M.O.N.E.Y.

M.O.N.E.Y.

United States

Real and uncensored. Hosts Paula Pant and J. Money dive into chasing the dream and creating financial independence. They rap about net worth, investing, real estate, killing debt, budgeting, business, entrepreneurship, saving money and how to be a hustler. Grab a beer, put your spreadsheets away, and get ready to retire early.

Episodes

#060: Andrew Hallam (Part Two): The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School  

Andrew Hallam grew a million-dollar investment portfolio on a schoolteacher's salary by his mid-30's.


In his bestselling book, Millionaire Teacher, he describes these nine lessons in detail.


He shares these nine rules on this podcast, and his ideas are so substantive that -- for the first time -- I decided to release his interview as a two-part series.


In last week's episode, Andrew shared the first three rules of building wealth. This week, Andrew dives into the final six rules that can turn middle-class people into millionaires.


Here's a sneak peek:


    •    #1: Learn how to think and spend like a millionaire.
    •    #2: Start investing early. Time is your greatest investment ally.
    •    #3: Choose low-cost index funds. Small fees pack big punches.
    •    #4: Understand your inner psychology. Conquer the enemy in the mirror.
    •    #5: Learn how to build a balanced, responsible portfolio.
    •    #6: Create an indexed account, no matter where you live.
    •    #7: Don't resign yourself to taking this journey alone.
    •    #8: Inoculate yourself against slick sales rhetoric.
    •    #9: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


These rules may sound simple, but our discussion took an advanced turn. Andrew and I dive deep into thorny topics like hedge funds, casinos, and human psychology.


Enjoy this two-part series, and don't forget to check out Andrew's excellent book, Millionaire Teacher.

#059: Andrew Hallam: How I Became a Millionaire on a Teacher's Salary  

By his mid-30's, Andrew Hallam became a millionaire on a teacher's salary. He began by investing $100 a month upon advice given by a mechanic. Then he began saving nearly half his $28,000 teacher’s salary.

Andrew rode a bicycle 35 miles to work, found ways to avoid paying rent, and regularly ate pasta and potatoes as well as clams he picked himself for added protein.

In today's interview, Andrew shares that story.

Find more comprehensive details at http://affordanything.com/episode59

#058: Ask Paula -- Death, Taxes, Crushing Debt and Moving in with Mom  

Ashley is a single mom saving diligently for her 2-year-old son. What alternatives are there to 529s and brokerage accounts?

Julie and her husband invest quarterly. Should she try buying European equities when they are much cheaper due to Brexit?

Nicholas and his wife make too much money for a Roth IRA. Should hey do a backdoor Roth?

Melissa has money to save, invest, or pay down rentals. What’s her best option?

 

Find more in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode58

#057: Philip Taylor - Top 5 Financial Lessons PT Learned in the Past Decade  

Philip Taylor, aka PT, is one of the most well-connected guys in the personal finance world. He’s spent the past half-dozen years building tight relationships with some of the most influential authors and speakers in this space. Today he shares his top five money lessons learned over the past decade.

PT shared several tactical tips, including:

    •    Buy term life insurance, rather than whole life.
    •    Focus on low-cost investing, such as passively-managed index funds.
    •    Automate your savings.
    •    Focus on income growth.
    •    View frugality as a discipline. It’s not a means to an end; it’s a lifestyle and a core value.

For a full explanation of PT’s 5 takeaways, visit http://affordanything.com/episode57

#056: Billy Murphy - Expected Value, or What Professional Poker Taught Me About Running a 7-Figure Business  
Former professional Poker player Billy Murphy has an intriguing story.

He achieved financial independence at age 29, and he did this by applying a concept known as "expected value" to his online businesses.

In this episode, I chat with Billy about how expected value is more than just a formula; it’s a framework for how to evaluate your options; how to assess risk, reward, probability, and variance.

Let's back up a little. What is expected value? It’s the sum of all possible values for a variable, with each value multiplied by its probability of occurrence.

“Whaaaa? What does that mean?”

Here’s a simple example:
 
Imagine that you have a full-time job. You’ve also built a side business that’s earning $20,000 per year.

You’re trying to decide whether to stay in your full-time job vs. quit your job and focus on growing your side hustle into a full-time business.

You ask your two best friends for their opinion. One says, “that’s risky! What if you fail?” The other says, “you could become a millionaire! Whoa!”

You realize that both of those remarks are fueled by emotion and speculation. You want to make a more informed decision, so you decide to compare the ‘expected value’ (EV) of both options in Year One.

After assessing the market (e.g. studying customer demand, etc.) you determine that in your first year of running the business full-time, under best-case-scenario conditions, you could earn $250,000. There’s a lot of promise within your field; you calculate a one in four chance of this happening.

In worst-case-scenario conditions, you don’t make a dime of additional money; your business stagnates at its current income. There’s a lot of competition within your field; you assess that there’s also a one in four chance of this situation unfolding.

In middle-case-scenario conditions, you’d make around $100,000 per year. This is the most likely outcome, and you give it 50% odds.

What’s the expected value of diving full-time into this business?

EV of biz =

25% chance of earning $250k = $62,500
50% chance of earning $100k = $50,000
25% chance of earning $20k = $5,000

EV = $117,500

Okay, great. Next, what’s the expected value of staying at your current job?

EV of job = Salary + $20,000 in additional income

Of course, this is an over-simplified example, for the sake of illustration. Obviously, the decision gets more complex, because you need to account for future growth of your business — the 5-year outlook, the 10-year outlook — as well as future career growth potential within your 9-to-5 job. You’d also need to assess revenues vs. profit margins, etc., etc.

But this simple example illustrates the concept of using the expected value formula to inform your decision-making. Rather than just saying, “oh, that’s risky!” without any data, you can use EV as a starting point for a conversation about probability and risk.
The point is, when you're making a decision, your emotions and other people's opinions often override any rational thought you might have. Those emotions don't take risk or variance into consideration. Expected value does.

By running the numbers and identifying the worst-, mid-, and best-case scenarios, you can take calculated risks that have a higher likelihood of paying off.

Find out how Billy built a seven-figure business by applying this one incredible rule to his decision making process in this episode.

Enjoy!

-- Paula

Resources Mentioned:
Billy's site, Forever Jobless
 Wikipedia - Expected Value

 

Find more about Billy Murphy and his podcast, Forever Jobless, in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/session56

#055: From Money Moron to Millionaire, with Scott Alan Turner  

Scott Alan Turner used to be a money moron. (In his words.)

He traded a Jeep for a Porsche in his 20s, purchased a 3,000 sq. ft. house with two mortgages, and bought luxury furniture on credit.

The Porsche cost him $800 per month. The house cost $200,000. The furniture? Who knows.

Scott didn't have a budget and never tracked his spending. He only knew that he could afford the monthly payments on these luxuries ... until one day he realized his mortgage was due in a few weeks.

And his bank account was rather empty.

And he didn't have an emergency fund.

Oops.

Scott realized he was drowning in debt. So he decided to make a change.

He sold the Porsche and paid $6,500 cash for a truck.

He paid off his credit card.

He aggressively attacked the mortgage on his house.

Step-by-step, he made strides toward improving his financial future. After listening to Clark Howard on the radio, he realized it was important to free his money from the grip of debt and put it toward savings and retirement.
Once he got married, he sold his house and downsized to his wife's town home. They then downsized to a 1,000 sq. ft. rented house, and downsized once more to a 300 sq. ft. bedroom with his in-laws.

Throughout all of this downsizing, Scott kept saving money. He eventually saved enough to become a millionaire at age 35. Today he writes and speaks about personal finance full-time. He hosts the Financial Rock Star podcast. And he's stayed debt-free -- including mortgage-free -- since 2009.

How did he go from money moron - buying expensive cars and furniture - to disciplined saver?

He can answer that question in one word:
Contentment.

He doesn't need to buy more, because he's happy with what he already has.

Scott credits his frugality to feeling satisfied with his possessions, rather than running on a hedonistic treadmill of always wanting more.

While he still appreciates fine craftsmanship -- a gorgeous house, a designer car -- he realizes that he doesn't need to own luxury items. He can appreciate art and design without making a purchase. He prioritizes spending on his values: more time with friends and family; more life experiences. He doesn't spend to impress others, which is a losing game.

Discover Scott's fascinating philosophy on the link between frugality and contentment (and learn from his money mistakes!) in this episode.

Enjoy!

-- Paula

For a full list of resources, or to leave a comment, visit http://affordanything.com/episode55

#054: Ask Paula - Automating Savings, Starting a Blog, Emergency Funds, Investing in Real Estate Confidently, and More  

It's the first Monday of the month, which means I'm fielding questions from the audience.

We start with a question from Nicole.

She's a new listener, and she's stuck in a confusing situation.

You see, Nicole is self-employed. She'd like to save a percentage of her income -- but she doesn't get regular paychecks. How can she automate her savings, when she doesn't know how much she'll make each month?

She asks a second question, as well.

Nicole has $15,000 in savings and wants to buy her first rental property. However, she's intimidated by the unknown market. What should her first steps be?

Next, we move to a question from podcast listener David. Should he invest his emergency fund?

David is contemplating putting his emergency savings in the Vanguard Immediate-Term Investment Grade Fund (VFICX). Is this a good idea?

Saul, another podcast listener interested in real estate investing, recently sold his home and has a decent chunk of change. Should he buy a 3 bed / 2 bath townhome with a small commercial space on the first floor? Or should he buy a duplex?

Podcast listener Albert is wondering: should he buy a home for himself, and rent it out a few years later? He'd like to travel and work remotely. What are the downsides to this idea? It can't be that easy ... right?

Finally, Abbey started a personal finance blog, and wants to know:

    When should she start promoting her blog?
    How much content should she write?
    Does she have to share her blog with her friends and family, or can she stay anonymous?
    Should she write about other things besides money and travel?

I tackle these questions in this month's edition of Ask Paula.

Enjoy!

-- Paula

P.S.  Trying to make a decision? Ask your question at http://affordanything.com/voicemail

Resources Mentioned:

    Renting is Throwing Money Away...Right?
    Everything I Know About Blogging Condensed Into One Post
    Should You Invest in This Rental Property?

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To view this information online, visit http://affordanything.com/episode54

#053: Live Q&A with Paula on Real Estate and Travel  

This episode is a little different.

Instead of interviewing a guest, this podcast episode is a recording of a recent talk I gave in Equador.

The audience wanted to know more about the context surrounding the decisions I've made regarding business, investing, and money.

In other words, why I've only spent three years of my life in a 9-5 job, and why I've dedicated so much of my time to travel.

There is a lot of real estate talk as I take Q&A from the audience, but the idea behind releasing this talk is for you to see how any investment can help you design your life around your values.

Money and investments are just tools that you can use to craft a certain lifestyle.

Here are some of the highlights from the talk:
•    How I was introduced to the concept of freelancing, and how it helped me quit my job and buy real estate
•    My real estate investing strategy in a nutshell - buy what no one else wants to buy
•    The risk of being too excessive with renovations as an investor, and how I've managed renovations
•    How I use the One Percent Rule when running numbers on a property
•    My original goal for owning rental properties (and why I don't want 100's of units)
•    The surprise deal that came about because of my blog
•    The opportunity cost of investing in real estate instead of the stock market
•    Why the next rental won't be in Vegas (where I live)
•    Why I'm not in any hurry to buy another property
•    Why I would buy apartment complexes in cash if I had a billion dollars
•    The benefit of diversifying into a different city and how to do it
•    Retailers I recommend buying from when it comes to kitchen materials
•    Financing without W2 income
•    Why I'm against high-leverage
•    The other projects I'm working on (why my focus isn't on real estate investing right now)
•    "Pearls of wisdom" from traveling
•    My favorite travel destinations
•    Why I started a blog and my thoughts on monetizing
•    Real estate isn't a passion - it's a tool

Enjoy!

-- Paula

Resources Mentioned:
•    Cash Flow Reports for Rental Properties
•    The course I'm working on - VIP List
•    HUD Home Store
__________________________

I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors for this episode.

First, huge thanks to Nerdwallet. Their new app lets you have one-on-one conversations with financial advisors. You can chat about anything related to money, such as retirement, investing, insurance, or paying off debt.

You'll get personalized, one-on-one advice -- available at no cost to you. Check it out at no cost to you by visiting http://nerd.me/paula
_________________________

If you've been listening for a while, you've heard me interview many best-selling authors. Before I interview these guests, I need to read or refresh my memory of their books.

Sitting down to physically read the books can take a long time. That's why I listen to their audiobooks, thanks to my subscription to an audiobook service called Audible. If you want to give them a try for free, head to http://audible.com/trynow for a free 30-day trial.

_________________________

To see the slides from Paula's presentation, go to http://affordanything.com/53

#052: How to Combat Lifestyle Inflation, with Julia Kelly  

Imagine transitioning from making $8.50 per hour and sharing a crammed apartment with 5 people, to becoming a six-figure business owner doing what you love.
 
That's the journey that Julia Kelly, caricature artist and founder of JK Expressions, took.
 
Sounds great, right?
 
Well, as they say, more money = more problems.
 
When Julia earned $25,000 - $30,000 per year, she had fantastic money management skills. She had no debt and plenty of savings.
 
But when her business started making six figures, she began ignoring her finances, stopped saving money .... and racked up thousands in personal credit card debt.
 
Why?
 
Some of us write this off as life getting more expensive as we get older, but it's actually a classic case of lifestyle inflation -- when you make more, you spend more.
 
After Julia began earning six figures, she decided she was no longer happy with $12 haircuts from Supercuts. She happily splurged for $75 salon style cuts instead.
 
She started paying for convenience. One-click Amazon order? Check. Ordering an Uber or Lyft so she didn't have to deal with parking at the airport? Check. Eating out? Check.
 
She became lazy about saving money, assuming that she could always earn more. Money was coming into her bank accounts at an unprecedented pace – so her finances would take care of themselves, right?
 
Wrong.
 
As Julia discovered, when you "upgrade" certain aspects of your life, you may find it difficult to downgrade. You keep spending more and more, trapped on a consumer treadmill. You’re forced to work to fuel your spending addiction.
 
Left unchecked, this saps every ounce of freedom from your life. 
 
Ouch.
 
In this episode, you'll learn:
· Why you shouldn't take lifestyle inflation lightly
· How to stop lifestyle inflation before it happens
· What Julia regrets buying … and what she doesn’t
· The easiest, most effective antidote to lifestyle inflation
· How Julia differentiates between saving time vs. wasteful convenience spending
· What Julia's advice is to those who are increasing their income, but don't want to succumb to lifestyle inflation

-- Paula
 
Resources Mentioned:
    •    Gretchen Rubin's episode, The Power of Habit Formation
    •    Julia's story on the Afford Anything blog

    •    Cal Newport's episode, The Incredible Value of Deep Work, Instead of Distraction
    •    Julia's site, JKExpressions.com

__________________________
I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors for this episode.
First, huge thanks to Nerdwallet. Their new app lets you have one-on-one conversations with financial advisors. You can chat about anything related to money, such as retirement, investing, insurance, or paying off debt.
You'll get personalized, one-on-one advice -- available at no cost to you. Check it out at no cost to you by visiting nerd.me/paula.
_________________________


If you've been listening for a while, you've heard me interview many best-selling authors. Before I interview these guests, I need to read or refresh my memory of their books.


Sitting down to physically read the books can take a long time. That's why I listen to their audiobooks, thanks to my subscription to an audiobook service called Audible. If you want to give them a try for free, head to audible.com/trynow for a free 30-day trial.

_________________________

For a full list of show notes, visit http://podcast.affordanything.com/52-how-to-combat-lifestyle-inflation-with-julia-kelly

#051: Six Types of Financial Frenemies, with Mary Beth Storjohann  

Today's guest is Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP®, Founder of Workable Wealth, and author of the book Work Your Wealth.


As I was reading through her book, one thing stuck out to me: the financial frenemies we all have, and how to deal with them in a constructive way.



What's a financial frenemy? They're the people in your life that are sabotaging your efforts to improve your net worth.

Sometimes they're friends, sometimes they're family, and other times, they might just be people that have no business asking about your financial situation in the first place. 



Whoever they are, we've all known one at some point or another.



In fact, I bet one of these sounds familiar:

1. The Entitled Frenemy: "Can you spot me? I'll get you next time!"
2. The Budget-Buster: "You deserve it, you should buy it!"
3. The One-Upper: "You got a $1,000 bonus? Nice. I got a $10,000 bonus."
4. The Priers: "How much do you make?" "How much did you spend on that?"
5. The Green-Eyed Monster: "Must be nice that you can afford such a big house."
6. The FOMO Frenemy: "You can spend your money just this once!"

Navigating conversations with these financial frenemies can be tough, but Mary Beth has some awesome advice on how to do it and not feel bad about your words.

Even though it might sound scary, honesty is the best policy.



While saying, "I don't feel comfortable answering that" means enduring a few moments of awkwardness, the alternative is answering truthfully and proceeding to wonder if your "friends" are judging you...every single time you interact with them.



Finally, we need to realize that what they're saying isn't a reflection on us - it's a reflection on them. If they're jealous, feel the need to one-up you, or discourage you from your financial goals, that's on them, not you.

Mary Beth offers other great tips on how to deal with financial frenemies in this episode, and we even role-played a scenario to give you a script to follow.

Resources Mentioned:


• Workable Wealth

• “Work Your Wealth" on Amazon
• Mary Beth's Twitter & Instagram


Enjoy!

-- Paula

#50: Ask Paula - Retirement Savings in Your 50's, Starting a Side Hustle, Buying Health Insurance, Home Warranties, and More  

Mark, a 55-year-old listener, has no savings.

He's been listening to personal finance podcasts. He recently read Tony Robbins' Money: Master the Game. He called this podcast to tell us that he's feeling overwhelmed by the scope of what's ahead of him. He doesn't know how to apply this information -- and he's afraid of needing to work in fast food when he's 80 years old. What can he do?

We tackle his question first on today's Ask Paula episode.

Next, we take a call from Adalia.

Adalia, another podcast listener, wants to earn extra money on the side. She's intrigued by the idea of becoming a virtual assistant -- a side hustle that allows her to work from home, setting her own hours. How should she start? Where can she find clients?

Tyler, a podcast listener and fellow FinConner, is carrying $20,000 in credit card debt, with interest rates ranging from 11% - 23%. He also runs a side business on Amazon, making  43-50% returns for every dollar he puts in. Should he focus on reinvesting money back into his lucrative business, or should he pay his credit card debt off?

Podcast listener Carlos just purchased his first rental property, and wants to know: are home warranties are worth the money?

Todd, another listener, is curious to know if he and his wife should go without health insurance as the cost of premiums increase. He has an HSA, emergency fund, makes a good living, is in good health, and saves everything he can. Could going without insurance really save him money?

Our last question comes from listener Lynsey, who has her sights set on financial independence. She works a second job during the cold Minnesota winters, which pays $25/hr. However, she wonders if she should use that time to invest in her future earning potential, by starting a business or getting an advanced degree. Should she go after the immediate cash, or focus on her future?

All of these questions are answered in this episode of Ask Paula!

Enjoy!

-- Paula

_____________________

I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors for this episode.

First, huge thanks to Nerdwallet. Their new app lets you have one-on-one conversations with financial advisors. You can chat about anything related to money, such as retirement, investing, insurance, or paying off debt.

You'll get personalized, one-on-one advice -- available at no cost to you. Check it out at no cost to you by visiting nerd.me/paula.

_____________________

If you've been listening for a while, you've heard me interview many best-selling authors. Before I interview these guests, I need to read or refresh my memory of their books.

Sitting down to physically read the books can take a long time. That's why I listen to their audiobooks, thanks to my subscription to an audiobook service called Audible. If you want to give them a try for free, head to audible.com/trynow for a free 30-day trial.

_____________________

Want more "Ask Paula" episodes? Head on over the the website and binge all you want: http://podcast.affordanything.com/tag/ask-paula

 

#049: Behind-the-Scenes Mastermind Call - with J.D. Roth  

If you're a longtime listener, you might remember J.D. Roth, founder of Get Rich Slowly and owner of Money Boss, from Episode 20.

In this previous interview, J.D. shared how he went from being in debt to financially independent.

Today, he's back for a special edition of the podcast.

J.D. and I didn't actually record an interview for this episode. Instead, we hit "record" on one of our private mini-mastermind conversations, where we talk candidly about our businesses.

By listening to this episode, you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at what's going on in the Afford Anything and Money Boss world - without any filters.

#048: How to Overcome Procrastination and Perfectionism, with Stephen Guise  

Imagine that your goal is to build a flat stomach and stronger biceps. But deep down, subconsciously, you’re afraid you might fail.

So you procrastinate. “I’ll work out tomorrow,” you tell yourself. “Or next week. Or next year.” As a result, you don’t make progress.

But let’s flip the script. Instead of focusing on the result — your appearance — you focus on the smallest possible action.

You create a new goal: Everyday, you’ll do a single push-up. You’ve designed a goal that cannot fail. The moment you commit to this goal, you drop to the ground and do a push-up. Congratulations. You’ve succeeded today. You repeat this everyday for a week. You build a new habit and new sense of self-identity. You’re the type of person who does daily push-ups.

One day, while executing your single push-up, you figure, “Ah, what the heck,” and pump out a few more. One push-up grows into five, ten, fifteen, twenty. You focus on tiny actions, rather than their potential long-term payoff.

Eventually, you get results. In today's episode, Stephen Guise, author of Mini-Habits, describes how the "one push-up" mentality accelerated his progress faster than a "100-pushup" mentality ever could.

He explains why he decided to start focusing on actions, he shares the technique that he uses to conquer writer's block, and he talks about embracing "imperfectionism."

Enjoy!

#47: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy, with Clark Howard  

Today's guest is New York Times bestseller, radio and television personality, Clark Howard.


While Clark is known as a personal finance expert, that title doesn't tell the whole story.


He started reading stock tables when he was in fifth grade.
He began investing in real estate at the age of 22.
He created his own travel agency business at the age of 25.
And he became financially independent and retired at age 31.


However, after four years of living on the beach, he was ready to get back to work. He wanted to help people take control of their money and, consequently, their lives.


Clark believes that money is the result of the discipline you bring into your life. Unfortunately, most people want to take the path of least resistance when it comes to achieving their goals. That's why so many people fail.


Clark says that the most common mistake he sees his listeners make is getting in their own way. People give up before they've started and play the victim.


That's not the path to success - financial or otherwise.


So, how can you stop standing in the way of your own success?


In this episode, we cover that, as well as:
    •    Clark's journey to financial independence
    •    Why he chose to pursue this audacious goal
    •    Why he felt ready to jump back into work after enjoying four years of retirement
    •    Why we behave the way we do when it comes to achieving goals
    •    What money means, and why it matters
    •    How to control your reaction to the inevitable setbacks we experience in life
    •    Why everyone must live beneath their means and spend less than they earn to achieve any financial goal
    •    What the future of money holds


There were so many takeaways in this episode, I couldn't list them all. Clark is brilliant and offers some amazing insights into the financial industry, as well as business lessons he's learned throughout his years of being an entrepreneur and managing teams.


Enjoy!


Resources Mentioned:
Clark.com
Podcast

Radio

#046: The Unbelievable Power of Building a Community - Live at FinCon  

This episode is a little unusual because I interviewed fellow podcast listeners live at FinCon (a conference for financial bloggers).

Why? To get to know you and understand you better.

I want to know what makes you tick, and where your interest in money comes from.

Ultimately, why you're here, listening to this podcast, when most people couldn't care less about these topics.

Why are you different?

To discover that answer, here are some of the questions I asked our panelists:

• Why did you decide to make learning about personal finance your hobby? Why do you spend hours reading blogs and listening to podcasts about money?
• What made you approach personal finance head-on, rather than burying your head in the sand, like most people do?
• Do people in your "regular" life know that you want to retire early and reach financial independence? Or do you avoid talking about this because people give you funny looks when you mention it?
• Have you all had the same experience that community - finding like-minded individuals - is important in this journey?

I hope you were able to learn and identify with your fellow listeners about why you manage your limited resources in such a conscientious way.

The chief takeaway I got from this episode was the importance of building a community, which is critical to maintaining motivation on the journey to reach financial independence.

Not only that, but you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Seek out a support system of people with similar values and goals to have your back when times get tough.
 
Resources Mentioned: 

• Nick: True Tightwad
• Melissa, "The Roamer": Traveling Wallet
• Emma: Emma Lincoln
• Gwen: Fiery Millennials
• The One Percent Challenge Facebook Group
• Everything I Know About Blogging, Condensed into One Post
• Financial Independence Subreddit
• Meetup.com

-- Paula

#45: Ask Paula - Should I Invest $5,500 in One Huge Chunk? - and More Investing Questions  

Podcast listener Eva is interested in opening a Vanguard account. She noticed that people need $50,000 to access their personal advisor services. It'll take her several years before she can access this. What should she do in the meantime? Amy, another podcast listener, wants to invest $5,500 into her Roth IRA in 2017.  Should she invest the full amount on January 1, or should she spread this throughout the year? Meanwhile, podcast listener Daniel asks: • Q1: I'd like to invest in real estate. Where and how should I look for homes, other than Zillow? • Q2: Why would an investor sell a cash-flowing, profitable investment property? Should I be suspicious about multiunit properties for sale? Eric, another podcast listener interested in real estate, asks: • Q1: What are the basic steps for forming an LLC, especially one with multiple partners who aren't equal investors? • Q2: How do you go about creating a joint bank account for the LLC? Is it even needed? Should the account be referenced in the LLC documentation? I answer all of these questions in this episode of Ask Paula. Resources Mentioned: • Mike Piper's Blog: Oblivious Investor
 • Michael Kitces' Blog: Kitces.com (Nerd's Eye View)
 • I Don't Know How to Start Investing, and I'm Afraid of Making Expensive Mistakes (Blog Post) • Why Dollar Cost Averaging Stinks (Blog Post) • The Simple Path to Wealth by Jim Collins • Mike Piper's Books on Investing
 • #24: Ask us Anything: Betterment, Wealthfront, Robo-Investing...What's the Deal? (Podcast) • #31: The Simple Path to Wealth, with Jim Collins (Podcast Interview) Enjoy!

#044: "Why I Quit My Dream Job" – with entrepreneur Leslie Samuel  

When Leslie Samuel immigrated to the U.S. at age 17, he hoped for the American Dream: an education, a secure job, and a traditional career path.

But during his college years, Leslie realized he had an entrepreneurial streak. He made a few attempts at working for himself.

He failed.

He lost money that he'd set aside for his wedding. He tried investing in the stock market. He lost more money, savings that he'd set aside to pay his tuition.

But he didn't quit.

Leslie graduated, married, and accepted a job as a high school science teacher.

He felt happy and secure. Yet his entrepreneurial itch persisted. He started building an online business in his spare time. 

Leslie began earning an extra $14,000 per year on the side, a nice supplement to his income. A few years later, Leslie landed his dream job as a university professor. He loved his work. He earned a solid income.

His wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Everything seemed perfect. But his entrepreneurial calling persisted.

Ultimately, Leslie made the difficult decision to quit his dream job in order to become a full-time online entrepreneur.

In this episode, he shares why he made this tough choice – and how he handled the fear and doubts that blocked the way.

#043: Jean Chatzky Shares Money Rules for Modern Life  

Today's guest is Jean Chatzky, financial editor for the TODAY Show, host of the HerMoney podcast and a frequent guest on TV shows like Oprah, Regis & Kelly, and The View.

She's the bestselling author of many books, including Money Rules, which we discuss in today's episode. Here are a few of the Money Rules we cover:

#1: The more time you spend looking, the less happy you’ll be with what you find. #2: Your retirement trumps their tuition.
#3: Losing money hurts more than it should.
#4: Big numbers make smart people do stupid things.
#5: Don’t lend money to friends & relatives, and don’t co-sign for loans.
#6: If its 50% off, it's still 50% on.

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It’s not about having it all. It’s about having what you value most. How can you match your money with your values? Jean and I tackle this question in the second half of the podcast. This leads us into discussing tactics that can prevent wasteful spending, such as:

• The 10/10/10 Rule – How will you feel about this purchase in 10 minutes? 10 months? 10 years?
• The 24 Hour Rule – Delay the purchase by 24 hours. Do you still want it?
• Only Pay Full Price – Paradoxically, avoiding sales – and ONLY buying items at full price – might help you save more money in the long run.

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Finally, we chat about how to balance financial priorities when you and your spouse want different things. What if you want to retire early, but your spouse doesn't? How do you handle this?

Jean shares her ideas on all these topics in today's episode.

#042: The Incredible Value of Deep Work, Instead of Distraction – with Cal Newport  

Your most valuable asset isn't your house, car or retirement portfolio. It's your attention. Most knowledge workers spend their day franticly hopping between meetings, emails, phone calls and social media. But that's not the best way to stand out in the modern economy. Emails are necessary, says author and professor Cal Newport. They'll keep you from getting fired. But they won't get you promoted. Instead, focus on deep work, Newport says. Dedicate your mental energy towards cognitively-demanding tasks that stretch the limits of your capabilities. Develop your skills as a writer, investor, programmer, mathematician, musician, artist, or whatever field you practice. You'll achieve bigger success from honing rare, valuable skills than you would from sending a few additional tweets or replying to emails at a faster pace, he says. You'll also enjoy more meaningful work. Deep work isn't something that you cram into the margins of your life. To the contrary, focusing on deep work allows you to boost your productivity at work and feel more fully present at home. Newport discusses the concept of Deep Work, and shares tips on how to apply this to our lives, in today's podcast.

#041: Ask Paula: Investing, Rebalancing and Renovating  

Mollie, a listener, is making smart money moves.

She's getting the maximum match on 403b contributions. She's saving for a downpayment on a home. Her husband opened a Roth IRA.

What's next?

After listening to the Jim Collins episode, Mollie wants to open a Vanguard account. How can she balance this with the rest of her saving and investing goals? Is she spreading herself too thin?

Meanwhile, podcast listener Elizabeth is trying a little-known tactic to rebalance her portfolio.

Traditional advice tells people to rebalance by selling their gains. But Elizabeth wants to let those gains ride. She'd prefer to rebalance by buying undervalued assets.

Are their hidden dangers to her strategy?

Finally, podcast listener Chris wants to remodel his basement. He's an aspiring Airbnb host who'd like to make extra cash by renting out part of his home. How much money should he spend on his basement remodel? Are there any good rules-of-thumb?

I tackle these three questions in today's Ask Paula episode.

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