We recorded this podcast two weeks ago and we have already referenced it in SO MANY other situations…Peter Atwater joins us to talk confidence when investing, when managing, when leading…and generally when living. At first, we didn’t understand why this was the breakthrough idea, but the longer we sat with it, the more we referenced his idea. If you’ve been wondering HOW to get where you want to go. If you’ve been wondering WHY you aren’t getting the results you want. If you wonder WHERE you should look for better ideas, Peter Atwater has you covered on today’s show.
But that’s not all. In our headline segment, 401k balances are rising, but 401 hardship loans are through the roof. What’s going on? We’ll share ideas (and solutions if you’re borrowing from your 401k). Plus, we also have our TikTok minute, throw out the Haven Life line to a lucky listener, and more.
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
Our TikTok Minute
Big thanks to Peter Atwater for joining us today. To learn more about Peter, visit his bio at William & Mary. Grab yourself a copy of the book The Confidence Map: Charting a Path from Chaos to Clarity
- On August 14th, 1938, what president signed the social security act into law?
Need life insurance? You could be insured in 20 minutes or less and build your family’s safety net for the future. Use StackingBenjamins.com/HavenLife to calculate how much you need and apply.
- Jerry from Nashville recently changed jobs, and his new employer does not offer a 401(k) during the first year of employment. He wants to know what we suggest he do with the extra Benjamins until he’s eligible to participate in his employer’s 401(k), given that his other available tax-advantaged accounts are maxed out.
Want more than just the show notes? How about our newsletter with STACKS of related, deeper links?
- Check out The 201, our email that comes with every Monday and Wednesday episode, PLUS a list of more than 19 of the top money lessons Joe’s learned over his own life about money. From credit to cash reserves, and insurance to investing, we’ll tackle all of these. Head to StackingBenjamins.com/the201 to sign up (it’s free and we will never give away your email to others).
Join Us Wednesday!
John Lanza, host of the Art of Allowance podcast, will come down to the basement to talk about raising money-smart kids.
Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Invest Better: How To Slash Taxes in Your Portfolio (SB1394)
Are we toasting?
Yes. Yeah. Put the toast down and grab your drink. Put the toast down. Oh, okay. Grab your drink. We’re doing the other toast Doug. It is Monday and we, we maybe do both. Toast Toast with butter and we do our coffee toast to the men and women in our armed forces. On behalf of the men and women making podcasts to Mom’s basement and the men and women at Navy Federal Credit Union.
What we do, Doug, is we toast our troops just like that. Caff. That’s how we do it. It’s some Java. Yes. And I got
my, yeah, I know it. That’s Now I’m annoyed. Why? I like, I love that we do this every Monday. I think it’s great that we do this, but you’re mugs, man. Like if you’re not gonna say, oh, I went to the Citadel, like once every four episodes.
Now you gotta have a mug to let it say it for you.
Do I have to tell the whole story where I didn’t graduate? I’m kind of a loser
about that. Oh, did I tell you I went to Frankfurt, but before that I went to the
Citadel. Before that I went to Michigan State. Anyway, I got my, that’s my chuck mug. That’s my Dar cheer store troops.
How about that? Can we just cheers everybody?
I guess you should have called. I
did call earlier when using the phone.
Earlier. When was that? Or
later When? Then I, uh, left. Left a message. A
message. What number did you call? 2 4 9 Oh. 5,
6, 7, 8. I can’t hear you. You’re trailing off. And did I catch a niner in there where you’re calling from a walkie-talkie?
No, it was cordless. Mm-hmm. You
know what? Don’t. Not here. Not
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug, and it’s time to harness your chaos and channel it into clarity. Today we talk to the guy who knows the secret ingredient to make more money and find success. Peter Atwater in our headline segment, having Trouble Saving into your 4 0 1 k Bank of America is out with their state of retirement study, and we’ll see how you compare.
Plus our TikTok minute will show that it’s all about leading by example. That’s all. Before we throw out the Haven Lifeline to stacker Jerry, who wants to know how to invest when you have. 4 0 1 k limitations. And of course I’ll share some incredibly colorful trivia. And now two guys who are shining examples of personal finance.
It’s Joe and O.
that one. I nailed it.
Well, thank you very much Doug for the kind intro and yes, you did nail it. Welcome to Monday.
We’re all nailing Monday. Here’s, here’s how I know I nail it, Joe. ’cause I always try on your name to go, Joe, like to go down low on Joe and I can’t always do that, but that time I crush it
Oh gee. I think he wants to go through the, the, uh, masterclass on how to do what he, somebody wants to take the Doug masterclass. We, uh, we should just contact them. Maybe.
I don’t know who would want
do that, but I dunno who would want to do that. I got no idea. Might not be the right side hustle, but everybody happy Monday.
We’re so happy that you’re here with us. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the next, uh, hour because we are gonna bring it for you. We’ve got a great headline, Doug, as you said, uh, early on, and we got the amazing OG here. How are you buddy? Great pal.
God, it’s, he’s, he’s incapable of doing that with any amount of genuineness.
It, it, he can’t pull it off. What
I come back for more like every Monday, Wednesday, come back for more and it just doesn’t work. But it works. We, it works. We
do everything about that. Said, great, you Jack Hole,
we got a, we got a great show today. Peter Atwater, who is not only a professor at William and Mary, he’s got the key, you know, we often, we’re often og we’re solving for the wrong thing, right?
We solve for optimization when we should be solving for flexibility. We solve for lower payments today when we should be trying to pay our debt off earlier. So working on framework, big part of what we wanna do, Peter Atwater’s got a great framework that leads with confidence. How do we get confidence into our actions?
And you and I, it’s funny that Peter’s talking about confidence because you and I get coaching from the same organization, strategic Coach in the last. Last time we were both in Chicago, that’s all they talked about was how important confidence is. It’s the
only thing that matters, especially as you’re kinda navigating all this stuff about money or entrepreneurship or whatever it is that you’re working on.
There’s, there’s enough non-confident things
going on around you. There totally is building confidence your number one place to start. So before that we got our headline, but you know what, OG before that, Doug Doug, you were gonna tell us a story about, uh, eBay. About an eBay experience that you had. Oh yes.
in Joe. This is a good one. So here we go. So I’m buying this,
I didn’t think they sold that on eBay. I, I mean we accidentally
cut Doug off with that. I think that was So Should I go again? Mistake.
Yeah, try it again. You want me to just start it over again? Please. So anyway, I’m searching for the cat corpus.
I can’t believe my finger slipped twice in a row. Sorry, man. My bad. Peter Atwater joining us in a minute, but first, a big headline. Hello Darlings, and now it’s time for your favorite part of the show. Our Stacking Benjamins headlines. Our headline comes to us from Investment News. This is written by Steve Randall.
You know, every year og the, maybe the one thing I like at Bank of America is they do a state of retirement survey that I think every year we reference, and I feel like it gives us a nice, uh, finger on the pulse of what’s going on. But this year they’re, they’re painting kind of a, a tale of two countries in America.
The headline reads, average 4 0 1 K balances are up from last year. But so are hardship withdrawals. Uh, Steve writes, there’s good news and bad news about state of retirement savings in 2023 according to new report from Bank of America. While some Americans feeling optimistic and have boosted their 4 0 1 K balances, others are struggling, have, have been forced to take hardship, withdrawals, depleting their retirement provisions.
The numbers look like this. Average balances so far in 2023 have increased by about $7,250. That’s about 10% more money in the average 4 0 1 k. However, on the downside, there’s been a 36% spike in the number of people taking hardship withdrawals from their 4 0 1 K plans compared to a year ago. I feel like the biggest problem, og more people, you know, feeling inflation, feeling they don’t have enough money right now, so we’re going to this pot of money that is our retirement account,
which is kind of a double-edged sword, right?
I mean, at some level, all of your money is all of your money. We talk a lot about making sure that you have a lot of flexibility, that you’re saving in pre-tax accounts and after-tax accounts and you know, taking advantage of all the different things. So you have flexibility. But at the end of the day, if you had a hundred million dollars in your I R A, do you really care if there’s a penalty or, or taxes to take that money out?
Of course not. ’cause you got a hundred million bucks. So at some point you have to look at your money as money. And for some people it’s not the greatest. But at some, at some level, you have to look and say, if I’ve got consumer debt or if I’ve got these other responsibilities that are causing me some frustration, or in some cases, lots and lots and lots of interest.
Especially as interest rates have gone up. It’s something that you gotta consider to take a look at. Well this is my money. I can take this money and pay off this debt. My net worth stays the same, right? ’cause I pay off debt. And I reduced my assets. So my net worth is the same dollar amount. It was, you know, before the transaction.
But I’m not paying 30% interest to credit cards. If you’re taking hardship withdrawals, you’re taking loans from your 4 0 1 k ’cause you wanna buy a car, you wanna buy a boat, you want to have some fun, you know, you wanna go on vacation, that’s a really awful use of that money. Well, from retirement assets.
But if you have the need for kind of clearing up stuff and it’s because you got out in front of your skis or something else happened in your life, you were hurt or injured or laid off from work for an extended period of time, and this is, you know, kind of like your last resort. It is what it is, right?
It’s, it’s part that’s part of your money. And now the next part is how do we, how do we
fix it? Yeah, I was gonna say if that’s the diagnosis that we have a problem. The prescription though of just take the money out seems to be a little, um, a little too quick for me. If we’ve got a 36% bump. I feel like there’s some other options that we have available, but because we have the money sitting there, we don’t move that like, well, and it a preventative measure.
Let’s talk about, this is the prescription. If I don’t have any money for emergencies and I keep having to tap my 4 0 1 K for emergencies, OG is it to slow down the 4 0 1 k savings to get the emergency fund in place? Yeah, I
mean, that could be one of the pieces. It could be look at your spending, it could be, you know, go try to find extra work or work overtime or, you know, side hustle it or whatever you wanna do.
If you continuously find yourself in the need of extra cash because your income and expenses month to month are not the right, you know, ratio, then I think you have to consider that sort of remedy. Not necessarily, well, I’ll just take money for my 4 0 1 k, you know? Yeah. Because that doesn’t solve the problem like you were talking about.
It’s, it’s a, it’s a bandaid no different than the person who has a whole bunch of credit card debt. And then goes, gets a home equity loan and goes, oh, whew, knocked all that away. It’s like, well, no, you didn’t, you just moved it to a different thing. Right. You know, you free up cash flow, you got a better, better terms all that’s great, but if you don’t solve that root problem of you have too much spending that caused the credit card debt in the first place, eventually you run into the scenario where now you have credit card debt and no equity in the house.
what do you do? Yeah. I, I think there’s gotta be some better ways. And so I went looking and, uh, found this piece from NerdWallet 19 ways to find cash. And I think if you just do a little bit of exploring, there’s some stuff like if you, to your point, if you move things around and you just kind of mortgage your, your retirement to pay for today.
You mortgage your own future, but number one on this list is sell spare electronics. We have old electronics sitting around. Some people that might make you a few bucks. Sell your gift cards. Pawn something like sell gift
cards. Hold on a second. That one actually is a pretty good idea. If your house is like mine, you’ve got a pile of them somewhere, right?
You get ’em for holidays or birthdays or you go somewhere and you know, they have a little promo at the grocery store. Here’s a gift card. You don’t go, you know, I, I don’t, yeah. Don’t necessarily go to Outback that often to use it. I mean, it’s just not a, it’s not in the, it’s not in the, and then quite often we’ll go and forget we even had a gift card.
Yep. Because they’re in, you know, a different part of the house, basically. Go through all those, get the dollar amounts. There’s websites that you can use to sell ’em. Now you don’t sell ’em exactly dollar for dollar, but you’ll get a good deal and raise some cash
pretty quickly. The top three on this list, oh g to your point, are just sell things.
And I remember when we talked to Ty and tell at McNeely at his and her money, uh, great couple in Chicago on the internet, they have some fantastic YouTube videos. You know, part of their story about getting financially solvent was selling the stuff around their house that they weren’t using. Yeah. And that, and that helped them eliminate way more credit card debt than they thought it was.
It was a big thing. Number four, work today for fast cash. There’s so many online ways to make money between Uber, you know, Uber Eats, uh, uh, Instacart. All the different ways that you can make some pretty fast cash to solve your problem. Seeking community loans and assistance. Uh, crystal has talked about how this helped her when she was struggling with money that she didn’t realize there were community problems.
Jean Chasky and Patrice Washington’s new p b s special about money. We featured them maybe five or six months ago. Uh, talked about how many community loans for assistance there are. So there’s a bunch of them. Eight on the list is take a loan from your retirement account. There’s seven above it and frankly, a lot of ’em below it I would actually put above it too.
So we’ll link to those on our show notes page at stack you Benjamins dot com. But I think just going right to the 4 0 1 K is a difficult place, but it’s certainly OG is a time to look at your behaviors and see is there something I can change? Either make more money, spend less money time for our TikTok minute.
This is the part of the show where we shine the light on a TikTok creator either doing something brilliant or hashtag brilliant. And, oh gee, I’m gonna see if you’ll break the string today of same answer every damn Monday. I. You, uh, you gonna bring me a different answer. Is it brilliant or hashtag brilliant?
It’s never brilliant. Well, We’ll see. This is from, uh, a guy that a lot of our, a lot of our community may know. Um, motivational speaker Evan Carmichael interviewing a guy. Well, and I think you’ll know the voice immediately when you hear this. Uh, gentleman, I paid
$285 million for the Dallas Mavericks. This is early November.
By January 4th, I owned the Dallas Mavericks. So when I took over the Mavs, I didn’t get a big office. I didn’t get a big desk. I didn’t give a shit. About big desk and we had eight, nine, whatever salesperson. I put my desk right in the middle of them. I put a phone book and a computer printout of all
of our former customers,
and right there next to them,
I just started dialing, trying to sell the Mavericks.
Ma’am, I, I know you’ve been to a Mavericks game before, but you realize now that it’s less expensive to come to a Mavericks game than to take your family to
Our ticket started at $8 and McDonald’s and a Coke is more than
that. Why don’t you come and try us out? The first
game’s free on me. I wanted everybody that worked with me to see that if I asked them to do it, I’ll do it.
If you’re running a company and if you can align your interests with, those are the people you worked with, these are gonna
work for you. I don’t even think that’s, if you run a company, I think that’s just great leadership. No matter who you are, OG is if, if you’re gonna ask your team to do something, you’re gonna ask your family to do something.
Whatever it is, you should be willing to do it too. They’d be able to do it yourself. So are they all ridiculous? Was that ridiculous? I mean
the mavericks are ridiculous, but,
well, it’s funny that CU Cuban’s a little bit
ridiculous. What’s funny that Mark Cuban’s not telling you is he’s sending this lady to the game for free and he gets around the $36 popcorn.
Exactly. $92 beer. Like he makes it up, uh, makes it up by the second quarter, but very seriously. It’s funny, I was listening to some other creator and they were talking about how, you know, when you talk to your team and the people around you about goals, a lot of the time you’ll see everybody just, just fade out.
Like, yeah, go, okay, goals. Yeah, we might reach those. We might not. Could be good. Could, you know, maybe, maybe not. When you talk to people about impact, what impact is this gonna bring to your client, to your customer, to your community? He was talking about how that clears the fog and I think talking about impact also, I think goes hand in hand with what, what Mark Cuban’s talking about here.
O gee, I really believe that. I don’t know what to add to that. Yes. Joe, you’re brilliant. That was great. All of those things.
Joe, you’re brilliant. Fantastic, fantastic. Fantastic
way to bring it home. Doug. I’m gonna keep playing ones that are not, uh, are not cheesy. Cheesy until he changes. And it’s gonna be that week I play another cheesy one, and then right when he finally runs,
just have what?
See, you gotta have
two. You gotta have two. Exactly.
And then as soon
as I go,
okay, fine. It’s could be, so it’s could be a strategy. Be like Charlie Brown in the football with Lucy holding the football.
Could be, can’t wait. Uh, coming up we’ve got a fantastic guest. A Peter Atwater is, as I mentioned earlier, an adjunct professor of economics at William and Mary’s President of Financial Insights, a consulting firm that advises institutional investors, major companies, and global policy makers on how social mood affects decision making, the economy and the markets.
Uh, you see Peter all over the place. I’ve seen him on C N B C, I’ve seen him on Fox Business. He’s always a guy who’s talking. Whenever there’s a change in the mood, change in the economy, he’ll talk about that today about how confidence really for him has become the name of the game and can be the name of the game for you for changing whatever financial game is that you’re playing, whether making money or investing money, or even frankly spending money.
But before we get to Peter, who, I can’t wait to talk to Doug. You’ve got some trivia while he’s coming down the stairs. Let’s do it. Darn right,
I do. Joe. Hey everybody. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug, and these punk kids in the neighborhood keep wasting water, trying to make rainbows with the hose Man.
Today’s youth is really in a sad state of affairs. So me, I think it’s pronounced
s I think
it’s pronounced today’s Ute. Today’s Utes is in a sad state of affairs. Okay. No, not doing that. So me being the mentor that I am had to flex, I mean, demonstrate how to do it. Lucky for them, I taught them proper body placement in the sun hose angle, and pressure to create the perfect prism of life.
Sure. Took me four hours. But those kids, those kids learned a life skill Today. Good thing I used Joe’s mom’s hose. Four hours of water would really upset my budget back. Speaking of rainbows, today in 1979, the longest lasting rainbow in meteorological history was recorded. No, it wasn’t. The last time OG smiled.
In fact, this record breaking band of color held out for three hours on the Gwyneth Coast in Wales. That’s not the only big rainbow that happened on this day. In the Chronicles of time in 1935, a rainbow for your wallet became law. The Social Security Act creating a pension system for the retired was signed.
My trivia question is, On August 14th, 1938, what President signed the Social Security Act. I’ll be back right after I Google how to get rid of Raisin Fingers. Four hours of rainbow making training gives you dish pan hands.
Hey there, stackers. I’m Rainbow Maker and Water Diviner Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug, and taking a moment to celebrate my win, giving the neighborhood kids the training and the four hours of water necessary to master their rainbow skills, gives me all feels. But I got a job to do. My trivia question was on the Social security pot of gold created in the US for retirees on August 14th, 1938.
What President signed the Social Security Act into law? It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Little known fact, also known as F D R. Almost nobody knows that. And now it’s time to find out the secret to making more money and finding success with Peter Atwater.
And I’m super happy sitting down at the card table with us.
Peter Atwater’s here. How are you my friend? I’m doing well, Joe. Great to see you. Well, I’m super happy that you’re here and I’m glad that we’re gonna talk about this idea of confidence. When did you first realize that confidence truly was the name of the game on, on looking at the future?
Late in life?
Well beyond my first career, and I was trying to understand why I was watching. Right after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the financial markets start to take off. You know, stocks started to rise, and I was like, no, no, no, no, no. Everybody feels horrible. They think things are getting worse. Why is the market going up?
I realized that nothing that I understood in terms of cashflow, valuations, and technical analysis, none of that mattered. People’s mood was changing, and with that, something dramatic was happening and I thought, you know what? I don’t wanna make the mistakes that I made in 2009 again, in terms of thinking that things are only gonna get worse.
And then seeing things get better and feeling unprepared for that.
And it’s interesting you say that because you talk about the opposite of confidence is not so much a lack of confidence. This is vulnerability.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think we miss that. And vulnerability, when you frame things in that sense suddenly makes so much more sense when you look at the behaviors of individuals and crowds.
Yes, let’s go to really the beginning of this project. You draw this correlation between the, you know, the close of business to the stock market where, you know, C N B C, Fox Business, they begin interviewing people. They try to figure out, okay, what happened? So we can turn this into a story. And it’s funny that you say that because I remember reading a, a good book in the 1990s called Trading Rules, where they say, listen, there really is no story.
Like it just, it could be these big investors doing things, Peter, for all these reasons. But we wanna turn into a story and it really is a good story. And we look at presidential elections. We’ll talk a little bit about, uh, Trump versus Clinton as an example, which you bring up later in your work. We can tell a story afterwards, but we’re really bad at using the same stuff for the future.
Why the economy where we can piece it together later, but we can’t do it in the future.
Yeah, because we need an explanation for why things happened. And remarkably, that’s easy. But we’re. Ill-equipped, I think is probably the best way to put it, to use those same stories to anticipate what’s coming. Unless what’s coming is absolutely straight ahead, the slightest variations, and we’re woefully un
unprepared, but we can do that.
Then you write, we can use that. We can put together a story if we evaluate how confident we are. Yeah,
because our feelings of confidence, our stories, and our actions exist in a constant state of equilibrium because we need them to, you wouldn’t do something different from how you feel. And you wouldn’t tell a story that’s inconsistent with how you feel.
And so those three things are in constant states of of agreement. And when one changes, suddenly the other two are forced to change. And so if we stop for a second and assess how we feel, then suddenly we can anticipate what’s the story that’s about to be told? What’s the action that’s about to happen?
And that’s particularly true with crowds because crowds move in stories. That’s the beauty of social media. We can actually see these stories ebb and flow today, but we behave entirely driven by our level of confidence and the stories that accompany that. And I think that that’s really. Powerful information that gets overlooked.
And if we would stop to analyze it, we would make far better decisions at the extremes of confidence, which is where most investors make their worst choices.
You really dive into this with stories, and one story that comes to mind just as you’re speaking is for me to predict the future about a test. As a guy who has, a guy who has been a professor of many people, if I’m getting ready to take a test in one of your classes, we can kind of predict the future on how much I prepared.
If I feel very prepared, then I’m going to feel very confident and I will probably, I will probably be able to, based on that confidence, we can examine the class and figure out ahead of time who will probably do well in the test and who won’t. But there’s gotta be a better story than that, Peter, that we can kind of tell our stackers about how this confidence game works to predict the future.
Do you have a good story that we could maybe wrap it around? Yeah. So let’s
rewind the tape to the beginning of Covid. And you can think about that. We started with there being absolute certainty that the virus was contained to China. Right? Okay. That was the story. And with that story, our confidence was very high.
We had an easy story to understand. The virus was far away, it was abstract. Therefore, we could be confident and we were still making choices based on that. Virus moves to Europe feels a little closer, but we’re still okay, but we’re still making decisions in the same way. Virus moves. Suddenly American companies are being impacted.
Starbucks, apple talking about what’s happening to them, and we’re getting increasingly anxious. Now, if you pause for a second to say, if Americans start to feel more anxious, what are we likely to do? How is our response likely to change? And we were doing this real time with my, I was doing this with my students and they were, they were saying, well, we’re gonna stop traveling to these places.
Great. Make sense? Which fit the story. You would reflect lower levels of conference. They said, you know, we may have to shut things down because we’ll be afraid. My favorite was in late February. They’re, they’re seeing this continue to unfold. And students as professor, if confidence gets worse, we are not coming back from spring break, so we ought to pack our cars like we’re not coming back.
And we talked about that. We said, so what’s the upside downside of this decision? They said, minimum downside, but a lot of upside if, if that happens. So they all pack their cars and their friends are looking at them, why are you packing their cars? And they’re like, well, if things get worse, this is likely to happen.
And so I share that because they were right. And if we pause for a second to think. If our confidence gets higher or lower, what’s likely to be our response? And let me fast forward to one last moment on that example. Tom Hanks and Rudy Gobert, March 11th, the news hits that Hanks has C V I D and the game, this jazz, Oklahoma City game is canceled.
And suddenly there’s panic. Because in that moment, our vulnerability became real. Didn’t matter that Hanks was in Australia at the time,
right? Right. But
this is the nature of how we respond to vulnerability, that when those threats become real, we then respond in a very impulsive and emotional way. And I see this in markets on a repeated basis, and we forget that panic is in fact, God’s way of telling us the worst
is behind us.
I’m just pondering that, I’m just pondering that for a second. Well, you know, and, and really define what you’re talking about there. Let’s do this. Yeah. Let’s go through your quadrant model. I think as I’m evaluating what you’re saying, I’m understanding from this project I’m understanding like I am now in the lower left quadrant, which means that the worst probably is behind me and now I’m, I’m gonna either go north or I’m going to go east, or I’m gonna go northeast, all of which are great outcomes versus where I’m at today.
Yeah. So you’ve got this great way of framing the confidence framework in these quadrants. Could you describe that framework for our stackers so we can kind of unpack what you just said?
Sure. So confidence is one of those words that we use and use and use, but really aren’t sure what it means. And I.
Finally in frustration said, okay, we need a useful definition of what this thing is. What this feeling is, you
actually talk about how your dad had a map. Yeah, I really like that idea too. Your dad had this map. He’d go around the world, he would come home, he’d show you, Hey, I went here. I was in this place.
This is it. And then you realize that these places, a different morays, they had different languages, they had different things, and you begin associating these things with a map, which I thought was a great way to introduce this. It’s giving us a map of what we’re about to look at,
because based on our levels of confidence, we’re different people.
It’s like we’re in a completely different country if we’re confident versus we’re not confident. So what I concluded was that certainty and control are what we need to feel confident. That to be confident, I need to have a sense that what’s ahead of me is predictable. That I can see a road, a path that’s clear.
And that I’m prepared for what’s coming, that I’ve practiced. I’ve got the tools, I’ve got the skills, whatever it is that I need to be successful in this future that I imagined. And I realized that when we have both of those things, feel comfortable, feel easy. And so what I created was a very simple two by two box chart where I have high and low certainty and high and low control.
And then those mixes when I have high certainty and high control, it’s the upper right hand box of the these four boxes. And that’s the comfort zone. And that’s where we’re confident. We’re nice people. It’s where our successes in life happen. We’re relaxed. Time moves quickly. It’s a place when we talk about, you know, not wanting to leave our comfort zone.
That’s exactly why. Because to leave our comfort zone introduces uncertainty. And it may introduce a sense of powerlessness. And when I introduce both of those, then I’m in the lower left hand corner and that’s what I call the stress center because we always feel anxious when we lack certainty and control.
And anybody who’s experienced a traumatic event has been in the lower left corner of that. That’s I think of as the trauma zone where you feel intensely powerless and uncertain. It’s, you know, when you arrive in the emergency room, that box, as I said, we’re a completely different person. We’re impatient.
We’re not necessarily nice to others or ourselves. Time drags, you can really feel how slow it is. We think differently too. It’s really hard for us to make sense of the world. And so that’s a almost a country all by itself. And when we think of confidence, we typically think of those two
locations. I. Just to stop you for just a second because as, as you were describing this, I’m also thinking, you know, in that comfort zone, you also talk about time speeding up as you mentioned, and also this is where a lot of sports players are or maybe people in an orchestra are where time seems to go quickly.
It seems like you’re almost channeling, and I can never pronounce the philosopher’s name, but the gentleman at the University of Chicago talking about flow, right? Yeah. About a flow state. A flow state really is that upper right where I am so in control and I know what I’m doing, that I’m living in this, in this world where things are just coming naturally.
Yeah, and psychologists think of it as fluency, and I love that word because if you’ve learned a foreign language, you struggle and you struggle and struggle and, but somebody who’s fluent, it’s effortless. It just, the words happen before they realize they’re out of their mouth. And that’s, that’s that flow
state that there are two other quadrants.
If we head further along the X axis, Peter, we have confidence, but we’re not in control. These are ones I think that are a little harder to explain, but you call that a passenger state,
A passenger seat, yeah. Because if I’m on an airplane or in the back of a cab, I hope I have certainty and I’ll, and I’ll require a lot of certainty to get in, but I have no control unless I’ve got the steering wheel.
And that’s an interesting environment. It’s us on an elevator or on a bridge. We are in that space routinely and don’t realize it. And when we have the certainty that we want, that, we expect we are relaxed, but introduce some turbulence and suddenly we feel like we’re in the stress center. And here I think it’s helpful to realize that the passenger seat also defines a prison.
Prisons are environments of extreme certainty, but powerlessness. And so if you’ve been on an airplane with turbulence, you feel that sense of imprisonment or on a rollercoaster that you don’t wanna ride. So these are environments that are very fragile and that can go from feeling wonderful. One moment to terrifying the next
I love how too, a use case of this. You brought up the airplane. You talk about how on an airplane we buy the ticket. We feel very confident. I decided I want to go from Texarkana, where I am out to visit you, Peter on the East coast. So I’m very confident. I’m in control. I’m in that upper quadrant. Then I get on the plane and I’m immediately a passenger.
Somebody else is there. We hit turbulence. I go to the stress state. In one airplane ride you can go up and back and up and back several times. That was an aha. But a bigger aha was you can have three people on the same plane, Peter. And they’re experiencing that plane ride differently based on their experience, which should be an aha for all of
Yeah. And that was a huge aha for me. It was to see that somebody who is a frequent flyer isn’t phased by the turbulence. On the other hand, an anxious flyer is all but in prayer in those moments. And that’s a really important thing to realize because I was struck looking at this, that the confident passenger doesn’t realize the reality of her powerlessness in the same way that the nervous.
Passenger woefully under appreciates the certainty. And from that, you can think about those being elements in both overconfidence, where we overestimate the certainty and control that we feel, and under confidence that we underestimate them. And I, I think under confidence is a term that needs greater emphasis and attention because we suffer from both of them.
I mean, when covid hit people were thinking it was the end of the world. And you look back and you say, no, we were catastrophizing, which we tend to do when panic hits. And we need to be careful with that. That’s a sign of potential under confidence.
I think that understanding we’re all on the same plane, but we’re experiencing differently if we work with other people.
It helps you build empathy. This idea that we, we can be experiencing the same things in different ways, helps me realize that, maybe have a little bit more understanding of what my brother sister’s going through.
Uh, hugely and particularly important for leaders to realize that the confidence that they feel as a function of position and opportunity, and there are lots of things that, that are stacked to their benefit may be stacked against their employees.
And I. As a result, they speak again, they speak a different language. Yeah. And have a hard time communicating because they, they’re seeing the same experience in such
different ways. I want to talk about a couple of use cases of this, but before we get to that, a bunch of people right now, Peter screaming at their device, we, we went over three different states.
We went over the stress zone, the comfort zone, and also now the passenger state. But that upper left one, what’s the upper left quadrant? Just briefly. Sure.
Upper left quadrant is where we have control, but no certainty. Think of this as a rock climber on the side of a cliff. They’re climbing, hoping to make it to the top, but they’re looking down and yeah, that’s the stress center right below them.
If they lose their grip, and this is an environment that we’re in a lot, every financial decision we make. Whether we’re borrowing money, lending, money, investing takes place in that box because we have control, but we have no certainty in what the outcome is, even though we imagine vividly what those outcomes are, and, and so we need to remember that we’re making a decision in a place where the certainty is unknown and not to associate our feelings with those outcomes.
Entrepreneurs love this box.
Oh they do. ’cause they love to hold the steering wheel. In fact, when I talk to groups of entrepreneurs, they’re, they’re like the comfort zone. Ah, too boring. I’m here. Give me the car and let me steer it. I’m gonna, and for them that uncertainty equals opportunity. Where for a lot of people that uncertainty equals the unknown in something to be
Sure. Uh, let’s talk about a couple of use cases. Let’s go back to the workplace first and then we’ll talk about investing. But in the workplace, a lot of people where they make their Benjamins initially, people come into an organization, you’re definitely filled with stress. But what I find happens in a lot of organizations is they very quickly make it to that passenger spot, which is not where the leader wants them, I would think.
They want people in the comfort zone where they own the company goals, right? They own the goals, they feel like they have the control, and they have the certainty to be able to make good decisions there. Yet I find, and I’m thinking specifically of a couple of things, and I’ll tell you my own, I am part of a, uh, nonprofit organization here where the founder is very much involved.
The founder has a very difficult time. Delegating responsibility. And me as a person who’s in that, because I know that the founder of this organization is in the upper right corner. I’m very comfortable being a passenger. And yet when she and I go out to lunch and talk about this, Peter, she’s always frustrated that there’s a lot of us that are very comfortable being passengers.
’cause she’s an awesome driver, right? She’s fantastic. How does a leader motivate somebody who’s in that passenger zone to get out of that and redefine the world and move them up into that comfort
zone? So the pathway typically is from the passenger seat into the launchpad and then the comfort zone. Ah, so if I think about how we prepare doctors, you know, we, we put them in the classroom, they’re in the passenger seat.
So that they get some basic understandings and then we say, okay, now you go do it. And, and we do this in sports. We do this in a lot of places where you, you know, you can talk about it only for so long, and then you need people to actually do it. And what’s vital in that transition is trying to think about what are the skills that somebody needs as they’re transitioning from the passenger seat into the launchpad, that they will be successful and end up in the comfort zone.
So what I should be doing as a manager is I wanna empower people so that they move from the passenger seat to the launchpad. But in that process of empowering, I want to make sure, do they have the skills, the tools, the camaraderie, the network, what is it that they’re gonna need to know so that when they have to do it themselves, they’re not.
Going to fail, they’re gonna succeed and end up in the comfort zone and have a success that goes
along with that. Well, but even if they do fail, if they do fail as a leader, I have to think about this more as a continuum, right? I mean, there’s this horrible phrase, right? Give somebody enough rope to hang themselves.
Just a rotten phrase. However, I really need to back off and not be, maybe not be available as much. Maybe not be there to help them when they’re, when they’re struggling, because to your point, they have to feel that fear a little
more. The thing about failure, the thing about our experiences when we fall into the, into the stress center, is that’s where we learn.
That’s where we are forced to gain skills and understanding that we would otherwise never have. So you’re right, as a leader, you’ve gotta let people struggle, have accidents. You know, if you think about what we do with pilots in the simulator, they crash the plane over and over and over until they finally landed safely.
And then we’re like, okay, now you can fly with real people in it. So our expectation that as leaders, that people will move flawlessly from the passenger seat to the launchpad into the comfort zone is, is garbage. We should expect that in this process they should fail. What we want to do is to make sure that they fail in ways that are not reputation damaging, financially damaging that that are controllable failures.
How do we use confidence to make better investing decisions?
So again, we are in the launchpad when we make those decisions and we need to be careful to remember that our imagination of the future. Is not an accurate representation of what’s to come. It’s a reflection of how we feel. If I feel good, the future I’m imagining looks great.
If I feel bad, the future that I imagine is horrible. And I got smacked back upside the head by a psychologist. At one point I was talking about the future, and he’s like, Peter, we imagine the future. So I think we ought to think of it almost like folks at Disney who are making cartoons. You know, remember if you’re talking about the future, you’re imagining it.
So for investors, if you can only imagine one outcome, good or bad, you are
overconfident in that choice.
You need a bigger sample size. Yeah.
And you, and you need a bigger imagination. I, I tell people, if you can’t imagine anything other than what you imagine as an outcome, you’re almost certain to be wrong.
I think this is fabulous, Peter, because I think of, you know, an engineer I worked with back when I was a financial planner and it, and it was great. She said that, you know, when they were planning out a highway, they would look at all the different things that would go wrong, and only once they imagined all these different outcomes would they then begin building.
So again, you’re putting yourself in the launch pad to get to the comfort zone.
Yeah. And getting there with a high degree of, of risk tolerance in the process. What I see in investing over and over, and this is with the pros, this is with the em, this is what happens. I get myself in the launchpad, I have a vivid imagination.
It’s gonna be great. What that does is it makes me really lazy. My brain turns off, right? So I’m not paying any attention, but my imagination is so sure. Rather than doing it in a bite-size, I want to eat the whole sandwich. In fact, the whole buffet line. And so I buy things in too big a size. While paying the least amount of attention, and it’s no wonder the outcomes are bad there.
And we do the reverse at lows in confidence. We’re so certain that things are going to be bad, that we sell out on everything, and so if we could just avoid making those two really bad decisions. Our longer term performance would be so much better that these are such self-inflicted wounds.
They true, truly are. Thank you for going through those ’cause I think those are actionable. They show us where we can go. I want to go back to, uh, some things that have happened in the past with you and your students before we, uh, say goodbye because I just find these are great proof of concepts, let’s call them.
First of all, your students predicted that Trump would beat Clinton ’cause they were one of the few people, right? I mean, all the news that day and as they were counting votes were contradictory to what your students were saying. Walk us through the confidence map and uh, Trump versus Clinton.
Sure. So in this class we talk about the fact that we act as we feel and so how we feel drives financial decisions, cultural decisions, you know, what we eat to how we vote.
And early on in the campaign, I. We noticed that there was a clear relationship, your correlation between the popularity of Hillary Clinton and consumer confidence. And I share the image in the book. In fact, when I asked the folks at Gallop for permission for the image, they looked at it and were like, holy cow.
Even they had, they hadn’t, they hadn’t seen this before. Yeah. Wow. But what was very clear was that his confidence rose and fell. Hillary Clinton moved with it and as an offset, as she did poorly, obviously Trump did much better. And so we were watching consumer confidence heading into election day, and their comment was, if confidence falls, he wins, she loses because that relationship was likely to continue.
And that’s exactly what happened. And we see this all the time that as our level of confidence changes, Our preferences change in what we buy, how we travel, what we wear, and and our political decision making is in line with that same
experience. Well, and I wanna do one more that is far more serious, far more important to the future of the country and the world, which is you found a parallel between confidence in the 2020 Grammys.
Far more important. Far, far more. Tell me about this one. Yeah. So
our music choices are key to expressing how we feel. And in 2020, you had Taylor Swift going up against Billie Eilish and I can’t think of two more different artists. One who’s a very popular, you know, and another indie positive, dark. I mean, the contrast is real.
And yet, for all of her popularity, I. Taylor Swift was swept off the stage by Billie Eilish who won more Grammys in that moment than anybody had since Christopher Cross at the lows in confidence in 1980. And music and and mood are fascinating. There are lots of fun studies and now thanks to Spotify we can actually keep track of this.
But I would say to your listeners, and this is something I talk about in class as an investor, you wanna buy Adele, you wanna buy, when we’re rolling in the deep, those dark somber, you know, teary music, you’d play it during a breakup kind of environment and you wanna sell Pharrell. Adele sell Pharrell. Why?
Because his music, you know, if you think happy what? I’m happy. Yeah. Yeah. That bubble gum dancing. And so it sounds silly and it is silly, but there’s a real message in it. We need to think about our moods. Because we should do exactly the opposite of what our gut tells us to do as investors when we’re rolling in the deep, that means there’s opportunity.
And what’s wild is, is that while Taylor was swept off the stage by Billie Eilish, I heard some people say, Peter, she might be okay. Taylor Swift might be alright.
She’s okay. Yeah. But, but notice, notice what’s happened to confidence since early 2020.
Yeah. So the book is the Confidence Map, charting a Path from Chaos to Clarity.
If you’ve listened to me on Afford Anything recently, uh, you’ve also heard me talk about questions. I’m answering with my friend Paula Pan on that show about, uh, using Peter’s framework. But it’s available everywhere. It’s available everywhere. Yeah. Peter, thank you so much for helping our stackers hopefully get a little more confident.
I really appreciate it. I really appreciate that. The
opportunity, Joe. Thank
you. This is Darryl from Pennsylvania. When I’m not busy arguing with a four year old, I’m Stacking Benjamins.
daddy. Big thanks to Peter for hanging out with us today. It’s all about confidence. Let’s throw out the lifeline and tackle of some life’s most important questions.
Our friends at Haven Life Insurance Agency, og, they put what you value first.
Uh, I’m gonna need a refill on some coffee. Ah, I, I started a little early, so I’m, um, I’m cold and got just the remnants left. It’s
coffee is, uh, good when you’re up early, taking care of the stacker community. We might be able to press pause here for a second, but for now I’m gonna say it’s your loved ones in your time with your coffee.
It’s why they may buy in quality term life insurance. Actually, simply go to stacky Benjamins dot com slash haven life. Now, to get a free quote. You get a free quote quicker than you can make a pot of coffee. Yeah. I by the way,
highly disagree. Coffee with your loved ones. No. What?
What do you mean? I
wanna be completely alone.
I’m having that first cup or two of coffee in the morning.
Oh God. We want you alone. Nobody around me, please. I, I’m not saying I want, I want you alone. I’m saying I want you to be alone, G T
f O. Just to be clear, while I’m drinking my first
cup, go to stack Benjamins dot com slash HavenLife now for a free quote instead of talking to Doug while he’s drinking his coffee.
I love what they’re doing ’cause they’re committed to offering a modern way to buy life insurance. It’s simple. It’s online. The coffee is just still percolating, and you have an instant coverage decision. Prices are affordable. All policies issued by the parent company, MassMutual more than 160 years old.
Hey, today we’re gonna throw out the Haven Life line. Two stacker. Jerry, what’s up Jerry?
This is Jerry from Nashville, wi Wisconsin of course. And my questions for Doug and uh, Joe G if there’s time, see what I did there? It’s like fer, but for Stacking. Benjamins. And anyways, I recently changed jobs and received a raise, uh, by doing so.
However, my new employer does not offer a 4 0 1 K for the first year. So with that and the raise, it means I have an extra chunk of change, uh, ready for investing investment prices where they’re right now. I don’t wanna miss out on, you know, the sale and the predicted market gains in the subsequent years.
So my question is, what would you encourage someone to do if they have their H s a, their Roth I r a maxed out and 4 0 1 k investings off limits for another nine months? Thanks,
monkeys. Jerry, what? Jerry, thanks for the
invest in a seam monkey farm. Jerry,
Jerry, that’s why OG and I are here is, uh, so you don’t have to take that advice og.
What does he do? He, he’s got, uh, some cashflow that needs a home. Well, if you’ve
already maxed out all the retirement plan options available to you Roth and your H S A, then the only other place is your brokerage account, right? The, I think the really important piece is to make sure that you continue to set aside that money so that come Jan one or whenever you can kick on the 4 0 1 K, you already have the experience and the cashflow associated with, you know, saving that extra, that extra money.
’cause a year down the line, having an extra 20 grand in your pocket, you get used to it. For a lot of us, it’ll be like, Hey, look at all this extra cash I got. The other thing that you could do is if you have a partner or spouse that has a workplace plan that they’re not contributing the maximum to, you could have them increase to the maximum option in their plan and, you know, you kind of offset it based on your, on, on, on the fact that you’re not contributing to yours.
So, from a cashflow standpoint, you know, your spouse may be like, Hey, what’s going on? I don’t have any money in my paycheck. Well, yeah, you’re just kind of, you know, robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. But the most important piece out of all of this is to make sure that you continue to save the money that you’re going to save into your 4 0 1 k.
You got a nice pay raise and you’re planning on doing it, you might as well plan on maxing it out. So make sure you’re setting aside that, uh, 22 and half thousand dollars a year, uh, based on, you know, whatever that works out to be per paycheck for you. Stuff it in your brokerage account. Good time to pay off debt.
It’s a good time to build up your cash reserve. It’s a good time to dump some money in the kids’. 5 29 plans. There’s a lot of places to put it in the meantime, but the most important thing is make sure the activity of that saving is going on. That was gonna
be my contribution. OG was, uh, it was just to pick up from where you left off.
Choosing what to invest in is gonna be based on the roadmap, right? Which, what are you saving for, and then what’s the timeline around that goal? And that’ll, that’ll lead you right to a much smaller group of investments that does that thing. Obviously, if it’s college, 5 29 plan’s a great, great start there.
If it is the cash reserve, then a savings account, high, high yield, uh, savings account is a great option. If it’s just flexible money, then, uh, regular s and p 500 index fund in your brokerage account is a great place to go. I, I love the idea o g either way of having flexible money. I think especially when it comes to finance nerds, we solve, as I’ve opened the show with, we solve a lot for optimization, which often, by the time people, you know, get to where they want to go, they realize they’re kind of strapped into this strategy.
And if my goals change, I don’t have any flexible money to go to. Yeah.
I mean, all that sounded great guys, but I guarantee you he stopped listening after he heard Seam Monkeys. It’s a, it’s an a t M machine in your own home.
Or, or go see monkeys Jerry. One one of those might be correct. Uh, thanks for the call.
If you’ve got a question that Doug can help us answer and then we’ll pat ’em on the head like that afterwards. Thanks. Job Doug, uh, stacky Benjamins dot com slash You’re grown, you’re helping. It’s fantastic. Stacking Benjamins dot com slash voicemail. And you know what we’re sending Jerry a. Uh, Stacking Benjamins Haven Life Greatest Money show.
Unearthed Circus t-shirt. Very comfortable shirt. In fact, we saw a listener, Maddie. Yes. Uh, showed us. We got
a shout out Mad. So happy he did
that. Maddie showed us his shirt in our Facebook group, the basement, and I got an email from Rachel who couldn’t make it to the Minneapolis meetup when I was there and had written me a nice note saying, but I’m repping the brand.
She sent me a picture of her when she was in Bavaria. She goes, oh, Joe, did I tell you I went to Bavaria? And, and there’s a picture of her in a Stacking Benjamin shirt in Bavaria. Uh, so thanks. Thanks for that,
Rachel. I dont even think you took a picture of a Stacking Benjamin shirt actually in the
area. I didn’t.
This is a great point, OG. This dude never is not traveling, and we don’t see why don’t, why don’t we see pictures of you in every location you go to with swag?
Hey, time to end the show guys. It’s sorry we’re running up against the clock here. Big apologies to Dave Ramsey. We ran outta time for his segment today, but, uh, we do have some stuff coming up on the community calendar, which is cool.
Coming up on Thursday, our friend Andy Hill at Marriage Kids and Money has uh, been working with his kids to make them millionaires at an early age, and he’s put together a whole program on how to do that. We’re gonna talk to him on Instagram on on Thursday. So Andy Hill from Marriage, kids and Money, my old neighbor and my board game buddy gonna join us on Instagram.
Andy’s always a lot of fun and, uh, in this case, if you’ve got a family or nieces and nephews or a community you wanna help, uh, Andy’s gonna have some good advice. Thursday, 5:00 PM Eastern, 2:00 PM Pacific. Join us over on Instagram for all the places. Whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, wherever we’re gonna be head to the welcome kit.
Uh, stacky Benjamins dot com slash welcome gives you all of the different places where you can, can, uh, plug into us. By the way, if you’re listening to us on Stitcher, we said this a few times, Stitcher going bye-bye, I think this week or next week. So you need to get off Stitcher, um, and Stitcher gives you this great way to take all of your follows like us along with you so you don’t lose any of your shows.
It’s funny, uh, I’m saying this in part because I still need to do that. I use Stitcher and I’ve got like 18 shows I follow and I’ve really gotta gotta get that done. But I’ve heard from friends, it takes just a couple minutes. So if you’re on following us on Stitcher, follow us someplace else. Uh, uh, what do you guys use og You use just the, use the Apple, uh, podcast app.
Yeah. Yeah. Doug, how about you? Yeah, me too. Yep. Yeah, I’ve used Castro. I really like, I’ve used Overcast. A lot of people in the basement use Overcast. Wow. That’s a,
I just saw an article about this and Overcast was an incredibly small percentage of the overall podcast audience was using Overcast, like, I don’t know,
1.2% or something.
Interesting. Well, because that’s interesting. The big two behind the big two. I mean, I mean, really Apple’s number one, right? Apple’s number one. Huge. Spotify then, and then Google just can’t decide no. What they’re using. So then you’ve got, yeah, overcast and a few other good choices. But anyway, uh, lots of different.
Lots of different places to go. Try out a few different ones and see which one works for you. But for, for me, the Apple one works just great. All right, that’s could do it for today. Except one thing, probably the most important thing if you’re here because of the fact that you just need to make better decisions than you have in the past and maybe not drop stuff while Joe’s doing the exit as well.
Uh, a fidget spinner had two Stacking Benjamins dot com slash og. ’cause OG and his team are taking clients. Their financial planning practice, OG is uh, listed again this year, by the way, on Instagram’s Instagram. What am I talking about? Investopedia list of the top 100 advisors in the United States.
Congratulations og. Yeah, thanks. Nice job. No problem. Nice job there. But stuckey Benjamins dot com slash OG gets you on his calendar. All right. That’s gonna do it for today. Now, Doug, what’s our top three takeaways?
God, finally. Well, Joe first take some advice from Peter Atwater and work on building your confidence to find financial success.
Second, take a tip from our headline, and if you need money, think harder about solving the real problem instead of just tapping into the 4 0 1 k and mortgaging your financial future. But the big lesson, you don’t always find a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. If you’re not careful, there might just be a pile of credit card debt.
Don’t ask how I know. Thanks to Peter Atwater for joining us today. You’ll find Peter’s book, the Confidence Map, charting a Path From Chaos to Clarity, wherever books are Sold. But we’ll also include links in our show notes at Stacking Benjamins dot com. And if you use our Amazon link for that or other purchases, you’ll pay the same Amazon prices, but you’ll also help the podcast.
I think we need new books to hold up the mic, so please hurry.
This show is the Property of SSB podcasts, L L c, copyright 2023, and is created by Joe Saul-Sehy, our Salsi Hot. Our producer is Karen Repine. The show was written by Lacey Langford, who’s also the host of the Military Money Show. With help from me, Joe, and Doc G from the Earn and Invest podcast, Kevin Bailey helps us take a deeper dive into all the topics covered on each episode in our newsletter called the 2 0 1.
You’ll find the 4 1 1 on all things money at the 2 0 1. Just visit Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1. Tina eichenberg makes the video version of this show. Once we bottle up all this goodness, we ship it to our engineer, the amazing Steve Stewart. Steve helps the rest of our team sound nearly as good as I do right now.
Wanna chat with friends about the show later? Mom’s friend Gertrude and Kate Youngin are our social media coordinators, and Gertrude is the room mother in our Facebook group called The Basement. So say hello. When you see us posting online to join all the basement fun with other stackers, type Stacking Benjamins dot com slash basement.
Not only should you not take advice from these nerds, don’t take advice from people you don’t know. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any financial decisions, speak with a real financial advisor. I’m Joe’s Mom’s neighbor, Doug, and we’ll see you next time back here at the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I had a great issue with my binging points, which will make Doug laugh. You know, I use, I use Bing to get these points, and I decided I was going to buy the EA golf game because the last golf game that I had through EA I really liked, but it didn’t work very well. I. And so I’ve accumulated a bunch of points, went to cash in and they said, Hey, last up, we just need to, um, we just need to run a text to your phone number just to prove it’s you cashing out your points for these sweet Amazon gift cards so you can buy the game on Amazon.
And so I click and they go, but you don’t have a phone number on file. And I said, I don’t have a phone number on file. Okay? So I went in to click on a phone number. Guess how they let me in to put my phone number in? They sent me a text that I had to answer off of my phone. You can’t
make the up.
I’m like, they sent me a text via my phone.
And then I get to my phone and it goes, yeah, we don’t have a phone number for you. I’m like, well, I hold on a second. Bet you do. And then I go to put my phone number in and it says, oh yeah, we can’t put that phone number in. I have no idea why I can’t put that. Anyway, I can’t get my points out of, out of binging right now.
So my love affair. Doug was like, sooner or later this is gonna go bad. It using binging versus Google is gonna
have a horrible, if I just wait this out, I’ll be right.
I know 10 years later we did have one thing we were gonna say on this after show, which is, uh, you had stories about eBay.
Oh yeah. I mean, I don’t know if it’s worthy of after show, but I’ll just tell the stories and uh, and you’ll decide.
I wanted to get a pocket knife for my son. I have a pocket knife a friend gave me as a gift, as a thank you gift. And it’s a, it’s a, it was a pretty expensive, pretty nice pocket knife. And my son’s always admired, you know, he’s likes it. I’d like to have one. So I was gonna, I got him one for Christmas
early just to take planes.
Take on vacation. Sure.
Yeah. As one does. So I do some Google searching to find out is there any place that’s selling these for a little bit less. ’cause they’re, they’re a little spendy and, uh, this, this brand, the name of the brand of the knife is bench made. I find one that was, 40% off, something like that.
I’m like, sweet, go to the website. It is bench made, all the logos, everything is perfect. I order, the knife says, takes 10 to 14 days to process. I thought, well that’s kind of weird, but that’s, you know, it’s not a not normal. It, I wait and I wait and I wait. Knife shows up. It’s the wrong model, not the one I ordered.
So I find the confirmation email I got when I ordered it, I reply to them, Hey, wrong knife. The email that comes back to me, clearly not from the North America, I’ll say clearly somebody kind of feels like a bit of a scammy, kind of an email. One of those where you get a spam email from, you know, the prince in Nigeria who wants money.
I’m like, oh, this is suspicious. But, so I send back what I got. They needed pictures of everything. Send photos. They uh, they say, oh, we’re very sorry Again, really broken English with lots of grammatical issues. In the meantime, I called the 800 number on the bench made site and they’re like, oh yeah, we know about them.
That’s a Chinese scam company. We’ve been trying to shut ’em down for years and we just can’t. Can’t do it. The only thing you can do is go to your credit card. If you use a credit card, obviously it did. And deny it. Deny it. Ask ’em to uh, yeah, to deny the claim. Deny the payment. So I did that. Actually, it was awesome.
There was a right in the app for Citibank, there was, one of the options was counterfeit goods. So sweet. Choose that. And almost instantly I get a thing back saying, we’re giving you a provisional credit back on your card. And, um, but I’ve got the knife already and I’ve got my money back. So they finally reply to me after that and they’re like, oh, we’re very sorry.
Uh, we’ll send you the correct knife and for your troubles, you get to keep the knife we sent you as our gift and we’ll send you the correct one. So I think I’m getting two fake Chinese knives and, uh, my money back. But I mean, these, these fakes were really good. Doug’s message
is you gotta try it, try it.
mean, go to this site, you try this.
I get two free knives. Hack.
This is a TikTok right here. Hack How to get two Free Knives from China. Step one Go to
Bench Made. Yeah. This should have been my first clue, but I didn’t spot it right away, is the U R l was bench made knives, not knives. Knives. Knives. Yeah.
Bench made knives.com is the big one. It’s, I thought you were gonna say what it was 40% off it Cay and it was just 40% shorter. You like, oh, well that’s
funny you say that Joe. ’cause that was the knife I wanted was, it was a shorter version of the one I carry. It’s hilarious. ’cause that’s almost exactly what I
That’s what I was hoping for. 40%.
Oh, I want that. And I got a full-size one and that, that was no bueno, but, uh, I’m still waiting for that correct. Fake version that they’re gonna send me. But, uh, that, that hasn’t shown up yet. So I’ll, I’ll, at some point I’m wondering if they’ll be like, you know, screw this guy.
He took his money back. We’re not sending him his free fake knife.
Do you know what og you know what OG he was right. That story totally wasn’t worth it. I know
it. I told you I didn’t know these were gonna be after shows. I.