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Stacking Benjamins: Earn, Save, and Spend Money With a Plan

Joe Saul-Sehy & OG discuss current finance trends, interview personalities and share the microphone with finance and non-finance people from across the nation...all from the comfort of Joe's parent's basement.
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May 29, 2017

With automation a bigger part of our life, what's going to drive the economy in the future? We talk economics, work, and the role of money with executive producer Dave O'Connor of the new National Geographic show Year Million.

In our headlines segment, we're joined by David Siegel, CEO of Investopedia, to tells us about lessons learned from their recent Market Madness competition. 5,000 college students participated, and the results AND lessons from the competition, including some of the big names missing from the average portfolio, are interesting. We also talk about annuity sales, which are down a TON since this time last year. What's going on? OG & Joe will talk all things annuity.

We also throw out the Haven Life line to Josh, who wonders if he should hire a more active manager for his money, and we answer a letter from a listener who thinks Joe's movie review of a recent film was more than a little off.

Of course, that's not all. Doug brings the trivia, mom brings treats, and there are some horrible jokes along the way.

Special thanks to  SoFi and our newest sponsor M1Finance for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

May 26, 2017

What are some tricks to lower your utility bills? Jamila from JourneyToLaunch and Fritz Gilbert from The Retirement Manifesto join Len Penzo (Len Penzo dot com) in a fun, fast-paced roundtable discussion about lowering your home expenses and saving more money. We'll also tackle the recent news from Ford about their HUGE personnel cuts. What should YOU do if you think your job is on the chopping block? 

In our Friday HR segment, the Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas stops by to answer a listener letter. It seems our listener is close to retirement and his boss might be a micro-manager...or maybe just overly focused on setting improvement goals. How does our listener work with the boss to get through the next couple years until he retires?

As always, we have all of that and much, much more to help you kick off a big holiday weekend in the USA.

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our show!

May 24, 2017

With Memorial Day right around the corner in the USA, we ask Mr. Theme Park Insider, Robert Niles, "Where we can find the best values?" As always, he delivers with suggestions for parks around the country, and with ideas for people and families of all ages.

In our headlines we talk about money disorders that kill your financial plan. We also discuss a disturbing spending trend among older people. We throw out the Haven Life line to Emily, who wants to know if her boyfriend's job is sub-optimal (he's an active stock trader), and we answer a letter from Stephanie, who asks about buying a house. Should she plop down a bigger down payment or go with a bigger loan to leave her money invested?

Of course we have Doug's trivia, some bad jokes, and lots more....

Huge thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for helping us with today's show!

Looking for show notes? They're right here.

May 22, 2017

Today we're live from Times Square and the 2017 CO-OP THINK! Conference, where credit union executives gathered to talk innovation in money management. What do the next five years look like for your money? What innovative solutions are credit unions dreaming up? We talk to top credit union officials from around the country AND financial luminaries like Jean Chatzky and Bobby Rebell to talk about digital innovation.

We also throw out the Haven Life line to a caller who wonders how to invest a $200,000 inheritance. Doug brings the trivia, we answer a listener letter, and much more.

Thanks to SoFi and M1Finance for sponsoring our show!

May 19, 2017

How do you get ahead financially? Our friends at Kiplinger wrote a fantastic, conservative piece about the keys to financial success and today our crack roundtable team of award winning writers will discuss THAT piece and two others.

In our Friday Fintech segment we talk to Dee Choubey from MoneyLion about tracking your money more effectively. How does it work? We'll talk all things money management, debt control, and good, solid nudges to help you handle your finances successfully.

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our show!

 

May 17, 2017

Invest or pay down credit cards? Buy a car or invest toward a house? These are opportunity cost questions, and today, Emily Guy Birken, author of End Financial Stress NOW, joins us to explain how it works. We'll also talk about the problem with "free," sunk costs, and other often neglected strategies to manage money better. In our headlines we'll talk Johnny Depp again, plus talk financial knowledge. How much do we learn about money over our lifetime? The answer will surprise you.

Today we throw out the Haven Life line to Jordan, who has an important tax question many of you may share. Taylor sends us a letter about opportunity cost. Should he pay down debt or invest? We also share Doug's trivia, and more.

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for helping us with today's show!

May 15, 2017

Claudia and Garrett Pennington paid off nearly a quarter million dollars in debt. Better yet? They became MUCH more focused on what was important to them with money and their life. Claudia comes down to the basement on today's show to share their inspiring story of perseverance, living a thoughtful life, and questioning the need for everything. Hulu? Questioned. Cars? Questioned. House? Questioned....and much more. Of course, that's not all. We throw out the Haven Life line to Cameron, who wonders whether it's a good idea to start a separate account to cover his medical in retirement. 

In headlines we discuss Johnny Depp's money problem. It appears someone may have a spending problem. But in better news, we also profile a recent NFL draft pick who uses a fantastic financial planning technique to bring in some serious money. We'll share how on today's show. Plus, we have Doug's trivia, and more!

Special thanks to  SoFi and our newest sponsor M1Finance for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

May 12, 2017

We have a fun, wide-ranging discussion today about buying happiness, buying art, firing company boards, and figuring out your retirement number. Liz from ChiefMomOfficer.org joins Len (LenPenzo.com) and Paula (AffordAnything.com) to cover these wide-ranging topics. First, we'll discuss a piece arguing that you CAN buy happiness....and that it's different for everyone. True? You'll find out our panel's opinion today! Plus, we'll discuss Wells Fargo recently renewing every member of their board of directors. Shouldn't some board members have been fired after their recent fiasco? If you own stock, are moments like this a reason to sell today? Finally, we'll discuss your retirement number. When is it important to know how much you'll need for retirement? Early on when you're saving? Later? Ever? We'll ask all three panelists these questions and more.

In our Friday Fintech segment we talk to Madelaine D'Angelo from Arthena about buying into an art fund. How does it work? We'll talk all things art and buying it with Madelaine today.

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our show!

May 10, 2017

On today's show, we're covering all the tough topics because YOU are the headliner on this show! We're answering your letters about 401k plans, college savings, and more!

Plus, we throw out the Haven Life Line, we feature headlines about online security with our friend Jocelyn from NextAdvisor and more. 

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for helping us with today's show!

May 8, 2017

What is "impact investing"? Jessica Huang from iShares stops by the basement to fill us in, and you won't be disappointed. Maybe your portfolio CAN reflect your ethics and keep the high returns you're looking to achieve. We're also excited to talk to Jack Kosakowski from Junior Achievement today. A new JA study finds that kids are frightened by financial terms. Why? What can we do about it? He has answers.

As always, we'll throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener and also squeeze in some Coca-Cola trivia from Doug.

Special thanks to  SoFi and our newest sponsor M1Finance for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

May 5, 2017

What could make your 20's easier? Or, if your older, what SHOULD you have known in your 20's? On today's roundtable episode, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, Len Penzo from LenPenzo.com, and Joe discuss all the things they should have known back then.

But that's not all. We circle the wagons on tipping. Should you tip for takeout? When is it appropriate to leave a tip? We'll address all of that today!

PLUS - in our Friday Fintech segment we talk to Ross Kimbarovsky from Respect. If you're worried about elder relatives, Ross and his team are rolling out some innovation in the area of elder care. He'll explain how it all works today.

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our show!

May 3, 2017

Think you know everything about the board game Monopoly? Think again! Mary Pilon, author of the New York Times bestseller The Monopolists joins us to talk about the unbelievably interesting and slightly sordid history of one of the world's favorite games.

In our headlines segment, we're joined by Jamie Wise from the BUZZ Index. He'll share the latest buzz on investing from social media. Then we're joined by Shane Steele from Chime. They have a new fee finder service which has uncovered some HUGE fees you might want to begin avoiding at the bank. He'll share some of the biggest mistakes they see, plus tips if you think you won't get your taxes finished in time for the deadline.

Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line to Lenny, who's worried about taxes and his new side hustle. Should he open a retirement account? Maybe withhold more from his main job? Anything else? We'll help him and you with that question. We also answer a letter from Collin, who asks about rebalancing his investments. 

Special thanks to  SoFi and Magnify Money for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

May 1, 2017

Tired of being broke? Erin Lowry is coming to save you today. Erin's the author of the new hit book Broke Millennial, and shares stories about examining your past, focusing on your tendencies, and then going on the offensive with your financial life.

In our headlines segment, Brittney Burgett from Haven Life joins us to talk about how expensive parenting has become. She'll share some tips for parents about priorities and protecting your biggest asset: your time.

Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line to Andy, who's wonders about international funds. We also answer a letter about student loans with some help from Adam Carroll, whose new documentary Broke, Busted and Disgusted has been picked up by CNBC.

Special thanks to  SoFi and our newest sponsor M1Finance for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

Apr 28, 2017

Griffin the Intern (AKA the Fintern) is rewinding to our time with Pete the Planner helping out on the roundtable. 

Here is the original show description: 

Today we handle a listener question asking, “What exchange traded fund should I buy?” Of course, OG has ideas….

Pete Dunn, AKA Pete the Planner, joins Greg and Len today to talk about high rent payments, rigged company reports and gourmet dog food. How do you make ends meet when 30 percent of your money has to go to your landlord? How do you pick stocks when company CFOs admit they’re “massaging” the numbers? How do you control your budget when your dog eats better food than you?

That’s not all, though. We answer your letters about bad 401k plans and purchasing exchange traded funds AND review the new hit film Mission Impossible.

 

This episode originally aired Aug 24, 2015. 

Apr 26, 2017

The Fintern brings another great episode today featuring Darrow Kirkpatrick giving plenty of advice on retirement. 

 

Here's the original description: 

 

Can you retire yet? Our friend Darrow Kirkpatrick not only can help you answer that question, but he’s coming down to the basement to share TESTED early retirement strategies, such as the role of annuities, setting up your investments, insurance decisions, surprises in retirement, and more.

AND because we’re kicking off a fresh eight weeks of shows, of course, there’s much more. We discuss the five most important years of your financial life, a new US Government measure of financial health AND the cost of the world’s largest yacht. Albert calls us on the Quotacy hotline to ask how he should switch careers toward becoming a financial advisor and Jason writes us about Roth IRAs.

We have all of that AND still more on today’s podcast!

Thanks to MagnifyMoney.com and SoFi for sponsoring our podcast.

 

This episode originally aired on Jun 6, 2016. 

 

Apr 24, 2017

Today, the FinTern rewinds to one of our favorites episode when Farnoosh Torabi visited the basement to answer your letters. She answered far better than we could have without her.  

Here's the original show description: We try to stump the amazing Farnoosh Torabi of So Money podcast fame with your letters….but she’s too amazing and answers FOUR of them with little help from us. Should you start a house flipping business with friends? What assumptions should you make in a financial plan? How do you fast forward podcasts?

We also talk about the MOST SHOCKING way to get rich….you’ll have to hear it to believe it….AND PK tackles the most expensive years you’ll have during your lifetime. Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney for sponsoring our podcast!

This episode originally aired Jun 24, 2015.

Apr 21, 2017

Why are people struggling to make ends meet? Our roundtable gang today (joined by author of the new book Broke Millennial) kicks off the fun by examining why (according to a recent Washington Post piece), some families just can't seem to save. We'll then dive into worry....and the ways to stop worrying and start saving!

Like every roundtable....we won't dwell on a single topic long, so next up on our Friday FinTech segment, we'll talk to Brett Crosby, who'll introduce us to PeerStreet, a new platform for investing in real estate.

We'll then end the episode by talking about weird jobs. Trust me...if you've listened to the show for any length of time, you'll be surprised by a few revelations on today's show.

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our show!

Apr 19, 2017

Struggling at work? We’ll review some of the “new rules” of business with the founders of TheMuse.com, Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavoulacos. We’ll talk about new rules in networking, finding the career you love, networking, and working more effectively at the job you love.

In our headline segment, Brian Barnes, CEO of M1Finance drops by to talk about tax planning. We know tax day was yesterday but these tips will help you make tax-smart moves while investing for the future. We’ll also talk about another company being sued by an employee for rotten 401k options. Target date funds are again in the middle of some more controversy.

Gena calls the Haven Life line to ask about the American Opportunity Credit, we share good news about recent guest Adam Dell and the Clarity app, and answer a letter from Ben about emerging markets investing. Is active investing the best way to go in smaller, more volatile markets? Of course, Doug brings down the trivia, and much, much more.

Huge thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring Stacking Benjamins!

Apr 17, 2017

Struggling to earn enough to stay afloat? Some of our past guests have shared pointed tips to put more cash in your pocket. Today's different because Jen Sincero talks with us about changing the discussion between your ears. We'll tackle how to get out of your own way so you can become a money making machine. Her new book is called You Are A Badass at Making Money, and she joins us in the basement to help you start moving toward more fruitful self-talk.

In our headlines segment, Mark Steber from Jackson Hewitt joins us to talk last-minute tax day tips. He'll share some of the biggest mistakes they see, plus some timely tips if you think you won't get your taxes finished in time for tomorrow's deadline.

Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line to Hannah, who's worried about how best to invest her health savings account. We answer a letter from  Bobby about investing and pensions. Doug provides some vacation-related trivia, and more!

Special thanks to  SoFi and Magnify Money for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

Apr 14, 2017

Which stats are the most important to track? Our roundtable this week focuses in on just one stat....and an article that says it's the most powerful statistic of all for your pocketbook.

On the Freshbooks FinTech segment we talk about the recent issues at Digit. The popular savings app recently went from the fantastic price of "free" to $2.99 per month. There was huge fallout on the internet....over $2.99 per month. Is this an overreaction? What happens when apps pivot? We ask three industry insiders for their point of view, and boy do they bring it. Shane Steele from Chime, Mike Lentz from TipYourself, and Brad Lawler from the Draft app give us their perspective. 

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our show!

Apr 12, 2017

If anyone knows the heartbeat of personal finance, it's Today Show Money Editor Jean Chatzky. On today's podcast, Jean joins us in the basement to talk about your financial engine. How well is it running? She's teamed up with Dr. Michael Roizen to talk about how to age-proof your life. We'll have LOTS of tips and resources today.

In our headline segment, we talk annuities. Our arch-enemy Meg forwarded us a nefarious piece about annuities that clearly displays what some annuity salespeople are thinking--they just want your cash. Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line and also save time for Doug's trivia.

Special thanks to  SoFi and Magnify Money for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

Apr 10, 2017

Erin Loechner personally was tired of the rat race, so she chose to walk a different path. ON today's show, Erin shares how she contemplates every aspect of her life....from career decisions to spirituality, eating at home to mortality. We earn and spend money to support a lifestyle, and Erin explains how she's chasing a different one than most.

Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line to Adam, who asks about HSAs. We'll also answer a letter from Sarah, who wonders if she's taking too much risk with her investments.

Special thanks to  SoFi and Magnify Money for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

Apr 10, 2017

Erin Loechner personally was tired of the rat race, so she chose to walk a different path. ON today's show, Erin shares how she contemplates every aspect of her life....from career decisions to spirituality, eating at home to mortality. We earn and spend money to support a lifestyle, and Erin explains how she's chasing a different one than most.

Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line to Adam, who asks about HSAs. We'll also answer a letter from Sarah, who wonders if she's taking too much risk with her investments.

Special thanks to  SoFi and Magnify Money for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of these awesome companies.

Apr 7, 2017

On today's podcast we're talking about lying. A recent news piece reports that there are nine lies we're told about retirement planning. We'll break them down with Greg, Paula, and special guest Rich Jones from the hit podcast Paychecks and Balances.

We won't stop there, thought. We'll also discuss a recent question to the Moneyologist at MarketWatch. If you had two kids and one was irresponsible, would you disown him? We ask our roundtable that very question and come up with some interesting estate planning themes you may want to address in your own planning.

On the Freshbooks FinTech segment we talk to Michael Asare from Fee Belly. Ever feel like the fine print in a contract is completely against you? Fee Belly was designed to show you ALL of the fine print by highlighting it so you can easily see where contracts might not be in your favor. We'll ask him how it works on today's podcast.

Thanks to SoFi and MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our show!

Apr 5, 2017

Collectively, we aren't very good at the money talk. Either we talk down to people, fumble opportunities, or just mangle the topic. Today Marcy Keckler, VP of Financial Strategy for Ameriprise Financial heads down to the basement to cover all things communication and money. We'll discuss spouses/partners/significant others, spend a few moments on techniques to use with children, and then tackle the tough one, aging parents or adult kids.

In our headline segment two companies were scammed online and send LOTS of Benjamins to a crook. We'll explain how that happened and circle around to some tips about how you can protect your identity. Then our social media expert, Jamie Wise from the BUZZ Index (Ticker: BUZ) joins us with social media news about market sentiments overall, and about specific companies like Tesla and Verizon.

Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line to Sasha, who's worried about college. Are prices going to increase and how do parents protect children from the monster cost of an education? We'll also answer a letter from Collin, and also save time for Doug's trivia.

Special thanks to  SoFi and Magnify Money for sponsoring our show!

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