work on this business full time, that’s not a lot. If you still have your full-time job, bringing in an extra $12,000 a year is pretty great.   Full Article Here Show Notes Icelandic Toasted Porter: An American Porter Style Beer. LMM Tool Box:All the best stuff we use to manage our money. LMM Pro:  Research, evaluate, and track rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 03, 2017
What You Need to Create a Simple One Page Business Plan
A business plan can be a scary term conjuring images of thirty-page documents. But it doesn't have to be that involved. It's just writing down what you have to get done and a simple one page business plan is a great place to start.A simple one page business plan is nothing more than a map for your business that gives an outline of your goals and the steps you will take to achieve those goals. It’s not that different from having a plan to accomplish any goal. We'll discuss creating a simple one-page business plan. Full Article Here Show Notes LMM Tool Box: All the things we use to manage money.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 27, 2017
Lifestyle Business vs. Growth-Minded Business
If you want to start a business what kind do you want it to be? There are two competing business philosophies: lifestyle business vs. growth-minded business. A lifestyle business isn’t intended to make the owner tons of money. The goal of a lifestyle business is to make enough money to be comfortable while having freedom and a good work-life balance while doing work that you enjoy. Many lifestyle businesses were started based on the owner’s particular hobby or passion and represent their personal values. When you think of the startup world, you typically think of founders who are working like mad to grow their companies as fast as possible. Often, the founder or founders will get their company to the point where there’s enough promise to attract funding. And at that point, you’ve got investors who now want to see an ROI – and in the startup game, they’re not looking for a modest ROI, they’re looking for “to-the-moon” businesses. This is the growth-minded business model. Whichever type of business appeals to you, starting and building one puts you on a different plane than the great majority of people. Most people spend their entire lives working for someone else, making someone else money. Starting your own business can give you more choice, freedom, and independence than your average 9-5'er can ever dream of. And we think that makes it all worth the effort. Full Article Here Show Notes Apex Predator: A farmhouse ale from Off Color Brewing. LMM Financial Toolbox: The tools we use to manage our money. LMM Pro: Research, evaluate, and track rental properties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 20, 2017
How to Build a Business With Corbett Barr
We’re continuing online business month with an interview  with Corbett Barr  from Fizzle on how to build a business.  Fizzle encourages you to create something you’re proud of through hard work and persistence. The site isn’t full of “20 Amazing hacks to start a business overnight and become a billionaire” content. It offers long-term advice that will help people grow a business. Full Article Here Show Notes Use this link to get a free five-week trial period.Crabbie's Ginger Beer:A slightly sweet, alcoholic ginger beer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 13, 2017
Why You Should Start An Online Businesses
Okay, so we want you to start your own business. But why are we advocating for online businesses? Because a brick and mortar business only goes so far. You have to physically be present, and there is a logical maximum you can earn based simply on space restrictions.   Restaurants can only turnover so quickly; clothing stores can only fit so many people inside at a time. The internet is infinitely scalable. It has almost limitless reach. There are people from every corner of the world who hear what Listen Money Matters has to say. An online business also gives you the freedom we all want. You aren’t tied to a location. We want to motivate all of you to get started creating online businesses. The idea is that with part-time, but a focused effort, in one year you can build an online business that earns $1,000 or more per month. Full Article Here Show Notes Kentucky Ryed Chiquen: An amber ale brewed with rye malt and aged in rye whiskey barrels. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 06, 2017
Fearless Salary Negotiation Tips With Josh Doody
Many people are afraid to negotiate be it for a raise or a salary offer for a new job. Josh’s approach is to follow a process that will allow him to accomplish the thing he is afraid of. If you can break something down into steps and just follow the steps, suddenly you’ve done it. When it comes to getting a raise, most of us could do better. Today we talk fearless salary negotiation tips with Josh Doody. Full Article Here Show Notes Imperial Donut Break: An Imperial Porter from Evil Twin Brewing. Salary Negotiation Sample Email: To counter offer once you have a job offer. Salary Increase Letter Sample: Asking for a raise. Josh's Twitter: You can reach him here. Fearless Salary Negotiation: Josh's site. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 27, 2017
The Science of Resourcefulness
How resourceful are you? When we harness the science of resourcefulness, we can achieve great things in our personal, professional, and financial lives.  How do we define success? For many people success means more; more money, more stuff, more employees. But that definition is wrong.   There are two approaches to resources; chasing and stretching. When we chase, we tire ourselves out going after more, more, more. If we stretch, we use the resources we already have available. Once we stop chasing and start stretching, we are better able to solve problems and innovate which means we are more fully engaged in our endeavors. Author Scott Sonenshein joins us to discuss his new book on resourcefulness. Scott Sonenshein is the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice University. His new book Strech: Unlock the Power of Less-and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined gives us a new way to succeed in business and our lives by using the science of resourcefulness.   Full Article Here Show Notes Where you can find Scott's book. Mint: Start budgeting today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 20, 2017
This Financial Life With Brian
On This Financial Life episode, the guys chat with Brian, a long time fan of the show. They talk about his finances, mortgage, and debt over a cold one.   Here’s the scoop. He and his wife are new first-time home buyers and live in the Philly area. They didn’t have the best living situation, so it pushed them to aggressively to save for a home and drastically cut spending. They didn’t have the easiest time of finding a home.   The first house they put a bid on majorly failed the inspection and they were looking at 10-20k worth of repairs. No bueno. They finally ended up finding a place they loved, but the price was a lot higher. After doing the math, they decided they could afford the house and used an FHA loan to pay for it. Full Article Here Show Notes: Andrews Beer: Mac Fanny Baw Bourbon Barrel Aged Smoked Ale from Against the Grain Brewery.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 13, 2017
How to Land a Job With Mark Fiebert
Finding the perfect job is a daunting task. You send out tons of resumes, create custom cover letters, go on interviews, anxiously wait for a call and then end up not getting an offer. Rinse and repeat. It can be incredibly frustrating when you send out application after application and don’t hear back anyone. If you have been searching for a new job for some time, it might be time to step up your game. Today the guys talk to Mark Fiebert (Andrews dad) and pick his brain on how to land a job. After years of experience being on both ends of the hiring process, Mark has some great incites on how to get your foot in the door, nailing your interview and making connections. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 06, 2017
5 Questions: Debt Month
Holiday spending hangovers make January a debt month for some of us so we are bringing you five questions on how to deal with debt. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 30, 2017
The Cost of Money – Why You Should Refinance Your Debt
If you currently have debt there are ways to make it less expensive. Today we will discuss why you should refinance your debt.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 23, 2017
How to be Lazy and Still Pay Off Your Debt
There are a lot of things that deserve your energy but paying off debt isn’t one of them. If you have debt, it can feel hopeless. But you can get out of debt, and it’s easier than you think. We can show you how to be lazy and pay off your debt.  An All-Time Record  If you have debt, you’re not alone. Total household debt—a category that includes mortgages, student loans, and car loans along with credit card and other debt—dipped in the wake of the Great Recession, but it has since steadily rebounded in the years since. Overall, Americans’ debt hit a new high of $13 trillion last year, surpassing the previous record set in 2008 by $280 billion, according to the New York Fed.” Not all debt is the same. Mortgage debt, for instance, is typically low-interest debt and a home can be an investment. It’s the other kinds of debt, credit cards, student loans, that can hinder all of your long-term financial goals. So let’s tackle that kind of debt once and for all, and be lazy while we do it. Paying off debt is a process Paying off debt is a process, and there are several steps. These steps can take a while to accomplish. You didn’t accumulate this debt overnight, and you’re not going to pay it overnight. Face the Music It’s terrifying to sit down and total up just how much debt you’re in, but that is the first step if you want to pay off your debt. Make a list of all of your outstanding debts and the interest rate on each. The best way to see all of your debt is in your Credit Karma account. Not only will you see all of the debts but you’ll be able to see your credit report and credit score too. It’s free to make an account so do that now if you don’t already have one. Go through your credit report and make sure all of the listed debts are legitimate. There are a variety of reasons debts that aren’t your’s can end up on a report. If you find debts that are not your’s, you can dispute them. Consult Your Budget What’s that? Don’t you have a budget? Well, go to Personal Captial and get a good overall picture of your finances and your spending. How much money do you have coming in compared to how much is going out? Do you have any money that isn’t going out? Your budget is going to identify the cash you can use to pay off your debt. You should be dedicating at least 20% of your income to paying off your debt. Once you have a month’s worth of budget data, go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Where are your spending leaks? Saving money is easier than making more money, so if you want to be lazy and pay off your debt, this is the best place to do it, by cutting your budget. Let Trim find and cancel expenses like gym memberships you don’t use and subscription services you can’t afford when you have debt to pay off. Let Billshark negotiate better rates for things like your cable and internet service. Every dollar you save is an extra dollar you have to pay off your debt more quickly. Triage the Damage Are you behind on any payments but not so far behind that... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 16, 2017
Debitize Review – How to Get the Perks of a Credit Card Without the Pain
We use credit cards to buy everything these days- groceries, drinks with co-workers, cat beds, gum, sweater vests and all the other things that make us happy.  Then the end of the month rolls around. Your bill comes, and you come to the dreaded realization that you blew your budget once again and your credit card bill is more than you can handle.  It’s happened to the best of us, but it doesn’t have to happen to you anymore. Introducing Debitize, a new way to pay off credit cards on time and responsibly. Today the guys talk to Liran Amrany, the CEO Debitize about how it works and the story behind it’s creation.   You can listen to the episode here: What is Debitize? Liran founded Debitize to help simplify, optimize, and automate personal finances, especially around credit card spending where he witnessed a significant need. Two-thirds of Millennials avoid using credit cards mostly because they have seen debt negatively affect friends and family. However, building credit is important, and Liran wanted to create a tool to help people use credit responsibly. Before founding the company, he was an Executive Director at JPMorgan, where he spent nine years as a derivatives marketer, focusing on structured credit, exotics, and cross-asset hybrids. After working on the institutional side of finance, he wanted to build something to make a real impact in the financial world and help people avoid credit card debt and better manage their money. How does it work? In a nutshell, Debitize automatically debits your checking account every day to cover your credit card purchases. The funds are temporarily held in your Debitize Reserve Account, and then they automatically pay your balance for you every week. Yes, finally someone who will pay your bills on time for you and in full. Using Debitize is very simple. First, you’ll need to activate your account and link your checking and credit card accounts on the Debitize site. You will do this by logging in with your bank credentials like you would with Mint. Once you’re all set up, you will only use your credit card to make purchases, not your debit card. With Debitize, you get the best of both worlds. You can use your credit card as a debit card while still earning rewards and points credit card companies off. It will help you avoid spending money you don’t have and will keep your finances on track. Debitize will send you a weekly spending summary and confirmations of scheduled payments to keep you in the loop. They will notify you when you have a low balance or if there was a large transaction on one of your cards. Although they encourage you to pay your bills in full to avoid paying interest, if you are making a large purchase that you would like to pay off over time, Debitize will give you the flexibility to do so.     The Benefits Automated Withdrawals If you’re on the fence about using credit and fear getting into debt, Debitize is an excellent way to start building your credit. It acts as a safeguard against overspending. They make automatic withdrawals from your checking every day you make a purchase and set the funds aside to pay off your credit card bill. Don’t worry about Debitize overdrawing your account. You can set up a minimum balance in your checking, so they won’t overdraw your account to make payments. Even if you don’t set up a minimum, they still will not overdraw. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 09, 2017
The Importance of Good Credit and How to Take Advantage
For the month of January, Listen Money Matters is getting back to the basics with a month focused on the debt and the importance of credit.  Over the course of the month, the guys will cover the fundamentals of credit, debt reduction plans and talk to an awesome guest about a tool he created to help keep you out of debt.  What is affected by your credit?  Well, everything really. Your credit score is a number that reflects your credit risk level. If you are looking to borrow money for any reason – to purchase a car, get a mortgage or to take out a student loan, your credit score will determine how much that loan will cost you.  If you have a low credit score, you will have a harder time getting a loan, and when you do qualify for a loan, the interest rates will be very high. Compared to people with good credit scores, your monthly payments will be more per month to pay off a loan of the same value. Bottomline, having bad credit will cost you. Having good credit history is not just about being able to buy things. Sometimes your credit history is considered by potential employers. According to the New York Times, 47% of employers check your credit score. Landlords absolutely look at your credit score, and it plays a big part in approving you to rent a home. The cost of insurance rates can be higher if the insurer pulls your credit data to calculate your insurance risk score. Even some utility providers may be required to provide a down payment for service for people with bad credit history. What does good credit get you? A cheaper life. The better your credit history, the cheaper it is to borrow money. When you have large loans like a mortgage or student debt that you will be paying off for years, those interest rate savings could add up to thousands of dollars in the long run. Let’s say your mortgage rate is 4.5%. An increase of only 1% will increase your living costs by 12% per month. On the other hand, a decrease of 1% will decrease your living costs by 12.8% per month. Having an excellent credit score will give you access to better credit cards with awesome rewards and no fees. Sometimes you can even get perks with your bank by upgrading to better accounts without ATM fees or minimum balances. Most importantly, using credit cards protects your cash. If your debit card gets lost, stolen or there is fraud, you can kiss your money goodbye in most cases. When your credit card gets stolen, the credit card companies money is gone, not yours. If you report it immediately, the bank will nine times out of 10 resolves it in your favor pretty quickly. When it comes to protecting your money, it is definitely using credit cards compared with cash, checks or money orders are numerous. Action List * Sign up for, or both. Find out your credit score and see why your score is what it is. * Get a list of all of your credit card accounts on file and request that each one increase your limit. Call them, do it automatically online, get it done. Don’t be greedy; small incremental increases make a difference. *  Take inventory of all of your debt, their amount and their interest rates. This month we’re creating you a debt reduction plan. * Listen to next week’s episode where a simple, free automation will increase your credit score by over 5%. There can be a lot of emotion around credit and debt but having credit is important. These days, everything in life is tied to it and if used correctly life will be cheaper and easy for you if you have good credit. Understanding the how the credit process works will help you manage it and make it work for you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 02, 2017
Killing It- A Chat With Sheryl O’Loughlin
No one ever said being an entrepreneur was easy, but what a many people don’t know are the psychological struggles like depression and anxiety that also come with it.  Every day, even sometimes every hour, there are ups and downs causing a constant battle of emotions in their mind. Entrepreneurs tend to struggle silently not to show their vulnerability.  Not until lately have entrepreneurs come forward to talk about these struggles, including today’s guest, Sheryl O’Loughlin. She is the former CEO of Clif Bar, CEO of Plum Organics and she is currently CEO of REBBL super herb beverages.  The guys talk to her about her new book Killing It: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart. Entrepreneurs juggle so many roles when building their business. Sheryl knows firsthand how difficult it can be to balance business, family and mental health without one or more pieces falling by the wayside. When she began to struggle with an eating disorder she realized something needed to change. In Killing It, she shares her experiences being an entrepreneur running two fast-growing companies. When in start-up mode, some business owners severely neglect their health which makes them much less resilient. Not eating properly, not getting enough sleep and not exercising will just make the daily stressor harder to deal with. Sheryl wants to mentor and inspire others to invest in their wellbeing. She says without that “Your business will not succeed, nor will you”. Growing a new business can become an obsession for entrepreneurs. Although maintaining meaningful, supportive relationships are crucial, family and friends who are trying to support them ofter times get pushed away. This comes at a huge cost. Many relationships end in a divorce, friendships break down and all that’s left is a feeling of isolation and abandonment. Entrepreneurship can be one of the most rewarding career paths but it isn’t an easy road. In Killing It, Sheryl shares her journey and provides her readers with guiding principles for anyone looking to balance their career, family, and life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 26, 2016
Are You Financially Ready For The New Year?
Yep, it’s time of the year again for New Years Resolutions to kick-in and for many of us, that means getting your finances in order. Are you financially ready for the new year?  As we slowly approach the new year, it’s a great time to financially prepared for what’s to come. Whether you want to save for a home, get a new job or start a side hustle, you need to financially prepare you and your family. Today the guys review their last year in business and finance and talk about how they are going to prepare for next year.  A Financial Yearly Review  Even though 2016 has come and gone, it is still important to reflection and review of the past year. Start by giving yourself a high five and think about all the things you did accomplish. What areas did you improve and what goals did you achieve? Now that you reached those goals, are there any things you need to do in the next year to maintain those goals?  Next is the not so fun part. Look at what got pushed to the wayside bur don’t beat yourself up for going off track. Move into the new year with a renewed commitment. If your stay focused on what you want you will make progress going forward.  Set Goals For Next Year  It’s always a good time to write your goals down on paper. Once you know where you’re going, you can map out how you are going to get there. This holds true for any area of your life. Every year Andrew and I write down our resolutions on a post it and keep it in our wallets all year. It’s a good reminder of what you want to achieve and make sure you are on track. What do you want to happen in the coming year?  Think about what do you want to happen in the coming year. Is there anything big you need to save for – a move, a baby, a home, a car? Is there anything missing in your financial plans such as retirement savings or life insurance? Setting financial goals for your future self (and family) will help lower stress and set your finances back on track.  Planning it Out  Although the new year is a perfect time to set financial goals, the challenge is sticking to them as the year goes on. It’s easy to write stuff down on a piece of paper but you need to plan out how you will you reach these goals. Carve out time for yourself and or partner to review your goals and financial progress regularly. Monthly check in’s will help you manage your budget and goals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 18, 2016
5 Questions: Debt, Real Estate Investing and Freelancing
This week the guys tackle five questions from the audience on debt, real estate investing and freelancing.  Question one:  Hi, Andrew, Tom, and Laura,  I think an important, and sorely needed topic is finance for freelancers. And not even those who use invoicing systems. I’ve been freelancing for more years than I care to admit, and there are so many like me who copyedit, proofread or design book jackets. We’re one-person shows, with  little-to-no cushion, where times are feast or famine. I would love to talk about this more or hear you guys talk about it in more  depth.  Putting together a financial system when you have variable income is uses the same fundamentals as someone who is a salaried employee. However, you’ll have to build a bigger cushion if your income isn’t consistent.  You need to keep more in a reserve account than someone who has steady pay. Keep track of your income month to month and use that data to plan for the upcoming year. If you have a pool business and make most of your money from April to September, budget accordingly. Make sure you aren’t overspending that income has to last you.  Six months worth of expenses should be a big enough war chest to get you through a hard time if need be. If you are a freelancer and haven’t earned in 6 months, maybe it’s time to look into another career or pivot your business.  Question Two:  Hey guys,  Is it possible to rollover my Roth IRA to a traditional? Would I get a tax refund for the income tax that I would have saved had I been using a traditional IRA all along? Are there any limitations or conditions to performing this rollover? I have only had a Roth IRA for two years.  There are some advantages of rolling over your Roth into a Traditional. If you’re broke and need cash or you are retiring soon and aren’t planning on earning in the future could be a reason to make this play. When you move money from a Roth retirement account to a traditional IRA, you can get back the taxes you paid on that contribution, but there are rules and deadlines. Be aware of the calendar deadlines that the IRS imposes. Question Three: Hey guys, I am trying to refinance my credit card debt. I asked Lending Club for a $3,000 loan, and they are only giving me the option to take out a $6,025 loan. Do you know why this is? If this is my only option, I plan on taking it out and then giving back $3,025 right away since I only need 3k. What would you guys do? Is that even possible for me to give back $3,025 right away? Lending Club is a peer to peer lending service. That means, instead of going to a bank for a loan, you can get a loan from a group of random people. On the flip side of things, you can also contribute to funding a loan for other people allowing you to get in on the bank’s profit engine. Lending Club because they get better rates than they would with a bank loan and loans are issued much faster through the power of the crowd. The crowd will also approve loans that normally banks may not.Lending Club offers better rates than a bank would, and loans are issued much faster. Lending Club and Prosper charge a 5% origination fee. The origination fee you pay for your loan will depend on your loan rate. The safest borrowers with the best credit pay the lowest origination fees, while mostly everybody else pays a 5% fee. Lending Club because they get better rates than they would with a bank loan and loans are issued much faster through the power of the crowd. The crowd will also approve loans that normally banks may... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 12, 2016
Types of Budgets: What Is Your Budgeting Style?
Budgeting sucks. No one really wants to do it. It’s hard to stick with, it’s a chore to review it every month and it makes you feel like crap when you spend way too much on lattes. But, you’re an adult so you need to do it. There are a few types of budgets, which one is right for you?  We’re getting back to basics of budgeting. Both Thomas and Andrew have been off the rails with their own budgets so get ready for some confessions. They will discuss different types of budgets, how they work and which ones are the least painful. Reverse Budgeting This budgeting method focuses on savings goals. Instead of setting up budget categories to look at your spending, create savings goals and whatever is left you have to spend. Start allocating money at the top of your priority list and work your way down. Pay yourself first. Retirement, savings, and emergency fund are put aside first. Next are fixed expenses such as mortgage/rent, utilities, car payment, etc. Third are non-fixed expenses. Anything that can fluctuate from month to month, such as groceries and gas. After that comes debt payments. Anything that is left over can be used for fun stuff like eating out, travel, fancy coffee or whatever else you like to treat yourself with. Balanced Money Formula You may have heard the balanced money formula also called the 50-30-20 rule. It’s a budget framework outlined by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren in their book All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. It is a very simple type of budgets. Fifty percent of your take-home pay goes towards fixed expenses and necessities like food, housing, utilities and ideally all this should be should be kept at 35%. Thirty percent of your take-home can be spent on wants like eating out, treating yourself to a new dress, electronics, etc. The last twenty percent goes right into retirement accounts, savings and emergency funds. The Envelope System Ah, the good old envelope system. This was a great way to keep your budget and savings goals in check before budget management tools were created, This method may seem is old-fashioned, but it’s great for those who are you are just starting out on their financial journey. Also for people who need to whip their financial ass back into shape. This is a cash budget method so you won’t need to check credit card balances to see how much you spend. Start by looking at what your monthly cash flow is and what you have been spending in different categories. Once you know those numbers, get our your envelopes allocated your expenses. Every dollar has a name and a job. $200 for groceries, $75 for gas, $150 phone, etc. By giving yourself a set amount of money in your envelope to use towards a specific category, it will help you control your spending. When there is no more money in the envelope, you can not spend any more in that category. If you absolutely need more money, cut from another category to cover the access. Budget Management Tools Personal Capital – This is the for investors. They will track your investments, analyze your investments and suggest ways to improve things like your 401k allocation. I use this as a tool to monitor my diversification and risk levels. This is for more advanced investors. Mint – Create budgets that make sense today and set you up for success tomorrow. Receive alerts for unusual account charges, and get custom tips for reducing fees and saving money. We also wrote a book to help you get started called  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 05, 2016
Getting Fit at The Financial Gym
Today on the show the guys talk with Shannon McLay, a financial planner, author, blogger, and podcaster.  She left her traditional financial services job to start her own company, The Financial Gym in NYC – a fun, judgment-free space where you can talk freely about your finances, get the help you need and have a glass of wine while doing it. Shannon left her corporate job because she felt that the financial firms only provided the tools and resources to help those who had high net worth. She started doing a lot of pro bono work on the side for people who were earning a lower salary and soon realized that helping those people was much more fulfilling. That’s when she decided to start her own business doing just that. She understands that the road to financial fitness is different for everyone, so she offers multiple solutions to help people get and stay financially fit. Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for others. She’s like the Jillian Michaels of personal finance. If you want to hear more from Shannon, check out her podcast, Martinis and Your Money, where she share’s a martini with friends and experts while discussing money and career topics. She has interviewed many influential people in the personal finance space. She also has a monthly group Happy Hour Ladies, where they chat about the financial challenges and some other fun topics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 28, 2016
How to Make Money With Retail Arbitrage
Want to make a little money on the side? You can use that old chestnut of ‘buy low sell high’ to your advantage. There are a ton of people making money selling on Amazon and eBay using retail arbitrage.  If you want to learn how to make money selling on Amazon we’ll teach you how to get started with retail arbitrage.  Forty percent of Amazon sales come from third-party sellers.  Their merchandise stored in Amazon’s warehouses. So clearly, there is money to be made. We talk to a master at selling on Amazon, Jordan Malik is not only an award-winning Amazon seller, he’s written a best-selling book on how to make eBay and Amazon selling work for you.  Buying & Selling? No, It’s Retail Arbitrage  Arbitrage is defined as, “The simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from a difference in the price.” Which is a fancy way of saying, buy low and sell high?  The general idea is simply of finding products for a good price, maybe something on clearance which you are able to sell for profit. Most people seel through Amazon, because well, they are you can find anything online at a great price.  For example, maybe you see a hair product on clearance at Walmart for $1.75 which is regularly selling on Amazon for $18.99. Clearly, you can make a huge profit here. So you buy it, send it to an Amazon warehouse using FBA and they ship it to you when it sells.  Yes, it does entail a little more work than that but you get the idea. Let’s go a little deeper, shall we?  What Are You Selling?  If this sounds good to you so far, give Amazon selling a try. Start small, though. Go through your own things and sell a few on eBay and a few on Amazon.  This will enable you to familiarize yourself with the way both sites work before you decide to jump in. It has the added bonuses of getting rid of some of your clutter, freeing up storage space and making you a few bucks with no outlay.  Just checking what’s already selling on Amazon will show you what types of products are doing well. Choose a category and then Best Sellers. Monitor best sellers for a few days or even a few weeks to help make your decision. Within those items, choose some things you have some familiarity with.    Video game consoles might be trending well but if you don’t know anything about them, you won’t know what you’re buying and won’t be able to answer seller questions.  Jordan sold books for a time and was making $2000 a week at it! Books are a good category for a few reasons; they’re small, light, and fairly sturdy which makes them easy and inexpensive to pack and mail. Books are also readily available and cheap. Some libraries even give them away for free. Thrift shops are another good place to buy books, some are even selling them by the pound.  Jordan recommends not falling in love with selling in just one category, though. You love books but so do a lot of other people. Be diversified in what items you sell.  Sell on eBay or Sell on Amazon?  If you have a “one of a kind” item, your Magnum PI lunch box, for example, eBay will be better. They also take some things that Amazon doesn’t sell, like used clothes and some used baby items.  eBay is also better for large items, like cars and furniture. It’s more work to list things on eBay and more time consuming than to sell on Amazon.  Amazon does a lot of the work for you because they have so many items, if they have something you want to sell already listed, you can skip things like uploading photos and writing detailed descriptions.  Where To Buy Your Inventory  Jordan doesn’t use wholesalers. It can tie up a lot of your money and unless you find a relatively unknown one or negotiate an exclusive contract with them, there is too much competition to make it worth his while. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 24, 2016
Closing The Wage Gap With Allegra Brantly
The wage pay gap between men and women has been a major focus of attention. In 2015, full-time female workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men.  We have all heard the stats, many times, yet still, the gap has barely moved in last decade. Although women obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees at higher rates than men education hasn’t been enough to move the needle. Today we have Allegra Brantly on the show, a negotiation expert who coaches women on getting fair pay and the raises they deserve. She believes that complaining about the wage gap will not close it, the only way women are going to get paid what they are worth is to ask for it. It’s time we stop undervaluing ourselves and get paid what we’re worth. Not just women, men too. According to Allegra, the wage gap can cost a full-time working woman a ton of money over the course of her lifetime. She will need to work an average of ten plus more years to get equality. And her savings need to stretch longer because of women on average live longer. Allegra wasn’t always the ask for what you want kind of gal. She has accepted job offers with salaries much less than she deserved. Her personal need to make more money pushed her to ask for what she wanted because it was the only way she was going to get it. Now that she has navigated this terrain successfully she wants to pass her knowledge on to women in her life. Inspire them to see their full value as an employee. So, how do you do this? Know your numbers To able to negotiate your salary, you first must know what an employee like you is worth. Research your fair market value. See what other people make in your field in your city. Glassdoor and Linked Salary are great for this. See what the range is and ask for the top of the range if you can prove that you deserve it.  Never accept an offer without negotiation. Never accept an offer below market range. Also, it’s ok to talk about your salary. Discussing your salary with your co-workers is your right as an employee. Although it is taboo, it is allowing employers to keep your wages down. Know who you are negotiating with And what motivates them. Try to get to know your co-workers and boss the best you can. Be in the know with what’s going on within the company. Figure out what your negotiation partner values, needs, and what their priorities are. You want more money but how will it help them. The more knowledge you have on their interests and how they operate, the more negotiation power you have. It’s important to have a sense of how they like to be approached. Stating rather than asking Obviously, don’t go in there demanding they pay you more but you still need to be strong and confident. As uncomfortable as it might feel, you’ll need to be self-promoting. Lead with your research and be upfront with your worth and what people in this role are making. Let them know you want to get the raise you deserve so you can feel confident that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Allegra suggests asking for a raise once a year. Think about it, in a year you would have learned a year’s worth of skill sets, became more efficient in your role, became more familiarized with the company and more in tu... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 21, 2016
Building a Multi-Family Empire With Eric Bowlin
Today the guys talk to Eric Bowlin, a successful multi-unit real estate investor from Texas about how he created his real estate empire by the age of 30. He accidentally got into real estate back in college when he and his wife decided to buy a house near the University. They purchased a 3 unit building, living in one unit and renting the rest. One night while watching a movie with his wife, he heard a knock on the door. It was one of their tenants there to pay rent. At that moment he realized that I would become a real estate investor. That was the easiest money he had ever earned in his entire life. At that moment he realized that I would become a real estate investor. That was the easiest money he had ever earned in his entire life. Eric now owns 26 units making him about 130K per year and he and his family have achieved financial freedom. He sacrificed a lot to get to where he is today, and never stopped planning, preparing, and learning. Eric talks to a many people who have said “I’ve always wanted to invest in real estate, but…”  and he wants to help educate others on what real estate investing actually is and move past the misconceptions. You don’t need a ton of money to buy property. Of course, you need some capital to get started in real estate investing, but not as much as you think. There are many turn-key companies like Roofstock that have affordable properties with excellent returns. Investing is not land lording. Investing is actually buying and holding the property for rent and (hopefully) appreciation. You do not have to be a property manager, you will hire one so don’t get all wrapped up in the “I don’t want to fix leaky toilets” mentality. And, real estate investing isn’t flipping. Flipping homes for profit is a completely different business. Real estate isn’t really that risky. Yes, it is an illiquid asset but otherwise, it is a quite stable market. If you take the time to learn the ins and outs of the real estate market you will make good decisions and investments with great returns. Spend a lot of time finding a good market to invest in. It probably won’t be in your own neighborhood so you’ll need to do your market research on demographics, crime, schools, vacancy rates, and percentage of renters in a neighborhood. If you looking to invest in real estate but looking for something a little more hands-off checkout Fundrise or RealtyShares where you can invest in crowdfunded real estate projects.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 14, 2016
Personal Finance Empowerment for Veterans
Veterans financial challenges are different from those faced by civilians.  Too many come home from service with a lack of knowledge on how to handle their personal finances. Many also struggle to find jobs and need some guidance on how to navigate their new life in the civilian world.  Financial literacy is desperately needed for veterans, and today our guest works to help service families secure economic future they feel good about. In honor of Veterans Day, the guys talk to Douglas McCormick about economic empowerment of veterans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 07, 2016
The Laws of Wealth – A Chat With Daniel Crosby
Emotions impact every financial decision we face and sometimes it causes us to make choices out of fear or greed.  Today on the show the guys talk to Dr. Daniel Crosby, a psychologist, behavioral finance expert and asset manager.  He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Founder of Nocturne Capital. In Daniels’ latest book, The Laws of Wealth, he talks about principles for managing your behavior and how emotion and psychology influence our financial decisions. What is behavioral finance? The concept of behavioral finance is a fairly new idea that looks at behavioral, psychological theory together with economic explanations for why people make irrational financial decisions. Why do so many smart people making the wrong choices with their money? Daniel wants to find out what causes some people to behave illogically when it comes to finance and how to build investment portfolios based on unvalued investments created by investor’s emotional behavior. Daniel works as a sort of a financial therapist and asset manager centering his work on helping his clients stay away from making irrational emotion-driven mistakes. Investors can often be their own worst enemy and are to blame for poor investment returns. Volatility in the market can cause investors to act unpredictably at times – not in their best interest. You control what matters most You can’t control the stock market but what you can control is human behavior. Over the last 30 years, the market has returned about 11% a year while the average investor has only held about 4% because of emotional decision making when markets are going up and down. “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful” – Warren Buffett Investing needs discipline and rationality. Being in control of that takes planning and executing. Take your power back and gain control of your situation no matter is going on in the markets. Set up systems for yourself and follow simple rules of thumb so you mitigate potential harm to your financial lives. Daniel believes you cannot do it alone. People who work a financial professional tend to do 3% better than people who don’t. Advisors don’t have all the answers, but they can help you not to make emotionally driven mistakes. Do you want to be average? Two of the well-known investment styles are growth investing and value investing. Growth investing is investing in stocks that have shown higher than average growth over the previous years, compared to the market average, and show promise to continually grow into the future. They are riskier than average stocks but have the possibility to multiply in value. The other is value investing strategy. Value investors like Daniel actively seek stocks they believe the market has undervalued. He believes many of these stocks get overlooked due to human behavior and fear. He finds pockets of disproportionate value which are created by human behavior. The strategy has been used by Warren Buffet for many years. Daniel takes a quantitative approach to choosing his investments basing his choices on the The 5 P’s – Price (valuation), properties (quality), pitfalls (risks), people (what are the insiders doing), push (momentum/potential growth). Risk is not a squiggly line Risk is different for everyone when it comes to investing, and that’s why Daniel believes in personal benchmarking. He helps his clients create a personalized definition of risk and using their top motivations to make better decis... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 31, 2016
5 Questions: Windfalls, Real Estate and Building Credit
This week the guys tackle five questions from the audience on windfalls, real estate, and building credit.  Question One  First off, let me start by saying I’m loving the Investment Property series you guys are doing. I totally want to get into this, just need to figure out how to save for that first down payment…  My question is this…you guys talked about saving 15% a month for the reserve account to cover vacancy and break fixes…Let’s say you own a great property, and you don’t have to dip into the reserve account much for a long time. Is there a point where you cap it and stop contributing to the reserve account?  Aaron via Email  You won’t want to keep all of the property earnings in your reserve account because in the unlikely case you do get sued – say goodbye to that money. Part of our strategy is to choose insurance policies with high deductibles so for fixes and updates that are not major will pay out of pocket. By not making small claims, our monthly premium low.e are keeping the reserve account up to our deductible. We don’t want to use the insurance unless we have to to keep our monthly payments low going forward.  What we are keeping in our reserve account is the amount of our deductible. So, if let’s say our deductible is $10,000, we want to be able to cover anything below that therefore we keep $10,000 in our reserve account. There will be big fixes eventually if you hold the property for many years so plan for significant expenses. If you know, you have to replace the AC unit or roof in the next year, plan for that by putting extra money aside in the reserve account the months leading up to it.  Question Two  Could you walk me through your decision to go with Roofstock as opposed to Memphis Invest or some other traditional turn-key company? My wife and I have spoken with Memphis Invest, and it seems like they run a tight ship and have an excellent reputation in the REI community. Were you simply looking for higher returns than their markets offered? I’m drawn to the fact that the properties are completely rehabbed before being rented, and they seemingly do an excellent job of reducing risk within their property management (minimum of 2-year leases, very in-depth vetting, etc.)  Joseph via Email  Memphis Invest is an extremely high-quality operation and great company. For us, the properties Roofstock offered were more what were-were looking for as a beginner investor. The homes were cheaper with Roofstock so we were able to try it out without investing a significant amount of money.  As new investors, homes with Memphis Invest were just more than we wanted to spend on a property. We also wanted to spread around the risk by investing in multiple properties rather than putting all our eggs in one basket. This strategy has worked well for us making our average returns are higher with the less expensive properties.  Question Three  Is there anything I can do credit-wise/savings-wise/career-wise to increase my likelihood of getting approved for a mortgage loan?  Nyequita Smith via Email  Getting approved for a mortgage is all about your attractiveness to creditors. To improve that you’ll need to increase your credit worthiness. Try for more on time payments. If you only have one credit card and then you only have one on time payment a month regardless if it $3,000 or $30. Get more credit cards and put really small things on them like Netflix, Hulu, coffee, etc. Pay each of them off every month. This is a simple way to increase your number of time payments and credit score.  Increase credit utilization. Call your card companies and request to increase your limit. When you have more available, your percentage utilize is lower. If you are maxing out your cards everything it doesn’t look good to creditors. If you increase your limit and only using a small amount ... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 24, 2016
For the Love of Money – A Chat with Sam Polk
How would you feel if you made $3.75 million in bonuses a year? It hard to imagine but our guest has done it. And he wrote a book about it! Today we have a chat with Sam Polk, author of For the Love of Money.  For most people, that amount of money would be enough to live a more than a comfortable lifestyle for many years. I can’t even begin to imagine what that would feel like, but if I had to guess, I would say it would probably feel pretty damn good.  For today’s guest, 3.75 million just wasn’t enough. Today we have Sam Polk on the show to talk to us about his book For the Love of Money. The guys go deep on what life on Wall Street was like, money addiction and redefining success. Meet Sam Polk At only 30 years old Sam Polk was doing very well in his career working as a senior trader on Wall Street. He was offered an annual bonus of $3.75 million and was not happy with it because it wasn’t enough. At that moment he knew he had lost himself in his obsessive pursuit of money. He was addicted to it, and no matter what the amount was, it would never be enough. He knew he had to make a change and decided to walk away from it all – the power, the money, and may other self-destructing behaviors. For the Love of Money For the Love of Money is about Sams’ journey to find out what he really wanted and where he fits into the world. He still wanted success but wanted to do something that contributed to humanity. Sam came to the realization that fulfillment comes from doing work he cares about. Sam wants to help others truly find out what they believe is important. Figure out where your puzzle piece fits in the world, not just where it makes money. After leaving Wall Street behind, Sam moved to Los Angeles where he lives with his wife and daughter, and soon son. He is now the co-founder and CEO of Everytable, a company that sells fresh, delicious meals at prices everyone can afford. If that wasn’t enough, he is also the founder of Groceryships, a nonprofit that helps low-income families struggling with food-related illnesses like obesity and diabetes. His mission is to create businesses are for solving problems but not by funneling profits to those at the top. Through his companies, he wants to “be part of creating a new economy that harnesses the dynamism of capitalism and also fosters the connectedness of a true democracy in which every vote and every voice count the same.” If you want to read more about Sam Polk, you can find him at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 17, 2016
This Financial Life With Corey
We like to check in with our listeners and see how their financial life is going. Today we will take a look at This Financial Life with Corey. We will show him how to make more money by starting a music teaching business.  Corey lives in the Boston Area, and he sure is a hustler. He currently, works six different jobs throughout the year and has been saving as much as he can to improve his financial life. One of his gigs is teaching private lessons on trombone, and he wants to expand that to make it a full-time business. Right now he has two students but doesn’t know how to grow his side gig. On this episode, Andrew and Thomas will go through the steps of legitimizing and marketing a side project like Corey’s. Corey’s Financial Life Corey neglected his finances for many years, ignoring his debt, forgetting payments and spending money recklessly. After spending the good part of his four years at college majoring in video games, parties, and girls, he left with student loan debt, no degree and depression. At 22, his financial situation was pretty bleak. He spent a summer without a job making the debt and depression even worse. Corey ended up in a mental hospital over Thanksgiving weekend where he experienced a sort of a financial epiphany.  When he was released, he knew he could never let himself get that low again. Corey is taking the first steps to improving this financial life. He is getting his spending under control with a  30-day money crunch so he can save a meaningful amount of money. What he is still struggling with is being too emotional about finances and getting too close-minded when it comes to ways to improve his situation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 10, 2016
Setting Up Budget Categories Without Losing Your Sanity
You have a budget, great! But what about your budget categories? Setting them up without losing your sanity can be a tall order.  Having a budget is only the first step. You need to set up budget categories that are detailed enough to show you where your money is going but not so detailed that you go nuts trying to keep track of them all.  Budgets are Personal Finance 101  No matter how little or how much money you have, everyone needs a budget. Every other aspect of successfully managing your finances are built on knowing how much money you have coming in, how much is going out and where it’s going. But there are so many ways to budget that it can be confusing. How many budget categories is too many? How many is too few? If a budget is too complicated, you’re unlikely to stick to it. You want a system that is simple and straightforward. The 50/30/20 method fits the bill. 50/30/20 This budgeting method is simple. You allocate your total budget at these percentages. We’re going to break down what expenses fall under each. And to be clear, the numbers you’ll be using are post-tax, so the amount of money you get in your paycheck each month, not how much you earn. And we recommend Mint for budgeting. It’s free and easy to use, and once you get your account and budget categories set up, Mint does most of the budgeting work for you. You can certainly just use 50/30/20 as your categories for the most straightforward system ever, but unless you have your finances on 100% lockdown, you probably need to expand out a bit. 50%: The Essentials The 50% represents the essentials in your budget, expenses like housing, hoa fees, utilities, transportation, parking fees, insurance premiums, and groceries among them. This also includes things like child care and child support. That these expenses are essential doesn’t mean we can’t reduce them though. We’ll cover that. Housing is the most significant expense for most of us so how much of the 50% should be devoted that and what exactly does “housing” encompass? “Housing should comprise 35 percent of your take-home income. That includes the mortgage or rent, all home repairs and maintenance, property taxes, utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and sewer, and homeowners or renters insurance. In short, it includes every housing-related expense.” That is one take on it, but it’s pretty unrealistic. I think it’s more realistic to budget that 35% just for your rent or mortgage payment. It might mean you have to tighten up in other areas of the 50% but housing isn’t cheap, and unless you take on a roommate, live really far from your place of work in the case of city dwellers or can live with your parents rent free, there aren’t a lot of ways around the high cost of housing. 30%: The Fun Stuff The 30% is to be budgeted on nonessentials, things that you spend money on but could live without (although the living might be pretty miserable). This percentage includes things like meals out, leisure activities, clothes (clothes are a necessity, yes, but presumably you haven’t been running around nekkid to this point, so you already have some), hobbies, and grooming. 20%: The Important Stuff This budgeting category too many people overlook, but it’s the most important. The 20% is for debt repayment, (if you have any) saving and investing. It’s easy to leave this category out and just tell yourself whatever is left over at the end of each month is the money you’ll put towards these things. But the problem is, when you don’t dedicate money to these areas up front, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 09, 2016
Personal Capital Deep Dive With the CEO Bill Harris
As technology advances, it enables people to become more connected and informed. One of the biggest effects of new technology is on the financial world. Now, investments are incredibly accessible to all people searching to live a more flexible financial life. People can invest their money more easily than ever before  Online financial planning and management services allow people to invest money and manage their portfolios from their computers or phones.    Online management takes the guesswork out of investing. It gives users the opportunity to establish and develop a portfolio of investments with ease. Because let’s face it, we aren’t Warren Buffett. Picking the right stocks, at the right time, and holding on through the ups and downs, can be impossible.  Enter Personal Capital  One such online investment platform, Personal Capital, has made a name for itself as a comprehensive investment checkup tool that offers a range of services at a low cost. But does this platform live up to the hype? Below you will find a comprehensive Personal Capital review—the pros, cons, and whether or not it can help you improve your financial situation. Let’s get started. About the Personal Capital app Personal Capital has been around since 2009, and the platform has since developed a user base of more than 165 million investors. These investors have a combined account holding of $7 billion. There are two basic services offered through a Personal Capital account: free finance aggregation, and paid advisory service. Most advisors use the free aggregation tools, but higher net worth investors tend to opt for the paid service. To be eligible to use their paid services, investors must have at least $100,000 to start their accounts. Personal Capital targets these higher net worth investors with its paid service.  This helps bolster its free service for other users. Therefore, the platform truly offers something for everyone. There are several different features that investors using Personal Capital have access to. And, the platform is frequently expanding to increase its offerings. Personal Capital budgeting Having a budget—and sticking to it—is one of the best things you can do for your short and long-term financial health. Unfortunately, budgeting can be a struggle for many people. The Personal Capital budgeting tool draws information from your various bank accounts to help keep track of how much you’re spending and what you are paying for. This allows you to get a better grasp on your spending habits. And, ultimately, make changes to help support your saving and investment goals. Personal Capital retirement planning When people start investing, they often do so in an attempt to prepare for retirement. The retirement planning tool offered by Personal Capital. It gives users an overview of their retirement savings to help them stay on the right track. You can use this tool to help you determine whether you are saving aggressively enough. It will tell you then are you meeting your retirement goals on time. Personal Capital users can access this feature from the online dashboard or on the iPad, iPhone or mobile app. Account integration options Personal Capital enables you to plug in cre... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 03, 2016
Borrowing Against Your 401K: A Loan From Your Future Self
Thinking about a 401k loan? A 401k is meant to fund retirement, but you can withdraw money from it earlier. There can be negative consequences if you borrow from your 401k but they are not as dire as we have been led to believe. Using the money to make or save money or to pay off high-interest debt can pay off.  It goes against personal finance philosophy to take money out of a retirement account before retirement, but under the right circumstances, it is something to consider. 401k Recap By now most of you know what a 401k is but for those new to the site, this will get you up to speed. A 401k is an employer-sponsored retirement account. Employee contributions are deducted directly from your paycheck before they are taxed. The money is invested into one of the funds offered by the employer. If you’re lucky, your employer matches your contribution. This is free money. For the year 2017, you can contribute up to $18,000. Because that money is meant for retirement, withdraws are discouraged before you reach age 59 ½. If you withdraw money before that age, you will be hit with a 10% penalty. There are some exceptions.   If you are no longer working at age 55, if you are using the money to pay medical expenses, or if you have become disabled for example, you can withdraw the money penalty-free. Another way to access that money without the penalty is the subject of this podcast. You can borrow money against your 401k without being penalized. FYI: If picking funds in your 401k, 403b or TSP gives you anxiety, or you fear you’ve made terrible choices than you need Blooom. You’re welcome. Why a take a 401k loan? There are lots of good reasons to invest in a 401k. Not many people get a pension anymore so a 401k may be their only retirement plan. There is also a low bar to invest in a 401k. Your employer does the work; you just have to opt-in. You don’t have to know anything about investing to get started. Contributions are taken directly from your paycheck, so you never have a chance to spend the money. For some people, this is the only way they will save for retirement. The money goes in and grows tax-free. This can help reduce your taxable income and bump you down to a lower tax bracket. When you retire and need the money, most of us will be in a lower tax bracket than we were during our working years, so that is a tax saving. A 401k can also be a great place to borrow money from. How it works Borrowing against your 401K means, you are borrowing from yourself. Unlike borrowing from a bank, the interest you pay, you pay to yourself. The amount you borrowed is no longer invested so rather than getting investment gains; your “gain” is the interest you pay back. You can borrow up to $50,000 if you have a vested balance of at least $100,000 or 50% of the value, whichever is less. You indicate the account you want to borrow money from. Those investments will be liquidated. You will lose any gains those investments might make during for the duration of the loan. Depending on the plan rules, you may or may not be allowed to continue making pre-tax contributions. You have five years to pay back a 401k loan, then if the loan was used to buy a home that will be used as your primary residence. There is no early repayment penalty. Most plans allow you to repay the loan through payroll deductions, the same way you invested the money.   Good Reasons to Borrow Against a 401k If you need money fast and for a short period, a year or less, borrowing from your 401k can be a good solution. You’ll have the money quickly sometimes within a few... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 28, 2016
Buying a Rental Property, Assembling the Team and Reducing Risk
Buying a rental property is fun, but it certainly needs to be done with care and a ton of research. Since a rental property is a long-term investment, you want to make sure you review all considerations.  You are putting a lot of money into a property for a down payment, so you need to arm yourself with all the information you need to make a profitable investment. This is week four of our real estate investments series.    The guys talk in depth about buying a rental property, assembling your team and reducing risk. Are the local laws in your favor? EVICTION LAWS! Find out what the eviction laws are before committing yourself (and money) to a particular area. Of course, you don’t want to have to evict a tenant, but if someone is living in your place and not paying you to rent for months, you got to do what you got to do. How long does it take to evict someone? In places like NJ, it can take months to have someone legally evicted while you wait around losing money. How easy is it to raise the rent? There could be rent stabilization laws in place to don’t allow you to raise rents as you see fit. How likely is it that you can use their security deposit for damages? Getting answers to all these questions is super important. Start by looking for a place that are “landlord friendly states.” The top 8 states – Texas, Indiana, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arizona, Florida General Property Grade Location, location, location. The location is critical in buying a rental property. Each rental property you look at will have a grade, A through D. This will help you determine if the property is investment grade. It’s In summary, buying an “investment grade” property is about focusing on the key criteria that will keep your property occupied and stress-free. Here is the breakdown of the ratings. A Property: Newly built properties in the nicest areas. High-quality buildings that are newer (built within the last 15 years) They may include premium with top amenities attracting high-income families. You will also see much higher and much less maintenance, but it comes with a much greater down payment and lower returns. B Property: The slightly older property, but still nice. Might be not quite as nice of an area. Tend to have middle-class tenants. Rental income is typically lower than Class A and may have some small maintenance issues. For the most part, they are in good condition, live in ready and will some upgrades can be moved to a Class A C Property: Older properties, more than 20 years old and located in fewer desirable areas. Likely, they also really could use some work. However, for investors, these rentals have high returns D Property: Run down properties in bad areas. The area and the property can be described separately. It’s possible to have a run-down property in a great area. Harder to have a great property in a bad area, though. It’s important for an investor to understand that each class of property come with varying levels of risk and reward. Crime rates and school quality also need to be taken into consideration. We will soon have these ratings pulled into our Rental Property Tool, but the info is readily accessible. Understanding Vacancy Rates and Potential Tenants When buying a rental property vacancy is inevitable. The vacancy rate is the percentage of all available units in a particular area that is unoccupied at a given time. Look at the US Census data on vacancy rates in the area you’re seeking to purchase in. With 2 minutes of research, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 26, 2016
Inside Roofstock - The Rental Property Marketplace
Does Roofstock live up to their promises? In our Roofstock review, we dig into their selection of turnkey rental properties and put our money on the line to find out.  I’ll admit, I’ve been obsessed with rental properties for a few months now. It took me about that long to wrap my brain around it all. There is so much to think about and consider – the topic of turn-key real estate investing is littered with “rabbit holes.” Now, before we jump in you may be wondering, “why would I ever want to get into rental properties?” If so you should probably start here: The Case for Real Estate Investment Properties. Eventually, after much research, Laura and I decided that we were going to get rental properties far away from the NYC area. In starting our search for turn-key rentals, here were some of the biggest sticking points for us: * How could you possibly purchase a property sight unseen? Is the internet full of crazies? * How do I find properties in my price range that aren’t in a war zone and produce a respectable cash flow? I’m not exactly a well-connected real estate professional. * How can I be sure that I’m not being sold hot garbage by an “expert”? Is there any way to undo it all if I wake up the next morning in a cold sweat regretting my decision? * How do I evaluate and track the profitability of these properties? There are a lot of moving pieces in turn-key real estate investing. * How do I make sure I don’t get stuck with “the worst property management company ever” and wind up with more work/stress than I bargained for? Few people say they love their management company, and that scares me. * How can I set it up such that I do the least amount of work possible, today and in the future? Simply put, I ain’t got time for that shit. * Does my ass need to be the only one on the line? Is there anyone that will stake their reputation on my continued success? In this review, we’re going to cover the above questions and go into extraordinary detail of our experience with Roofstock. After speaking with their CEO and many others on the team, we decided to go ahead and make a turnkey real estate investment with them. Twice. What is Roofstock and what do they bring to the table? Roofstock is a turnkey rental property online marketplace. A core requirement for properties to be listed on their marketplace is that a property needs to be occupied by tenants who meet Roofstock’s strict screening guidelines. Since we’re investors and not real estate professionals, we only look at turnkey solutions. This is the target market for Roofstock, busy professionals who want high yielding successful rental properties without the time commitment or the need to put work in themselves. Unlike most places you’d go to find turnkey rental properties, Roofstock does not own any of the properties listed in their marketplace. Instead, their expertise is in evaluating, negotiating and closing property transactions. So they aren’t trying to sell you anything but instead are looking to add value to an existing and usually convoluted process. What originally got me excited about Roofstock was their inventory. It’s probably what gets everyone excited.   Currently, there are over 100 Roofstock properties available for sale, 20 awaiting listing and 75 with a sale pending. This dwarfs the size of any other turnkey seller Laura and... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 19, 2016
How to Calculate Rental Yield So You Can Make a Smart Investment
This week the guys get nerdy about the numbers and chat about how to calculate cash on cash return to see if a property will be a smart investment.  Is This a Good Investment?  If you’ve been talking about buying a rental property with friends and family, there was probably someone who told you some horror story about owning rental property. Before letting them scare you out of it, do the math. It’s important not to make an emotional decision when buying a rental property. Instead look at the numbers and have systems in place to protect you. Some of us are just not numbers people (including myself). Although real estate investment math isn’t calculus, there are a lot of calculations involved. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Cash On Cash Return The cash on cash return is a simple way of measuring the performance of a potential investment property that is quick and easy. It can be a good starting point for quickly filtering potential investment properties. Cash-on-cash return = annual pretax cash flow / total cash invested. For example, if you put $100,000 cash into the purchase of property and the annual pretax cash flow is $10,000, then your cash-on-cash return is 10%. Cash-on-cash return is the actual return you will get at the end of the year your rental property after all property specific expenses are paid out like mortgage, taxes, insurance, HOA, etc. It’s a great metric to determine if a property will be a good investment right off the bat and a quick, easy way to compare different properties. Although cash on cash return is a useful back of the napkin evaluation, there are many other essential calculations to take into consideration. Yup, more math. We’ll Do The Math For You Unless you enjoy getting elbow deep in nerdy spreadsheets, we have something that will do all the math for you. Simple Wealth is a platform that will help you research, evaluate and track rental properties. It not only will it calculate your cash on cash return, it will also help you understand your properties income, appreciation, and equity using our sexy graphs. Simple Wealth will help you calculate cap rate, NOI, gross yield, rent estimates, and vacancy rate. What does all that mean? Let us get into it. Key Numbers Here are some of the key metrics we use to evaluate rental properties so you can get a better understanding of how all the math works. Annual NOI (Net Operating Income) is income after property expenses. NOI is simply the annual revenue generated by an income-producing property after taking into account all income collected from operations and deducting all costs incurred from operations. NOI excludes any financing or tax expenses incurred by the owner/investor. In other words, the NOI is unique to the property, rather than the investor. Cap Rate is the annual return on investment without financing. Return if you bought the property in full, in cash. Gross yield shows the rate of return on investment. It is a good rule of thumb number you can use to compare properties quickly.  It is an easy calculation which is the monthly rent times 12 then divided by purchase price. Not the amount you would invest but the full cost of the home.   Key Costs The purchase price is the biggest lever you can pull to make a property a better investment. Even negotiating 1k lower can significantly improve your cash-on-cash return. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 12, 2016
The Case For Owning Rental Property (Plus a Case Study)
Owning a rental property can be a great player in your overall investment strategy and an excellent way to build wealth. It typically isn't affected in the same way as the stock market so that it can provide diversification in your portfolio. However, it's important to understand the risks of the real estate market. Andrew just started investing in rental properties earlier this year soon today's episodes he will give us a broad overview of why real estate can be a great investment and what he has learned from his experience. We understand investing in real estate isn't for everyone, but it is an awesome way to build wealth. We are going to tell you why. View Episode Show Notes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 05, 2016
How to Move to a New City
Whether you are looking to move to Denver or Denmark, there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration before moving to a new city.  When you are moving to a new city, everything is new and exciting, but it can also be a little scary. Preparing will help you get past that insecurity the unfamiliarity of a new city can bring. And overspending is almost always a result of under planning.  One of our awesome listeners has been thinking of making a move to a new city and asked us for some tips on how he can prepare. Thomas has been planning a move to Denver and will share some tips and resources he in today’s episode.  Financial Prerequisites  Before you move to a new city, you want to have your finances in order. Get your debt situation under control and work on your credit score. If you are planning on renting, landlords look at that very seriously when considering a tenant.  Make sure you have a job when you get there. If you’re moving because of a job, get a relocation bonus. ASK FOR IT! You’d be surprised what you can get if you ask.  Creating a moving budget. This will show you how much money you will need to save up for all expenses including broker fees, security deposits, moving companies, possible storage, furniture and at least the first month’s rent.  Step 1: Choosing the new location  If you’re relocating because of a job or school, either for yourself or a spouse, apparently you’re skipping this step. For Thomas, he just wants to leave Iowa so he can have a new place to call home. Start by researching locations you might be interested in. Figure out what you want out of a new location and make a priority list with value scores.  Don’t get caught up in what you might do when you get there. Make a list of real priorities and things you truly value. Maybe you don’t have a car, so you want a city to be walkable. You love hiking and the outdoors, so you need to find a place with the nice weather most of the year.  Since it is more likely than not that you’ll need a job when you move, some of your top priorities should be:    * What’s my industry like in this city?  * What’s the probability that I can get a good job?  * What’s the cost of living index, and will my likely salary be able to manage it?  * Will I have to downgrade my current lifestyle because the new city won’t let my dollars stretch as far?    Compare your cost of living now to what it will be on the move along with your new salary. Thomas has been using Numbeo to compare the cost if living between Des Moines to Denver. He figured out he will need $4,837 each month to get the same standard of living I’d get on $4,000 in Des Moines. Also, check out tax rate differences. If you have children or plan to have kids, then you need to consider schools and daycare costs in the area. Once you have all the info you need, start scoring cities you’re interested in based on your priorities.Check out city-data websites, forums, and Reddit to get the low-down from locals. Thomas has found this pretty helpful except for those few people who don’t want any newcomers in town. Once you have your shortlist, visit a city or two if you can. It’s probably not feasible for most people to visit every potential city, but if you can try to Air BnB it up for a few days in your top pick. You can tour some apartments and get a feel for the place. Thomas did this in Denver, and that was fantastic. It solidified the decision for him. Step 2: Start preparing Moving sucks, so make a plan for everything that needs to be done way ahead of time and work on it in little chunks. Pare down your life and get rid of stuff you don’t need or use. You are starting a new life so leave some of the old behinds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 29, 2016
Starting a Franchise With Laura Novak
If someone told you they were starting a franchise, what would be the first thing that came to mind – Mc Donalds, Chick-Fil-A, 7 Eleven? When you start to look into the world of franchises, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. These days they come in all different shapes, sizes and niches.  Today the guys chat with Laura Novak, owner of Little Nest Portraits Franchise, about starting a franchise. She talks to us about how her franchisees work, why she decided to go franchise and what systems she has put in place to make them successful. Why Franchise Laura started out as a photographer when she was only 23 years old and grew her passion into a successful small business of her own. As the years went on, she wanted to spend more time with her family and was ready to build a business that was bigger than her. For most entrepreneurs, it’s hard to let go control of their business. After being approached by someone about opening another Little Nest location, Laura started to think about starting a franchise. Doing this would allow her to still be in the business, but its success wouldn’t be tied to her hours. There is a significant difference between working in the business and working in the business. It was well said by Michael E. Gerber from the book The E-Myth Revisited about The Franchise Model. “It is a proprietary way of doing business that successfully and preferentially differentiates every extraordinary business from every one of its competitors. In this light, every great business in the world is a franchise.” Laura began to see fasting growing franchises in the women’s services sector such as workout studios and blow out salons. These companies were giving women the chance to have successful careers while being in control of their schedules and lives. She wanted to help people do what they love while balancing their families and home. With Little Nest Portraits she wanted to empower others and offer them a chance to be a successful and profitable entrepreneur. She has opened three locations, and there are a few more in works. How It Works With a franchise, you are for the most part trusting your brand in other people’s hands, so it’s super important to find the right people. The Little Nest vetting process is pretty extensive. It starts with 3- hour long webinars to get to know a little more about the candidates and give them the opportunity to learn about the company. Next, Laura will spend a day together with the candidate in person to learn even more about each other’s values. During these meetings, she looks for qualifiers such as level of management experience. There is already a lot to learn about the business itself, so she needs someone who already knows how to manage people successfully. They also need a decent amount of business experience and understand the basics. Most importantly, personal values need to match. All these things help Laura determine if an individual can capitalize the business. She has found the best owners do not have much experience with photography but instead have excellent sales skills, and of course, a passion for running their own business. Laura and her team provide weekly reports to all branches to show how everyone is performing. Franchises are all about partnership. The location owners success is also her success. Laura and her team provide owners with proven systems to support the growth of the business from marketing to customer service to decor. They want to give franchisees all they need to run a Little Nest successfully. Costs Some franchises require you to have a certain amount of assets as well as liquid funds to purchase a branch. For Laura and her team, all they are concerned with is if the franchise can get the appropriate fu... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 22, 2016
How to Create and Prioritize Your Financial Goals
It’s hard to know how to prioritize your financial goals. Personal finance is personal, so there isn’t one answer for everyone. It’s important to understand how to prioritize your financial goals and help you figure out what to focus on first.  Should you start an emergency fund or save for retirement? Pay off debt or start investing? Everyone will give you different advice, and it can get confusing.  Know What You Want  You can’t do anything meaningful until you decide on some goals for the short term (this month), medium term (next 3-6 months) and long-term (1-2 years). What stage are you at in life and where do you want to be?  Your financial goals can be buying a new home, saving for college, starting a family or creating an emergency fund.  When you take this step, it’s important to think about both your short-term and long-term goals.  Perhaps you want to plan a family vacation to Europe within the next five years. Or, you may wish to have enough of a buffer in your finances so that you and your significant other can afford to go out for a nice dinner every couple weeks.  No matter your vision, be sure to create SMART goals.    For example, how much should you have budgeted before you begin planning your trip? Or, how much money would you like to spend each time you go out to dinner?  To that end, it is critical to tie real numbers to your goals. You should also have a feasible timeline for when you would like to accomplish each goal. It’s OK to be ambitious, but you should also avoid setting yourself up for failure by giving yourself far too little time to reach your goal.  No matter what they are, it’s time to get ideas out of your head and make a list. Writing down your goals is critical. However, you should also make a habit of revisiting your goals and making sure you are on the right track. If so, remain consistent and do not let yourself get complacent.  If you’re not currently on track, remember why you set your goals in the first place and find ways to get to where you want to be. Don’t be too hard on yourself — change is hard, and many people fail several times before they find the right formula for success. If you get off track, the best thing you can do is make some adjustments right away.  Prioritize Your Important List  Once you have figured out your goals, give priority to each of your personal goals in order of importance, and then determine how long you have to save for each of them.   Remember to put your oxygen mask on first. Debt destruction is probably more important than kids college fund. Putting your retirement on track is more important than buying a new car. Debt is costing you money and will move you figure away from your goals. If it’s more than you can handle debt consolidation or refinancing could help you out of the hole. Having an emergency fund is so important. Unfortunately almost half of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 if an emergency came up. A good rule of thumb is having 3-4 months of your salary in a savings account and then contribute to an investment account like Betterment. Making more money can help you get to your goals faster. Not everyone has the time for side hustles so if you are looking to make some extra cash, every month then asks for a raise. Salary negotiation can be scary, but studies show that people who ask for a raise make more money than those who don’t. Know What You’re Worth Asking for a raise can be difficult, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 15, 2016
What 10 Years of Small Business Taught Us
Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Running and growing a business can be challenging – that’s why about 90 percent of all new businesses fail.  Since the odds are stacked against you, it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve success.  Whether you have a business or looking to start a one, it’s important to listen to your peers and mentors. Some lessons you will have to learn on your own but some small business tips you can learn from others.  Collectively, Thomas and Andrew have ten years of experience under their belt running small businesses. Today they will share their most valuable lessons and small business tips.  Don’t quit your day job.  When you are just starting out, bringing in a consistent profit month after month can be challenging and stressful. You don’t want to be the position where you’ll do anything for a quick buck.  You want to focus on building something that will make you $2000 passively everything month down the road and not worry about making $100 to survive the week. “A successful business is a marathon, not a sprint.” Keeping your day job until your business is financially stable will reduce pressure so you can focus on what matters. Remember – it’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish it. For Andrew, constraint breeds creativity. Having limited hours to get work done forces him to do the things that matter and make the most out of his hours. Study the pros. You can read all the books on what you need to do to grow a successful business but what will push the needle is to study what the pros do. Find people inside and outside of your industry that you admire and dig into what they are doing with their businesses. For example, let us say you are super inspired by Pat Flynn and looking to run a successful online business. He has some great content online outlining what to do but go beyond that. Study what the pros do more than what they teach. Analyze their code, writing styles, videos, etc. Of course, don’t blatantly rip people off but take influence and make it your own. You will eventually develop your own style. First, get inspired. Improve 1% every month. Give yourself realistic growth goals. Growing 1% every month doesn’t sound like much, however, after a year you will have increased 12.68% and 26.97% in the second year. Just a little bit of growth consistently will start an exponential growth cycle. Just because you are improving 1% every month doesn’t me that every single thing you make will grow that one percent. That’s why you need to follow The Equal-Odds Rule. Thomas has an excellent video on it. Watch it. He believes if you want to make things that are amazing, things that become fruitful and well-known then you have to make a lot of things. The more you do, the more you will fail, and the more you succeed. Throw things at the wall. You never know. Don’t put yourself in the box. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do or what people expect you to do. Don’t ever feel you need to fit into a box. Put your weirdness into your work” that weirdness sets you apart. There are not a limited amount of opportunities. There are an unlimited number, but if you chase every opportunity, you will never make meaningful progress on the ones that matter. Only pursue opportunities that help you achieve your key goals. Say no to everything else. Also, stop thinking all the good ideas are taken. It will just paralyze your creativity. Your idea most likely has already been done. There are very few “new” ideas out there but who cares! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 08, 2016
Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Your paycheck gets deposited, groceries purchased, bills paid, and then you’re broke again until the next payday.  That is the story for almost half of American households, and the vicious cycle is hard to break. It won’t be easy, but you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.  An NYU study found that about 70 million Americans live in “wealthy hand-to-mouth” households. These are families that own assets like homes, retirement accounts, college funds and cars but yet still live paycheck to paycheck. They spend almost every dollar of their annual income to keep up their lifestyle and pay all the bills.  Why is it happening?  If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, you need to find the root of the problem. It is probably very simple – you are spending more than you earn. You may not throw your money away on extravagant things, but you are still living above your means.  It’s time to consider making some lifestyle changes. Start by making a list of necessary and optional expenses see where you can save.  If your spending is already very low, ask yourself what you need to survive and reframe your lifestyle choices. That can mean moving to a cheaper apartment, stop eating out,  taking the bus to work, making lunch at home, getting rid of the gym membership or get your bills lowered. There are many people who people survive on very little – look at Mr. Money Mustache. Take a hard look at the choices you have been making and create a budget that will give you the flexibility to save, even if it’s just $50 a month. You can build wealth one dollar at a time. Prosperity Mindset The mind is a powerful thing. To make real changes in our lives, we need to create a positive shift in our thinking. I’m not talking about The Secret “think it and it shall happen” bullshit. Well, maybe a little. Having a bigger vision for what you believe is possible for yourself is the first step to getting there. There is truth in the law of attraction. If you feel that you will never be financially stable or you’ll never get out of debt you most likely won’t. That negativity is reinforcing your limitations. Take full responsibility for your financial circumstances. Your willingness to change it is a key factor in your ability to make better financial decisions. Remember, prosperity is not about having a big house or ton of money. It is about being happy and living comfortably, and the way to get there is with a positive attitude and motivation. Breaking the Cycle Think for a moment on what you’ll gain from breaking the cycle. How will it feel to have extra money at the end of the month? Once you start having money left at the end of every pay cycle, you’ll begin to feel a little freer. Having financial breathing room will significantly reduce your stress.  Give yourself a pay cut. Living slightly below your means will help you stashing away some savings every month to grown an emergency fund. Try to pretend you earn less than you do. Start a crash savings program and do it in a short period like one to two months. Try saving 5-10% of your paycheck. Set up an automatic transfer to your account so it is easier to stick with it. Roughing it for a short period is all you need to get out of the cycle. Once you see that it is doable, it will be much easier to stay on course. If cutting expenses aren’t enough, then you need to build more income. Having an additional stream will make a huge difference even if it’s only $100 extra a month.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be another job. If you have a few extra hours a week, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 01, 2016
Get Focused And Do More of What Matters
This episode was inspired by a tweet we received from one of our listeners Alexa who asked, How many side hustles are too many? She has been working on a few things that she loves and was questioning if she should just focus on one and ditch the rest for now.  Both Andrew and Thomas have struggled with focusing on one project from time to time. When trying to build a business you have a lot on your plate. Staying focused can be tough with a constant stream tasks and new ideas demanding your attention.  In this episode, the guys talk about why focus is so important. They share how they get focused and deal with working on too many projects at once.  To answer Alexas’ question, it really depends on what the goals are for these side hustles. If they are just fun activities that make you happy and keep you busy, then you can have as many as you want.  However, if you are trying to grow something that you would like to eventually turn into a money generating business you need to focus on one thing. That is only you’ll be able to get the momentum you need for it to grow. Determine which ones are hobbies and which ones are actual business ventures. Once you figure out “the one”, run with it.  WWAD (What Would Andrew Do)  If you have a few ideas for side businesses and not quite sure which one you want to pursue further, experiment with a few things until you get some results.Use the skills you have to narrow down possible fields and match your interests to something you are good at.  After a couple of months if your lemonade stand is flopping but your computer repair business is profiting then you know where to focus your attention. Giving it the time it needs will help you reach your goal of growing it into a full-time job.  Andrew as dabbled in my projects, side hustles, and business ideas sometimes many at once. What he has learned through his successes and failures is not to spread yourself too thin.  Giving your time and attention to many things will either result in failure, burnout or a much longer path to your ultimate goal. Getting focused on one thing and sticking with it has been the main factor in the success of LMM.  Get Focused  So no that you’ve figured out what you want to do, how will you stay focused on whats important? We all battle distraction and it can overwhelm us sometimes but there are plenty of ways to fight it. Whatever you are doing throughout the day should have clear value towards building your craft.  Build a system to help you achieve things every day. Choose a few tasks to complete each day and write them down. Before moving on to anything else, these must be done. Create a schedule and plan time for each task and make sure you give yourself enough time. If you schedule 60 minutes for something and it takes you longer the time crunch will stress you out.  If you haven’t created a system for getting things done, you’re likely losing a lot of productive time to inefficiency. There are many tools out there to help you out. Thomas is all about building habits so he uses Habitica, a free habit building and productivity app that treats your real life like a game. OmniFocus and Evernote are also great for organizing tasks and making lists of actionable items. You can also a try a “Not-To-Do List. The idea is to list all the things you are not going to go through the day to support your productivity. Avoid putting effort into things that will have little or no impact on the task at hand. Spend time on work that will show results. Self Reflect Diving headfirst into a new project can completely consume you. It is so easy to get lost in all the work, and our thoughts. Keep a journal to reflect on what you accomplished and how it measured up to your goals. This way you can see what is working for you and what ... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 25, 2016
5 Questions: Lending Club, Green Mutual Funds and Having Fun
We love to answer questions from our listeners, and sometimes we make a whole episode around it. Today we answer five questions about drinking on the job, Lending Club, borrowing from family, green mutual funds, having fun, buying a first home,  Bonus Question:  I have noticed that you tend to be drinking beer on each of the podcasts, let me just first say, fuck I’m jealous.I would like to know what kind of job I can get that will let me drink beer in the morning (without the whole judgey this guy is probably an alcoholic vibe). If you do respond to this email, please don’t use my name as my current job frowns on asking questions like these.  This question is great. You have to work for yourself or work for some hipster-ass startup that has beer on tap all the time. But even then they’ll probably give you the stink eye if you’re drinking it at 8 a.m.  Question One:  Do you feel Lending Club is still a prudent investment given the recent scandal issues they’ve run into? Will it have long-term impacts on the business and the quality of loans? I’m considering a 50/50 split of my available investment funds between Betterment and Lending Club (in addition to my 401k where I’m already contributing 12%). – Matt  So, a little background in case you didn’t hear. LendingClub CEO Renaud Laplanche resigned after it was found that the company had altered application dates on some large loans. It was also found that Laplanche “failed to fully disclose to the company’s risk committee a personal interest he held in a third party fund while the company was considering an investment in the same fund, which purchased LendingClub loans.”  Tisk-tisk  That said, after a full internal analysis of company reporting, it was found that 99.9 percent of loans were above board. Since the companies stock has plummeted but their loans were not effected.  Many people were fired, so the few bad eggs are gone. Although Andrew lost money with his stock, he still has some money invested in loans. Thomas thinks he will wait this one out and see if and when the company gets back on its feet.  Question Two:  Need advice on relative claiming we owe them money. Last year my wife & I became debt free and were on our way to saving a down payment for an investment property.   Now my mother-in-law is demanding a large sum of money from my wife.  She kept every receipt from when my wife was 18 onward (she’s 36) and now wants to be paid back. The list includes things like brakes on my wife’s first car and new basketball shoes from her senior year.   My wife never signed anything but apparently verbally agreed at the time to pay back some of this money. I realize that from a legal standpoint we probably owe nothing, but I feel as though morally we are responsible for whatever my wife agreed upon. Just where should the line be drawn?  We can probably all agree that this is a pretty terrible parent. At first glance, the situation can make you cringe, but you have to ask yourself, what is really going on here? Is her mom desperate for money or is she just crazy? Keeping receipts for 18 years shows intent like she has been waiting deviously to cash out.  Staying out of it would be the easiest thing but because they are married paying back this loan will be affecting both of them. The guys think that the most important aspect is to try and salvage the relationship. Sit down and have a talk with the mom and try to come to some middle ground. If she needs financial help, she should just ask, and they can figure it out together. Don’t lead with anger and find her intent before making any moves.  Question Three:  My name is Matthew, I’m 25 and just recently married and am on my way to having my first child. I have been looking at buying a house but after recently finding your podcast I’m not sure if I&#... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 18, 2016
Building Wealth While Preparing Financially for Parenthood
Becoming a new parent is a wonderful life experience, but it also comes with a ton of work, sleepless nights and some financial stress.  Today the guys talk to Kim Palmer, mother of two and author of Smart Mom, Rich Mom about how to build wealth while raising a family and preparing financially for parenthood. New Expenses There are many new expenses that come along with a new family member. According to Kim, on average a new child will cost $11,000 in their first year which doesn’t even include childcare but well get to that. It just goes up after that costing you about $250,000 by the time they are 18 years old. Besides the basics like diapers and baby food which can cost upwards of $75 per week, you’ll want your new bundle of joy to have the best and most safe baby gear. Some of those big-ticket items like cribs and strollers and cost hundreds. You can buy gently used clothing, but car seats and crib are being recalled all the time so avoid buying those second hand. Most families have to make the decision whether or not to pay for childcare. Cutting one parents salary out of the equation and it’s a tough call. With all these new expenses the thought of removing a salary even for a few months can be a scary thought. On the other hand, childcare costs are pretty high. Depending on where you live, it can cost $2,000 a month for daycare and $4,000 a month for a nanny. Child care will likely be more than your mortgage payment. Kim loves using Amazon Family which gives Prime members save 20% on diapers subscriptions plus additional family-centric discounts and recommendations. She buys a lot online so she can compare prices and maximize her family savings. Start saving sooner than later. She and her husband saved for fives years before having their first child. It will get much harder after you have children. As a parent, you also need to start to think about saving for college tuition or buying a larger home for your growing family. Maternity Leave Unfortunately, most women do not get paid maternity leave. If you are planning a family in the future, this is critical to take into consideration when looking for a job. Unless you are planning on giving birth at your desk, then you will need some time off before and after the baby is born. If you want to know more about the company culture and policies of a potential employer, check out Fairy God Boss. They offer a platform for women to get the scoop about companies, and their policies from other women. Before asking about taking your time off, talk to other co-workers about their experiences with maternity leave. See how they navigated it and came up with a plan – how long will you need (providing exact dates) and who will be taking over what duties in your absence. This will give your boss a clear picture of what the next few months will look like without you. The Future Saving for your children future and education should start as soon as possible but not before you pay yourself. Contributing to your retirement is a priority then you can begin saving for your children’s’ future. College costs are rising and if you want to help your kids pay for college, opening a 529 savings plan is the way to go. You can set up automated monthly payments so you can make steady progress over eighteen years. How much should you be saving? Kim says Fidelity suggests $5,000 per child per year if you can swing it. Eventually, your kids will leave the nest, and you want them to go with as much financial knowledge as possible. Talk to your kids about sacrificing now for future goals. When they ask questions, try to give an answer that will introduce them to new concepts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 11, 2016
Better Habits for Financial Independence
Happy 4th of July! While you are watching fireworks, remember how much hard work and dedication it took the founders of the United States to declare independence. It takes the same effort and dedication when it comes to financial independence. These are the best habits for independence.  Finding financial independence takes a lot of hard work too. Today the guys talk about building habits for independence and what mindset you need to become more freedom financially.  What Retirement Should Be  Andrew was recently having a conversation with his father about retirement. He said even when he has enough money to retire, the thought of having a finite amount of money and slowly burning it down its a pretty scary.  The Concept of retirement is changing. Thomas read a book called The Happiness Equation, which talks about where the idea of retirement came from. In the 1880’s the German started making it mandatory for people over 65 to retirement to free up jobs for younger people. Back then the average lifespan was 67, so they only needed to have enough money to survive a few more years. Fast forward to today. The retirement age is still 65, but people are living well into their 90’s. They need a lot more money to live out the rest of their lives comfortably. Because retirement is a time of leisure, and travel, you will need to save more than just the cost of living.  After reading this book, Thomas believes the idea of retirement is broken. Retirement for Thomas is having enough money so he can work on not for profit projects and still be able to support himself. Independence is not retiring; it’s the ability for you to put your time where you want to put your time. Getting Out of the Rat Race Many of us feel trapped in the cycle of going to work every day so we can pay the bills every month. This never-ending cycle is called the rat race. It is a period where you are required to put in a certain amount of time to get a certain sum of money. Always trying to get those TPS Reports to your boss. The ability to step off of the wheel and claim your time back is true independence. Although it isn’t going to happen overnight and it indeed takes some work but it cane is done. If you have your mind set on financial independence, creating habits for success will help you get there faster. Do three things every day Take an hour in the morning plus an hour when you get home and dedicate them to accomplishing daily tasks that will help you reach your goals. A bunch of those small steps will lead to bigger things. Keep your expenses low Recently, Andrew and I played Cashflow with some friends. It’s a board game where the goal is to get out of the rat race. You have a job, investments, balance sheets – it’s pretty intense but super fun. Get out of the rat race by increasing your passive income to twice that of their expenses. Keeping your costs low is just as important as making more money. Budgeting aside, once every few months go over your reoccurring costs and make sure all those things you’re paying for are still important in your life and making you happy. Beware of lifestyle creep. Don’t let your expenses increase your income. Invest In Your Labor-Asset By 2020, 40% of the US workforce will not be full-time workers. Being your own boss will be the new norm. Labor is your biggest asset. It is crucial to building the value of your work by actively trying to learn new things. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 04, 2016
10 Lessons in 100 Episodes
Season two of Listen Money Matters has officially reached 100 episodes. Thomas and Andrew have learned so much from each other and from the excellent guests we’ve had on the show. Today the guys discuss the top 10 things they have learned in 100 episodes this season. Andrew’s Lessons Having routine changes everything. Andrew learned the power of habit and made better use of his time. Having a routine has done wonders for his productivity and has actively and consciously built himself a daily routine so he can achieve more throughout that day. #gettingshitdone. Allison’s real estate investment strategy rocks. This episode caused a significant mindset shift for Andrew on how he approached wealth building. Allison inspired and opened his eyes to how easy it is to get into real estate investing. She was an excellent example of a typical family creating passive income through hard work and time. Real estate investing isn’t that hard. On a similar vain, this episode further educated Andrew on how the whole process works. He learned how hands off real estate investing could be making it a great passive income stream. Take the emotion out of money. Joan Sotkin was one of our favorite guests on the show, and her interview came just in time. Andrew was so caught up with work and was being driven by anxiety. He as approaching a burnout again and Joan was able to help him find balance. She taught him to stop worrying so much about money and focus more on healthy relationships and being in good physical health. Turn your family into a business. Great episode! Natali Morris was very inspiring and had some great advice on how to grow your family’s wealth. Since that episode, Andrew has taken the business more seriously and reduced our families costs by utilizing business write-offs. She also introduced us to the self-directed IRAs. Thomas’ Lessons The importance of Delegating Work. This was not part of an episode, but since working with Andrew, Thomas has learned to offload some work and hire some help. He was overloading himself but still resistant to the idea of having a team, but after a few of Andrews lectures, Thomas was convinced. He now has a small team, and his business is growing as a result. Investing in yourself is important. Before he started the LMM podcast, Thomas was a set it and forget it mutual funds kind of guy. This season has opened his eyes to different types of investments. One of our latest episodes was with Doug McCormick, author of Family Inc. He talked a lot about labor as one of your most valuable assets. Thomas learned it is super important to invest in yourself and your business. In the end, it could be a much better return on investment. The borrowing against your 401k battle. So, we got our asses handed to us on this one. After the borrowing against your 401k episode aired, Thomas began doing some hardcore research on the subject and learned a ton, but the real lesson for him here was understanding his responsibility as a podcaster. Everyone listening to the show has a different financial situation, so when discussing personal finance topics like this, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 27, 2016
Manage Your Family Like a Business
Growing your wealth is not just about keeping up with your budget and investing some money in the stock market. To achieve financial independence, you need to have a solid plan, and that starts with better decision making.  Today on the show the guys talk to Douglas McCormick- Army veteran, entrepreneur, and author of Family Inc. He teaches us about managing your family finances like a business and how to use business principles to maximize your wealth.  Many Americans of all ages struggle with finances. Douglas wrote Family Inc to provide everyone a straightforward and holistic way to manage their money and build wealth for their future. He wants to empower people to strive for financial independence and give them the education to make the right decisions.  Appoint a CFO:  Like any business, someone needs to be in charge of what is going on financially. Although the whole family will make decisions together, there should be one person who will be in charge of making sure all the money is managed correctly. This person is going to be the family’s Chief Financial Officer, and every family should have one.  They will handle cash flow, risk management, small business investments, education investments, tax planning and most importantly be a teacher. The CFO will use the tools of the business world to customize a family financial plan and actively manage it.  The CFO will use income reports and balance sheets instead of a traditional budget. Budgeting is a useful tool but can sometimes be short sited and distract us from what is paramount. Marking off every penny you spend month after month is pretty tedious and can easily get neglected after a few months.  Douglas believes with budgeting; less is more. You want to focus more high-level expenses like rent and electric and less on tracking packs of gum and coffee shops. If you are ready to ditch budgeting for balance sheets, you can create your own on his site. Value of Labor In Family Inc., Douglas talks about the value of labor and how it is factored into the families net worth. Although we never really think about our labor as a financial asset, the family’s labor (selling skills for money) is a huge asset and it needs to be managed like one. You carry this labor asset with you throughout your life, and you’ll need to maximize it from your first job into retirement. With this value of labor mindset, you can make better choices when it comes to education and career. Higher education is certainly important, but you don’t want to pay for “excess” schooling. Let’s say you want to get your MBA. As chief financial officer, you will need to figure if the skills you’ll acquire can push your career to the next level while still being beneficial to your overall financial goals. Don’t just jump in head first without a clear goal. The value of labor also factors in when deciding on a job offer. We typically focus on the compensation, but you should also consider what about this job can drive more long-term value like developing new skills that can help you earn more in the future. Entrepreneurship “The surest way to financial freedom is entrepreneurship.” Douglas believes that it is unlikely you will create real wealth through traditional employment because of the competition in both the labor and capital markets. Starting your own business does come with some financial risk because there are no guaranteed minimum earnings, but there is no ceiling as well. The nature of employment has changed in the last decade and every year more and more people are moving out of the rat race and taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Besides the tax benefits and being your boss, when you own a small business, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 20, 2016
Selling Wholesale On Amazon With Edward Lichstein
Ever wonder how to people make money selling wholesale on Amazon? Andrew trawled Quora and found someone to teach us how to do it.  Eddie Lichstein has been in the e-commerce business for 13 years selling wholesale on Amazon. He has always been a car nut and runs a site, TH Motorsports, which is the Amazon of car parts. He also runs Rejoiner, a site to help e-commerce business owners improve sales. Eddie has been very generous answering questions on Quora and he came here today to answer our questions. America Was Built On Small Business Small business makes up 99.7% of US employer firms. America has always been a country that fosters small business. And right now, certain sectors like e-commerce, are like the Wild West. In 20 or 30 years, people will look back with amazement at how easy it is to make money right now. So why aren’t more of us starting small businesses? Because we get caught up in the details; how do I incorporate? I’ll need an accountant, a lawyer. I’m just a regular person, I can’t deal with all that. Stop thinking that way. You can jump into e-commerce like we’re going to describe with no capital. All you need is a credit card (that you pay off in full every month!) and enough time (but it doesn’t take too much) to do some research and leg work. If You Have An Awesome Dildo, It Will Sell Eddie said that I had couldn’t resist using it as a headline. It’s not quite that simple. You have to love dildos, but really, who doesn’t? The barrier to selling through e-commerce is very low but you will be more successful if you sell something you love because the things you love, you know a lot about. Look around you right now. There are probably half a dozen small things in site that are not terribly expensive that you know a lot about. Choose three or four things and we’ll move on to the next part of the plan. Jungle Scout Jungle Scout is a site that allows you to do research into what sells on Amazon which is what every e-commerce seller wants to know. We used carrot/potato peelers in our example. You research the peelers and you want something that sells somewhere in the middle. If you choose top sellers, you won’t be able to compete with the sellers already peddling those. If you choose those at the bottom, there aren’t enough people buying them. Eddie figures that you will spend about 48 in total researching the product you want to sell. Ali Baba Ali Baba is China’s version of Amazon. But you can get a lot of items there very cheaply because it costs less to manufacture in China than in other places. So you buy 100 peelers. Remember, you are still not really spending money. You’re financing this on net 30 terms because you’re charging it and at least for your first foray into this, you should choose an item that is inexpensive so that if it doesn’t work out, you’re not out much money. You also aren’t taking much risk because you know what will sell after your research on Jungle Scout. Become A Detective You know how to make this whole thing cheaper and more profitable? Cutting out the middleman, Ali Baba in this example. Ali Baba isn’t making those peelers. They’re are getting them from a supplier. You want to see if you can track down the supplier. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 13, 2016
Diversify with Online Real Estate Investing
When it comes to real estate, breakaway success is found at scale, and Fundrise’s goal is to scratch that itch. Does the Fundrise platform stand up to the hype? That’s what I was determined to find out.  I’ve always been a do-it-yourself investor – especially when it comes to real estate.  My wife and I own three rental properties, and the condo that we live in is the result of a successful fix and flip over two years.  It goes without saying that real estate is both an essential part of our wealth building strategy and something that we’re particularly interested in. It’s a strategy that is, above all, focused on long-term growth.  Over the past one and a half years we’ve interviewed Ben Miller the CEO, twice. First, when Fundrise just started and was only available to accredited investors and a second time after they opened up their platform to normal people – we invested soon after. They’ve since scaled massively, paid me a ton of dividends and relaunched their entire platform as “Fundrise 2.0“. So, I thought it was long overdue that I broke down what they are, why you should care and what they do well (passive income). Let’s get nerdy! What is Fundrise and why should you care? Fundrise is a crowdfunded platform that allows average investors access to real estate returns they could not access on their own or through a traditional REIT. Their bread and butter are real estate deals that are overlooked by large institutional investors and out of reach for most individuals. Investing with Fundrise is available to non-accredited investors. Simply put, that means that anyone can invest with them, you no longer need to be insanely wealthy. And what is a REIT? A REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust, is a company that owns or finances income-producing real estate. Most REITs are similar to Fidelity’s FRESX in that they manage many billions of dollars in assets and thus have to invest a significant amount of money. So, to be able to invest in new deals and manage the fund’s existing investments they typically need to make larger bets. They simply don’t have time to chase smaller properties. Often large REIT investments aren’t even directly in real estate assets but companies like Public Storage. Because what’s even easier than going out and finding real estate deals worthy of investing in? Investing in companies that do that already. Such is the case with FRESX whose largest holding is just the Public Storage company. Sounds like a shitty deal as there is Such is the case with FRESX whose largest holding is the Public Storage company. Seems like a shitty deal as there is little value added here considering a REIT is so much more expensive than just buying some of Public Storage yourself – for less. The problem is that this is pretty common and there just aren’t many REITs that are strong picks if you’re looking to buy into the rental market. Individuals, on the other hand, are mostly investing in smaller properties ($100k – $200k in value) that are in higher demand making it harder to generate a reasonable profit. It’s also more difficult, and expensive, to manage 100 properties as opposed to 10. That’s why the vast majority don’t go down this road. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 06, 2016
Take The Emotion Out Of Buying Stocks
Emotions have no place in investing. You rely on cold, hard data to make investing decisions. Today we’ll talk about ways to take the emotion out of buying stocks with the founder of Simply Wall Street.  We interview Al Bentley, wind-surfer, CEO and co-founder of Simply Wall Street, an Australian startup that helps people make better investing decisions by turning complex data into easily understood infographics. Buy and Hold Wins Again Confirming yet again the advice that LMM has been giving you from the start, Simply Wall Street does not advocate picking individual stocks but rather the buy and hold strategy. But because there are people who buy individual stocks, Simply Wall Street wants to give them the best information available in a way that is easy to understand so that they can take the emotion out of buying stocks and make right decisions. The site does get incredibly detailed on individual stocks even looking at things like CEO compensation, but when you visit, you’ll notice that one piece of information they don’t include shares price. It is part of the analysis, but they don’t want people to rely too much on that one bit of data. People get too hung up on price when deciding what stocks to buy. DIY Fund Simply Wall Street wants to allow people to pick individual stocks not so they can sell them off quickly, but so they can essentially build their own fund. Individual stocks shouldn’t make up your entire portfolio but using the information that SWS provides makes it easy to have direct shares as a part of your portfolio. Investing for the In-Betweeners There is certainly no shortage of information available to help you pick stocks, but a lot of it is not easily understood by normal people. And what can be easily understood, previous share price, for example, is not a good indicator. You can’t always predict the future by looking at the past. It’s important to look at certain ratios like P/E and P/S, but you need context to understand what those numbers are indicating. Some investors rely on things like Google Finance for information, but that was built by finance people for finance people. SWS wanted to create something for the rest of us, the layperson that doesn’t have all the technical knowledge that some finance people assume everyone has. The founders are not finance guys, so they don’t have those ingrained biases. They were investors though so understood the problems of investors. There are a lot of resources for brand new investors, things like Betterment and Robin Hood, and things for high-end investors but investors that fall between those two categories are under-served. Special Snow Flakes   SWS uses a system that is meant to analyze stocks that will be held long term. If you really want to nerd out, they open sourced their analysis model on Git Hub so you can have a look for yourself. There are five main components; Value: Value is based on future cash flow and its price relative to the stock market. Future: The expected performance in the next 1-3 years, based on estimates from up to 50 analysts. Past: The earnings performance over the previous five years. Health: A company’s financial health and their level of debt. This marker is critical to long-term investing. Income: The current dividend yield, its volatility, and sustainability. There is another factor that SWS looks at that many investors and advisors overlooks; management. How long has the board been serving, is the CEO grossly overcompensated, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 30, 2016
5 Questions: Profit Sharing, Tradelines, 403B’s
We get a lot of listener questions, and sometimes we get the same question several times. When that happens, we know a five questions episode is in order! Today we bring you give questions on profit sharing, tradelines, 403Bs, 401ks, and paying off debt.  Question One:  Can you guys explain the difference between a regular 401k vs. profit sharing 401k? What’s the difference between the two and can you withdraw from both early?  Profit Sharing is solely employer-funded. You’re not putting money from your paycheck into it like you would a 401k. It is your employer making contributions towards your retirement.  Contributions are usually based on the percentage of salary – higher salary = higher profit sharing. As for withdrawal, the plan administrator has a lot of decision making power in determining pre-withdrawal requirements.  For a 401k, the employee is the primary contributor to account. Some employers will match contributions, but not a requirement. Even if they match in given year, an employer can suspend matching in future years. Your contributions are wholly vested right away, but employer contributions can have vesting requirements such as having to work a minimum amount of years.  There are certain circumstances where there are penalty-free withdrawals like for hardship, but most early withdrawals will cost you.  Question Two:  Are trade lines even a legit way to build credit? Or is it just a scheme? Im a late bloomer with my credit and I’m looking for a way to build it up. And where should I put money?  I am saving for a vacation. In a capital one 360 savings account, mix in with my betterment build wealth account, Acorns, or some other strategy?  Tradeline is an industry term for an account or line of credit. If you Google tradelines all the top result are marketplaces for trade lines or credit accounts. So why would you buy a line of credit?  Let’s say Andrew has a Capital One credit line that he has been paying on time for five years which puts the account in good standing. Thomas, on the other hand, has only one line of credit for a year with some late payments and now he wants to build his credit.  In this case, Thomas can go to one of these tradeline marketplaces where Andrew is selling his good tradeline. This allows Thomas to purchase his credit line to help build his credit. Andrew would add Thomas as an authorized user. Then, Thomas would remove Andrew as an authorized user and viola, Thomas now has a five-year credit line in good standing and credit score increases.  Yes, this is some shady shit, and we do not recommend this. There are many other ways to increase your credit.  Try applying for a secure credit card or use a third-party rent reporting service, so your on-time rent payments count towards your credit.  As for the second question, if you are planning on traveling soon, there isn’t a need to put your vacation savings into an investing account. Any short-term savings are better off in a checking or savings account.  Question Three:  So I stopped my contribution to my 403b today (teacher) because the returns on it sucked a bag of dicks. I was getting guaranteed 3% and paying fees, which I’m confident I can improve upon by managing my investments myself. The money I’ve contributed thus far is less than $3,000, and I’ve been putting into it for a while. I’d like to roll it over into something else, but the company I have the 403b with, Great American) hits me with MASSIVE fees if I move the money before the contract with them is up, and I can’t move that money to anything other than another 403b according to the IRS. All that to say, I am willing to just cut my ties with that money for now, still have it in my tiny portfolio but just stop funding it.  Now, I can spare about $150 to throw towards investments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 23, 2016
Make Money On Amazon Using Retail Arbitrage
There are many ways to make money on Amazon, and retail arbitrage is one of them. I know, it sounds pretty badass. We’ll teach you how it’s done.  We have Jessica and Cliff from The Selling Family on the show to talk about their experience using FBA to create a successful lifestyle business. They started in 2010 and now make 300K in sales a year bringing in 100K in profits. What is FBA? FBA or Fulfillment by Amazon allows anyone to sell goods on the Amazon platform and store inventory in their fulfillment centers. Simply put, you buy items you want to sell, and Amazon will list them, store them and ship them to your customers. They also handle most customer service inquires, refunds and returns. Interestingly, more than 40% of Amazon’s total sales come from third-party sellers. Amazon is the go-to place to buy anything from vitamins to dog tu-tus. It’s trusted name with a highly trafficked marketplace (understatement) which makes it a perfect place for your products to gain visibility to millions of buyers. FBA gives everyone the tools they need to start a small online business. They now have warehouses all over the U.S. making same day and next day shipping available to many people across the country. Based on what you are selling, Amazon will have you ship your items to whichever fulfillment center would sell the most of your product. If you use FBA, your products are eligible for free shipping which will increase your chances of getting into the “Buy Box.” What Can You Sell? There’s a surprisingly short list of items you can’t sell on Amazon. Unless you are trying to push imitation weapons, baby crib bumpers or foie gras, you can sell just about anything you want. However, you need to be smart when choosing your items. If Amazon itself is listing the same item that you are listing, they obviously are going to take the sale. Jessica and Cliff sell mostly health and beauty products as well as some grocery. They look for items that Amazon no longer carries or that have run out of stock. You have to do your research and test the waters before finding what works best for you. Also keep in mind that to list certain types of items, you may need a Professional Seller account. A Pro Sellers account will run you $39 a month but is entirely worth it if you are selling forty plus items a month. Finding Your Items The Amazon Sellers App offers mobile tools that help sellers search and scan barcodes of items, check prices, sales ranking, and reviews, list items, as well as communicate with customers. You might find the best deal ever on passion fruit candles, but it won’t necessarily bring in the profits your are looking for. Amazon does a 30% cut so you’ll need to find products with high-profit margins. Jessica and Cliff set a minimum of five dollars profit on any one item they sell. It’s important to make sure there is a healthy gap between my purchase price and profit after Amazon’s cut. Make sure the item has good reviews. The profit margin might be 300%, but if it has terrible reviews, you will have less chance of selling it. The size and weight of the items is also something to consider. You do have to pay for shipping to the Amazon warehouse. Although it is heavily discounted, the price still depends on weight. Know the best time to shop.  Learn when the stores around you have sales or push things to clearance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 16, 2016
What the F**k is Tax-Loss Harvesting?
Tax-loss harvesting is a term you’ve probably heard but don’t know what it means. It may seem obscure, but it’s a good weapon to have in your investing arsenal. So just what the f**k is tax-loss harvesting?  Dan Egan, the Director of Behavioral Finance at Betterment is joining us to talk about Tax Loss Harvesting. We discuss what it is, how it works and what sort of benefits it provides you as a long-term investor. Tax-loss harvesting is the selling of securities at a loss to offset a capital gains tax liability. What is Tax-Loss Harvesting? Losing money on an investment stinks but there is a way to soften the blow a little; tax-loss harvesting. TLH means you sell an investment that has lost money. By harvesting investment losses, you can offset taxes on short-term gains and income. You replace the investment that was sold with a similar one to keep your asset allocation the same. Okay, that’s a little confusing for us lay people. Keep reading. Here’s an example of how it works. You bought $100 worth of Apple stock. After six months, it’s only worth $70, so you sell it at a loss of $30 and buy a similar stock, like Microsoft. At tax time, you let the IRS know that you had that $30 loss, and they will reduce your taxable income by that $30. TLH used to be something only very high worth investors could take advantage of because it’s such a labor-intensive process. It takes a lot of tax planning.  If you use a personal financial advisor or tax advisor they should offer this benefit to you. Now computer algorithms can do it in seconds. If you invest through Betterment, this is done for you behind the scenes automatically and for free. Benefits of Tax-loss Harvesting TLH is a form of tax deferment. You will have to pay taxes on that $30 you lost in Apple eventually because you embedded a future gain when you bought a similar stock, Microsoft. But you won’t sell that for a year or more so you’ll be charged the long-term gains rate, which is lower than the short-term rate. For tax purposes, inflation works in your favor here because that $30 is worth more now than it will be in the future when you pay your tax bill. Because of inflation, paying taxes later is better than paying them sooner because it erodes the actual value of the taxes you will eventually pay. You know how people tell you that getting money back on your taxes (thrilling as it is) is a bad thing because of that money, your money, has been loaned to the government tax-free? Well, you can use TLH to turn the tables. TLH is like getting a loan from the IRS on which you’re earning money on over time. Realized losses on investments can offset gains and reduce ordinary taxable income by as much as $3,000 per year. Taxes Everywhere! You pay income tax of course, and there are various types of taxes you pay on your investments too. Capital Gains A capital gain is a difference between the price you paid for an asset and the higher price you sold it for. The IRS wants a cut off that profit, and they take it in the form of a capital gains tax. There are realized and unrealized capital gains. Gains are not realized until the asset is sold. The government wants their cut, but they also want you to be a long-term investor. If you hold an investment for less than one year, it’s considered a short-term investment, and you will pay a higher tax rate, the same rate that your income is taxed at. Selling investments in the short term are considered a job in a way, and you’ve taxed accordingly. If you wait more than a year to sell, you will be taxed at a much lower rate, no more than 15%. That’s a substantial difference so be sure you take that into account capital loss when you’re deciding whether or not to sell. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 09, 2016
The Broke-Ass Bride Guide to Beautiful Party Without Blowing Your Wedding Budget
While weddings are a wonderful way to celebrate the love between two people, it can come with a hefty price tag. But it doesn’t have to. You can have the wedding you want without going broke. I did. Here’s how beautiful party without blowing your wedding budget.  It is important to bear in mind during the whole process that a wedding and marriage are two separate things. What is crucial on your wedding day is you, the one you love, a marriage officiant and your wedding license – everything else is extra.  Your wedding will last a few hours, but your marriage is for a lifetime.  With that said, who doesn’t want to have a party and share that special day with all the people they care about? There is a lot of planning and money that comes along with it, and it can quickly become out of control.  Who is Paying?  Your wedding is probably the priciest party you’ll ever throw in your life. As of 2015, the average wedding in the U.S. ran about $32,000. Of course, it depends on where you live and what kind of wedding you want to have.  Last year in NYC, the average wedding cost $86,000. Yup, that’s a down payment for a home. Who is dishing out that kind of money?  In the past, it was traditional for the bride’s parents to pay for the wedding, but lately, more couples are paying for their wedding giving them control over how and where the money is spent.  Couples paying for everything themselves have maximum flexibility.  Just like you have dreamed of what your big day will look like, so do your parents. If they are paying, they can have a say in planning as well. If mom wants to invite 45 of her closest friends, then she can.  Many couples make concessions to make their family happy but it’s so important to remember, this day is about the two of you, not the whole family.  Paying your way is much easier because you can make all the decisions. If the family is paying, make sure there is clear communication and expectations are set.  What To Spend On  Day Of Coordinator  You want to enjoy the day as much as possible and having a day of coordinator will help you do that. I had one, and it was the best thing I ever did. Everything happened seamlessly while I danced, drank and had a great time.  A coordinator is a cheaper alternative to a wedding planner.  Although they are not with you for months planning the whole event, the day of they act as a liaison between the DJ, caterer, florist, and coordinate the logistics of your wedding day to make sure that everything goes as planned, so you don’t have to.  They can also act as a “Brides Guard” to help fend off anyone trying to steal your attention when you need a minute to yourself. You don’t necessarily have to hire someone to do this; it could just be a friend who likes to take control.  Photographer  After all the food is eaten, drinks drank and favors given out, the only thing you two walk away with are photos of the day (and a whole lot of envelopes filled with money). Those the memories you’ll have forever so don’t skip on a photographer.  You can find one for a great price, just make sure to look at their portfolio. Check that they have experience taking photos of people moving. If you only see still life pictures in their portfolio, they probably won’t be the best fit for your wedding.  We ended up getting a friend of the family who was a wedding photographer on the side and spent next to nothing. We have wonderful memories and even saw things we missed! Also, check out an app called Wed Pics where guests can join your party and take their pictures and videos that are shared with you and all of your guests. Food & Booze (but mostly booze) Don’t skimp on the bar! People are coming to a party and expect to have a drink…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 02, 2016
The Anatomy of a Real Estate Deal
The process of buying or selling real estate can be intimidating and overwhelming to both the first-time and experienced buyers.  Today we talk to our agents, Dean and Gerard from GD Group Moves Real Estate in Hoboken, NJ about the anatomy of a real estate deal. Every market is a little different, so if your looking to buy or sell a home in your area, you should talk to a real estate agent in your community. In this episode we will cover some of the important things to know before going into one of the largest financial transaction of your life. Choose Your Agent Wisely Buying or selling a home has a lot of steps, mountains of paperwork and a ton super important decisions so, you want to make sure you choose an agent who will be on your side and able to guide you through the process. Don’t fall into the ” I know a guy” trap. Just because you’re best friend’s Uncle is an agent in the neighborhood doesn’t mean he will be the best at marketing your property or negotiating a great deal. You need to do your own research. Start by looking at agents in your neighborhood with good reviews. Zillow is a great place to start. There you can check out the premiere agents in your area. Once you find an agent you are interested in working with, you’ll need to learn out a little more about them. Ask them questions about their professional experience and track record. Think of it almost as a job interview, you want to hire the right person for the job.  It is also an excellent way to get to know them and gauge compatibility. It’s a long process so you don’t want to work with someone you don’t get along with. Here are some important questions to ask before choosing an agent.   * How many properties have you sold last year/this year? Many real estate agents work part time to make extra cash but you really want someone who is doing this full time for many years with a lot of experience. If you are a buyer, you’ll want someone who can show you new listings ASAP. If you are a seller, you’ll want an agent who is always ready to show your home to buyers. So if you had a choice between someone who sold 5 homes last year compared to 50 homes you know what the clear choice is. * How long have you worked in this market?  You’ll want an agent who knows the area inside and out and may even be part of local networks. For buyer and seller agents, neighborhood expertise is a must. Also, the real estate market is always changing so it is important to find someone who is up on the current trends. * Do you have a team? There are many people involved in one real estate deal – lawyers, inspectors, agents, appraiser, etc. With all of these moving parts you need to make sure no one drops the ball. If your agent has a team behind them all the transactions will move smoothly. * What kind of marketing do you do? If you’re selling a home, marketing is a key. By increasing exposure of your property through online marketing, you can grow your buying pool dramatically. Asking your agent on how they plan on getting the word out about your property is a must. Running Facebook, Google or Zillow ads can really help reach your potential buyers.   What Sells a Home? There are two important things when selling a home, marketing, and pricing. Doing both of these rights will open the market to 100% of your potential buyers which will get you the best price as quickly as possible. Also, taking professional photos of your property is super important. If your place doesn’t look great online, it’s going to get overlooked. Dean and Gerard got their photographer in to take photos of our listing and the place looked A-MAZING on Zillow. We couldn’t even believe it was our apartment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 25, 2016
5 Questions: Retirement Funds, Savings Bonds and Budgeting
The guys tackle five great listener questions today. For full answers listen to the episode below.  Question One  Longtime listener, quick question. I currently put about 25% of my income toward my betterment retirement fund. I rent now but eventually would like to buy a house within the next 10 years. Should I go 15% retirement and 10% home? I would create a new betterment account rather than keeping all in one. Let me know what you’d do.  If you are able to save 25% of your income then you are definitely on the right track! The split of the savings really depends on your situation, the percent is arbitrary. What is really important is if x% is enough to reach your retirement and other goals.  Taking into consideration how much you make, what kind of raises you can expect in the future and how much of a down payment you’ll need to purchase a home, will help you figure out if 10% over 10 years will be enough for the kind of home you would like to buy. You also need to figure out if saving 15% a year is enough for the retirement your looking for.  Question Two  Hi Guys- I’m 26, in sales (salary plus bonuses) and also work at a restaurant every Saturday. My salary is $42,000, and my bonuses usually total $5,000 per year. Serving money obviously fluctuates, but let’s say its $130.00 a week on average. (520/mo ~ $6/yr) = total $53k  I have $3,300 in credit card debt and paying that off is my immediate financial goal. I’ve tightened my budget and am using the money i’m saving there plus my serving money to pay that off. Basically, i’m throwing every extra dollar I have at that debt.  My question is what should I do when I pay that off. I have 19k in federal student loan debt, but I have friends and co-workers who say thats “not bad debt” and I should start saving for a house/investing my money instead of putting all my resources into paying that off as quick as possible.  Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again guys.  We get this question a lot and most of the the time the answer is pay off your student loan debts after you you have suitable emergency fund in savings. You can’t wipe out your bank all accounts to pay off your debt. Leave yourself some breathing room and make sure you have some money saved up for any unaccepted bills or situations.  Also depending on your debt interest rate, it might be ok to start investing. If you have a low rate (3.8%) putting a little into the market is ok. If you have a high interest rate (7%+) the 19k in loans will become 21, 22, 23k if not paid down quickly. The market average is 7% so if your loans are 7% or higher mathematically it’s a better choice to pay off debt first and fast. The freedom you feel when it’s all gone will be worth it.  Question Three  I am 31 years old and married. My wife and I make about 80k per year combined and live in Colorado. I contribute to my employers 401k up to match each year. I have an online high yield emergency fund account with about 10k saved. We only keep about 5k in our checking account to pay off the credit cards and mortgage payments each month.  Here’s where it gets interesting: When I was a child I inherited a large amount of money, around 250k which was set aside until I was 18. Since then it has been in a portfolio of mutual funds actively managed by a financial advisor. The returns have been a meager 4% since 2004. This is where I’m concerned after hearing about the awesome returns you guys have been getting through betterment and vanguard.  My financial advisor seems to be making a lot of money off me in quarterly fees (about 2500 per year) with very minimal returns compared to what I could be doing with betterment and vanguard.  So my question is, what you would you guys do with the 250k? I always thought I wasn’t financially capable of actively... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 18, 2016
Developing A Business Tax Strategy With Diane Gardner
Small businesses are a big part of our country’s economic growth, so you would think the government would make starting a business as easy as possible. Of course, this is not the case. If you need a business tax strategy- listen up.  You might think coming up with a great idea and creating a solid business plan would be the most difficult part- that is until tax season comes along. Today we talk to expert business tax planner Diane Gardner about the importance of having a well thought out business tax strategy.  After filing mountains of tax returns, Diane works as a coach the rest of the year using pro-active tax planning to help her clients keep more of their hard-earned cash. She loves creating business tax strategies to help successful entrepreneurs across the United States pay the least amount of income tax they can legally pay.  Don’t Half-Ass Your Taxes  If you are planning to start a small business, it is critical you research all of the federal, state and local requirements. If you don’t cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s it will cost you. There are many regulations and the rules that can vary between locations and business structures.  Find out what your state requires and how often you need to file. Business taxes need to be filed throughout the year, not just during tax season. This can be challenging, so if you don’t feel comfortable submitting them on your own, there are companies out there that can take care of this for you (of course at a cost).  Not filing your taxes properly can cost you and your business a lot of money. Believe me; Listen Money Matters has had their fair share of fines. Like us, many business owners starting out choose to file their taxes using products like Turbo Tax and that’s a huge no-no.  Although products like Turbo Tax work ideal for simple personal taxes, using it for business is not a good idea if you don’t know what you are doing.  If you have done your taxes before and fear you may not have done the best job, no fear! You can revise your returns for up to three years. Anything before that you can kiss well. Consider it a donation to your country.  A good rule of thumb is to save all your tax paperwork for at least seven years in case of an audit.  Structuring Your Business    When starting a business, you’ll need to figure out how you will structure your company (partnership, LLC, S-corp, C-corp, etc.awesome). Choosing a company type can be a great tax planning tool and can come with impressive tax advantages. It will also protect you from any liabilities such as a lawsuit. This part can definitely be confusing so consult your attorney to figure out what would work best for your business. Most likely you will want to go with an LLC because it can act as a Sole Proprietor, S Corp, C Corp -basically anything. However some states are not LLC friendly, like California, so do all your research before filing. The image below links to a great infographic that will help you understand the difference between each structure.         Moving From Hobby To Business   Most people are not making millions when they first start out. Actually, most are making nothing or close to it and that’s ok. When you are still working on growing your business it can be referred to as the hobby stage. So when does it go from hobby to business? You may have heard that after three years if your company has not made any profit it will be considered it a hobby and not a legitimate business. This is a myth. After a few years with no profit, the government will look at each business case by case to see if you have a well-conceived business plan they show intention to make a profit... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 11, 2016
Better Know A Millionaire With Matt Shoup
It’s been a while but we are back with our Better Know a Millionaire segment and today the guys talk to an entrepreneur, speaker and house painter Matt Shoup.  Matt has an incredible story from being six figures in debt to becoming a millionaire. There were many ups and downs on his journey of success. Listen to hear how he started his business with a hundred dollars and how a customer’s baby ended up completely covered in paint. Yup, true story. From early on in his life, Matt had that entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 10, he was shoveling snow for extra cash and started his first business selling candy out of his locker. He started to hustle in college when he joined College Works Painting where he received training on how to run a successful painting business. After training, it was up to him to grow his business and began simply by knocking on doors around the neighborhood selling his services. Before he knew it, Matt as making a six figure salary at 22 years old. The problem was he was also spending a six figure salary and then some. Two times his salary to be exact. He spent a lot of going out with friends and partied – but it didn’t stop there. After graduation, Matt got married and bought more house than he could afford to put himself in even more debt. Around the same time, he also left the painting business to find a “sexier” job and became an employee of a mortgage company- real sexy ;). He soon realized he hated it and didn’t like the practices that were going on. It was too corporate. The bank culture wasn’t for him, and the morals were too sketchy. On a March afternoon in 2005, his life came to a crashing halt after getting fired from the bank, and he stood in a parking lot with all he owned in a bankers box. Now a jobless 23 year old with $172,000 in debt he realized he had to get his shit together. Matt made a decision that changed his life forever. With the last $100 to his name Matt started M&E Painting Company. He made thirty bucks worth of business cards and just like he did in college, began knocking on doors and hanging out in the Home Depot paint aisle looking for work. After working his ass off and living as minimally as possible for three years, Matt was able to get himself out debt. He was able to breathe again and start saving for the future. He decided to grow M&E Painting into a multimillion dollar business and become financially free as fast as possible. Now in 2016, it has become one of the fastest growing companies in Northern Colorado and the United States. Show Notes Become an Award Winning Company -Matt’s Book Matt Shoup -Matt’s website Founders Brewing Company Porter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 04, 2016
How To Quit Your Job And Actually Start A Business
You often hear “overnight” success stories when it comes to people who have quit their jobs to start a business, but it doesn’t happen that way. It takes a lot of work and planning to get there. If you’re fed up with the 9-5 grind, you may have considered starting your own business. We did it and you can too. We’ll show you how to quit your job and actually start a business.  Know what you’re getting into before leaping from your cushy paycheck to starting your own business.  The Bar Has Never Been Lower  If you want to start your own business, it has never been easier or less expensive to do so. The internet and all of the tools it has opened the possibility of starting a business to almost anyone.  Funding can be raised on Kickstarter. An online store and drop shipping website can be created with Shopify. You can target local customers with Facebook ads; you can take credit card payments on your cell phone with Square, you can outsource payroll and other HR stuff to Paychex Flex. What is Your Passion? I don’t believe that you have to be crazy passionate about something to create a successful business around it, but you do have to enjoy to some extent what you do when you start your own business. Why? Because you are going to spend a lot of time doing it and if it’s something you hate, you won’t be able to stick with it long term. You can stick with a 9-5 you hate if you’re making enough money or can go home and not have to think about work until the next day. But starting your own business is so all-consuming that there is no getting away from it, at least in the beginning so while your business doesn’t have to be your one true love, you can’t hate it either. Before You Bail Quitting your 9-5 job to start your own business is not just taking a plunge, it’s more like submerging yourself into a whole new world. It takes a ton of planning, and there are many considerations. Is it Realistic? Take your product or service for a test drive to see if people will pay for it, don’t go all in cold turkey. Test, test, and test again. Don’t sink $50,000 into making cat sweaters only to find out cats don’t get cold. Do small trials, see what works and what doesn’t and make corrections based on those findings. Make it Official If you haven’t already done it, make your business legitimate by setting up an LLC or S Corp. Legal Zoom makes this process easy. Becoming legit also lets you take advantage of the many tax deductions that are available for small business owners. Not a Unilateral Decision If you have a spouse, you can’t decide to quit your job and start your own business without their approval and support. Presumably, your spouse knows that you have been working on your own business for some time. Before you tell them you are ready to quit your job to work on your business full time, make sure all of your ducks are in a row and show them. You have a runway; your business is already making enough to support you without your 9-5, you have health care lined up, quitting means you will have more time to spend together. Whatever qualms your spouse has, you need to have an answer for. If they are not on board, you may not be able to quit yet. If that is the case, ask them what they need to feel comfortable with your decision to quit. And then start working toward that. Set Some Benchmarks Set a series of goals for yourself and don’t quit your job before you reach them. You need to be free of credit card debt; you need to make enough money each month to pay your rent or mortgage for six months in a row, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 28, 2016
5 Questions: Down Payments, Debts and IRA’s
Our listeners send in some great questions, and today we are going to tackle five of them. We answer five questions about down payments, debts, IRAs, 401k fees, and investing during a chaotic period in the stock market. You asked, and we answered your five questions!  Question One  Hey Guys- My fiance and I are getting married next month, and we are trying to get our finances in order as we plan to buy a house. We are looking for something in the $300K range in about two years and will have minimal savings following the wedding. However, we also have about $100K in student loans, with varying interest rates from 4.5% up to 7.6%.  With proper budgeting, we think we can save about $70K over those two years. Would it be better for us to save all of it for a 20% down payment and closing costs? Or should we use the first $30K to pay down the highest rate student loans and use the other $40K for a 10% down payment and closing costs, knowing that we will have a higher interest rate, PMI, etc.?  The first thing you need to do is consolidate your debt and refinance any student loans you might have. Lowering your rates and monthly payments will help you make ground quicker. If you go with a variable loan that extra percent off your interest rate will help you gain 2-3 years of progress. Don’t overextend yourself. Rent until your loans are paid off before you even start thinking about buying a home. Your debt will factor into getting your mortgage loan. As for a smaller down payment, without 20% down you will basically throw money away with PMI. Question Two Hey guys- I’m currently trying to save for a house with my partner, and while she has a substantial amount for a deposit, I have near to nothing. We really want to buy something in the next year and a half. I might mention too that I have a bit of credit card debt….($8000)  I earn abut 1400 a fortnight. I know it might be a broad question but what do you suggest I do to be able to get on top of everything? Do you think it is smart to take out a loan to consolidate the credit card debt? The short answer is yes. Take out a loan to consolidate your debt. The interest rate will be so much better than the credit card interest you are paying. There are many companies that can make the process painless like Sofi, Lending Club and Prosper just to name a few. If you plan on taking out a loan remember that there is a loan origination fee that will be a percentage of the loan amount. It will be different between companies. Do the math and be sure the fee is worth the amount you will be saving in the long run. Question Three Hi- A little background on myself… I am 25 years old with my career being in Chicago, IL. I am working to get to the point where I am saving 15% regularly through 401K, the match, and Betterment IRA. However, you all talk a lot about retiring earlier than the old school 60 years old and such, which sounds amazing. Ha. My question is: With the goal of continuing to add more money into my accounts as my salary increases and retiring as early as possible, is it better to invest my money into a Betterment Roth IRA or Betterment General Investment Account? Pros? Cons? Thoughts? Suggestions? If you are planning to retire early, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 14, 2016
Inside Wealthfront with CEO Adam Nash
What features do novice and experienced investors get from Wealthfront? How does Wealthfront stack up against the other Robo-Advisors and what sets them apart? We’ll be answering these questions and more in our Wealthfront Review.  Luckily (or skillfully) we got an interview with the Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash. After doing our research, chatting with him for nearly two hours and then doing a metric ton more research we’ve got a pretty good idea of where they stand in the Robo-Advisor space. Wealthfront has more than earned their spot at the table. Remember the epic rap battles with the East Side vs the West Side? Sharks vs Jets? In the Robo-Advisor space that’s Wealthfront vs Betterment. Wealthfront is a San Francisco startup with a boatload of funding and Betterment is an NYC startup with an equally large boat filled will funding. If you’re on the east cost you probably know more about Betterment, if you’re on the west cost, the same is probably true for Wealthfront. We’re based out of NYC (ok, fine, Hoboken) so you’ve heard us talk more about Betterment. Now it’s time for you to learn about what’s been happening on the other side of the country. Robo-Advisor’s are competing for my money? If you’re as excited as I am that there is another serious competitor on the scene, this review is for you. In this review we’re going to break down the good and the bad sides of Wealthfront as well as suggest where it might be able to fit into your portfolio. Hint: It might have something to do with the free part. A Quick Look Wealthfront’s pricing and feature set is very straight forward. * Everything below $15,000 (for LMM fans) is managed for free. Ideal for the beginning investor. * Minimum balance is $500. Instead of charging a rather high percentage fee for beginning investors, they set the low bar at $500 and once you’re in it’s free as per point #1. * Tax Loss Harvesting for everyone. Not only will they capture your losses to offset taxes on your gains, everyone has the potential to benefit here. Even the $500 investor. * Advanced features for accounts above $100,000. With features like Direct Indexing you stand to make quite a lot more through economies of scale than you would below that price threshold. * Portfolio Review is the optimization tool you’ve been dreaming of. Want to avoid some capital gains on your existing investments while slickly transferring that money over to Wealthfront for better management/diversification? That’s what Portfolio Review is – more on that later. * Path – Financial Planning Experience. Path connects to all of your outside bank and brokerage accounts to give you an accurate and real-time view of your finances. Their PhDs handled complex calculations on the backend to show you how saving and spending impacts what you will have in retirement. * Wealthfront’s Portfolio Line of Credit. Portfolio Line of Credit is available for any Wealthfront client with an Individual or Joint Wealthfront account valued at $100,000 or more. You can request cash up to 30% of the current value of your Wealthfront account and they you’ll receive it as quickly as 1 business day.       Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 29, 2016
Money History: The Creation Of Money
We all need and use money nearly every day of our lives but do you know where it comes from? Today the guys cover payment history, the creation of money and how it affects our economy.  The IOU Economy  You can’t talk about the creation of money without first talking debt. As most of us might think, money was created to make paying for things easier, but that is not the case according to the book Debt by David Graber. The exchanging of goods was always based on debts from the beginning. Let’s say a caveman needed some berries. He wouldn’t go to his neighbor with two goats and try and trade for five bags of berries. Instead, they would give two goats expecting the other person to repay them at a later time. Their economy was not quantified by money but debts to each other. Think about it as using ious like a currency. The use of money came about during war, and new empires were being created. There needed to be a way for soldiers to buy the things they needed in other lands without owing a debt. A Brief History Of  The U.S. Monetary System In the United States, dollars used to be backed by some amount of silver or gold, but now money is not supported by anything except faith. Let’s start with the Panic of 1907, a financial crisis that took place when the New York Stock Exchange fell almost 50%. In the course of the three-week period market collapsed, stock prices tanked, and there was a massive run on the banks. The Treasury provided over $30 million in aid to the situation, and with the help of J.P. Morgan and others worked to channel money from healthy banks to weaker ones bring confidence back to the financial market. The aftermath of the Panic prompted the created of the Owen-Glass Federal Reserve Act in 1913. You guessed it; the Federal Reserve System was created. The Fed is NOT government owned but a federally sponsored banking cartel. It’s stock is held by member banks, and it’s licensed to lend money into existence. At this point, we were still backing out money with gold, but one disadvantage of a gold standard is that the size and health of a country’s economy are dependent upon its supply of gold, not the resourcefulness of its people and businesses. So, in 1933 Roosevelt takes US citizens off the gold supply. The Fed seizes all the gold, and exchanges are for 11 billion dollars in currency out of thin air. Yes, it’s like magic. After the wars, U.S. keeps increasing dollars to gold ounce ratio until Nixon closes the gold window in 1971, which removes the monetary system’s last physical limit. All global money is unbacked. Now nothing requires U.S. Dollar to remain the reserve currency, and anything does not back it. How Money Is Created It is pretty simple. The Fed creates money out of thin air in exchanged for government debt (bonds and notes). Let’s say Company X is asking the Fed for ten million dollars. All the Fed has to do is add a booking entry and POOF! A check is written out to the company, and the Fed get a bond. Only 3% of our currency is paper money and coins. The rest is all just bookkeeping. The U.S uses this debt-based money system so when money (debt) is created interest needs to be paid. To pay this interest, the money supply has to keep being expanding to perpetuate the modern banking system. At a minimum, each year, enough new money must be loaned into existence to cover the interest payments on the previous years. Each and every year, it must grow by some percentage. By design, it’s exponential, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 22, 2016
How to Make Money in the Sharing Economy with Glenn Carter
Everyone wants to make money, it’s usually what turns people on to personal finance. Today we’re going to teach you how to make more money in the sharing economy – on your own terms.  Uber brought this concept mainstream and as a result, it’s sometimes called the Uber Economy.  The idea at its core is that there is slack in our economy – resources that are not being utilized. Your car parked in the garage. Your brother’s carpentry skills. The free time of a math honors student.  The goal of the sharing economy is to monetize this slack and provide income to those who would have otherwise been beholden to a 9-5 schedule and boss. Now, you can get paid for work and pick some people up during you drive home to make a few extra bucks.  The best part about these sharing economy jobs is that often money doesn’t directly change hands. It’s all handled digitally which allows for you to focus on your task at hand and for your clients to focus on the work you’ve completed.  Uber is just the most discussed service in this new economy. With it, you can get in your car, turn on the app and wait for taxi requests to come in. If you’re ready, you accept someone’s request and you’re off. It’s also important to know the difference between Uber, and its biggest competitor, Lyft. Laura and I have used AirBNB very often when we go on vacation. We’d rather stay in a local neighborhood and get the feel of where we’re visiting than the impersonal feel of a hotel. It’s pretty awesome because you can get a big place with keys to enter and leave as you please for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. The only thing you have to give up is having a stranger enter your room while you’re not there to fluff your pillows. I always found that a bit creepy so we’re happy to pay less for that not to happen. There is also a lot of money to be made renting your home out on AirBNB. If you’re going to be away on vacation or a business trip you should absolutely make some money on your place while you’re gone. AirBNB is an awesome service for that and they automatically insure your place for up to $1mil in damages so there’s nothing to worry about. With Handy you can signup for handy-man type work around your neighborhood. Have free time on a Saturday? Install someone’s ceiling fan. Learned plumbing from your Dad? Install a bathroom sink for someone close by. Since you set your prices and compete against other people’s quotes it’s recommended that you start low, get a few successful jobs under your belt and then increase your price. Complete odd-jobs via TaskRabbit like picking up groceries, waiting in line for a new iPhone, cleaning someone’s home or helping them run a party. According to, the average TaskRabbit hourly wage is $48 an hour. Perhaps the most interesting job was that of a professional “looker”. There’s a need for people who are buying things across the country and can’t be there physically to have an impartial 3rd party verify its condition. With WeGoLook you can either hire someone or be hired to do just that. Take pictures of a car someone is looking to buy for them, or, hire someone to go check out a rental home you’re looking t... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 15, 2016
Do I Need Life Insurance?
We have all asked ourselves at some point, do I need life insurance? You’re young and healthy, nothing is going to happen to you, right?  Sorry to be a debbie downer, but the reality is anything can happen to you at anytime. Will someone suffer financially once you’re gone?  Will your family be able to afford mortgage payments and other living expenses? Funerals are really expensive, will they be able cover the cost?  If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then it’s probably a good idea to look into an insurance policy. Life insurance will help replace your income so your family can meet important financial needs if you are no longer around.  This week we have Francois de Lame from PolicyGenius on the show to answer our questions about life insurance. Who Needs It? You’re Married Most people start to think about life insurance when they get married because they are starting a life another person and building a future together. If something happens to you, will your spouse’s income be enough to pay off debts and cover living expenses? If you are the breadwinner, your partner could find themselves in a really bad financial position if they are left with good amount of debt- like a mortgage or students loans, for example. You Have Kids For most families two incomes are necessary to make ends meet. If you died suddenly, could your family continue their standard of living on one spouse’s income? Would the plans for your children’s future, like going college, be affected? Even if you’re planning to have children soon, you’ll want to buy life insurance now before the pregnancy. Prices can go up. Getting a policy will insure they can still have the future you saved for even if you are not around. You’re a Single Parent If you are a single parent and don’t have life insurance stop reading this and look into getting some right away. With so much responsibility resting on your shoulders, you need to make sure you have insurance to protect your children’s future. Although it is super important, only about 4 out of 10 single parents have life insurance. The ones that do usually need more. As the sole breadwinner and caregiver, your children depend on you and only you. What would happen if you were no longer around? You’re a Stay-At-Home Parent Just because you don’t get a paycheck every week doesn’t mean you don’t make an important financial contribution to the family. Besides taking care of children, there are so many other important tasks and the value is often underestimated. Average cost of daycare in NYC tops $16G. It’s the largest annual household expense for many families leaving them struggling to find affordable care. Without the stay at home parent around, the cost of living significantly increases for the other parent,  Life insurance can help your family preserve their quality of life. You’re Single Most single people don’t need life insurance because no one depends on them financially. However, don’t wait too long to get a policy. It’s much cheaper to get a policy when you’re young and healthy. In the insurance world, the older and less healthy you are, the more you pay for insurance. If you are providing financial support for another family member like a aging parents or a sibling you may want to consider life insurance when you’re single. How Much Do I Need? Figuring out how much life insurance you need is different for everyone. It depends on your personal and financial situation. There are three main drivers that affect the amount of coverage you need. Family Size– How many kids you have and thei... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 08, 2016
Change Your Mindset: What’s Possible VS. What’s Needed
Whether you believe it or not, we have all heard the age old saying money can’t buy happiness, but there certainly is a relationship between your personal finances and your happiness. Maybe it’s time to change your mindset.  People who earn a more are often happier than people who live in poverty, but it’s not just about the money itself. It is about providing insurance that you and your family can live a comfortable life no matter what life throws at you.  Many of us think we only need so much to be happy, but you have no way of knowing how much you’ll need at some point in the future.  Today the guys talk about how to change your mindset from “how much I need” to “how much is possible”. It doesn’t mean you have to constantly think about money or compromise your other values and interests, but you can simply think differently about your money. It’ll start to shift your choices.  Unless you can predict the future, you do not know what you will need or want beyond today. Building your financial resources will help you deal with life’s uncertainties. Money takes time to grow, so you need to start now.  Even if you have a job that pays well, the chances are it doesn’t pay quite enough to create financial independence. Your job is your job but building financial wealth is something else.  Show Notes  LMM Community: Join the conversation! The Millionaire Real Estate Investor: Thomas’ latest read Lapsang Souchong: The whiskey of teas   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 01, 2016
5 Questions: Lotto, Stock Games, APR, Diversification and Student Loans
It’s been too long since we’ve done a five questions episode. Today we talk about lotto, stock games, APR, diversification, and student loans.  Five questions are back! We answer questions we get through e-mail and the LMM Community.  1. What would you do if you won the lottery?  Thomas doesn’t want money he didn’t earn so if he somehow won the lottery, he would hand it over to various charities. Andrew actually did buy tickets, $20 worth. He thinks winning the lottery would ruin his life because it would take away his drive and his purpose.  He would keep his job and just stick the money in US Treasury bonds which are one of the safest investments you can make. Even with the low-interest rate on bonds of about 2%, taking the lump sum of the recent Power Ball would still earn $1.2 million per month.  2. Do you recommend any on-line stock simulator games for those new to investing?  Motley Fool has a good one. Most games focus on the dollar value but Caps, the Motley Fool game, removes that and base wins on percentage gain instead. The community is very active too, and it’s a good place to research stocks. People do reports and even blog about their picks. Investopedia has a simulator, and you can track stocks in Google Finance where you can create folders for your picks and track them over time. 3. I have $9,000 in credit card debt and a 15 month 0% APR. Should I take out a loan through Lending Club to pay this off? If you roll a balance over to a 0% APR card, there is a fee. Even with zero interest, you have to make the payment each month, or it triggers the interest. Pay off that $9,000 as fast as possible, ideally, before the 0% runs out because no loan is going to give you 0% interest. For more on APR check out this guide. If you can’t pay it back within the 15 months, then Lending Club is a good option. 4. I have an IRA with Fidelity. What should I do to diversify my investments? The Fidelity account you have has a high expense ratio. Even a 1% fee over thirty years of investing means a loss of more than a quarter of your investments. Fees are a killer. A 1% fee doesn’t sound like much, but over time, it is. A better Life Cycle Fund would be with Vanguard because no one beats their fees. If you don’t want to do a ton of research and compare funds, Betterment is the way to go. 5. I know it’s important to pay off debt before investing but is that still true if my student loan debt will be forgiven in twenty years? The interest is high at 6%, and while you’re on the income-based repayment plan, your income will (hopefully) increase over that time. Because interest is one of life’s biggest expenses, pay it off. Build your emergency fund up to six to twelve months worth of expenses and then start killing the loans. Thanks for the questions everyone! Show Notes LMM Community: If you want personal answers to more money questions, join us in the Community.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 25, 2016
Figure Skating and 2016 Goals
It’s the time of year to reflect on the past twelve months and set goals for the new year. What does figure skating have to do with it? Tune in to find out. At LMM we prefer the word “goals” to “resolution.” Resolution has almost come to mean failure in three weeks time. We think framing our resolutions as goals will help us reach them. Sometimes you just have to trick your brain! Why January 1? You can see the appeal. Everyone likes a clean slate and the slate is never cleaner than it is on January 1. But what if you woke up with a hangover and despite resolving to eat more healthfully, you order breakfast from McDonald’s? Are you going to wait 364 days to try again? Of course not. You don’t have to wait for a certain day to change a habit. Year End Review Rather than making the same old tired resolutions, which at a certain point become traditions, look back at the year that just passed. What would you have liked to do better? What did you not manage to get to at all that you still want to pursue? If you did achieve some goals, what helped you to do so? By looking back at this things, we can better craft goals for the new year and put systems in place to help us reach them. Day, Week, Month If the goals are too vague, “save money,” lose weight,” they are hard to track and hard to work towards. Each day, week, and month should have things to do in order to reach the end goal. If you want to save money, how much money? If you want to save $1000 to start an emergency fund, you can have a daily goal of not buying coffee on your way to work. You can have a weekly goal of bringing lunch from home just three of five days a week (because you want some wiggle room or you’ll get sick of it and give up). You can have a monthly goal of cutting your grocery bill by 20%. Any goal you set for yourself should have a timeline and a deadline. Marking off time in smaller chunks like day, week, and month helps you to move forward and track your progress. If you get to the end of the day, week, or month, and haven’t achieved what you set out to, you can reassess before much larger chunks of time have passed so you’re not content with giving up and waiting for that clean slate of January 1 to come around again. Priority(ies) Priority: “Something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first.” That definition makes perfect sense. A priority is the most important thing. So how can you have more than one? You can’t but somehow, we all do. And that’s why so many of us fail to achieve our priority because we spread our focus across multiple priorities. This year make it a goal to do almost nothing. But do a small number of things that matter. Those two statements might seem contradictory, but not as contradictory as having more than one priority. Some Goals Can Be Fun! Not all of your goals have to be a slog. Saving money and losing weight, while wonderful things to do that will reward you in many ways for many years, are not really very fun things to do. So pick at least one goal that is fun to do. For Thomas, it was to have more fun after work. A lot of us can probably relate to this. You come home from work and make dinner, tidy up, pay bills, watch TV. Except for making dinner, for some of us at least, none of those things are fun. So Thomas signed up and paid for, an ice skating class. A goal like this can kill a few birds; the original of doing more fun stuff after work, because another friend has signed up, Thomas gets to spend more time socializing, and skating is good exercise, although I know he was already doing pretty well in that area. If you can find a way to wrap up a few goals into one, you’ll get more done in less time. No Is A Complete Sentence Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 04, 2016
Level Up Your Life With Steve Kamb
Want to level up your life? Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness joins us to discuss turning your life into a game.  We’ve discussed the ways being physically fit and financially fit are similar. Steve Kamb learned that when he started Nerd Fitness. His health improved alongside his finances. He turned his life into a video game with himself as the protagonist. Now he’s written a book on how we can do that too, Level Up Your Life. Nerd Fitness Steve was working a sales job he hated and wasn’t very good at when he saw Tim Ferris’s book, The Four Hour Work Week. In the book, Ferris details how to start a very small company that solves a problem that a lot of people have. Steve was becoming increasingly interested in fitness and if there is a problem a lot of people have, (aside from money problems. LMM will handle those) it’s being unfit and unhealthy. As with any good side hustle, you need to find a niche. There are a lot of fitness sites out there. There aren’t a lot of fitness sites geared toward people who love video games. Steve bought his domain at Hostgator and sat on it for a year. He didn’t know the first thing about building a website. After a new job, Steve decided to make the leap and start really working on Nerd Fitness. He quit his job with about eight weeks of runway money and 3,000 subscribers. He wrote an e-book that sold enough copies to keep the lights on and he worked a series of odd jobs to fill in the gaps. He was right to make the leap. Within six months, the site was generating $2-3 a month. Motivation Is Not Enough The problem with motivation and willpower is that they’re fleeting. We’re all motivated in the new year to save money, lose weight, quit smoking. We all have the willpower to resist the cookies in the beginning. How motivated are you in February? How many cookies did you eat in March? Steve advocates putting systems in place that will help you succeed. He wanted to spend less time watching television and more time working on the site, so he got rid of cable. He would eat the entire bag of chips in one sitting so he stopped buying chips. People are lazy, we really are! Of course, you can leave the house at 9:00 pm to procure the chips, but you probably won’t. No motivation or discipline needed for this strategy. You have a system in place that supports your goals. Anti-Fragile Antifragile by Nassim Taleb teaches that not all chaos is bad. There are three types of things; fragile things that break when you drop them, sturdy things that survive the fall intact, and antigragile things that get stronger from the impact. Steve applied this to fitness. Throwing the unexpected, the chaos, at your body strengthens it and makes it grow. The same theory can help improve your life too. Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone makes you a stronger, better person. Steve drew up a list of things he wanted to accomplish, a bucket list and published it so his readers would help keep him accountable. He made conquering the list a game. Every time he crossed something off, he awarded himself points and moved to the next thing on the list. Success Through Habits Thomas is a big believer in the power of habit too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 21, 2015
How To Turn Your Family Into A Profitable Business With Natali Morris
Look at your family, just sitting there costing you money. Slackers should be making you money, pulling their weight! We found a way to do it. We will show you how to turn your family into a profitable business with Natali Morris.  Incorporate Your Family  The tax system is not set up to benefit the individual; it’s set up to benefit businesses because businesses drive the economy. That’s why eleven companies on the S&P 500 who made profits last year paid less in income tax than you. How much less? Well, they paid nothing. If you want to get in on that, incorporate. Set up an LLC, S-Corp, whatever is the most appropriate for your situation. What if you don’t have a business? Well, you might and not realize it. Do you babysit, clean houses, mow lawns? Because if you do, you set up and LLC or S-Corp. No? Well, start! And incorporate your hobby, side hustle. However, you term it, as a business. Remember what Adam Carroll told us in last week’s episode? The two most significant expenses in life are taxes and interest. Incorporating your family is one way to maximize those tax savings. Teach Kids About Money Children have established their ideas and habits about money by the age of seven! So the earlier you start teaching them about money, the better. For the most part, many of us can afford to give our kids almost anything they want, at least when their they’re little. We can afford the stuffed animals and the action figures. That’s why it’s important to put a system in place to help them understand what money is and how it works. Natali gives her children an allowance but not in the traditional sense. Each kid has responsibilities that come with being part of a family; keeping communal areas and their own rooms clean. Taking care of their possessions. If she wants them to do work for her, washing her car, for example, they are paid for those kinds of things. The kids also have real jobs, things like helping Mom scan and then shred documents, that pay them from the family’s LLC, and they pay taxes on those earnings. Because the money is taxed, it’s eligible for an IRA, and that’s where it goes. The IRA’s are Roth which means they only pay taxes on them during the years they contribute. The children are given three, clear glass jars. The clear part is important; it lets kids see the money accumulating, something they won’t get using a traditional “piggy bank. “The jars are “give,” “save,” and “spend.” The kids can buy whatever they want with the spend jar money, even if Mom knows they’ll lose interest in five minutes. It teaches that once the money is spent, it’s gone, so make it count. Self Directed IRA A self-directed IRA is a retirement account that gives you control over your investment choices. You’re not limited to stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. This allows you to invest in alternative assets like real estate, limited partnerships, and gold through your self-directed retirement account. These IRA’s are more work than the average IRA, but the advantages can outweigh that for some. Natali buys rental property through her IRA, the proceeds come back into it and all expenses, property management fees, repairs, utilities, are paid out of it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 14, 2015
How to Actually Save Thousands on Your Mortgage
Adam Carroll joins us to discuss how to actually save thousands on your mortgage with home equity lines of credit.  When we interviewed Adam for our new Rich Tips series, he mentioned how he is paying off his mortgage years ahead of schedule and saving thousands of dollars in interest. We were intrigued and asked him to join us to explain his strategy in greater detail.  What Is A Home Equity Line Of Credit?  A home equity line of credit, HELOC, is “An open ended line of credit extended to a homeowner that uses the borrower’s home as collateral. Once a maximum loan balance is established, the homeowner may draw on the line of credit at his or her discretion. Interest is charged on a predetermined variable rate, which is usually based on prevailing prime rates.” Most institutions will lend up to about 90% of loan to value. Strategy Adam has an ingenious use for his HELOC and you can use his strategy too. The HELOC is used as a checking account. All of your income is deposited into it and all of your expenses are paid out of it. Depositing your paycheck into the HELOC acts like a payment so you aren’t adding a monthly payment. The money left over at the end of the month gets sent to the mortgage. What this does is send a massive payment to your mortgage each month. The trick to make this work though is that you have to make more than you spend. Let’s look at an example: You bought a home for $100,000 with a $20,000 down payment. You can immediately take out a HELOC for $10,000. You then put that toward your mortgage. In order for this to work though, you must make more than you spend. You make $5,000, spend $4,000 and have $1,000 left. That $1,000 goes into the HELOC until it’s paid off, so for ten months. Let’s say your interest rate is 5%. So that’s $500 over 12 months, $41.33 the first month in interest but when the income goes in, you’re paying a little less each month because you’re slowly paying the loan down with that $1,000 a month. Rather than taking ten months to pay off, it takes around 7. And because your mortgage went from $80,000 to $70,000, you will pay less interest not just over ten months but over the entire life of the loan. What If You Don’t Own A Home? You can still use a similar strategy if you don’t own a home. You can get a personal line of credit, PLOC. A PLOC is “A loan that you use like a credit card account that you access without using a card. Instead, you write special checks or request a transfer to your checking account by phone or online. You have a credit limit, receive a monthly bill, make at least a minimum payment, pay interest based on your outstanding balance, and possibly pay a fee each time you use the account.  PLOC are unsecured, unlike HELOCs, which are backed by a mortgage on your home. PLOCs are offered by banks and credit unions and usually require that you also have a checking account with the same institution.” PLOCs have their drawbacks. The interest rate is higher than a HELOC and the interest is not tax deductible. But if you have high-interest debt and don’t own a home, they can be beneficial. What Keeps Us In Debt It’s the way we bank and borrow. Taking out a 30 year mortgage is just SOP in the United States. Amortization is the process of paying off a debt, like a mortgage over time with regular payments. An amortization schedule is a table detailing each periodic payment on an that loan. We borrowed $80,000 to buy our home above. With a 30 year mortgage at 3.5%, you will pay $50,000 in interest when it’s all over! Your first mortgage payment will be $359, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 07, 2015
How To Buy A Business With Ace Chapman
Ace Chapman joins us to explain how to buy a business. Something he’s been doing for sixteen years and it’s made him a millionaire.  Ace was on the usual college path when the opportunity to buy a business fell into his lap. He was playing with an online stock simulator that crashed a lot and found the company unresponsive. He reached out with an offer to help, merely hoping for an internship.  Instead, he was offered the chance to buy the business for $70,000. Ace had just $3,000. What he also had was no idea how such transactions usually work so he asked if the sellers would finance half of the deal. They agreed!  Ace got some money from a similarly entrepreneurial minded friend and financed the rest of credit cards.  Ace grew the product from 10,000 members to 250,000. He turned down seven-figure offers to sell but lost it all in the first dot-com bust. But he had a school of hard knocks bestowed MBA and decided to buy businesses was what he wanted to do.  Due Diligence  Ace had a big advantage when he bought that first business; he had been a long time user of the product so he knew it well. He had spoken to many of its other customers to find out what they did and did not like about the product. It’s not a requirement but it will certainly give you a leg up when it comes time to take over running the business.  Why Are They Selling?  If this business is so great, why are the owners looking to get out? It could be one of a million reasons; a divorce, failing health, boredom and the desire to move onto the next thing. As the Boomers start thinking of retirement, there will be a lot of established businesses on the market.  Don’t Start From Scratch  Many people don’t really give much thought to buying an already existing business. Starting your own business is something that is woven into the American Dream and we all think we could be the next Bill Gates.  But the stark truth is that about half of new businesses fail within five years. So why not let someone else do the hard work and pour in the capital that the early years of a new business require? Where To Find An Opportunity You aren’t very likely to walk into a business and see a for sale sign in the window. There are some sites that have listings like bizbuysell, but the large majority of businesses for sale don’t advertise that way. You can advertise though, that you’re looking for a business to buy. Let them come to you.   So you have to hunt around for something to buy. Because some businesses are sold due to things like death and divorce, attorneys who handle divorces and estates are a good resource to find an opportunity. The sellers in these situations may be highly motivated which can net you a bargain. Attend events related to the industry you’re interested in, meetups, conferences, seminars and use them as an opportunity to network. The pay off may not be immediate; Ace once bought a business that he had sent a letter to the owners of four years after he sent it. But the owners kept the letter and when they were ready to sell, Ace is the person they called. The lesson is to have a long-term view. The Valuation The formula Ace uses when deciding what a business is worth is to multiply the net monthly earnings by two. He likes to employee opportunistic due diligence to find a way to buy at two times but within a few months, increases the revenue by four times. There are a few things to look for that can make this possible, the business has a hidden asset, a unique opportunity or can be part of a joint venture with someone else in his network of clients.   Face Of Business Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 23, 2015
Econ 101: Inflation and the Economy
Our listener Eric has made an appearance in the past to school us on bonds. Today he’s back to teach us about inflation.  What Is Inflation?  Economic concepts can be broken down into the micro and the macro. Micro looks at the smaller picture concerning the behaviors of individual consumers and businesses. Macro is the study of the economy as a whole and where inflation falls.  Inflation is one economic concept that most of us see on a regular basis. It’s the purchasing power of your money, the general increase of the cost of goods and services over a specified period of time. Your dollar that is worth X today will not be worth X five years from now. Consumer Price Index One of the best measures of inflation is consumer price index. CPI measures changes in price of a set of consumer goods and services purchased by households. There are eight major groups that include the costs of things like cereal, rent, dresses, gas, prescription drugs, televisions, college tuition and funeral expenses. The Big Mac index was founded as an informal way to compare purchasing power between different currencies but has been expanded to include the amount of time someone has to work in order to buy a Big Mac. Demand Pull Inflation In most cases, we want inflation to increase, but not too steeply. Controlled inflation can erode the cost of debt. Good inflation is known as demand pull inflation and happens during periods of economic growth and increased income. Consumer demand increases. Wartime is a good example. Who buys a lot during wartime? The government and it buys from the private sector. When a big order comes in to Lockheed Martin, the company hires more workers. More people have money and they too, spend money in the private sector buying cars and homes and electronics. Cost Push Inflation Cost push inflation is the “bad” kind of inflation. A good example would be when there is a drought. There is less food available which causes price increases. The producer has to make money but they have less product to sell. So what do they do? They raise the price. The ongoing drought in California and the water restrictions being imposed because of it, are going to make rice more expensive. California is the country’s second biggest rice producer(who knew!) and will grow 25% less than last year. So your sushi is going to get more expensive. Federal Funds Target Rate The federal funds target rate is “the interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution overnight.” The higher the federal funds rate, the more expensive it is to borrow money. The Federal Open Market Committee meets eight times per year to set key interest rates. Stagnant Wages Inflation has been low, but our wages have been stagnant for decades. After adjusting for inflation, today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power as it did in 1979. Productivity and Gross Domestic Product have increased, but wages for the average worker have not. This stagnation is one of the reasons the Fed has been reluctant to raise rates. Deflation Deflation is a drop in consumer prices and measured using the CPI. This sounds like a good thing for consumers but is a sign of a long term decrease in demand and signals that a recession is probably already happening. Manufacturers and sellers of goods start cutting prices and if this goes on long enough, it also means they will cut employee wages or even go out of business entirely. Disinflation Disinflation is the slow down in the rate of inflation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 16, 2015
Uninvested: Understanding the Pitfalls of Wall St
Today we interview Bobby Monks and Justin Jaffy about their book, Uninvested and understanding the pitfalls of Wall Street.  Bobby Monks calls himself a “chronic entrepreneur” and as such, understands the dirty dealings happening on Wall Street and how they effect the average investor. Justin was new to the subject of finance but a journalist who wanted to know more.  Together with a third author, Bree LaCasse, they wrote Uninvested: How Wall Street Hijacks Your Money and How to Fight Back.  The Book  To the average person, investing seems like this complicated thing that no lay person can possibly understand. So they hand their money over to a “financial advisor.” The authors wanted to demystify investing for the average investor using simple language. They spent four years interviewing people like Barney Frank, Jack Bogle, Carl Icahn, mutual and hedge fund managers.  Financial Advisors  There are 450,000 people providing financial services in the United States and 90% of them are sales people. Just 10% are registered investment advisors. What’s wrong with that? When you go to a car dealership, 100% of the people are sales people.  The difference is that you know the person trying to sell you a car is a sales person. The standards for most of these advisers is low. They are under no obligation to put the best interests of their clients first and many of them don’t. Their priority is making money for the company they work for.  There is a lot of confusion among consumers about who is and who is not a sales person in the realm of financial advisors. Financial advice that is skewed by a conflict of interest costs investors $17 billion a year. If you were a paranoid person it might be enough to make you think the industry has been deliberately set up this way.  The Fiduciary Standard  The fiduciary standard was established as part of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. Investment advisors are regulated and required to put client interests above their own. Investment brokers are only held to a standard of “suitability.”  Under this standard, a broker can look at two funds which are similar but still recommend the more costly one that will also give him or her a higher commission.  Brokers are paid based on the dollar amount of assets they manage so there isn’t necessarily any incentive to recommend the best investments, just to get the highest amount of assets under management. They often still get paid even if they lose you money.  Isn’t More Expensive Better?  If one financial advisor is more expensive than the others, doesn’t that mean he or she is better, smarter, more educated? Not in this case but it’s a common fallacy. None of these people can predict the future and past experience does not indicate future experience. The more fees you pay, the less money you have. Generally, the lower the fee, the better the performance of your portfolio.  The Retirement System  Many workers used to have a defined benefit system, a pension basically, that paid a certain amount of income for life after retirement. The system went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the government.  That system has largely been replaced by the one we have now, which relies heavily on 401k’s and IRA’s. But it’s expensive to manage a 401k and you’re paying for that. The average fee is over 2%.  That doesn’t sound like much does it, a 2% fee? Consider this; if you have $25,000 invested over 35 years with an average yield of 7% and a fee of just 1%, that will cost you $65,000. The fees are often obscured because people tend to focus on the employer match and the tax advantages.  Index Funds And Individual Stocks  The best way to increase the chances of a good return over time is to pay the lowest fees possible. The lowest fee way to invest is to buy individua... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 09, 2015
Listen Emotion Matters with Joan Sotkin
Today we interview Joan Sotkin of Prosperity Place, who approaches money in a holistic way. Because listen, emotion matters when it comes to money. Joan’s Story Joan comes from a family of compulsive debtors. She was born in 1940, a time when women’s roles were pretty prescribed. Joan got married and started on the prescribed path. She became a teacher but didn’t like teaching any more than she liked being married. She felt out of place. Looking for something else, she started studying what she terms, “woo woo stuff,” like astrology and healing crystals. In the 1980’s she began selling crystals and minerals for healing and meditation and was making great money. In 2015 money, she was bringing in $50,000 a month! And then she went bankrupt. Joan didn’t know how to manage cash flow. Her father died and she has since learned that people often deal with a big trauma by overspending. Her field started to grow and she didn’t know how to compete. Eventually, the business closed. Early Adopter In 1995 Joan discovered online business and taught herself how to build websites. A year later she moved to Santa Fe with $200 and whatever possessions fit in her car. In 1997 she started Prosperity Place. It’s a place for her to teach people what she learned from her mistakes and successes. Joan was an early podcaster too. She started podcasting in 2005. When Word Press came out she started building websites for other people. Insanity Defined Joan found that old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” to be true. She sees people acting out emotions through business and financial decisions over and over. You have to get in touch with your emotions in order to sustain success. We can know intellectually what to do but it still has to be done by a person (us) and a person can get in the way of doing it. Money And Emotion Our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions are what form our decisions. If you’ve had emotional issues in childhood, they sometimes manifest themselves in the decisions we make. If certain needs aren’t met, we feel deprived. If there is abuse or neglect, there is a feeling of being trapped in a situation. These emotions have to be expressed one way or another. That way can be healthy or it can be unhealthy. If your “story” is always ending the same way and you don’t like the ending, you can change it. Worrying about the future doesn’t help the future. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens to you. Stress As A Motivator Does stressing over a situation motivate you to work harder? In that case, stress can seem like a beneficial thing. If you weren’t stressing so much, you would sit around playing video games instead of working toward a goal that will allow the stress to be alleviated. Being chronically stressed can cause adrenal fatigue which can lead to chronic disease. Making decisions based on fear can lead to poor decisions. You Are Not Required To Worry Do you feel as though if you don’t worry, you’ll fail? Some people who are very afraid to fly feel this way. Through the entire flight, they concentrate on the plane not crashing. When it doesn’t, they’re convinced that it was their worry that kept that plane aloft. They believe worry makes things happen or can prevent things from happening. Worrying is a waste of time. It’s creating a future that does not exist. You’re making it up! This doesn’t mean you stumble blithely along through life with no plan. But there is a difference between anxiety and concern. Whenever Joan starts worrying about money, she says to herself, “A large sum of money from an unexpected source.” Because that is as likely to happen as any doomsday scenario she could come up with thro... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 02, 2015
Budgeting For A Lifestyle Change
You may have a budget but what if you have a big life change? Move cities, have a baby, buy a home. Budgeting for a lifestyle change can make or break you.  You got the new job in a new place, your family grows, you need to care for a parent. Your old budget won’t do.  A New Place  What if your new job involves a big change of location? Moving from the suburbs to a city for example. Will you still need a car? Will there be a place to park your car? Maybe, but it might not be free and if it is free, you’ll likely be competing for lots of other people for the spot. Not many attached garages in the big city.  What is the cost of living like compared to your current location? You might be getting a $20,000 jump in income but in the right (or wrong) city, that can be gone just paying deposits and broker fees. City-Data is a great resource to help compare the cost of living between cities. The Best Laid Plans Hopefully you’ve planned when to start your family but accidents happen. What if that happened to you? Would you be financially prepared? One of the biggest considerations before having a kid is day care costs. Prices fluctuate widely and sometimes the cost is so expensive, it actually makes more financial sense for one parent to stay home. A family situation that is harder to predict is that of your parents. None of us want to think about our parents aging and getting ill but it happens and you might have to step in. How much money do they have set aside? Would they want to live with you, stay in their own home, move to an assisted living facility? Who will make medical decisions if they cannot? Have these discussion with your parents before any of this happens. Buying A Home You found a $100,000 home and you have $20,000 to put down, great 20%! No, not great to the bank. They don’t want you to be cleaned out making the down payment. You won’t be able to pay the mortgage or the taxes. You might want to do some renovations so you can put your own stamp on the place. You moved from a studio to a house. Your futon and bean bag chair will look pretty lonely in a 2,000 square foot place. Twenty percent is not enough. Start A Business You have a killer idea and you long to quit slaving away for the man and want to start your own thing. Great! How much run way money do you have? What are the start up costs? Is your spouse on board or will they freak out if there isn’t a regular pay check coming in? How will you pay for insurance now that you no longer have it through your employer? Get A Baseline Where is your money going now? Before you make any big changes or decisions, you need to know this. If you had to cut to make room for something else, what could you sacrifice? Some things become such an ingrained habit, that you don’t notice anymore just how expensive they are (booze). Not everything has to be completely axed, some things could just be reduced (booze). Think back to your past. There was probably, hopefully, a time, when you spent less money than you do now but were still happy. Now think how much more you’re spending currently. Does the level of happiness correlate to the greater amount of money you’re spending? Probably not. It certainly costs more to be an adult than it does to be a college student but if your costs have sky rocketed, it’s unlikely that all of that money is going to fixed costs. A lot of it may be going to lifestyle upgrades, a bigger place, better car, nice clothes. The longer you can live like a student while earning like an adult, the further ahead you will be for the rest of your life.  How Much Do You Cut? Let’s say you make $50,000. Use a base of 60%, so $30,000 after taxes and savings. Divide the $30,000 by twelve months to get $2,500. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 26, 2015
How To Negotiate With Skill, Not Force
Learning how to negotiate is not just a nice to have skill – it’s critical. Everything from your salary to your purchases to even your relationship requires it. Here we break it down for you and give you the knowledge you need to hit the ground running.  Perhaps the most important thing you need to understand is that most successful negotiations come with skill and practice, not force. We’re not going to show you how to strong arm your opponent or debate them into submission.  Instead we’ve created an epic resource with everything you need to know to get what you want and walk away from the table with everyone happy.  Podcast Episode  Want to learn but would rather do it during your morning drive or while you’re working? Give this episode a listen, it’s pretty awesome.  (show note links are at the very bottom of the article)  Negotiation Vs Bartering  Before we jump into it we think it’s important to discuss the difference between negotiation and bartering. There tends to be a lot of confusion around the two. It comes down to knowing your goal and having the right approach.  Negotiation: This is not about winning. It’s about achieving your goal or objective. It’s not an argument but a constructive discussion. Since success is measured by achieving your goal or objective it’s then easy to eliminate certain approaches immediately. We’ll get into them later in the article.  Bartering: This is also not about winning. It’s about exchanging your commodity or service for something of comparable value with a minimum effort or time commitment.  Right off the bat we’ve taken two big departures from negotiation. You don’t want to work too hard or spend too much time here. If you have a fruit stand at a fair you may barter with potential buyers. However, if you’re selling (or buying) a car you’re negotiating. Bartering is about value where as negotiation is about something much larger.  The 7 Core Negotiation Tactics  There are a few key things you need to keep in mind for a successful negotiation. While some may seem immediately obvious we really encourage you to read deeper. Because negotiation is about achieving a win-win situation and not a win-lose situation it’s really important to keep these core principles in mind – and refine them over time.  If you ignore following a strong approach you’re at best opening yourself up to a less than optimal deal and at worse looking at no deal at all.  Come Prepared  You might have heard the saying “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” Well, the same idea applies here. You’re not going to go to a car dealership and purchase a car originally having no idea how much it costs or what its positives/negative attributes are. The same applies to all negotiations.  If you’re looking to get a raise, do you know how much other people with your skill set and background get paid? We talk about price anchors in the episode and this is a great place to use them.  Head over to sites like Glassdoor or Payscale and do your research. Site’s like will also show you a data-driven aggregate of what they’ve seen people make for the position you have (or want). Use resources like these to ground yourself in reality, improve the chances of your success and logic for how you’ve approached your position. Remember, you’re looking for a win-win outcome. For a negotiation that’s a bit more nuanced like a big purchase you need to understand the value you’re getting, the main features as well as the weaknesses. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 19, 2015
Launching a Successful Kickstarter Campaign with Chez
Have you ever thought about starting a Kickstarter campaign? We interview Chez Brungraber about how she did it for her travel bag.  It takes some doing to get people to give you money for something that doesn’t yet exist. Chez tells us how she did it.  Kickstarter is a place to get funding for a product that is still a prototype or a project that hasn’t been completed. The first rule is to have a product that you believe in. Once you have that, you have to get the word out, friends, family, bloggers, media.  You have to keep your backers updated with how the project is progressing and when they can expect it to be complete. Chez’s company makes money but not enough to make large capital investments in things like new products. And it doesn’t make enough for a bank loan. That’s why she chose to fund this way.  You have to hit your funding goal in order to receive the money towards your project. That sense of urgency helps to reach the goal. Most campaigns over $10,000 fail on Kickstarter so don’t ask for an insane amount of money. Keep in mind too that Kickstarter will take a percentage of your earnings, so factor that in.  Once the goal is reached, you can set a “stretch goal.” Extra features that will be added to the existing product as higher funding goals are met. Chez recommends making sure you know what your stretches will be before starting the campaign. She had three days to come up with her first.  Kickstarter isn’t a place for free money. Chez took four months to craft her initial campaign and more time to change it for her stretch goals. Make sure you have your basics set up, you’re incorporated, have a business bank account, you can’t deposit that money into your checking account! There are tax implications too.  Kickstarter can be a great place for small businesses to get funding but do your research before starting a campaign.  Show Notes  Pumpking: A pumpkin beer from Southern Tier. Kickstarter: Chez’s new campaign for her travel bag. Here you can find more of Chez’s awesome gear LMM Community: Join the money revolution!   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 12, 2015
5 Questions: Minimum Wage, Lending Money, Debt
We haven’t done a Five Questions for awhile! We’re back to answer your questions about minimum wage, lending money and debt.  We get a lot of questions and if one of you is wondering, more of you are wondering.  How can you get by on minimum wage? Well, first of all, you have to live in a place like Iowa where the cost of living is very low. You also need to take advantage of any social programs you might be eligible for, low income housing, food assistance, reduced cost utilities.  Work as many extra hours as you can to save up enough for a $1000 emergency fund. Next, try to build a marketable skill using all the free resources you can find, the library, the internet, Coursera, Khan Academy. A minimum wage job should be something you have while you build additional skills toward getting a better paying job. Apply to jobs you’re not qualified for. It may not always work but it only has to work once. At the very least you may get some interview experience. How do you know what tax bracket you’ll be in when you retire so you can choose the best IRA? When you retire, you won’t be earning money, or earning less, so the money withdrawn will be taxed at a lower rate. Unless, you have a separate revenue stream, like rental income. In that case, you might be earning more than when you worked. So it depends on your idea of retirement. Golfing all day or running a small property empire. If you’re going to relax, go traditional. If you’re going to earn, go Roth. Should we wipe out our savings to pay off student loans and then focus on retirement savings? Take the money in the savings account that isn’t earning interest, except for 3-6 months of expenses, and put that towards the loans. As for your investment money, the interest rate on your loans is low so leave that money where it is. What should we do with retirement plans from old jobs? Roll them over to avoid administration fees. How can you help manage parent and sibling debt? Just handing over a chunk of money is usually not a good idea. Agree to help with the caveat that the family member shows you how they plan to get out of debt and the steps they’ll take not to get into debt again. Thanks everyone. If you want to get an answer to your questions fast, come join us in the Community. Show Notes Allagash Dubbel Reserve: A malty, Belgian ale. LMM Community: Come join the money revolution! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 05, 2015
Retire or Not To Retire with Roger Whitney
Early retirement sounds ideal but is it always? Retire or not to retire with Roger Whitney, the retirement answer man.  Roger believes rather than setting retirement goals, we should set retirement priorities.  Not that you shouldn’t have goals. But when retirement is decades away, priorities are more flexible. The closer you get to retirement, the more you can concentrate on making concrete goals.  Roger believes you should decide what your ideal retirement would be, not what you think you can afford. This allows you to see what your priorities really are and you can work harder towards those and spend less energy on the things that are not as important to you.  Even if you retire at 65, you may still have twenty or more years of life ahead. You don’t want to get bored! Roger suggests crafting a life you don’t want to retire from. You don’t have to stay at your 9-5 but you don’t have to give up working for money forever either.  But try out the life you don’t want to retire from before you retire! It’s a romantic notion to start your own farm and may help you make it through the crappy times at your job, but what if you don’t know anything about farming? Dip your toe into the life you think you want before you just dive right in.  We don’t think you need a financial advisor. You can figure all this stuff out on your own with some educating and research. But if you must, make sure you use a fiduciary. They are held to certain standards that those advising under the blanket term “financial planner” are not. It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Show Notes River Horse Hipp-O-Lantern: A carbonated pumpkin beer. Roger Whitney: The retirement answer man. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 14, 2015
Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning with Tyler
We receive a lot of questions on these topics so we brought in an expert. Today we discuss wills, trusts, and estate planning with Tyler.  This is a big topic so we brought in a member of the LMM Community Forums who deals with this for a living. Tyler and is estate planner and a lawyer in the military.  Put simply, estate planning is deciding where you want your stuff to go when you die or are incapacitated.  Do you need a will? Probably. Do you need a will if you have a kid? Absolutely. You can’t count on the state or sometimes even family, to carry out your wishes.  An asset that doesn’t have a next owner listed, some checking accounts for example, has to be assigned by a probate judge. A non-probate asset, like a life insurance policy or some brokerage accounts, bypass the process and are paid out pretty quickly.  If you die in debt, creditor’s get first crack at your estate. But your family will not be held responsible for that debt unless they have co-signed for the debt.  A living trust can help to take some of the burden off your family when you die. It takes some of the work and hassle out of the probate process.  Power of attorney gives someone else the power to make financial decisions for you. They can handle things like paying your bills. Health care power of attorney allows someone to make medical decisions for you.  You can leave money in a trust and set the parameters under which it will be distributed. Tyler recommends age, the age of 30 as the parameter.  Having a big life event is a good time to check in with your estate planner to find out if you should update your will.  You can have a will drafted for between $400-1500. A trust is more expensive because they’re more complex.  This topic brings up things that none of us like to think about but making sure that your family is taken care of is worth it.  Show Notes  Estate Planning: A Primer: Tyler’s in depth article on the subject. Featured Image Photo Credit: “Fountain pen nib” by Ben FrantzDale Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 07, 2015
This Financial Life With Chloe
Today we welcome Forum member Chloe to discuss her finances. We’ll tell her what she’s doing well and where she needs some improvement. Chloe is a 28 year old nurse who recently got her masters and has been looking for a full time job with benefits. Even working part time, Chloe is doing pretty well. She went to small, inexpensive colleges on scholarships, federal aid, and one small loan. Most of her loan was forgiven due to her public sector work. Chloe made an incredibly detailed pro/con list of the two job offers she received in our Forums. She got some great advice and that helped her make her decision. In the end, she chose the lower paying job with better quality of life and better future prospects. It’s not always about the money! Chloe uses Mint to budget. Like most of us, food is her biggest budget problem. She maxes her 401k and Roth IRA but doesn’t have a lot of room to save for things like a wedding or a home. Chloe has a net worth of $140,000! She attributes this to having priorities. Saving and travel. And always living below her means. Chloe’s dad started an investment account for her to use for college but because of scholarships, she didn’t have to use it. It wasn’t a large initial investment but because the account is so old, the money grew. As we advise all of you, Chloe has an emergency fund. She invests in a few individual stocks. Lucky for Chloe, her dad introduced her to investing early. One of Chloe’s investments has a high fee. She needs to sort this out, you can lose a big chunk of your money to fees. One of Chloe’s problems is dealing with parental finances. Her mother’s situation is not ideal and it may be something Chloe will have to deal with in the future. Chloe is doing well for someone of her age. She may have some challenges with her parents but she’s on the proper track. Show Notes Yuengling Black and Tan: A rich, malty beer. Shipyard Pumpkinhead: Pumpkin beer season is here! Two Roads Roadsmary’s Baby: A pumpkin ale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 31, 2015
Real Estate Investments Without The Mess- Inside Memphis Invest
We interview Chris Clothier from Memphis Invest to explain real estate investments without the mess. Collect the rent check while someone else does the dirty work!  Passive Income  If you’ve listened to LMM for any length of time, you know how much we emphasize the importance of passive income. One of the keys to building wealth and achieving financial independence is to have more than one source of income and because there are only so many hours in a day, some of that income should be passive. Passive income is income generated with minimal effort on your part. Good sources of passive income can include your investments and retirement accounts, making money from things you already do like driving, shopping, or going out to dinner and our favorite, rental property income. Becoming a landlord can generate significant passive income. But how can owning rental property be considered passive income if you’re searching for homes to buy, tenets to live in them, and handling any repairs that have to be done and the whole list of other things a landlord has to do? The secret to making rental property a source of truly passive income is hiring a management company to deal with the day to day hassles of being a landlord. Turn Key Turn key rental property means that the home is ready to be rented out as is. Any needed repairs or upgrades have been completed and it’s ready for occupancy. This is the best kind of property to buy if you’re going to be an out of state landlord. It’s hard enough to deal with renovations when you’re local, almost impossible if you’re trying to do everything from a distance. There are turnkey management companies too. The right turnkey management company can do nearly everything for you from finding the property and renovating it, to putting a tenant in place and dealing with any repairs and maintenance that might need to be done. They collect the rent and send you a check. They also handle the sometimes protracted process involved when a tenant has to be evicted. You pay a management fee which is typically 8-12% of the monthly rent, some charge additional fees to cover expenses, and some charge a flat monthly fee. You can’t just blindly turn such a big investment over to anyone. You need to do your research when looking for a management company. Are there any real estate centered Meet Ups you could attend either in your local area or the area you want to buy in? It might be worth a trip to talk to some local investors and get recommendations for a management company. If you can’t travel, the internet has plenty of reviews for management companies so you at least have a starting point.   Once you have a few recommendations you can start interviewing companies. The preliminary round can be over the phone but once you have your list further narrowed down, you probably want to make a trip down in person. Some key questions are:   * How long has the company been in business in the local area? * What services do you offer? * How many properties do you manage? * Can the renter and I reach someone 24 hours a day? * What are the fees? * Under what circumstances can I cancel my contract? * Do the fees change when there is no tenet in the property? * How do you screen tenets? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 17, 2015
Getting Your Significant Other On Board Financially with Laura Fiebert
Fights over money are a leading cause of divorce. Andrew’s wife Laura joins us to talk about getting a reluctant spouse on board financially.  Laura does a lot behind the scenes for LMM but this is her first time on the show! She was the spender to Andrew’s saver when they met. But after a few years, he whipped her into shape.  Laura’s parents aren’t bad with money but they didn’t teach her enough growing up to be good with money. By the time she met Andrew, her wages were being garnished.  When the couple moved in together, Andrew said one thing he never wanted to fight about was money so they needed to communicate openly and often about it.  Strong arming any topic, especially money, is a fast way to fail. A crash course in what someone should have learned over a few years isn’t helpful either. Addressing money issues as they come up is less contentious and less intimidating.  If one partner has a business the other is not involved in, large business expenses can cause problems. You’ll need to “open your books” and help your partner understand things like return on investment for those big expenses.  Money inequality can cause resentment on both sides and poison a relationship. This is why communicating often about money is important, to talk these things out before that resentment starts to build.  Money isn’t the only way to value things. If one partner takes care of things like cleaning, laundry, cooking, home repairs, the other spouse is getting those things for free. Things like those have value too.  Sometimes the problem is one partner thinks about the future much more than the other. If this is the case, show your partner what the future could be like if you’re on the same page with money: early retirement, exotic vacations, starting a business.  No relationship should end over something like money. Communicate with your partner, show them why you manage finances the way you do. To help you to both have a better future.  Show Notes  Betterment: The easy way to invest. Jabbercast: A new way to listen to LMM!   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 10, 2015
Become a Freelance Writer and Quit Your Full-Time Job
If you are tired of your time and your income being tied together, you might have considered a career as a freelance writer. But can anyone actually make money writing? You can, and I do. I finally quit my full-time gig and now work for myself. I’ll show you how to become a freelance writer and quit your full-time job.  Many people dismiss freelance writing, considering it not a real career. But a career is something you get paid to do. And if you can crack how to become a freelance writer and get paid a decent amount for it, guess what? You can have a career as a writer.  How to Become a Freelance Writer  You can begin to make money writing by starting your own blog and monetizing it. The problem is, this takes some time. You often hear about “overnight successes” in blogging or lots of other careers, but that is rare, very rare.  It’s much much faster to get someone else to pay you to blog. That’s how I get paid to blog. You still need to start a blog though. Your blog is your personal portfolio. It’s a way to show potential clients what you can do.  What’s Your Passion?    It doesn’t matter. I enjoy writing about money because it helps people, but I wouldn’t call it my passion.  If you want to make money freelance writing, find out what people are paying for. If one of those things happens to be something you’re passionate about, great!  But telling people, they will automatically make money by following their passion is bullshit. So spend some time on freelancing sites and see what topic people are hiring bloggers to write about and start a blog about that. The more niche your topic, the better. If you want to blog about vegetarian cooking, guess what? A million other people already did it, and there are a handful of big, well-known sites gobbling up all the traffic. A Google search for those words brings up 15,900,000 results. You can still write about vegetarian cooking but how about vegetarian cooking for children or for menopause? Those bring up 2,800,000 and 802,000 respectively. The more niche you are, the faster you can make an impact. You don’t need to be an expert on a topic though. Here’s a secret. I didn’t know hardly anything about personal finance when I started writing for LMM. I listened to tons of podcasts, read tons of articles and books on the subject and learned as I went. You’re Not a Techy Great, you have your topic all picked out, and you’ve been educating yourself about it. Now you need to design your site and get it up on the web. But you don’t know how to do either of those things. You don’t have to be a web designer or developer to start a blog. Your grandmother could make a blog using WordPress. A staggering 30% of all websites were made with WordPress. WordPress offers hundreds of templates to choose from, and you can customize them with your branding. And WordPress is free to use. If you want to use some of the premium plugins, there is a cost but to build your site is free. You need to host your site too. You can do that at HostGator starting for just $2.75 a month, and HostGator is compatible with WordPress. Engage Your Audience   Let’s be honest. Personal finance is not the most scintillating subject. It’s a vital one, but it can be pretty dry. But if I do say so myself, LMM takes a dry subject and makes it funny and interesting while providing easy to follow, actionable advice that will improve your finances. That’s what you want to strive for no matter what subject you choose to blog about. Use your own voice. I write as I speak (that’s why there are so many swear words in my articles) and it makes my posts more c... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 03, 2015
Better Know a Millionaire with Adam Dicker
We haven’t done one of these in awhile! Better Know a Millionaire is back to see if the other 1% really live that differently to the rest of us. Today we interview millionaire Adam Dicker. Adam made his millions by selling domain names, some for as much as eight figures! Adam has been in the business for about twenty years and was a VP at Go Daddy for a few years. Adam buys and sells domains that have expired and tries to stay two to three years ahead of trends, particularly in the medical and tech sectors. You can’t just go and buy a domain name with a trade mark in it. So no, five years ago you would not have been able to purchase No need to beat yourself up about that one. This business takes a lot of research. You have to buy a name that in the future, a business would want to buy. Like a lot of millionaires, Adam wanted a business that would make passive income. He once went to dinner before replying to an offer and in the space of that dinner, made an additional $50,000 from an anxious buyer. Doesn’t get much more passive than that. Adam looks at every day like he has to make enough money to pay for food for his family. He may have made $10,000 the previous day, but he forgets that and looks at the current day as an emergency that he needs money for. According to Adam, you always have to budget, all of us. It doesn’t matter if you make $10,000 a year or $100,000 a month. If you have no idea what is coming in and what is going out, you might find yourself going broke. Like nearly all of the millionaires we’ve interviewed, Adam doesn’t live a crazy life of luxury. He would rather watch football on a Sunday afternoon or go to dinner than stay in Five Star hotels across Europe. So again, we see that your average millionaire is not some jack off you see on TMZ, but just a normal person who knows the importance of living within your means. Show Notes Morimoto Imperial Pilsner: The Iron Chef beer! Adam Dicker: Learn to buy and sell domain names. LMM Community: Come join us in the Forums to discuss all things PF! Featured Image Photo Credit: “Proudly made in America. Printing 24/7 in USA.” by Miran Rijavec on Flickr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 27, 2015
Teaching Kids About Money with Adam Carroll
Do you have kids? What are you doing to teach your kids about money? Adam Carroll joins us to talk about teaching your kids the value of a dollar.  Adam is one of our favorite guests here at LMM. We first met him to discuss student loan debt. Today he’s back to talk about teaching kids about money.  Under-Educated  More than anything, aside from health, money can make or break your life. Not in the sense that money buys happiness but that lack of money, or knowing how to handle the money you have, is a major source of stress. In 2014, 64% of American adults sited money worries as “a significant source of stress” making it number one on the list ahead of work, family, and health. You would think that something so fundamental would be well covered in schools, from kindergarten all the way through high school. Well, it isn’t. Maybe because there are “legacy” subjects taught that leave little room for new ones. Maybe because so much hinges on standardized testing and those tests don’t include a personal finance sections. For us tin-foil hat wearers, maybe because the powers that be like the system just as it is. It makes for good consumers. Whatever the reasons, kids aren’t learning even the basics of how to handle money. So it’s up to their families to instill the personal finance lessons that will carry them through life. What Age To Start Early, even earlier than you might think. By the time children are seven, their money habits are already formed. Age three is a good age to start money lessons. You’re not going to explain what a Roth IRA is to a toddler but even at this age kids can understand basic concepts. Explain that you need money to buy things and you earn money by working. Teach them delayed gratification. You can’t have everything you want now. The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment showed the importance of delaying gratification. Children were given one marshmallow and told if they waited to eat it, a short wait of about 15 minutes, they could have a second marshmallow. The study found that the children who waited had better life outcomes which were measured by things like SAT scores, educational attainment, and BMI’s. The children studied were between the ages of 7 and 9 so it seems to be true that your money habits are set by age 7. Money Isn’t Real How often do you use cash? Almost never for some of us. How often do your kids see you use cash? Maybe never. If your kid never sees cash, it’s hard to understand that you can’t just buy whatever you want because physical money is finite and a credit card is not. Adam devised a clever way to teach his kids about real money. He gave his kids $10,000 in real money to see if it would change the way they played the board game Monopoly. It did. The kids were more careful with the real money. By showing kids that money is a physical thing, you can teach them that once they spend it, it’s gone. Money is no different to cookies. If you have three cookies and you eat three cookies, the cookies are gone. Don’t Raise “Wanting” Kids Having kids is expensive. It costs $245,340 to raise a child to the age of 18. It costs more to raise “wanting” kids. You’ve seen them, the ones having a melt down in Target because they were told no when they asked for a toy. But the reason for the melt down isn’t just th... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 13, 2015
This Financial Life with Andrew M.
Today we dissect listener Andrew’s finances. What is he doing right, what is he doing wrong, and what can he do better. This financial life. Andrew is a long time listener and today he shares his financial situation with us to get some advice. Before Andrew found LMM he had student loan debt, credit card debt, high fees on what investments he had, no budget AND he bought a new car. Andrew recently married and brought about $75,000 of debt into the marriage while his wife had about $22,000 from student loans. They have paid off about $20,000 in a short amount of time. He moved his investments over to Vanguard to save on fees, and set up a budget. Andrew lives in Minnesota and the couple make about $100,000 a year. They pay just $600 a month in rent on a two bedroom apartment. The monthly living expenses are about $2,000. They want to buy a house but are first working to build their emergency fund and pay off debt. The student loans have a high interest rate, over 6%. He is paying $2,300 a month in loan payments. Andrew should speak to CommonBond about getting a lower interest rate. He is currently using the snow ball method to pay his debt but we recommend the stack method. Andrew has a Roth IRA and is working toward maxing that out by the end of the year. Once the debt is paid off, in about four years, Andrew would like to travel before buying a home. Buying a home should not be a given. A lot of people just do it because it’s the next thing you do but it’s not for everyone. Because he likes his job, Andrew is not in a big hurry to retire early. But it’s not if you don’t have to work no matter how great your job. We’re glad that we were able to help Andrew take control of his finances. Show Notes Sebago Bump: A rich, black ale. Mint: The easy way to budget. Betterment: The smart way to invest.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 06, 2015
Money Security Tips You Need To Know
With so much of our personal fiance information floating around the internet, how can you secure your accounts? We’ll give you a few ways to stay safe.  Many of us have had some aspect of our life hacked, bank account, credit card, naked photos. You have to protect your on-line information.  Some sites are more secure than others. You are pretty safe at Betterment, maybe not so safe at your local carry out restaurant. So don’t use the same password over and over! Use a site like LastPass to manage your passwords. Use tiered passwords, a complicated one for things like bank accounts but a simple one for your Disqus account. Two-factor authentication means you provide two forms of identification, something physical like a key fob and a security code. Prey will use your web cam to periodically take pictures so if someone steals your device, say “cheese” mother fucker. You don’t have to be rich to be ripped off. Hackers don’t want to steal $10,000 from one person, they want to steal $100 from 100 people. Adding numbers and characters to your password helps but not much. Using a nonsensical  string of words is more secure and easier for the human brain to remember than a string of numbers and characters. A user name is almost as important as a password. If you don’t have to use your e-mail address, use something harder to uncover than your own name. When answering security questions, lie or answer accurately but add a code word onto the end of your answer. What happens when you die? Well, you see a white light…No, put a list of your passwords in a secure place like a safety deposit box and give the key to a trusted person. This could be useful not just for death but in case you are ever locked up unjustly in a South American prison. Plan ahead. There is only so much you can do. Ever how clever we are and how sophisticated on-line security is, the hackers are more clever and more sophisticated. But you don’t have to make it easy for them. Show Notes Keymaster Farmhouse Smash Ale: A small brew with a smooth finish. Exile Ruthie: A smooth, gold lager. Betterment: A safe place for your emergency fund. Patreon: Help support LMM. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 29, 2015
A Beginners Guide To Real Estate Investing
Most of us are not going to get rich simply from our jobs – we have a limited amount of time for actively working. To reach financial independence, we have to create sources of passive income. Smart real estate investing can bring in big returns and grow your net worth.  Like investing in the stock market, real estate investing can seem intimidating. It’s really not though. There are just some key fundamentals you need to know before you get started.  Everyone wants to be the Donald Trump of their neighborhood. But with less turnover. Fewer walls. Better inter-neighbor relations.  OK, maybe that was a bad example. But, maybe not.  “It’s tangible, it’s solid, it’s beautiful. It’s artistic from my standpoint, and I just love real estate.” – Donald Trump  Maybe this human candy corn topped with cheese whiz is on to something. Real estate is a physical asset you can touch and is not going out of business any time soon. Unless people all of sudden choose to live off the land again…    Nah!  No matter how you slice it, real property is here to stay, which is why many choose to put their money into it. Investing in real estate has crossed all of our minds at one point or another. But if this is an investment option you’re considering, you may have no idea where to start. To successfully pursue investment opportunities in the real estate market, you must first do your due diligence to ensure that you understand the intricacies of your local market and the factors that dictate the profitability of what you’re investing in. In this article, I will offer you a broad overview of just about everything you need to know about beginning with investing in property; the very basics. And I promise, no more bear attacks or Trump references. An overview of real estate investments At a basic level, real estate investing is a method of making money by renting, flipping or owning residential, industrial, commercial properties, or parcels of land. Some investors may find these properties on their own, or through the use of an online real estate marketplace like Roofstock, the Multiple Listing Services, or Zillow. Residential real estate investments are the most common forms of real estate investing. These include single-family homes, condos, and townhomes that can be re-sold or rented out to turn a profit. For example, you buy a condo in Beach City 5 miles from you for $100,000, you rent it out on Airbnb for $100 a night, you make a lotta tuna. Simple as that. Well, maybe there’s a bit more to it. But more on that later. Larger residential properties and those that are intended for use by businesses fall under the category of commercial real estate. Owners can make money from commercial properties by leasing out office space or multifamily residential units. The rule of thumb is anything that’s rented out to a business and any residential building with more than 4 units inside it, is classified as commercial. These types of properties have different lending criteria when applying for a mortgage. Regardless of the type of property you own, you can benefit monetarily profit from an investment property in four key ways: rent, appreciation, tax benefits, and interest. Rent The owner of a single-family home, condo, townhome, multifamily property, commercial building, crowdfunded real estate or industrial real estate may generate rental income by leasing out all or ... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 22, 2015
This Financial Life: Lindsay
Today we have a This Financial Life episode with listener Lindsay. We break down her finances to see what she’s doing right and where she can use some help. Lindsay is a second grade teacher living in Seattle. We’ll help her get her financial life in order. Lindsay’s salary is a little over $58,000 a year, it’s spread over twelve months and she makes a few extra thousand teaching summer school. Lindsay decided that 2015 would be the year she stopped ignoring her finances, partly thanks to LMM! Lindsay divorced in 2013 and it caused some tax problems. Your marital status matters on the last day of the year. So even though the Lindsay was married for almost all of 2013, for tax purposes, she was considered divorced. She ended up owing $2,400. She had about $20,000 in credit card debt after the divorce. Lindsay got a loan from Prosper to help conquer the debt. She also used Ready For Zero to help pay things back. Within three years she will have killed all that credit card debt! Lindsay also has $56,000 in student loans. Once she has paid off her credit cards she will focus more on the student loans. Lindsay has investments too. She has about $15,000 in a Traditional IRA but she is focused on debt for the time being rather than investing. Her rent is not unreasonable, her car is paid off although she has a bit of a long commute. What can Lindsay do better? Her Prosper loan interest rate is high. She should try Lending Club to see if she can get a better rate through them.  She can contribute more to her IRA to reduce her taxable income. Lindsay has a lot of debt but she also made a plan that she is sticking to. We’re happy that we were able to play a small part in her success! Show Notes Lindsay’s lifestyle blog. Mint: Find out where your money is going. Patreon: If you appreciate LMM, donate here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 15, 2015
Finding Your Productivity Sweet Spot
It’s important to get the most out of your day. But you can take the quest for productivity too far resulting in burn out. Find the productivity sweet spot.  During Andrew’s recent burnout, he realized he was taking the need for productivity too far. Sometimes you just need a night vegging out in front of a video game.  We’re all motivated by different things, the key is to find out what motivates you so your productivity isn’t scattered and ineffectual. External forces, internal? Are you a morning person or a night owl? Knowing what moves you is important to get moving.  If you have a month to do a project does it take you a month or three days? If it takes you a month, is the whole thing done the last day of that month? Do you like a stark space or one full of clutter and color?  Are you a list maker? Especially for your long term list, go through it once in awhile and make sure you still need to do all the things you wrote down. Crossing things off is satisfying but things change and still doing something just because it’s on the list is anti-productive.  Make sure you focus your productivity. Every minute doesn’t have to be accounted for, that’s how your get burn out.  Show Notes  Better Than Before: Mastering Habits of Our Everyday Lives Patreon: Donate here to keep LMM ad free. LMM Tool Box: All the tools you need to be more productive. Featured Image Photo Credit: “Xbox One Controller” by mastermaq on Flickr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 08, 2015
What the F**k is the Federal Reserve?
Larry Ludwig from Investor Junkie is our guest today to explain what the Federal Reserve is, does, and why you need to know.  Put simply, the Fed sets monetary policy and either adds or removes money from the system. There are twelve regional Feds across the country to help manage local banks. It was created in 1913 as a way to prevent feature economic disasters. Bit of a fail I think. The chairperson is appointed by the president but is supposed to operate independently of the government. Prior to 1971, we operated on the gold standard so the Fed made sure the amount of money matched the amount of gold. Now we operate on a “faith based” system where we rely on the government to determine the value of money. In order to help stimulate the economy after the crash, the Fed allowed banks to borrow money at 0% interest. The rate has been that low for seven years. Lowering the interest rates is meant to stimulate the economy. When rates are low, people can borrow money to buy things they couldn’t afford before. When interest rates are raised, that means that the economy is doing well and is at nearly full employment. The Fed is also tasked with keeping inflation/deflation in check. They have not always been successful but the average rate of inflation has been about 3% since the Fed’s creation. The Fed also determines how much cash banks must have in reserve. Ultimately it’s productivity that grows an economy and not slight of hand by the Fed. And a lot of economists consider all this smoke and mirrors to be merely kicking the can down the road, just delaying the next 2008 style melt down. Is the Fed good or bad? That’s up for debate. The Fed has helped pull us out of crisis but did they create the crisis in the first place? Are they creating artificial cycles? What can you do to protect yourself against the whim of the Fed? Make sure to have a good asset allocation strategy. Aside from that and repatriating, there isn’t much else you can do. It’s good to understand the Fed but ultimately, invest your money in the LMM set it and forget it style and don’t worry too much about what they are doing. Show Notes White Beer: A crisp, summer beer. Investor Junkie: Larry’s site dedicated to helping you become a better investor. The Creature from Jekyll Island: A look at the Federal Reserve. Betterment: Don’t worry about the Fed and invest your money. Patreon: Want to keep LMM ad free? Donate now! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 01, 2015
Crowd Sourced Real Estate Investing
Today we interview Benjamin Miller from Fundrise. Fundrise is a crowdsourcing site that allows anyone to invest in real estate.  Real estate can be a great investment but you need some serious money to do it. Not anymore. Fundrise allows you to invest small or large amounts of money in various properties. We even wrote a full review of Fundrise – you should check it out! The commercial real estate market has outperformed other investment vehicles for the last thirty years. It would be great if we could all become commercial land lords but most of us probably don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting around. With Fundrise, you need $1,000 to open an account. They have dozens of people looking at hundreds of possible investments. Finding a good commercial real estate investment isn’t easy. Fundrise negotiates the deal and writes then check and then offers the opportunity to investors. The investment management fee ranges from .33-.50% per year. How fast can you pull your money out of Fundrise? Not as quickly as you can with something like Betterment. Their notes have an average age of two years. You don’t have to be an accredited investor to invest through Fundrise. They have worked with the SEC to open certain investments to anyone who has the $1,000 minimum. You don’t want this to be a huge part of your portfolio but as the average returns are around 13%, this type of crowd sourced investing is something to seriously consider. There isn’t a deal for investors who aren’t accredited right now but Benjamin suggests setting up an account so you can see when there is a deal that you can get in on. Show Notes Fundrise: Crowd sourced real estate investing. Fundrise Extinction: Cool subway ad! Fundrise Internet: Next to be extinct. Fundrise Jobs: Welcoming all out of work bankers. River Horse Baltic Porter: Aged in Peruvian rum barrels. Molson Canadian: It’s the NHL play offs,what else would you drink? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 25, 2015
Roll Overs, Horse Races and Backdoor Roth IRA Strategy’s
Yeah, backdoor Roth IRA sounds pretty badass – badass but complicated.  Many of us have tossed around the idea of having a traditions IRA or a Roth but what if you can have the best of both worlds? There are not many times in life that allow us to have our cake and also to eat it, but this is one of those times.  Quick IRA Re-Cap  We could do a year of shows devoted to all things IRA and there would still be questions. They are confusing so here is a bit of a refresher on the basics.  IRA stands for an individual retirement account. It’s a tax-advantaged investment vehicle to save for retirement. There are several kinds, including SIMPLE, SEP, Traditional, and Roth. The last two are the ones we will be talking about today and the two that are most commonly used. Traditional IRA A traditional IRA lets you invest pre-tax income into an account that will grow tax-deferred. The money is not taxed until you withdraw it. You can withdraw funds after age 59.5. Putting money into a Traditional IRA lowers the amount of taxable income for the year you made the contribution. Not only does it lower you adjusted gross income, doing so can help you qualify for other tax breaks like student loan interest deductions or child tax credits. Roth IRA A Roth IRA is similar to a Traditional, but the money is taxed up front and not upon withdrawal after age 59.5. Roth contributions (but not earnings) can be withdrawn without penalty and tax-free at any time. After five years have elapsed after the first contribution, you are allowed to withdrawal up as much as $10,000 of the earnings penalty-free to pay for certain qualified expenses. Contribution Limits Both Traditional and Roth’s have the same contribution limits, $5,500 per year for 2016 ($6,500 if you’re aged 50 or older.) But there are income limits for high earners. If you’re single and earn over $129,000 or file jointly as a married couple and earn over than $191,000 you are forbidden to contribute to a Roth IRA entirely! Penalties Withdrawals from a Traditional are considered regular income, and if you are younger than 59.5 when you make the withdrawal, the amount you take out will be hit with an early withdrawal penalty of 10%. You can pull contributions to a Roth anytime without tax or penalty. The rules for earnings are different. If it has been less than five years since your first contribution, you may be taxed on earnings even if the funds are used for one of the exceptions described below. Exceptions The thought of locking up your money for so long puts many people off the idea of an IRA, but there are exceptions: You can use up to $10,000 from your Traditional or Roth IRA toward the purchase of your first home. You can use IRA money to pay for higher education expenses not only for yourself but also for immediate family members (your spouse, children, and grandchildren). There is no dollar limit. You can make withdrawals to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses if those expenses are more than 10% of your adjusted gross income, or to pay for health insurance premiums for you, your spouse or children during a period of unemployment. Which is Right for You? If you expect your tax rate to be the same in retirement or higher than it is now, the Roth IRA is a stronger choice. A traditional IRA makes more sense if you expect your tax rate to be lower in retirement. But what if you could have the best of both worlds? There are not many scenarios in life that allow us to have our cake and also to eat it, but the MF has figured one out when it comes to IRA’s. Why rollover 401K? The best reason to roll an old 401K into an IRA is that there are a lot of hidden fees in some 401k’s and the investment options a... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 18, 2015
Our Favorite Robo Advisors with Investor Junkie
What is a robo advisor and should you use one? Larry Ludwig from Investor Junkie joins us to tell us what we need to know.  A robo advisor is an on-line money management service that uses automated algorithms to give investment advice. It takes humans out of the equation.  These are companies like Betterment, which was the first robo advisor, Wealthfront, and Personal Capital. They are geared towards younger people who are comfortable with transacting business on-line and are less expensive than traditional investment advisors. Robo advisors use a lot of complicated math but basically they look at past returns to determine future returns. A problem with some robo advisors is that while they’re tax efficient within their portfolio, they don’t all have an over all picture of your investments so are not tax efficient overall. A robo advisor should be easy to use and inexpensive. Larry recommends Betterment above the others. Robo advisors aren’t perfect but it’s better than just throwing your money into an account and hoping for the best. And if you are the set it and forget it type, they’re the easiest way to do that. Show Notes Son of a Peach: An American wheat ale. Investor Junkie: Larry’s site about all things investing. Betterment: The easy way to invest. Personal Capital: Invest with confidence. WiseBanyan: Free financial advisors.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 11, 2015
Getting Schooled On Bonds
A few months ago we did an introduction to bonds episode. We wanted to get a little deeper into the topic and a listener, Eric, agreed to help us out.  As you heard in the disclaimer, this is a complex topic. Stick with it though, it will all make sense by the end of the episode.  There are many types of bonds but the most basic description would be, a bond is an IOU. A coupon is the interest payment and you get that on a semi-annual basis until the bond matures. At maturity, you get the face value back.  A government bond is a treasury bond. These are often the benchmark that other bond rates are based on.  Agency bonds are issued by government-sponsored agencies like Fannie May. Mortgage-backed securities are mortgages sold off by the mortgage lender. Corporate bonds are what many of us are familiar with. These are sold when a company needs to raise money.  A municipal bond is issued by a city, town, state, or even a water company to fund expenses. Even Yankee Stadium has bonds! The yields are lower but from a tax stand point, they are a good investment.  Bonds are affected by interest rates and their credit ratings. Triple A is the highest rating. Anything rated below Triple B- is considered a junk bond.  Since most of our audience are buy and hold investors, we don’t need to be concerned with bond pricing on a day to day basis. You just need to be happy with the coupon payments you will receive and the credit rating of the bond. This is why Treasury bonds are a good investment for buy and holders.  Phew, get all that?  Show Notes  Backpocket Brewing Penny Whistle: A Bavarian wheat with spice notes. Betterment: The easy way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 04, 2015
Burnt Out: What To Do When You’ve Had Enough
Being completely burnt out can happen to the best of us and it is not uncommon. Especially for vacation deprived Americans. But we can’t all quit and go live on the beach. So we have to recover somehow. You can bounce back. A break and a few deep breaths and back on track.  We did an episode on burnout which generated a ton of emails and still does. Many of you have suffered or are suffering burnout yourselves. What can we do about it and what can we do to prevent it in the future?  What Is Burnout?  “Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work.”  That’s the technical definition. In real speak, “fed up with this shit!”  The Symptoms  Do you know the difference between being physically tired versus mentally tired? I’m a big fan of physically tired. Being tired from a long hike, a good run, helping your best friend move out of their fifth-floor walk up. That kind of tired quiets the mind and lets you sleep like a baby.  Mentally tired sucks and it’s the kind of tired that being burnt out produces. When you’re mentally tired, your brain won’t shut up. It’s the kind of tired that won’t allow your thoughts to stop long enough to let you rest. Being burnt out can also result in cynicism and detachment. “This job sucks. Things will never get better.” “Nothing I do makes any difference.” “This job creates nothing of value in the world. I sit at a desk eight-plus hours a day and don’t engage my brain at all.” Hard to find motivation with those kinds of thoughts ringing in your head. Being burnt out sucks the meaning and engagement out of work life. The Causes When the economy tanked in 2007-8, many employers began laying off workers. Those lucky enough not to lose their jobs now were expected to do the work of two, sometimes more, people. And they did it and did it without complaint lest they be next. By mid-2014, all 8.7 million jobs lost were replaced. But in the interim, a lot of people got burnt out. During that time, people felt a lack of control. They felt they had no control over things like scheduling, what assignments they got, the amount of work they were now expected to make up in the face of layoffs. Because people were now expected to take on work once handled by someone else, expectations were unclear. And if you had a question about how to do something, there was no one to ask. The person that used to do it was long gone.   Workplace dynamics weren’t exactly pleasant either. If it was you or the guy next to you, you would be looking for any reason to throw him under the bus and he was doing the same to you. Not exactly a healthy, supportive environment in which to spend eight or more hours a day. Where Does It Happen? Well, work is the most likely spot but not the only place it can happen. Even stuff you normally enjoy can burn you out if you do too much of it. I had a friend who liked playing soccer in the organized leagues in the city. He was a keeper and a pretty good one. Eventually, people he played with who also played on other teams, started calling him when they needed a ringer for a playoff game or when the regular keeper couldn’t make it. Eventually, he got sick of playing soccer, something that had once been an enjoyable pass time. Or those parents, usually mothers, who get sick of doing everything around the house and go on strike. They refuse to cook, clean, or do laundry until they get some help. Usually, they fold because a house full of kids can stand dirt, smelly clothes, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 20, 2015
5 Questions: Home Equity Loans, Student Loans, and Mortgages
Today we’re answering listener questions. Student loans, home equity loans, over paying your mortgage and a day in the life of a data engineer.  We love to answer your questions on the podcast. If you are wondering, odds are someone else in the audience would like to know too.  1. I miscalculated and took out too much in student loans. Should I pay it back right away? Yes, pay it back if you don’t need it. Pay off the higher interest rate loan first.  2. Should I take out a home equity loan to pay for roof repairs? Yes, a home equity loan will have a lower interest rate than a personal loan or heaven forbid, putting it on a credit card.  3. Should we use Betterment as a savings account for a down payment, to bulk pay student or car loans, and as a place to keep a 3-6 month emergency fund? If you’re going buy a house in less than five years, no. Yes to the loans again applying the five year rule. Yes to keeping your emergency fund there.  4. How to allocate extra money to mortgage payments versus to a retirement fund or emergency fund? It’s almost never best to over pay the mortgage. It’s better to throw extra at the retirement account. If you do want to pay extra to the mortgage, pay more than once a month to cut down on the interest you pay.  5. What’s a typical day for a data engineer? Data engineer is a niche job so it commands good money. Andrew has an undergrad in info technology. He pulls data from various sources, builds warehouses to store it, and gathers insight from the culled data. He goes to lots of meetings. Show Notes: Betterment: The easy way to invest. Patreon: Help support LMM.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 13, 2015
The Anatomy of a Well Balanced Portfolio
Balance is important in all aspects of life, including your financial portfolio. Find out what well-balanced means when it comes to your portfolio.  What makes up a well-balanced portfolio? Andrew breaks it down for us.  Part of it depends on your age. The younger you are, the more risk you can afford. Diversity is important too. Many Americans have the majority of their wealth locked up in their home. Owning stocks and having retirement accounts is important too.  If your employer offers any matching, take it. Even if you have debt, it’s free money! Have some money invested internationally. Vanguard’s International Developed Market ETF can get you there. US investments only account for one-third of the world’s market so by only investing in US companies, you’re missing out on the rest of the world. Never spend more than one-third of your take-home pay on rent. The same percentage goes for owning a home. The home you live in should not account for more than one-third of your wealth. If you like to buy individual stocks, one company should never make up more than 10% of your investments. Make sure you have an emergency fund. Six months of expenses is the gold standard but get something together if you can’t manage that just yet. Keep 6-8 weeks expenses in a checking account. Any start into investing is a good start. Once you have a handle on what you’re doing, make sure you follow these tips to help perfect your portfolio. Show Notes Personal Capital: The investing version of Mint. LMM Ultimate Investment Strategy: Andrew lays out a blueprint for you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 06, 2015
This Financial Life with Sylvain
Today we break down listener Sylvain’s financial life. What is he doing right, what is he doing wrong, and what could he be doing better? Our This Financial Life series is back. One of our listeners lays out his financial picture for us and we critique it. Sylvain immigrated to the US from France in 2009. He does not have student loan debt because education is heavily subsidized in France. He’s now a permanent resident working for a private company. He currently lives in the Berkeley area which is expensive. Sylvain and his wife bring in about $7,000 a month and spend between $4-5,000. They share a credit card, split the bills, have $10,000 each in an emergency fund and are saving for a home. They expect to spend about $500,000 to buy a place. The money they are saving toward a home is invested currently. They discuss finances once a month. Sylvain was leery of getting a credit card but wanted to build credit in the US. He only uses it when he has the cash to pay it off immediately which is how we should all use our cards. He has a 401K which he plans to use to fund his retirement. Sylvain is doing well. His family has an emergency fund, they pay off their credit cards every month, have their savings invested and have a retirement account. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to start packing for France. A few of you probably had the thought too. Show Notes Patreon: Help support LMM Betterment: The easy way to invest. Mint: Start tracking your spending today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 03, 2015
5 Questions: Bonds, Interest Rates, and Retirement
We haven’t done a five questions for awhile. Today it’s back! Andrew and Thomas answer five questions submitted by our listeners. Today we answer questions about bonds, interest rates, and one of our favorite subjects, retirement. 1.  If you’re young and looking to grow wealth, why bother have 10 or even 5% invested in bonds? If you’re in your early 20’s, go ahead and go 100% stocks. As you get closer to retirement, you move more to bonds. This is what a life cycle fund does for you. 2.  Am I going to incur a lot of fees if I take money in and out of my Betterment account frequently?  When you pull money out, Betterment will let you know the tax implications of doing so. That’s one of the reasons we tell you to buy and hold. But even with the taxes, you will almost always make more in Betterment than making dick interest in a savings account. The bigger question is why Joe is not leaving that money alone. 3.  Wouldn’t it be beneficial to have a traditional IRA for your working life, retire, wait a year, and then withdraw the money?  Yes, your tax rate will be lower after retirement. You can even start slowing converting to a Roth. 4.  How does the Fed lowering or raising interest rates affect me?  Banks offer us loans with interest rates that are based on the Fed rate. The higher the Fed sets it, the higher the interest rate the banks will charge us to borrow money. 5.  I have unvested stock options. What are the implications of exercising them before the IPO?  It depends on the price. You could clean up or you could end up under water. The most important thing to consider is the taxes. Thanks everyone for sending in your questions! Show Notes Patreon: Help support LMM Keegan Ales Hurricane Kitty: An India pale ale. Betterment: The smart way to invest. PS:  Gawd, PF nerds don’t know who Vince Lombardi is! Embarrasing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 01, 2015
FeeX: Destroy Hidden Fees with Uri Levine
We are anti-fee at LMM whether they be bank fees, credit card fees, or investing fees. Uri Levine from FeeX joins us to discuss avoiding investing fees.  You probably go out of your way to avoid having to pay a $3 ATM fee but you might be losing much, much more than a few dollars through investing fees. Americans pay $600 billion in investing fees every year. That is 4% of the Gross Domestic Product! On an individual basis, you lose about one third of your retirement money to these fees over time.  Types Of Fees  Expense Ratio: This fee is charged for mutual funds, ETF’s and no-load funds.  Expense ratio is what it costs an investment company to operate a mutual fund. Expense ratio is determined by a yearly calculation. The fund’s operating expenses are divided by the average dollar value of its assets under management. Operating expenses are taken out of a fund’s assets and lower the return to a fund’s investors.  Plan Fee: If you have a 401(k), the provider may be charging you a plan fee for the privilege of holding your money. Your bank is already doing that!  Advisory Fee: If you use a financial advisor, you’ll be charged a percentage fee. This is often negotiable.  Real Dollars  You might know what percentage you are paying but how much is that in real dollars? The average actively managed fund charges 1.25%. That doesn’t sound like much but over time, it adds up. It adds up to a lot. If you invest $100,000 in a fund with a 1% annual fee, which is less than average, it will cost you nearly $28,000 over twenty years, according to Securities and Exchange Commission calculations. If you had that $28,000 to invest, you would have earned another $12,000. How To Pay Fewer Fees Tailored investing advice is expensive. It might seem like paying a “highly trained expert” would guarantee higher returns than all those slobs who can’t afford an advisor are getting but a big chunk of those returns will be eaten up by fees and commissions. Under 1% is a good percentage to look for and you’ll find fees that low and lower with Index Funds and ETF’s. The average traditional index fund has a fee of 0.74% and the average ETF fee is 0.44%. Vanguard’s lowest fee fund is the Vanguard 500. The fee is 0.17%. Betterment charges a fee of 0.35% on the first $10,000 invested. If you’re choosing funds through your employer, it’s likely that no one in your HR department is an expert investment advisor so don’t count on them to explain the fees to you or even know what you’re talking about. Read the prospectus of each choice. That’s where you’ll find information about the fees charged. If you don’t like what you see, do some research on your own to find a fund with better fees and suggest it be included in the choices. FeeX As the saying goes, if you want something done right, or in the case, fairly, you’ll have to do it yourself. Uri was once charged thousands of dollars in fees on a retirement account. After lots of phone calls and time wasted on hold, he got the fees waived. But it made him wonder how many other people were being charged fees and if they were even aware of it. So he did the only logical thing; started a company to help root out those hidden fees and find alternatives. That’s when FeeX was born. FeeX will analyze your investments to uncover where you are paying fees and how much you’re paying. They will then find you cheaper alternatives with the same asset allocation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 27, 2015
Being a Successful Penny Stock Trader with Timothy Sykes
What is a penny stock?  Can they make you rich?  Well, it worked for our guest Timothy Sykes who turned $12,000 into $4.2 million by trading them.  Timothy took his bar mitzvah money and started trading penny stocks against his parent’s wishes. What they warned him would be a hard lesson in the value of a dollar, turned into a small fortune.  What Is A Penny Stock?  Penny stocks are stocks sold by speculative companies for under $5 per share. Penny stocks are usually growing companies that have limited cash and resources or companies in dire financial trouble, often already in bankruptcy. As such, they are much riskier than traditional stocks. You don’t trade penny stocks with the intention of finding the next big thing, rather, you’re trading momentum. If you’re wrong about a pick, get out fast. This is not a buy and hold discipline.  When a “conventional” stock is down, over time, it’s likely to bounce back. That’s not the case with penny stocks. The companies often go out of business before a bounce back can happen.  Short Selling  You can make money betting against a company too. You take a negative position and sell first, then buy. If you see a stock that you think is over valued at $10 a share, you sell it and buy it back later at $2 a share. How do you sell a stock you don’t own? You borrow from your broker. You’re betting on failure.  What Makes A Penny Stock Risky?  This all sounds good, take a small amount of money and turn it into millions through penny stocks. But nothing is that easy and the vast majority of penny stock traders lose money.  There isn’t much publicly available information on these companies and some of what you can find is from dodgy sources. Never risk disaster, don’t be sure of anything. Some of the companies are very young so there isn’t much information to be had. Many are in bankruptcy making it hard to find a fair valuation. The exchanges that these stocks are sold on do not have any minimum requirements to remain on the exchange. Because these stocks don’t have a lot of liquidity, you might not be able to sell them.  More Is Not Always Better  If you have $1000 to buy Apple stock with, that won’t get you much, currently less than ten shares. But if something is selling for .50 a share, you can snap up 2000. It seems more likely that your .50 cent stock will rise to $1 a share and you’ll double your money. But you have to consider the value, not just the price. The value is what someone else is willing to pay for something. In this case, part of the value of the stock is the value of the company. And a company selling shares so cheaply, is not doing well. It’s better to own part of a company that is making money than losing it.  Do Your Research  This kind of trading takes a lot of research. Timothy spends about 17 hours a day doing this. And as mentioned above, it isn’t easy because there sometimes isn’t much information to be had and what you find might not be accurate. Look for momentum, look for warning signs. Yahoo Finance is a good resource. The SEC website also contains a search engine where you can find all official filings made by a penny stock or any notices about an enforcement action from the SEC directed at any particular penny stock. You can use the lack of coverage for penny stocks to your advantage. CNBC and the Wall Street Journal aren’t following them. But you are and if you see some momentum, the company just got a big order for example, there is a lag between the time you see it and the time more casual observers see it. General Rules Look for big movers based on a big earnings win or a big contract win. Look for signs of economic value gains. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 25, 2015
College Savings Accounts -Leveraging 529 Plans
College costs are rising.  If you have kids and want to help them pay for college, the earlier you start a 529 Savings Plan, the more it will grow.  Kathryn Flynn from Saving For College will explain the fine points.  A 529 Plan is like a retirement account for college. You contribute with after tax dollars and are not taxed when the money is withdrawn as long as it is spent on educational expenses. You do have to name a beneficiary but can change it once a year.  There are two types. Pre-paid which is more restrictive. You are locking in current prices. The more common type is the college savings plan. You can invest in any state’s plan.  If your kid forgoes college for the starving artist route, you can change the beneficiary, use the money to fund your own education or make a non-qualified withdraw. You will pay income tax and a 10% penalty on earnings.  You can control the level of risk of the investment with an aged based investment option. The closer your kid is to college, the less risk you want to take and can weight the investment appropriately.  Kathryn’s site has a cool planner.  You input some information and it will generate how much you need to save for college.  You can buy 529 Plans direct or through an adviser. You can use 529 money to pay for lots of different types of education, community college, a four year college, trade schools and some study abroad plans.  If you want to start even before you have a kid, you can designate yourself as beneficiary and then change it to the child once they have a social security number.  While funding your kid’s education is important, it is not more important than your retirement. Always fund retirement first.  College isn’t getting any cheaper so start saving now.  Show Notes  Saving For College:  Kathryn’s guide to 529 plans. Betterment:  The easy way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 23, 2015
When To Invest and When to Just Save
At LMM we bang the drum loudly in favor of investing over saving. But are there times when it’s better to just save? We’ll find out today.  We’ve gotten a lot of questions about when to invest and when to just save so we thought we would dedicate a whole show to the subject for you.  One of the good things about Betterment, and why we encourage you to keep your emergency fund there is that there is no penalty for taking money out and you can have it quickly, within a few days.  But an emergency fund is for emergencies.  If you’re constantly pulling money out, that’s a problem.  If your time frame of needing to access money is less than a year, that money should be kept in a savings or checking account.  The Rule of 72 is a way to determine how long it will take to double your investment.  With a 7% return rate, it will take about ten years to double your money. What do you need to buy soon?  A car in two months, a house in two years?  If you need the money in that time frame, you’re better off just saving it. Unless, you have some flexibility in that time line.  The more fixed your time line, the greater the risk.  Your hard date could be the day the market crashes. If you have a big, non-monthly expense coming up, like paying for your semester, it’s not a good time to invest or even to pay down existing debt.  Outside of this scenario, paying debt almost always comes first. If you’re in a grey area, something low risk like Treasury Bonds are an option.  There is no one answer.  The decision to invest or save is based on your risk tolerance, your time frame, and a host of other factors. Show Notes Penn Dark:  A European style dark lager. Betterment:  The easy way to invest. College Info Geek:  How to save on textbooks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 18, 2015
The Hidden Costs of Buying a House
If you’re sick of renting, you might be considering a home purchase. After all, mortgages tend to be cheaper than paying rent — so why doesn’t everyone just stop renting and buy a home? The truth is that buying a house isn’t just a matter of paying the mortgage every month. There are all kinds of hidden costs of buying a home. Today we’ll help you sort them all out.  One of the top draws to homeownership, among many, is the fact that mortgage payments are often much less expensive than rent. However, just because a mortgage payment is less than your current rent does not necessarily mean that buying a home would be cheaper. There are numerous costs to consider when deciding to buy a new home. Loan origination fee To start, there will be a loan origination fee whenever you take out a mortgage. This is what you pay the lender for doing the work involved with making the loan. Because this fee can be a large one and it is required to be paid upfront to your lender, it’s important that you figure this origination fee into your total cost calculations. Although the exact amount you pay can vary based on the amount of your mortgage loan and the specific lender with which you work, you can expect to pay between .5 percent and 1 percent of the total value of your mortgage to cover this fee. Working with a real estate agent If you choose to consult a real estate agent, you’ll have to pay that person’s fee, as well. Not all agents have your best interests at heart — the more you pay for your home, the bigger their fee. Hiring a real estate agent is not the right choice for everyone, and you should consider your specific circumstances before moving forward. If you want to minimize your home buying costs as much as possible, and you feel confident in your ability to navigate the real estate market in which you’d like to buy, you may be just fine without an agent. On the other hand, if you are not well versed in buying real estate and you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the process, it can be well worth it to work with an agent. The amount you will have to pay toward a real estate agent’s fee can be tough to calculate. In most cases, the home’s seller is on the hook to pay the fee of both his or her agent and the agent of the buyer. You will still see this fee, although it will likely be absorbed into the listing price of the home. While you won’t be able to avoid the ultimate cost, you can make sure that you get your money’s worth by working with a reputable agent. Be sure to ask for references, read reviews online and check any relevant credentials of an agent before you hire someone. Insurance fees Another one of the commonly overlooked costs associated with homeownership comes in the form of insurance fees. Renters insurance is a relatively inexpensive form of coverage that you might not even need to cover, depending on where you live.  When you purchase a home, however, you sign up for several new insurance requirements.  You will be buying lots of different kinds of insurance, including title insurance, homeowners’ insurance and (possibly) additional flood insurance. None of them are break-the-bank expensive, but they can add up in the long run. Homeowners’ insurance may cost you upwards of $1,000 annually, although this amount can be much more depending on the extent of your coverage and where you purchase your home.  As we mentioned above, you may have to spring for additional insurance coverage if you live in a flood or natural disast... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 16, 2015
How to Prepare Financially for Babies with Stephany Kirkpatrick
Deciding whether or not to have a baby is probably the biggest decision you will ever make.  Today we’ll discuss how to prepare financially for baby.  Stephany Kirkpatrick from LearnVest is our guest to discuss the financial aspects of having a baby. Having a baby doesn’t have to derail your financial goals.  It does change your financial priorities.  Good bye to five star resorts and hello to camping!  To raise a child to age 18, it will cost nearly $250,000. Retirement needs to stay front and center.  There are more ways to fund a college education than there are to fund retirement. Ask around about child related expenses.  What are people paying for child care, for school, for after school activities.  The numbers won’t be firm but you can at least have a sense of what you’re in for. Check into your maternity/paternity benefits.  If you are lucky enough to have paid leave, and many people are not, it may not be as long as you want or need to stay out of work.  You need to have money set aside to get you through a period without two incomes. Babies need stuff, but not as much stuff as you think.  And they don’t really read labels so the stuff they need doesn’t have to be top of the line. Before the baby comes, work out what would happen if one parent decides to stay home.  How can you make that work?  In the long run, it may be cheaper but then one parent (usually mom) has their career track derailed.  Short term savings could have long term consequences. Can you transfer your office skills into something you can do at home?  A teacher could tutor for example.  Just don’t forget the tax implications for working for yourself.  Working part time can be an option too.  Even if you only break even financially, there are benefits to keeping one foot in the work force. Having a baby is a big change but it doesn’t have to wreck your financial goals, just go in with both eyes open. Show Notes LearnVest:  Get a personalized financial plan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 11, 2015
My Name is Bond, Treasury Bond
We’re talking all things treasury today on Listen, Money Matters. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds.  Which, if any should you invest in?  Were you given bonds as gifts when you were a kid?  It may have seemed like a lame gift at the time but there probably aren’t many other gifts you still have decades later.  A Treasury Bill has a maturity date from 91-364 days.  A Treasury Note, from 2, 3, 5, or 10 years.  And a Treasury Bond, 30 years.  Buying a bond is buying debt. Buying bonds is less risky than buying stock because bond holders are among the first to get paid even if a company goes bankrupt.  The yield is low though, less risk equals less gain.  Because it is unlikely that the US government will go bankrupt, these are among the safest investments you can make.  A bill doesn’t pay interest but is bought at a discount and when mature, pays at the full value.  A note does pay interest.  When it matures, you get back what you paid for it but you are getting interest payments in the meantime.  All of these investments are very liquid so if you need it, you can have cash in hand very quickly.  You also don’t have to pay state or local taxes on gains made through Treasury buys, still pay federal taxes though.  The younger you are, the less heavily weighted you should be in bonds as opposed to stocks.  You can afford to be more risky when you’re younger.  Hold off on going deep into bonds until you are nearing retirement age.  We want some ideas from you all.  LMM needs to start making money so Andrew can work on it full time.  E-mail us at and give us your suggestions.  Show Notes  Treasury Direct:  Where you can buy the things discussed in today’s episode. Betterment: Start investing today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 09, 2015
The 7 Debtly Sins
Are you guilty of one of the seven debtly sins?  Find out how sinful you are and prepare to repent your sins in the church of Listen, Money Matters.  There are seven deadly sins if you subscribe to ancient fairy tales.  You can commit those sins in the realm of personal finance too. Come forward and be bathed in the blood of personal finance, all you sinners out there.  Let’s start with lust, possibly the most fun of the sins!  Lust is when you long for something to perhaps an unnatural degree.  A new car when you have a perfectly good one.  I’ll disagree with Thomas on high thread count sheets.  They are totally worth it and there is no going back.  Buy those.  Gluttony is over-consumption to the point of waste. Wasting food is probably the best example.  If you plan your meals, you’ll waste less.  Don’t buy a bag of carrots, roast two and let the rest rot.  Learn what else you can do to use the other carrots.  Greed is wanting more, more more.  You have ten million and you want eleven. If you have enough and your pursuit of more harms others, that’s greed.  Also, you’re a dick.  Sloth is being lazy.  It’s easy to get lazy with finances and also easy for that to allow things to get away from you.  If you build your systems, so many of your finances can be automated, allowing for a little sloth.  Wrath can mean making snap decisions in terms of personal finance.  When we’re angry, we don’t always make the best choices.  Envy can make you buy a flat screen because your friend has one.  Keeping up with the Joneses is a big problem for some people. You don’t know how deep in hock someone might be for all the accouterments of their flashy lifestyle.  Pride can make you think you’re a special snowflake who deserves only the best.  But a Honda Civic gets you from Point A to Point B just as well as a BMW.  So which are you, a personal fiance saint or sinner?  Show Notes  Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk:  A dark, creamy, milk stout. Buffalo Sweat Sweat Oatmeal Stout:  A sweet, smooth stout. Mint:  The easy way to track spending. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 06, 2015
What the F**k is Margin?
We mentioned margin and a previous episode and only touched on it.  A lot of you wrote in with questions so we’re doing a whole show to explain what it is.  Simply put, margin is borrowing against your investments without selling your investments.  You can pull money out of your brokerage account on margin by setting a toggle on the account.  You’ll pay interest and if you don’t pay back the loan, the brokerage firm takes your investment.  It’s like borrowing money against your house.  If you don’t repay it, the bank takes the house.  There isn’t a monthly payment, the interest gets added to the total margin you have out. The trick is to grow your investments faster than the rate of the interest.  Playing with margin can be really good or really bad.  Margin is the reason people like Warren Buffett gets huge returns and the rest of us don’t.  You can use margin to do whatever you want, go to Vegas, buy a house, or invest in more stocks. We are doing this episode for informational purposes.  Margin is a risky thing and not something novices should be fooling with.  So why not use your low risk investment to margin?  You can expect about 7% returns, the interest on margin would be so close to or above that, it wouldn’t be worth it.  A margin call happens when the value of your account falls to value calculated by the broker’s formula.  You would then be required to either deposit more money into the account or sell off some assets.  Again, LMM is not recommending this strategy.  Just putting it out there for everyone to understand.  Show Notes  Shipyard Black IPA: A rich, malty beer. Betterment:  The easy way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 04, 2015
How to Handle Shared Expenses with Roommates
Living with roommates can be a minefield.  Particularly when it comes to splitting shared expenses.  Here are a few tips to navigate the situation.  One of the best things about roommates is splitting the expenses.  But it can also be one of the most fraught aspects.  Learn how to do it so everyone feels they’re being treated fairly.  Thomas is currently living with three roommates even though they are all done with school.  So he knows something about how to make this situation work.  They have individualized leases which not everyone may be able to get but is worth asking about.  The utilities are shared and you’ll have to decide in who’s name to open the accounts.  That person should automate the payments to ensure that nothing is ever paid late. Thomas uses Stripe to breakdown the amounts everyone owes and they pay him through it.  Some stuff is just not worth fighting over.  Breaking down who takes longer showers or works from home using the most electricity is petty and probably doesn’t make a huge difference money wise anyway.  This is easier when all of you get along well and none of you are on a starvation budget.  Using a whiteboard to list who was the last one to buy shared things like paper towels and trash bags is an easy, fair way to track things.  Having evidence will cut down on arguments.  When a problem does come up, don’t approach it as, “Hey, you should pay more.”  That will make the other person defensive.  Approach it as a shared problem that you will solve together.  Sometimes it’s just better to overpay a little if it avoids a lot of stress.  Saving a few bucks is not always worth the head ache. This attitude can relax the dynamic in the home for everyone.  If you’re moving into a place where the roommates have already been living, you have a right to ask to see the rent and utility bills before negotiating how much you will be paying.  Otherwise you may get into a situation where you are subsidizing everyone because you just paid what they asked.  Living with roommates can be a great way to share expenses but go into a situation carefully.  Show Notes  Shipyard IPA:  A single hopped IPA. Kronenbourg 1664:  The premiere beer of France. Stripe:  Automated bill pay. SplitWise: Perhaps the best utilities sharing app for roommates. Found out about it after the fact and wish it existed years ago! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 02, 2015
Do You Have Enough High Density Fun In Your Life?
How much real fun do you have compared to not that fun distractions? Those distractions are the reason for your lack of fun.  Learn how to get rid of them.  Do you wish you had more time to see friends devote to your hobbies, knock a thing or two off your bucket list?  Well, you would if you stayed the hell off Facebook when you should be working.  That kind of stuff is low-density fun.  It’s a little fun and it’s spread out through the day.  But it’s not the same kind of fun as hanging out with friends or playing your favorite video game. That is high-density fun, fun that is really fun and takes a few hours.  This kind of fun is so important that you should schedule it.  You have to work when you should be working of course but you should have fun when you should be having fun too.  And if you are getting rid of the dumb, low-density fun activities during your work time, you will get more done.  Then when it’s fun time, you won’t have unmet obligations in the back of your mind haunting your good time.  So close the social media tabs, close your office door, put your cell phone in your desk drawer with the notifications muted.  America has that puritanical worth ethic beat into us.  But we work hard enough.  Even if you love your work and work for yourself, a balance is important.  Few people look back at their life and think they should have spent more time working.  While Netflix or gaming time are perfectly legitimate types of high density fun, aim to spend part of your fun time with actual 3D people.  And don’t check your phone every five minutes while you’re with them.  So have more fun!  Work hard play hard is a trite phrase but you should be doing both.  Show Notes  Rescue Time:  Helps you understand your habits so you can focus. Stay Focusd:  If you have no will power, this will lock you out of your favorite time waster sites. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 27, 2015
Growing Income with the Success Triangle
The life success triangle has three parts, learning, value creation, and relationship building.  We’ll see how they fit together to help you make money.   Thomas came up with this concept for college students and it was the Student Success Triangle.  But it can be applied to your post-college life as well. All three points of the triangle are equally important and support each other. Full Article Here Show Notes CIG:  Thomas’s original post. Betterment:  The smart way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 25, 2015
How to Use Google Finance to Make Sound Investments
If you want to start buying individual stocks and make your money work for you, Google Finance is a great place to conduct thorough research and learn more about stock investment strategies that will help you reach your financial goals. This article gives you key information about Google Finance, and how you can maximize its data. Full Article Here Show Notes Betterment:  Investing made better. Google Finance:  Research at your fingertips. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 23, 2015
Playing To Your Strengths With The MBTI Test
Knowing and understanding your personality type can help in lots of areas of life.  Everything from choosing a job to saving money.  What type are you? The MBTI, or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is not one of those Buzzfeed quizzes that tells you which Disney Princess you are.  This test is science-based and has been in use since the 1940’s. There are no right or wrong answers.  There are sixteen personality types on the MBTI scale.  The answers just indicate your preferences, how you perceive the world around you, and how you make decisions.  There is some bleed over between types.   Maybe you’re an extrovert in one on one situations but more introverted when faced with large groups. Show Notes Influence: The Science and Practice:  The book Andrew referenced. Mint:  The easy way to track your spending. 16 Personalities:  Take the test!   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 20, 2015
Recovering From An Epic Failure
Ever failed hard?  Not stumbled, but lost everything level of failure.  How can you begin to recover when you are at rock bottom?   Most of us probably won’t hit homeless on the street levels of rock bottom but some of us will have to start over. A new city, a new job, an entirely new career.  Where do you begin when you’re back at square one? Full Article Show Notes Old Dominion Brewing Company Dominion Lager: A crisp, light lager. Tallgrass Brewing Company Buffalo Sweat Vanilla Bean:  A creamy oatmeal stout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 18, 2015
Paying for College While Attending
College costs have skyrocketed over the last several years.  So unless you want to graduate with crippling debt, you’ll need a college job. Ideally you would spend four years with no obligation other than to study (and party) but not working while in college is not possible for many of us. Thomas is our resident college expert and his first suggestion is to carefully consider the cost of your chosen college.  It’s not longer realistic to attend the best college you can get into.  Not if that college is tens of thousands of dollars more expensive than a second tier choice. Full Article Here Show Notes College Info Geek:  Thomas's site to help you get the most from your college experience. Debt Free College Grad:  Our episode on paying for college with grants and scholarships. Shanice Miller:  Thomas's interview with the debt-free college grad. Earnest:  If you already have student debt, Earnest can help you refinance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 16, 2015
How To Use a Credit Card Like A Responsible Adult
Used properly, a credit card can have all sorts of benefits. Used improperly, it can drag you into bankruptcy.  A credit card can be a blessing or a curse. Some people refuse even to touch one. But if you know how to use one, it is a tool like anything else.   Full Article Here Show Notes Tallgrass Brewing Buffalo Sweat:  A sweet, oatmeal cream stout. Credit Karma:  Get your credit score for free. Extra Pack of Peanuts:  Learn how to churn airline miles. LMM How to Improve Your Credit Score:  Hacks to boost your score fast. LMM Best Travel Cards: If you want free flights and hotels, these are the best cards. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 13, 2015
Should You Start a Side Business?
We talk a lot about side hustles on the show.  Today we’ll discuss if you should start your own side business.  A side business can be lucrative and the creative outlet that your 9-5 job isn’t.  But it can be a lot of work and time.  We’ll break it down so you can decide if it’s the right decision for you.  Both Andrew and Thomas have had various side hustles.  In fact, Thomas’s site College Info Geek, which is now his full time job, started as a side hustle.  That won’t be the case for all of us, but you can still make some extra cash doing your own thing. Client work side hustles can be lucrative but frustrating.  You have to create someone else’s vision no matter how crappy or ridiculous you think it might be.  Sensitive artist types might want to stay away from client based hustles. A side business shouldn’t be solely about the money.  It should enable you to do something you love doing.  Making money on that is a bonus. It takes about a year and a half to start making money on a side business.  Do you love doing whatever it is enough to do it for free for that long? How much time do you have?  If you’re watching TV for a few hours a night, you could use that time to start building something.  If you work, are in school, and have a family, your side business may have to wait. We want to know what kind of side business you have in mind and what you want to know about starting one.  Leave questions in the comments or send an email to Show Notes Hitachino Nest Beer:  A white ale. Backpocket Brewing Penny Whistle:  A Bavarian ale. College Info Geek:  Thomas’s info on starting a website. Earnest:  Refinance your student loans and save some money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 11, 2015
Need to Find A Job? Heres How To Taking Control of Your Job Hunt
Looking for a job can be a full time job itself.  Today we interview Adrian Larssen to learn how to take control of the job hunt process. Searching for a job sucks but there are ways to make it easier and to feel like you have some control of the process.  Adrian works for The Muse which can help you in your quest. Full Article Here Show Notes The Muse:  Let them help with your job hunt. 31 Most Common Interview Questions:  And how to answer them! Betterment:  The smart way to invest.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 09, 2015
5 Questions: Stock Prices, Early Retirement, Morning Routines
We love answering the questions you all send in. Today we have five questions about IPO stock price, a morning routine, what we wish we knew earlier, where to save a downpayment, and early retirement. Show Notes Boulder Beer Winter IPA:  A full-bodied red ale. Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout:  A smooth, dark beer. Mint:  The easy way to manage your money. Betterment:  The smart way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 06, 2015
Creating Mini Habits with Stephen Guise
There is nothing wrong with starting small.  If you can't quite make the big change, make a little change. You'll get there eventually. Building habits is important but big changes can be daunting.  Our guest, Stephen Guise will tell us how mini habits can be just as good as big habits. Show Notes Boulder Beer Hazed and Infused:  A dry hopped ale. Mini Habits:  Smaller habits, bigger results. Mini Habits Video Course: Stephen's video series. Deep Existence:  Stephen's blog dedicated to personal growth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 04, 2015
This Financial Life with Thomas Frank Part 2
Today is Part 2 of our delve into Thomas’s financial life.  There wasn’t much to critique in Part 1.  Will Part 2 also make the rest of us feel like losers?  At just 23 Thomas is doing better than many of us a decade or more older.  Let’s see if he’s make any mistakes Andrew can help correct.  (I like Thomas so I’m slightly ashamed of this but I hope he’s made at least one, tiny mistake.)  While it’s impressive that Thomas makes about $69,000 a year, he pays more in taxes because he’s self employed than he would if he made the same salary as an employee.  If you want some advice on small business taxes, check out our recent episode with Johnny Horta. Thomas still lives in Ames, Iowa where he attended college.  He has three roommates and pays $320 a month in rent.  He spends a lot on food, both groceries and eating out.  Part of that is just wanting to get out of the house since he works from home. Last year Thomas saved $500 a month into Vanguard and $500 a month into Simple IRA.  His goal is to “retire” by age 40.  He wants to save $900,000 and live off 4% or $36,000 a year.  He needs to save $25,000 a year with 5% growth to reach that number by age 40.  So double what he did last year. Aha!  Investing is where Thomas needs some guidance.  Thomas started with the Vanguard Star fund which has returned about 15% over the last five years.  If he moved to the Total Stock Market Fund, that number would be closer to 20%.  There is the 5% growth he was looking for without doing anything other than switching funds! If Andrew were 23 again, he would put 50% into the Total Stock Market Fund, 10% into REIT’s, 10% into emerging markets, and leave 30% in Betterment with an eye toward using that for “opportunity buys” like when a Tesla caught fire and the stock was cheap. Most of Thomas’s bills are paid automatically.  Rent and Simple are the only things that he has to remember to pay and Simple could be automated once he figures out how to allocate it. Thomas is going really well, especially for one so young.  But he’s proof that we all can use a little help in various areas of our life.  That’s what LMM is here for! Show Notes Mint:  The easy way to track your spending. Betterment:  The smart way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 02, 2015
Automate Saving Using Digit with Ethan Bloch
We are advocates of automating your finances and that includes automating saving money. But we don’t want saving to crimp your style. That’s why we love Digit. You can automate saving using Digit. We interview Ethan Bloch the CEO of Digit to learn how to automate saving without feeling it in your wallet. Full Article Here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 30, 2015
Small Business Tax Questions with Johnny Horta
Running a small business has many tax benefits, but it has many tax pitfalls too. To make sure none of us get on the wrong side of the IRS, we will discuss small business tax questions with Johnny Horta.  LMM’s resident tax expert schools us on small business taxes for all our side hustlers out there.  If you run a small business, you’ll have more write-offs than if you are an employee.  The downside is, you have to pay all 15.3% of your FICA and social security taxes rather than paying 7.65% while your employer picks up the other half.  If you’re self-employed, it’s a good idea to set up a Simple or SEP IRA.  A Simple allows you to defer up to $12,500 and a SEP, up to $53,000.  This can help lower your tax burden while helping you save for retirement.  If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with an accountant or a tax attorney.  Just ask for a certain amount of time, an hour maybe and ask what they charge for that.  Be sure to have a list of questions to make the most of the time.  According to the IRS, you are a business if you make money for three of five years. Otherwise, it’s classified as a hobby.  Lots of people want to use a home office deduction.  But to do so, the office has to be “regularly and exclusively used as a home office for the business.”  So if you work on your computer by day and watch Netflix on it by night, sorry, you’re out of luck.  When you decide how to set your business up, sole proprietorship, LLC, etc., the most important thing to consider is the likelihood that you’ll be sued.  If it’s small, a sole proprietorship will probably be suitable.  Remember, Johnny will answer your questions live via our webinar February 2.  Show Notes  Horta Tax and Financial Services:  Connect with Johnny on Facebook. IRS:  Get some answers here before spending money on an accountant. LMM Get Involved:  Find out the details for our upcoming tax webinar with Johnny February 2 at 8:30 pm Easter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 28, 2015
Naked Economics, Statistics, and Politics with Charles Wheelan
Charles Wheelan is a lecturer in economics at Dartmouth and has authored five books.  He joins us to discuss statistics, politics, and the economy.  Economics is the study of how we allocate scarce resources.  Poverty, health, education, are all affected by how we allocate resources so understanding that can help us to do a better, more fair job at that allocating.  To make money, you have to produce value.  Part of the reason for stagnant middle-class wages is because the value it used to produce is now being produced more cheaply, either through technology or outsourcing to countries where wages are very low.  Money is not the only factor in economics.  Sometimes money can stop people from doing something.  Organ donation for example.  Tying it to money makes people less likely to do it. Sometimes altruism is a greater driver than monetary gain.  Most people will stay where you put them.  Many people don’t save for retirement.  Some companies now automatically enroll new employees in 401K plans.  The employee is free to exit the plan or change it but most people will just default to what the company chose.  Sometimes a small guaranteed incentive is less effective than a larger, but not guaranteed one.  Getting $5 each time you go to the gym is less attractive to people than going to the gym and being entered into a raffle to win a car.  This is why people play the lottery.  Statistics are useful because they can be used to infer patterns.  Recognizing and using the patterns can make you more money, or just help you to do things better.  Which will probably earn you more money!  Most people are pretty poor at appreciating probability.  So we worry about Ebola but cross against the light.  But the odds of getting Ebola are much smaller than the odds of getting hit by a car.  Charles is a passive investor, an Index Fund guy.  So the Dartmouth professor shares the LMM philosophy of buy and hold!  The longer your horizon, the smoother the booms and busts level out for you.  Charles is very politically active.  He advocates for a Centrist Party, where people who feel alienated by the Republicans and Democrats can join together.  We need something better in the middle, where most of us dwell. It was great to interview a guest who understands economics and is actively trying to improve the short comings of our current two party system.   Show Notes Amazon:  Charles Wheelan’s books. Mint:  The easy way to track your spending. Betterment: The smart way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 26, 2015
What the F**k is REIT Investing?
Are you looking for a way to invest in real estate without all of the hassles of becoming a landlord? Then REIT investing might be just what you’re looking for. But what the f**k is REIT investing?  Real estate can be an important addition to your investment portfolio, but it seems out of reach for many of us. We don’t even live in our own house, we rent. So how are we going to ever own real estate? There is a way! What is are REIT Investments? A REIT or Real Estate Investment Trust is a company that owns, manages or bankrolls income-producing real estate. The rent generated from the properties is distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends. REIT is similar to a mutual fund and trade on the major market exchanges. It allows individual investors to pool their money and own real estate that they wouldn’t be able to afford on their own. When you own stock in a REIT, you own a small sliver of the apartment or office buildings they own just like when you own stock in a company you own a tiny piece of that company. Due to the nature of real estate investing, REITs typically do better in low-interest rate environments and when there are higher rates it is usually a bumpy ride for the REIT market.   To qualify as a REIT, a company has to adhere to specific guidelines put in place by Congress. These guidelines include:   * Is considered a corporation according to the IRS revenue code * Is managed by a board of directors * Has at least 100 shareholders * Have no more than 50% of its shares held by five or fewer individuals * Has at least 75% of its assets in real estate, US Treasurys, or cash * Generates at least 75% of its net income from real estate * 95% of its income must be passive like rent * At least 90% of its taxable income is paid to shareholders via dividends   There are two kinds of REITs. Equity REITs About 90% of REITs are equity REITs. Equity REITs buy, manage, build, remodel, and sell real estate. The revenues from these REITs come mainly from rental income. The types of real estate properties include residential, retail, office, industrial, and hotels. Equity REITs often specialize in a specific property types. Residential REIT’s invest in single-family homes or apartment buildings and retail REITs invest in shopping and strip malls. Mortgage REITs Mortgage REITs only make up about 10% of REITs. A mortgage REIT lends money to real estate buyers or buys existing mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. The revenue from these REITs come from the interest paid on the mortgage loans. Mortgage REITs often specialize too, either in residential or commercial mortgages. How to start investing in REITs The ultimate goal of any investment is to make money so how do you make money on a REIT?   REIT stocks let investors invest in real estate the same way they invest in any other industry, by purchasing stocks through a mutual fund or ETF on the stock market. When you are a shareholder in a REIT, you earn a portion of the money generated by that investment. REITs are exempt from corporate taxes as long as they adhere to the Congressional guidelines we outlined above. Because a REIT’s income is not taxed, there is more money for shareholders. Shareholders though do have to pay capital gains taxes on the dividends at their ordinary income tax rate. Investors can deduct 20% of REIT dividends though lowering the maximum tax rate from 39.6% to 29.6%. REITs often provide high dividends, and those dividends can increase over time as the REIT’s properties appreciate in asset value. eREIT If a $3,000 minimum, the initial investment is too rich for your blood, there is a company in the REIT arena called  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 23, 2015
Taxes 101 with Johnny Horta
Tax time is nearly upon us.  Past guest, contributing writing, and tax expert Johnny Horta joins us to explain the vagaries of the US tax system. Until we get a flat tax (which will never happen) taxes will continue to be a monumental pain in the ass.  So we brought on a guest to give us some expert advice. Show Notes Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk:  A dark, creamy milk stout. Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout:  A creamy, sweet stout. Horta Tax & Financial Services:  Contact Johnny for expert advice. W4 Calculator:  Plug in your numbers to see what your withholdings will be. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 19, 2015
Don’t Let Money Control Your Life
Jen McDonough paid off $212,000 in four years.  She works now as a motivational speaker and has authored three books.  Meet The Iron Jen. Jen’s world changed when one of her children developed a chronic medical condition.  As the medical bills piled up, other bills fell behind. Jen found herself unable to afford $20 worth of groceries. That’s the low point that caused Jen and her husband to really tackle their debt and change their relationship with money.   Show Notes The Iron Jen:  Leveraging adversity to reach your potential.  You can also find Jen’s books here. Mint: The easy way to budget. Betterment: The smart way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 16, 2015
The Evolution of Resolutions
Making and failing to fulfill the same old New Year’s resolutions?  LMM will teach you new ways to make sure this time they actually stick. Once the hangover subsides, we are all gung ho to really stick to our resolutions.  But by February (at the latest), we’re back in the same old habits.  Despair no more!  Meet the Impossible List! The impossible list is not so much a bucket list as an evolving, active guide for what you want to do with your life. You need to have goals, but you need to track them too.  And improve upon them.  So you ran a 5K, congrats!  Maybe now that evolves into doing a triathlon. Show Notes Wild Devil:  An India pale ale. Hitachino Nest Beer:  A fermented ale. The Power of Habit:  How to harness the power of habits. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 12, 2015
The Importance of Finishing What You Start
Starting a new thing is exciting.  But some of us quickly lose our initial enthusiasm.  We’ll discuss how to see things through to the end. What does make you stick with something?  Sometimes it’s the time and money you invested in it.  Sometimes it’s because there are already so many tombstones in your idea graveyard and you can’t stand the thought of adding another.    Show Notes Garun Icelandic Stout:  Intensely rich with notes of chocolate and licorice. I Don’t Feel Like It: Thomas’s video about getting over that mindset. Betterment: The easy way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 09, 2015
Habits and Thomas’ Ridiculous Morning Routine
Your morning routine can make or break your day. It can set you up for a good mood and good productivity or send you screaming back under the covers.  Not all of us are morning people.  But you don’t have to be one in order to organize a routine that will set you up for a productive day.  Thomas is a freak who starts his day at 5:50 and finishes thirteen habits practically before the sun comes up.  He wasn’t born that way which means any of us could do the same.  It’s a routine that has evolved over time.  How does Thomas get up so early?  He has monetized sleeping in.  If he doesn’t get up, he stands to lose $30.  Not worth it.  These don’t all have to be monumental habits.  It can be something as simple as taking your vitamins every morning.  Or just getting up fifteen minutes earlier so you can relax into your day rather than rushing around all flustered.  They don’t have to number into the teens either.  Start small.  Wake up early and drink a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon in it.  Lemon water is crazy good for you and is a small, easy thing that will make a big difference.  We have a series of podcasts and articles that list some great productivity apps.  There is nothing wrong with having a little help and prompting until the things you want to get done become habits. Remember, start small but keep at it.  Once you become a morning person with good habits, you will notice lots of positive changes in your life. Show Notes Buffer: A social media scheduling tool. Dogfish Head World Wide Stout:  A dark, roasty ale. HabitRPG:  A super geeky way to help you build habits. Photo Credit: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 07, 2015
Something Is New In Season 2
Listen, Money Matters is back!  We have a new host, former guest Thomas Frank of College Info Geek.  We’re excited to kick of Season Two. We missed you!  There have been some changes to LMM since our last episode but we are more committed than ever to being your one stop, go to resource for all things finance.  If you’ve been a listener to the show for awhile, you’ll remember Thomas Frank from episodes about money mindfulness, how to choose the best cell phone plan, and our round table discussion dedicated to saving money on college. Thomas is a recent college graduate and has run the site College Info Geek, a blog, podcast, and youtube channel that teaches you to get the most out of college life.  Thomas has run the site for a little more than four years.  For the past two, it has been his full time job and he makes a good living from it. Thomas is just 23 years old and will bring a bit of a younger perspective to our show.  He is also ruthlessly efficient with his time and crazy productive which is something we think will bring value to our audience. Getting over “I don’t feel like it” has been what pushed Thomas forward.  The work doesn’t have to be perfect in the beginning, you just have to get it out there.  That is the hardest part, fine tuning can come later.  Building the habit is what matters. A goal for LMM in Season Two is to make this a community project.  We reached out to some listeners who will be contributing to the show and site in various ways.  If you would like to be involved, e-mail us at We will be using Slack, a team chat site where we can all communicate in one place. We appealed to you for donations and we were overwhelmed and grateful.  Along with the donations were many e-mails encouraging us to continue with the show.  Once Andrew broke even, he gave the remaining donations to Donor’s Choose. It’s a site that helps teachers fund materials for their classes that the schools don’t have the money to provide. Some things we’ll be doing going forward include an investing book, animated videos, courses organized from our existing material, and what we really look forward to is matching members of our audience in a mentor/mentee relationship.  If you are interested in that, please e-mail us.  Also let us know what you want out of Season Two.  This is your show too. We’re so glad to be back.  Here’s to a new season and a new year. Show Notes Mint:  The easy way to budget. Betterment:  The smart way to invest. Slack:  An open communication system that brings your team together in one place.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 05, 2015
Obamacare and HSA’s
Insurance can be confusing so we interview two experts, Todd Berkley and John Young to help us navigate Obamacare and  HSA’s. The affordable care act is a good thing for a lot of previously uninsured Americans but knowing which plan to choose can be tricky. HSA’s can be a great place to park tax free money but can also be confusing.  We get some expert help from our two guests. If you meet the income requirements to receive a subsidy, you must purchase your insurance through If you are not eligible for a subsidy, you are free to purchase insurance on the open market. A web based entity can help if you are wading into the open market.  Todd and John highly recommend plans with an HSA. We discussed HSA’s in depth with Todd and John in Episode 171. They are a great tax shelter. Right now, the penalties for not having health insurance range from $95 to 1% of your income.  The penalties are levied against your tax return.  Next year the penalties are going to go up substantially. There are so many acronyms and strange terms in health insurance!  EPO, HSA, deductible, out of pocket, what do they all mean?   This site has a handy list that defines some common terms normal people aren’t familiar with. A catastrophic plan is available for people thirty and under.  It’s not great insurance but if you get hit by a bus, having it can keep you from going bankrupt.  Most of these plans are not HSA qualified though. Todd and John are hopeful that Millenials will change the way health insurance works.  There is too much double speak and obfuscation the way things stand.  This stuff doesn’t have to be so confusing and Millenials will stand up and demand that things are simplified. I know this stuff is confusing but medical expenses are the number one cause of bankruptcy in this country which is just shameful.  Make no mistake, you can go bankrupt even if you are insured but having insurance does decrease the odds of it happening to you. Show Notes Ask Mr HSA:  Todd’s site to help answer all your HSA questions. Betterment:  The simple way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 25, 2014
Finding Your Financial Weak Spots
We all have them.  Dinners out, the newest gadgets, clothes.  Our financial weak spot, our Achilles’ heel.  Find out what we can do to strengthen them. It might not be just a spending problem though.  Maybe you’re afraid to invest because it seems so intimidating.  Maybe you have the money to pay all of your bills but you aren’t organized and always pay late. Andrew is willing to take a leap that some people wouldn’t and it has gotten him in trouble in the past, failed business ventures, risky investments that didn’t pan out.  He also spends too much on food and booze. Matt spends too much on food and booze as well.  Books too but I share that addiction so I approve. He has fallen into a common trap.  He didn’t have a lot of cash for a long time.  Now that he does, he’s been a little undisciplined with his spending. It’s easy to justify over spending when you’re spending on experiences rather than things.  We preach this philosophy a lot because experiences bring more happiness than things.  But if you’re spending too much, it doesn’t matter philosophically what you’re spending on.  You still have to stop. Maybe your weak spot is asking for money whether that means asking for a raise, charging what you’re worth to clients, or asking someone who owes you money to finally pay it back. You might suspect your weak spot but not know how bad it is.  Check your Mint account.  You’ll see how much you’re spending on Seamless writ large.  Feels bad man. We want you to spend some time reflecting and identifying the weak spots.  Once you’re done navel gazing over the situation, you need to start making a change.  The formula is not complicated.  Stop spending money. Maybe your lack of planning costs you.  Booking a flight the week before a trip will almost always cost more than if it had been booked several weeks ahead.  You know when and where you want to go.  Just book the flight when you decide! Maybe lack of goals holds you back.  If you don’t have a goal, you don’t know what steps to take to achieve that goal. Sometimes you think you’ve patched your weak spot only to keep falling back into the same trap.  That’s ok, as long as the time it takes you to realize you’re doing it again gets shorter each time, you’re making progress. Show Notes War Horse Royal Kilt Inspector:  A Scottish ale. Mint:  The easy way to track your spending. Betterment:  The easy way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 23, 2014
What to Expect Before, During, and After You Buy a Home
Buying a home is uncharted territory for many of us. Both Matt and Andrew have done it and will tell us what to expect before, during, and after you buy a home. Before Your mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 30% of your take home salary.  Don’t buy a home with a person you are not married to.  Property is hard enough to untangle when you have some legal protections, it’s much worse when you don’t. The bank wants to see more than your down payment liquid in your checking account.  They want a buffer.  If you’re putting 20% down, you need more than 20% in your account. You will be paying property tax.  You will need home owner’s insurance.  You will have closing costs unless you negotiate for the seller to pay that.  You may need an appraisal and an inspection. During Being very optimistic, this process will take at least thirty days.  You will fax a rain forest worth of paper.  This will be the most paper work intensive under taking of your life. You will negotiate.  Don’t let yourself fall so in love with a place that it clouds your ability to negotiate.  When you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, $5000 doesn’t seem like much, but it is. After You will have to pay moving costs.  You will have to pay utilities you didn’t even know were a thing like water and sewage.  You might need to renovate.  You might find a nasty surprise once you start renovating, mold, foundation cracks.  It all means more money than what you had planned on. Buying a house is a hassle and it may or may not be worth it.  Consider it carefully.  A home is not the guaranteed investment it once was. Show Notes Gunny Mac American Black Ale:  A smooth, full bodied black ale. Betterment:  The better way to invest. LMM Survey:  We ask for some demographic information to help get sponsors for the show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 22, 2014
This Financial Life: Jeff Wilson
A  listener joins us for a financial check up in our This Financial Life episode.  Jeff Wilson finds out what he’s doing well and what he could do better. Jeff lives in the Midwest where he works for the Department of Natural Resources, it’s an outside job where he helps care for wild life sites.  He burns down stuff for a living! Jeff is 26, he has $24,000 in student loans.  He’s paid off about $12,000 so far.  His rent is $300 a month.  His loan payment is $400 a month.  He’s making about $1600 a month with some fluctuation. He has avoided credit card debt, a big plus.  But he’s paying the minimum on the loans.  Even still, they could be paid off in about six years.  His cost of living is very, very low and Jeff hopes to retire early. He has about $24,000 in cash saved, the same amount he has in loan debt.  It’s daunting though, to wipe out your savings in one fell swoop.  At the very least, Jeff has to get that money out of a crap interest savings account. This is the ideal time for Jeff to pay off those loans.  He has a low cost of living, no credit card debt, a good line of credit if there were an emergency.  Kill the loans! Jeff has an IRA with $10,000.  He also has a Betterment account.  The spanner in the works is that Jeff is laid off for three months of the year.  During that time he’s receiving unemployment but it’s not a lot. Jeff is doing well and he knows what he needs to do.  He just needs a little convincing.  He could potentially be retired at 40. All of our This Financial Life guests are savvy and doing pretty well and Jeff is no exception.  At just 26 years old, he’s already on the path to financial freedom. Show Notes Betterment:  Investing made better. Mint:  The better way to budget. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 21, 2014
Inside CommonBond with David Klein
You know we at LMM want to help you any way we can to reduce your student loan debt.  David Klein joins us to discuss refinancing to save you money. CommonBond is a student loan lending platform that provides lower cost financing to graduate students and graduates.  They started out as a pilot program at one school and now they have expanded to over 109 programs. The federal government holds over 90% of student loans.  They set the same rate which inflates them for credit worthy borrowers.  When David went back to school in 2011, his rate was 8%.  He saw an opportunity and with his two partners started CommonBond. CommonBond works a bit like Lending Club.  Borrowers save money when they refinance, on average, $10,000 over the life of the loan and investors have access to a kind of investing that was largely closed to them in the past. What should you look at before deciding on grad school?  First, the median salary for the field you’ll be studying.  Then look at your loan options.  You want a low interest rate but also calculate what your monthly payment would be. CommonBond offers a hybrid loan, the first of it’s kind on a national scale.  It’s a fixed rate loan for the first five years and variable thereafter. There is a cap on the variable rate of 10.99%. CommonBond also offers forbearance for three months at a time, up to twelve months in cases of economic hardship.  They will also help you find a job within their community.  They also offer paid consulting work. There is no reason not to refinance other than the hassle.  CommonBond has streamlined the process to make it as quick and easy as possible. CommonBond has partnered with Pencils of Promise to help fund education for students who would otherwise not be able to afford it.  More Millenials doing good things in the world! What can you do if you’re having problems paying your loans?  Call your lender directly and inform them of your situation.  They should be able to help you out.  If they won’t, refinance with CommonBond because they will.   Show Notes CommonBond:  Refinance your graduate school loans. Betterment:  The easy way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 20, 2014
5 Questions: Stack vs Snowball, College Wisdom, Comcast ETF
It’s the episode devoted to your questions.  Today we talk about the stack vs snowball methods of debt reduction, college wisdom, and Comcast ETF. 1.  What is your advice for an 18 year old with a part time job about to start college?  College Info Geek is a great resource for college kids.  Make as many connections as you can, join clubs, get to know your professors, join a fraternity.  Apply to every scholarship known to student kind.  We did an episode about that. 2.  If you have one student loan at 7.15% do you attack that first or pay across both loans? If you want the emotional win, pay the smaller one first and then use that payment towards the larger one.  Mathematically though it makes more sense to attack the loan with the higher interest rate. 3.  I have $50,000 in cash in a savings account earning .85% interest.  Leave it, move it to Betterment, or pay loans?  Oooh, I felt you all cringe.  I cringed too.  Someone jump him in.  You’re paying 7.15% on your loans, pay that off first!  Then invest.  Then close the savings account. 4.  I know the stack method is superior to snow ball but I have a small debt of $500.  Should I continue to stack or just pay it off?  For something that small, just pay it off and then throw the payment at the higher interest debt.  Unless your interest rate is very high on the other loan.  But since you just have two debts, getting rid of one would simplify things. 5.  I want to dump Comcast but they want to charge me $300 for early termination.  Should I just eat it?  If you have more than two months left, eat the fee.  If you can pay on a credit card, cancel the card and screw Comcast! They’re evil so fuck them. Show Notes Betterment:  The easy way to invest.  Sign up here and get up to six months free investing. War Horse Royal Kilt Inspector:  A dark hued ale. Flying Fish Red Fish:  A hoppy red ale. Betterment:  Sign up here and get up to six months free investing. Featured Image Photo Credit: “Question Box” by Raymond Bryson on Flickr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 19, 2014
The Road to a Simple Life: Minimalist Living Without Going Overboard
It was Leonardo Da Vinci who said, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. He is right! Minimalist living isn’t a new trend, it has been with us for centuries. So why is it making a comeback these days? In 2005, Tim Kasser, a psychology professor at Illinois’ Knox College conducted a study on minimalism and its impact on happiness and wellbeing. The study found that despite factors such as geographical location, gender, and age, those who simplified their lives reported significantly higher levels of positive emotions and life satisfaction. So what exactly is minimalism? No, not that kind of minimalism, more like this… Minimalist living is all about owning less, having fewer distractions, and most importantly for Listen Money Matters fans, spending less. Less is more, according to minimalism. A cluttered life leads to a cluttered brain, and ultimately an unhappy life. Minimalism is mental framework about how you go about your daily life, avoiding the trappings of modern consumer culture. Although there’s nothing wrong with owning things, minimalists would (rightly) argue that we have gone overboard with our materialistic lifestyles, to the detriment of our mental health and wellbeing. Enough said, moving on. Minimalists believe that we give way too much meaning to things, to the detriment of our financial, emotional, and physical health. Are things like homes, cars, and video games important to you? If they are, great. But, if being a good person, family relationships, and physical health are more important, why do so many people forsake these for material wants? This is the mantra of the minimalist, and there is some truth to it. So how does one begin to live a minimalist lifestyle? Leading a simple life through minimalism doesn’t have to happen in one leap. You can take small steps until you get to a place that is comfortable for you. Here’s how to get started. Becoming minimalist One of the most challenging aspects of adopting a minimalist lifestyle is figuring out where to start. If you are excited about all the benefits that minimalism has to offer, you may be tempted to make several big changes right away. However, if you are not careful, a rapid transition can make you feel burnt out and cause you to lose momentum. Before you take any concrete steps to minimize, it is essential that you adjust your mindset. Minimalism is all about reducing stress and clutter in your life, and it’s much easier to begin this outward transition after you have adjusted your mindset to be more organized. When you embark on your pursuit of minimalism, prepare to take your time with the transition. A slow and steady approach will reduce the adjustment you must make to your new minimalist lifestyle. How to be a minimalist As you start your journalist, here are a few steps on how to be a minimalist: Take stock of your possessions Before you can make changes in your home, you need to understand exactly how much you own. Walk through your house or apartment and take a look at the items you have in different rooms. Make sure to take note of areas that you want to pay special attention to, such as overflowing dressers or cluttered bookshelves. It’s also a good idea to identify repeat items that you could easily downsize, such as multiple copies of the same book. Work through your emotional connections to stuff If you feel some anxiety when you think about getting rid of some of your possessions, you’re not alone. Most people have emotional connections to their possessions that can make letting go difficult. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 18, 2014
The Miracle Morning: Start Improving Your Life Tomorrow Morning
Hal Elrod is a keynote speaker and best selling author.  He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Miracle Morning.  This book may change your life! What is so miraculous about the morning? Plenty. If you want to improve your life, your morning is the place to start. Hal’s secret is that your level of personal development will match your level of success.  He began devoting an hour a day to personal development.  He researched the six most powerful methods of personal development and vowed to do all six each day. Why Morning? Mornings get such a bad rap. Everyone seems to want to stay in bed rather than get up and start the day. If this is you, you are giving up the best part of the day. Mornings are the most distraction free time you will get. If you get up early enough, you are probably the only one in the house who is stirring. No one is asking for breakfast or if you remembered to pay the car payment or where their other sock is. You have the whole house to yourself! If you go to the gym, it’s almost empty! You don’t have to wait around for the machine you want or get annoyed because some cretin didn’t re-rack their weights. If you drive or take public transit, there is less traffic and less people to crowd and annoy you on the bus or train. When you get to work, you can get things done without the phone ringing, e-mails coming in, co-workers bugging you. Unless you are staying in bed for sex, there is really no reason to keep laying there hitting the snooze button wasting your miracle morning. Morning is the best time to get things done because we are at our freshest. We’ve had at least some sleep, even if it was a bad night of sleep, it’s as rested as you are going to feel all day. The day also has a habit of getting away from us. You don’t work out in the morning and promise to do it after work. But then you remember you have a dentist appointment or agreed to meet a friend for dinner. The day is over and you never worked out. When we don’t do things in the morning, the rest of the day can get away from us and those things just never get done. In the morning, you don’t have the events of the day weighing you down. Sometimes we do have bad days and we just don’t have the energy or we are just in too bad a mood to care about doing things that will help our personal development. That is why morning. The Six Most Powerful Methods of Personal Development This are the things Hal starts his day with. All it takes is one hour. Silence Our world is loud. I lived for a time on 78th Street and Second Avenue. There were a row of bars across the street. Bars close late in New York City, not until 4:00 am. It wasn’t the bar patrons that was the problem, apart from the occasional “Whoooing” bro or drunk chick. It was when the bars when drag trash bags full of empty glass bottles to the curb. When you managed to fall back to sleep after that, the garbage trucks would pull up and toss them into the back, making another huge sleep destroying clatter. I used to lay in bed almost bawling from anger and frustration. There is something about certain noises or noise that is interrupting our sleep that triggers some kind of oddly disproportionate anger in us. The World Health Organization declared noise pollution a “modern plague” and there is overwhelming evidence that it is detrimental to physical and mental health. The antidote to the stress causes by the cacophony of life is to start your day with silence. This could be “formal” silence like meditation or just sitting quietly for a few minutes before turning on the radio or television. Silence reduces blood pressure. Silence can regenerate brain cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain tasked with memory, learning and emotion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 17, 2014
This Financial Life with Zina Kumok
We have a listener guest today!  Zina Kumok joins us to share her financial life and find out what she is doing right and what she could be doing better. LMM met Zina at Fincon.  She vowed to pay her student loan debt off in three years and started a blog to document her progress. She did it too.  As of this month, she has paid off her entire loan balance.  She put any extra money, free lance money, birthday money, towards the debt. Like many of us, Zina had very little finance education.  Whatever she made, she spent.  At one point, she ate out three meals a day!  When she had to borrow money for a security deposit on an apartment, she realized she had nothing to show for the pretty good money she was making. Zina’s parents were fans of Dave Ramsey and that was her introduction to personal finance. Get Rich Slowly was another big influence as it was for a lot of us. Student loan debt was the only debt Zina had.  No credit card or mortgage debt.  She is engaged to be married and is planning on joining finances with her fiance soon.  Now that she has some breathing room, she can be less strict on her budgeting.  Her fiance is as money savvy as Zina and is also debt free. Both partners have an emergency fund but want to build it up to six months for of expenses.  They have a dog that may need surgery in the future.  Pet insurance may be something to consider for Zina. Zina started an  IRA while in college.  She now does matching in her 401K.  The money that no longer needs to go towards the loan will go towards the emergency fund and retirement.  The emergency fund is now stashed in the savings account but Zina realizes this needs to change. Zina uses Mint and an Excel spread sheet to budget.  New tech and old school.  The idea of buying a house is not really on her radar right now.  Her parents had three offers in four years when they tried to sell their house.  That would put anyone off. Good luck to Zina and her fiance on their wedding and combining their finances.  Zina hopes to start a podcast soon so check her site for updates. Show Notes Abbey Ale:  A golden, Belgian style ale. Flying Fish Hop Fish:  An English style IPA. Debt Free After Three:  Zina’s story of paying of her student loans in three years. Mint:  The easy way to budget. Betterment:  The easy way to invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 16, 2014
Inside Final Card with Matt Rothstein
Matt Rothstein of Get Final will discuss a new kind of credit card for the 21st Century designed to be a consumer ally rather than a consumer predator. The card will go Beta soon with a wait list of over 30,000 people.  It’s a physical credit card that assigns a different number to each merchant, giving you more control over your account. And it’s chip and pin, at last!  There is still a magnetic stripe because not all retailers are set up for chip and pin yet. You can assign a dollar amount limit to each merchant.  So if your gym charges $100 a month, no more can be charged.  This way if there is a data breech, not only can the charge not exceed your limit, but it can’t be used at any other merchant.  The transaction would automatically decline. Because you are setting a dollar limit, this can also be a helpful budgeting tool. Final was founded due to data breaches the founders suffered.  They realized credit cards haven’t changed for decades and wanted to design a credit card for the internet age.  Banks and credit card companies are terrible at communicating vital information such as cutting off your card while you’re on vacation abroad. Final plans to start a rewards program soon, most likely a cash back system.  So many of the really good rewards are only available with type tier cards and Final would like to make rewards more democratic. Final expects to go live around mid 2015 in Beta. Final want your feedback.  E-mail at and let them know what you want and don’t want in a credit card. Show Notes Betterment:  The smart way to invest.  Get up to six months free. Get Final:  A credit card for the 21st Century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 15, 2014
Sharing the Gift of Financial Knowledge
When you learn something new, you can’t wait to share it.  Money matters should be the same.  Spread your knowledge to the less financially savvy among us. It doesn’t just have to be something good you’ve learned.  Some bank or company screw you over?  Let everyone know that too so they can avoid the same fate. We encourage you to surround yourself with financial friends but you don’t have to ditch the friends who are bad with money.  You can be the financial friend that helps them improve their habits. Money is such a taboo subject though.  How do you bring it up?  Lead by bleeding first.  Tell your friends all the dumb mistakes you made and how you fixed them.  It will make them feel less judged when they share their mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you learn something by reading it from a bathroom wall or Stephen Hawking told it to you over cocktails.  The important thing is that you know it.  So if you learned from our podcast or another, a book, a blog, share your source of knowledge with those around you. And be sure to follow up.  Ask if they listened or read the book.  Then you will have a jumping off point and you can show them all kinds of cool stuff like Mint, Betterment, and Acorns.  Once they’re a little savvier, you can introduce them to Vanguard if they haven’t already discovered it. Do you have a story on how you helped a friend or family member improve their finances?  Share your story in the comments. Show Notes Mint:  Mint will tell you when your bank screws you with bullshit fees. Betterment:  Investing for beginners. Acorns:  Invest your nickels and dimes.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 14, 2014
5 Questions: Refinancing, Rebuilding Credit, and Being a Spendaholic
Time for listener questions.  We’ll discuss refinancing, repairing damaged credit, and being a spendaholic.  We love answering your questions.  If you want to know, your fellow listeners are probably wondering too.  1.  How do I turn my spendaholic friends into the budgeting, investing machine LMM has turned me into?  First, tell them about the show!  You have to let each person realize they need help.  New Year’s resolutions are around the corner and money is a big one.  If they resolve to improve their finances, suggest some learning materials.  Podcasts, books, blogs that will help them learn.  If they suggest going out, offer up a cheap night.  A potluck, movie night at your place.  Remember, the host always gets to keep the leftover booze!  Inspire them, don’t lecture them.  2.  I have a secured credit card as I’m trying to rebuild my credit.  What’s another good card to help me repair the damage?  When Matt had bad credit, in the low 600’s, Discover gave him a credit card.  Set up an account on Credit Karma to check your credit score to see if things are improving.  Getting more than one card and putting a small charge (Netflix, gym membership) on each one will boost your credit score because it will show a history of on-time payments.  We wrote an article on credit scores with some additional information. 3.  How do on-going payments work in an index fund?  Inflation is usually 2-3% and no savings account offers anything close to that.  Through investing, over time, you can expect returns around 7%.  Make a deposit into your investment account every month and let it ride. 4.  My wife and I are looking to enter the property market.  After doing so, we’ll still have $20,000-$40,000 left over.  How do we stay ahead of inflation?  Betterment and Vanguard have great returns.  If you don’t need your money to be liquid, Lending Club is a great investment.  It’s not for everyone but it’s worth looking into.  If you’re more conservative, stick with Betterment. 5.  We are considering refinancing through SoFi.  Our rate could fluctuate  up but the term would be reduced.  Is this the right move?  It’s more than likely that interest rates will go up in 2015.  By re-financing now, you’ll pay less and pay the loan off more quickly. Thanks for the questions everyone.  Keep sending them in. Show Notes Betterment: The smart way to invest. Flying Fish Red Fish: A hoppy red ale. LMM Toolbox:  Some credit cards we recommend.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 13, 2014
Combating Complacency with Grant Peelle
Ever feel that you’re just kind of stuck, just total complacency?  Grant Peelle made a documentary about people who felt that way and did something about it. Grant Peelle is a documentary filmmaker.  His film I’m Fine, Thanks documented the lives of people who got fed up with being in a rut and what they did to change it. Grant found himself feeling complacent.  Life wasn’t terrible, he didn’t hate his job.  But something was missing.  Life was routine, filled with consumption.  He longed to do a film. The idea for the film was hashed out in a weekend.  They raised private money before doing a Kick Starter campaign once some footage was filmed. The theme of the film is why do we trade our dreams for a scripted life?  Grant interviewed people who broke free from that and people who were still immersed in that life but working on breaking out. It doesn’t explain how, it explains why.  That’s the nature of the story Grant wanted to tell.  The biggest lesson from the film is that you’re not alone in your fear.  Many of us feel a vague dissatisfaction but we’re afraid to make the leap into the unknown. But there is a whole community of people who share your fear, did it anyway and can help smooth your path.  Whatever you want to do, the internet has a community for you.  If Bronies can find each other, people who want to quit their 9-5 can too. I’m Fine, Thanks is an extraordinary film.  If you need a bit of uplifting or a bit of encouragement, this is the film for you. Show Notes I’m Fine, Thanks:  Grant’s documentary about complacency and what to do about it. #Standwithme:  Grant’s documentary about knowing where your products come from. LMM Financial Rant Hotline:  Call 856-818-3738 and rant about anything finance related. Texas 4000:  Help us beat Stacking Benjamins and help a good cause. Betterment:  The easy way to invest.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 12, 2014
Veteran’s Day Special with Ryan Carlson
In honor of Veteran’s Day we join other podcasts in giving voice to Veterans.  Matt’s friend Ryan Carlson joins us to share his story. Ryan joined the Air Force immediately after high school.  He was in college and then his entire base was activated after 9/11.  The base had jets in the air nearly 24/7 for almost a year. Ryan graduated in 2005, the same year his enlistment was up.  He entered the private sector and didn’t like it so re-enlisted for six more years.  He worked as an avionics technician until 2012 and then was commissioned as an officer. He spent time in Qatar and Iraq.  Ryan was considered a veteran even before going to Iraq because he served during 9/11 when the country was at war.  Ryan is currently a component maintenance flight officer in charge.  His job is to deliver ready to deploy jets to the pilots. He also sets up teams to work on disaster relief.  They worked on Hurricane Sandy.  He will also shortly begin training on preventing sexual assault in the military. Personal finance in the military is a little different than in the private sector which we discussed in Episode 63.  Ryan was lucky.  Unlike a lot of young people, his parents taught him about money from a young age.  He’s the friend who tried unsuccessfully to convince Matt to use a spread sheet. Ryan has a side hustle (wrote that to annoy Matt) with Amazon.  He ships product to Amazon warehouses and when the item is ordered, Amazon handles the shipping.  It’s more expensive than selling direct but it’s less hassle. Ryan uses Betterment to invest the money he makes from Amazon.  His allocation is conservative, 35% stocks and 65% bonds. Thank you to all of the military personnel, past and present, for their service. Show Notes River Horse Belgian Freeze: A Belgian style ale. Flying Fish Oktoberfish:  An homage to German Octoberfest beers. Voices for Vets:   A collection of podcasts giving voice to the stories of veterans on 11/11. Lancaster Brewing Baked Pumpkin Ale:  Just like pumpkin pie. Betterment:  Start investing today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 11, 2014
Understanding Financial Security with Robert Siciliano
Identity theft can wreck your life and your credit.  Security expert Robert Siciliano joins us to discuss how to protect sensitive information. There are two main types of financial identity theft:  new account fraud and account take over. New account fraud is when someone gets your social security number and starts opening new lines of credit in your name, credit cards, even car loans.  You start getting calls from collection agencies wanting their money. Account takeover is the most common form of ID theft.  This is when someone hacks your bank account or gets your credit card number. New account fraud is easier to prevent.  Making sure your devices are protected from spyware and being careful where you give out personal information will go a long way in preventing it. Account takeover is harder to avoid.  Every time you hand over your credit card to pay for something, it can be stolen.  The best thing to do is to monitor your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized transactions. There are new technologies coming that can help prevent ID theft.  Chip and pin are long overdue in the States.  It’s been standard in Europe for years.  We will get it in October 2015.  The magnetic strips will be replaced by the chip and pin which are harder to hack because the chipped data is encrypted. NFC technology is in the offing too.  This is tap and pay or wave and pay technology.  Apple Pay uses NFC. The best way to stay safe is to use multiple layers of protection.  Use Mint, check your statements, some banks and credit card companies allow you to set your alerts to be notified of every transaction.  Amex is the gold standard for this. You have sixty days to refute a charge on a credit card.  You have two days to refute a fraudulent debit card charge.  This is why we advocate always using a credit card rather than a debit card. If you use Cloud storage, Robert recommends mulit-factor authentication. Otherwise, all your naked pics will end up on Reddit, The Fappening II.  Are you willing to risk it? Don’t use one password for more than one account.  I know this is a pain in the ass but sorting out ID theft is worse.  At least don’t do it for anything connected to your finances. Get a credit freeze.  It locks down your credit report. In order to “thaw” your report, for legitimate applications for credit and loans you’ll receive a one time PIN. I’ve had both my checking account and a credit card hacked and it is annoying to have to sort out so get your security measures in place now. Show Notes ID Theft Security:  Robert’s site that will teach you how to safeguard your private details. Mint:  Alerts you to unusual activity on your account. Best ID Theft Companys:  ID protection companies ranked. LMM Financial Rant Hotline:  Call 856-818-3738 and rant about anything finance related. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 10, 2014
Being Charitable With and Without Spending Money
Being charitable is important but when you’re minding your money it isn’t as simple as writing a big check.  But you don’t have to give money to contribute. A lot of people start to think about the best way to give around the holidays.  But with so many demands on your money this time of year, how can you best give back to your community and the world around you without going broke? When you’re a kid being charitable is set up for you.  Through the Boy or Girl Scouts, through your school, through your church if your parents dragged you.  And it didn’t cost you anything.  You did good deeds, donated your time, or collected things like clothes or food for others. When you’re an adult, it can fall by the way side.  Demands on your time and money mean that charity takes a back seat.  But there are small ways to help.  A lot of stores will give you the option to add some extra money onto your purchase for charity.  Pet Smart does this and it gets me every time.  Puppies and kitties! A lot of people get involved in a charity because of a tragedy or near tragedy close to them.  Matt filmed a series of videos for Learn 2 Swim on pool safety for children after a child in his family nearly drowned.  It didn’t cost him money.  He donated his time and expertise which can be more valuable than money. Please be selective when choosing a charity to give your time and money to.  Don’t just default to the big name charity.  Do a bit of googling on Susan Komen and you’ll realize they don’t deserve a cent of your money or your time.  Give Well is an excellent resource that vets charities. Sometimes the best reason to give to charity is because you are pissed off. When Tim Tebow’s mother did an anti-choice ad that aired during the Super Bowl, I made a nice, fat donation to Planned Parenthood in her name. Yes, donating time to charity is a great way to score!  Someone who is generous with their time may be generous with their other talents too.  Ulterior motives still help the charity and you get some.  Win win.  And please remember, charities are inundated around the holidays but people need help and money all year round.  We know each of you have unique skills and talents that any charity would be thrilled to take advantage of. Show Notes Betterment:  Invest now so you have more to give. Charity Navigator: Another site to vet charities. Donors Choose:  A charity for school children. Texas 4000:  Help us beat the Stacking Benjamins audience and help a good cause. Ted Talk Michael Norton:  How to buys happiness through charity.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 09, 2014
The Tools, Apps, Podcasts, and Books We Love
We thought we would share all the things that teach us, help us, and make us more productive throughout the day.  The best of the best curated for you. Not all of these are money related and they are all new ones that we’ve discovered since we covered this topic in the early days of LMM. Podcasts APM Market Place:  A quick summary of the day’s financial markets and big stories. How To Start A Startup:  From Stanford University. Hard Core History:  Epic history podcast. Money for the Rest of Us:  From our past guest J David Stein! Ted Radio Hour:  Portable Ted Talks. Freakonomics:  All the money topics you never thought to ask about. Fizzle:  How to build your own side business. Smart Passive Income:  Pat Flynn’s podcast. Nerdist:  A podcast about things and stuff. Tim Ferris:  From The Four Hour author. Extra Pack of Peanuts:  Past guest Travis Sherry’s travel podcast. The College Info Geek Podcast:  From our frequent contributor Thomas Frank. Blogs and Books Brain Pickings:  Well curated articles for the creative and curious. QZ:  Data driven news. Oliver Emberton:  Oliver writes about life and how to better it. How To Win Any Argument:  Great for married people but useful for anyone who deals with people.  Which I guess is all of us except the hermits. Good To Great:  How some companies make the leap while others don’t. The War of Art: How to fight your inner resistance to getting things done. Steal Like an Artist:  About creativity. ... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 08, 2014
How to Become a Minimalist with Joel Zaslofsky
Minimalism can be defined many ways.  We’ll talk to Joel Zaslofsky about how to become a minimalist. He has embraced the lifestyle to learn why and how it has improved his life. What is a minimalist? Joel defines it as embracing what is important to you and stripping away the excess. He began down the path of minimalism five years ago when he and his wife were expecting their first child.  Prior to that, he was following the prescribed American path, college, wife, house, dog, kid. Having a child was the kick in the ass he needed. Joel wanted to be a good father and knew some of the extraneous things in his life needed to go in order to do that.  It’s not just stuff that needs to go. Toxic relationships need to be jettisoned too. Or just those that have become perfunctory. Joel started hard core and video games were the first thing to go. I’m not sure if I recommend this.  I’ve seen you pasty video game players walk into the sunlight and it’s scary for you and us too.  Tread carefully. Sugar was second and I do endorse this.  Life improves 100% after this change based on the highly scientific study I just conducted. If you like that stat, look into Paleo which Matt and I both hardily endorse. Simplifies things to an incredible degree.  He also recommends meditation and yoga.  I’ve failed on both those fronts, I’m too wriggly. If you embrace minimalism even in just a few areas of your life, you will see an improvement in your finances. Less stuff equals more money. Joel’s advice is to not focus on what you’re giving up but what you will gain.  Time, money, peace.  All of which are more important and more fulfilling than stuff.  Show Notes Ommegang BPA:  A Belgian style pale ale. Flying Fish Hop Fish:  A hoppy red ale. All My Money:  The LMM rap video. Value of Simple:  Liberate your time, money and talent. Smart and Simple Matters Podcast:  Find freedom from stuff and live intentionally. SimpleRev: Workshops on simple living. Becoming Minimalist:  Celebrating simplicity. Betterment:  Stash the money you’re saving here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 07, 2014
How to Calculate Opportunity Cost With Every Choice You Make
Opportunity cost sounds ominous. Like you are really going to be missing out or possibly making a big mistake if you choose wrong. Without realizing it, we make minor decisions in our lifestyle choices that involve calculating opportunity cost.  Opportunity cost is basically considering what you can’t do as the result of each possible decision you make.  Don’t worry. We are here to teach you how to calculate opportunity cost and how it works so you always make the best decisions.  Our professor on the show today is Dan Egan from Betterment and he’s drinking beer brewed at Betterment! What is Opportunity Cost? Opportunity cost is what you give up when you choose between options. No matter what we choose, there is a next best choice that we give up or an opportunity forgone, that is the opportunity cost. We want to minimize our opportunity cost by choosing the option that benefits the most. Considering that almost every decision you make has a potentially beneficial alternative, you will never be able to eliminate opportunity cost entirely. The important thing is not to brood over “what ifs” and “should haves”. Rather be pragmatic and responsible each time you are decision making. “One of the most important concepts of economics is ‘opportunity cost’ – the idea that once you spend your money on something, you can’t spend it again on something else.” Malcolm Turnbull Decision making typically involves constraints such as time, resources and rules – risk vs reward, cost vs quality, salary vs quality of life. Opportunity cost is considering what you can’t do as the result of each possible decision. Opportunity Cost = Return of Most Lucrative Option – Return of Chosen Option Scarcity We have to weigh opportunity costs because of scarcity. Scarcity means limited resources. All of our resources, time, money, effort, are not infinite and could be used in a variety of ways. You may be able to allocate the time you spend earning a new certification or degree into advancing within your current position, for example. In this situation, you would have to decide what the most valuable allotment of your time is and what would have the greatest potential for the greater return on your chosen investment. So we have to carefully consider our decisions to make sure what we are gaining by making one choice over another is more valuable than what we are foregoing. Simple Examples of Opportunity Cost Even simply deciding where you want to eat comes with unavoidable missed opportunities. You want to go out to dinner. You decide to go to the French place over the Italian place. The enjoyment of an Italian meal is the opportunity cost of that decision. Although you might thoroughly enjoy your meal at the French restaurant, even more so than you would have at the Italian place, you will still have missed out on the good food and enjoyable experience. And the baguettes. Oh, the baguettes! Opportunity cost can apply to your everyday purchases, as well. You want Netflix for the month and a new book. You don’t have money for both. You choose the book. Watching Netflix is the opportunity cost. Investing Examples Of course, there are situations where the opportunity cost of a decision is much higher than eating steak tartar instead of pasta. Choosing an investment vehicle is one area where opportunity costs must be more carefully considered. Any time you invest your money in the stock market, there are certain trade-offs that you must expect. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 05, 2014
5 Questions: Life insurance, Budgeting, and Buying a Home
It’s time for five listener questions.  Today we talk about life insurance, budgeting, and buying a home. 1.  What do you guys know about life insurance?  Not everyone needs it but if you have someone who depends on your financially, then you should have it. Term is the best option.  If you can get it through your employer, take it.  We did a deep dive on this subject in Episode 140. 2.  When accounting for expenses like travel, do you mark it when you decide to spend the money or once it’s actually spent? Mark it when you spend the money, so it you buy the plane ticket now but the trip is in January, it counts for November’s budget. 3.  You should buy when stocks are low.  Are you still feeding money into Betterment while the market is down?  Yes, absolutely.  Buy fear, things are never as bad as they seem.  As a new investor, stay the course.  I know it’s hard to not keep checking the numbers but just let it ride. 4.  What’s the smartest thing to do with a windfall?  Because that money will push you into a higher tax bracket, start a solo 401k or a Roth IRA.  We’ll look the other way if you still decide to spend a small portion on video games and flesh lights. 5.  We are a couple in our mid twenties.  Is there an ideal time to buy a home? If you’re going to buy a home, it should be bigger, better, and cheaper than the place you’re renting.  But you’re young, go travel a little before you think about buying a home.  Don’t rush buying a home.  Ask Matt what happens when you rush it. We have been getting a lot of good feed back on the five questions episodes.  Keep sending in questions and we’ll keep answering them. Show Notes Introverts Should Lay Off the Coffee:  I would never but here’s the article. Betterment:  Now is a great time to jump in. Featured Image Photo Credit: “Question Box” by Raymond Bryson on Flickr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 04, 2014
Tax Efficient Investing with Larry Ludwig
You’re investing, great!  Now we can take it a step further and learn how to optimize your taxes while investing.  Larry Ludwig will explain the best tax efficient investing practices. The tax man gets enough of your hard earned bucks. Larry Ludwig from The Money Tree Investing Podcast will teach us how to optimize our investments for the biggest tax benefit. Larry recommends eight steps to maximize your tax savings: 1.  401k up to your employer’s match. 2.  Traditional IRA 3.  401k post match. 4.  Roth IRA 5.  529 Savings Account if you plan to send a child or yourself to college. 6.  US I Savings Bonds, low yield but a good place to keep some emergency cash. 7.  MLP and Muni Bonds for higher net worth, more sophisticated investors. 8.  Taxable and Non Taxable Accounts, depending on your goal, buying a house, getting ready to retire, create a balance between taxable and tax deferred investments. If you’re looking for the most simple option, funnel money into a Roth IRA.  If you are self employed, start a solo or SEP 401k.  All the more reason to start your own business.  It gives you so many more investing options than when you work for the man. Tax forms will be going out in a few months so you still have some time to get that money into an account that will give you the most tax shelter.  Don’t overdo it though.  You can have so much in tax deferred accounts that you don’t have anything liquid for an emergency. Show Notes Tax Efficient Investing: Here’s a link to Larry’s post that outlines all the concepts talked about on the episode. The Money Tree Investing Podcast:  A weekly interview podcast devoted to personal finance. Betterment:  Sign up today for six months free investing. HSA Accounts:  Explanations about age restriction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 03, 2014
Surviving a Bear Attack: What to Do During a Bear Market
Here’s the best tip for surviving a bear attack: play dead. It will be good practice for when you’re actually dead a few seconds later. OK, maybe we aren’t talking about this kind of bear attack, but seriously…get some mace! We mean the kind of attack that happens when the stock market is down. The important thing when it comes to anything bear-related…do not panic. So, what is a bear market? A bear market is simply a period in time in which stock market prices are falling. Simple as that. A bear market is a time when most investors panic and run for dear lives like the cunning wolf above. But bear markets aren’t for pa