The Stacking Benjamins Show

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Subscribers: 1648
Reviews: 8

 Sep 23, 2021
not a fan of all the advertising, they used to have relevant topics to talk about. they don't seem to do that since becoming "Westwood one"! used to be 10/10

 Aug 11, 2021
Used to be very enjoyable and I BUT FIRST: DO YOU ENJOY A TON OF CONSTANT ADVERTISEMENTS; OF COURSE YOU DON'T am exhausted by the incessant, nagging interruptions and have sadly decided to spend my podcast time elsewhere. Unsubscribing...

Michael Y
 Aug 28, 2020
Decent people who try their hardest, but I still haven't learned anything. Throw em a bone I guess!

 Jul 5, 2020
Best basement podcast ever

 Sep 20, 2019


According to FastCompany, "the Stacking Benjamins podcast...strikes a great balance of fun and functional." Created live from Joe's mom's half-finished'll hear a parade of financial headlines, personal finance experts, creatives, and people with stories that inspire us. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, hosts Joe Saul-Sehy & OG meet at the card table and bring you guests, trivia, your letters about saving, investing, and risk management, and much more. Academy of Podcast winner for "best business podcast of the year," 2017 Plutus award winner for "best personal finance podcast," and Kiplinger magazine's only recommended personal finance podcast. You'll like this podcast if: you enjoy chatty, laid back money talk at a relaxed pace with lots of humor attached. You won't like this show if: you're looking for hard-core, genius money-nuggets presented at a fast pace.

Episode Date
What Is The Cost of “Cool”?
Mummies, pineapples, and board games (Joe's favorite!). What do these all have in common? They've all been seen as status symbols at some point in time. Today's status symbols might be fancy strollers, nice cars, or how many followers you have on Instagram. We see these everywhere and it's hard to ignore and not spend money on the same things. Our roundtable today discusses a piece about strange status symbols throughout time and how status symbols in general influence our spending. Paul Ollinger (Crazy Money podcast), Paula Pant (Afford Anything), and Len Penzo (Len Penzo dot Com) join our roundtable to talk about status symbols they've noticed and the impacts on our finances and life. Enjoy!
Oct 22, 2021
Big Debt, Late Start, World Travel: No Problem
We went campin' (well, Joe and Doc G did) and dug up some inspiring and amazing money stories from fellow campers. We are live today from Camp FI (financial independence) and Joe and special guest co-host Doc G (Earn and Invest) hear from four people about their journey to financial independence. One couple didn't start saving for retirement until age 50 and retired at age 60, one woman has been living abroad for 20 years after initially thinking she'd be there for 1 or 2, and two women share their massive debt payoff stories. These are sure to inspire and motivate you in your own journey and it was a blast talking to each of them. Enjoy!
Oct 20, 2021
Unbelievable Stories from Bitcoin's Wild Wild West
If you thought the days of crazy lawless activity left when the wild west was won, think again. The spirit of the Wild West continues in cryptocurrency. From the early investors, new coins and even some legal trouble, there's still lots to be uncovered in the world of crypto. Ethan Lou joined Doc G to talk about his experience with cryptocurrency and the major unknowns to still be uncovered with crypto. Is there still opportunity to buy into crypto and make loads of money like the early adopters? Ethan shares his take! During our headline we talk about the month of October in the stock market. It's no secret that October has seen some ugly stock market returns (1929, 1987, 2008 to name a few) but is it really as bad as we think? Robert Gilliland joins us to share his take on the market and give us some stats on the market as a whole. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Jennifer who wants to know how to fund her grandchild's education. And Doug will share some Bitcoin trivia. Enjoy!
Oct 18, 2021
Should You Be More Worried About Retirement?
When did you start really thinking about, and maybe even stressing over, retirement? In your 50s, or 40s, or maybe even your 20s? Our discussion piece today, written by our friend Eric Brotman, talks about the increasing number of people in their early working career that are stressed about retirement. From stressing over saving enough money and comparing yourself to others (thanks, social media!) our contributors give their take and some tips they've learned over the years. Krista Edwards (Ready to Roth), Paula Pant (Afford Anything) and Len Penzo (len penzo dot com) join our roundtable and share the ways they've reduced their stress about retirement. Enjoy!
Oct 15, 2021
Guess Who Created The Index Fund? (hint: you'll probably be surprised)
There's a chance you've heard the words "passive investing", "index funds" or "ETF (exchange-traded fund)" but the history behind these is much longer (and more interesting!) than you probably imagined. Passive investing is extremely popular with investors today but that wasn't always the case. Robin Wigglesworth joins us today to talk about the history of index funds and ETFs and the key players that paved the way. During our headline, we talk about long-term care and the exponentially rising cost of care. Nursing homes are expensive and many people would prefer to have care in their own homes. We talk through some of the options and costs associated with those. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Jason who wants to know what to do with a business cash account that has accumulated a large balance. Doug will also share some Vanguard-related trivia since we are talking about passive investing today. Enjoy!
Oct 13, 2021
How A Shark Can Help You Run A Successful Business (with Barbara Corcoran)
Have you wanted to start a business but something is holding you back? Not enough time, resources or money? And maybe some fear as well. Today we talk to Shark Tank shark and real estate and business mogul, Barbara Corcoran about starting a successful business. She shares tips she's learned over her career and shares what you should (and shouldn't) focus too much of your time on. Those traditional business plans might not be all they are cracked up to be and she shares a different approach that has proved to be more successful. During our headline segment, Google tried (and failed) to start a banking program. They aren't the only company that has tried reinventing the banking industry over the last several years, and they won't be the last either. Then we'll throw out the Haven Life line to an anonymous caller that wants advice on how to fund fertility treatment. And Doug will share his trivia! Enjoy!
Oct 11, 2021
Can Rattlesnake Wranglers Give Good Financial Advice?
Investing can feel like a rattlesnake hunt if you don't know what you are doing. Scary, surprising, and sometimes painful if you aren't careful. Our roundtable today discusses a piece comparing the world of investing and our emotions to a rattlesnake hunt (a real thing in the small town of Sinnemahoning, PA). Bob Wheeler (Money You Should Ask), Paula Pant (Afford Anything) and OG talk about how emotions play into our investing decisions and ways we can try to separate the emotion from the math. Enjoy!
Oct 08, 2021
Lean Into Sadness and Away From Your Timeshare (with Helen Russell)
Human emotion makes us, well, human. While it's much more fun to feel happy, excited, or optimistic, there's no denying that we also feel sad, confused and frustrated at times. Helen Russell joins us today to talk about why feeling those negative emotions is important and how it can actually make us happier in the long run. She talks about validating the sadness and finding ways to cope and move forward to a happier life. During our headline, our friend Dave from Tennessee is in the news, but not for good reason. A former advertiser on Dave Ramsey's show is in hot water for deceptive business practices and we dive in. Then we talk about the in's and out's of required minimum distributions during our Haven Life line call. And Doug will include some of his trivia. Enjoy!
Oct 06, 2021
Questions To Ask Before You Donate + How To Double Your Salary!
Want to find more happiness? Think bigger than your own goals. We've said this a TON lately on the podcast, so today we look at how to make it happen. Sadly, as Lisa Greer has experienced, charitable giving can be much more difficult than we'd hoped. Lisa joins us to share her less-than-ideal donating experience and what questions you should ask to make the biggest impact with your money. During our headline we talk about how COVID and work from home has changed productivity and work hours. Some employees have found ways to significantly increase their income working from home, but there's a catch (as always). And Doug will deliver some of his amazing charitable-giving related trivia. Enjoy!
Oct 04, 2021
Is That Light At The End Of The Tunnel Your Retirement Or A Train?
What does retirement mean to you? Is it traveling, sitting on the beach or playing golf? Or maybe taking on a volunteer project? Or something completely different? Our roundtable today talks about what retirement means to them and what we can all watch out for when planning for retirement. We are joined by Wendy Mays from House of FI, Len Penzo and OG as they give us their take and tips to think about before retirement. Doug will also share some of his amazing CD trivia. Enjoy!
Oct 01, 2021
What Are You Worried About? (Live from #FinCon21)
Between the stock market, soaring housing prices, and the strive for financial independence, what's been top-of-mind for you lately? Maybe you are getting ready to retire and thinking about how you will spend your days or planning your jet-setting adventure around the world. Or maybe you are intensely focused on saving as much as possible in the market. Today, we are live from FinCon in Austin, Texas, with OG, Paula Pant (Afford Anything), Diania Merriam (EconoMe Conference) and very special guest Julien Saunders from Rich & Regular, to see what their audiences are most concerned about right now. We talk about everything from the stock market to risk management to marriage and family. Enjoy!
Sep 29, 2021
Get Out Of Your Own Way With One Simple Tool (with Mel Robbins)
Ever look at yourself in the mirror? Of course you have! How many times have you had to tell that person looking back at you to get out of the way? If you're like us, A TON. Mel Robbins discovered that one simple gesture in the morning can make all the difference in our decisions. She'll share details of her own ugly journey to success after financial hardship and how five seconds and high fives changed her outlook. High fives aren't just for big accomplishments or a way to communicate with friends. You can (and should) give yourself a high five every day for all the successes in your life, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Mel dives into the science behind how these small habits changed her life and how they can change yours too. We are back teaching you about annuities during our headline and one annuity company is pleading to independent financial advisors to give their products another shot. Annuities aren't always painted in the best light and we'll hear what this company is doing to change that. During our Magnify Money voicemail, Roy wants to pick Joe and OG's brains about their asset allocation. And of course we'll include some of Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Sep 27, 2021
Tired of Spending Less? How to Beat "Frugality Fatigue"
Have you ever felt burnt out by trying too hard to save money or squeeze your budget too thin? That's what's known as "frugal fatigue". Sometimes we try so hard to cut expenses and save every penny that we end up spending more time and energy than we should. Paula, Len, and Chelsea Brennan join our roundtable today to talk about ways to avoid frugal fatigue. They talk about setting budget goals based on what matters most to you, creating "fun" budget items, and earning more when needed. Doug also shares some of his space-themed trivia. Listen to find out if Chelsea Brennan gets "Chelsea Brennan'd"! Enjoy!
Sep 24, 2021
Upgrade Your Career, Compete with Avis, and Brew Your Own Beer
How does a trip to Ireland with a private car rental service and a beer-making class sound? Today we have all three of those for you, but presented as three awesome and financially sound separate stories. Today we feature three Stackers who all join us today to share their very personal money stories. First, we'll share Sara's story. She took a solo trip to Ireland that changed her outlook on her life and career (ultimately earning her much more money). The moves she made when she got home propelled her career far beyond what she'd imagined. Then we'll pivot to Christopher who rents out his car on Turo and shares his experience so far. Last, Ryan Mac shares his homebrew experience and how he got into making beer. He even sent Joe and OG some samples to try! Enjoy!
Sep 22, 2021
What's The Future of Money?
Will you bank in the future the way you did in the past? What role will emerging financial systems like crypto and FinTech have in the future? Senior Brookings Fellow Eswar Prasad joins us today to talk about the future of money. He will share his opinions along with a look back at how we've gotten to the point we are at today. During our headline, it looks like some managers may be cheating on their target date fund management scheme. We'll dive in to asset allocation and target portfolios today. The popular 60/40 portfolio used by many investors has some investors questioning if the returns are enough to reach their goals. We talk about ways some fund managers are trying to boost those returns. And we'll throw out the Haven Life line to Justin who is working towards his CFP® certification and wants Joe and OG's advice when job searching. Doug will also share some of his trivia.
Sep 20, 2021
One Powerful (and simple) Tool to Reach Your Goals
How would you rate the different aspects of your life: fun & relaxation, personal & spiritual growth, business, money, health, family & friends, love & romance, and personal development? Then how much time and money do you invest in each category? Do the parts of your life that you value most match up with the parts you spend the most time and money on? Today our roundtable looks at a blog piece about spending money on what matters most to you. To help guide the conversation, we use a wheel that is used by many personal and business coaches to help categorize and visualize your life. We have a free download of that wheel below for you to follow along. Kyle Landis-Marinello, Paula Pant and Len Penzo join our roundtable today to discuss what they value most and how they spend their money on those aspects of their life.
Sep 17, 2021
You Have More Than You Think (plus: drunk traded lately?)
Studies show that our biggest enemy is often the one between our own ears. It can be hard to get out of your own head at times. Joyce Marter joins us today to talk about limiting beliefs and how we can practice an abundance mindset to be more successful. She is a psychotherapist, entrepreneur, author and speaker and sold her own business (that she'd started for $500) for many times more than what she expected--and multiple millions of dollars--once she got advice from others and got out of her own way. During our headline, we talk to Kamaron McNair about a piece she wrote for Magnify Money about investing behaviors and emotions. How many people have traded while drunk? She will let us know! She also talks about other money worries and how emotions have a play in trading and investing. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Mark who wants to know what you would do if you were given $100k in Bitcoin. Joe and OG will fill us in on their thoughts. And Doug will enlighten us all with his trivia! Enjoy!
Sep 15, 2021
Nice People Finish Last But Bad People Don't Win Either
Why is it that nice guys always seem to finish last? There's something that doesn't seem fair about the jerks in the world winning in business and life. Does a middle ground exist, and is that the secret spot for success? David Bodanis argues there is a middle ground and using effective listening, respect and trust techniques and practices is the secret recipe to success. He joins us today to tell some incredible stories of how these principles have played out in people's lives in the past, so you can make better decisions in the future. Football is back--the American kind, anyway--and we dive into how one NFL team is partnering with a financial literacy firm to help educate Americans on money habits and skills to help grow their wealth. That leads to a discussion about the new Acorns SPAC, gamification in your financial plan, and meme stock performance. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Leah who wants to know why she's so torn about buying a house now. And to tie it all together, Doug will share some of his trivia. Find our show notes at Looking for a guide to our show? Here's the link: Enjoy!
Sep 13, 2021
The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Retirement (plus Kathryn Minshew from - REWIND
We have a great roundtable discussion for you and an interview with Kathryn Minshew, CEO of today. The roundtable starts off our episode by discussing the pros and cons of early retirement. Are there more cons than pros? According to our piece, there might be but our contributors weigh in with their opinions too. Then we talk to Kathryn Minshew about personal branding and how you can make sure your brand stands out from the rest. See our full original show notes here.
Sep 10, 2021
My Journey to Huge Success in Real Estate (with Ryan Serhant)
The amazing real estate pro from Million Dollar Listing New York, Ryan Serhant, joined us to walk us through highlights and lessons from his journey to success in real estate. He never expected to be a salesman, let alone a realtor, and it took him years to figure out his competitive advantage. He shares how we can all be better in business, sales and relationships with a few tips. Connection, initiative, and relationships with others are key to many aspects in business and he explains how each have contributed to his success. See our original show notes from the episode here. We've got another great rewind episode for you today, this time from 2018. Enjoy!
Sep 08, 2021
You Can Be a Badass With Money
How are you with cash? Credit? Putting money in investments? All of that begins with your mindset, and Jen Sincero joins us today to help you get your head in the right place.
Sep 06, 2021
Does Your Astrological Sign Affect Your Ability to Build Wealth?
Do libra's really have a better chance of becoming billionaires than other zodiac signs? You'd think not, but according to one blog post, Libra's are only 9% of the population but make up 20% of billionaire. If you aren't lucky enough to be a Libra billionaire, what does your own zodiac sign mean for your money habits? Today we are joined by Jen Smith, Len Penzo and OG for a wide-ranging roundtable discussion where they don't hold back on their opinions of astrological signs (and that's putting it mildly)! They also talk about the personality traits of their own signs and how those might help, and hurt, their money and investing habits. To round out the show, Doug will share some Ronald Reagan trivia. Can OG keep his trivia lead? You'll find out today! Enjoy!
Sep 03, 2021
How To Avoid Getting Scammed on Life Insurance
How well do you understand life insurance? If you don't know as much as you should, an unscrupulous agent who meets with you might convince you to purchase a product that could cost you hundreds or even thousands of wasted dollars. Today we'll dive into the basics of life insurance, including, how insurances are priced, how term and permanent policies are different (and the same), and why most people shouldn't look at insurance as an investment. Even if you know some general "rules of thumb" about insurance, there's a good possibility that you should be able to round out your product knowledge in a deeper way. Speaking of unscrupulous, during our headlines segment we dive into a new alleged scam. How do you spot a financial "professional" who's really asking you to invest in a product that doesn't exist (or one that's not suitable)? We'll talk about clues to sniff out bad actors and also discuss the particulars of the investments that were used so that you know more about the upsides and downsides of the "weapons" this particular scammer used. It's a fun Wednesday deep dive for us! Hope you enjoy it!
Sep 01, 2021
El Salvador is Crypto Curious + Reading to Lead with Jeff Brown & Jesse Wisnewski
Want to move ahead faster in your career? Feeling uncreative and like you aren't moving? Stop waiting for others to design a curriculum for you and create your own. Today we'll talk to two men who've done exactly that for themselves and today will share their stories, tips, and tricks to becoming a leader faster through reading. Our guests today, Jeff Brown and Jesse Wisnewski, talk about the importance of reading for our personal and professional lives. They share how they've created their own reading curriculum and share tips for all of us. During our headline, we talk about Bitcoin and a country that is adopting it as an official currency. We discuss the challenges, advantages and cryptocurrency in general. We also throw out the Haven Life line to Steven who is new to financial planning and wants advice for career development. And Doug will share some book related trivia. See more on the show notes page: Stacking Benjamins dot com Check out our FREE guide to our shows: Stacking Benjamins Guide (The Stacker) Enjoy!
Aug 30, 2021
Special Episode: Plutus Awards 2021 Finalists and Roundtable
It's that time! The 2021 Plutus Awards (co-hosted by Joe Saul-Sehy and Natalie Torres-Haddad) will take place during FinCon in Austin, Texas on September 23rd. Today we announce the finalists with our friend Miranda Marquit (Planting Money Seeds). Then we turn things over to an all-star panel who'll share thoughts about all of our finalists in seven of the categories, plus share who they hope will win and who they think the Plutus Awards panel will choose. Thanks to Amy Blacklock (Women Who Money), Nadia Vanderhall (Brands + Bands), and Chris Hutchins (All The Hacks) for helping us make a great show! You'll find links to everyone on our show notes page at Stacking Benjamins dot com.
Aug 28, 2021
Our End of Summer Economic & Portfolio Guide: The STACK Live Event (featuring Dr. Apollo Lupescu)
How's your portfolio performing? Are your funds not performing as you'd hoped? Today we'll help you figure out how recent economic conditions, investing trends, and different asset classes affect your success! A few weeks ago, we held an awesome live Stack event on YouTube with Dr. Apollo Lupescu from Dimensional Funds where he dove into inflation, current market trends, and the overall economy. He also answered some listener's questions live! Today, you'll hear that discussion in it's entirety. After Dr. Lupescu, we finished out the event with OG answering additional financial questions from viewers. It was a great event so we are replaying it for you today for those who missed it. If you weren't notified of the Stack event ahead of time and would like to be included for our fall event, sign up for our free guide to the show here. In addition to exciting news and updates for upcoming events like the Stack, you'll also get the Monday and Wednesday show guides that are packed with lots of information on the topics we discuss in the shows and Joe's money lessons. Find our show notes at Find our free GUIDE to our Monday and Wednesday shows (plus news on when our next STACK event will occur): Enjoy!
Aug 27, 2021
What Should We Focus on First? (with Eric Brotman) + Why Your Advisor Doesn’t Text
It's back-to-school season and with as much joy as that brings for parents (free babysitting, anyone? Just kidding. Okay, not really.), we are also bringing you back to school with your finances. Certified Financial Planner Eric Brotman joins us to break down your financial journey using the schoolyard analogy of freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year. What do you need to think about and what can you tactically do at each step of your financial journey to ensure success? Each year builds upon the previous and he helps us break it down. During our headline, we'll talk about communication strategies between advisors and clients. FINRA may allow text messaging in the future; what does that mean for you? And how else can advisors effectively communicate with clients? We'll give you all the details. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line and talk about how to talk to family members about money concerns. And Doug will enlighten us with his soft drink trivia. Is it pop or soda? Hmm, maybe I don't want to start that debate too! (but we all know the right answer is soda). Enjoy! Find show notes at Subcribe to our FREE guide to the podcast at
Aug 25, 2021
How a Bad Estate Plan Can Wreck You (even if you have nothing)
We hear a ton about "intergenerational wealth" lately, and a cornerstone of building a dynasty of Benjamin-stackers is knowing how to pass on your assets. But even if you don't have any assets yet, not having a good plan can still wreck your plans. On today's show, we'll dive into Estate Planning 101 with author Amy Blacklock, and begin with the bazillion dollar question, "Why do I need an estate plan if I have nothing?" You'll be surprised. We'll also answer basic questions, like, "Who would you want to handle your estate and who do you want to give your sweet super soaker collection to?" We'll tackle wills, trusts, estate planning for young people, and more. During our headline, we take a look at asset allocation and rebalancing. Rebalancing is important at any stage of your investing life, but why does it matter more during retirement? We'll find out and offer our thoughts on how and when to rebalance. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Joanne who asked a question in our Facebook group about an annuity she was pitched. We have (sometimes strong) opinions on annuities but we break this down and explain the red flags we see. Don't worry, we won't forget about Doug's trivia! Enjoy!
Aug 23, 2021
Our Best "Secret" Money-Saving Travel Hacks
There are two types of people who travel: those who meticulously plan every detail and spend hours strategizing so they can save every last penny, and on the other hand, there are those who buy whatever last-minute plane ticket they can find and stumbles into the first hotel they see. Which one are you? Our regular roundtable guests are all back together today to compete head-to-head to guess which top travel hacks a recent Kiplinger post references. Len, Paula, and OG not only go head-to-head to see who can guess which travel hacks are listed...they also share some great money-savers that didn't make the Kiplinger list. The show wouldn't be complete without some of Doug's trivia and he tries to throw off our roundtable with his radio-themed question today. Enjoy!
Aug 20, 2021
Fighting Fear, Buying Real Estate, and Shaving Taxes (Live from PM21)
You don't have to be wealthy to build wealth. That's the theme that kicks off today with our amazing panel, live from Podcast Movement in Nashville! Joe meets up with Mindy Jensen from BiggerPockets Money, Ben Brandt from Retirement Starts Today and Jennifer Grimson from Micro Empires to talk about what's impacting their audience most right now and the financial topics that seem to be top-of-mind. What money topics are most concerning in your life right now? We talk about the crazy real estate market and prices, FOMO, taxes, imposter syndrome, and more. Enjoy!
Aug 18, 2021
Communicate Like a Boss (with Rachel Pacheco)
How well do you share feedback, ask for what you want, or set expectations? Do you find that people aren't where you expect, doing what you'd hoped, or disappointing your expectations? If you need help with any of these, today's show is for you. Anyone can be a manager, but being a great communicator takes skill, time, and practice. From micromanaging to the sandwich feedback method, there's lots of improvement that can be made if you're managing anything, which will improve your team/family/partner's morale and success. Management expert, consultant, and Wharton professor Rachel Pacheco joins us today to talk about the management skills she's learned--and now teaches--to others. Frequent communication, effective feedback, and setting clear expectations are just a few of the points she discusses with us that you'll also find in her new book, Bringing Up the Boss. For our headline, we talk about all of the recent news on the #FreeBritney front, and just how hard it is to regain control from a conservatorship. We'll start with Britney Spears' troubles with her developing situation, how she's trying to set herself free, and the estate planning lessons we can all learn from it. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Frank who is getting a raise at work and wants to know what type of account he should save the additional funds to. And Doug's trivia is about one of the best shows on television, The Office. Enjoy!
Aug 16, 2021
Winning the Quest for "Enough"
Why do we, as humans, feel like we never have enough? Enough money, enough time, enough resources. How can we overcome the limiting belief that we just need a little more for life to be perfect and instead live with internal and external security? Today we're LIVE on the Fireside app diving into this topic in maybe the most fun way you've ever heard. Don't take that the wrong way: we'll still cover the deep stuff, but in between a lot of laughs and interesting asides from the whole team. Financial planner Dawn Dahlby joins Len and OG on our roundtable today and they discuss a piece about human behavior in personal finance and having "enough". It's Friday the 13th and Doug lets us know his thoughts about popular superstitions on this day before giving us his magician-related trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 13, 2021
Redefining Rich (with Shannon Hayes), and the CFP Board Tightens the Screws
What does rich mean to you? Lamborghinis and mansions? Well for Shannon Hayes, it meant something completely different, and she hit the reset button on the common view of "wealth" and achieved something that many may think is a greater form of richness. Shannon joins us today to tell the story of how she and her husband pivoted away from their careers and went back to the farm in search of the life they dreamed of. She talks about redefining what rich means to her and how we can all tune in to our goals and dreams a bit more. During our headline, the CFP Board is cracking down and proposing stricter punishment for CFP® professionals that do not report ethics violations. We discuss the importance of this and what it means to hire a CFP® professional versus another advisor. We also help Scott during our Haven Life line call and give him advice to keep moving toward his financial goals. And of course, Doug will enlighten us all with his gardening trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 11, 2021
How Are Food Prices Rising? Len Penzo's 13th Annual Sandwich Survey
Think inflation is boring? Think again, because today we're asking the simple question (and a far more fun question than "what's up with inflation..."), "How much does a sandwich cost?" We wouldn't be asking that question if Len Penzo wasn't back for his annual sandwich survey! That's right, Len joins us today to walk through the findings of his annual survey of the cost of the 10 most popular brown bag sandwiches. Bologna is usually the cheapest and BLT is usually the most expensive. With the rising cost of some ingredients this year, do you think the results will be the same? Len describes his survey method and results with us and also shares the story of why he started the sandwich survey 13 years ago. During our headline, we take a look at Sylvester Stallone's rise to fame and he recounts his days as a struggling, broke actor. How did he beat the odds and become successful? In this news piece, he talks about his struggles early in life and how he overcame them. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Anna who has a question about IRA contributions, and specifically a backdoor Roth IRA. And Doug will share some of his Vatican trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 09, 2021
Why Not Try a Low Cost, Big Living Approach?
What do you enjoy spending more money on? Maybe you like to stay at top-rated resorts when you travel? Or, you enjoy the experience of a nice dinner out? And what things do you spend less on because your experience isn't an better when you spend more? Generic vs. name brands at the grocery store? Or taking public transportation when you travel? Today our roundtable discusses a blog post about spending more on what you value and being frugal in other areas of spending and your life. Cody Berman from The FI Show and Gwen Merz from Fiery Millennials join our roundtable with Len Penzo to talk about mindset and what they value as it relates to financial independence. And you don't want to miss the guesses our roundtable has for Doug's Houdini-related trivia today! Enjoy!
Aug 06, 2021
How a Lie Lit a Revolution (with Jeff Lantos), The Magic of an Inch, and Crypto Busted Again
How much does the truth matter when telling your money story? What about if you were telling the story of a new nation? Turns out, this happens more than most of us realize and today we talk about a famous story from the American Revolution that may be different than you remember. Jeff Lantos joins us to talk about why the true story of Paul Revere's ride might not be what we remember. We dive into how and why the story was altered and how it relates to the modern-day. The themes of embellishment, advocating for yourself and community are discussed as it relates to Paul Revere and modern-day. We are including two headlines today because one just isn't enough for the stories we found! First, we look at a study done by the University of Chicago that charts your attractiveness to the opposite sex based on your height. AND, they tell you how much more you need to earn if you are shorter to be as attractive as someone taller. Yep, you heard that right! For our second headline, crypto is in the news again...and not for good reason. Tether is being investigated for bank fraud and we share all our opinions on that and crypto in general! We'll also throw out the Haven Life line and Joe gives a behind-the-scenes look at how we choose our guests for the show. And we can't forget about Doug and his cookie-related trivia! Enjoy!
Aug 04, 2021
Stepping Out of Line (with Mari K. Eder, Major General US Army, retired)
Imagine fleeing your hometown with nothing but the hope and will to survive. Or risking your life to gather information needed to incriminate some of the worst players in history. We are declaring this week "history week" here at Stacking Benjamins and we're delivering quite the suite of guests for you! Today, Retired U.S. Army Major General Mari Eder joins us to share stories of some brave women of World War II and the impact they had on their communities. What does this have to do with money? Today's stories have a much larger scope than money, but bravery, persistence, focus, willpower, and more, in the face of long odds, will all be discussed on today's episode. During our headline, we talk about tapping your home equity for cash. Nothing has ever gone wrong with the housing market before, right? Sure, leverage can be used to your advantage but not at the detriment to the rest of your financial plan. Joe and OG give us their opinions and you know they are going to be candid! Speaking of leverage, our TikTok video is a hilarious example of this. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line and answer a caller's question about retirement contributions. And since it's history week here, Doug will include some history related trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 02, 2021
5 Secrets To Better Flexibility (with money)
How rigid are your money habits? What will happen when your "optimized" financial situation comes crashing down because you didn't think about what could possibly go wrong in the future? Beyond that, does the stuff we own, own us or set us free? How can we strive to be more financially flexible and what strategies can we use to get there? Those are some great questions and today we'll answer them all, because today our roundtable discusses a piece about financial flexibility, both philosophically and practically. Andy Hill from Marriage Kids and Money joins Paula and OG to share their favorite tips and hacks to help you become more financially flexible. We'll also hear some of Doug's book related trivia, and it's all from our live recording from the Fireside app! Enjoy!
Jul 30, 2021
From Bankrupt to 6-Figure CEO Coach (with Brandy Mabra), plus the Olympic Athlete Tax
What would be your first step in the right direction when life isn't going your way? How would you move forward and make the most important change ever? Brandy Mabra journeyed from bankruptcy to successful CEO coach and today shares her journey. She knew she needed to take every opportunity available (and even moved to another state!) to make a better life for her and her son. After a few crucial and well-thought pivots in her career, she started her coaching and consulting business and shares tips we can all use when faced with hurdles, however big or small. During our headline segment, did you know that Olympic athletes earned money when they won medals? Neither did we, and at one point IRS taxed that income. It's hard to believe that you can rep the USA brand and Uncle Sam could still find you! After that eye-popper, we'll finish the show with a Haven Life line call from Julie who has questions about saving for her kids' future. And Doug will throw in some Madonna themed trivia. Enjoy!
Jul 28, 2021
Recovering From Life's Expensive and Emotional Moments (with Michele Cagan), plus They've Decided You're Dying Younger!
A financial setback could hit any of us at any time. How will you rebound? What steps should you take first and what financial changes should you make? Managing money in a crisis if FAR different than following the normal rules, and today's guest, Michele Cagan, knows first-hand what it's like to experience a major financial setback. Today she'll share her journey and advice for you if you've suffered a health crisis, divorce, death in the family, disability, or any other of life's crises. During our headline segment, we dive into a piece about life expectancy in the U.S. and how it could impact your financial plan. Assuming a life expectancy that is too short or too long can both lead to problems with your plan. We also listen to a TikTok video about real estate investing and the power it could have on your financial freedom (but don't worry, we'll give you our brutally honest opinion on that and share some of our own stories). We also help answer Scottie's question about rolling over an old 401k during our Haven Life line call. Scotties a proud Iowan! ...and we'll be sure to include Doug's trivia! Enjoy!
Jul 26, 2021
6 Investing Mistakes That Keep You Poor
How do you know if your trading strategies are helping or hurting your overall portfolio goals? Maybe you're chasing the market or trading based on what your friends and family are trading? Lucky for you, our roundtable today talks about six trading habits that might be keeping you poor and they offer lots of sound advice on how to avoid these mistakes. Whether you're a long time investor or a trader, we'll cover the gamut of tips for you on this episode. Rosetta Bryson from Simple Trader Pro joins our roundtable with Len and OG today to discuss these trading habits. And we'll also have Doug share some of his sports related trivia, on this live show performed on the Fireside app. Enjoy!
Jul 23, 2021
M Is For Money (with Rob Phelan) and E Is For Ed Slott's Roth IRA Tips
F is for Fun. And we have a ton of fun today talking to Rob Phelan about his new children's book M is for Money. He was inspired by reading with his own son and realizing there weren't any books on the market that teach basic personal finance to kids. Even if you don't have kids yourself, this book might be a great gift for a kid in your family. We also dive into financial literacy in general and why so few programs are successful. If you have any interest in improving the money habits of the people around you, we've got you covered. During our headline segment, IRA and tax expert Ed Slott joins us to talk about a five billion dollar Roth IRA! That's right, Peter Thiel's Roth IRA balance is over a cool five b's at this point. Ed helps explain how it happened and what changes Congress might make to prevent this in the future. For many who dream about crypto riches, can you replicate Thiel's feat (or score a measly 2-3 million) in YOUR Roth IRA? We'll ask Ed about that as well. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Justin who wrote in to our basement Facebook group to ask about how much to gift his niece for graduation (we have some great ideas and alternatives to monetary gifts!). And of course we'll leave time for Doug's amazing trivia. Enjoy!
Jul 21, 2021
Your 14 Best Minutes Today (with Chris Field), Inflation's Back, and RIP Chuck
14 minutes. Today we talk to Chris Field about changing the world using only 1% of your time (14 minutes a day). Chris will share why "charity begins at home" is a misguided approach to life...not for the world around you, but for your own return on investment. The work he's done has made an impact on the world and he shares how you can make a difference too (and it's much easier than you may think!) We also share some bad news during our headline segment. The new inflation numbers are in and they're ugly with a capital "ugh." What does this mean though, really, for you? It turns out...a lot. We'll walk through inflation with regard to your job, your savings, your spending, and more. We'll also share why experts say that inflation isn't as ugly as the numbers may suggest. Speaking of ugly...we'll also share a TikTok video that's gone viral recently about a job interview...or at least the "promise" of one. Somebody named Chuck might be cleaning out his desk now that this video's out. And, there's no better way to round out the show than by talking about franchise businesses during our Haven Life line call. Doug's trivia? Well that's just the cherry on top, isn't it? Enjoy!
Jul 19, 2021
When Does Frugal Go Too Far?
Do you buy second-hand clothes instead of new? How about waiting to buy that special something until there's an awesome deal? Dumpster dive? Argue with clerks for a discount? There's a ton of frugal living tips out there but when does frugal cross the line and you're just being cheap? Today our roundtable team discusses the five times one blogger says that being frugal goes too far. Plus, we're performing this episode LIVE on the new Fireside app, so you'll hear from several members of our live audience, too (we've also linked their information below)! Joining us for this special episode we welcome half of the Frugal Friends podcast duo, Jen Smith. Plus, OG and Paula Pant (Afford Anything) pitch in to make this a wide-ranging, fun conversation with more than several takeaways. We discuss the value of our time as it relates to purchases, the tendency to overconsume when we see a deal, and we'll all share some great stories about our own frugal living. Of course, what would a Friday episode be like without our trivia challenge? Diania Merriam (EconoMe Conference) takes over the "Doug" duties today and dishes a great question for our contestants. Enjoy! Enjoy!
Jul 16, 2021
Retiring Early, Teaching Finance, and What's Up With Commodities?
How do homemade ice cream and financial education go together? You're about to find out, because today we interview two of our fellow Stackers, Lisa and Tom, and one of them shares how they began making homemade ice cream for family and friends and teaching them finance basis! The other recently retired and gives us tips and advice that helped them make the exciting decision to retire. During our headline segment, we talk about Wells Fargo and their recent decision to close all existing personal lines of credit. They've been in the news a lot over the years (mostly negative!) and we offer our thoughts. We'll also hear from Will Rhind, CEO of GraniteShares, who shares all the details about what's going on in the current precious metals market. We'll finish it out with our Haven Life line call from Nick and answer his questions about 529 contributions. And of course we'll include some of Doug's trivia! Enjoy!
Jul 14, 2021
Lessons From a Woman Who Found Financial Independence by Age 27
Rachel Richards achieved financial independence at the young age of 27. How did she do it? The now 29 year old joins us today to talk about lessons, strategies, and more on today's show. Plus, we'll share a headline about the current job climate. It seems that everyone is quitting their job! What should you think about before telling your boss adios? We'll share a few tips on today's throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener and share some of Doug's amazing trivia. Enjoy!
Jul 12, 2021
5 Fun Ways to Teach Kids about Money - Rewind
With summer in full swing, do you need ideas for things to do with your kids? Before they start their first lemonade stand, listen to today’s episode about teaching kids about money. Even if you don’t have kids, we have Kate Ryan from TIAA join us to share money tips and stories that you’ll enjoy. To finish out our rewind week, this episode aired in 2018, so be sure to ignore any mention of current events.
Jul 09, 2021
Winning an Olympic Medal With Your Money
Are you ready to win with your money? You've trained hard and now it's showtime. You're in luck because, just in time for the Olympics, we dig into all the money tips from Olympic sprinter, bobsledder, financial planner and host of the Worth Listening podcast, Lauryn Williams, on today's episode. This episode aired in 2018 so be sure to ignore any mention of current events. Tax laws and changes are hard enough to keep up with and we originally had a headline segment talking about 2017 tax filing that has been omitted in this rewind episode. Take a look at our original show notes, here. We'll round out our rewind week on Friday. Enjoy!
Jul 07, 2021
Lead Like a Drug Dealer (with Michael Brody-Waite) Rewind Episode 123
While the first person to tell you that nothing good happens while you're using drugs will be today's guest Michael Brody-Waite, he WILL insist that the skills he learned in recovery are the same skills we all need for success with life and money. He should know. As a man who's walked the journey from drug addict to CEO and success coach, Michael funnels his darkest experiences into powerful lessons he'll share with you. Today, Michael will teach you how to rebalance your priorities, reclaim your energy, and thrive in both work and life. A new bond has arrived! The Treasury announced a 20-year note to help offset the massive spending lately in Washington. We'll discuss how that works and may impact your wallet in our headlines segment. Also, we'll cover the results of a recent Morningstar study that shows why it is more important than you might thank to have a thorough financial plan and an (emotional) support network in place. It turns out that it's easy to stay the financial course when everything is going right. The problem is when panic starts to set in, not pressing that big, red "sell everything" button. Today we'll throw out the Haven Life line to a caller a not-quite-usual question about loan repayment. Due to COVID-19 reasons, Vanessa was laid off from work. However, she was building up her savings beforehand. Vanessa also receives unemployment and severance pay. She wonders, "Should I use savings to pay off student loans? Or, would it be better to keep making minimum payments and keep her cash buffer?" Of course, Joe and OG have an opinion. One last thing: Happy Twilight Zone Day! Doug has a special treat in store for you in celebration. Enjoy! (This is a rewind episode from the summer of 2020, so there will be references to events and days that aren't current. Please keep this in mind as you listen.)
Jul 05, 2021
Our Favorite Budget and Money Hacks (with Chris Hutchins)
Ever wish that saving money and spending less were easier? Today we've got your back because Chris Hutchins, Mr. Hack himself and host of the All The Hacks podcast, joins us to discuss a delicious list pulled from the popular Inspired Budget blog that lists a whopping 30 money hacks you should try in 2021. What hacks do you love that are missing from this list? On today's show recorded live on the new Fireside app, we're joined not only by Chris Hutchins but also Paula Pant (Afford Anything podcast) and Len Penzo (Len Penzo dot com) as they dive into their favorites (and also skewer one or two that they aren't as fond of). At the end of the discussion we'll ditch the list and this crack team will even add a few of their own. Before we're done we'll also magnify Tom's money, who asks what we think about popular trading app Robinhood. You know us...this is going to be good! And of course we can't forget about Doug's trivia! He has a heart-wrenching question today. Literally. Enjoy!
Jul 02, 2021
Making Money While You Sleep (with Alan Corey), plus Crypto in Your 401k?
Alan Corey had a small goal: he just wanted to pay his internet bill automatically, and in the process stumbled upon a strategy that would lead him to wealth in real estate at an early age. Today he joins us to share his journey to financial independence, from moving to NYC and realizing he couldn't control his income in the corporate world, to purchasing real estate with a goal of purchasing one property a year for five years. Fast forward and he's now buying five properties in a month! His unique thought process of using rental income to offset fixed costs in his life helped propel his real estate success. You'll also never guess who he sold his first property to in NYC! For our headline, we'll look at a piece from Morningstar that talks about cryptocurrency in retirement plans. Would you want the option to invest in crypto in your 401k? We'll share the results of the survey and you might be surprised by the results. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Bill who has questions about rebalancing his portfolio. And of course we'll also throw in some of Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Jun 30, 2021
Making the Most of Your HR Department (with Suzanne Lucas), a HOT Investment, and Real Estate Nightmares
Are you aware of all the benefits your company offers? Beyond a retirement plan, do they offer other perks? You might be surprised to learn about some hidden benefits your company offers and The Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas, joins us today to give us some examples. We also talk about company culture, training, employee satisfaction, and how these all play a role in our work lives. Would you take a lower-paying job if it meant you had more fun at work? We'll let you know what percentage of people say they would. We'll also look at a piece from Investment News on municipal bonds and the recent inflow of funds to these bonds. Ever heard of the latte factor? Our TikTok minute shows us just how many lattes we need to give up to own our dream home! What's your guess? Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Jess who wants advice about buying real estate with family members. And we can't forget Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Jun 28, 2021
10 Things I Hate About You: Investing (LIVE on Fireside)
Investing, especially when you're just beginning, can be frustrating! There's new lingo and technology platforms to learn, let alone knowing what you should invest in. Today our roundtable discusses a recent blog post that lists the 10 things the author hates about investing. From FOMO to YOLO, we talk about how each of the 10 items impacts us and what you can do to become a more savvy and less worried investor yourself. Money coach Sharita Humphrey joins Len, Paula and Diania Merriam for a wide-ranging, fun discussion. It's also National Catfish Day, so we'll enjoy a little catfish related trivia. To make it even more exciting, we paired a few of our listeners on our live broadcast with our contributors to help guess. You'll never believe how it all turns out. Enjoy!
Jun 25, 2021
Scoring Big Goals with Stu Grimson, a Daredevil Crashes, and Landlord Problems
What does it take to reach your goals? Here in the middle of NHL and NBA playoff season, we're going to talk about reaching your big goals. Today's guest, Stu Grimson, had to take a roundabout way to his big goals, and today he'll talk about life as an "enforcer" during his 14-year professional hockey career. While he didn't score a lot of goals, he certainly scored a great career, and we'll dive into the sometimes winding road to success, the importance of good coaching, and not relying on managers or trainers to get you ready for your life's "big game." Have you thought about your estate plan? Or finished your "what if" planning? Our headline looks at the tragic accident last week of Alex Harvill who died while attempting a record-breaking motorcycle jump. It's the grim reminder that we all need to plan for tomorrow, today. Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a member of our basement Facebook group who wants to know the do's and don'ts of being a landlord. What would we advise him to beware of? Believe it or not, we'll share our opinion! And that's not all. We'll also share some of Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Jun 23, 2021
Crypto with Kevin Rose, home equity loans, and is passive investing bad?
NFT...Etherium...Dougcoin? Wait...Dougcoin? Is Doug messing with us again and making up his own cryptocurrency? The whole gang gets involved today as we dive into the virtual world of NFT's, Crypto, and all things Modern Finance with Kevin Rose. With the value of your house skyrocketing, what happens if you want to access some of that cash? We'll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and cash-out refinances. And we can't forget about our TikTok minute and the "perfect" explanation of NFT's. Well, we thought it was perfect. Kevin disagreed (and is probably a more reliable source). Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller wants to stir the index funds and passive investing pot. Could indexing be worse than Marxism? And that's not all. Of course, we'll also share some of Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Jun 21, 2021
10 Things Investors Shouldn't Care About
We talk all the time about what investors should know and worry about...but what should we forget? Today we're joined by Talking Real Money's Don McDonald and CFP Katie Brewer from Your Richest Life Planning to get their take on a recent blog post detailing one writer's opinions. Do we agree? We'll outline all 10 of the author's ideas and share one opinion (or maybe two...or five) on each. Plus, we'll Magnify Jacob's Money during our call-in segment. He's worried about planning for multiple goals. With only so much money to go around, what should he focus on first? And of course, we'll also share Doug's National Panic Day trivia. Enjoy!
Jun 18, 2021
Why We Want MORE (with Luke Burgis) plus "Sell in May and Go Away?"
Why do we always seem to have something else we're chasing? Another possession, more stuff, the next token for our treasure trove...where does it end? Today we'll dive into the "why" behind your desires with Luke Burgis, who's deeply studied the philosophy of wanting, and will help you short-circuit some of the self-destructive behaviors in our life that make us believe the more equals better. During our headlines segment, have you heard the phrase “sell in May and go away?” Sounds a bit like market timing, doesn’t it? We’ll hear what the market did last month and help you understand the impacts of this strategy. Plus, we'll dial up Matt Komos on Joe's dad's shortwave radio. He's the Vice President of Research and Consulting at TransUnion, and has some good news about consumer credit trends over the last year. Unemployment spiked in April of 2020 as the COVID pandemic began and Matt dives into how consumer credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans have all been impacted. Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller who's wondering about life insurance for her children. We might have a strong opinion or two on that topic. Of course, we'll also share some of Doug's trivia goodness. Enjoy!
Jun 16, 2021
Decoding Greatness, Lowering Fees, and Relief Money (with Dr. Ron Friedman)
How do the best achieve superior results? Do they work 10,000 hours? Do they spend years sharpening the saw? While it takes work and grit, the type of work achievers focus on may surprise you. We'll dive into the science of greatness with Dr. Ron Friedman, author of the new bestseller Decoding Greatness. It's a wide-ranging discussion that will change the way you think about your career, your goals, and how you spend your time. During our headlines segment, we'll share a sad statistic about COVID and government benefits. It turns out that LOTS of people who are eligible for help aren't applying for it. We'll share some ideas that will hopefully help you find money if you need it. Of course, it's Monday, so that means we'll also share a TikTok video from a brilliant creator who shares some amazing (maybe too amazing) math about AMC stock. Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller who's worried about fees in his portfolio, AND we'll share some of Doug's monkey business called "trivia." 
Jun 14, 2021
Things You Should NOT Do With Money (plus our July scholarship update)
What are you doing with your cash that's a complete "no-no"? Today we'll dive into some things that you should NEVER do with your money. We'll talk about banks, life insurance, debt products and also maybe advice that you find from online blogs. To help us, today we welcome the host of the Nurses on FIRE podcast, Naseema McElroy. She'll be joined by award winning blogger Len Penzo (, and our very own OG (other guy). July is a huge month for private scholarships. We'll detail ALL of the things that students need to do right now to make college easier. We'll share tips for existing college students, high school students, and even younger kids. Our doors are opening again (I know we already have many people on our wait list for this session....) for a short time, so check out On our MagnifyMoney segment, Matt's spouse works for someone else and he's convinced she'd be better off self employed. What does she need to know to make the move? How can he help her see beyond the riskiness of not having a consistent paycheck from another employer? Naseema, OG and Len will all dive into this question. Of course, we'll also celebrate National Corn Day with Doug's amazing trivia challenge. Which of our panelists will be closest to the answer? You'll have to listen to find out. Enjoy!
Jun 11, 2021
Kassandra Paid Off $55k Debt in 3.5 Years, Bad Brokers Run Amok, and Crypto Scammers Strike Again
Feeling bad about your debt? Well, we've brought the perfect motivation: a story about a woman who paid off over $55k of debt in just 3.5 years. Kassandra Dasent, singer/songwriter and former money coach, joins us to tell her compelling personal story. Raised by a single, immigrant mom, Kassandra learned the word hustle at a young age. However, she fell into her own debt troubles like so many people do because she thought she deserved nice items around her. When her credit was capped by credit card companies, Kassandra sprang into action. She'll share the tactics of how she did it on today's podcast. Plus, during our headlines segment, we'll share some horrible news about bad brokers. It turns out that once they're kicked out of the world of brokerages, many move over to the insurance industry to continue scamming clients. Speaking of scamming, crypto thieves ran off with over $32M recently. How do you protect yourself? We'll share strategies. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Austin, who wonders why Joe sold his rental property. We'll discuss real estate strategies AND the fact that there are many ways to achieve wealth during our answer. And of course, Doug also gets his share of air time. Enjoy!
Jun 09, 2021
Top 5 Ways to Win With Money, New Crypto, and AMC
How are you winning with managing your money? Are you saving automatically? Investing appropriately? Keeping an emergency fund? How do we rank the key habits that will make you a success? Today Joe and OG dive into a Top 5 episode, where each has prepared what THEY think are the key traits, and then they offer them up head to head. You end up with ten habits, and also maybe some disagreement from the guys. Plus, how would you like to earn money off the back of your favorite celebrity? Turns out, that reality is closer than you think. Comedian Bret Raybould joins us to share the world's (possibly-almost) newest cryptocurrency: BretCoin. Need some extra incentive to invest? During the other half of our headlines we share all of the fantastic reasons to invest in AMC after their newest announced perk: free popcorn. I know, I know! I'm excited as you are. That's not all. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener, answering their question. Of course, Doug will share a riveting trivia question as well. Enjoy!
Jun 07, 2021
Tomorrow Might Be Too Late To Act On These Financial Tasks (plus's Angelo Poli)
When it comes to money, there are some things you need to just start doing. Other tasks you should contemplate and make sure you get them correct before rolling into action. Knowing which-is-which could be the difference between success and failure. Today our roundtable group of award-winning financial commentators discusses a few tasks they think fit into either category. Our guest contributor is the guy behind Richest Life planning in metro Atlanta (and one of our favorite people), Beau Henderson. Beau is joined by regular contributor Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast and our very own OG. It's a dynamic, fun discussion. After we finish our discussion, Joe sits down with a just-in-time interview with Angelo Poli, the man behind MetPro, our favorite health and wellness brand. Summer is rolling into full force, Americans are eating out more than ever, and restaurants are more than ready to push out food that tastes great but might not be in your best interest. Angelo shares some great tips on how to maintain your peak mental and physical shape while still enjoying the summer. In fact, with a few of Angelo's tips, we actually think you'll love summer even more. Do precious metals have a place in your portfolio? Our contributors tackle a question from one of our listeners who wonders if the commodity has a place alongside his 401k and brokerage accounts. Of course, they all have opinions. Enjoy!
Jun 04, 2021
The 5 Years Before You Retire, Timeshare Madness, and New Wealth Numbers (with Emily Guy Birken)
What important steps do you need to roll smoothly into retirement? Joining us to share her newly updated strategies about healthcare, social security, taxes, budgeting, and more, we welcome the author of The 5 Years Before You Retire, Emily Guy Birken. Uh-oh! Another company is in hot water for employing some shady business practices... at least according to one state Attorney General. The catch? The Timeshare-Exit company had, until recently, been a sponsor of the Dave Ramsey show. While that's relevant, we don't think you should invest in any company that doesn't fit in your financial plan... whether it's sanctioned by Dave, the guys in Mom's Basement, or anyone else. More on that in the show. How have our priorities and attitude towards money changed? Rob Williams, Vice president of Financial Planning at Schwab, joins us to share some data from the company's newest survey. How do you turn your side business into a business? We tackle that question for Mac, who's interested in making some Benjamins from his brewing hobby. He asks: what does he need to know? Of course, Doug also gets his share of air time with a great trivia question. Can you guess it?
Jun 02, 2021
Stacking Pennies, a Chicken Dilemma and the Barry White Music Fix (with Corey LaJoie)
How do you create big wins? Of course, you track all of the little wins and build a solid foundation. That's why we're excited to talk today to NASCAR star Corey LaJoie about themes from his new Stacking Pennies podcast. While he drives a car alone, he's a small part of a team of people who all have to do the little things right to achieve big success on the track. Plus, "Stacking Pennies"? You know why we had to talk to Corey. We don't want to alarm you, but in case you've been living in a bubble, inflation has been horrible on many items, like lumber, new and used cars, computer chips, and even chicken. While the small story is that this may not be the best time to buy a car or refinish your home, the bigger story is that inflation is the silent killer of "safe money" sitting in bank accounts. We'll talk through why you want to think differently about risk today. Plus, of course, we'll share another eye-roll TikTok moment, answer a listener's question on the Haven Life line, and dive into some of Doug's Memorial Day trivia. Enjoy!
May 31, 2021
Surviving Your Next Wedding Invitation (plus your child could win $1000!)
Summer 2021 is right around the corner and with it comes a wave of weddings and social gatherings that have been postponed since last year. With invitations rolling in, how do you keep savings stacked without coming off as a post-COVID scrooge? Joining us to help navigate the lines between big-roller, sensible, and miser is Elle Martinez, the well-suited creator behind the Couple Money blog and podcast; Len Penzo from the blog, and our very own OG. After we're done dishing out wedding success tips, we do you one better: how would you like to win money for just knowing about money? Okay, truth be told you (the reader!) may not be eligible. BUT, United One Bank President Teri Williams joins us to share how the children in your family or neighborhood could win $1,000 for flexing their money brains. Plus, do you have cryptocurrency FOMO after multiple headlines about people striking it rich? Stacker John calls in and tells us his son has seen some pretty rapid gains (and drops) since buying cryptocurrency. John's son decided to buy a few other cryptos to diversify, and while that makes sense on paper, John feels like pouring money into the digital currency is closer to gambling than investing. Of course, we always save some time for Doug's trivia game-show. It's unbelieva-bull.... Enjoy! 
May 28, 2021
Crypto Falls, Homebuyers Groan, and That Drink Might Not Suit You
Want to succeed? You need to stay focused. Studies show the amount of alcohol and food we consume skyrockets during the holidays, and Memorial Day is no exception. While few people contest the negative impacts of a few beers or scarfing down the third burger, the science is a bit more muddied (or at least most people think it is) when it comes to other beverages like wine, coffee, and juice. Where's the truth lie, and which drinks are going to keep us healthy, happy, and productive? Dr. Alexis Willett joins us for our Memorial Day episode to share the truth behind the drinks we know, love, and rely on, but we won't be the ones during the interviewing. Stepping into Joe's seat for this special show is Mike Carruthers, host of the Something You Should Know podcast. Could patience save you a stack of Benjamins on your home? During our headlines, we share why homebuyer sentiment is at a 10-year low AND why the sky won't stop falling. Here's a freebie for those of you still in the market: appreciate the silver lining that your 50k offer over asking and waived inspection was rejected by the seller. Plus, Bitcoin is falling heavily. (Or it is right now anyway...could be skyrocketing by the time you read this. Who knows?) In our second piece, we discuss the issues behind a prospective currency crashing, going through the roof, flat-lining, and crashing again both as a currency AND an investment. What retirement options are available for business owners? During the Haven Life Line, we share the options available to the self-employed. Our caller is discouraged by the $6,000 Roth IRA contribution limit and is looking for options with higher caps. While this isn't necessarily an "either/or" issue, we give the round of choices to caller Erin. Of course, we always make some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
May 26, 2021
Your Summer 2021 Theme Park Guide (with Robert Niles)
Returning right on time to kick off theme park season, we welcome Robert Niles from Theme Park Insider. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, last year's season was cut short. Here's the good news: between new attractions, hot deals, and of course the world generally opening back up, there's a lot about Summer 2021 to look forward to. We've heard rumors that people have been smarter with their money than expected lately, and now we have some data to back that up. Ken Tumin joins us today to share the results of MagnifyMoney's annual April Savings Index. One thing to note, while people are saving, the top priority right now is funding vacation and travel. We don't want to rain on anyone's parade, BUT mom's curious to see how these numbers hold up after summer. More on the results and data during our time with Ken. Plus, Fidelity has announced a new (almost free) investing platform for teens. While parents need to have their own account at the company, teen accounts have no fees or commissions. Throw in some financial education with the low-risk early market exposure and we might call this one a win-win for everyone involved. Having some familiarity with the market and some understanding of what all the jargon means definitely will be a big help in many a young saver's journey. We finish today's show with a question from VJ, who's wondering if he should become a 1099 worker for his side-gig. He's currently a W2 worker and thinking about making the switch, but knows there are some tax implications to consider. While VJ isn't wrong to think about taxes, there's A LOT more that happens behind the scenes when you're running the show. OG shares some big points not only for VJ to consider, but anyone thinking about starting their own business. Of course, Doug also gets his share of air time and you can bet its going to be theme park trivia!
May 24, 2021
Our Fad Finance Smackdown (plus a peek at our new Retirement Design Lab)
While reading a recent blog post on fad diets, we were shocked to realize that there's a metric ton of horrible fad financial advice out there. Today we're joined by an award-winning cast of financial contributors who share some of their least favorite fads. Regular contributors Len Penzo ( and Paula Pant (Afford Anything podcast) are joined today by the host of Smart Money Mamas, the one-and-only Chelsea Brennan! (Yes, longer-time listeners, there really is a live person named "Chelsea Brennan.") Plus, today we're unveiling our OWN new FinTech. It's frustrating to see the gulf in retirement planning capabilities between some of the robust software on the advisory side and the too-dumbed-down software on the consumer side. We've been hoping to help you bridge the gap since we began the podcast, and recently we FINALLY found a partner who'll help us launch our new planning software. Steve Chen is the creator of the Stacking Benjamins Retirement Design Lab, and he'll walk you through how it works today. Even if you're already comfortable with your current tools, we're going to talk about how to use whatever software you're using to ensure that you have the best plan possible. Of course, we'll also feature our weekly trivia challenge between our three contributors. It's an exciting week while Paula and Len see if either of them can Chelsea Brennan Chelsea Brennan! Enjoy!
May 21, 2021
The History of America’s Shadowy “Insiders” (with Zachary Karabell)
Brown Brothers Harriman is a bank that's sat front row for much of America's history, and yet most of us haven't heard of them. Two presidents, the creation of our first railroads, and an influence on the adoption of paper currency only scratches the surface of the private bank's intertwined history with the birth and growth of the United States. It didn't happen accidentally. A family with strict investing and social values, the Brown Brothers family knew when to invest, when it was time to give back, and how to walk away when an opportunity carried too much risk. Sharing some of these key early stories, today we're joined by Zachary Karabell, author of the newly released Inside Money, to share both how Brown Brothers Harriman fits into our history, and also how their guiding hand helped shape some key moments for us. Are your safe, everyday financial products tasting a little stale to you? Why not spice them up by throwing some Bitcoin into your annuity? That's hip and exciting, isn't it?! What? That seems like a bad idea to you? Well, maybe us too. During our headlines, we'll ponder over reports that insurance companies are exploring how to best add cryptocurrency to annuities. We really try to work this one out and try to make heads or tails of the why. In the process, we'll talk about the history of insurance, and how sadly, the industry's innovation is more reaction than inspiration. Plus, more and more people are excited to become travelers again. We've talked about how some places like Hawaii have already seen car rental shortages, but how about getting to the destination in the first place? We'll discuss our personal methods of planning and saving for a vacation, including how Joe gamifies paying for each night of his trips to Bavaria (oh boy). We finish our show with a Haven Life question from Jason, who may or may not want to have his house paid off before he retires in the next 10 years. He asks: should he stop contributing to his Roth and contribute to a taxable brokerage account instead so he can do a lump sum payoff? Turns out, there's a way Jason continues contributing to his Roth AND still pays off his home. We'll explain how during the show. Of course, we always make some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
May 19, 2021
Negotiating the World of High-End Real Estate (with Kirsten Jordan)
If you're wondering how the inside world of high-end real estate works, our guest today will share stories and lessons from the top. Kirsten Jordan is the newest cast member of popular Bravo reality series Million Dollar Listing: New York. She's a real estate broker who's overseen over $500M in sales, so if anyone knows how to sell real estate, it's her. Today she'll talk about the price of mentorship, staging homes, leaving people feeling good vs trying to scoop up every dollar, and realizing that not all financial purchases can be whittled to numbers on a spreadsheet. Are you receiving misleading, inaccurate data from your financial advisors? Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein says his company, which provides data advisors use for their clients, is superior to another company's inaccurate information. Is Klein speaking the truth, or is there something more at play here? Thankfully, OG has extensive experience with both systems and breaks down what really matters here - and it's not type of graphs you're using. Of course, because it's Monday, we have to share a new TikTok video of the week. The fun this go-round? How about some guy who made all the wrong decision - maxing our credit cards, investing all of his spare cash and savings, and consolidating all of his previously diverse stocks into a single position - and still somehow struck gold... Sounds like a lucky dream? Only if Mr. Diamond-Hands chose to cash out. We also share some news that proves we were wrong and couldn't be happier about it. Like many people, we wrongly assumed the stimulus money would go to electronics, games, and new smart TVs. While that did happen, a LOT more money than we expected flowed into stocks. While not our favorite choice, cash also made its way into cryptocurrencies (as today's TikTok shows). It's good news, but we play Devil's Advocate a bit too: could some minor market events scare of a new generation of investors out the market? Has investing become to gamified with the rise of easy-to-invest apps? We discuss that and more during our second headline. Our Haven Life Line finishes today's show: Elle's advisor wants her father to rollover his 401k to an IRA. Hypothetically, this would let Elle use a Stretch IRA when she receives her inheritance. Only problem? The Secure Act of 2019 killed the Stretch IRA. Plus, Elle's father has company stock in his 401k and messing with that comes with big tax savings considerations. (You'll hear one of our hosts tell you this is turn around and find another advisor level of a mess-up). More on that during the show. Of course, we always make some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
May 17, 2021
Money, Secrets, and Lies (plus a peek at Clarity Money/Marcus Insights)
Ever wonder what your neighbors are really doing with their cash? Our round table takes a deep dive into a new study exposing the secret financial lives of your friends, family, and neighbors - and it's not all good news. Joining us to cover the new numbers are this week's contributors: Len Penzo from the blog, Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast, and Doc G from the Earn & Invest podcast. Halfway through the show, we'll stop our fly-on-the-wall discussion to find out what's happened to Clarity Money. The fintech app was purchased and retired by Goldman Sachs, which rolled some of Clarity's features over into their new Marcus Insights app. Melissa Manne from Goldman Sachs joins us to share both what fans of the old app (like us) have to look forward to, AND some features designed from ground up to help you save money. Our contributors finish the round table with a question from Bill - who wants to know more about the barbell investing strategy. Our guest break down barbell investing, give the pros and cons, and - of course - give their take on what Bill should do from here. Of course, Doug still has slice of airtime for his game-show trivia...which won't disappoint our trivia fans. Enjoy!
May 14, 2021
Get Motivated, Pay Your House Off Early and Teach (plus last minute tax tips)
Ready to be motivated by your peers? Today we share success stories about living your dream, paying off your mortgage, and teaching finance to the neighborhood, and all from our listeners. Stacker Leah explains how she took charge of her finances after graduating from college and moving to New York City with her car and no job. Larry tells us the simple, down-to-earth technique he used to pay off his mortgage quicker, and we hear from Mimi on how she got the neighbor kids to start investing. Plus, we tackle a piece sent to us by Stacker David: why shouldn't investors sell their stocks for a few months each May if historical data suggest guaranteed gains? Still haven't filed your taxes? Not sure how much you owe and worried about overpaying? Are you confused about the large tax bill waiting for you every year? Helping us answer those questions and more, we welcome CPA Carter Coefield for some last-minute tax advice. OR... depending on your perspective, take this as early tax advice and have everything you need perfect for next year. (We can dream right)? Why do so many investors still not trust advisors? While every advisor isn't perfect, we think at least some of the blame lies closer to home. During our headlines we explain the importance of through interviewing, asking the right questions, and the power of simply saying "no" when things aren't lining up. Plus, do Warren Buffett's quotes about life and business hold up to the same standard as his investing? We take a look at a few of Buffett's most passed-on adages to see if they're up to snuff. Of course, there's always time for a bit of Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
May 13, 2021
Avoid the Banking Walk of Shame (plus Military Appreciation Month)
Ever leave your bank thinking, "someone just made some money and it wasn't me?" Maybe a trip to your local credit union will be the cure. Credit unions are member-owned and offer low fees, high rates on savings and low rates for loans. Today we'll dive into the world of credit unions with some help during a special Wednesday "Fintech" segment from Navy Federal Credit Union's retired Marine Colonel Clay Stackhouse. We'll discuss how credit unions work, the basic benefits, and the perks that people often overlook. Of course, that's not all. We'll still throw out the Haven Life line to help a lucky listener AND Doug will share his union-oriented trivia...although he might be on the wrong track today (what's new). Enjoy!
May 12, 2021
Behind the Scenes: Stacking Benjamins (plus the pulse of small biz)
We're celebrating the world of work today! On this special episode, we answer the question, "How does THIS basement-based podcast team work? Sure we own a mic and a shiny new Dell computer, but our work neither starts nor stops there. A whole host of systems, technology, and (of course) creative discussions power the making of our show. Today we're excited to show you a special behind-the-scenes making of the Stacking Benjamins show featuring the very people who make it happen. Brought to you by the Dell Podference, each member of our team shares their unique perspective of what a day in the basement looks like, plus the digital tools we utilize to bring this show to your ears. Before that though, we'll dive into a piece about the future of work: should employees expect to return to the office soon, or can we get comfortable working from home? I know what my vote is on, but each choice does come with its own list of pros and cons. We explore the possibilities, and long-term considerations, during our headlines. We finish today's show with some questions about setting up a small business. Tyson and Josh both have questions about consultants, files, staying organized, and more. We'll share our experience working with small business owners and from running our own shop. ...and of course, Doug will share some Dell-flavored trivia. Enjoy!
May 11, 2021
Experience Your Favorite City on Less (with George Igoe)
While we can safely assume that most of us are ready to travel, we're not excited about breaking the bank AND quarantine. Yet, after meals, a decent hotel, and the tourist attractions, many of us feel we have to destroy our budget or we'll be sacrificing some fun. What if there was another way? Today we'll interview George Igoe from the hit new Million Stories YouTube series George Goes Everywhere. He'll share how he experiences some amazing fun in many of America's biggest cities on less than a single Benjamin (that's $100 to the uninitiated). We'll talk about where to look for deals, what to avoid, and we'll even get behind the camera to discuss the making of his show. Plus, during our first headlines segment back, we'll cover ALL of the stuff we missed during our break. Boy, was there a ton. A couple known as "Bill and Melinda" decided to divorce, Dogecoin went through the roof (and then dropped again), and both AOL and Yahoo! are being jettisoned from Verizon. We'll discuss all of these, our latest TikTok minute video (yet another crypto scam!) and top it all off with the story of a grandmother suing her brokers. They also happen to be her grandsons. Ouch. Of course there's more! We'll still save time to throw out the Haven Life line and Doug will share some of his amazing trivia. We're glad to be back and have another great eight weeks planned. Enjoy our kickoff episode!
May 10, 2021
Ever Try THESE Extremely Frugal (and maybe gross) Money Savers?
How far would you go to save a few bucks, or even pennies? Mom always said all things in moderation, but it seems like these super-savers didn't get the memo. Remember, you can always put your energy into increasing your revenue streams, but playing the extreme frugality game quickly steps into the realm of diminishing returns. This round-table originally aired in 2018, but espcially after our last year, the push for extreme frugality could return to the forefront. You can read our (mostly) original show notes below: Being financially prudent is one thing, but when does saving money cross the line into being extremely, and possibly even grossly, frugal? Helping us answer these questions are today's special guests: from the Fiery Millennials blog, we welcome Gwen Mertz; and from this here podcast, we welcome our very own OG and Taylor. (2021 note: On this show's original run Gwen was still co-hosting the Fire Drill podcast, and Taylor didn't join the Basement until about 18 months later. Pretty cool.) Halfway through the show we'll take a little break to talk to Jason Brown from Tally. Making the decision to get on the road to financial freedom is a good one, and paying off credit cards and debt can be a major road block. We'll sit down with Jason doing our FinTech segment and see just how his company is setting out to help people climb out of debt. And of course, we'll still have take some time to throw out the Haven Life Line to Joe, who wants to retire in the next few years. There's just one problem: Joe has no goals for retirement life. Can we throw some resources his way so he can figure out what he wants to do?
May 07, 2021
Pulling Your Life (and Money) Together When Everything Goes Wrong
Ever wish you had a second chance with your money? Billy B. hoped he'd get one. After being convicted and sent to prison after the death of his friend, Billy went through some serious soul searching, and the end result of that is on display on today's show. Not taking any opportunity for granted, working hard to find solid financial (and life) footing, and the value of surrounding yourself with good friends and mentors are just three of many themes we'll talk about in this fantastic discussion with Billy (who now also blogs at We originally aired this show in 2018, but the lessons Billy learned are truly timeless. Read the rest of the original show notes below: In our headlines segment, a new software program means that some of your advisors may be expendable….or maybe not. We’ll discuss the hot topic of humans versus AI on today’s show. Plus, Warren Buffet just wrote his annual letter to investors. What are some of the takeaways? One publication listed their favorites and we’ll review and discuss them. As always, Mr. Buffet doesn’t fail to use the English language as a weapon while talking about investing, value, and evaluating risk. We’ll of course have more from the world of financial planning, throw out the Haven Life line to lucky listener Luke, who wonders about investing to beat inflation without taking too much risk. For a five year goal, what investment works best? Are stocks too risky? Should he use junk bonds? We’ll shine a light on that topic (and maybe one we can’t talk about here), as well. We also answer a letter from Jon, who asks about asset allocation. What is a great way to manage your money and diversify correctly? You’ll have to listen to find out! Of course, we’ll still score with some of Doug’s delightful trivia, and more.
May 05, 2021
She Paid Off $18,410 Of Debt In 7 Months
Got debt? We have a solution. Or rather, our guest, Jenni Zepol, does. Every eight weeks we look back through our collection and play some of our favorite interviews, and this one is no exception. No gimmicks or get rich-quick schemes - Jenni shared her strategy and goals on how she paid down her debt in less than a year and they just may work for you too. Here's our original show notes: We LOVE success stories, and today we're talking to one woman with a great one. She set out to pay off over $18,000 of debt in a single year. But what happened? She actually did it in just over half that time: seven months. Sounds good? We thought so too, so we called up Jenni Zepol to see just how she did it. The great news? Many of you may be able to follow her tactics and do it also. Plus, in our headlines segment one whistleblower claims she was fired for raising red flags about her employer's alternative investment sales. While we're not going to set out to prove or disprove her claims, we will draw a point on why it's important to make sure your advisor is always acting as a fiduciary while helping you handle your finances. And in our second headline, one Florida teacher quit his job to become a 6-figure earning personal shopper. Any lessons we can learn there? Absolutely. We'll also have time to answer a listener letter, and don't you worry, we'll also dish out a dose of Doug's trivia.
May 03, 2021
What If Brands Were More Truthful? (plus an intro to Element)
"You'll spend more time searching than watching" would be an honest slogan for which company? If you said… well, let's not spoil every element of the show before it starts. During today's special game show we ask our contributors to guess which companies our "honest" slogans belong to. It's a lot of fun, and one contributor has a bit of a hard time marking their place on their board. Our contributors joining our round table this week are Stacy Johnson from the Money with Stacy Johnson podcast, Len Penzo from the blog, and Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast. After we wrap up our gameshow Joe sits down with the founder of Element, a new company designed to help personal finance creators answer questions from their audience. During their discussion Orban Oz shares how he discovered a startling statistic during his time building up a digital bank: personal finance creators are being asked questions all the time. That's where Element comes in. The platform sets out to make creators more accessible to their audience, and better response times. Today we dive into how it all works. We finish today's show with a question from Michael, who's wondering if he's too conservative in his portfolio. Michael is 58 and his portfolio is 60% stocks and 40% bonds. He also has a pension with 100% survivorship benefits for his spouse. Michael also tell us he doesn't include the pension in portfolio allocation as fixed income. He asks us two questions: is he being too conservative not including his pension in his calculations, and two, how much (if any), of their 1.4 million 401k should they convert into a Roth in retirement? Enjoy!
Apr 30, 2021
We Should All Be Millionaires (with Rachel Rodgers)
It's a bold statement, and one financial coach Rachel Rodgers wholeheartedly believes. After adapting her coaching business last year to the difficult circumstances we were all facing, Rachel not only survived but thrived. She saw her company turn its first million-dollar month not long after. Today Rachel shares how you can get to millionaire status: a change in your mindset, enforced boundaries, and purposeful changes in your community can lead to huge financial improvements in your life. In our headlines, and to no one's surprise, half the country is waiting for a vacation. While airlines can handle the traffic, car rental companies can't. After selling off fleets to stay afloat, there flat out aren't enough cars to go around anymore. In Hawaii, tourists have taken to using U-Hauls to get around. Are YOU planning a vacation soon? We share what you need to be doing (like yesterday) to make sure you're protected during our first headline. Looking for headlines on saving money? We have that too. Ever hear about tax-loss harvesting? If you've ever made bad stock-buying decisions at two in the morning despite all of our warnings, tax loss harvesting is your new best friend. This isn't the whole bit, but basically, it lets you use the losses on your stocks to lower the bottom line on the taxes of the stocks that actually performed well. Win-win, right? Or as most of a win as you can get in the situation. Joe and OG don't stop there, after giving the breakdown on tax-loss harvesting the guys also share tips on reallocating, understanding the differences between ETFs and Mutual Funds, and more. We finish today's show with a question from an anonymous listener who's wondering how to invest all of his extra cash. Anon has regular W2 income and about $20,000 in self-employment income that they're not sure what to do with. Ideas? The guys give a breadth of things to consider including opening up a SEP IRA, talking to a CPA, different considerations for if our caller is running a side business with frequent income, contribution and tax implications, and more. Plus, we'll finish our answer with some tax-savings advice that's especially helpful for freelancers. Enjoy!
Apr 28, 2021
The Inspirational Tales of Four Radio Pioneers (with Lisa Napoli)
Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie--four women we know by first name--were collectively much of the "voice" of NPR, bringing the fledgling network into millions of homes during an era when woman weren't even expected to report news, let alone host shows control what topics were discussed. Today we hear a few of their stories from master researcher and storyteller Lisa Napoli, journalist and the author of Ray & Joan among others. She'll share how you too can achieve your goals and create your dream job - even if it doesn't yet exist. While these stories are downright interesting on their own, they also serve as great examples of achieving your goals, not limiting yourself, and learning how to thrive in environments where you're not expected to win. During our headlines we tackle an issue most of the world's procrastinators have faced since working from home: keeping the ball rolling on your work. Studies show that the last year has been difficult for most, and we still have many lessons to learn about maximizing productivity and staying active when we're sometimes only feet from our bed (or the XBox/kids/fire pit/whatever). We've had experience figuring out how to keep productivity and workflow up, and we don't mind passing that advice on to you, along with some help from a great piece from the Wall Street Journal. In our second piece, should you trust all of the new, up-and-coming "buy now, pay later" services? While you should always use some judgment while considering any purchases, there's a bigger question to answer here: WHY use these services? If you're already financially responsible enough to use credit, there are plenty of great credit card rewards programs to utilize instead. If you're not responsible... well we're back at square one, aren't we? We'll discuss the "why?" with these services and detail how they work. We finish today's show with a question on HSA investing from Stephen who asks: should he pay for medical expenses out of pocket to allow his HSA contributions to grow interest? Similar to our "buy now, pay later" thoughts, it's not that our answer is necessarily no for Stephen, there are so many things that can go wrong here we have to take a moment to air some concerns. Of course, there's always time for Doug and his trivia. Enjoy!
Apr 26, 2021
Crawling Out Of the Financial Abyss (plus an intro to Quontic Bank)
Where do you turn when being poor has you exhausted? When you feel like you just can't think about ways to make money any longer? On a bigger scale, what's the secret to breaking out of poverty and the cycle of always being in debt? While we won't promise to solve the world's longest-running crisis in one podcast, our contributors all share their experiences and thoughts about working to overcome poverty. They share how they endured their own individual situations, and how they (and you) can plan and work towards getting out of a dark hole yourself. There aren't any quick fixes, but we do offer solid financial strategies that'll move you past the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. How about some "free" Bitcoin? During our Friday Fintech segment we'll talk to Quontic Bank founder-CEO Steve Schnall. The digital bank, which offers a Bitcoin "cash-back" rewards card, also handles non-traditional mortgages to help under-served people who need it most. You'll especially want to listen to this one if you're in the hospitality business or any other industry with hard to document income. We end the show with a question from Nick. He tells us he's got an offer for a 2% cash back card. Nick is excited about using the card, but worried about his credit utilization rate. He's heard that 30% credit utilization is as high as he can go before his credit is negatively affected. Nick also asks if his credit is hit right away, or only when his statement is sent out. Our contributors share a full round of their thoughts before calling it quits for the weekend. Of course, Doug has some airtime for his trivia game-show.
Apr 23, 2021
How To Be Richer, Wiser, and Happier (with William Green)
What separates you from everyone else? What gives you a competitive edge? According to William Green, who's interviewed hundreds of the richest investors on the planet, most of us don't have a competitive investing edge. But there's good news: that's okay, as long as you know who or what you're emulating. Today he'll pull on interviews from his new book, Richer, Wiser Happier, How the World's Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life, to share how we can overcome our disadvantages and turn them into strengths. He'll also share some of the often-overlooked personal sides of a few investing magnates that we don't often get to see. You'll hear human stories about Jack Bogle and Warren Buffett, among others. Keeping (in)famous people in mind, we'll also cover Bernie Madoff - and scams - during our headlines. The mastermind behind the largest Ponzi scheme to date, Madoff often served as a stark reminder of the things that can happen when investors turn over their cash to unethical advisors. We'll also share the latest developments of the advisor who ran away with millions of his clients' dollars, and a few scam experiences of our own. Plus, if you're still waiting to file your 2017 taxes (I'm being serious), you only have limited time before Uncle Sam claims your cash for himself. I understand procrastination as much as the next wait-until-the-night-before person, but this is something you'll want to do sooner rather than later. During our Haven Life line segment, we help out James, who has dreams of becoming a financial planner. His bigger issue? He already has student loan debt from another degree. James asks: can he become an advisor with no relevant degree or experience? Joe and OG give James all the information he needs to get started on his path. 
Apr 21, 2021
Become the Budget Boss (with Catherine Alford)
How do you take care of your money? Is it dollar by dollar? Or do you swipe plastic (like we used to), hoping that the math in your head has worked out? Today we'll help you take control with a discussion about creating a budget meeting, changing your money mindset, and gaining the confidence you need to drive your goals. It's a powerful show and we're excited for you to hear it. Featured Guest: Catherine Alford Catherine Alford shares tips to help you take control of your life by utilizing the skills you already use every day. Cat's new book, Mom's Got Money: a millennial mom's guide to managing money like a boss has strategies, tactics, and ideas anyone can use. From money meetings to making small changes in your decisions leading to big habit and money improvements, there's plenty of options right within reach. Do You Really Own Your Virtual Investments? We'll also dive into the world of NFTs. Let's assume you're fully funding your other retirement vehicles and you're interested in putting some fun money into a fun NFT spot like NBA Top Shot. (Which is a new blockchain virtual sports card marketplace... thing). You actually made a nice profit and want to cash out... and here comes the headache. You realize it'll take months for your gains to become liquid, but you need cash yesterday. What now? It doesn't matter if you're investing in a Traditional or Roth IRA, annuities, virtual card trading marketplaces, or anything else - always make sure you understand what you're throwing your hard-earned Benjamins in. We explain more during our headlines. Vacationing Next Year? Buy Now! In our own little version of market timing, all signs point to "recoup lost revenue" when it comes to the airlines industry. If you're sure you'll travel next year, it might be good sense to buy that ticket now. We discuss travel, airlines, and more during our second piece. The Haven Life Line: Terrible 401k Options? Here's What To Do Kyle calls in and tells us he has terrible 401k options. His workplace plan offers one index fund and a host of high expense ratio plans. While he invests some cash for the company match, most of his contributions go towards his IRA. Kyle asks: what should he do in this situation? How can he get his workplace to offer better plans? As always, we'll save some airtime for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Apr 19, 2021
From Frugal to Fu*k It (plus Angelo Poli from Metpro)
You've saved and invested diligently for years and you're now sitting on a fat stack of Benjamins. When's the right time to say f*** it and start spending cash like there's no tomorrow? Today our contributors share their big spender to saver money stories and give their thoughts on retiring WAY early... on less than a million dollars. It's not always about the bottom dollar, but also lost potential income (and raises) if you need to return to work years down the road, lost marketability as your skills age, and outdated professional networks as your co-workers move on to other opportunities. Joining us on the roundtable this week is Diania Merriam, founder of the FIRE-Movement inspired EconoME Conference, Len Penzo from the blog, and OG from our own podcast. Friday Fintech: Health and Wellness Expert Angelo Poli from After our contributors finish swapping money stories, Joe sits down with health and wellness expert Angelo Poli from With summer right around the corner, we polled our Stacker community for all the health and exercise questions they've been dying to get answered. From questions on aging metabolisms to intermittent fasting, and of course, time-efficient (and free) workouts even the busiest Stackers can do at home... Angelo covers it all and then some. Listener Voicemail: HSA Horror Stories? Our anonymous caller, who we refer to as Sal, calls in with some HSA questions. For years he was told he only needed the Explanation of Benefits form (think something like a medical statement) before finding out he actually needed his receipts as well. While this was an easy fix, Sal asks: what other blind spots could he have? What HSA horror stories should he know about - and avoid? As always, Doug has some post-Fintech airtime to deliver his game-show trivia. Enjoy!
Apr 16, 2021
How Do YOU Stack More Benjamins?
How do you make money driving for ride sharing companies? Credit card hacking? Churning bank accounts? How do you help your family plan? What's it like to meet with financial advisors? Today members of our community, Alan, Claudia, and Jon are kind enough to share their wisdom and experiences in all of these areas! Plus, we'll also share an important headline about doing your homework before investing, another on helping your community, and more. Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a caller with a great question about estate planning. That comes after Doug's trivia and a few of your emails. Enjoy! 
Apr 14, 2021
Start Adulting With Your Money (with Jake Cousineau)
How much of this stuff goes over your head? What are the absolute first things you need to know about when you're rolling out on your own? Today high school personal finance teacher and author Jake Cousineau joins us to dive into the very first items you should include on your list of lessons to learn about money as you begin your journey. From the double-edged sword of interest to simple banking and ideas on budgeting and saving, we'll share some of Jake's favorite tips so that you can leave today's show more prepared than you were before you listened. Annuities Changing Standards: Our Headlines States are rolling out some new rules around annuity sales, which largely are meant to mimic the SEC's Reg BI (best interest). While industry spokespeople say it's a step in the right directions, consumer advocates say it isn't enough. Today we'll share how annuities work, where the problems are in the industry, and how these new state-by-state rules may change the game (or not). We'll also share our TikTok creator video minute, and today we'll share a refreshing story. An online "guru" actually apologizes for leading his followers into a scam. While we love the sentiment, who would have known (hear the sarcasm coming?) that a StarWars universe-themed crypto coin called Mando might be fake. We'll also share the latest worldwide real estate news. Inflated prices aren't just happening in your back yard. Around the world we're seeing some eye-popping numbers. What's the takeaway? We'll talk real estate today! Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line AND save time for Doug's trivia. It's another great day in the basement!
Apr 12, 2021
Build a Better Plan with Lifestyle Design (LIVE Podbean Personal Finance Week)
Are you coasting or actually planning your next move? Living in the land of "I should" or "I might" versus "I'm where I want to be right now?" Whether it's balancing your happiness with your career choices, changing industries, family planning, or deciding how long you want to work until retirement - lifestyle choices encompasses all of our financial decisions. Today we ask our contributors: what's the design for your lifestyle? What drives your motivations, career choices, retirement plans, and financial decisions? It's a great discussion with plenty of overlap with financial independence, and one you can use for a diagnostic in your own life once you hear how it's done. Welcome to a live-making of the Stacking Benjamins show! Recorded during Podbean's Finance Podcast Week, we had the opportunity to showcase a behind-the-scenes making of the podcast in front of a live audience, and it was lots of fun that you'll hear today. Our round table has a big discussion on lifestyle design this week using their cell phones. For this one, excuse our worse-than-usual audio. We promise the engaging conversation will be worth it. Our Listener Mail: What (Non-Financial) Podcasts Do We Like? We finish our live show with a letter from Lou: he's heard us talk plenty about our favorite TV shows and movies, but what about our favorite non-money related podcast? Our contributors deliver: from podcasts like Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald'‪s‬ and Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase‪!‬, to This Week in Virolog‪y‬ and more, you'll hear plenty of our favorite podcasts we love to binge when we're not thinking about money. (Except for one contributor who always is thinking about money - but we'll leave that one a surprise). Of course, we couldn't possibly do a live show without giving up some airtime for Doug's trivia.
Apr 09, 2021
How Much Is Overthinking Costing You? (with Jon Acuff)
Don't think you can overthink your money decisions? Study's show that sadly, you're wrong. Not only will overthinking cause you to create overly complex plans, but you'll give up early on strategies, fail to move when you need decisive action, and exhaust yourself with going over the options "just one more time." Overthinking rarely involves positive thoughts, and you can't win when you're not confident. Today we'll help you solve that issue. Long time listeners will remember the last time we had Jon Acuff on the show back in 2017, (find that here: Give Yourself The Gift of “Finished”). In Jon's new book Soundtracks, he explores how our thought process and the stories we tell ourselves impacts our everyday lives, AND how you change your own soundtrack to solve your problems with overthinking. Give Enough Cash and Even The Spenders Pay Up... Eventually Remember the news the weeks after the first stimulus checks hit? Everyone waiting for the first piece of evidence to release their blog posts and podcast episodes about how everyone ran out and bought fancy 4k's and PS5s? (We totally didn't do that...not us!) Well, a new study shows that given ample cash to clear out the Amazon wish list, many people HAVE ended up paying off their bills. During our headlines Joe and OG discuss paying down debt, the double penalty of being stuck in a debt cycle, and how you can walk away from the I Can't mindset. How The Pandemic Changed Our Retirement Worries The pandemic challenged a lot of the conventional thinking behind emergency funds, healthcare, and and retirement living. A newly released Fidelity report queried investor retirement worries, and while there were some surprises, other figures proved that not all financial thinking needs to be redrawn from the ground up. Doc G from the Earn & Invest podcast joins us today to discuss what the report means for the broader retirement conversation AND what the numbers mean to you. The Haven Life Line: What's the deal with Fundrise? Sean is interested in investing with Fundrise, and wants to know our thoughts. While the company has seemed to change up their marketing since they first came on our radar we still have some reservations, and OG and I actually differ on a few thoughts here. Never familiar with REITs? We'll explain your options on the show, but you can get started here: Traded vs. Non-Traded REITs: Which Is Best for You? Enjoy!
Apr 07, 2021
First Home or Big Wedding? (with Netflix's Mortgage or Marriage stars Sarah and Nichole)
This seems like an easy decision, doesn't it? Skimp on the party and invest money in your dream residence. Yet, don't we always say to invest in experiences because they appreciate in your mind (becoming more epic as the years pass), instead of things that clutter our lives? Co-hosts of the new Netflix reality show Marriage or Mortgage, wedding planner Sarah Miller and real estate pro Nichole Holmes, join us for a fun discussion on a dilemma many newlyweds face: how much cash do you spend on making your dream wedding a reality, and at what cost to your future home? We know, this is a financial podcast, and financial nerds are definitely biased on this one, but Sarah raises some pretty good points, and you just might surprise yourself when you're nodding along. We're not saying you should go for broke on a huge wedding (though if you do, please invite us), but Sarah's reasoning isn't exactly in contrast with our own money philosophy. Making "Fun Money" on trading apps? Watch out for the tax bill. In our headlines segment, we'll relive the horror story one Robinhood trader experienced when he found he had an $800,000 tax bill. Worse news? He could have avoided it fairly easily if he knew one rule that we'll share on today's show. Tiktok of the Week: Amazon beats Walmart because of... adult toys? In our TikTok minute you'll find that it isn't just young, aggressive traders (or at least TikTok talkers) who are making bizarre statements about financial success. So are television anchors. Want early retirement? Try buying a school bus! How great is this? One man in his twenties decided to cut out 40 years of saving and instead retire right now. We'll share his story and what it means for you. BUT that's not all. Of course, we'll throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener AND we'll dovetail in some of Doug's amazing trivia. Enjoy!
Apr 05, 2021
Living Abroad Without Breaking The Bank (plus an intro to Jassby)
Brush off the passport, pack the bags, and plop down in your favorite lazy spot because we're going global on today's show! In this special Living Abroad episode, we invite world travelers living in various countries to share how they did it, what they should've learned earlier, and what life experiences they've gained since settling into their new lives. Joining our round table is a French native and former Guatemala-living Pauline Paquin from the Reach Financial Independence blog, Jim White from the Route to Retire blog (who moved to Panama with his wife and daughter at 43), and Travis Luther, author of Fun Side of the Wall, a book explaining why baby boomers are flocking to Mexico for retirement. Friday Fintech: Jassby - An App for Families After our trio wraps up all things travel Joe sits down with Benny Nachman, founder of the family money-sharing app Jassby. The app provides an easy-to-use system that lets parents assign responsibilities to children, pay allowances, and even setup a virtual debit card. Listener Voicemail: Gifting Stocks? During our MagnifyMoney segment, we take on a question about gifting stocks to students from high school teacher Jake. Additionally, he asks, is there a good way to buy fractional shares as a gift? A few of the stocks his students are interested in are a few hundred dollars a piece... not exactly feasible to buy for a whole class. As always, Doug has some post-Fintech airtime to deliver his game-show trivia. Enjoy!
Apr 02, 2021
Finding Financial Wholeness (with Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista)
You may have financial security, but do you have financial wholeness? What's the difference? Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche says that she felt more whole BEFORE she had financial independence than she did after. We'll talk about building a solid financial footing and understanding on today's show. Tiffany has led women worldwide in paying off millions of dollars in debt, co-hosts the Brown Ambition podcast, and now has multiple financial education books published, including a pre-education book for children. With a decade of teaching experience behind her - that's before she moved into financial education - Tiffany has used her experience to develop easy-to-follow, engaging financial education lessons. Today we sit down with The Budgetnista for a wide-ranging interview including why you should strive for financial wholeness instead of financial freedom, how to present financial education so even children can grasp it, and her straightforward budgeting system. A Case Study in Being Prepared Model and Actress Brooke Shields had a horrific fall a few months ago that required her to undergo multiple surgeries. It's an accident she's still recovering from, and one she'll need to dedicate time and resources too. Here's the thing: Brook Shields (in all likelihood) can field the costs and loss of earnings in stride. What would happen in your life after enduring the same experience Shields went through? Beyond the physical and emotional trauma, what type of shock test will your finances go through? What vehicle gets the most mile for your buck? Pushing mortgages and health costs to the side for a moment, vehicle purchases are among the most expensive reoccurring expenses you'll have in life. Operating inside of a budget, there isn't anything wrong with picking based on your aesthetic preferences. However, at the very least, you should make informed decisions when any large amount of cash in on the table. We know cars depreciate in value the moment you drive off the lot, but which vehicles actually get you the most mileage for your cash over the long run? Joining us today with all the right answers, we welcome Karl Brauer from Getting Young Investors Started? Sarah calls in asking the best way of setting up investment accounts for her two younger brothers, who are 16 and 20 years old. She knows her older brother could possibly setup a Roth IRA, but not sure what the best move is for her youngest brother. Sarah also asks about college financial aid implications. Thoughts? Enjoy!
Mar 31, 2021
You Are Resilient (with Harma Hartouni)
Pros in every field will tell you that confidence is a huge part of earning more money. But what happens when life delivers blow after blow? We've been there ourselves, and so has our guest, Harma Hartouni, who moved to America with his family and was flat broke. Much of his story stems from a childhood relationship with a dad that was less than perfect (to put it mildly). While this is not a direct rags-to-riches story, things started to turn around for Harma, and he now runs one of the top real estate firms in Southern California, along with having a passion for sharing his life experiences for others to learn from. Today Harma shares his compelling story of perseverance, confidence, and learning lessons from horrible experiences instead of falling back on them as a crutch, like so many do. Blackrock Cuts ETF Fees Cut to Near Zero Lower fees... hooray! Right? The race to zero fees continues with BlackRock's latest move to drop ETF fees, which is the lastest blow in their fight for assets with Vanguard. While we aren't complaining about more money in your pocket, the slashed fees leave us with a lingering question: what exactly should investors want when it comes to their strategy? Beyond the latest flashy headline of the week, what's your framework for making investing decisions? Top Mistakes People Make When Planning for Retirement Have you made your portfolio more conservative to soothe your market volatility fears? Larry Swedroe recently shared some big retirement planning mistakes which could cost you millions of dollars in missed opportunity. The Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement author (and previous Stacking Benjamins guest) brings some good points to the table, and Joe and OG share some math scary enough to make you think twice before slowing things down. Not All Products Are Meant for You We're mixing things up with today's Haven Life Line. Margaret saw a video online that's filled with mostly good advice, but sneaks in a "secure compound interest account" comment at the end of the clip. What's the deal? Joe and OG share exactly what this account actually is, and give some frank advice for people who may be considering investing. Enjoy!
Mar 29, 2021
Financial Advice You Should Ignore (with an intro to FarmTogether)
Have a difficult time separating good financial advice from the bad? Today our contributors tackle everything from budgeting and credit utilization myths, to discussions on trade schools and the rent vs mortgage debate. Joining us on today's round table is Lauryn Williams from the Worth Listening podcast, Paula Pant from the Afford Anything Podcast, and Len Penzo from the blog. Friday Fintech: FarmTogether After the constant reminders to diversify, you eventually decided to invest a portion of your portfolio into something like bonds, right? Ever consider farmland? Joining us from the FarmTogether investment platform, we welcome founder Artem Milinchuk to learn more about farmland investing. Joe and Artem discuss how farmland's low correlation with the stock market provides better diversification, how advances in the farming industry align with ESG values, and how farmland can provide bond-like stable returns while still providing equity-level value. Listener Voicemail: What Happens To Your Stocks When A Company Goes Private? A company you own stocks of goes private, what happens now? Caller Liz recently found out that Michael's will become a private company after a sell. Liz asks: do they sell her shares at a specific time? Does she have a choice? Fortunately, Liz tells us this is her sandbox money - she doesn't need it, but she's still curious about the process. As always, Doug has some post-fintech airtime to deliver his game-show trivia. Enjoy!
Mar 26, 2021
Trailblazers: Early Women in Medicine (with Olivia Campbell)
We thought women have been doctors for a long, long time. That's clearly not been the case, and also it's a path that's hard-won. If you were fans of the women in Hidden Figures, watch out, because today we're introducing you to three more trailblazers. In honor of Women's History month we invited Olivia Campbell, the author of the new book Women in White Coats, to share with us some fascinating (and sometimes horrifying) stories of the challenges these incredible women faced during their fight with the status quo. These women had limited funds, little to no support system, no government assistance, and they persevered in spite of it all. Financial Advisor Alex Reffet In our headlines segment, we'll go back again for another look to a year ago. How should a good financial advisor have encouraged you at the time when the sky was falling, and the market was experiencing its worst days in history? We'll talk to Alex Reffet from East Paces Group in Atlanta to get his perspective. Tax Day Pushed Back...BUT With One Exception Also, we'll share the news that you can procrastinate on all of your taxes...except one, for an extra month. We'll share some bad news for people with a state income tax AND also for people who own businesses. Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life Line to a lucky listener AND share Doug's amazing trivia. Enjoy!
Mar 24, 2021
Nail Your Next Home Purchase (with Scott Trench and Mindy Jensen)
How many mistakes did YOU make buying your last home? Before you make another, Scott Trench and Mindy Jensen from Bigger Pockets Money join us to drop the knowledge you should know before making your next home purchase. They'll discuss the cost tradeoff you need to consider between renting and buying, the exit strategies you have to weigh before making any purchase, and detail how to set yourself up for a rock-solid home buying experience. Plus, you'll see how Mindy pocketed a $300k profit off her home renovations, tax-free. Cryptocurrency illegal? We'll start our headlines discussing India's possible banning of cryptocurrency. While nothing is yet set in stone, it's a good example of why it's important to keep your retirement funds diversified, no matter how lucrative one type of investment may appear. The only thing that's for certain is that if there's a way to make money off of it, you can bet Uncle Sam (or any government) is going to find a way to share in the pie. 2021 - The Year of the CFO We'll start with a piece about a possible market crash (spoiler: yes, eventually), and quickly pivot to a discussion on how careful you need to be this year about growth statistics from companies. With the year that was 2020, it's no wonder companies are loud and proud about their expected growth in 2021. Don't get us wrong, we're excited about positive news, but as an investor, you can't only rely on fancy numbers. What to do with all this money? We'll finish the show with a call from Seth, who recently bought a home. After his monthly expenses and investing Seth has about $2,000 leftover each month in savings. With Seth's emergency fund already fully funded, he asks: should he allocate the extra cash to paying off his mortgage, or use the money to fund additional investments? We'll give Seth some advice that'll work for every raise he gets, expected or not. Enjoy!
Mar 22, 2021
Yes, You Can Talk To Your Family About Money (plus an intro to Seeds Investor)
Whether you are a parent, have parents, or find yourself at the Thanksgiving table sandwiched between generations, honest money conversations are crucial to your financial journey. Single investors with no kids need to know the late-life plans of their parents before they're surprised with care costs. Kids themselves need financial education and the best way to do that is by showing them firsthand. Parents, especially those supporting two generations, have all the more reason to make sure everyone is on the same page. Joining us today to share the strategies and conversations inside of their own families, we welcome Pam Andrews from The Scholarship Shark; Doc G from the Earn & Invest podcast, and OG from our own Stacking Benjamins. Friday Fintech: Ethical Investing with Seeds Investor Remember 15 years ago (or even five) when investing in ESG's was considered principally an ethical move? While you could invest according to your morals people would tell you about the market returns you'd miss out on. That's not quite the case anymore, and now it's easier than ever to stick to your ethical considerations AND make money doing it. Joining us today from Seeds Investor to discuss the future of ethical investing and Seeds part in it all is COO & Head of Product Kristen O’Grady. Our Listener Voicemail Dan graduated from college last year and has been staying with his parents rent-free. He's since become a salaried worker, with a big raise and benefits to match. Dan tells us that he had been putting 15% of each paycheck into a savings and emergency fund. He has a few manageable bills right now and has been investing the rest. Dan asks: what are out thoughts on transferring the 15% savings rate to his investments instead? After all, he could maximize his investments while having low bills. Enjoy!
Mar 19, 2021
Build Your Perfect Budget and Cook Better While Wasting Less (The STACK Replay)
Today's show includes two fantastic guests: first Allison Baggerly, who not only paid off $100k on two teacher salaries but who also has become a ninja at budgets. She'll share tips from her Inspired Budget courses and website that you can use to begin setting up your own budget today. But that's not all! We also spoke with the host of Struggle Meals, Frankie Celenza, about how he's able to make great-tasting food for less money AND with less waste. He'll share tips about spices, salt, organizing your refrigerator, and more. NOTE: On the live replay we experienced a few issues. We'll share one right at the top of the show (Doug's power went out immediately as we began--that stuff ONLY happens when you're live). We also realized while editing that you are hearing also Joe's channel, which includes links to backstage discussions. We've cleaned it up a ton and unfortunately, that meant cutting some discussions. Check out the YouTube video to see the entire show. As always, you'll find show notes and links to Struggle Meals and Inspired Budget at our show notes page at Stacking Benjamins dot com.
Mar 17, 2021
High Return Investment: Kindness? (with Brian Biro)
You calculate returns on your investments, but what's your ROI when you're actually being nice to people? It turns out, reams of data show that kindness pays, and today, America's Breakthrough Coach, Brian Biro joins us to talk about how to become a Chief Kindness Officer. While Brian's all about holding the door open for someone, the philosophy of kindness actually goes much deeper than that. Sometimes being kind means telling a worker, "Go figure this out on your own, then come back to me with your thoughts." It's a wide-ranging interview that we know you're going to enjoy. Bad Idea of the Year: Investing Because A Celebrity Said So The Securities and Exchange Commission has a new warning you'll want to know about. If you didn't know this already - you shouldn't invest in any company only because you heard something on the internet and the news. That includes Stacking Benjamins, Facebook, CNBC, Fox Business, and anyone else you want to throw on this list. That's not to say no one ever has good endorsements, but due diligence is always an action you should take before making big decisions with your money. We'll talk about celebrity endorsements and a new warning from the SEC during our headlines segment... Have A Plan For That $1,400 Stimulus Check Coming In And speaking of doing your due diligence, Suze Orman had a thing or two to say with how people might be spending this next stimulus check. Naturally, we had a thing or two to say about her thing - or rather Don McDonald has something to say. Making a flash appearance in the basement, the Talking Real Money host has some real takes on how you should use your stimulus check to score the biggest impact possible. What's the deal with SPACs? Good on Julien for today's Haven Life question! He's been hearing about special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in the news and wants some clarification. Is this a new shady method for companies to avoid the paperwork that comes with an IPO? Are SPACs worth investing in? Joe and OG take Julien's question and go step-by-step on the differences between IPOs and SPACs. Of course, we'll always leave some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Mar 15, 2021
10 Lessons For A Successful Retirement (with an intro to Everplans)
Spend less than you earn, invest, Stack Benjamins, and retire to a beach for the rest of your life, (or insert personal retirement fantasy here). It sounds simple... right? As a set of guidelines, sure it's simple. BUT in reality, it's not so easy, and as studies have shown time and time again, doing your dream retirement activity (like golf) every day gets old very quickly. While money is obviously the most important component to any retirement, the "to-do" list doesn't stop there. Helping us fill in the blanks, and joining us for our round table today, we welcome CFP Dana Anspach from Sensible Money, Len Penzo from the blog, and our very own OG. EverPlans: Introducing a company helping you plan for the worst. After our contributors get their fill on retirement advice, Joe sits down with the founders of Everplans, a company designed to help you store key information in one place in case of the worst happening. During our Friday Fintech interview, company founders Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer explain why it's so important for your loved ones to have easy access to your important documents, and how quickly things can go wrong when your family can't access your information. They take a topic most of us would rather put off and share stories that are fun, insightful, and actionable. We're glad to shine some light on the importance of making sure your family is taken care of in case of the worst happening. Should you hold onto bonds for a change to make money on the market? As always, we finish today's show with a MagnifyMoney question. Scott tells us he's holding long-term Treasury bonds in his portfolio with the hope the bonds will jump in price when the stock market crashes. He would then use the profit to buy stocks while they're low. Scott asks: do long-term treasuries still spike in a near-zero interest rate environment, or does that only happen when rates are cut? Of course, Doug gets airtime halfway through the episode for his game show, and he's in the holiday spirit today. You'll see what holiday season he means later... enjoy! 
Mar 12, 2021
Can You Juggle It All? (with Heather Chauvin)
You've felt it. You're going over the side...and it's all crashing down. You'd better believe that Heather Chauvin has also felt it. She's both a leadership coach and host of the Mom Is In Control podcast, and today she joins us in the basement to share her personal story of leaving a job she hated, all while maxing out her credit cards to get her side business off the ground - and by the way....also while she was battling cancer. While sitting down with Joe, Heather also shares how she stayed motivated and shifted her life priorities from taking care of others first, to taking care of herself first - and then others. Putting her own "mask" on first (talking airline warnings here) changed her life, and it'll do great things for you too. Financial Lessons From Sky-Rocketing Lumber Prices.In our first piece, we share lessons learned from rising lumber prices across the country. Much like how we love to wait until the day before a cold front to make necessary preparations, lumber runs on a "just in time" system. When an extra factor is thrown in the mix, it can throw the whole system in disarray until enough time has passed to course correct. A financial plan made with margin for error runs close to the same fashion. The big issue? Late lumber impacts your backyard plans, a wrong financial plan messes with your retirement. Joe and OG give their takeaways during our headlines. Mortgage Rates Are Creeping UpMortgage rates are going back up, better run out and capitalize on it while you can!... or maybe not. Giving us some clarity in what is surely resulting in plenty of scary headlines, Joe sits down with Kevin Parker of Navy Federal. Kevin shares what you need to know BEFORE making any big money decisions, plus dishes out some sound financial knowledge that's helpful for anyone approaching loans and credit. Best Personal Financial Success Story?Waiting for us on the Haven Life Line is a question from Evan, who's looking for some feel-good news after 2020. He asks: what are our best personal and professional success stories? We're happy to share! Of course, we'll always leave some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Mar 10, 2021
Defusing the Time Bomb In Your Portfolio (with Ed Slott)
There's a time-bomb waiting in your IRA. Tax and IRA expert Ed Slott joins us today to share what the death of the Stretch IRA means for your retirement, and how the SECURE Act has made some big changes to the way your money is treated long after you're gone. Whether you have a partner, children, family, or any other dependents depending on your support, the last thing you need is complicated tax rules funneling money out of your portfolio. If you're the type of person who runs at the sound of a tax discussion, you may want to stick around for this one. Ed Slott breaks down what is often a monotonous subject into funny, easy-to-understand material. GME Resurgence, Cathie Wood, Stocks, and more. What in the world is going on with GameStop? No, that's not a misplaced sentence. Did you think the move three weeks ago was the end? Check the chart and be prepared for a surprise. Joining us today to talk GameStop's second resurgence, we welcome Spencer Israel from Benzinga. We'll also discuss Cathie Wood, the CEO of the largest actively-managed ETF in 2020 (among other distinctions), the bouncing markets, stock picks, and more. Uber (and any other service-economy app company) is NOT Your Friend. We normally make light of a financial TikTok on our Monday shows, and while we aren't changing that today, we're also shining some special light on one emotional video you've probably seen making its way across the web. Featuring a tearful Uber driver sharing his ordeal delivering almost an hour-long order only to ultimately make virtually no money on his delivery, the driver pleads with customers to understand what drivers go through and to tip appropriately. We agree with the driver on a big point: regardless of how you may feel about the current system, it is the system. If you're utilizing service labor, you need to tip appropriately or choose other manners of getting your product/need met. BUT, we use the video to shine an important light here. Uber's first priority is to the company shareholders, not to you as a customer or contractor. Great guests like Juliet Schor have already explained the how's and why's behind the large costs associated with the everyday worker in the sharing economy, but one's things for sure: when something isn't working for YOU, it's time to pivot. When is it the right time to make the leap to full-time business owner? We'll finish today's show with a Haven Life voicemail from caller Evan, who has some questions on jumping ship from the W2 life to full-time business owner. Up to this point, Evan and his family have reinvested all the money back into the business to keep it growing, and he asks: what should he know before taking the leap? Joe and OG give their two cents, and share a few resources along the way. Of course, we'll always leave some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Mar 08, 2021
5 Strategies to Save $1 Million (rewind with an intro to GO)
No matter if it's 2017 or 2021, $1 million dollars is still a nice stack of Benjamins. That's why to finish our rewind week, we're bringing a round table episode featuring our contributors sharing their top strategies to save your own million. Regular contributors Paula Pant and Len Penzo were joined by Hip Hop's Financial Advisor Rob Wilson on this episode. You can read the original show description below: How do you save a million dollars (we said in our coolest Austin Powers voice….). We’ll discuss a recent online piece that goes over that on our Friday round table! Special guest, and Hip Hop’s Financial Advisor Rob Wilson joins Paula Pant and Len Penzo in a no-holds-barred conversation on saving more money. Of course, we don’t stop there. We also tackle a recent Time story about millennials. Apparently, ONE trick is helping them save more money. We’ll share not only what it is but also additional tricks to save more money. Finally, we review a Moneyologist column question about taking care of a brother’s money. If he can’t do it himself, how much should sister step in? In our Friday FinTech segment, we talk to the CEO of GO, a cool app that’ll help you more quickly (and by more quickly, we mean WAY more quickly) your car insurance. It’s as easy as taking a photo….
Mar 05, 2021
College Planning 101 (Rewind w/ Financial Aid Pro Jodi Okun)
For many families college is right around the corner, and so is that first Business Office payment. Fortunately for you, we have some great advice on hand from a financial aid wizard. While specific policies may change, the strategies and mindset behind lowering the bottom line and getting more aid in your pocket tend to stick around. That's why we're replaying our interview with financial aid wizard and UC San Diego instructor, Jodi Okun. Here's our original description: College planning expert Jodi Okun stops by the basement to help college-bound students save a TON of money. She has advice for students, parents, and for people thinking about possibly going back to college. How will you pay for it? She has many great suggestions. In our headlines....beware when an expert shares their opinion, and it just happens to correlate with EXACTLY the items they sell. Plus, ever wonder why nobody makes money in the stock market? We'll share the real reason. Then we take a hotline call from Amy about moving to Canada and a letter from Megan with an awesome article attached. All that and a guy named Snoop! in the basement today....
Mar 03, 2021
Creating Your Debt-Free Blueprint (Rewind w/ Laura Adams, AKA Money Girl)
With stimulus checks hopefully on the way, it's a good time to get your debt payment strategy in place. That's why we're replaying this episode from 2019 with Laura Adams, more commonly known as Money Girl from the popular podcast by the same name. Here's the original description: Are you having trouble climbing out of debt? Or maybe you're tired of daily calls from debt collectors? Whether you have serious debt or just need to refresh your plan, today we're kickstarting your 2019 journey to financial independence with the host of the Money Girl podcast, Laura Adams. Plus, speaking of 2019, what does the next year have in store for the world of credit? We're talking to Senior Vice President of Research and Consulting at Transunion, Matthew Komos, during our headlines segment. And later on, we'll throw out the Haven Life Line to Alex, who wants to know if he should pull some cash out of his account and reinvest when the market drops. He's also finishing his residency to become a physician, and his tax liability is virtually zero. What should he do with his accounts right now? And don't worry... we'll still take some time for Doug's trivia.
Mar 01, 2021
10 Habits to Become a Better Investor (plus the Evil HR Lady)
Whether you've been investing for a week, for years, or anything in between, it's always a good idea to keep the fundamentals in mind. BUT....on the other hand, we love to have fun, and it's Friday after all! That's why today we're treating you to a Stacking Benjamins game-show version of "Guess the 10 Habits to Become a Better Investor!" We pulled a piece from M1 Finance listing their top 10 habits, and on this episode, we'll quiz our contributors on which strategies made the list. Not only do you get great investing tips from each of our three contributors, you'll find yourself laughing so much you won't realize you've learned a thing... until it's too late. Playing the game-show with us, we welcome Don McDonald from, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, and Len Penzo from the blog. Think it's too late to make a career change? After we crown our game-show champion, we'll talk big career moves with the Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas. Are you anxious about making an industry change? Think you've sunk too much time to make a move for your happiness? We'll talk sunk costs (both monetary and emotional), following your happiness, and the realities of leaving behind a career you've spent a considerable amount of time in - and the truth is probably brighter than you think. What should you do with you investments when you have large upcoming purchases? We'll finish our show today with a MagnifyMoney question from caller Debi, who tells us that she's looking to buy a home or condo in the next few years. She would like to acquire a few more properties after that and start to rent them out for passive income. Plus, she has a $10,000 savings bond that will mature in August 2021, along with another $10k each in savings and Robinhood. Our contributors give Debi some much-earned congratulations and advice on how to best position her money in the mean time. As always, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Feb 26, 2021
Business Case Studies To Make Your Family Finances Sing (with John Warrillow)
John Warrillow has built and sold many businesses, and has created a business value builder system used by thousands of businesses worldwide. With many, many years of experience under his belt, John knows a thing or two on how to bring value to a business. Today, he brings that wealth of knowledge with him to help make better financial sense for your family. Tune in for an insightful discussion featuring case studies, interesting stories, and maybe a new way of looking at your family's financial picture. Hot take incoming: every time you make a bad financial decision and lose big (let's say shorting GameStop to the tune of $200,000), maybe you should blame someone else and sue them to recoup your losses! Sound crazy to you? Tell that to Christian Iovin, the man suing leading Reddit investor "DeepF$%kingValue" over his part in the short squeeze. During our headlines, Joe and OG give a thorough deconstruction detailing how the "get-rich-quick" mindset can lead a person down some strange paths - including thinking that a social media figure is responsible for your investing choices. While we aren't without sympathy, we break down how Iovin willingly made his choice on what he thought was a great deal at the time, and offer up some sound advice to not get yourself caught between a rock and hard place - short squeeze or otherwise). We'll keep today's theme going with our second set of headlines. Bill Gates is now officially "meh" on Bitcoin (it's an improvement!), and financial advisors are ready to back the truck up to crypto. Now hold on a second if you think you know where this is going. We're not here to preach #teamcrypto or denounce the movement either way. What we are saying, like in our interview with John Warrillow, is that you need systems. We've said the same thing about Tesla and Apple, and the rules don't change for Bitcoin. The biggest danger to your portfolio isn't a Redditor or Capitol Hill, it's you. The best thing you can do for your bottom line is taking yourself OUT of the equation. Enough of that, moving on. Finishing out today's show is a Haven Life line question from Zac. He asks... (checking notes...)... is putting $20 a week into a somewhat random stock that has shown positive growth a good idea? Truth be told, we could have went a lot of different ways with this one. I'm proud to say the guys put some thought into this one, and not only give Zac an answer, but dive into some explanations on different stock analysis theories. Of course, Doug always gets some airtime for his trivia. Enjoy!
Feb 24, 2021
You Made It. Now What? (with Jennifer Risher)
What's the next step after you finally "make it"? While it's easy to scoff at the problems of people who are financially set, it's not uncommon to lose a sense of purpose once you jump out of the rat race. Bigger questions start to come up: what's your real purpose in life? What type of legacy are you leaving behind? How will your personal relationships be impacted by your new-found financial status? What type of impact do you want to make on the world? Shining a new light on these ideas that often don't receive enough attention is Jennifer Risher, author of We Need To Talk: A Memoir About Wealth. We'll talk to her today! Taxes, taxes, taxes. It's that time of year again. Joining us to talk all things taxes during our headlines segment, we welcome tax software expert extraordinaire, Hannah Rounds from The College Investor. Whether you're a landlord, charitable giver, paying off college debt, contributing to an HSA, or anything in between, Hannah has great advice ensuring you won't be leaving any cash on the table. Plus, Fidelity recently held an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit. The thread gathered A LOT of attention, but not for the reasons you'd think: everyone had Robinhood on their mind. While Reddit users did comment on the GME/Robinhood debacle, there was a bigger question: why in the world does Robinhood have such an incredible user interface, while many of the other big-name brokerages and bank apps seem to be stuck in the first episode of Wandavison? We'll finish out the show with a Haven Life line question from one listener who has finally come to their senses with Robinhood. Listener Taylor has invested with the company for years and he's ready to jump ship. The big question? How can he change move his investments to another brokerage without taking a big capital gains hit? We'll give him many options so he (and you!) can move on to greener pastures. Naturally, we'll also give Doug his airtime halfway through the show. FAANG stocks used to be all the rage, but some investing pros are looking to the future and is giving one company the boot. Find out which one during Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Feb 22, 2021
Should You Move For Money, Opportunity, or Peace of Mind? (Plus an intro to Yieldstreet)
Feeling stuck? Maybe it's time to move. Of course, it's a lot easier to write about moving than actually planning and doing it. And while a move may pay off in the long run, there could be a hit initially to your finances. With that in mind, today we ask our round table contributors: what exactly would encourage you to move? Better location? Pay? Maybe you want to escape the harsh Detroit winters? (I'll let you guess who had that complaint). It's a fun conversation that covers a breadth of topics in true Stacking Benjamins fashion. Helping us out today are our round table regulars: Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast, Len Penzo from the blog, and our very own OG. Halfway through the show, we'll give our contributors a break while Joe talks everything alternative investments with Michael Weisz, co-founder of alternative investments company Yieldstreet. During their interview, Michael covers everything from the company origin stories - a shocking reality check that a large percentage of everyday consumers were locked out of the alternative investments sector - to helping investors by cutting down average IRA rollover times from forty days to six. If you've ever wondered about other investment choices outside of stocks, bonds and funds, this is one interview for you. We'll end today's show with our MagnifyMoney segment. Caller Kevin tells us that his father passed away last year. While he isn't attached to the credit card debt his father left behind, he's heard the horror stories of banks hounding family members after a loved one's death. Kevin asks: what's the best strategy for dealing with the looming creditors? We'll give Kevin some heartfelt advice that we hope can make this time a little easier. Of course, we'll give Doug his airtime halfway through the show, and he's keeping things Texarkana Classy with today's trivia.
Feb 19, 2021
Broke Millennial on Tough Conversations (with Erin Lowry)
How do you have money conversations with the people in your life without making things awkward? From asking the boss for a raise to having a tricky money chat you'd rather not have with a family member, and even to opening honest lines of communication with your partner - money can be a scary topic to broach. We bring good news: it doesn't have to be. Erin Lowry, the mind behind the Broke Millennial series, joins us today to share how you can move beyond the "pit in your stomach" feeling when it comes to money conversations, and the answer (really) is easier than you'd think. Plus, during our headlines... let's just say the local Texarkana Chamber of Commerce isn't too happy with how we've been portraying the small quaint town of Texarkana. Chamber of Commerce President, Bubba "Tex" Mext had a few words he wanted to share with us, and - lucky for you - we caught it all on tape, and we're sharing it here today. Of course, we won't leave you high and dry either. When we find some clean airtime, we'll also discuss a piece about the growing popularity of HSAs. While the book is still out on investor sentiment towards a dual HSA/401k investment approach, it's not the worst idea to consider for your larger financial portfolio. We'll explain why during our headlines. During our Haven Life Line, we'll answer a call from Maz, who has more questions about the GameStop situation. What are the big lessons to take away here? What should investors have learned? How can people do better in the future? Naturally, Doug can't let Tex Mext make so much commotion without having a few words on the matter himself. Better brush up in your Lone Star knowledge, because Doug has Texas on his mind today during his trivia. Enjoy!
Feb 17, 2021
Networking For Introverts (with Matthew Pollard)
Think you can't network like a pro because you're an introvert? Better put your party hat on and take a shot of liquid courage, because our guest today is coming in with strategies and techniques that'll turn anyone into a lean, green, networking machine. (Without resorting to sending out hundreds of spam emails). Our guest, Matthew Pollard, has helped multiple businesses become million-dollar ideas, and he assures us it has a lot less to do with having the skills of a smooth talker, and a whole lot more with honest connection and preparation. Having trouble with the law? While the long arm of the government may be able to seize your bitcoins, today's piece shows that by forgetting a key piece of information, you don't have to worry about your bitcoins ever really going goodbye - but good luck cashing anything in for your retirement. Plus, we'll cover why everyone's favorite mortgage strategy, velocity banking, is an off-the-rails fun way of paying down your debt... until it all comes crashing down around you. Plus, during our Haven Life line, Justin tells us he's interested in buying stocks for his daughter. Her favorite game, Roblox, is about to go public, but the company is doing a direct listing. Justin asks: Are direct listings as bad as IPOs for everyday investors? Is there anything he should know about before getting involved? We'll give Justin the rundown, and even throw in a few of our favorite apps to get kids started on investing. As always, we'll save some time for Doug's network-based trivia. Enjoy!
Feb 15, 2021
How's Your Relationship with Moolah? (plus an update on the Zeta app)
Love is in the air, and today, no matter your relationship status, you're gonna LOVE our discussion on your relationship with money. How is it? Is it healthy? Growing? Worrying? We'll discuss all of the emotions around money on today's show, featuring a cast of financial media peeps including Paul Ollinger from the Crazy Money podcast; Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast; and our very own OG. Plus, just in time for Valentine's Day, there's big news from the financial app for couples called Zeta. The founder of Zeta, Aditi Shekar is back, to share all of the details. If you have a relationship with someone AND you're trying to mix money in any way, you'll want to hear their news. Of course we'll still all have opinions for a lucky listener on today's call AND we'll battle it out over Doug's Valentine's Day themed trivia question. Enjoy!
Feb 12, 2021
Episode 1,000
Well, we went and added a comma. You weren't counting, but mom was. Today we'll share the money lessons we've learned over our first 1,000 (wow, have we really made that many?) episodes. Plus, we'll hear from many of our friends you'll recognize from the financial community. We'll share a monster list of our favorite books and resources, but all of the things that we've learned on our journey over the past (near) decade. During our headlines, we'll double up on the experts. First, we'll talk to Dirk Izzo, president and GM of Hospitality at NCR, who'll share how restaurants embraced innovation and kept revenue flowing in the face of unprecedented challenges. In our second piece, we'll invite the man who literally wrote the book on silver investing to explain the craze in the silver markets hitting the news lately. What was happening while we were all watching Gamestop? It turns out, a TON. David Morgan will share his best tips on today's show. As always, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. Finally, thank you Stackers for making a thousand episodes of this little podcast a reality. We couldn't have done it without you. Enjoy the show. 
Feb 10, 2021
Movies Online Will Never Work (with Marc Randolph)
It seems absurd now, but Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph was told early on that his company name would never work. Today, he's going to give us some of the same advice he's giving on his new podcast, "That Will Never Work." We'll discuss fighting fear, hiring the right team, having conviction in your ideas, and more. And don't worry if you aren't interested in becoming an entrepreneur. We also asked Marc how to interview better (he's interviewed thousands of people) AND how to ask your boss for a raise. In fact, you'll be surprised what he has to say about raises. Wondering what's going on in the world of fintech? During our headlines, we'll share the newest developments in tech that helps you manage money better. From advancements in technology making your information more secure against hackers to new-new digital banks promising more consumer-friendly resources and more, there's a ton of interesting developments on the horizon. We'll cover many of them. Plus, we'll tackle a headline about Jeff Bezos stepping down from Amazon. Do you think he finally reached his magic number and has enough to retire? Maybe he gave of the lattes and buckled down? Probably not, but that won't stop us from talking about setting goals, retirement, and more. We'll finish today's show with a question we often get about 401k plans. After you leave a company, should you move your funds? Josh left the basement a voicemail explaining that he likes keeping his investments in one place so it's simple to stay focused on the big picture. However, Josh won't be able to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan after he retires from the military. He asks: is there a benefit to keeping his money in the account? Would he be missing out on anything if he rolls his TSP over to a Roth IRA? As always, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Feb 08, 2021
Winning Your Life's "Big Game" (plus an intro to One)
How do you get to the top of your game? How far would you go to keep your business and personal social groups aligned with your goals? We'll quiz our roundtable, plus get their thoughts on the number one goal they're trying to attain currently. Our contributors this week are Sandy Smith from; Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast; and Len Penzo from the blog. After we finish talking about goals and dreams with our roundtable we'll pivot to our interview with Brian Hamilton, the co-founder and CEO of the new digital bank One. There's been a lot of great improvements in the digital banking industry, but Brian found a problem: it was hard to find a good bank that offered all the features someone would want. His solution? Make one. During our fintech segment, we'll dive into the making of One with Brian and talk about good business values, vision, and the digital banking landscape. During today's MagnifyMoney call we'll tackle a question on credit card rewards. Alan tells us he and his wife have been playing the rewards game and got up to $10,000 in 2020. He says it seems like a great side hustle and ask for our thoughts. As always, we'll give Doug some airtime halfway through the show to have this week's trivia game show. If you happen to be knowledgeable on the annual revenues of Wisconsin-based shower head companies, this one is for you. 
Feb 05, 2021
Oppression to Riches: The Stories of America's First Black Millionaires (with Shomari Wills)
We've told plenty of incredible underdog financial stories on the podcast, but none like the one's you'll hear today. More than recovering from 6-figure debt or learning how to balance their budget, today we're excited to bring you the stories of the first black Americans, some of whom survived slavery, but who all went on to become millionaires. Shomari Wills, author of Black Fortunes, joins us today to bring incredible stories of fortitude, challenges and surpassing hardships. We're sticking with the financial "comeback" theme during our headlines. Think you should throw in the towel on the whole financial independence thing because you've made a few mistakes? While you may not have the star power to pay off a $9 million tax evasion bill, like today's headline focus, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, your path to independence isn't over because you've wracked up some debt or made some bad decisions. Plus, a big life insurance company just was sold to another. If you're a client, what happens to your policy? We'll describe how it all works on today's show. Of course we'll also throw out the Haven Life Line to a lucky listener AND save time for some of Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Feb 03, 2021
The NEW GameStop All The $%*! Time Podcast
Wondering what the heck is going on with GameStop? We'll dedicate some time to explain everything from the beginning: why GameStop and Robinhood are in the news, what a short squeeze is and how it happens in real-time, why Robinhood (and other companies) stopped investors from buying GameStop stock, and more. Of course, we'll also take on the obvious question: should you invest your cash in GameStop stock? Could the "Work till you drop, I'll sleep when I'm dead" mentality actually be costing you more than you think? After we finish our explanation on all things GameStop, we'll share an interview we loved so much we had to play it for you here. Despite what we may say, many of us love to stay busy. Be it at work, with our personal lives, our volunteering on the weekends: staying on go is good. But, slowing down and choosing priorities with more purpose can have surprising results in your life. Expanding on that point, we'll play an interview between Mike Carruthers, host of the Something You Should Know podcast, and business psychologist Tony Crabbe. During today's Haven Life line we'll take a question from Andrew. He's 26 with an index universal life insurance policy that comes with a hefty $500 premium. Andrew asks us: is it smart to continue paying on this policy for future retirement, or should he close it and look at better options? As always, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. You'll love it all! We love you! Enjoy!
Feb 01, 2021
Putting Your Best Negotiating Foot Forward (plus an intro to Silvur)
Life is about odds, and so are negotiations. How do you stack the deck so that you're "playing to the judge" the next time you're in a pressure discussion, high stakes negotiation, or difficult conversation? Today we're joined by a woman who teaches her students to interview better using many subtle (and not so subtle skills), the Scholarship Shark, Pam Andrews. Plus, Len Penzo has been involved in raise and workplace negotiations for the last 30 plus years, and OG has negotiated a ton with his kids, and sometimes he even wins! They'll all join in with their best tips on how to negotiate better. From what to say to non-verbal cues, we'll share LOTS of important ideas. Nearing retirement and think you'll need some help "landing the plane"? After we part ways with our roundtable contributors, we'll sit down with Rhian Horgan from Silvur, a retirement app designed to help you make better financial decisions leading into your golden years. We'll finish out the show with a MagnifyMoney question from Corey, who wants to build cash flow and long-term diversified wealth. He asks, what are our thoughts on investing in real estate? Corey says he wants his investment to be as passive as possible. Should he look into hard rental properties or REITs? Our roundtable will share their thoughts via Joe. (You'll have to see when you get there).
Jan 29, 2021
Murder and Fortune at the Plaza Hotel (with Julie Satow)
What do New York City's richest residents, murderous unions, and world-famous guests like Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles have in common? The Plaza Hotel! Julie Satow, award-winning journalist and author of The Plaza, joins us today to share the century of fascinating stories the hotel holds between its walls. From fortunes beyond measure to the Great Depression, from the Golden Age of Hollywood to Home Alone 2, the Plaza Hotel has never been shy about its place in history. Plus, believe it or not, we're about to enter tax season! Tax expert Katherine Pomerantz joins us during today's headlines to share all-new tax rules. Between relaxed guidelines on charitable giving, new deductions for your student loan payments, and more savings than you'd think for your home office, this is one tax talk that'll keep you listening. Cole and his wife are DINKS, and are contributing heavily to their IRAs and Roth accounts. They're planning on semi-retiring early and are looking for some advice on how they can best invest for the long-term, keep money relatively liquid, and have enough cash for living expenses. Thoughts? (And OH BOY, does Joe have some thoughts on this one. You don't want to miss this). Of course, after a short and sweet rant, Cole gets plenty of great advice for the future. Of course, we'll also save time for Doug's trivia, and much, much more. Thanks for listening!
Jan 27, 2021
Battling the High Cost of Higher Ed (with Ron Lieber)
Beyond the big sticker price, New York Times money columnist Ron Lieber has a different mindset than most about college costs. After Ron explains why most of our assumptions on college costs are wrong (that includes you), he'll share three key criteria about what we're really looking for when it comes to higher education. We'll also tackle the no-college route, which comes with its own surprising set of misconceptions that have grown over time. What's the bottom line? There's a whole lot more to think about than the price tag, no matter which path you choose. We'll cover all of the options, threats, and opportunities on today's show. In the financial headlines segment: is the sky finally falling on the stock market? For the twentieth time, NO! Despite what non-stop headlines tell you, the market will drop when it drops. Like Joe says, when it comes to the market, this is one of the few areas in life when doing nothing is the right call. Still, feeling the itch to move some money around? Take OG's advice and try to call the market for the next twenty days. If it works, call us before you do anything else, because we have an offer for you. If it doesn't work, stick to the tried and true and forget about market-timing. We'll finish today's show with a Haven Life voicemail from Susan. She and her husband want to set up a savings account for their grandchild but have a few questions. How can they create a sustainable system for any future grandchildren? What happens if their grandchildren are bad with money? Are there any tax implications to worry about? We'll cover these questions, and more, for a comprehensive answer on setting up your kids for a fulfilled financial future. As always, we'll save some time for Doug's (student-loan-themed) trivia halfway through the show, and much, much more (including some awesome TikTok advice....).
Jan 25, 2021
"How Much Do You Make?" and Other Awkward Money Conversations (plus an update on M1Finance)
Not sure how to ask for a raise at work? Don't know how to initiate seemingly awkward money conversations with the people around you? This one is for you. Joining us today with their best tips on having an honest, productive dialogue around money are our roundtable contributors: Doc G from the Earn&Invest podcast; Len Penzo from the blog; and Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast. Halfway through the show, we'll pivot our money conversation towards data and money management with Brian Barnes, the founder of M1 Finance. We love data and graphs as much as the next Stacker (no really), but Brian approaches automation a little differently. Doing our Fintech segment we'll have a conversation on why less is more when it comes to the streams of information you use for investing choices. During our MagnifyMoney segment, our mystery caller asks if they should take on debt to finish their graduate degree earlier or take it a year slower and cash-flow their degree. Our caller assures us that her degree is in high demand. They ask: how do they determine the opportunity cost between waiting or taking on loans? As always, we'll give Doug some time in the spotlight with this week's trivia game-show.
Jan 22, 2021
Peering Into This Year's Travelscope (with Joseph Rosendo)
Today we welcome the two-time Emmy award-winning host of Travelscope, Joseph Rosendo to the show to share travel tips as we dust off the suitcases and hopefully get ready to hit the road during the latter part of the year. What should we plan to see? Should we try for more or see less? What does he think about travel groups, packing, and learning the language? We'll discuss FOMO, getting to know diverse people, and even having the right mindset on today's show. Plus, anyone who's ever tried to receive an insurance payout knows how much these companies can drag their feet: the tourism and hospitality industry is discovering their pandemic-related claims aren't going the way they'd hoped in many cases. During our headlines, we'll cover what's been going on behind the scenes, and hopefully, leave you with an urge to go recheck your policies for sneaky language from your insurers. During our Haven Life Line, Stacker Steve left us a Stacking Benjamin's BINGO card worth of trigger points, but we didn't let that stop us! Between automatic contributions, NOT getting caught up in a Robinhood rant (only the second time we passed on that opportunity), and pensions - we definitely took the high road on this one. That's not all! Doug shares his own tips on travel points, shares some trivia, and more. It's just another day in the basement! Enjoy!
Jan 20, 2021
Fighting Stress and Doubt (with Ryan Harris)
Ryan Harris has had a front row seat to stress. Over a 10 year career in the National Football League and 4 years as a starting lineman at Notre Dame, he played in plenty of "this is the most important play of all" situations. Now on a quest to help empower people to embrace better financial habits, the former Super Bowl 50 winner joins us today to talk about how to fight stress and how to live with doubt. He'll also share his own story of making plenty of money but still not possessing the systems to hold on to cash. Should this week's changes on Capitol Hill have you worried for your wallet? I won't even make you wait on this one - THE ANSWER IS NO! During today's headline segment we'll tackle a piece stirring up some unfounded fears that your personal finance "hangs in the balance" over the government change in Washington. You should never stick your head in the sand, and ghost the financial markets over the (D) or (R) in your politician's name. Don't take my word for it... just wait for Joe's rant. We'll also share our thoughts on Tesla reaching a 2 TRILLION dollar valuation in two years, and all the reasons that shouldn't matter at all for your portfolio, even if your friends say otherwise. Plus, not sure if you should pay off your home early? During our Haven Life Line we'll answer a voicemail from one listener weighing the pro and cons of paying off a mortgage on a house they'll only live in for another five years. They ask, should they instead save their extra Benjamins for the next move? Enjoy!
Jan 18, 2021
Picking Up The Pieces After a Horrible Year (plus Doug Goldstein's Constant Happiness journal)
We're all tired of hearing about what a "dumpster fire" 2020 was. How do we reboot the computer, restart the machine, refresh the situation, and re-fire our financial engine? That's our topic today, and OG, Paula Pant (AffordAnything), and special guest Roger Whitney (Retirement Answer Man) all have helpful ideas about getting back on track. Halfway through the show we're excited to talk to our old friend (and Joe's co-host on the Money Tree podcast), Doug Goldstein. Doug's created a constant happiness journal. If you've been waiting for the perfect journal to have a more happy 2021 and beyond, Doug will share with you why he created this, how to best use a journal, and why journaling works for so many people. Finally, on our question of the episode: Jon is thinking about college costs for his four kids. He's heard the Stacking Benjamins expert, Pam Andrews (the Scholarship Shar), say that a HELOC, or equity in the home, can't be factored into the FASFA. Jon's kids are in private school and have to do something like FAFSA. Jon has $60,000 in savings and is thinking about putting two-thirds of the savings into a HELOC, to possibly get financial aid. Thoughts?
Jan 15, 2021
Winning Now and Winning Later (with David Cote)
How do you balance getting what you want now without mortgaging your future? Or on the other hand, how do you avoid have ZERO fun today while you prep for a rosy tomorrow? We often recommend that you look at your situation as if you're a business, and today we'll talk to a man who led one business to amazing results, the former CEO of Honeywell, David Cote. Plus, the cryptocurrency market value has topped $1 trillion, with Bitcoin now worth over $38,000 a coin. Feeling the itch to jump into the Wild West of investing? We won't stand in your way, but we do have a few stories about us selling a coin or two... WAY before we should have. In our second piece, is paying to improve your credit a smart play? We'll discuss everything from good habits to shady house financing, automation, and The Big Short. Should you be paying taxes on your unemployment? Mike called the Haven Life Line after he noticed there were no taxes automatically deducted from his two months of unemployment. Should Mike worry about the IRS coming after him later? We'll answer that question, share Doug's trivia, and we'll be skeptical about exactly how many people actually listen to the podcast. Is it really two or maybe only just mom? Enjoy!
Jan 13, 2021
From Hairdresser to Real Estate Millionaire (with Myra Oliver)
Know those people who say you need a 4-year university degree to reach success and financial independence? Our guest, Myra Oliver, has a thing or two to say about that. She's worked as a hairstylist, real estate broker, and now is our resident financial coach on today's show. Myra knew she didn't need a degree to reach her goals of financial freedom. Today Myra will share her story about working hard toward success. She shares stories about how she learned quickly how to bring in more money, how she manages real estate, surrounding herself with the right people, and how she and her husband were able to retire from their traditional jobs by age 33. "You have to do what others won't, to get what you want." - Myra Oliver's mantra. Plan on leaving something behind for your loved ones? Get your financial house in order first. We recently covered how former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh passed away without a will, but you may remember Prince also didn't have a will. (Yes, we also talked about Prince way back in 2016). It turns out, that case is still ongoing, and the IRS believes Prince's estate owes over $32 million in federal taxes, based on a new valuation. During our headlines, we'll give you plenty of reasons to get your legacy in order today. Plus, can you make 2020 Roth IRA contributions until Tax Day 2021 if you're already paying taxes for the new year? Stacker Josh calls in today with a voicemail for the Haven Life Line telling us he'd rather get it right now than have to deal with the IRS later... can't fault him on that logic. As always, we'll also save some time for Doug's trivia, and much, much more. Enjoy!
Jan 11, 2021
How We'll Achieve Our 2021 Financial Goals (plus MetPro's Angelo Poli)
Today we stay focused on goal setting. We're turning our attention to our group of financial media members and asking them how THEY are achieving their own goals. They'll share how they communicate, hold family members accountable, and stay on track. Joining us today is special guest and host of the Seven Figures podcast, Sandy Waters; Paula pant from the Afford Anything podcast, and Len Penzo from Halfway through the show, we'll give our contributors a break while we sit down with health and wellness expert Angelo Poli from With the holidays over and the new year here, Angelo has some great tips to fatten up your wallet while you trim down the waistline. How are you going to grow your net worth without a healthy body to keep you focused on the prize? We'll share how. Plus, how can early retirees make sure they have enough reserves in the bank to take care of emergencies down the road? During the MagnifyMoney segment, our contributors drop some knowledge for Laura, who called in asking about preparing for early retirement with a preexisting condition. Plus we'll save time for all-new game show trivia from the big man himself, Doug. Enjoy!
Jan 08, 2021
Fewer Rules, More Productivity (with Erin Meyer)
Rules. When things go wrong we think, "We should make some more guidelines. That'll help people keep things moving." However, Netflix decided that rules might be the problem, so they eliminated many of them. Study after study shows that Netflix employees report high satisfaction with their jobs and perform at a highly productive rate. So how do they do it? Today we'll talk to Erin Meyer, co-author (with co-founder Reed Hastings), of a new book on the topic. Whether you manage a family, a department, or are an entrepreneur, today's interview will help you earn more and manage tasks (and people) more effectively. Plus, in our headlines segment, we'll detail a different way of gifting money. MacKenzie Scott gave away $6 billion in 2020 without asking for buildings to be named after her. She gave it quickly and effectively, many say. But if you're giving away money, what oversight should YOU employ before turning over your hard-earned money? We'll share what you need to know, plus in our second headline, we'll review a recent Securities and Exchange Commission ruling approving testimonials in advisor's advertising. How will that change marketing? Possibly, a lot. We'll explain. Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Brad, who's retiring but still wants to max out his HSA contributions for the year. Are there any rules he needs to be aware of? In, fact, there are! OG will explain. Don't worry! We'll also save time for Doug's trivia question. Mom says hello! Enjoy the show.
Jan 06, 2021
Know Yourself, Know Your Money (with Rachel Cruze)
Most of us start each year looking at external goals, such as "What can I gain," or "How can I achieve...", but after the dumpster fire we just experienced last year, we think the best place to begin 2021 is to look INWARD. If you know yourself better, you'll be able to address your strengths and cover your weaknesses. On today's show, Rachel Cruze joins us to tackle your money history and how your family, upbringing, and past mistakes can help you become a more powerful saver, spender and earner this year and beyond. It's a powerful interview and we're excited to help you avoid the shame, remorse, and guilt that many of us feel around our financial lives. "You can change yourself and you can change your habits." - Rachel Cruze In our headlines segment, we'll discuss the tremendous pressure many students feel to go to college, by tackling one star who just emerged from her prison sentence. We'll also tackle the new Social Security rules for 2021. While there are lots of changes, even if you aren't yet receiving Social Security benefits, we'll widen this topic to share some best practices when it's your turn to apply. During the Haven Life Line we'll take an answer from Eric, who has questions on HSA contribution limits. While his wife has an FSA, Eric has an HSA for him and his son. Eric asks: does he fall under the single contribution limit, or is he covered by the family limits? Of course, Doug will share another fantastic trivia question, and there's much, much more. Happy New Year! Enjoy!
Jan 04, 2021
Will 2021 Be Better Than 2020? (Our Annual Look Into The Magic 8 Ball)
Wish you knew what the future held? Us too! While we can only foresee the future as well as the next guy, our brilliant, all-knowing device is all fired up and ready to go to kick off your 2021. That's right, this is our annual Magic 8-Ball episode, where we look back on the events of 2020 and ask a plastic, Walmart-purchased kid's toy what it thinks will happen over the next 12 months. For those of you stumbling onto this show for the first time you're in for a treat: each January for the last many, many years, we've asked Len Penzo's Magic 8-ball to predict what's in store, and during the early years, this little ball was EERILY accurate. BUT, not only will we take a look back to see how well the 8-ball predicated 2020's events (and really, who could have guessed this year?), we'll also implore the 8-ball to reveal the secrets of the upcoming year. Plus, for those of you getting serious about your personal finance resolutions, we'll ask the headmaster of the Stacking Benjamins Money Club, Aaron Velky for his best advice during today's fintech segment. One thing we already know: having accountability makes achieving your goals that much easier. Enjoy!
Jan 01, 2021
Making The Cannonball Run (SB RWD 122)
Welcome to our final show of 2020! We're finishing our the year that seemed like it would never end with another classic episode from 2014. Long-time listeners may remember our interview with one-half of the two man Cannonball Run crew, and new listeners will appreciate this one. Just remember, the show format was a little different back then. Make sure to tune in tomorrow for our very first (brand new!) episode of 2021: our Magic 8-ball show with Len Penzo. Long time fans love this show year after year, and with all the madness that was 2020, you'll definitely want to see how the 8-ball's predictions have stood against the test of time. You can read our original show notes for today's episode below: While OG is moving across country, we thought we’d bring you a cross country adventure episode!Ed Bolian did something you wish you’d also done – he drove coast to coast in a modified Mercedes… just over 28 hours. How did he do it? Ed shares his crazy story on this week’s episode. Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, is BACK with a horror story about 401k loans. Sandy Smith (Yes, I Am Cheap!) joins Len and Paula on the roundtable to discuss 33 reasons your finances are a mess, plus Len and Joe read and answer your letters and discuss a couple movies. Enjoy!
Dec 31, 2020
The Life of an Art Forger (SB RWD 121)
Welcome to our second most quirky Stacking Benjamins interview. This show goes way back, so don't worry if the format feels a little different. You can read our short and sweet headlines below: Ken Perenyi forged masterpieces for a living…until the FBI showed up on his doorstep one day. Ken’s book, Caveat Emptor, describes how he went from a school boy with no money to a world class forgery expert….AND Ken describes the journey himself on today’s show. The Makin’ Sense Babe is in a foul mood, and rants against people who don’t understand side hustles. Joe & OG discuss how financial advisors dress…..does that impact the quality of their advice? Doug brings trivia, the guys show you how to win Jane Blaufus’ book, and they review two hit films: Captain Phillips and Gravity.
Dec 30, 2020
Abigail Adams: Financial Badass (SB RWD 120)
Just a few more days until the new year! We're keeping our countdown going strong with one of America's original big-time investors: Abigail Adams. You can read our original show notes below: As Women’s History Month draws to a close we suddenly realize….we’ve done nothing to celebrate! Today on the show we make up for that (‘in spades,” as mom says) by inviting down to the basement professor Woody Holton, author of the book Abigail Adams, for which he won the Bambridge Award and more. He’ll describe the amazing prowess of Adams in a time when many women not only weren’t investing, but weren’t even allowed to participate in their family’s financial plan. He’ll describe which investments she preferred, why she decided against real estate didn’t work for her portfolio, and how she created an estate plan for herself in a time when many women didn’t have that luxury. In our headlines segment, we’ll talk to Jamie Wise from the BUZZ Index (ticker BUZ). He’ll describe why his strategy and those of some of his algorithm-based competitors seem to be winning in this time of volatility. He’ll also share some of the names that the crowds on social media are focusing on to ride the choppy market. Also, with the financial markets all over the place, we’ll review a story from Marketwatch that asks whether the market will crash, and if it will, what you should do to buckle up. The advice might surprise you, if you’re looking for ways to exit stage left, or are looking for advice that tells you how to exit stage left….or right. We’ll of course have more from the world of financial planning, throw out the Haven Life line to lucky listener Nelson, who’s worried about his parents’ financial plan. They have an insurance-company based financial advisor, so Nelson thinks that they should move to different advice. How does he approach the topic with his parents? We also score some of Doug’s spinach-based trivia, and more. Enjoy!
Dec 29, 2020
Winning In The Long Run with Sanjay Rawal (SB RWD 119)
Welcome to day four of our countdown! You didn't think we would stop did you? Today in our New Years countdown featuring our quirkiest interviews, we're turning back the clock to our time with documentary filmmaker Sanjay Rawal. You can read our original show notes below: Establishing your BEST financial habits means realizing that it isn’t about being great today or tomorrow; it’s about doing the right things over and over again for the long run. Today we talk to the creator of a documentary specifically about a long run. 3100, Run and Become is the story of an ultramarathon that covers (shocker) 3100 miles. Better yet? It’s run around a single New York City block. Sanjay Rawal will take us through the event, his making of the film, and we’ll talk about topics that have everything to do with finance. 1) Finding what you love; 2) Chasing a dream; 3) Knowing your weaknesses; 4) Finding your state of “Flow”; and more. The cool part for us? We get to talk finance in a way that you’ve probably never heard it talked about before. During our headlines segment, another deceased celebrity’s estate is an arm wrestling match for the heirs. Sigh. We’ll tell you who’s fighting for the cash and discuss what YOU should do to foolproof your estate plan from your greedy family. Then, in our second headline, credit card reward programs are everywhere… but just like ice cream brands, they’re not all created equal. We’ll talk pros and cons of credit card rewards during our second piece. As if that’s not enough, we keep bringing it! During our Haven Life Line segment, we’ll answer a question from Jason. He’s wants to retire in his 40s. If Jason rolls his Roth 401k into a Roth IRA, will he be able to withdraw the cash without the tax penalty? Does the 5 year conversion rule still apply? Then, in our letter segment David is just starting to pay attention to his financial situation. He wants to know what the advantage would be of using a financial advisor or buying funds that have high expense ratios over doing it himself. Couldn’t he just do it on his own and save extra cash? We’ll surprise Jason with an answer he doesn’t expect, and hopefully surprise you, too. And don’t you worry, we’ll still have time for some of Doug’s very special Benjamin Franklin themed trivia.
Dec 28, 2020
Cracking The Whip On Your Financial Goals with Lindsay Goldwert (SB RWD 118)
Welcome to day three of our countdown! You may recognize this one from earlier this year, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to leave this one off the list. You can read our original show notes on this Dominatrix-themed episode below: Do you have trouble staying in charge of your money? Maybe you let your priorities get away from you and want to make a change? Today we’ll talk about communication, being direct, and asking for what you really want with the author of the hit new book Bow Down, Lindsay Goldwert. In this unique new perspective on how to take charge, Lindsay sat down with dominatrixes across America to get first-hand information on how you can “reset the power dynamic in any situation to get what you want—whether it’s from a husband, boss, or partner.” During our headlines segment, are you finally bringing in a HUGE nice income, but your bank account isn’t rising? Lifestyle inflation can become a serious issue for high earners, and without a proper plan in place investors run the risk of becoming a HENRY – High Earner, Not Rich Yet. Plus, during our second headline, we’ll touch on why actor Rick Moranis is making a return to the big screen and what lessons you can glean for your financial plan. Plus, we’ll open up the mailbag during our Haven Life Line and answer an estate-related question from Diana. Diana is the executrix of an estate plan for the funds of two pre-teens but wants to appoint someone else to take over most of the responsibilities. What can she do? What is she supposed to do? We’ll cover some estate planning basics on today’s show. Of course, we’ll also make some time for Doug’s trivia.
Dec 27, 2020
How to Live Longer and Prosper - Wait, Where Have I Heard That Before? (SB RWD 117)
Welcome to day two of our countdown to New Years! Did you know that one group of people tend to live longer than the rest of the population? This episode was one of our old-school "short stacks," and you'll find just the interview in this one. You can read our original show notes below: Dr. Anna Corwin, a (then) anthropology PhD candidate at UCLA specializing in aging, well being and social interaction, wrote such a great piece for Yes! The Magazine that we had to have her on the show to discuss it. One group of people have picked the lock on living longer and more happily than the average person. What group is it? You’ll have to listen to find out!
Dec 26, 2020
The Life of an Accountant Spy with Tracy Coenen (SB RWD 116)
Welcome to our countdown to New Years! Leading up to our New Year's Magic 8-ball episode with Len Penzo we're bringing you our top "quirkiest" interviews. These shows were released from this last year all the way to 2013, so you're in for a real treat. We're kicking things off with our interview with Tracy Coenen, a forensic spy who uses her knowledge of spreadsheets and bank knowledge to chase down criminals. You can read our original show notes below: She’ll tell you over and over that her job isn’t interesting. But if you’re a money nerd, do we have a treat for you today, because accountant Tracy Coenen spends her time chasing down bad guys using spreadsheets and bank statements (I’ll stop if you need a moment). Today she’ll tell us stories of two stories where she helped catch perpetrators by using financial records (and some amazing ingenuity) to help bring “bad guys” to bear. Plus, are you interviewing soon? Even if you aren’t we’ll talk about some useful tips if you’re interested in moving up the ladder at work or with another pursuit (and who isn’t?). Plus, we’ll discuss the new milestone one fund company just passed and pause for a moment…man, that’s a lot of money. Of course, we’re also going to toss out the Haven Life Line to Dillon and get Joe and OG’s take on how Dillon should approach his investments. All and and we’ll still make room for Doug’s trivia. Step aside, people! There’s a new episode coming…..this plate is HOT!
Dec 25, 2020
Our Top 5 Lessons from 2020 (plus year-end tax tips from Ed Slott)
What was YOUR biggest lesson from 2020, besides avoid pandemics? Today we'll share our top 5 (plus an "honorable mention") events from maybe the weirdest year in recent memory. There were MANY great takeaways this year, so it was difficult to decide. Today we'll talk about the importance of emergency funds, relationships, giving, sticking to your investment strategy, and more! Plus in our headline segment, we're joined by IRA and tax guru Ed Slott, who shares a few last-minute tax tips. He'll talk about your Roth IRA, giving, and (gasp!) spending money. That's not all. Doug shares trivia about today's Festivus holiday AND Joe and OG answer a Haven Life line call from a guy named Nick in Alaska. Enjoy!
Dec 23, 2020
The Unlikely Birth of Comedy Central (with Art Bell)
Comedy Central is such a part of American culture that its existence seems obvious, but that wasn't always the case. The process of creating Comedy Central is a story of perseverance, luck, believing in yourself and your idea, and more. We'll talk to Art Bell about his original idea for Comedy Central, his background, and how he wound up pitching it to the head of HBO (without an appointment!). If you've ever had an idea that you wanted to bring to life, you MUST listen to today's show. Plus, the student loan crisis is back in the news lately, with many speculating how the new administration is going to possibly change the game for borrowers. While we won't speculate on any of that, we WILL speak with Asha Srikantiah from Fidelity Investments about not only their 2020 Student Debt Snapshot (which shines a light on some of the most looming problems people are having with debt), but also a new free tool they've developed to help people work on better loan repayment strategies and options. Later, we'll throw out the Haven Life line to J.J., who is changing brokers and wants to know the best way to diversify his portfolio now that he's moved. How can he diversify without paying a bunch of unnecessary fees? Of course, we'll still share Doug's trivia, take a call about Joe's warranty expiring, and more. Enjoy!
Dec 21, 2020
Our Contributors' Top 3 Lessons From 2020 (plus explosive FinTech news from Tiller)
With the end of 2020 FINALLY in sight, (and what a long 38 months it's been), we're excited to bring you all of our best lessons from the last year. Between Paula Pant and Len Penzo, with OG and Joe weighing in on all of their top picks, you'll have plenty to chew on. We'd write more here...but who wants to give up what our top picks are? Just listen! PLUS, there's new innovation coming to your computer and phone. Like clockwork, it seems we hear about regular data breaches and how the companies we trust with our information have been mismanaged. Today we'll welcome to our Friday Fintech segment our friend Peter Polson from Tiller Money, to learn all about new advancements coming to your computer and phone app security. This will revolutionize how you look at financial technology in the future. While there's no listener voicemail today, that doesn't mean we're not answering a question. We found a problem we wanted to help someone solve over at the personal finance subreddit. At the very least we'll make sure that (hopefully) none of you Stackers make this same mistake. This poster bought a new car with a 72-month loan attached at 5.9%. The kicker? They have a 710 credit score! With only a few days to return it, they ask what's the good play here? Of course, we'll have ideas. BUT that's not all...we'll also reach the finish line on our year-long trivia contest! Can OG force Len into an overtime week? We'll have the exciting (maybe) conclusion (also...maybe) on today's show. Enjoy!
Dec 18, 2020
5 Million-Dollar Investing Ideas
Few people have seen as many great ideas (and horrible ideas) as Paul Merriman. We were listening to Paul Merriman's advice long before we had a podcast and today we FINALLY were able to sit down with him...and he doesn't disappoint. Today Paul dishes out five ideas that will all make you over a million dollars more during your lifetime if you're a young investor. Before you listen you should ask yourself NOT if you've heard these ideas before, because there's a good possibility that you have. The key question to ask is, "What are you DOING about these five ideas." Based on statistics of the average investor we can all use help IMPLEMENTING a better strategy, and Paul shares some great ones today. Plus, should you invest in non-traded real estate? A recent headline complains that real estate that isn't traded is hard to value. Joe and OG will go over exactly what the controversy is AND whether you should consider these for your portfolio. Also, we'll cover new information the Securities and Exchange Commission is making available to US investors. Will it change how you invest? We'll answer THAT question as well. We'll end the show with a question from Matt on rebalancing. Matt asks if the natural ebbs and flows of the stock market (and regular investments) negate the purpose of rebalancing. Wouldn't the market take care of that on its own? What's the point? We'll talk rebalancing 101 today! It's a nerd's dream! Plus, Doug gets a little classy with today's trivia. Well, he would consider anything to do with the subject of tea to be classy. If you feel confident in your tea trivia, make sure to test your mettle halfway through the show. Enjoy!
Dec 16, 2020
Trailer - The Stacking Benjamins Show
Join Joe & OG every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Joe's mom's basement in Texarkana, Texas. They'll cover all the current money headlines, talk to experts and avoid washing windows, three days a week!
Dec 15, 2020
Create YOUR Financial Starter Kit (with Symoné B. Beez)
Know anyone just beginning their financial journey? Well, gather them round your listening device because on today's show Symoné B. "Beez," author of Financial Starter Kit and co-host of the new podcast 4 Goats and a Mic, joins us. We'll walk you through the FIRST things you need to do to build a solid financial foundation. Plus, Symoné will share her story from start to finish: from finding herself sinking in credit card debt - a situation she promised herself she'd never be in - to cutting up her credit cards to retake control of her situation. But she didn't stop there, now Symoné is on a mission to help others gain financial independence and avoid the same pitfalls she encountered. We'll talk 101 financial strategies, what to do when your in over your head, and more. Hello DoorDash and AirBnB lovers! Are you getting FOMO (fear of missing out) from all of the flashy initial public offering (IPO) headlines? With seemingly every IPO followed up by the "look at how much money it made on Day 1" headlines, who wouldn't want to get the early bird special on the next one? There's only one problem about jumping on IPOs to make a killing in the stock market, and early DoorDash investors found that lesson out the hard way. After Joe and OG explain how these IPOs actually work, we'll jump on the line with Affinity Solutions CEO, Johnathan Silver to get some firsthand data on how consumer spending has changed this past year. Have you driven to work less and fixed up your home office? Maybe shopped for the holidays a little early? Jonathan just might describe YOU on today's show. And finally, we finish today's show with a note of good cheer. Tyler calls into the Haven Life line looking for advice on the best way he can help set up his future niece/nephew for college and beyond. Of course, we'll always save some time for Doug. Enjoy!
Dec 14, 2020
A Prince Needs Your Help AND The IRS Is Coming (plus Vanguard’s new Digital Advisor)
A certain prince is having some issues and only YOU can help! Do you help him? Whether it's that scam, the IRS is knocking on your door, or another reach into your pocketbook, scams are everywhere (especially this time of year). What are the best practices for avoiding losing your money? We'll tackle a recent list written by our friend Stacy Johnson on today's show. Helping you hold on to your dollars, we'll welcome Doc G from the Earn and Invest podcast, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, and Len Penzo from the award-winning blog. Vanguard has released a new study about millennials and their view on retirement. We'll chat about that with Brian Concannon, head of Vanguard Digital Advisor. While we have his attention, we'll have him take on a tour of their new platform. He'll talk about how it works, the problems it solves, what it costs, and more. We'll finish out the show with a voicemail from Katherine. She knows she'll donate a large sum to her favorite non-profit, but is there a good time to donate it? Katherine says that she is still young, and knows any money she invests will compound and go a lot further in the future. Thoughts? As always, Doug will keep the party going with his game-show trivia. Today is a bittersweet day in history: the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, orchestrated by Bernie Madoff, ended on this day. Think you can guess how much Madoff stole from his clients? You'll find the answer at the halfway mark of today's episode. Enjoy!
Dec 11, 2020
The Stories Money Tells Us (with Frederick Kaufman)
The history of money is possibly (even probably) the most tangled web of assumptions, grief, symbolism, happiness, and longing in the history of the world. Today Frederick Kaufman joins us to share a few of those stories. From the earliest days of exchanging objects to represent currency, to the heads of state on coins, to Bitcoin and beyond, we'll discover many of the stories that encompass names from Adam Smith to Anna Nicole Smith. Plus, during our headlines segment of the show we'll talk to Sean Hanft from It's nearing the end of the year and if you have flexible spending account dollars left, it's time to use them before you lose them. Plus, one blog post making its way around, which makes the case against opening a 401k to start saving for retirement. Naturally, Joe and OG have a thought or two about that. Plus, we all know the famous 4% rule (of thumb), but have we been using it wrong this whole time? Matt calls in the Haven Life Line to ask for some clarification. While you shouldn't be using rules of thumb to guide your portfolio in the first place, Matt's question could potentially have big implications on your retirement draw-down. Enjoy!
Dec 09, 2020
How We All Succeed (with John Hope Bryant)
With all of the talk about a divided nation, finger pointing about the election, and a year when so, so many things have become "political," today we're thrilled to bring you John Hope Bryant, who throws water on all of these arguments. His no-nonsense approach to how we ALL win together is refreshing and provocative. We'll talk about lessons from his new book, Up From Nothing on today's show. Plus, big congrats to stock-based ETFs in November. Record inflows poured into these positions, which leaves Joe and OG scratching their heads. Why do investors wait until the market climbs to record highs to stuff money into funds AGAIN? We'll counter that with yet another piece we found that proclaims the sky is about to fall. Again. Of course, that's not all. We'll get some help from a listener on explaining Value Averaging (vs. Dollar-Cost Averaging), and Doug will skewer a horrible, horrible national recognition day for a group he says is undeserving. Wait until you hear his rant... Enjoy!
Dec 07, 2020
How To Surround Yourself With Good People (plus huge money-saving college scholarship tricks w/ Pam Andrews)
Maybe you've heard the Jim Rohn phrase, "You are the average of the five people around you." Is that true for you? Probably. If you're looking to improve either your net worth, your career, or just your friendships, giving careful thought to your "tribe" will pay dividends. Today we'll work from a recent Tony Robbins piece on this topic with three people who work hard to surround themselves with good, uplifting people. Aaron Velky, the head of the Stacking Benjamins Money Club (but probably more important, the head of financial education company Ortus Academy), will give us some great advice. Also, we'll hear great ideas from Paula Pant from Afford Anything and OG as well. It's a great episode that you'll want to listen to before setting your 2021 goals. Plus, our Stacking Benjamins Scholarship Mastery course is about to go into session! If you are either heading to school yourself, have a family member or friend in school, or a high school junior or senior, we're going to tell you all of the important dates coming up this year for scholarships AND we'll detail how our course works so you can get in before the deadline, which is Friday, December 11th. Our anonymous caller to the Magnify Money line today is receiving a $500,000 inheritance. His parents want him to connect with their financial advisor, but he's been doing good so far by investing in low-cost funds on his own. Our caller and his wife has have no debt other than their mortgage. He asks: is it time to bring an advisor on board, or should he stick with what's been working so far? With everyone posting their year-end music reviews, Doug decided to share some of his own. Fancy yourself top-notch when it comes to your music trivia? Today is for you. Enjoy!
Dec 04, 2020
Money Hacks That'll Make Your Wallet Smile (with Lisa Rowan)
Looking for quick ways to save a few more bucks? Or, are you too busy to even slow down and think about stashing some extra cash every month? While we don't promise taking the light bulb out of your oven will bring you riches, we ARE fans of quick, time-conscious hacks that save you some Benjamins. Lisa Rowan, the author of the hit new book Money Hacks, joins the basement airwaves today to share some of the 275+ money hacks she's collected. Plus, could your salary size be completely out of your control? Maybe so, if you believe a new survey that suggests there's a BIG correlation between the size of a man's package and how much bacon he brings home. (Don't shoot the messenger). In more traditional finance news, Joe and OG also cover what the new (possible) Treasury secretary-elect, Janet Yellen, might mean for the economy. Nick has been having trouble getting disability insurance for his wife, so we'll throw him the Haven Life line. She suffers from depression and anxiety. Nick asks: how can he cover their insurance gap? As always, OG and Joe come to the rescue. As always, we'll save time for Doug's trivia. You'll hear it for yourself... but let's say you might find Doug a bit peculiar today. Enjoy!
Dec 02, 2020
Investing For Beginners (with Bola Sokunbi)
Think you don't know the first thing about investing? Bola Sokunbi makes it clear that not only is investing EASIER than you might think, it also can be a lot of fun. We'll define some of the popular terms you'll hear, talk through some of the basics, and dive into what you really need to invest so that you feel confident about getting where you want to go with your financial goals. Also today, we dive into a popular sports figure who spends north of a million dollars a year on coaching. A million dollars? Doesn't that sound like a waste of money? We'll maybe change your mind on how you view expenses to "sharpen the saw" (as popular author Stephen Covey has written). We'll also talk about the difference between how professionals invest versus the amount of money that Glen calls in during our Haven Life Line with some questions about the government Thrift Savings Plan. Glen has left his contributions alone and now that they've grown he's looking to consolidate his various workplace funds into a Vanguard account. He asks: can his TSP contributions be rolled over? Does the face Glen made contributions in Iraq change how his money is treated? Of course we'll also give Doug some time to share his trivia. Today's theme? Think you're in tune with digital purchasing trends? (That's a weird sentence). You can test your mettle with Doug's Cyber-Monday themed trivia. 
Nov 30, 2020
Our Top 5 Games About Money, Economics, and Finance (plus an intro to Hunt A Killer)
If you aren't interested in shopping on Black Friday weekend, we've got you covered with one of our FAVORITE episodes. Every year we dive into our favorite board games about money and economics AND we invite some board game insider friends to help us learn about some new fun games. I'm super excited that the guys from the No Cube Zone (Coniff, Jordan, and Rippee) join us today to dive in to not only our top-5 games about money or economics, but also their top 5 games to share with family this holiday season. Plus, we'll continue the theme by dumping our normal Friday Fintech Segment for a Friday Board Game exclusive. The subscription game company making Hunt A Killer just was named the #6 fastest growing company in the USA by Inc. We'll dive into the game, how it's made, what the firm's focused on, and how exactly a subscription game works with co-founders Ryan Hogan and Derrick Smith. It's nearly two hours of board game goodness, friends, and Thanksgiving weekend discussions. We're thankful you're spending it with us! Enjoy!
Nov 27, 2020
What Should Be On YOUR 2020 Tech Wishlist? (with CNET's Bridget Carey)
If you're looking for new tech toys for the holidays this year, we bring you today good news and bad news. The good news is that we're going to cover LOTS of ground and some of the hottest and coolest tech we've seen in years. On the bad news side? It's going to be harder than ever to get your hands on any of it. Today we're geeking out on the hottest of the hot and the newest of the new tech with our friend Bridget Carey from CNET. Bridget, as she has every year with us (and as she does daily in her CNET videos and reviews), breaks down everything you need to know to have a geeky, techie holiday season. And if the hot new tech you're looking for has four wheels we also have you covered. Slow down before you run off and buy the flashiest car, because you may be surprised how much the value drops when you drive off the lot. We'll talk to Karl Brauer from about a new study showing which models and brands hold their value best AND which cars you may want to avoid. During the Haven Life line call-in segment of the show, August calls in with a question not too many people consider: do office workers sitting behind a computer everyday need occupation disability insurance? After all, what could go wrong? We'll share suggestions about disability coverage and what you need to cover. Plus, what in the world is going on with this "OLED" business? Seems like everything from smart TVs to new iPhones are promising the latest and greatest OLED devices. During Doug's trivia, he'll test your 2020 electronic knowledge... if he can find the answer himself, that is. 
Nov 25, 2020
Our BIG Black Friday Deals Episode (with Slickdeals' Regina Conway)
Today kicks off our big U.S. Thanksgiving holiday week of shows, and today we start it off right by sharing all of the good, bad, and ugly deals YOU can score this Black Friday. Regina Conway from joins us to help save your wallet and point out some of the issues not-careful shoppers may face. Where should you spend your hard-earned cash to get the most bang for your buck this holiday shopping season? Which retailers are offering the best deals on hot items? What deals aren't worth the wait? What's different this year because of COVD? Whatever your question is - Regina has you covered. Plus, did Pfizer's CEO break laws while insider trading his company's stock when it exploded recently? Financial disclosures show that the CEO, Albert Bourla, sold almost $6 million in stock the same day the company's vaccine news broke. After our discussion on what REALLY happened - we'll turn our heads to yet another report of a criminal advisor fleecing his clients to the tune of $320,000. The short and sweet? Be beyond suspicious of any advisor who might promise you quick riches. During the Haven Life Line, we take a question on peer-to-peer lending. We recommended LendingTree the last time we discussed P2P, but caller Greg says the company has since become a bank. He asks: what's our take now? Are there any companies we recommend? As always, Doug will give his own share of the airtime for his trivia. Today? He's bringing it back with some old-school Black Friday trivia. Enjoy!
Nov 23, 2020
What Do You Do When You Reach "Enough"? (plus healthy tips from MetPro's Angelo Poli)
If you're lucky enough to have a job now, and you've been still chasing your dream, what does your "finish line" look like? You won finance! Hooray! With everything you want behind you, what's next? Answering these questions and more are today's contributors: Jennifer Grimson from the Micro Empires podcast; Len Penzo from the blog, and our own Stacking Benjamins podcast co-host, OG. While the question seems nice and someday-ish, I think today you'll find that you're closer to "enough" than you may think. Halfway through the show we'll break from our conversation and move over to your wellness checkup. Like Suze Orman said (in a number of words), what do riches mean without your health? During this week's middle segment, we take a quick break from FinTech to cover health and wellness with MetPro's co-founder Angelo Poli, who will break down how important proper nutrition really is - both for your health AND your bottom line. What's your next step when you're at absolute zero? No cash, no residence, no job? That's what our contributors have been tasked to help with today, and our special guest Jennifer Grimson is the perfect person to ask. Jennifer has had to start from zero... TWICE. Today Jennifer and our panel share what you should do when you find yourself starting with nowhere to turn. As always, we'll save some airtime halfway through for Doug's game show. Doug will start out with a freebie: The country of Nigeria commands the largest GDP in Africa. The question? How much is it? 
Nov 20, 2020
How We Believe Money Topics Should Be Taught (The SB Creed Episode-SB 1)
We've recorded a ton of episodes. At the point we hit stop on this one, we're officially nearly at 1,000...but when you count all of the previous podcasts, the shortened episodes that we used to NOT count, and the special events, we're well over 1,500 episodes. Not ONCE during that time did we stop and ask ourselves, "Should we actually give people the framework that we're working from?" Today we do that. Joe and OG have a frank conversation about the art of fooling around, about sharing mistakes instead of victories, and about including stories from many points of view. If you've listened to the Stacking Benjamins show once or a thousand times, we hope you'll enjoy the first episode where we discuss the SB Creed. Of course, we will STILL lean on Doug for a trivia question. We're not heathens. 
Nov 18, 2020
3 Stories to Motivate You To Live a Better Life (The STACK Live Replay)
What happens when you find three great storytellers and ask them to share their personal journeys toward a better life, LIVE? You get a nearly two-hour YouTube special that we're going to replay for you right here! The STACK event features the co-author of the classic financial philosophy book Your Money Or Your Life, Vicki Robin, who will talk about her journey learning for herself why finding a different path to financial security was important. We also feature a guy who's story has resonated with many (especially lately after a feature video in the Million Stories series was released), Michael Santos. Michael found himself incarcerated at a young age but not only turned around his own life, he also is passionate and focused on helping others going through trouble turn their lives around. Finally, and kicking off our show, we'll introduce you to Dan Chan, a man who's not only entertained billionaires, but a guy who's had to pivot with his business since COVID-19. How did he go from working at PayPal to chasing his dream? He'll share his journey today! If you'd like to join us for the live, unedited event, where you can ask questions, hang out with other Stackers, and possibly take home one of our participant prizes, sign up for our newsletter, The Stacker, at Enjoy!
Nov 16, 2020
5 Financial Skills You Should Have In 2020 (plus an intro to Qube Money)
Let's not mince words. It's been a pretty s%$! year. BUT there have been TONS of fantastic financial lessons you could have learned from 2020, and many skills you've probably figured out already that you NEED in the future. So what are those skills? We'll share the top 5 list our friend Katie Brewer, CFP listed on a recent blog post. Here to help us dive into their take on all of these skills is Joe's co-host on the Money With Friends podcast, Bobbi Rebell. Plus, from Afford Anything, we'll get help from Paula Pant...AND from Len Penzo dot com, we'll hear from Len Penzo. In our Friday FinTech segment, we'll speak with Qube founder Ryan Clark about how they've created an envelope budgeting system for 2020 and beyond. Not familiar with the envelope budgeting system? We'll explain how it works AND how Ryan's team uses technology to help you do better with your money. Plus, during our segment, we'll take a question from a listener who wonders what designations he should pursue to coach people on their money. He's thought about becoming a Certified Financial Planner, but thinks for the type of coaching he wants to do, that it might be overkill. You'll love how the team today discusses which designations might be best (spoiler: we don't agree). Of course, we'll also leave time for Doug's amazing trivia challenge, which today is all about the World Wide Web. Can you nail the answer without looking it up? Enjoy!
Nov 13, 2020
Stories From the 99 Percent Invisible City (with Roman Mars)
Buildings, sidewalks, statues, plaques...they all tell stories that are nearly hidden from view. You can take a walk out of your front door if you live in nearly any city, and there are stories all around you. The great news? They're all free. And, like a puzzle, the stories of a 99% invisible city can keep you occupied for hour after fascinating hour. Today we chat with Roman Mars from the 99% Invisible podcast about a few of these stories. We'll talk about park in Australia, a baseball player in Japan, and sidewalks...everywhere. Over $1 billion in bitcoin has been seized by the U.S. government. We'll share how and why, and also dive a little into bitcoin in general. Has it become a more stable landscape for investors? Plus, in the search for lower taxes and a better bottom line, Rock Legend Gene Simmons has decided to wave his California estate (and California taxes) goodbye. High taxes vs. good friends and memories of the neighborhood. Which would you choose? Plus, we'll throw out the Haven Life line to August, who wants to rollover his Roth 401k to a Roth IRA when he retires. He's already seeded the IRA with $500. Is there any reason to invest in one account over the other? August asks, does the answer change if he's plans to retire early? 
Nov 11, 2020
Setting High Goals and Achieving Them (with the Invest Diva: Kiana Danial)
In today's wide-ranging chat with the Invest Diva, Kiana Danial, we hear about her personal story of setting high goals and achieving them. From her family's flight from Iran to working on becoming an engineer, being fired from a Wall Street job and more, Kiana's done it all, and today we'll talk about how you can pivot your way to success. We'll also talk about popular brokerage app Robinhood, making videos that people want to watch, the FOMO people felt during the heady Bitcoin run up, and more. Plus, remember the old saying: if it's too good to be true, it probably is? Make that doubly so if what you're talking about involves investing or finances. We'll share yet another story of investors being fleeced out of their life savings after being roped in by too-good-to-be-true financial scams. And also, Suze Orman is back in the news. A recent health scare has the queen of money talk thinking critically about the relationship between money and health. During our Haven Life line, Ronnie Jo calls in asking for good financial advice for her 19 year-old sister. She'd like to make sure her sister can navigate the financial waters, and Joe and OG deliver advice that'll serve anyone well, young adult or not. Of course, we can't have a show without giving Doug some airtime. His trivia for today? Something about Einstein? Or winning money? Who really knows? Enjoy!
Nov 09, 2020
How to Avoid a Holiday Hangover
On today's show, we bring you a cornucopia of November financial topics! Is your rule of thumb going to leave you broke in retirement? We'll start off by talking about the nerd's updated version of the 4% rule and maybe throw in some advice explaining why generalized guidelines aren't the best investing strategy. Plus, in homage to our older roundtables, we'll give our contributors a few more headlines to chew on, including a new plan to push required minimum distributions to 75, AND our roundtable will cover the new college savings plan ranking system from Morningstar. Making today's super-show happen is our amazing team of contributors: Michael Anderson of the Big Idea podcast; Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast, and from our very own podcast, OG. Halfway through the show, we'll FINALLY share our main topic, bow to avoid a holiday hangover. Joe and Belinda Rosenblum will talk about how to set up a strategy to make sure this is the year you finally are able to get ahead financially, or at the very least, stay afloat during the holiday season. We'll finish today's show with some salacious gossip thanks to our question from Shane. He says that he loves our pieces on financial crimes, but what about the the less popular crimes? Shane wants to hear about daring financial crimes like money laundering and check kiting. Does our panel deliver? Yes! So make some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy this week's MagnifyMoney segment. Of course, we'll always save some time for Doug. Think you know your sports history? You'll love Doug's question today. 
Nov 06, 2020
Lessons From the Market's Biggest Wizards (with Jack Schwager)
What can we learn from market wizards, the name Jack Schwager gives to traders who routinely beat the index? Even if you aren't trying to trade the market, but instead want to just be competent, you can learn a ton. Jack Schwager has studied the best and brightest in the industry for years and today we talk to him about patience, discipline, love of the game, and more. You can use ALL of these ideas to be a better investor, even if, like most of us, you're a member of the buy-and-hold tribe. Plus, in our headlines segment, how hard is it to get your will done? Our engineer extraordinaire, Steve Stewart, just finished his. Joe and OG ask him about how and why he completed his plan, and how difficult it was. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Peter, who wonders about his investment strategy, and of course, we save time for Doug's amazing, post-election trivia. Enjoy!
Nov 04, 2020
Increasing Your Earnings When Most People Aren't (with Ramit Sethi)
While everyone struggles to get along through COVID-19, if you're lucky enough to be healthy and safe, NOW may be a great time to find ways to earn more money. By using skills you already have, you can begin to build wealth and put your financial house in order. Today we'll talk to Mr. I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi, about the power of networking, college, working online, transferring skills, and more. It's a powerful discussion that hopefully will move you from being defensive in 2020 to going on offense. When's the last time your family reviewed your household fire safety plan? Good financial planning goes beyond the adrenaline-fueled excitement of long-term investing and emergency funds. During our headlines we'll be joined by Steve Kerber, Director of the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute. Steve will share essential safety tips on how you can keep your family - and physical property - safe from a fire emergency. PLUS, you can watch a new video below from the Firefighter Safety Research Institute showing just how little time you have to escape a home fire. In our second piece, we'll discuss the importance of things like disability insurance. In a tragic incident, a cyclist has been reportedly left brain-damaged after a split-second accident with a dog. Many people go without when it comes to insurance with excuses like, "I'm safe!", or "nothing bad ever happens to me!" The other side of that coin is that accidents are just that... accidents. We'll finish out the show with a Haven Life line question on HSAs (Health Savings Account) and HRAs (Health Reimbursement Arrangement). Ethan will be switching jobs soon, and his new employer only offers a HRA. Ethan wants to keep contributing to his HSA even without the extra employer benefits, but wants to know: can he contribute to both the HRA and HSA? Plus, with the election looming tomorrow, Doug's campaign is in full swing. He'll use some of his mid-show airtime to quiz his loyal voters on how many electoral votes he'll need to take the White House.
Nov 02, 2020
Halloween Treats and Avoiding The Horror Story Wedding
On today's show we're mixing the ghoulish past with the horrific NOW. Chuck Jaffe from Money Life with Chuck Jaffe joins us to share how he's scaring his neighborhood kids this year into better money habits AND then we rewind (this is our rewind week!) to Sandy Smith sharing how she spent just under $5000 on her wedding and had the ultimate experience for herself, her husband, and their friends. It's a great now/rewind episode of Stacking Benjamins (plus we share an AWESOME event coming up for all Stackers on 11/10...join us!).
Oct 30, 2020
Top 5 Investing Horror Stories with Rick Ferri (SB RWD 115)
What's more spooky than an investing story gone wrong? Nothing... if we're discussing your net worth. Today the Fintern brings us back to our time with CFA Rick Ferri, who dropped by the basement and scared us silly with some absolutely HORRIBLE investing stories. Plus, Nick Clements from also joined the show to talk about our (then) recent discussions around technology and pricing structures. Of course, we also had headlines, Doug's trivia, and more. Enjoy!
Oct 28, 2020
Top 5 Ways To React To Market Volatility (SB RWD 114)
Happy Rewind Week Stackers! We're kicking off Monday strong with a special show that used to be a fan-favorite: a Joe and OG Top 5. Today's topic? How to react to market volatility. It was relevant then, and it's relevant now. There's no featured guest on today's show - but there's also a whole bunch more of Joe and OG banter than you'd normally have. (Some people say that's a good enough trade-off). You can read the short and sweet original show notes below: It's another Top 5 episode! Today Joe & OG tell you their top 5 ways to handle bouncing markets. In headlines we tackle the herd mentality down markets create and signs that it's time for a new advisor. We also fire up the Quotacy hotline for the first time, where Sam asks about stretch IRA rules. It's all that and more on today's show! Thanks to Candid and Netsuite for sponsoring the Stacking Benjamins show!
Oct 26, 2020
Grab The Budget Reins (plus Kabbage's Kathryn Petralia)
Worried it's next to impossible to get your finances in order by this point? What if I told you it could happen by Thanksgiving? (For those of you caught in the infamous 2020 haze, that's a little more than a month away). Today our roundtable crew share their personal tricks of the trade they employ to manage their budget, lower their expenses, and keep charge of their finances. Joining us on our roundtable is the mind behind the Own Your Money brand and Stacking Benjamins' partner in our Making Money Easy course, Belinda Rosenblum; Kevin Payne from the popular Family Money Adventure blog; and basement regular Len Penzo... from the aptly named Len Penzo dot com blog. After our contributors finish sharing their top finance tips, we'll give them a break while we shine some light on small businesses and what they've been experiencing this year. Helping us shine that spotlight is Kabbage co-founder, Kathryn Petralia. Kabbage was the second biggest PPP loan provider, and Kathryn will share the mistakes she's seen businesses make, what businesses should be doing right now, and what we can maybe expect in the future. We'll finish out the show with our Magnify Money segment - our caller Jambalaya wants to self-insure his health costs. He breaks his plan for his, and makes sure to let us know that he's otherwise healthy. Jambalaya asks for our seal of approval: is his plan sound, or, in his words, "should I keep it simple stupid?" Our roundtable will share their thoughts on our caller's plan. Naturally, we'll make some airtime for Doug's Friday trivia game show. This week's question? The original iPod sale price!
Oct 23, 2020
Weighing Opportunities and Holding On In Down Markets (with JL Collins)
When you make a decision about your money, do you weigh how that plays against your long term goals? Doing so is called considering your "opportunity cost." Today's guest talks about both the process of thinking about opportunities AND discusses how to weigh down markets. Should you move your money? He's been through a ton of down markets and has a world of experience with them. Today we're airing a very special episode with JL Collins, author of The Simple Path to Wealth. Doc G (in an interview originally aired on the Plutus award-winning Earn and Invest podcast) caught up with Collins last year, and asked him many questions, that we'll play for you today. What's your first response after finding out your online portfolio has been liquidated and cleared of its cash? Okay... so after THAT, you're probably calling your financial advisor until they pick up the phone, right? At the very least, solo investors should call the support line for their online brokerage.. right? What happens when NO ONE is available to help you figure out where the money went....or worse yet, when you do get a reply back it says that you'll need to hold tight for a few weeks? That's exactly what's happening to Robinhood investors... we'll unveil yet another issue at the troubled brokerage during our headlines segment. In our second headline: day-traders are often ignored by long term investors, but new research indicates these very-same day-traders could be a driving force behind market fluctuations, including the market rebound this year. Don't worry - we'll cover what that means to you and your plan. We'll finish out the show with a call from Ryan, who wants to know more about family contributions to a 529 plan. Ryan and his wife are expecting their first child, and would like their family members to contribute to their child's 529 plan instead of traditional gifts. Are there any online portals their family can use, or is it up to Ryan and his wife to collect contributions and investing the cash? Of course, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. Doug was feeling generous today with his dino-trivia, and opted for multiple choice responses... enjoy!
Oct 21, 2020
The Crazy Things I've Bartered to Cross the USA (travel writer Heather Jacks)
Heather Jacks has done it all. She's created a new job to work for Howard Shultz, facilitated wine and bourbon tastings, ferried pigs for a guy, lived in the outback, and slept full-time in a bus named Bubba. Also? She writes travel stories for Fodor's and other outlets, while also keeping a blog. ....and she's modeled. ..and she's been a teacher. ...and....the list goes on, but we're excited today to talk to her about how she's found a way to put together diverse skills and barter her way across the USA. Think you don't have enough money to travel? She'll share tricks she's used and stories from the road on today's wide-ranging (to put it mildly) discussion. LOTS of people are having debt forgiven because of COVID-19, but some are in store for a surprise. We'll share who's showing up with their hand out when you write down debt during our headlines segment. Also, the new Social Security cost of living increase has been announced,'s not pretty. We'll talk inflation, the stock market, and setting up your investments to win. Of course we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener and leave some time for Doug to share some of his mind-bending trivia. Enjoy!
Oct 19, 2020
How To Build a More Effective Network (plus an intro to Happy Money)
How's your network of mentors, friends and coaches? Who can you reach out to for help when you really need something? On today's show our roundtable contributors will tackle networking, and how to build a more effective surround sound for your life. We won't talk "networking," which can come across as dirty and slimy. We'll tackle how to effectively and sincerely grow a network so that you're more effective and also more of a help to other people. Our piece today says that your net worth is equal to your network, and we'll ask our roundtable what that means for you. Speaking of being happy...after our discussion on true friendship, wealth, and cold, hard business decisions - we'll turn our attention to a new site called Happy Money in our Friday FinTech segment. We'll give a break to our panel while Joe talks with the company's Chief Science Officer, Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, who's a behavioral and happiness expert. How do you, as mom says, turn that money frown upside down? She'll share details of what they're working on. Who's on our roundtable today? We're super happy that today we network with Roger Whitney from the Retirement Answer Man podcast, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, and OG from our very own podcast. Of course, we'll also save time for Doug's Friday game show trivia. It's too bad Joe isn't in the running for points - today's Disney themed trivia would net him an easy win this week. Enjoy!
Oct 16, 2020
How We Mess Up Our 401k (with Josh Dietch)
How's your savings plan been? Have you had to abandon ship on your retirement goals during this car wreck of a year? What are the keys to doing well with your money when the world turns on it's head? Today we'll discuss all of those things and T. Rowe Price's newest 401k data with the company's head of thought leadership, Josh Dietch. Is the stock market a house of cards? In a stunning accusation, one piece says that the stock market is nothing more than a (legal) Ponzi scheme, and a better investment for your money would be real estate, agriculture, and oil. While we're NOT jumping on the train to Ponziville, could there be some logic to the claims? We'll break down whether you should take any stock in opinion pieces with claims like these during our headlines segment of the show. Plus, Cake Boss Buddy Valastro is on his road to recovery after severely injuring his dominant decorating hand in a bowling alley accident. We'll share exactly what happened, and why this might make you change your mind about your insurances. We'll round out today's show with a letter from Randy during the Haven Life Line. After listening to our Guy Raz episode, Randy wanted to share his experience moving to Columbia. He reports that it was "easier" than he thought it would be, and he saved a lot of money doing it. Of course, we'll always save some time for Doug's trivia. It's an action packed Wednesday here in the basement, so we hope you enjoy it!
Oct 14, 2020
Curing Your Time Poverty Problem (w/Ashley Whillans)
Do you focus on managing time or money? If you worry about every dollar, do you value your time similarly, spending moments carefully? While many of us know much we expect to save, spend, and invest each month, not as many of us know exactly where our time is going. In her new book, Time Smart, Harvard Global Health fellow Ashley Whillans explains where all your extra time is going, the two different approaches we take with time and work, and why it feels like we have less time in our day than ever before. Think you don't need a layer of separation between you and your money? After today's headline, you might reconsider how much access you want to your cash. The short and sweet? Under NO circumstances should you cash out $400,000 for your partner's flight school venture. (And maybe watch your checks). In our second headline, we'll cover Kobe's autographed court floor selling for over $600,000. While that's an undeniable nice piece of history to show off to your friends, the average investor (or even a lot of investors who could be considered rich), probably shouldn't even think about spending that kind of cash on a collectible. Plus, during our Haven Life Line Steve from Arkansas has a thing or two to say about Bauxite. On a recent show Joe and OG dismissed Bauxite a little too quickly for Steve's tastes, and he's laying down some firsthand knowledge. As always, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia.
Oct 12, 2020
Mistakes Six-Figure Earners Make (plus an intro to Rally)
Most of us are frustrated by our paycheck. Are you a Henry? That's "high earner, not rich yet." Maybe you know a Henry and are confused how someone who makes so much money is constantly broke all the time? While our topic today covers money mistakes made by high-earners, workers of all income-levels will find today's advice relevant to their wallets. Plus, ever dream about owning rare baseball cards, vintage cars, or maybe even a jersey? Halfway through the show we'll dive into the world of investing and collectibles with Rob Petrozzo, co-founder of Rally. While you might not have the cash to buy a classic Aston Martin, you could invest in some shares. During our Magnify Money segment we have a big question that Brian posted in our Basement Facebook group on behalf of his neighbor. Brian's neighbor has had a rough go financially so far, but he's looking to turn things around. With bad credit, a felony, and a foreclosure on the record where should Brian's neighbor start? Plus, we'll make some time's for Doug's weekly trivia game show. 
Oct 09, 2020
Hidden Habits of Genius (with Dr. Craig Wright)
How are geniuses different than the rest of us? Can we study them to emulate some of their strengths? How do we define genius? Can we become a genius by applying ourselves? Today we'll tackle all of those questions and more with Dr. Craig Wright, who joins us to talk all things genius on today's show. If you've ever wondered what to do to improve your abilities in any area, we'll cover some of the traits of the best and brightest among us on today's show. Plus, while we've all read about the growing gap between the richest and poorest among us, we've actually read very few ideas to solve the problem. Hedge fund star Bill Ackman has a proposal, and in our headlines segment, we'll share details. Should we begin giving people money at birth? That's part of his idea that we'll share. Also, we all know that there are a few keys to success in life. Today we'll share the "magic sauce" as presented by one Tik-Tok creator. Brilliant! Of course we'll still throw out the Haven Life line AND save time for some of Doug's delicious trivia. What are you waiting for? Press "play" already!
Oct 07, 2020
Our Ultimate Guide to Choosing Workplace Benefits (with Amanda Lannert)
Are you getting all of the mileage you can from your workplace benefits? LOTS of people are likely leaving money on the table by not layering benefits correctly, and TODAY we'll make sure you aren't one of them. Today Amanda Lannert, CEO of benefit-expert company Jellyvision, joins Joe to share best practices when it comes to increasing the mileage from your benefits. During Joe and Amanda's conversation, we'll walk through every benefit in the package and detail how to make better decisions about not just health insurance, life insurance, and disability coverage, but we'll also talk about flex spending accounts, health savings accounts, dependent care accounts, pet insurance, legal plans, supplemental hospital coverage, dental, and more. What's your retirement plan? We'll kick off our headlines segment by sharing the very scary retirement plan that far too many Americans are relying on. If you're reading this, you just might be the saver in your group of friends... and after you hear today's statistics you'll want to make sure your friends aren't including YOU as THEIR emergency plan. Plus, in our second piece, one lucky man found a 9-caret diamond in a public state park. As it turns out, it doesn't matter how you come into money, the IRS will find you, and they'll get their due. (On the other hand... public roads are nice too). We'll finish the show with a Haven Life Line question. Brian's company started offering withdrawls on after-tax contributions. Brian plans on using the mega back door Roth IRA instead of a 529 plan for his two-year old. He wants to pull out the contributions only and let the growth be used for retirement savings. Brian asks: what do we think of his plan? Of course, we'll also give Doug will some air time to deliver his trivia! Enjoy!
Oct 05, 2020
What Can You Negotiate? (plus a look at FinTech vs. COVID)
How many times have you negotiated a better deal? Car payments? Rent? Mortgage fees? How much in life is up for negotiation, and how do you get better at it? We asked our roundtable contributors the same thing, and they had a lot to offer. Making up today's show: Stacy Johnson, founder and CEO of MoneyTalkNews; Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast; and Len Penzo (from the blog), and another thanks to our celebrity reader - and author of today's piece - Rich Jones from Paychecks & Balances. Halfway through the show we'll take a break from our discussion while Joe rings up Ryan Falvey, co-founder of Financial Venture Studio. Fintech is a fast moving field, and we'll find out from Ryan how COVID has changed the game when it comes to apps on your phone. We'll finish out today roundtable with a Magnify Money call from Bruce. He tells our roundtable that he's buying his first home, and wants to shop around for a good mortgage. How can he do that without his credit being dinged 100 times? Our roundtable gives him so solid advice, and it'll be nice knowledge for you tooo. Of course, we'll also carve out some time for Doug's game show trivia. 
Oct 02, 2020
5 Huge Medicare Decisions You'll Need To Make (with Danielle Kunkle Roberts)
The biggest mistake you can make is to wait until the last minute to learn about how to make the most out of your benefits packages. It's one thing to mess up a form at the DMV, but when it comes to your Medicare, making a mistake can lead to big issues with your health. Danielle Kunkle Roberts, author of new book, 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can't Afford To Make, comes on today's show to share the key decisions you'll need to make and how to avoid losing money or health care options. Plus, is another bear market on the way? Honest answer? Maybe! During our headlines we'll explain how the bear market could drop next week, (or tomorrow, or even next month)... and why that shouldn't matter to your portfolio anyway. In our second piece, we'll share the changing American sentiment behind sustainable funds. During the Haven Life Line, Amy calls in with questions on how to retire as an expat. Amy and her husband live in Germany with their three kids and they both get paid in euros. Due to complicated investing laws, Amy has most of their assets located in the United States. The problem? Amy's family plans to retire in Germany! Amy asks us: What type of professional should Amy and her husband hire to sort out their financials? Should that professional be American or German? All that and more on today's episode! Enjoy!
Sep 30, 2020
Investing 201 (with Jill Schlesinger)
So you've learned that it's important to save. You've picked a mutual fund or an exchange traded fund, and now you're pouring some money in. What should you know next? Today we'll chat with CBS Business Analyst and host of the Jill on Money show, Jill Schlesinger. We'll talk about investment fees, better diversification, what's MOST important when you're investing, and more. Get ready for some investing talk because today class is in session! Making coffee is great, but the real easy money-maker? Holding other people's money. During today's headlines we'll explain how the giant coffee chain Starbucks it padding a huge part of their bottom budget with YOUR cash. Plus, financial giant LPL is stopping some of their advisors from using a Morningstar product. Is this a case of big brother overstepping? Hardly! We'll talk about how advisors work and the role of oversight on today's show. During the Haven Life Line, Jordan calls in with a question that I think will resonate with more than a few listeners. Jordan will be working from home for the foreseeable future due to COVID. His car has been collecting dust in the garage. Jordan asks: would it be sensible for him to sell his car? Jordan's wife will still have her minivan.
Sep 28, 2020
5 Myths About Diversification (plus an intro to FinCon)
What does diversification really mean? Contrary to popular opinion, there's more to good diversification than just spreading your money around. But how does it work? Today we'll tackle a recent piece from the Wall Street Journal that dives into popular myths about diversification. Believe it or not there's more to it than just "spreading your money around." Before I forget - a big thanks to today's roundtable contributors! You can find more from Miranda Marquit at and; Paula Pant at; AND you can get help in your financial corner from OG HERE. As far as financial independence and doing all the "right things," Jeff is pretty set. After years of effort getting to this point, Jeff now finds himself thinking less about his finances. What's the solution here? Find a hobby? Earn more cash? Buy products from all of our sponsors? Our roundtable will share their thoughts during our Magnify Money segment. 
Sep 25, 2020
Winning in "The Ring" (with Coach Mike Rosenfeld)
Mike Rosenfeld is what some people call boxer Jeison Rosario's "secret weapon." Boxing fan are fired up this week because Saturday features a title bout on Showtime between Jeison Rosario and Jermell Charlo, and today, Coach Mike joins us to share how he's worked with not just Jeison but with top professionals to bring energy, focus, and drive to whatever they do. We'll even share an exercise that Coach Mike uses (and that you can use, too) to improve your performance immediately. How much whiskey does it take to buy a house? It almost sounds like the start of a joke, but one U.K. man is laughing all the way to the bank. After discovering the value off his Macallan whiskey collection has skyrocketed, he plans to use his newfound cash as a down payment for a home. We'll round out today's show with a question most of us have asked at one point or another: are financial advisors worth the price? How hard could it be, right? Instead of answering a voicemail on today's Haven Life Line, we're turning our attention to a Reddit post that we think perfectly encapsulates why you should have an advisor as a buffer between you and your money. This might be one of the biggest money mistakes you never want to make.
Sep 23, 2020
Creating Your Personal MBA Program (with Josh Kaufman)
What are you doing to be best in class? What's your curriculum toward success? Why wouldn't you create your own personal MBA to achieve your goals? If you did, what would you study? Today we're going to help you sharpen the saw by welcoming Josh Kaufman, author of the Personal MBA, a book that came out 10 years ago (and now has a new 10th anniversary edition), but is even more meaningful today than it was then. Build more skills and you'll be rewarded with far more Benjamins... Plus, during our headlines segment, we'll feature TWO stories about borrowers either having their student loan debt erased or who were suing to have it expelled. We'll ask attorney Leslie Tayne her thought about whether these rulings will open up opportunities for YOU to discharge your student loans. We'll finish out today's show with one big question: do you tell your kids either your net worth or your total investments? We asked the same question to our SB Basement Facebook group, and received a range of responses. We'll share not only our own, but a nice range of parent responses during our segment. As always, Doug will also get the spotlight during the halftime. On the menu for today? Fantasy Trivia! (I went into this one blind and I'm proud to say I actually got this one right.) 
Sep 21, 2020
What Would You Sacrifice For Financial Freedom? (plus a FinTech chat w/ Zach Pettet)
Would you cut birthday parties, holiday get-togethers, attending work events, or giving gifts? How much would you cut to live a financially lean "simple life"? One Reddit user has taken these steps (and more!) in an attempt to stay on course. After our special surprise celebrity reader delivers today's piece, we'll ask our roundtable for their thoughts. Has lean living gone too far? Is financial independence worth these sacrifices? Today we are joined by Olympic gold-medalist turned financial planner, Lauryn Williams; comedian and host of the Crazy Money podcast, Paul Ollinger; and the guy you know and love - Len Penzo of the blog. Halfway through the show we'll take a break from our discussion while Joe rings up Zach Pettet. The last time we talked to Zach was when he was on stage on behalf of Fountain City Fintech during our Stacking Benjamins Live Tour. Today, Zach has his own podcast examining the world of fintech: For Fintech's Sake. During the segment, we'll poke Zach's brain to find out where the world of fintech is at now, AND ask what's in store for the future of fintech. During our MagnifyMoney call, we'll give some advice to an anonymous caller who is interested in investing. While she doesn't have enough extra cash to buy whole stocks, she could buy fractional shares. Because E-Trade doesn't offer fractional shares, our caller would have to open an account with another firm. Any advice? What good brokerage firms offer fractional shares? Is this even a good idea at all? Plus during Doug's trivia gameshow, we'll celebrate the U.S. Air Force's 73rd birthday. Enjoy!
Sep 18, 2020
How I Built This (with Guy Raz)
How I Built This. It's the case-study story that Guy Raz, creator and host of NPR's How I Built This podcast, has been told many times. Today we'll flip the script on Guy and ask him: what led him to build his hit podcast? We don't stop there, we'll also get inside Guy's head and ask about some of the common themes among the stories he's heard. We'll ask about business as war, fear, building loyal fans, and what drives these founders...often "normal" people, toward success? Plus, thinking about leaving this all behind the hot moment that countries begin accepting American passports? During our headlines segment, we'll share a list that already has my vote for the best title of 2020: 4 tropical places you can live well for less than 2000 dollars. (Anyone else working remotely bookmarking this)? In our second piece: has the college education model finally met its match? Welcome to Google's newest venture: higher education. Google's new certificate program can be completed in just about six months, and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional college. Ka-ching! While large companies are already signing on to honor the certificate, we won't know its true value until we collect some solid data on the hiring rates of graduates. Later, during our Haven Life Line, Francisco calls in with a question about expense ratios. Would switching from a high-to-low expense ratio account be a good move? Does that answer change for tax-advantaged accounts? Of course, there will still be time for Doug's trivia.
Sep 16, 2020
What Can We Learn From Losing? (with Mary Pilon)
How many times have you lost and thought, "I'm going to learn to do better the next time, so I win." What did you learn specifically from losing? Author Mary Pilon asked the same question and put together an anthology on stories about epic losses that shines a spotlight on the struggle involved trying to reach the top of anything. If you're inspired--like we are--by stories of other's struggle so we don't feel so alone, you're going to be super excited listening to Mary share a few epic stories from the book. Next, has Robinhood finally attracted its share of regulator attention? During our headlines, we'll recap the numerous reasons why you shouldn't use Robinhood for your investing. Plus, in our second piece, are you heading to retirement disaster by underestimating your life expectancy? During the Haven Life Line, we'll take a question about short-term investing from Matt. He's currently in college, and looking to invest $2000 for a couple of year. Where's the best Matt can invest his money?
Sep 14, 2020
Name That Marketing Catchphrase (plus a new Hippo/Simplisafe Partnership)
Welcome to the happiest podcast on earth? Do you know where we stole that catchphrase from? If you do, you just might be a product of marketing. Companies spend millions of dollars each year trying to get you to remember their brand. Today we'll prove just how much we remember marketing with a game show episode where we slightly change the brand slogans and see if our roundtable participants (OG, Paula and Len) can come up with them. How many can you get right? ...and is that a good thing? Plus, halfway through the show, insurance company Hippo and home security firm Simplisafe join us to talk about a new study talking about home insecurity. With the pandemic, the average person feels less secure about their home life. As a response, they've also teamed up with a new partnership. We'll share details about the study and the partnership on today's show. Enjoy!
Sep 11, 2020
Who's Sharing in the "Sharing" Economy? (with Juliet Schor)
What happened to the sharing economy? The new work model promised to give workers flexibility and new income streams, while people with excess could share what they had with people looking for help. What it turned into is a different matter: lots of people earning below minimum wage, an over-saturation of workers all competing for the same prime hours, and headline-making lawsuits from companies looking to minimize their responsibility to workers. These are all things new gig workers can expect when joining the new "gig" field. Today we chat with Juliet Schor, author of the new best-selling book, After The Gig. During our interview Juliet will share the business strategies that kick-started the shift in direction large gig and sharing companies made, how gig workers don't know how much they're truly making, and we'll also dive into possible solutions to the gig economy's current problems. In our headlines segment, we'll ask, "Why half of the millennial generation have canceled their travel credit cards?" Plus, Fidelity is now offering their first Bitcoin fund. Should you pay any attention? We'll finish out the show with our Haven Life Line. Retired clergyman Bill calls in asking if he can really take out a tax-free housing disbursement from his 403b if the money was made through clergy work. 
Sep 09, 2020
Train Your Brain For Better Work (with Dr. Joseph Cardillo)
Ever wish you had better habits? Whether you're not getting out of bed for that morning run, or you stay up too late before an important meeting in the morning, or you can't stop breaking the budget - we've all asked ourselves, "why did I do that AGAIN?" Dr. Joseph Cardillo, best-selling author of multiple books on the intersection of mindfulness and health not only knows the answer to that, he's sharing the solution on today's show! In his new book, 12 Rules of Attention, Dr. Cardillo goes through easy-to-follow steps on how you can stop bad habits in their tracks, AND how to trick your brain into establishing habits that'll make you a superstar in whatever area of your life you wish to improve. Brittany Spears is back in the news. In our headlines segment we'll review how her father has served as her conservator for twelve years (taking care of Spears' money), and now the pop star wants him out. So, what does it mean to have a conservator? How can someone make sure everything is on the up-and-up? We'll share that and recall one famous conservator horror story which saw one extremely rich widow fight homelessness. Plus, what's a headlines segment without talking about money and video games? Today we'll also cover the beef between Apple and Epic Games. It's...wait for it...pretty....epic. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line today to listener Swaggenit, who was notified by Turbotax that because he already contributes to his 401k, he won't receive any tax benefit for his IRA. He asks: because he doesn't receive a tax advantage now and he's contributing post-tax money, will the money be tax-free when he withdraws it? Is there a good reason to keep contributing to his IRA? As always, we'll of course save some time for Doug's trivia, who's keeping his Independence Day questions going strong. Enjoy!  
Sep 07, 2020
Should You Have A Mortgage In Retirement? (SB RWD 113)
The one and only Scott Alan Turner from Financial Rockstar podcast joins the fun this week. He, Len Penzo and Joe tackle financial insecurity, mortgages and horrible Valentine's gifts. Also, we're ending our Rewind week with some pretty special segments. Check out our original show notes below: At the halfway point we have a great visit with Thomas Smyth from about his new app. Trim dives into your accounts to find forgotten subscriptions you're paying and unsubscribes you (if you wish). AS IF that's not enough, we're excited at the end of the episode to share some time with the star of SoFi's new Super Bowl commercial, Brandon Williams. We'll talk about the experience and his investing passion - real estate. That’s it for this week of rewinds! Coming Monday: We’ll chat with Dr. Joseph Cardillo, author of 12 Rules of Attention: How to Avoid Screw-ups, Free Up Headspace, Do More and Be More at Work.
Sep 04, 2020
Building Your Financial Dream House with Greg Powell (SB RWD 112)
What does your financial dream house look like? Financial planner Greg Powell says that he always has trouble convincing people to complete a financial plan because it sounds like a ton of work. But a financial dream house? That’s a much easier sell, and he’s going to help you sell yourself on that concept in today’s episode. We’ll talk about where investments fit into the overall structure (not as far up the priority list as you’d think), how to work through building your “plans,” and then how to build a team that effectively helps you finally create the “structure” of the house. Happy Hump Day! We're keeping our rewind week going strong with today's show featuring our time with Greg Powell. We thought his unique approach to financial planning was interesting then, and we think it's interesting now. Also from our original show notes: On the Haven Life line, Garrett asks about company stock inside of his 401k. Should he dump it? If you have company stock inside of YOUR 401k, this’ll be helpful for you…and if you own LOTS of one company’s stock, you’ll also like this segment. We also answer a letter from Andrew, who wonders about his target date fund. As you know (if you’ve listened to us before), we’ve been pretty critical of target date funds. What is his next best move? Do YOU have a target date fund? Maybe today’s letter segment will help you, too! Of course we have Doug’s trivia, some bad jokes, and lots more….
Sep 02, 2020
Your Money or Your Life? With Vicki Robin (SB RWD 111)
Most of us have been at home a lot more than normal, which led us to realize that this week may be high time for a discussion about "stuff." Too many of us have too much clutter. Clutter not just in our house, but in our minds, in our thoughts, and in our goals. That's why today's episode is super important to us. Happy rewind week! While Joe and OG are hanging up at the beach sipping mojitos (okay, maybe not really), I’m turning back the clock to visit some of our favorite past interviews. We're kicking this week off strong with one of our favorite interviews in the catalogue: Vicki Robin, author of bestselling book, Your Money or Your Life. You can read our original show notes below: Why are you saving money? How much joy are you receiving from that “stuff” you own? You may rethink your financial plan after today’s show, because our guest is the co-author of the HUGE bestselling book, Your Money or Your Life. Vicki Robin helped shape the financial independence/retire early movement, and she’s on her way down to the basement today to talk to us about re-examining your beliefs around your life and your money. Your money or your life, indeed. In our headlines segment we’ll talk about student loans with Robert Farrington from The College Investor. He’ll talk about how over 3,000 people just took part in an event to pay off a TON of student loan debt. We’ll share best practices, how best to apply to lower interest rates on your debt, and how to pay them down in a way that makes sense for your situation. We’ll also discuss the new SEC proposed fiduciary rule. Is THIS finally the rule we’ve been looking for? Will it replace the mostly knocked-down rule from the Department of Labor? We’ll review the rule and discuss what you need to know about it on today’s show. Plus, we throw out the Haven Life line to Karen, who’s contributing to a brand spankin’ new health savings account. How should she best use it? We’ll share how these plans work on today’s show. We’ll also answer another listener letter, throw out Doug’s trivia question, and watch him try to juggle….one ball. Thanks to for sponsoring Stacking Benjamins as well. saves users on average $450 when they compare, ditch, switch and save on credit cards, student loan refinancing, checking, savings and more. Check out for your savings.
Aug 31, 2020
Negotiating The Inevitable "Where's My Life Going?" Crisis (plus an intro to Public)
Big houses, fast cars, and flashy boats... are we all destined to hit the "what do I really want with life anyway" crisis? While everyone's therapy comes in different forms, does it have to mean burning obscene amounts of cash budgeted for things like, "life savings" just to reclaim your life? On today's show we'll share what YOU can do when you're second guessing your goals and your life's that you can keep the sportscar money in your pocket. Helping us out on the roundtable today is Kathe Kline, from the Rock Your Retirement podcast, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, and OG. Plus, we're helped today by our special celebrity reader: Tom Schwab, founder and CEO of Interview Valet. We're happy to have him reading our focus piece today! Curious about what your friends and other influential people you follow are investing in? After our discussion on making sure your mid-life crisis doesn't turn into a disaster, we'll ring up Katie Perry, VP of social investing platform Public. We'll round out the show with a question from Martin, who's interested in house hacking. Martin is 17 doesn't have much cash to throw around. He asks: what can he do to have his cash work for him? So far he's been reading up on stocks in the Motley Fool, but what else could he be doing? And of course with it being Friday... we'll make some time for Doug's game show. 
Aug 28, 2020
Dressing Rock Stars and Building a Brand (with fashion designer Lindsay Hearts)
What does it take to work as a Hollywood designer for major rock and roll bands? Lindsay Hearts started with a sewing machine at age 16, worked her way up to fashion week in New York, and finally decided it was time to make a move to reach her dream: creating a brand of her own in LA. She moved west with the goal of NOT working for someone else, but to build her own business. Today we'll hear her inspiring story, plus how she's helped out during the time of COVID, how she manages a team, and much more. While interest rates remain near all-time lows, the cost to actually refinance just got more expensive. We'll share that during our headlines segment, and also dive into the "fun" happening at Eastman Kodak. What does that have to do with your money? Maybe more than you think. Of course, we'll still throw out the Haven Life line AND we'll also share some of Doug's amazing trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 26, 2020
How To Successfully Improve Your Habits (with Charles Duhigg)
Charles Duhigg is a guy who knows a lot about habits. His book on the topic was on the New York Times bestseller list forever, his second book is also a bestseller, and now he has a new podcast called "How To!" that talks about the habits needed to perform specific tasks. Want to be funnier? Lose weight? Get a promotion? He covers it. Today we cover HIM and the topic of habits on today's episode! Also today we ask the question, "How much skill is involved when a day trader wins?" Apparently, according to a recent piece, the statistics ain't good (as mom says). We'll cover that in our headlines segment, plus what Amazon plans to do with the huge stores left behind by Sears and JCPenny. Of course, they have plans... We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Brock, who writes in with a dilemma on student loans. He's running low on funds to pay for college, but he has about $3,500 invested in the stock market. Should Brock take out subsidized loans, or cash in some of his investments? We'll share our answer with you AND him, AND save time for some of Doug's delicious trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 24, 2020
11th Annual Plutus Award Finalists Reveal and Commentary
We’re super happy to present to you this year’s Plutus Award finalists. There are 30 categories this year and you’ll hear ALL of the commentary about these awards plus the complete rundown. Joining us for the award presentation are Harlan Landes, creator of the Plutus Awards, and Miranda Marquit from Planting Money Seeds AND Plutus Awards director. For the commentary roundtable, we welcome the author of Mindful Millionaire, Leisa Peterson, the woman behind the Fioneers blog, Jess, and Mr. Do You Even Blog, Pete McPherson. Enjoy!
Aug 23, 2020
5 Exercises To Improve Your Money Life (with Suzanne Lucas)
How can you become better with money? The good news: it's simple! The bad news? Just like anything else it will require a bit of work. Lucky for you, we're covering some of our favorite exercises (call them whatever you want if the word "exercise" isn't doing it for you) to make you better with your money. On that note, we want to give a big thanks to Eric and Kali Roberge for today's piece! Eric wrote it on the Beyond Your Hammock blog, and Kali has so nicely agreed to be our celebrity reader. To tackle the topic, this week's roundtable guests include Natalie Torres-Haddad, author of Financially Savvy in 20 minutes, Len Penzo from the blog, and OG from our very own podcast. Taking vacation could be hard enough BEFORE most of us started to work from home. Either from company culture, a disorganized office, or simply grinding to pull ahead of the pack - there are a ton of reasons people don't feel comfortable asking for time off. Now you can add working from home and becoming virtually connected to the office all day to your list of problems. What's an employee to do? Helping us navigate the new waters is our (not so physically) near and dear friend, Suzanne Lucas from the Evil HR Lady blog. We'll finish the show with our MagnifyMoney segment. Kelvin calls in with what he admits is a great problem to have: him and his wife are set and well on the way to early retirement if they choose to do so. Now the problem... how in the world do they get out of the hustle and save mindset? Once someone "makes" it, how do they start enjoying their money? Of course, halfway through the show we'll carve out some time for Doug's game show trivia. 
Aug 21, 2020
Reducing Friction, Getting Moving, and Saving Money (with Dan Ariely)
Looking to save more cash, but don't know where to look? Today we welcome Dan Ariely, Chief Behavioral Economist with Qapital, and professor and expert on psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. According to Dan, the best strategy may not necessarily be about adding more cash to your bottom line but reprioritizing the money you already have. Instead of trying to out-earn your spending habits, realign your focus to make the cash you earn go further for you each week. Plus, every week it seems like another online bank cuts their rate and super-savers are upset at the loss of "free cash." During our headlines, we'll discuss why recent rate drops shouldn't be the end of the world AND we'll also cover the reasons behind a recent surge in new accounts with robo-advisors. When it comes to saving your cash, should you stack more Benjamins in your wedding fund or your IRA? Our anonymous caller lets us know that he's putting away $1000 a month for his wedding, but only $500 into his Roth. He won't have any extra cash available when he becomes eligible to contribute to his 401k. Our caller asks: should he pull back on his wedding savings? Of course, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 19, 2020
Hunting For Income-Producing Investments (with Will Rhind)
We talk often on the show about growth-oriented investments, but what if you wanted higher income-paying tools for your portfolio? Will Rhind, CEO of GraniteShares, is a guy who knows income, his HIPS ETF is specifically engineered to create high income streams. Today we'll talk with Will about many of the different types of investments that go into his ETF. We'll dive into how they work, what could make income streams expand and contract, and also what could make an income-producing portfolio volatile. Also, because his background is also in commodities, we'll ask him about gold in a portfolio and his view of current markets. Plus, have you been giving out your social security number in exchange for free cruise trips? Admittedly that may not seem like such an attractive offer in the current environment, but non-cruise related financial scams are on the rise. From pyramid schemes to nefarious bank activity, you'll find yourself double-checking you finances after listening to today's headlines. During our Haven Life Line we'll answer a question from Derek, who is wondering if he should switch to his company's workplace health plan. He says the workplace health insurance seems worse than what he already has. Is there any reason to switch?
Aug 17, 2020
The ONE Thing You Can Control (plus new FinTech from Fidelity)
Here's a shock (or not....): LOTS of people are feeling stress right now - so if you're feeling overwhelmed, you aren't alone. Admittedly there aren't answers for everything, but that doesn't mean it's time to throw priorities, goals, and self-care out the window. In the words of Lin Manuel's Arron Burr: "I am the one thing in life I can control." (Thanks J.D. Roth, for reminding me there's a Hamilton line for everything!) During today's show, we'll ask our roundtable: when life becomes stressful, what's your emergency plan to take back the reins? How do you get life back on track? A big thanks to our contributors today: CFP Katie Brewer from Your Richest Life, Len Penzo from the blog, and Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast. Another special thanks to today's celebrity reader: Jason Vitug. You can find more from Jason at his site Halfway through the show we'll give our roundtable a break while Joe rings up Kelly Lannan, VP of Young Investors at Fidelity. The financial company has released a new investing app, Fidelity Inspire, and is designed to help young adults plan, save, and invest for their financial goals. We'll dive into all the different offerings and features the app brings during our interview with Kelly. After our fintech segment we'll keep Doug's Friday gameshow going strong. Tune in to see who wins it this week! We'll finish off today's show with an all-too real question posed to Peter Dunn: when your adult kid is laid off and needs help paying the bills, what do you do? We'll ask our roundtable for their take before rolling the end credits. 
Aug 14, 2020
What's the Price of a Sandwich? (with Len Penzo)
What if you could talk about inflation in a way that actually hit home? Today we'll do just that by diving into the cost of a brown bag lunch sandwich. What does a sandwich cost? How has the price changed over time? Len Penzo has been comparing the prices of brown bag sandwiches for twelve years, and for seven of those we've been tracking it on the show with him. Today's show is one long-time fans will know and love, and one that we hope our new listeners won't miss... it's our annual fan-favorite: the Len Penzo Sandwich Survey. How much has the cost of making classic sandwiches increased year over year? What sandwich gets you the most bite for your buck? We'll compare baloney, PB&J, turkey and swiss, the BLT, and more. Plus, is your neighborhood restaurant going to stay a little quieter for good? During our headlines segment of the show, we'll dive into a piece detailing how more than half of businesses that closed on Yelp during the pandemic are shutting their doors permanently. In our second piece, Jim from the Route to Retire blog has found his Panama retirement dream ending sooner than expected after the pandemic hit. What should you do if you find your retirement going off track during YEAR ONE? Later in the show, instead of answering a listener voicemail during the Haven Life Line, we'll use a blog piece covering what financial information you should have learned so far in 2020. This year has been full of lessons, and you'll want to make sure you haven't missed any. As always, we'll make sure and save some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 12, 2020
Who'll Help Me Build a Money Foundation? (with Rebecca Wiggins)
Sure, financial planners work with people, but many only work with you ONCE you have your act together and you're ready to begin working on big-money problems. What do you do if you're just learning how to set up a budget, get out of credit card debt, or save systematically? Today we'll tackle all of that with Rebecca Wiggins, the executive director of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education, on how financial coaches (not financial advisors...that's something else!) help people like you set up a better financial life. Plus, we don't know if you've looked lately at gold prices...but if not, BAM! It's through the roof. Should you buy some? In our headlines segment, we'll share a piece that Joe and OG just might agree with on the topic.... Also, LSU football star Joe Burrows has become a rich man after signing an NFL deal. However, this star says that he only plans to live off endorsements... and his dad says Joe can finally get out of his parent's basement. (Looks like Joe should have thought twice before signing a cash-packed contract). Is living in a basement bad? Should Burrows think twice before saving all that money? We'll have some answers and takeaways today. After we break for Doug's trivia today, we'll finish up the show with the Haven Life Line. When the wealthy in-laws want to help finance your new house, do you take their money? How can you accept large sums of money without big tax implications? Should you accept a 6-figure gift from parents? We'll cover it all for Jim, who wrote in with his VERY first-world dilemma. 
Aug 10, 2020
30 Tips For Simple Living (Plus an intro to YNAB)
Ah, the simple life. With all of the chaos in the world, how do we get back to basics? Today our roundtable crew are going to help you reboot, rejuvenate, and revive your live with ideas from a recent blog post about 30 tips for simple living. We'll talk about everything from diet and exercise to reading more often. That'll help you focus better, feel stronger longer, and most importantly (for our show, anyway), Stack More Benjamins. Plus, during our Friday FinTech segment, we'll speak to Jesse Meacham, creator of You Need a Budget, or YNAB, as fans of the software call it. While you may be familiar with YNAB, have you heard the origin story of this groundbreaking system? Jesse will walk Joe through the early years and how YNAB works to help more people keep better track of their money. Of course, we'll still save time for Doug's amazing trivia. Would you like a sheet to begin working on our favorite tips? Joe's mom has made an accountability sheet! Just head to That way you can get started on actually implementing what you heard!
Aug 07, 2020
Netflix For Money Nerds: A Million Stories
How do you make the topic of money actually fun? That's the question the Singleton Foundation asked, and CEO Shelly Miles and Executive Producer Lisa Freberg join us today to explain how they pulled it off. They not only found talented creators to bring together a video channel that resembles Netflix for money nerds, but they also thought deeply about exactly how to turn each story into a longer discussion. Today we'll talk about how they've made money discussions compelling, fun, and best of all, habit-changing. Big news happened recently in mutual fund land. Vanguard is throwing in the towel on one of its products. Plus, as they attempt to tread water, colleges have turned to mass layoffs. What does that mean for the college experience? We'll share our thoughts. And in today's Haven Life Line call, Seth has some business debt to pay off. He'd expected to make enough money on the side to pay it off but that hasn't happened. So instead, he plans to use his W2 income to wipe it out. Should he approach it like regular debt and pay off the highest interest loans first? ...and of course, we'll save time for some of Doug's "working like a dog" trivia. Enjoy!
Aug 05, 2020
Being Liked Is Overrated (with Rachael Robertson)
Are we focused too much on being liked? From the workplace to our personal lives, most of us don't want to be the person who rocks the boat. Go with the flow, right? Antarctic expedition leader Rachael Robertson says that approach to leadership (or even following) couldn't be more wrong. An honest - yes that means having tough conversations! - workplace is more constructive than an office focused on making sure everyone is getting along every day. Plus, remember the 401k article going around suggesting a 401k plan doesn't make much sense anymore for savers? Yeah... hope you didn't immediately pull out your entire retirement fund after reading that because we're covering that topic today and may have a different opinion. During the Haven Life Line, how can Shawn figure out the right allocation for his portfolio? Should he go 90% stock, even 100%? When it's time to retire, how does Shawn pull out his cash? He's in his early 50s and think he has enough Benjamins to retire soon. As always, we'll also make sure and save some time for Doug's trivia.
Aug 03, 2020
Self Care Begins With Benjamins Care (plus an intro to
Treat yo' self! It's a wonderful concept with one big downside: the phrase "treat yo' self" often means burning a big stack of cash on retail therapy. Don't get me - we're human, and we've all had those days ending with an oh-so-cathartic impulse buy of computer parts and beef jerky (too specific?). BUT self-care doesn't necessarily mean spending money. With a lack of Benjamins being one of the leading stressors among U.S. adults, taking control of your money can be one of the most effective self-care methods available. While it may not provide the instant dopamine-infused gratification jolt, becoming a master of your finances will hand you a more fulfilled life without snowballing debt, revolving credit, or phone calls from debt collectors. Being able to tap your card for the occasional splurge without worry about going into the red is nice, too. Have a garage full of tools or wondering how to finish your next project? After our discussion on self-care, we'll take a break from the roundtable while Joe rings up Stefan Cordova from borrowing site If there's one feeling even more ubiquitous than impulse buying a soda in the check-out line, it's tearing into a new home project only to realize that you don't have the right tools to finish the job. Stefan's idea aims to solve that. Everyday people (yes, like you and me), can put stuff up for rent that other people may need, and the people in need get to rent what THEY need without paying sticker price for a one time project. After we finish up our interview with Stefan, we'll crank up the music during Doug's gameshow turned trivia segment, where this week we quiz our roundtable on Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson in celebration of his birthday next week. Just how many octaves does ole Bruce have in him? We'll then round out the show by asking our roundtable: what song best describes your financial life? Thank you to the awesome contributors who made today's roundtable happen! This week's contributors include Stephanie McCullough from Sofia Financial, Len Penzo from the blog, and OG from our very own podcast. 
Jul 31, 2020
Roll Up Your Sleeves: Blue-Collar Millionaire
Think it's impossible to make a million dollars working a blue-collar job? Millionaire and former ditch-digger Ken Rusk might have something to say about. For decades, the college experience has been pushed as THE prioritized option for high school graduates, but with the student debt crisis becoming worse year after year should you look elsewhere? Today, Ken Rusk will show you how forgoing the college route doesn't mean you're giving up your chance of financial independence...and it just might enhance it. It may only be Wednesday, but TGIF? Sofi is now offering an ETF that... wait for it... pays you every Friday. Sound familiar? You can check out our headlines from Monday's show if you're curious about what happened with two other investments promising some quick cash. Listen closely for just how much BIG money you'll receive every week in this new fund. Cha-ching. Plus, no Haven Life Line for today! Instead, Gertrude (from our Facebook Basement group) posed this question to our members: what's YOUR side hustle? We got a bunch of feedback and we can't cover everything, but we'll share a few of our favorite responses. Even with no voicemail, we'll always save time for some of Doug's trivia, who's going classic finance with today's question. 
Jul 29, 2020
Try To Die Broke (with Bill Perkins)
Have you ever thought, "Maybe I should be SPENDING more money?" Our guest today thinks that maybe you should re-examine how you're living. Bill Perkins, poker star and energy trader, says that investors have too much of their mindset set on the future, and not enough energy focused on the now of life. We'll discuss over-saving, being TOO frugal, and actually spending your money on today's episode. Plus, how does an ETF that literally pays YOU to invest not gain enough attention to take off? It turns out...that free might not actually mean better. Weird, huh? We'll cover what went wrong with this ETF and others like it, during today's headlines. In our second segment, we'll cover the results of a financial retirement report showing nearly half of all retirees have to make big spending cuts after 5 years. Here's a reminder: when you're planning for retirement, your cash has to last you through ALL of retirement. During the Haven Life Line we'll take a voicemail from Jenny, who wants to know the differences between a value fund and a growth fund. How can you tell one from another, and which is better? Should a portfolio include both funds for diversification? Are there different uses for each fund? Does the amount of time until retirement matter for picking a fund type? In the spirit of Bill Perkins, we'll also save some time for Doug's gambling-themed trivia. Enjoy!
Jul 27, 2020
Is Chasing Early Retirement Naive? (plus an intro to the SB Money Club!)
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE! While we'll never disparage the basic goals of the #FIRE movement: becoming financially secure and having the option to retire early, we still have to ask the question, "Is fully subscribing to FIRE lifestyle naive?" Are we putting too much emphasis on the "Retire Early," and too little on "Financial Independence"? We ask our contributors: is it time to put the fire out? Our awesome roundtable team today includes: Don McDonald from the Talking Real Money podcast, Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast, and our very own OG. Plus, are you wondering how to teach your kids about money? Do you know someone (maybe YOU) that needs foundational knowledge about how finances work? After our FIRE discussion we'll take a break from the roundtable to introduce the new Stacking Benjamins Money Club! Aaron Velky from Ortus Academy is our head instructor at the Money Club, and he joins us to share how it all works. When we swing things back around to our roundtable, we'll break out the results of our question to the parents in our audience: how are you with finances and your children? Do you open the whole book to your kids? Do you give them basic financial advice? We'll see what the parents had to say PLUS hear a thing or two from our roundtable with their personal strategies.  
Jul 24, 2020
A Better Solution For Elder Care (with Anne Basting)
Are we focused on the wrong priorities when it comes to elder care? While physical care is important, should our healthcare focus change to put more consideration on the emotional needs of our elders? Today we welcome Anne Basting to learn about how her strategies have been changing the eldercare experience for both healthcare workers AND families. The results are amazing and the methods she recommends aren't only easy to implement, but they solve many issues in elder care as it's currently presented. Plus, looking for a safe place to save your money? During our headlines we'll share all the reasons why investors are mistakenly pulling their money out of American markets and placing it in the last place you'd probably imagine. In our second piece we'll dive into an article covering how Richard Branson moved past some of his failed businesses. During the Haven Life line we'll take a question from Adam, who is investing for his kid's college fund. The cash is currently in a target date fund, and Adam is looking for some advice on how he can pull the money out when it's time. OG gives some great advice here on how you can transition from an all-stock plan to a safe cash-fund all by the time the kids graduate high school. As always, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia.
Jul 22, 2020
10 Things To Consider For Retirement
Golfing, RV life, fishing, board games (of course), and a cushy portfolio... what else is there to retirement? It turns out: there's still a bunch! Not to worry though, today we're throwing our special guest out into the rain and instead delivering a feature-length discussion on every little thing you need to consider BEFORE retirement. Plus, what's going on with the national coin shortage we've been hearing about everywhere? And why are financial advisors reporting having a hard time selling software? During our headlines we'll cover how social distancing has caused a coin shortage across the country, and also exposed how advisors may be approaching their business with the wrong focus. Plus in our Haven Life Line, Mat's employer is stopping the 401k match. Mat is thinking about taking that money and moving it over to an IRA for more flexibility, do we have any thoughts on this? Turns out... Joe and OG have a few different ideas than Mat expected for his money.
Jul 20, 2020
Hiring an Advisor: Insider Secrets (plus an intro to SoLo Funds)
All that we hear about when we read financial pieces about hiring advisors is, "Ask about the fees," and "Hire a Fee Only Advisor." Sadly, the former and current advisor who operate this podcast know it isn't that easy. There are fee only advisors who are morons and a cheap fee means nothing if you find zero value in your "low fee" advice. So what SHOULD you ask? Today we gather together some of our favorite pros to ask them. What questions SHOULD people ask (but don't)? What should people look for in a good advisor? What are the things you should expect a good advisor to actually do for you? When is the right time to hire an advisor? We'll ask these and many more questions of Dana Anspach from Sensible Money, The Retirement Answer Man, Roger Whitney, and our very own OG. But that's not all. We're excited to hear today about one of the hottest companies in FinTech, SoLo Funds. Travis Holoway joins us on today's show to talk about lending made easy for people who traditionally struggle to find funding to make ends meet. Whether you're a lender or borrower, you'll want to hear about this company. Of course, we'll save time for the MagnifyMoney question AND ask our team of experts to weigh in on our weekly trivia question. That AND more on today's show! Enjoy!
Jul 17, 2020
How To Become a Mindful Millionaire (with Leisa Peterson)
What's worse than having a bunch of money? Having bunches of money and not knowing why you have it, or what joy it would bring...if any. So if you have no plan, what's waiting at the end of the rat race? Can there be more to riches than a bulky 401k, a big house, and of course... stuff? Today we'll invite a woman who is a Mindful Millionaire, Leisa Peterson. We'll discuss why for many the conventional path to wealth is an empty journey and how to set yourself on a much more fruitful financial journey. How's your 401k doing? Good news: not many people made trades in their workplace accounts in the second quarter (after a record-setting first quarter of moves). The bad news? The moves that people DID make were generally not what you'd hope for, if you're looking for good long term results. Plus, the US House of Representatives is trying to block the Securities and Exchange Commission from allowing hedge funds in your 401k plan. What does that mean? Are we for that or against? OG and Joe will have a nice discussion about it...or maybe even a little disagreement on the subject. Of course, that's not all. We'll give Doug enough time to share some amazing trivia AND we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to Rich, even though he's from Ohio. 
Jul 15, 2020
Innovation, Community, Money and Fear (with Matt Ridley)
What are the secrets behind great innovation? Whether in your work life - like creating a system to streamline mornings at the office - or your personal life, innovation has affected everything around you. But where do great ideas come from? Beyond simply coming up with new ideas, does innovation takes a willful, focused effort to succeed? What exactly are the steps needed to create the perfect environment for innovation? Sharing his secrets today on how to create a better (and more lucrative) future is TED speaker, commentator, and author of The Rational Optimist and The Evolution of Everything, Matt Ridley. In his newest book, How Innovation works, Matt shares how the history of innovation has shaped the world, covers many of the circumstances that made innovation possible, and outlines some pretty good guesses on what's coming to our world in the future. Plus, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has been making the rounds in the headlines for encouraging investors to "buy, buy, buy!" Dave claims making money in the market is beyond easy. To see if he agrees, we'll ring up Brian Barnes, the CEO of M1 Finance. While we have Brian on the line, we'll also ask about him the current day-trading mania, and if "winning" is really as easy as people online try to make it seem. In our other headline of the day, why are Vanguard and State Street holding out on the newest ETF craze to hit the market? Should everyday investors be just as wary? During our discussion on the new financial product known as ANTs (active nontransparent ETFs), we'll touch on the true issue behind the active vs. passive debate, the usefulness of having a technological, research-driven, approach to investing, AND the golden question: can you really outperform the market? We'll round out the show with a... I hesitate to use the term "question" here. (You'll see what I mean when you get there.) During the Haven Life Line Adam does asks us: why do people keep making the same financial mistakes over and over again when there's over a century of market data? Adam covers a bunch of great points that we mostly agree with, but we do get to hear one of OG's evolving theories. While I also hesitate to endorse Doug's segment today for personal reasons, we also give him some airtime for his donut-themed trivia. 
Jul 13, 2020
What Lessons Would You Teach a Younger You? (plus health tips with Angelo Poli)
Save more than you spend, don't take on a mountain of debt, live below your means... they're all phrases that the financially-savvy among us might take for granted, but let's be honest. Most of us didn't start out that way. Today we ask our contributors: what are some money lessons you had to learn the hard way? On today's show we'll hear some sage advice from Jen Smith (from the Frugal Friends podcast), Doc G (from the Earn & Invest podcast), and Len Penzo... of A special thanks to David Bakke from for reading today's featured piece. After our discussion on life lessons, we'll ring up Angelo Poli from the health and fitness gurus at Metpro. Even though COVID may be keeping you from your local gym, Angelo will share some great financially-minded tips on how you can still maintain your health at home without breaking the budget. PLUS, we're answering some questions listeners left for Angelo in the Stacking Benjamins Facebook group. By the way, if YOU want to be involved next time, you can join us here: The Basement Later, our contributors will weigh in on our Twitter poll: for people who were formerly bad with money, what inspired you to change? Just like in our title segment, you'll find that some super-savers have always had a special affection for finances, but others (talking about me here), have come to terms with their bad habits a little differently. As always, we'll save some time for Doug's Friday Gameshow. Hope you enjoy it as much as we had fun making it!
Jul 10, 2020
Planet Money Co-Creator Adam Davidson: The Passion Economy
Is your job going bye-bye? Today's guest says, "Probably." But how do you succeed in an economy that seems structured against you? On today's show, we're excited to have a deep conversation with the co-founder of NPR's Planet Money and the creator of the new Passion Economy podcast, Adam Davidson. We'll touch on what the future of technology means for you, for the economy, and how our current economic situation is "more of the same" or "different" than the country's last two big downturns... and how you can STILL do what you love in an economy that's constantly changing. Plus, why in the world are people investing in bankruptcies? Is the Hertz stock fiasco ringing a bell? During our headlines we'll explain how the concept behind "knowing just enough to hurt yourself" caused amateur investors to lose their Benjamins. Later we'll throw out the Haven Life Line to Dave, who has been laid off this year. Dave and his spouse were previously unable to contribute to a Roth, but they're now eligible. Dave is thinking they should convert their traditional IRA over to a Roth and he wants to know our thoughts. 
Jul 08, 2020
Was George Washington an Entrepreneur? (with John Berlau)
As we round the 4th of July holiday, we've all celebrated George Washington as the first President of the United States, the general who lead the Continental Army against the British, and the second or third most popular character in the Broadway play "Hamilton." However, did you ever think of George Washington as an entrepreneur? Economist John Berlau has thought about that AND how Washington's entrepreneurship aspirations molded both his vision as a future leader, and our country. Today he's with us to share stories from Washington's life, including how he became an entrepreneur, and some of his most prominent contributions to our country. If you're a history fan, entrepreneur, or just someone who wants to learn how the best-and-brightest made their way, today's show is for you. Of course, that's not all. We'll discuss the recent issues with the economy and your 401(k) plan. It turns out that you can still become a 401(k) millionaire. There's no need to get overly creative with your financial plan. That'll be good news for most of us. Plus, we'll talk estate planning. When someone chooses you to manage their affairs when they pass away, what should you do? For some of you we'll preview our best tips, and for everyone else, we'll share what you should think about when choosing an executor or contingent trustee. Don't know those terms? We'll even share what that means on today's show for no charge! Of course, we also save time for Doug's fireworks, including his trivia AND incredible wit. It's a kick-butt first show back for the SB team, and we're glad you're hanging out with us. Check out the show notes for ALL of the links in today's show!
Jul 06, 2020
Do You Need A Stock Market Exit Plan? (SB RWD 110)
Should you have an exit strategy for the stock market? In this rewind episode Paula Pant and Len Penzo go head-to-head with their own personal strategies. Also, during the Fintech segment we interviewed Kyle Robertson, co-creator of the now discontinued Lemon app. While you won't be getting your hands on Lemon, our discussion still serves as a great introduction to taking charge of your finances with the help of financial tools. You can read the original show notes below: It’s WAR in the basement today, as Len Penzo ( and Paula Pant (AffordAnything) square off about exit strategies. Should you think about selling if the market tanks but you haven’t yet reached your goal? We’ll talk about that for a LONG part of today’s super-sized show….but that’s not all. We also have other topics and the usual hilarity. At the halfway point, in the FinTech spotlight we talk to Kyle Robertson, the co-creator of the Lemon app (, about how his expense and money tracking app works. Not only does it show you how you’re spending money, but it’ll provide helpful data and tips so you can manage your money better in the future. Thanks to MagnifyMoney for sponsoring our podcast!
Jul 03, 2020
Top 5 Retirement Planning Myths with Emily Guy Birken (SB RWD 109)
There have been plenty of retirement headlines shared online lately. While many of these articles share some great grounding advice, we've also seen a fair share of "scare" headlines as well. With that in mind we hand-picked today's rewind episode to dispel retirement fears you may have picked up the last couple of months. You can read our original show notes below: Retirement planning is all about starting early and planning well, which is why we’re excited author Emily Guy Birken (Choose Your Retirement) joins us in the basement to share her top 5 retirement myths. That’s not all we do on this show, though. OG & Joe share headlines about “smart beta” and the ROI of a college education. We take your letters about life insurance and improving your credit score….and much more.
Jul 01, 2020
Better Decision-Making When You Don’t Have All The Facts with Annie Duke (SB RWD 108)
Rewind Week! Throughout the week we'll replay some of our favorite shows from the past. We're kicking Monday off with an interview we've had plenty of compliments on. Newer listeners will appreciate this one, and older listeners will find Annie Duke's interview refreshingly timely. Our original show notes are below. Do you think you make the best decisions under most circumstances? Today’s guest will tell you that if you don’t have all of the information, the more adamant you are about your point of view, the easier you are to “beat.” Annie Duke was a professional poker player for 20 years, winning many top tier professional tournaments and taking on the best decision makers alive. Equally as important, she brings her academic career in cognitive psychology to bear on decision making that can help you with everything from your investments to your career and more. In our headlines segment, parents are spending TONS of money on their children’s extracurricular activities. Beyond avoiding vacations or planning vacations around some of our people, some parents are stopping contributions to their retirement and not putting money in college funds…just for extracurriculars. We’ll talk about what harm this does (and maybe have some surprising points of view) on today’s show. Plus, it looks like 5% interest rates on mortgages may be right around the corner. Currently, the average interest rate stands at 4.5%. What would a 5% rate do to the financial markets and to your debt load? A recent piece discusses all the different ways we’d be affected overall by higher and higher rates. We’ll of course have more from the world of financial planning, throw out the Haven Life line to lucky listener Ethan, who wonders about market cap weightings for indexes. Why do people invest in indexes that are weighted heavily toward the biggest components? We also answer a letter from John, who asks about our favorite financial books. What are they? You’ll have to listen to find out! Of course, we’ll still score with some of Doug’s delightful trivia, and more.
Jun 29, 2020
Trick Yourself To Save Money (plus the Evil HR Lady Takes on Coronavirus)
Wonder how your super-saver friends make pocketing Benjamins look so easy? Well, we come bearing good news because your questions are all going to be answered on today's show. MOST great savers trick themselves into saving more money and we'll dive into exactly how and what they do so that you can replicate all of their tricks. Spoiler: it's MUCH easier than you think. Michelle Jackson from the Michelle Is Money Hungry podcast will join Doc G from Earn & Invest podcast and Len Penzo from for today's exciting discussion AND Jennifer Mah from Choose FI will read today's piece we outline. Plus, remember hearing about those hairdressers that had Coronavirus? During today's not-so Fintech segment, we'll talk to the Evil HR Lady Suzanne Lucas on what that means for your job. We'll round out the show by answering a voicemail about rebalancing. While Jeff had asked if there are fees or taxes associated with rebalancing, we aren't stopping our roundtable there. During the Magnify Money segment our contributors will share their own rebalancing process. How frequently should an investor rebalance their portfolio? What should people keep in mind? Of course we'll also save time for some of Doug's amazing trivia and much, much more. Enjoy!
Jun 26, 2020
How To Steer Clear of the Wrong Insurance
When does buying insurance cross the line from being smart to throwing away your hard earned cash? There are the regular choices of course: car, home, life, medical, and dental insurance. But what about all the other types of coverage out there? Between rental insurance, phone, electronics, various types of worker's insurance, travel insurance (and more!), a person could easily break the budget by trying to keep 100% of their life covered. Today we'll make sure you know what type of insurance is available to you, which kinds you should buy... and of course, the types of coverage that you should probably run away from. Plus, we'll share a story of an investor who discovered a huge negative balance on his Robinhood account. We'll share the series of investing choices that lead to a tragic outcome, and the problems behind investing as sport by people who don't know many of the basics. Debt can be extremely stressful, but it is not worth your life. Help is available. You can speak with a counselor today at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - (1-800-273-8255) or find more help at We'll also carve out some time in the middle of the show for Doug's family-themed trivia. 
Jun 24, 2020
Re-Stacking Your Benjamins: Saving, Spending and Investing in Uncertain Times
In these strange times, with so much uncertainty, how do you manage your money effectively? Today we'll ask some of our favorite experts about what you should be focused on, how to pay down debt, what to do with your retirement money, and how to manage your investments. Last week we hosted a LIVE YouTube two hour event featuring some of the top names in personal finance. We were joined today by representatives from Fidelity (Ken Hevert), TIAA (Shelly Eweka), T.Rowe Price (Josh Deitch), and Morningstar (Christine Benz). Plus, Bobbi Rebell from Money With Friends podcast and Doc G. from Earn & Invest pitch in to help us ask as many questions as possible so you can be better with your Benjamins. Because this is the audio from a YouTube recording, the audio stream will be a little different, but there's still lots of great tips here for you to enjoy.
Jun 22, 2020
When is Debt REALLY "Bad"? (plus an intro to Nestegg)
You've probably heard the age-old arguments. Old dude on the radio says "all debt is bad." Your savvy neighbor says that there's "good debt" and "bad debt." You watch relatives YOLO with credit cards. Where's the line, REALLY? Today we'll ask three people who are good with money: contributors Paula Pant from the Afford Anything podcast and Len Penzo from are joined by great saver AND blogger Lance Cothern from the Money Manifesto blog. We'll dive into the good, bad and ugly of debt. BUT that's not all. On today's Friday Fintech segment we'll learn about a new company called Nestegg helping small landlords compete with the big kids. How does it work? We'll all find out together. Of course, we'll still have our trivia challenge, answer a call for help, and more! Enjoy!
Jun 19, 2020
What's Your Best Lottery Option? (plus your best pension option, annuity settlement, and more...) with Brent Henningson
After winning the lottery, would you go for a straight-out check OR the lifetime income stream? While people will decide which is their BEST choice pretty quickly, do you have the right information to make that choice? Today we sit down with the CEO of Saber Pension and Actuarial Services, Brent Henningson to talk not just lottery, but maybe also pensions, annuities, and life settlements. Wait a minute? Is the annuity thing just a smokescreen so we'd pay attention to something that's important but maybe not that interesting? Maybe so, but however we get you to the table, these are decisions with thousands of dollars on the table and you can't afford to make the wrong choice. Plus, is day trading easier than being a long term investor? We'll have some fun diving into why the Barstool Sports founder claims he is a better investor than Warren Buffet, and that day trading is "the easiest" game there is. David Portnoy is ALWAYS good for a quote or two. In the second half of our headlines segment, we'll share one list explaining why the RV life might not be the golden dream people are expecting. Even in retirement... informed planning is half the battle. During our Haven Life Line will answer a call from military dentist Joe (not our Joe, of course), who will be separating from service next year to pursue specialty training. While he's going through classes his only planned income will come from the GI bill. Joe's two questions are, one: can he still contribute to his IRA during his education with no taxable income? If not, would working a few days a month make him eligible? Two: he is currently maxing his Roth TSP account. Should he drop his contribution amount to get more liquidity before leaving service? As always, we're saving some time for Doug's trivia. 
Jun 17, 2020
How To Donate Better--No Matter How Much (with Kris Putnam-Walkerly)
Want to change the world with your donations, but feel powerless? Are you unsure of the best WAY to donate money or time to an organization? Have you ever been burned by the ineffective use of the money you've loaned or gifted? Today we'll talk to someone who knows how to help you become the philanthropist you've always wanted to be. Not only will Kris Putnam-Walkerly share how to find great organizations and evaluate them, she'll also give us tips on using tools like donor-advised funds to make a larger impact (and maybe score some tax relief!). Don't worry if you like your news a bit on the harder-edged side - today's show has something for everyone: We'll ask how does an investor go from almost netting one million dollars to broke in two weeks? During our headlines, we'll look at how some investors got in over their heads in an attempt to earn huge returns... until the money train came to a screeching halt. In our second piece, we'll ask whether air travelers should expect airlines to raise fees to keep the middle seat open during the pandemic. Plus, where are the financial resources for people who DON'T want kids? During the Haven Life Line we'll answer a question from Maddie, who has become more interested in saving and planning for retirement. A lot of resources she's found so far have a focus on planning for the expense of children down the road. Maddie asks: what resources can she find for people in her situation? 
Jun 15, 2020
How to FINALLY Solve Your Overspending Problem (plus MetPro's Angelo Poli answers your health questions)
Maybe you've heard of the term "anchoring" when it comes to sales. Most likely you heard it when a fast-talking salesman threw out a couple of high figures for a fancy car just outside of your budget. (But hey! That's okay, we have some more affordable models right over here... and look, you're five dollars under your limit!) But, is it possible to use the power of anchoring to actually help you reach financial goals? In our featured piece today, which is both written AND read on-air by Emily Guy Birken, we'll dive into how you can use the power of anchoring to cut your expenses, save more money, and find financial independence more quickly. Helping us dig into the topic is none other than the co-host of the BiggerPockets Money podcast (and Bigger Pockets CEO), Scott Trench. Of course, we'll also have help from Paula Pant of Afford Anything, and our very own OG. After we're done with our anchoring discussion we'll give our roundtable a little break while Joe rings up Angelo Poli from MetPro. Did being stuck inside for months on end cause you to pack on a Covid-19 pounds? Angelo will share some great strategies to get your lifestyle back on track. We mixed things up on our Magnify Money segment this week so we could give Scott Trench a little fun. With some inspiration from a Reddit Real Estate post, we asked this question to the roundtable: What are your real estate buying/selling horror stories? Of course, we're also carving out some time for Doug's trivia. 
Jun 12, 2020
25 Ways to Fix Your 401k
Do you feel just a little bit lost managing your retirement funds? Don't feel like your alone. A recent study shows that MOST Americans have no clue how to pick investments in their 401k, and worse yet, even more people feel like they're investing poorly for their retirement! If you want to fix your 401k plan (that thing you save into for retirement...), we're coming to the rescue. Today we'll discuss the good, the bad, and the stop doing this before you ruin your retirement. There are MANY ways to make your 401k grow faster, but today we'll discuss how to pick better investments, save more money, stop making trading mistakes, picking better funds, and more. Later in the show we'll throw out the Haven Life line to caller AJ, who wants our thoughts on buying a property at a discount to be used as an Airbnb. With the rest of AJ's bills paid, and the 401k and other retirement accounts fully funded, AJ and her husband have put in a $460,000 offer for a $540,000 house. So, is it a good time to make this investment? As always, we'll carve out some time for Doug's trivia. 
Jun 10, 2020
Stop Leaving Thousands on the Real Estate Table (with Tracy McLaughlin)
Your boss offers you a several thousand dollar raise, do you turn it down? Probably not! Yet, one of California's top real estate agents says that home buyers and sellers both regularly leave thousands of dollars off the table. That's why today we're talking about better real estate transactions with Marin County, California's top real estate pro, Tracy McLaughlin. She'll share strategies from her new book, Real Estate Rescue, for staging, updating, and pricing a house so that it sells both for more money and more quickly. We're also diving into why financial advisors are losing faith in planning software tools. With plenty of highly-rated software on the market, should you be worried that your advisor is disregarding fintech? We'll jump into the "why" during our headlines AND cover why so many Americans had to dip into their retirement funds during the pandemic. Plus, could refinancing your home loan actually end up costing you more in the long run? During our Haven Life Line we'll answer a question from Niranjan, who heard on the show that because of the way amortization tables are structured, it might not always be a good idea to refinance a mortgage. He asks us to explain this a bit more in detail, and of course, Joe and OG oblige. During the segment, we'll explain financing, interest rates, amortization tables, and more. We'll also carve out some time for some of Doug (who seems to be acting a little suspicious today... more on that later) and his trivia.
Jun 08, 2020
Your Friends Suck At Money? Here's What To Do.
Have you had trouble getting the people around you to understand the importance of saving, investing, and planning? Maybe you're having trouble connecting with people on their level or it's difficult to have a meaningful, lasting conversation? Worse yet, and on a much wider scope...maybe you don't understand current events and why things are happening. Today we dive into a piece from the Harvard Business Review that suggests there's a key piece that could be missing in your relationships: curiosity. Our roundtable will help us figure out the why behind your questions about what others are doing...and includes our friend from the financial blog Tread Lightly, Retire Early, Angela Rozmyn; Len Penzo from the blog, and our very own OG. After our awesome (if we don't say so ourselves...) empathy discussion, we'll give our roundtable a break while we chat with the founder of a new money-tracking solution. Between breaking your spending down into searchable categories, automatic bill and subscription detection, and budget capabilities, the Copilot app has a lot going for it. We'll chat with founder Andres Ugarte during our Friday Fintech segment to get the inside scoop. Plus, do you remember the first time you had to buy home essentials on your own? ("What??? Bacon cost THAT much!?") During our MagnifyMoney segment, we'll dive into some of the responses to our Twitter poll: What’s something you didn’t realize how expensive it was until you had to start buying it yourself? Here's one from the home team: shredded cheese (more than I thought it would cost anyway), cleaning supplies, and of course... going out to eat multiple times a week. KA-CHING! 
Jun 05, 2020
Our Best Advice For New Savers and Graduates (Your Letters)
Are you just beginning your journey toward investing or know someone graduating from high school or college? On today's show we'll field a letter from Jonathan with some help from our friend Christine Benz at Morningstar. What things should graduates and new savers think about first? Where do they make mistakes? What resources and books are great reads? We'll tackle all of those questions during today's episode answering your questions! We'll also tackle a question about target-date funds. Why do most target date funds stink? We'll explain. Also - have you thrown away your stimulus money accidentally? If it hasn't come yet, there's a good chance you have. We'll explain why there's been such a mix up on today's show. We'll also wonder aloud about the news last week out of Silicon Valley. Has COVID-19 created a new normal for workers which includes working from anywhere? Twitter says "Yes," and Facebook says...."Maybe." We'll explain. 
Jun 03, 2020
How To Make Your Own Luck (with Gay Hendricks)
Can you actually manufacture "luck"? Have you been hoping for your fortune to change? Do you feel like you've failed often lately? What if we told you that you COULD change your luck? , Today we tackle the recipe on luck with the man who actually co-wrote the book on the topic, Gay Hendricks. Between setting yourself up for success and being ready when opportunity comes knocking, Gay Hendrick has a wealth of information on how you can begin to operate your life, investments, savings, and budget with the power of the world on your side. Plus, has the current situation left you scrambling to pay rent? Or maybe you're a landlord still waiting on checks from struggling tenants? During our headlines we'll ring up rental real estate expert Justin Pogue for some advice on what you should do if you're stuck in a bad situation either way during these difficult times. In our second piece we'll cover some secondary effects of the troubled economy: teenagers across the country are finding out their usual summer jobs won't be waiting for them this year. Later, we'll answer the question: does the law of supply and demand mean that stock prices are currently artificially inflated? Caller Jay left a voicemail on the Haven Life Line and notes that the number of publicly traded companies have halved since 1996. Wouldn't supply and demand dictate that these companies stock prices go up (more demand, fewer shares), regardless of their performance? It's another fun show with much, much more. Enjoy!
Jun 01, 2020
Is Goal Setting Overrated?
Has goal setting helped your quality-of-life? Today we review a recent blog post where the author decides that goals have possibly ruined much of his life. Today our round table contributors will dive into this post from blogger Alex West, and talk about measurement of goals, a horizon that always seems to be unreachable, the randomness of progress, and more. After our discussion on goals (or the lack thereof), we'll shift gears to speak with Pam Andrews from The Scholarship Shark. How can you help someone not only get into the school of their dreams but help them get it paid for with scholarships? We'll discuss the problems students face, the important aspects to think about when targetting scholarships AND we're also thrilled to announce our brand-spanking-new partnership with Pam. Looking for more after our discussion? You can find out more at: We'll round out our show with sharing the results of a timely and special poll. A few weeks ago we asked our friends on social media what their best "investment" has been so far during this unprecedented quarantine. During today's Magnify Money question we'll ask our contributors to answer this same question and we'll also share some of the answers Twitter shared with us. One last thing... we'll always save some time for Doug's trivia.
May 29, 2020
Are Stocks Headed Back Down? (with Phil Town)
We all wonder...this big stock market run-up lately...can it continue? Who should you listen to? What should you believe? Today we ring up a man WE believe, Phil Town, author of New York Times bestseller Rule #1, to provide some clarity. We'll ask him about the economy, the market, his strategy, and what he feels is the wrong way to invest in this climate. If you're ready for some straight talk from one of the best investment teachers, you'll enjoy today's discussion. Plus, are you in the market to purchase a home? Joe and OG roll out 12 great housing markets for first-time buyers. We’ll round out our headline with our second piece on credit cards: why are issuers now giving out lower holder limits, (and does it really matter to you anyway)? Later, we'll answer a question posted in our Stacking Benjamins Facebook group: Jason asks, what can he do to fix his father's retirement plan? His father is 60 and plans to work until he is forced to retire. At that point he plans to move in with Jason. With there being at least a decade of prep time remaining, Jason pleads asks us: what can he do in preparation?
May 27, 2020
They Paid Off Their Mortgage in FOUR Years (with Andy Hill)
How would you like to pay off your mortgage in four years? Heck, many of us would love to pay off a mortgage in 29 years! Four years sounds like the stuff of dreams and make-believe, right? We might not have believed it ourselves if we didn't sit across from him in the basement and listen to his story. Today we're proud to bring you Andy Hill, host of the Marriage, Kids and Money podcast, and long-time friend of all of us in the basement. You may have heard Andy before on the show, but today he's agreed to share his amazing story on the podcast. We hope you can walk away from this one with some new inspiration and focus on your own financial walk. What kinds of important items have people been spending their stimulus checks on? Well....while many Americans spent their checks on necessities, companies are also reporting some surprising not-so-great results. We'll dive into what people have been spending their cash on, AND save some time to cover why 70% of workers can't save for retirement. Later in the show, we'll throw out the Haven Life Line to one Dad-To-Be expecting a son in November. Eric and his wife know they can open up a 529 plan for their son, but wonder about other accounts. They both live outside of the U.S., but Eric still makes money from a Colorado-based company. Can he open up a brokerage account for his son? Plus, Doug will test your nerd-mettle during today's trivia segment with a thundering round of back-to-back fantasy and sci-fi questions. See if you can guess them all!
May 25, 2020
68 Pieces of Unsolicited Advice (plus an intro to BusyKid)
Don't talk to strangers. Make your savings automatic. Don't buy so many lattes. How many pieces of unsolicited advice have helped you become a better version of yourself? Today our contributors are helping us walk through a recent blog post that delivered exactly 68 pieces of advice to help you live a better life financially AND mentally. Helping us with today's show are our near-and-dear contributors: Elle Martinez (of Couple Money), Len Penzo of, and our very own OG. Halfway through the show we'll take a break from the unsolicited advice (that you should totally listen to by the way), and we'll learn some strategies on keeping your children engaged and responsible while everyone is stuck at home. During our Fintech segment, Gregg Murset of BusyKid will also share how his app can help your family learn better habits, and put their allowance to good use by teaching them to save, give, and be a part of a community. Ever hear the phrase, "just because you can, doesn't mean you should"? A few weeks ago we asked our friends on Twitter to give us their best answer... but with finances in mind. During our Magnify Money segment we'll share our favorite replies, and our contributors will even share a few of their own answers. One last note: Remember the story in the news recently about the elderly man who ejected himself from the French fighter jet? We won't give away too much, but Doug has some heart-pounding trivia for you on today's show. Today's podcast is another high flier! Enjoy!
May 22, 2020
A Geeky Chef's Guide To Memorial Day (with Cassandra Reeder)
Who wants to waste money cooking up food on a holiday weekend that doesn't taste good? Not us. That's why, if you are like the rest of us, hanging out at home or with only a small gathering of's the PERFECT year to make a little geeky fun and stretch that holiday-spending dollar. Today we'll help you create some recipes from your favorite shows, movies, and fantasy worlds with the host of the hit blog (and now book!) The Geeky Chef....Cassandra Reeder. She'll share some awesome recipes so you can create great Memorial Day fun... even if you don't have backyard space or a grill. Plus, what's the deal with the renewed interest in gold since the market started shaking? We'll ask State Street Global Advisors' Chief Gold Strategist, George Milling-Stanley, about the role gold should play in your investment strategy. We'll also cover the new rule changes to your FSA and HSA funds... it just became a little easier to buy certain necessities at stores. Finally, we'll wrap up the show with a timely question from Georgiy, who thinks he's heard Joe make some comments about gold. He asks: is it true that gold is 6 times more volatile than the market? If so, could we point him to some sources saying so? Of course, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. It'll be fun, as usual, here in the basement!
May 20, 2020
Riding the Money-Saving Roller Coaster: Literally (with Robert Niles)
It's time for summer fun and theme parks are all closed! Will they open in time for there to be a season? Will there be any virtual fun coming from these entertainment companies? If we choose to head to a theme park, how are they keeping us safe and will there be discounts? Welcome to our annual theme-park guide episode! Today we'll ask all of these questions and more of Robert Niles (of Theme Park Insider), to find out how parks are coping during state shutdowns. We hope to ALL be surprised with good news during today's discussion. Here's a question: how did one unfortunate man find himself 9 million dollars in debt by the end of one trading day? We'll tackle that during our headlines segment. Plus, scams will be on the rise with so many people applying for unemployment and expecting relief checks. How should you protect yourself from becoming a victim? ...and during our Haven Life Line we'll take a question from Lisa, who is opening up a new HSA account. This being her second account, Lisa wonders if she can combine the two HSAs into one. Can she do that?
May 18, 2020
Shifting Your Life and Money into "Drive" (plus an intro to Blueprint Income's AARP Annuity Hub)
Ever feel stuck? Here's a question: How do you stop thinking about doing something important in your life/career/money and actually get started with the hard tasks? This week our roundtable regulars share how they motivate themselves to press "go" more quickly each time, and how to keep pressing "go" more often. We'll talk about fighting fear, making decisions, and working your plan on today's show. After our group is done sharing how they motivate themselves to NOT click the "still watching" option on Netflix, Joe will ring up Lauren Minches from Blueprint Income. They've recently partnered with AARP on a new annuity hub. First, we'll dispel some common annuity myths and also talk about why some annuities get a bad rap (spoiler: it's sometimes deserved). Then we'll discuss how different annuities work. If you're new to lifetime income options, Lauren will walk us through it together on today's show. We'll round out our Friday with a Magnify Money question from caller Jordan, who has spent a lot of time as a DIY investor. Now that Jordan is planning on possibly bringing on an advisor, he asks us: what are our thoughts on drawing on an investment policy statement? Is there anything Jordan should know?
May 15, 2020
Your Dream Job Toolkit (with Kevin Kiley)
If you’re either one of the millions of unemployed Americans (heck, or in the WORLD), or you’re stuck in a job you don’t really want, now is a great time to look for better work. Companies are poised to begin rehiring and you’re in the hunt of your life. How do you score that dream position? Career coach Kevin Kiley would say it’s by taking advantage of the tools you have and by using your brain to tilt the odds in your favor. We’ll discuss how to set yourself up for a great job, how to work the interview AND how to network like a pro. We’ll also tackle what NOT to do during the interview process. Kevin’s seen it all, and today he’ll share stories of the good, bad and ugly, so that you’re better prepared.  Will the US economy have to fundamentally change after we recover from this economic meltdown? We’ll share one popular media piece that says the answer is “probably, yes.” One billionaire investor says that one way or another taxes will have to go up. But don’t worry...we also have an opinion about that piece AND others like it (of course). We’ll share our thoughts about that topic during our headline segment AND also detail the story about one investment firm that is paying BIG to correct an index fund rebalancing gone wrong. Oops. How does that happen? We’ll nerd out with you while we share the funny/horrible story. Of course, that’s not all. We’ll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener AND Doug will share some of his Top Gun themed trivia. It’s Top Gun day in the basement, and Doug’s feels the need….the need for speed! Enjoy!
May 13, 2020
Live and Thrive Like a Drug Addict (with Michael Brody-Waite)
While the first person to tell you that nothing good happens while you're using drugs will be today's guest Michael Brody-Waite, he WILL insist that the skills he learned in recovery are the same skills we all need for success with life and money. He should know. As a man who's walked the journey from drug addict to CEO and success coach, Michael funnels his darkest experiences into powerful lessons he'll share with you. Today, Michael will teach you how to rebalance your priorities, reclaim your energy, and thrive in both work and life. A new bond has arrived! The Treasury last week announced a 20-year note to help offset the massive spending lately in Washington. We'll discuss how that works and may impact your wallet in our headlines segment. Also, we'll cover the results of a recent Morningstar study that shows why it is more important than you might thank to have a thorough financial plan and an (emotional) support network in place. It turns out that it's easy to stay the financial course when everything is going right. The problem is when panic starts to set in, not pressing that big, red "sell everything" button. Today we'll throw out the Haven Life line to a caller a not-quite-usual question about loan repayment. Due to COVID-19 reasons, Vanessa was laid off from work. However, she was building up her savings beforehand. Vanessa also receives unemployment and severance pay. She wonders, "Should I use savings to pay off student loans? Or, would it be better to keep making minimum payments and keep her cash buffer?" Of course, Joe and OG have an opinion. One last thing: Happy Twilight Zone Day! Doug has a special treat in store for you in celebration. Enjoy!
May 11, 2020
Lessons From a Real Estate Rookie (with Felipe Mejia)
The host of the new Real Estate Rookie podcast, Felipe Mejia, joins Paula Pant (Afford Anything) and Len Penzo (Len Penzo dot com) to talk about real estate for newbies. A recent blog post at Coach Carson dot com discusses the writer's relationship with a mentor, and the most valuable real estate lessons he learned. Whether you're interested in real estate or just good lessons about life (and boy, are there many packed into this episode), we've got you covered. Plus, we'll also talk to the Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas, about Zoom call etiquette. Many of us have to do calls from home now, but haven't figured out exactly what's acceptable and what isn't. Suzanne will dive into the details of cleaning up your conference call manners. Of course, Doug will share some trivia for our regular Friday contest AND we'll answer a question from a listener about life post-coronavirus. Should you keep more money in cash?
May 08, 2020
Making Being Underestimated Your Superpower (with Arlan Hamilton)
Have you ever thought about what it takes to break into life? Maybe, like us back in the day, you've thought, "How do I come close to this dream of getting to financial security?" Forget financial security...what about just making ends meet? Today we'll interview a woman who's been through everything life could throw at a woman and she STILL came out we're giving you an amazing interview with Arlan Hamilton on what it took for her to break into not only life, but also the venture capital world in Silicon Valley. Why isn't Warren Buffett overly concerned about the stock market fluctuations happening currently? We'll cover Buffett's investing approach that enables him approach the market with an outlook that many investors don't have. Plus, we'll take a look at why low volume ETFs are good performers... until they weren't. During our Haven Life Line, we'll take a question from Peter, who wants to know more about using offset loans. Peter is having trouble getting a HELOC, and thinks that using an offset loan could be a good avenue for getting the funds to purchase more cash-flowing properties. Peter asks, is he wrong for wanting to do this? We'll also make some time for Doug's Nurse Appreciation themed trivia.
May 06, 2020
The Soulful Art of Persuasion (with Jason Harris)
When you think of a discussion, negotiation, or collaboration you don't usually think "soulful." That's where most of us differ from advertising mogul Jason Harris. Today we'll talk a bout putting more of your own soul into your work and relationships so that you make fewer financial mistakes (and career mistakes) AND build toward your dreams faster. New unemployment data hit last week and in our headlines segment we'll talk about how to weather the storm if you're not sure about your job or you've already lost yours. We'll also turn our spotlight on non-COVID related charities and discuss how they're faring (spoiler alert: not well). During the Haven Life Line we'll tackle a question about surprise student loan debt, and during Doug's trivia...well, you'll just have to hear it to believe it. May the 4th be with you!
May 04, 2020
8 Smart Things To Do With $1,000 Right Now (SB RWD 107)
We're finishing this week off with a timely rewind episode handpicked by the Fintern: eight smart things to do with $1,000 right now.  You can check out our original show notes below: What should you do with a small windfall? Today we ask, if you had $1,000, how should you best use it? We have an article that gives us eight great options, but we ask our panel which of those is best...and why? THAT alone gets rolling a fanstastic discussion between OG, Len Penzo, and special guest from the Money Nerds podcast, Whitney Hansen. We'll also turn our eye on FinTech. We talk to FinTech company founders most weeks on this show, but from the near-outside looking in, where's the ball headed? Rory Holland from CSTMR has a front row seat at the FinTech party, and answers the questions...what's the problem, how's it being solved, and what's next for FinTech? You'll see LOTS of possible directions for FinTech (and...psst....your money) after you hear this interview. We also answer Carolyn's three-oh call for help to the Blooom hotline. Her 21 year old son is graduating from college and she's concerned about claiming him. Can she claim him as a dependent still? On top of that, we'll also answer a letter from another listener, share Doug's trivia, and more. Thanks to for sponsoring Stacking Benjamins as well. saves users on average $450 when they compare, ditch, switch and save on credit cards, student loan refinancing, checking, savings and more. Check out for your savings.
May 01, 2020
Freelance Your Way To Freedom with Vincent Pugliese (SB RWD 106)
Welcome to our Wednesday rewind show! With so much job uncertainty going around right now, the Fintern decided now would be a good time to revisit a great interview we had with freelance extraordinaire Vincent Pugliese. Vincent took himself from a mountain of debt to a successful freelance business, and shared with us his stories, lessons, and experiences he learned along the way. You can read the original show notes below: He had $140,000 in debt, a crappy paying job, and a baby on the way. What would Vincent Pugliese do? We ask the award-winning photographer that very question on today's show. He's photographed four Presidents and every major sport's national championship in the USA, but his debt story will have you shaking your head today. Plus, in our headlines segment, health savings accounts are all the rage, but what's going on with all of this money sitting in cash? We'll address that AND talk about new tax law spurring 401k contributions. We'll of course have more from the world of financial planning, throw out the Haven Life line to lucky listener Chris, who wonders, "Should a 20 year old hire a financial advisor?" Of course, we'll still score with some of Doug's delightful trivia, and more. Thanks toThanks to TurboTax Live for supporting Stacking Benjamins. Get a personal review of your tax return with a CPA or EA backed with a one-hundred percent Accuracy Guarantee. Connect with a TurboTax Live expert at Thanks also to for sponsoring today's show. Compare, ditch, switch and save on consolidation loans, credit cards, student loans, auto loans and more at  
Apr 29, 2020
Stop Fighting About Money with Elle Martinez (SB RWD 105)
Communicating with your partner about money can be difficult in the best of situations, let alone staying inside for weeks on end. That's why to kick off our rewind week the Fintern picked a topic that will hopefully keep you out of some hot water: how you can stop fighting about money! You can check out the original show notes below:   Looking for the perfect budget? Maybe the key isn't counting every penny or finding the perfect spreadsheet. Elle Martinez, author of the new book Couple Money, believes that whether you're single or married the answer might lie in communication, and we'll tackle how to have money dates and stop fighting about money on today's show. In our headlines segment, we share a story about comedian Tracy Morgan. Apparently Walmart, who paid him $90M after a severe accident in 2015, wants more proof about his injury. We'll discuss disability coverage and more from that fallout. Then we throw out the Haven Life line to Susan, who asks about taking out a student loan for her son so he can establish credit. We'll also answer a letter from Julian about Roth IRAs, help Doug bring down the trivia, and sprinkle in some pick up lines along the way.  
Apr 27, 2020
3 Big Ideas for Your Financial and Mental Health (plus an intro to BlueChxp)
People (and that includes us!) tend to react emotionally to big change. For us, that's running out of pizza rolls, but when it comes to money, that often means investors can make a bad situation worse by thinking with their heart instead of their head. Today we're going over the coronavirus financial checklist: steps you should be taking not only to make sure your financial bases are covered, but your mental health as well. Pete the Planner from Hey Money! joins Paula Pant and OG on today's show to tackle the best ways to weather any financial storm. Halfway through the show we'll take a break from our financial checkup and turn our attention to our Friday Fintech segment. While our age-old advice of being diversified isn't going anywhere, we understand that people will experiment with individual stocks. Today Joe rings up Michael Patak from BlueChxp, to discuss how you can learn to invest without pouring all your sandbox money down the drain. During our Magnify Money call-in Jimmy calls in with an interesting take on how to handle economy downturns and hypothetical job loss. While he understands having an emergency fund, Jimmy suggests it's better to use lines of credit and other people's money before diving into his own funds. Why shouldn't his emergency fund and various financial accounts be his last line of defense? As always, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy the fun! We did!
Apr 24, 2020
Start Ugly (with Chris Krimitsos)
If you're anything like us, you probably have a business idea or two that has been floating around in your head since the quarantine began. After all, what else is there to do between Netflix, snacks, taking a nap, eating dinner, and going to sleep learning who knows how many practical new skills? While an idea is always step one, you won't go very far without some practical knowledge. Today we'll talk to entrepreneur Chris Krimitsos, the founder of PodFest, creator of The Messengers documentary, and overall business connector, to find out what it takes to get a new business rolling. Plus, the financial crisis around coronavirus is hitting areas none of us had thought of, including firms like Merrill Lynch taking a step away from their adviser training program. We'll talk about that fallout and what it means for advisory firms. Plus, in our second headline, how much cash should you be putting away each month to send your kid to college debt-free? We know most people are just trying to put food on the table, but graduation is right around the corner and for many kids, college is not that far away. Later in the show, we'll throw the Haven Life Line and shake out some time for Doug's special trivia. Happy Earth Day, peeps! #Doug2020!
Apr 22, 2020
Bring Yourself To Succeed At Your Next Negotiation (with Mori Taheripour)
Maybe you're looking for the perfect new job, or you're hoping to be able to at least HOLD the remote the next time the family watches Netflix. In either case, do you wish you could be a better negotiator? Whether you want more compensation at the office, you're looking for better results with your business, or hoping for improvement in your personal life, being able to connect with the people around you is a vital skill we all need to hone. Today we'll ask negotiating expert Mori Taheripour how she recommends we get the job done. Her answers may surprise you, as they did us when we first read her new book, Bring Yourself. Plus, are you in the sandwich generation? What IS the "sandwich generation"? That means you're caught in the middle supporting older parents and younger children at the time time. In today's headlines segment, we'll tackle a new study completed by online life insurance company Haven Life (they're also a sponsor of our show). To help us make sense of it all we'll ring up our friend Brittney Burgett and talk about how you can accomplish more while trying to take care of everyone else. We're mixing things up for today's Haven Life Line: we'll answer a question pooled from our Instagram surveys. You can keep up to date with our latest Instagram posts HERE. Adrianne wrote in with an important question for so many people these days about unemployment. She asks, will people already on unemployment before COVID-19 be eligible to receive the additional unemployment relief money? There's more to the answer than you'd think, and we'll share the results of our research on the topic during the segment. As always, we'll save time for a slice of Doug's (national pastime inspired) trivia. Enjoy the show!
Apr 20, 2020
Doing More With Less and Loving It (plus: under the FinTech hood with Diebold Nixdorf's Devon Watson))
Being able to stack Benjamins has as much to do with stacking less stuff as it does with accumulating more money. It takes far less money to reach your goals if you're mindful of your spending. However, there are other advantages. Today we'll focus on the intersection of minimalism, frugality, and environmentalism, as we discuss with our roundtable team of contributors a fantastic piece from the Frugalwoods blog on the topic. Joining us today we welcome the host of the Marriage, Kids and Money podcast, Andy Hill. He'll join Paula Pant from Afford Anything and Len Penzo from Len Penzo dot com on today's show!  Plus, halfway through the show, we'll talk about a company working all over the FinTech front. Diebold Nixdorf is a company you may not have heard of, but on many fronts, they're the firm that helps the apps you live and the companies you use to show with, actually work. We'll talk about innovation in shopping, commerce, and banking with Devon Watson during our Friday FinTech segment. Of course, we'll still feature a MagnifyMoney question from one of our Stacker friends AND debate some Ford Mustang pricing trivia....all just another day on Stacking Benjamins!
Apr 17, 2020
The Money Hackers: An Unlikely FinTech Origin Story (with Daniel Simon)
How has that phone in your pocket changed the course of finance? It turns out, a TON. Today we talk to Dan Simon, who chronicles the birth and growth of FinTech for us on today's show. We'll discuss the early iPhone and how it became the center of development. We'll then highlight some of the early players and how their interest wasn't so much around banking, trading, or even finance, as it was a way to solve a very specific problem they had. We'll also discuss the future of FinTech. Dan's opinion may surprise you. We'll also shine a light today on the student loan crisis. Good news for borrowers: there was something in the latest government aid package for you. We'll detail many of the helpful provisions with the help of CFP Ryan Law and Certified Student Loan Counsellor Andrew Pentis. Plus, if you're one of the over 6.6 million people who lost their job two weeks ago, we also have some help for you. We wish it was a new job...but instead it's just some financial tips. That's not all! We'll of course throw out the Haven Life line in the funniest way possible AND save time for Doug's totally artistic trivia. Thanks for hanging out with us! If you're helping keep the economy moving during all this...special thanks to YOU!
Apr 15, 2020
The Most Powerful Person Is You (with Lydia Fenet)
Lydia Fenet has a job where she commands attention for a living. As lead benefit auctioneer at Christie’s auction house, she has to quickly and effectively command a room. Today she'll show YOU how to sell your abilities to any group. We'll discuss how she broke into auctioneering, which is a tale of persistence, grit, and selling. Then we'll discuss her first auctions, and when she finally found success. While mirroring success helped her first begin the process of working as an auctioneer, it was something altogether different that finally separated her from the pack. Not only that, we'll talk about negotiations, demanding what you're worth, and more. Plus, what do you have in common with professional athletes? It turns out that during this crisis you may have a TON in common with them. Namely, some of the questions they're asking currently about their money sound awfully familiar. We'll cover which questions those might be. AND, we'll also uncover yet another benefit of the relief package, more help with student loans. Sadly, this particular help isn't widely known, but we're helping to get the word out on today's show. Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line AND share some of Doug's after-Easter trivia. Stay safe, everyone!
Apr 13, 2020
Financial Experiments! (plus an update on the PPP)
Experiments aren't just for the laboratory; they can also help with your budget, or your investments. By continually experimenting you're learning a TON about how to manage money, and which techniques work uniquely for you! Joining us today from Balance Financial Coaching, we'll welcome (the totally balanced) coach Heather Albrecht. Joining her, we'll say hello again to Doc G from the Earn and Invest podcast, and round out our discussion with OG, from this very show. Part two of the Payroll Protection Program rolls out today. If you know ANYONE who employs people, we've got BIG news: the government has a program to keep YOU in business. Philip Taylor the founder of and FinCon will walk us through how YOU can keep people employed on today's show. This is a BIG segment that you won't want to miss if you know ANYONE who employs people. And sure, we'll also help a lucky caller magnify their money on the hotline, we'll also share a money question about golf AND much, much more.
Apr 10, 2020
Beware Charts, Graphs and Financial Companies Wielding Them (with John Johnson)
A mentor of Joe's once said to "beware charts and graphs," and with us all huddled at home staring at screens, we're consuming more data daily than ever. It's important to be able to process what we read from financial companies. Sometimes the facts on the page are misleading, and other times it's what's NOT stated that is misleading. Joining us today is John Johnson, who dives into data on a daily basis looking for flaws in the numbers. He's worked with professional sports, election campaigns, businesses, and individuals to help them understand data better, and today he's here to help YOU. But that's not all. One "shark" from Shark Tank says that the companies she's helping to grow probably won't survive. Why would Barbara Corcoran say that? We'll explain, and discuss what that may mean to you. Plus, what happens if you plan to retire during a pandemic? Do you delay your date? Retire later? We'll discuss planning during times of distress today. Of course, that's not all. On the Haven Life line we'll also talk about rolling 401k plans over to IRAs (or not) AND save time for some of Doug's amazing trivia.
Apr 08, 2020
How to Juggle Family, Work and Money (with the How To Money guys!)
Juggling all the facets of life became a lot harder for many of us the last few weeks (well, in some ways more commute!). If you're lucky enough to be healthy, you're now just trying to figure out how to handle everything, AND in close quarters. Today we welcome two guys who are VERY good at juggling life, money and family, Joel Larsgaard and Matt Altmix from the popular How To Money podcast. We'll talk about managing life during "normal" times, so that when life goes back to "normal" (whatever that is), you'll be prepared! Plus, what if you lost $50M dollars? That happened to one drug dealer in the UK. We'll explain how that happened and we'll even share where the money is now. Mom's fairly certain you won't want to try and find it. Plus, the Department of Education just announced new guidelines around student loan relief for repayers. There are LOTS of changes and we'll detail the BIGGEST ones on the show. Of course, we're confined to the basement today, but that's nothing JUST like every other show, we'll still throw out the Haven Life line AND save time for Doug's trivia.
Apr 06, 2020
Your COVID-19 Grocery Savings List (plus HUGE help for businesses)
Who's shopping? You shopping? None of us are doing more than shopping for groceries...even if it's on the internet. Today we'll talk about getting in and out of the grocery store without catching anything by focusing on the 20 signs you may be spending too much on shopping. Joining us today from Yes I am Cheap, we'll welcome smart shopper Sandy Smith. From the Afford Anything podcast, we'll say hello to golden shopper Paula Pant! And finally, from Len Penzo dot com, we'll welcome Drew Carey from the Price is Right. Okay.... we're's just Len Penzo. If you know ANYONE who employs people, we've got BIG news for your today: Are you interested in how the $2.2 Trillion CARES Act can help businesses and entrepreneurs? George Kurtyka from Joust will walk us through how YOU can keep people employed on today's show. This is a BIG segment that you won't want to miss if you know ANYONE who employs people. Finally, during our Magnify Money segment, we'll talk about what our Stacker friend named Erica about her parents and in-laws who are blowing all their money on boats and shops to put those boats in? As always, of course we'll quiz our contributors on Joe's Mom's neighbor Doug's amazing trivia. We're talking Disney on today's show of course this is one of Joe's favorite topics. How many people actually work for Disney? Mom hopes you're all safe and washing your hands! Enjoy the show.
Apr 03, 2020
Our All-Star Cast Answers Your Questions
It's been awhile since we've answered the mailbag, so we thought there's no better day to tackle some questions! So, our long-time hosts, Farnoosh & OG are kicking off April by answering a TON of your questions! We received many questions about topics including: caring for your pets after your passing, investing while paying off debt, savings plans, picking an HSA, and more. Plus, in our headlines segment, while everyone is panicking, we discuss why you should keep your cool and not change your plan. Plus, getting your taxes ready to file even though the filing date has been pushed back? If so, we'll discuss some frequent (and ugly) mistakes people make. Of course we'll also save time for Doug's trivia. Just another 50-minute day in the office (AKA basement) for us! Stay safe everyone! ...and wash your hands!
Apr 01, 2020
She Paid Off LOTS of Debt With Little Income (with Chonce Maddox Rhea)
If you have debt you're going to love today's episode. We'll talk to a woman who decided that it was time to take charge and change her course for the better. Choncé Maddox Ray (of the My Debt Epiphany blog) didn't have a huge savings account or a sizable income to get herself some relief from debt, but she didn't let that stop her from taking ownership of her life. She'll talk about how it took self reflection, planning, hard work, and follow through to lift herself from a life of debt. Deciding it was time for a change, Chonce paid off $11,000 in debt on a salary of less than $35,000. We'll ask Choncé to dive into just how she pulled that off. The relief bill is out (it was being finalized when we recorded...and there's nothing new to report that we didn't cover in the episode). With the bill signed into law, what's the next step? What should you do with the cash influx when it drops into your account? If you're a business owner what should you do as well? We'll cover that PLUS turn our attention to one of the early casualties in the financial arena of the coronavirus crisis: a couple of leveraged funds are going bye-bye. What does that have to do with your money? We'll explain. During Doug's trivia segment halfway though the show we'll share some interesting facts backed up by a LinkedIn survey. Are you a manager? Buckle up, we're delivering your employees biggest gripe about YOU. We're rounding out the show with a call from Simon, who calls in with a question he could only ask virtually right now. The problem? Simon's got a new job and is making a ton of cash. His co-worker suggested waiting until the market cools down before investing anything, but that doesn't make much sense to Simon. Thoughts?
Mar 30, 2020
Adulting During The Age of Coronavirus (plus an intro to Ortus Academy)
Sometimes trying to be an adult just plain stinks. But when do you "adult" and when do you "wing it"? A recent post on popular blogging site Budgets Are Sexy asks that question and today we put that in front of our roundtable panel of top bloggers and podcasters. Where do you balance minimalism with having the right backup? Joining us today from the Afford Anything podcast, we'll say hello to Paula Pant, from our own amazing podcast, our co-host OG, finally, from Len Penzo dot com, we'll welcome Frank from the movie Old School....who you know IS the most responsible adult. Okay, we're joking. Rounding out our team is just Len Penzo. Working from home? Trying to teach your children while you're working? Today we'll ask CEO Aaron Velky from Ortus Academy how his Money Club works. While others have struggled to help kids learn about money, Ortus Academy has developed a notable short term track record. Could your kids learn money habits better? Aaron joins us to talk about how kids learn and exactly what they think is important to teach. Interestingly, he'll talk about financial education as a sport. How do you teach kids to "win" with money? we'll share how they're solving that problem. Finally, during our Magnify Money segment, we'll talk to a Stacker named Nick on how to spend more money. He's thinking about moving his family to a high-cost area. How does he afford the bigger expenses he's about to bring on? As always, of course we'll quiz our contributors on Joe's Mom's neighbor Doug's amazing trivia. We're talking coffee on today's show. Specifically, how many people like their cup of Joe black (aka "naked," "with nothing in it," or "au natural.") Mom hopes you're all safe and washing your hands! Enjoy the show.
Mar 27, 2020
Should I Sell Or Should I Go? (and other Covid-19 money questions)
The market's down a bazillion percent (mom's not great at math), your neighbors won't answer the door (and for the first time ever, that's a good thing), and the world seems upside down. Time to stop throwing good money after bad and call a retreat? On today's show Joe & OG answer a TON of your questions about ANYTHING! While we received many questions about coronavirus we also field some about college savings plans, Roth IRAs, board games, and what we would have done if podcasting hadn't been the huge massive financial hit that it's been (sarcasm, kids...). Plus, in our headlines segment, while everyone is panicking, luckily there are still journalists out there ready to write some pretty stupid financial pieces. What's the latest piece of financial TP advice? We'll cover that on today's show AND save time for Doug's trivia. Just another nearly 90 minute day in the office (AKA basement) for us!
Mar 25, 2020
Needs, Wants, or Both? Plus 24/7 Coronavirus Coverage (with Jean Chatzky)
First, we're joking about the coronavirus coverage. While we'll discuss the key fundamentals you need to know, we'll spend more time today talking about the basics. Between focusing on your money mindset with Jean Chatzky from The Today Show and, refinancing your debt, and getting your taxes paid on time, there's a LOT to cover. Hopefully you'll find yourself focusing on the good things instead of glued to the television and events you can't control. During our headlines we're covering the latest silver lining from the IRS: the tax filing deadline has been kicked down the road AND penalties and interest has been waived on tax payments. During our segment we'll explain what that all means to you, (other than waiting a few more months to file, of course. Procrastination for the win!). Plus during our second headline we'll share how virus fears have led to a mortgage refinancing boom. During the Haven Life Line we're answering a question from one of our Facebook Basement members. Phil and his wife took out a HELOC last year and decided they wouldn't refinance to avoid paying closing costs. With rates dropping how they are, Phil asked our group: doesn't it make sense to refinance now and save large down the road? As always, we'll save some room for Doug's chip-and-dip themed trivia.
Mar 23, 2020
Spring Cleaning Your Finances (plus Ally & Dr. Ted Klontz)
Since you're most probably stuck at home and "social distancing" yourself, now's a great time for a lighthearted discussion about spring cleaning your financial picture. Everything else in life right now seems pretty heavy, so today we'll keep it light with three people who know a thing or two about great money moves. Joining us today from Paychecks and Balances, we'll welcome Marcus Garrett, from the Afford Anything podcast, we'll say hello to Paula Pant, and finally, from Len Penzo dot com, its our favorite house keeper Alice from The Brady Bunch! ...while that would be fun, today it's just gonna be Len Penzo. While you're cleaning up your money, raising your savings rate is a great place to start (or at least trying to stop your savings from deteriorating...). SO today Joe will be chat about behavioral finance with expert Dr. Ted Klontz and Emily Shallal from Ally Bank. Dr. Ted Klontz lets us know that our ancestors did not hoard their money or even their toilet paper...#shocking. Surprisingly, he says our brains are wired differently, and Emily Shallal from Ally tells us how they've used similar studies to create new product features that'll trick our brains into saving. And finally, during our Magnify Money segment, we'll talk to a Stacker named Joe about whether he should contribute to his retirement or save for a house. As always, of course we'll quiz our contributors with Joe's Mom's neighbor Doug's amazing trivia. We're talking omelettes on today's show (of course!). Mom hopes you're all safe and washing your hands! Enjoy the show.
Mar 20, 2020
Want More Money? Manage Your Energy (with Angelo Poli)
During this crisis, it's important to focus on the big picture...but what is it? Our guest today says (and we agree), that managing your energy, and not your time is the key to success. Angelo Poli, the founder of MetPro and advisor to some of the biggest celebrities and athletes in America, discusses weight loss, how to eat right (and avoid fad diets), and more. We're sure you'll learn a TON about nutrition (like we all do every time Angelo has been on the show). Plus, what's polite to talk about over dinner with people? Politics, religion, or your credit card debt? Today we'll talk to Nathan Hamilton during our headlines segment about a study he and the team at The Ascent have completed about appropriate topics at work and at the dinner table. I think you'll be as surprised as we were. If you think that's all, well that might mean that it's your first time here (so welcome!). Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller, share some of Doug's amazing trivia AND much, much more. Enjoy!
Mar 18, 2020
Creating Your Cash Machine (with Dave Mason)
How does YOUR financial future look? Probably the first lesson anyone successful with money will tell you is that you can't look at life the same way anymore. While some expenses others may see as a given, you now see as a money drain. Where others see failure, you now see opportunity. Today we'll talk about changing your financial tune with Dave Mason, author of The Cash Machine, who suggests you can make big changes in your relationship with money by making some small changes in how you perceive the world around you. Recently the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates in response to the coronavirus. They may do it again. We'll talk about some opportunities this may open up for you. Plus, from the perspective of the individual investor (or more preciously, the Robinhood investor), life got a little worse for some traders when the investing app suffered an outage for an entire trading day as stocks surged. Later on, we'll answer a retirement and taxes question from Red. He can contribute to a Roth and Traditional 401k, while Red's wife can only contribute to a Traditional. What happens during retirement when they file jointly? Will Red have to pay taxes twice? One now for the Roth, and later on for the traditional? As always, we're saving some time today for Doug's trivia. It's a great day to listen to podcasts while you're at home! Everyone stay safe!
Mar 16, 2020
4 Topics Finance Experts Can't Agree On (plus an intro to Peak Money)
It's time to get down and dirty! Did you think financial experts agree on everything? OG has his boxing gloves on for this episode because today we're wrestling with topics financial experts can't agree upon. Fighting with him today from the amazing podcast Afford Anything, we welcome Paula Pant, and from the compelling podcast Earn and Invest, (formerly What's Up Next?), we'll also say hello to the Doc G. It's a great crew and we think you'll love the conversation they discuss as they wrestle with today's topics. We know it's fun to hang out in the basement, but Peak Money makes saving money look like fun no matter where you are! Today during our Friday FinTech segment, Joe will talk with Jonathan Yagel and Michael Brooks from Peak Money about how they're able to help people save more money toward their goals. It's an exciting journey that most of our listeners want to pursue. Who doesn't want more money toward their next vacation? I rest my case. And finally, during our Magnify Money segment, OG really hits it hard with the punches but Paula and Doc pick up the slack. They answer a question about what category a 401k savings plan should be in, when filling out a spreadsheet. Is it an expense or saving? We'll get our team's cracking answer on today's show! As always, of course we'll quiz our contributors with Joe's Mom's neighbor Doug's amazing trivia. How much did the first Barbie cost? It's all exciting questions and answers on today's show.
Mar 13, 2020
Forget Hustle, Focus on Alignment (with Heather Chauvin)
Are you a "go-go-go" person? You live on phrases like, "I can sleep when I'm dead," or "hustle and grind." Today's guest Heather Chauvin from the Mom In Control podcast used to live that lifestyle, until a serious health issue finally forced her to face the truth: it isn't sustainable. Not only that, but Heather Chauvin will also share how, once she took care of herself better, she was then able to bring more energy to her life, creating much more than she was when she was "hustle and grinding." Plus, I don't know if you noticed, but the stock market has been slightly "bumpy" lately. Joe and OG have a timely discussion around people fleeing stocks AND those people who are on social media saying, "Go buy more." Both of these approaches could cost you dearly. They'll also discuss how Jeff Bezos now is joining the growing list of entrepreneurs putting his wallet behind the fight against climate change. We'll discuss ESG investing and why anyone would do that on today's show. If you think that's all, well that might mean that it's your first time here (so welcome!). Of course, we'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller, share some of Doug's amazing trivia AND much, much more. Enjoy!
Mar 11, 2020
The 4 Cornerstones of a Successful Financial Strategy (with CFP Brian Ursu)
What's your financial plan? Is it built on bedrock or are you "winging it", aka building on sand? On today's show, Certified Financial Planner Brian Ursu joins us to dive into four strategies that will help anyone trying to build their financial house. For veteran planners, these will be things you've heard before. However, the question isn't, "Have you heard them?" Like anything, you should ask yourself, "Am I doing them?" THAT may yield a completely different answer. Plus, TurboTax maker Intuit has been in the news recently, because they're buying credit score site Credit Karma. What does that mean for consumers like us? Also, because Credit Karma is a FinTech company, what does that mean for FinTech? We'll ask Ryan Falvey from Financial Venture Studio both of those questions. If you've heard Ryan before on our show, you know he'll have an interesting point of view. Of course, that's not all. We'll throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener AND still leave time for Doug's trivia...which today takes a more-than-usual unusual twist. 
Mar 09, 2020
The Biggest Lie In Personal Finance (plus and intro to the Retirement Budget Calculator)
If you believe telling a white lie is okay, do you believe that about money topics? What about white lies that are told by big-time bloggers or (gasp) podcasters about the path to riches? We'll dive into the world of lies and deceit on today's show with an all-star cast around the rickety card table. Joining us today we welcome Dustin Heiner from The Master Passive Income Podcast, Paula Pant from the Afford Anything Podcast, and from our very own podcast, OG! We know a lot of you use calculators for your job, but we think you will all like using the Retirement Budget Calculator after hours as well. During our Friday FinTech segment, Joe will talk with Jason Parker from the Sound Retirement Planning podcast. They'll discuss how Jason's Retirement Budget Calculator has continued to grow. Joe last year said that this calculator was the "best retirement calculator for consumers" (he still thinks there are better calculators for pros). We'll have all the details on how it works AND share some discounts you won't get if you buy the calculator elsewhere. And finally, during our MagnifyMoney segment we will answer a question via Twitter. What is your best advice for future college students to fund their education when their parents can't or won't help them? There's SO much more...but you'll have to listen to hear it all! Hope you can join the fun.
Mar 06, 2020
Want to Increase Your Earning Power? Learn To Speak Better (with Grant Baldwin)
It's your big moment. You're talking to the boss or giving a presentation at work. Maybe you're finally in front of your dream customer. And you blow it. Today we'll help you earn more money by focusing (well, as much as we focus...) on speaking well. Whether you're trying to convince the family to wash dishes or your boss to give you a raise, speaking more effectively is far from a "soft" skill. So today we welcome Grant Baldwin, author of The Successful Speaker, and host of the Speaker Lab podcast to give us some tips and tricks! How does Social Security look? During our headline segment, we'll dive into that topic, and run through the future of Social Security. How long will stay solvent? And, in the most important question anyone has asked around here today, we'll ask, "How did a couple of guys score free McDonald's?" Just another day on our show. If you think that's all, it might be your first time here (so welcome!). Of course, we'll throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller, share some of Doug's amazing trivia AND much, much more. Enjoy!
Mar 04, 2020
Cracking The Whip On Your Financial Goals (with Lindsay Goldwert)
Do you have trouble staying in charge of your money? Maybe you let your priorities get away from you and want to make a change? Today we'll talk about communication, being direct, and asking for what you really want with the author of the hit new book Bow Down, Lindsay Goldwert. In this unique new perspective on how to take charge, Lindsay sat down with dominatrixes across America to get first-hand information on how you can "reset the power dynamic in any situation to get what you want—whether it’s from a husband, boss, or partner." During our headlines segment, are you finally bringing in a HUGE nice income, but your bank account isn't rising? Lifestyle inflation can become a serious issue for high earners, and without a proper plan in place investors run the risk of becoming a HENRY - High Earner, Not Rich Yet. Plus, during our second headline, we'll touch on why actor Rick Moranis is making a return to the big screen and what lessons you can glean for your financial plan. Plus, we'll open up the mailbag during our Haven Life Line and answer an estate-related question from Diana. Diana is the executrix of an estate plan for the funds of two pre-teens but wants to appoint someone else to take over most of the responsibilities. What can she do? What is she supposed to do? We'll cover some estate planning basics on today's show. And, of course, we'll also make some time for Doug's trivia. Enjoy!
Mar 02, 2020
What To Do When the Bull Market Finally Ends (SB RWD 104)
There's been a lot of market fears going around this past week, but regardless of its origin people have been asking the same question for years: what should we do when the bull market finally ends? We're finishing out the rewind week with one of our classic old-school roundtable episodes featuring Paula Pant, Len Penzo, and Greg McFarlane answering that very question. You can read the original show notes below:   This has been a LONG bull market. So if you know that the next eight years will most probably NOT be like the previous eight, do you swap out some of your investments? We ask our roundtable panel that on today's show and as always, find Greg, Len and Paula all have different answers than you probably expected.   We also tackle lifestyle paradigms. Are you paying too much attention to your neighbor's success? Finally, we'll discuss fake, we aren't going politics. We'll ask our panel whether there's any "fake news" in the money area that they're sick of hearing. Of course, they come through with some great examples.   In our Freshbooks FinTech segment we talk to SelfLender CEO James Garvey about building credit. How does SelfLender help people find financial footing? They have an interesting idea and an exciting approach. Can't wait for you to hear all about it.   Thanks to SoFi and for sponsoring our show!
Feb 28, 2020
The #1 Key To Get Someone Excited About Saving Money - SB RWD 103
Are you committed to saving, but can't seem to get other people around you on board? It can be frustrating once investing for the future has clicked in your head, but not for the people you care about. Gene Natali, co-author of The Missing Semester, shared some great information with us on how to get anyone interested in saving for the future and we're revisiting that interview today. You can read our original show notes below: You're excited about saving, but how do you get someone else to take the plunge? Today's guest, Gene Natali, says that the answer might not be what you expect, and he should know. He co-authored the book The Missing Semester about personal financial education in the classroom, and he's BACK on the Stacking Benjamins show to share how to get ANYONE started in the right direction with their money. In our headlines segment, we talk about financial advisory fees. Are they going down? A recent report has details on where that ship is headed. Also, we'll talk about the age-old active vs. passive management debate. Do active managers hold a candle to passive? Does it matter? Then we throw out the Haven Life line to Dan, who asks about EE bonds. Are these bonds a great way to protect against deflation? We'll also answer a letter from Todd, who has some extra money and wants to know how to invest it...other than in sending it to his favorite podcasters (#disappointing).  It's National Martini Day, so Doug's pouring drinks down in the basement and we're all invited over. Come join us! Special thanks to  M1Finance for sponsoring our show! We couldn't do any of this without the support of some pretty awesome companies.  
Feb 26, 2020
The HIGHS and lows of Real Estate Investing - RWD 102
Have you ever thought about jumping into real estate? It isn't all roses, rainbows and money. On today's rewind episode, the FinTern takes us back to 2018 and Dana Bull's appearance in the basement, talking about all of the good times and bad in the business of investing in property. 
Feb 24, 2020
Now THAT'S A Waste Of Money (plus an intro to Harvest)
What big money wasters exist in your life? Unless you're like us, Benjamins seem to slip out of your pockets WAY too easily. Today, we'll test our guests' game show skills to see if they can guess 16 fantastic examples of money wasters we found hidden in a recent Marketwatch piece. Joining us to play along we welcome Chelsea Brennan from The Smart Money Mamas Podcast, Doc. G from the What's Up Next show, and our very own nerdy engineer, Len Penzo, from Len Penzo dot com! One big money waster could be the exorbitant bank fees people pay. During our Friday FinTech segment, Joe will talk with one company trying to lower your fees. Nami Baral, Chief Empathy Officer from Harvest joins us. They'll discuss how Harvest uses AI to help you save on all sorts of bank and credit card fees. We'll have all the details And finally, during our MagnifyMoney segment we will answer a question on if our fellow Stacker should open a non-profit farm. There's SO much more...but you'll have to listen to hear it all! Hope you can join the fun.
Feb 21, 2020
Kicking $215,000 of Debt to the Curb (with Cindy Zuniga)
Are you struggling with debt? How about a little inspiration? Cindy Zuniga paid off a LOT of debt in just four years. Like you, she finally realized she'd had enough and something had to change she did. Today she'll share the struggle and her path out from deep debt, along with dispelling some myths about debt payoff strategies along the way. She'll also share how she successfully used a cool concept called "zero-based budgeting" to not just pay down debt but to curb her spending habits successfully. Additionally, she'll share some of the places she found inspiration to keep going on her long journey during her payoff process and after. If you saw Cindy's story on Good Morning America, you'll love this expanded interview with her today on Stacking Benjamins! Plus, Fidelity Investments has some great news for savers: we're doing a good job saving collectively. However, some of us are (ahem) doing better than others. John Boroff, Fidelity's Director of Retirement and College Leadership joins us Joe's dad's shortwave radio to talk about not just the successes, but also why people have maybe been more successful so you can emulate those strengths. He'll also share some great ideas to save more if you're behind. If you think that's all, it might be your first time here (so welcome!). Of course we'll throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller, share some of Doug's chocolatey trivia AND much, much more. Enjoy!
Feb 19, 2020
No Mud, No Lotus (with Tamara Jacobi)
When was the last time you planned to make some of your big dreams a reality? What's holding you back? Time? Money? Fear of the unknown? Today we're talking to Tamara Jacobi, who created a retreat in the Mexican jungle right after college. She's the author of the new book Wildpreneur AND a continental traveler, who'll join us and talk about how you can face your fears, climb to new heights, and make your dreams a reality. Are you worried about the economic effects of the coronavirus spreading to your portfolio? During our headlines segment, we'll ring up Chris Cook, president of Beacon Capital Management, and get some answers on what you can do to inoculate your investment strategy. During our Haven Life Line we're shaking things up a bit. We're keep the voicemails on hold this time around while we turn our eyes toward the results of our Instagram poll: what's been this year's most surprising budget busters? We'll break down our range of answers during this special Haven Life segment. As always, we'll carve out a bit of time for Doug's trivia.
Feb 17, 2020
Really, You Find THAT Romantic? (plus an intro to AgeUp)
Buying running shoes for your partner who you know loves to run, you find THAT romantic? Taking a walk in the park holding hands, is that still romantic? Watching TV or a Movie and not saying a word to each other during the entire show, you find THAT romantic? Today we'll turn romance on its head as we apply the question "Is that romantic," to a BUNCH of financial questions. Do romance and money mix? We'll find out. Here to help us spread some love on Valentine's Day from the Afford Anything podcast, we'll say hello to the lovable Paula Pant and the guy with the dry sense of humor from this very podcast...OG! How old will you be when you die? Will you have enough money? It turns out, many of us will live for a long, long time, according to science. What if you run out of money late in life? Worse yet, what if a family member runs out of money and you have to sacrifice your retirement to take care of them. Today, during our FinTech segment, we'll share details about a company working on that very issue. Blair Baldwin joins Joe in the basement to talk about AgeUp. And finally, during our MagnifyMoney segment, we will answer a question on HSA accounts and the military. Is our caller eligible for an HSA? As always, of course, we'll quiz our contributors with an epic gameshow question regarding the number of people who really do celebrate Valentine's Day! It's a circus as usual on today's Stacking Benjamins Show!
Feb 14, 2020
The Roth 401K: The Cinderella Of Your Financial Plan (and Your Letters)
Why are some of the coolest financial tools rarely used? For example, people by-and-large avoid HSA accounts, when they're the Swiss-army knife of a healthcare plan. Today we'll shine a light on another type of plan that's not often used: the Roth 401K. A recent piece in a major publication predicted that Roth 401K plans will become bigger now that the SECURE Act has been enacted. What do Joe & OG think? Do THEY like the Roth 401K? You'll find out during today's episode! After that, we're all about your letters! You've been kind enough to ask us lots of questions, and Joe & OG today grab the mailbag and sort through it. We'll tackle everything from buying a home to investing in a Roth IRA to whether Monopoly is a good game or a great game. We didn't say that they were good questions....we just said there were lots. But that's not all. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky caller AND we'll hear some great trivia from Doug about one of our greatest Presidents...Abe Lincoln. Enjoy!
Feb 12, 2020
Your Frugal Valentine's Day Dining Guide (plus Shannon Dougherty's latest issue)
Don't look now but Friday is Valentine's Day! You're probably wondering what a "chocolates and roses" holiday has to do with finances... and the answer is...A lot. As we'll find out today, many people don't hesitate about turning their wallets over and shaking out ALL their cash. But today we'll help you celebrate in style (or in jest) WITHOUT breaking the bank. Today we've invited Sara Skirboll from ReatilMeNot to share with us plenty of great advice on how to find great Valentine's day dining deals WITHOUT using your whole stack of Benjamins. Plus, how much do you hate love reading through dense paperwork and contract terms? It's safe to assume you probably hate paperwork as much as we do, which is why covering some good news from Fidelity: they're cutting out 20% of the information that clients must review before opening an account. And in our second headline, we'll share the latest from a lawsuit between Shannon Dougherty and State Farm. It's ugly and just got...uglier. During our Haven Life Line call, we're going old-school and tearing open a letter from our new BFF Diane. She's looking for some alternatives to HSAs and long-term care plans. What options are available for people who can't use the more traditional options? Of course, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia.
Feb 10, 2020
When $250,000 Isn't Enough (plus an intro to Masterworks)
Would $250,000 a year be enough for you to "get by"? It wasn't for one early retiree. Today we're going to dive into income, expenses, priorities and bucket lists. Helping us today is a roundtable team of fantastic personalities. First, our special guest today comes from Revele Financial Group, Dawn Dahlby! From the Afford Anything podcast, we have Paula Pant, and Len Penzo joins in the fun from Len Penzo dot com! What is the most expensive piece of artwork you own? Do you think you could ever own a Andy Warhol piece or a Monet? Well today, during our FinTech segment we'll share a company helping people do just that. Joe'll talk buying fractional shares of art with Scott Lynn, the founder of We'll discuss not only the types of art that newbies mistakenly buy, but also, liquidity, the long term returns of art, and more. And finally, during our MagnifyMoney segment, we'll answer a question on whether you should take risks while you are still in debt? As always, of course, we'll quiz our contributors with an epic game show question about The Beatles! How much did they receive for performing on the Ed Sullivan Show?
Feb 07, 2020
What If Your Retirement Math Doesn’t Work?
JT and Tamzon had a great start. After paternity leave from a fantastic job, JT thought he knew that with his burgeoning side-gig, he could quit his job and live happily ever after without going back to full-time work. Then, he found out that the math wasn't working. What would you do? We'll share one family's story of taking control of your goals and then rebooting when the math still doesn't make sense. On today's show early-retirees JT and Tamzon join us to talk about adding flexibility into your planning. Plus, are you a Medicare recipient? If so, it's an important open enrollment time for many. If not, you should plan ahead for the (ahem) increasing cost of healthcare. Danielle Kunkle Roberts from Boomer Benefits joins us to chat about all things Medicare. And in our second headline, we'll share how much your peers have saved for retirement. Want to gauge how you're doing? We'll have all the numbers. Of course, we're also going to toss out the Haven Life Line and we'll still make room for Doug's trivia. Step aside, people! There's a new episode coming!
Feb 05, 2020
Mastering Your Money (with Norm Champ)
Much of the game around managing money is in doing the little things...not being tripped up by the small mistakes and doing those little things that can turn failure into success in a hurry. Today, Norm Champ (formerly of the Securities and Exchange Commission), joins us to talk about mastering your money. What are some of the moves you can make to be a better money manager? We'll talk about controlling expenses (with some ideas to help you hone your budget), automating your money, and more on today's show. Plus, where does the money come from that most Americans use during retirement? The ugly answer we'll share during our headlines segment. Plus, we'll discuss lessons learned from the terrible event that dominated the headlines last week: Kobe Bryant's tragic helicopter accident. Later we'll throw out the Haven Life Line to Julie, who asks about a fund many investors "in the know" talk about often. What's the difference between "VTSAX" and the rest of the less-often suggested crowd of funds that do the same thing? ...and of course, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia.
Feb 03, 2020
Navigating Awkward Money Moments (plus the Evil HR Lady)
So, how much money do you make? Could a borrow a big sum of cash? Ever had any of THOSE moments? What do you do? Well today we'll discuss some seriously awkward questions. To help us, we welcome from Afford Anything the amazing Paula Pant, the almost retired Len Penzo from Len Penzo dot com, and from this podcast the straight shooter OG! If you or anyone you know is in the job market, watch out! Recruiters are now corresponding more and more via text. What could go wrong with that? We'll dive into how to apply some ettiquette to your text messages with Suzanne Lucas, AKA the Evil HR Lady. At the halfway mark of today's episode, we'll hear from the Evil HR Lady about the correct way to communicate via text to recruiters and future employers. And finally, during our MagnifyMoney segment we will answer a question from Facebook Group on a few tax questions on who to have prepare your taxes? As always, of course we'll quiz our contributors with an epic gameshow question about the world record for longest roller coaster marathon ride! Hope you can join the fun!
Jan 31, 2020
The Life of an Accountant Spy (with Tracy Coenen)
She'll tell you over and over that her job isn't interesting. But if you're a money nerd, do we have a treat for you today, because accountant Tracy Coenen spends her time chasing down bad guys using spreadsheets and bank statements (I'll stop if you need a moment). Today she'll tell us stories of two stories where she helped catch perpetrators by using financial records (and some amazing ingenuity) to help bring "bad guys" to bear. Plus, are you interviewing soon? Even if you aren't we'll talk about some useful tips if you're interested in moving up the ladder at work or with another pursuit (and who isn't?). Plus, we'll discuss the new milestone one fund company just passed and pause for a, that's a lot of money. Of course, we're also going to toss out the Haven Life Line to Dillon and get Joe and OG's take on how Dillon should approach his investments. All and and we'll still make room for Doug's trivia. Step aside, people! There's a new episode coming.....this plate is HOT!
Jan 29, 2020
Tales Of The Founding Fortunes (with Tom Schachtman)
How did America get its start? Of course, by relying on the financial fortunes of a few of our founding fathers. Today we're rolling back the clock to look at how some founding fortunes helped launch our country. We'll dive into the topic with Tom Shachtman, the author behind the Founding Fortunes, to discuss the roll of money in uniting revolutionaries, both rich and poor. Plus, should we be paying more attention to sustainability while investing? During our headlines we'll cover one report from Barron's that shows mutual funds ranking high on sustainability are actually outperforming the market. I know! We were surprised, too. And finally, we'll answer a question from Heather during our Haven Life line call, who just opened up a Fidelity account. Heather and her husband want to start investing, but aren't sure which funds to put money into. Thoughts? And of course, we'll save some time for Doug's trivia.
Jan 27, 2020
Why's The FIRE Movement Getting More Heat? (plus an intro to Pillar)
If the FIRE movement is so inspirational, why is it constantly under attack? More heat was lobbed at the early retirement movement last week by a couple of industry insiders on Twitter. To help us, we welcome the FIRE-y woman behind the Fiery Millennials blog, Gwen Merz, Len Penzo from Len Penzo dot com, and the wonderful Doc G from the What's Up Next podcast! These intelligent, retirement-focused people will be discussing the tweet that started quite the firestorm. If you or anyone you know has student loans, you'll want to listen to our Friday FinTech guest, Michael Block. He's the CEO and Founder of Pillar which is an app to help you pay back your student loans and save money. Early users have reported some huge wins, so we had to get the details from Michael about how it works. And finally, during our MagnifyMoney call in segment we will answer a question from an anonymous woman on how she will be affected by inheriting a ROTH IRA. As always, we'll quiz our contributors with an epic game show question about National Beer Can Appreciation Day from our neighbor, Doug. We'll have all that and more on today's show! We hope you can join the fun!
Jan 24, 2020
Retirement 101 (with Michele Cagan)
Let's get back to the basics. Everyone talks about retirement tools, projections, timelines, and tax strategies...what about answering, "How do I begin?" If that's you, we've got you covered on today's show because we're talking to CPA Michele Cagan about Retirement 101. We'll start off with how you fare against other savers (or non-savers), and then discuss how you should frame retirement. Is it one long process? Should you begin with picking investments? We'll cover all of that and more on today's show. Student loan borrowers everywhere cheered recently when a Navy vet had his loans discharged in court (something people said couldn't be done). In our headline segment we'll talk to attorney Leslie Tayne about how that happened, and maybe spill a little bad news (spoiler) about you and your student loans. But don't worry--all hope isn't lost. Leslie will also share some good advice for student loan borrowers. Of course, that's not all. We'll also throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener AND save time for some of Doug's cat vs. dog trivia. It's another fun day down in the basement. Hope you can join us!
Jan 22, 2020
From BIG Debt to Around the World (with Reshawn Lee)
Is debt crushing your dreams? Are your relationships affected by students loans or credit card problems? You NEED to hear today's guest, Reshawn Lee, talk about her situation. Reshawn and her husband Rob had horrible credit card debt, student loans, and couldn't ever seem to begin saving...until they took some drastic actions and everything turned out (spoiler!) not just great, but with a trip around the world! Today we'll talk about the work they do on their Learn Hustle Grow blog and YouTube channel, and learn about how they overcame their issues and began their path to financial independence. Are you hearing (like we are) the buzzword "AI" all over the financial arena lately? We'll discuss one headline about how much of the artificial intelligence out there is more artificial than intelligent. Later we'll throw out the Haven Life Line to Christina, who can no longer contribute to an employee sponsored retirement plan after a job change. How should she continue saving for retirement? Of course we'll also share some of Doug's trivia AND much, much more.
Jan 20, 2020
Would You Walk Away From a Six-Figure Job? (plus an intro to our new SB course!)
Happy Birthday to our namesake Benjamin Franklin!! Today we'll celebrate by talking about one of our favorite topics, leaving your 9-5 job early. To help us, we welcome the woman behind the new EconoMe Conference, Diania Merriam, Len Penzo from Len Penzo dot com, and the wonderful OG from our very own podcast! This piece, written by Jessica Garbarino for her Every Single Dollar blog, is titled Why I Walked Away from a Six-Figure Job, and goes over some very good reasons to leave a "good" job AND many of the strategies she used to ensure she wouldn't have to return. (Big thanks to Mindy Jensen from BiggerPockets Money for reading it today as well!) Frustrated with your money management skills? Don't feel like you have enough of a handle on your monthly expenses? At the halfway mark of today's episode, we'll hear from Belinda Rosenblum and Joe, as they unveil the exciting new course offered by the Stacking Benjamins team, Making Money Easy. We'll walk through all of the details today. It's been a long time since we've had a Stacking Benjamins course, so we're thrilled to tell you about it today. And finally, during our MagnifyMoney segment we will answer a question from on whether or not a man is in the wrong for not wanting "free" childcare from his mother-in-law. Where do you stand? Is he on the right side of this argument? As always, of course we'll quiz our contributors with an epic gameshow question about Ben Franklin from our neighbor, Doug. We'll have all that and more on today's show! Hope you can join the fun!
Jan 17, 2020
Navigating the SECURE Act
Your retirement options just became more robust. A new law called The SECURE Act passed late last year and today we're sharing ALL of the information you need to know to change your plan to take advantage of this new, exciting legislation. If this is new to you, don't worry, we've got you covered. We'll begin the show with Joe & OG bringing you up to speed on the details. But if you're wondering how to use it well, we have something even better. Joining us on today's show we'll have Aimee Kwain from Fidelity Investments, Dan Keady from TIAA, and the Retirement Answer Man himself, Roger Whitney to walk us through their thoughts about the new law. Our goal today is to help you to understand how the SECURE Act impacts you, and we're excited about all you're about to learn. Of course, this is a Stacking Benjamins episode, so that isn't all....later we'll throw out the Haven Life Line to Leo, who is wondering what he should do with his money while he's saving up for a downpayment on a house. Should he invest, or keep the money safe in a high-yield savings account? Hoping for more? We've gotcha covererd. We'll also save some time for Doug's amazing weight loss trivia.
Jan 15, 2020