Brian Klaas has an interesting backstory…to say the least. He owes his existence to a woman who murdered her family. Because she did it–and took her own life, he was born. This complete fluke is the reason why Brian says that your decisions matter more than you could possibly think. While planning is important, Brian emphasizes that it’s even more important how you respond to all of the flukes in your life. We’ll talk about the weird falling of dominos and how we’re all more interconnected than we’d like to believe (and more) with Brian.
Before that we take on a difficult headline; a HUGE number of advisors say they’re going to retire in the next ten years. What do you do if your advisor says they’re going to retire before you do? How do you change advisors…and how do you even broach the topic of retirement with your advisor? We talk all things retirement and THEIR retirement on today’s show.
Plus, we’re continuing the first round of our Great Math Joke Off. Four more Stackers see their jokes go head-to-head for a chance to win a couple of books AND possibly more if they continue winning. We also share trivia from Doug and take a call from a Stacker who’d Better Call Saul….Sehy and OG.
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
- Over a third of US advisors plan to retire within 10 years (InvestmentNews)
Big thanks to Brian Klaas for joining us today. To learn more about Brian, visit BRIAN KLAAS (brianpklaas.com). Grab yourself a copy of the book FLUKE: Chance, Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters
- What is a whale in Las Vegas?
Better call Saul…Sehy & OG
- A Stacker from our private Facebook group, The Basement, asks: How long do you believe it necessary to keep a car in order for buying it to be worth the investment?
Have a question for the show?
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Join Us Friday!
Tune in on Friday when you’ll learn how to live a life with LOTS of upside and very little downside with Paula Pant, Doc G, and OG.
Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Negotiating Family, Goals, Culture, and Good Money Habits (with Gigi Gonzales)- SB1467.
Dukes are going to corner the entire frozen orange juice market
live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I am Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Duggan. Today you’ll learn why every little thing you do matters with author Brian class in our headlines, tons of advisors are retiring in the next 10 years. What does that mean for your money? We’ll share and it’s time for two more. Head-to-head matchups. In our 2024 math joke, joke off, we’ll share more stacker hilarity.
Plus we’ll hear one stacker. Who thought I’d better call sa? See hi and og. And I’ll share some large trivia. And now two guys who live to bring you all of the personal finance advice with the biggest payoff. It’s Joe and oh
Ho Neighbor. Welcome to the Stacky Benjamin Show. I am Joe Salsey. Hi. And we are happy to be guiding you through another hour of really some interesting discussions. I looked ahead of time OG at what we’ve got on the slate today, and it’s a good one, as they say. Excellent. Whoever they are, not sure who they are, but not marginal.
below average, no. Just a game or b
plus game, you think? No. Coming in at like a 10. So, whoa. Uh, the bar’s high. 10 outta 10, 10 out 12. Listen, we start off with Brian class. We’ve got the joke off today. I mean, what could be better plus a headline. I mean, throw that in. All right. Yes. Uh, on top of that, how about if we serve pancakes, then let’s freaking go.
Should we serve pancakes? Mm.
Uh, I’m a waffle guy. Oh, I like pancakes.
Well, you know what? Since it’s 10 outta 10 day, how do you like your waffles? My favorite way to do waffles. Oh, that
sounds delicious. Let me ask you this. I don’t really care that much, but what I really like is when the bacon’s on the plate and then you pour the But wait, doesn’t
it drip on your socks then?
you’re careful. Ah, there’s nobody else in the room. We get a great show
today, everybody. Brian class here with us. So, uh, let’s get to our headline. Hello
And now it’s time for your favorite part of the show, our Stacking
Our headline today comes to us from investment news.
This is written by. IL Halas. This is a bad stat OG for people that are trying to figure out how to make their board of directors better. Over a third of US advisors plan to retire within 10 years. He writes, a financial advisor’s been retiring faster than they could be replaced, and that trend shows no sign of abating according to a recent report from Ulli Associates.
But that coincides with an overall shift among established advisors going from wirehouses to RIAs, which, uh, we, we can define what that means. And although it’s unlikely that there will be a one-to-one replacement advisors in the years ahead, succession planning has never been easier. All right. From there, because this is an industry rag, they take it from the advisor standpoint.
I wanna take this more from the average persons, our average stacker standpoint. Start off here that says shift from advisors going from wirehouses to RIAs. Can we talk about what that means? Sure. I mean this is basically advisory firms
that are leaving the big brokerage houses, the big, the big name people that you see all the ads for.
Merrill Morgan, Ameriprise, LPL, Edward Jones, I guess are the biggest ones, probably Wells Fargo. And, uh, either starting their own firms and saying, I, you know, I’m gonna go away from the brokerage business, away from the commission business fee only, or fee-based, or joining an established RIA firm. Most of the time, especially with larger groups, it’s them starting their own, maybe with some supported help along the way.
’cause there’s some organizations that, that provide a lot of back office support to help with that transition. Because if you’re not doing it, you have no idea what, you know, how to write an A DV or how to set up a compliance department or payroll or any of those things that business owners who have been running their own firms know how to do.
So. That’s a big trend for sure that’s happening is, is people are moving away from brokerage companies to independent firms. That being said, Merrill Morgan, they’re not going anywhere. Sure. These are gigantic organizations that still have a lot of great people on their teams and, and specialize in really important things, so they’re not going anywhere
Well, let’s pivot then, now that we got the definitions down over 30 US Advisors plan to retire. That is a, that is a big number. What do you do if you think your advisor might be getting ready to retire? It’s a great question. I, I, I
I would like to see the data on this. That seems like such a big number, doesn’t
It does, but it’s Ian Associates who generally do good work. Yeah. I do remember
seeing something, this was many years ago, that there were more advisors at a IG, this is how old those data is. There were more advisors at a IG that were over the age of 80 than under the age of 30. Wow. So. Kinda an interesting demographic data point from some years ago.
But the difference I think, in
that period of time, Joe, when you started doing this work, when I started doing it, is there’s now organizational development around being an actual advisor, not being a salesperson who specializes in selling financial stuff. There’s lots of great schools and lots of great programs where people are learning to be great advisors from the get go, as opposed to being a great asset gatherer, being a great salesperson, and then learning financial planning along the way.
That still happens of course, as well, but I think there’s more of a, a swell of younger people potentially, whether or not that offsets the large number of people that are scheduled to retire. And and I say that also a little, I. Little in quotation marks because I think we’ve all known people that have said they’re gonna retire in the next 10 years, and then Yeah, haven’t, yeah.
In fact, some people would argue that’s part of the problem is that some of these owners and founders that are 60, 70, and 80 are going like, I’m gonna hang out for a few more years. I’m gonna hang out for a few more years. And, and not allowing that next generation or second generation to,
to take over.
But even without that, based on this, it seems like it, there’s never been a better time to get into this business. Like for people from time to time, we’ll get people asking about this as a career path. Probably never a better time to get in. In the now, especially 10,000 people
are retiring every day from now until 2034 something.
Wow, that’s crazy. Wow.
Yeah, that some gigantic numbers. I wonder if this is a conversation you have with your advisor, like if something happens to you. Not even retiring og, but if you get hit by a bus. And don’t get me wrong, the reason I think we wanted advisors to just be better overall with our money, right?
But I’m, I’m not truly not a, uh, a big fan of just handing it all off and going, well, I talk about this twice a year and I don’t even think about it. Uh, it’s your money. But I do think that my advisor’s gotta have a contingency plan, and I wanna hear that. I think that’s a good thing to ask your advisor, don’t you?
SEC requires you to have a business continuity plan for natural disasters and power outages and, you know, all that sort of stuff. They also strongly encourage you to have, I. A contingency plan of what happens if you are not around as the, you know, as a principal of a firm or something like that. So it’s totally in bounds, I think, to ask your advisor, to ask your team, like, what’s the deal?
You know, OG gets hit by a bus. Who’s do, who do I call? Like, what’s gonna happen? And uh, you know, in our business we’ve already thought about that, documented out, of course, but in smaller organizations, maybe they haven’t. And the reality is, is that that’s, that’s something that unfortunately does happen from time to time.
And I think it’s also fair to ask about the retirement piece of it, right? I mean, if you’re moderately successful as an advisor and you’ve followed your own advice for a period of time, it’s not off the beaten path to suggest that maybe that person wants to enjoy an early retirement. Kinda like you kind of, sort of wanna enjoy an early retirement.
I wouldn’t. Your advisor. Um, so that’s fair to ask too, if they’ve got any plans for it now. Expect to have some hemming and hawing if, if they haven’t really thought about it. But, uh, it’s okay. I think if you’re, if you are an advisor, I don’t know why you wouldn’t wanna, I don’t know, telegraph’s a weird word to say, but, you know, celebrate that basically.
Right? Sure. Like I, I did all this
I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I did all the stuff that I’d been
telling you guys
to do. If you had just done what I said, you could be
retiring with me if you just done what I said. Damnit, we all go out at the same time. Coulda had a join to retirement party and everything.
We will link to this, uh, for the record,
I think. Oh, gee’s. Just outside that 10 year mark, by the way. So I think I got a little time yet.
I don’t know. Doug and I have been talking. Some people work for you. Sounds like they’re ready to put the continuity plan to work and they keep asking
Yes, they’re okay.
Has he said anything to you? When do you think we can shove ’em off the balcony? I.
Yeah. Uh, when is this nap time? Because we, we, we got the pillow to go right over the ouch. Wow,
this got dark.
We will link to this piece and, uh, Kevin Bailey, we’ll dive into more at our newsletter, the 2 0 1. That’s where we share information, not just about this, but for when we have local meetups, when we have live recording sessions, which we have another one of those coming up fairly soon.
And we have special guests on the show where we’re going to do those live and, and more. Uh, stacky Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1. Get you signed up to be notified on all that, and then get the stuff that bridges our shows twice a week. Hey, before we get to Doug’s trivia to Brian class, our stackers have been working hard, coming up with math jokes.
And man, it’s funny how many people like beat the deadline on this. Just barely beat the deadline to get them in. And we have now a packed house. Winners of these next two are going to get copies of signed copies of stacked or two of some of the books from recent guests that have been on the show that have published books.
Some do, some don’t. But I’ve got a stack of those speaking a stacked and uh, so people are gonna get two of those. But first Doug, we gotta go over the results of last week’s competition. ’cause the, these weren’t even remotely close either one of these, right? So first we had the number 12 seed John up against the number five seed.
Julie, Julie said, uh, what did one math book say to the other? Don’t bother me. I got my own
problems. Yeah. And John’s was, uh, I’m trying to buy a house with interest rates as high as they are. I’m thankful they only need an arm and not a leg. I’ll show myself out. That one won.
Yeah, the number 12 seed came in big.
Wow. I believe at the time that we’re recording this, 88% of our stackers in the basement voted for John over Julie’s joke. So nice try Julie. But, uh, John, you’re moving on. John, also, by the way, because we just started our book club, John gets to go for free $1,200 value for free.
I wanna point this out, Joe, if you, we may have to go back and play the tape, but if you recall, I was the one who read that 12 seed joke.
We need to run the replay. It is not at all surprising that it’s kicking ass. Oh, in the
voting. Yeah. Uh, this play is under review to see if Doug read that one. Well, let’s go to the other side of this bracket. We also did the number 15 seat against the number two, the number two seat, which was one of my favorite jokes.
Why should the number 288 never be mentioned? It’s two gross. Maybe that’s a, uh, too much of a, a double and tundra or maybe too old a reference. It’s a thinkers joke. Yes. Yeah. I like that one against number 15. That
was the two seed. And you had me read the 15 seed. I put my root beer in a square glass. Now it’s just beer.
And that is also the winner
root beer in square glass. Fabulous. Now it’s just beer. Midas
Doug. You got the Midas touch. I think, uh, there’s a clear trend
showing it itself. All right, we’re gonna switch it up this week to see if that’s actually the case. Doug, we’re gonna, I’m gonna read the,
the higher seed.
You’ll read the higher seeds. Maybe people just think that they want, they, they want the underdogs to win. But congratulations to Nikki. By the way, Nikki’s also taking home a free admission to our book club.
Free Admission of
Guilt. The book club, by the way, for people that are just joining us for the first time.
Happening for the first time ever, but we hope to do this once a year. We dive into my book Stacked, uh, over 10 sessions with a very small group of people and they get free admission. All right. Uh, these people taken home two books, either stacked signed by me or in another book, or if they already have stacked, or for the few people that wouldn’t want that amazing book.
You can just get two from recent guests. But Doug, let’s go to the quick ones. Go to the top half the bracket, the eight nine
C, the eight nine Battle. Oh, these are always dicey games. You never, it could go either way. Okay, here we go. Did you know that 10 plus 10 and 11 plus 11 are the same? 10 plus ten’s, 20 and 11 plus 11 is 22.
That’s fabulous. All right. The number nine seed. Oh, that was Brandy. Yeah, I forgot to say that’s from Brandy. This one comes from Jen. I saw my math teacher. I already won. I already won. I saw my math teacher with a piece of graph paper yesterday. og. I think he must be plotting something. There’s those two.
All right. Uh, OG thoughts about those and don’t make ’em both suck. Please, God. Don’t,
I’m a fan of the 10 and 11 one, I think. Uh oh.
That’s goddamn damn right. He is.
He’s, he’s, so, yeah, I think that’s right up my alley. It’s almost like this one. This one you have to see. Do you know that you actually have 11 fingers and 11 fingers.
You watch, there’s 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 plus five is 11. Duh. It’s like, it’s kind of right up the alley. Yeah. Of like 10 plus 10 is 2022. What?
I like it. Wait, is that, is that right?
It’s 22 mm-Hmm. If only OG could have gotten around the people that work here. Clause in the show. Ah, yes. Oh, well. Not open to members of the Stacky Benjamins basement staff.
Uh, let’s go number 14 against number three. Number three, from Melissa Doug.
They say there’s no more customer service in banking, but they have obviously never banked with Wells Fargo. The other day I called Wells Fargo to move some money from my checking account to my savings account. A week later, I got a letter in the mail that they opened eight checking accounts, two credit cards, and a new mortgage for a beach house in Florida.
Now I got a new vacation home I might be overacting
against. Uh, number 14, Seth sent us this one. How about the constipated mathematician? OG worked it out with a pencil. Definitely the
winner. Again, anything that has to do with that poop joke, automatic, automatic advance to the next level,
and again, he took the lower seed on both of those.
All right, Seth.
Melissa, we will now be overrunning. Now that OG said that
Jen and Brandy, uh, have all your friends vote early. Vote like it’s a Chicago election. Yeah, that’s right in the basement. Uh, we will start those up Wednesday morning first thing, so make sure, ’cause we only get based on our recording schedule.
Sometimes you only get about eight hours to vote on these, so go check on Wednesday to see those. All right, coming up next Brian class is a guy who grew up in Minnesota, earned his, uh, doctorate at a little, uh, a little university called Oxford. He’s now a professor of global politics at University College London, contributing writer for the Atlantic host of the award-Winning Power Corrupts podcast, and a frequent guest on national television.
Of course, now he’s here, he. Has this wild story about the fluke that created his own life. And, uh, we actually swap stories there about that. And you’re gonna, as you hear these stories, realize how many wild and wonderful things happen to you every day. The great flukes. And what do we do with that? What Brian’s gonna tell you what we do with that.
But before all that Doug, uh, you’ve got some trivia. That ain’t
no fluke. Ain’t no fluke. Hey there, stackers. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor. Doug threw a series of flukes. I ended up in a hammock with Joe’s mom yesterday afternoon. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t have my glasses on, and now I gotta avoid eye contact with her for at least another 48 hours or until this weird chilled feeling goes away in less traumatizing, fluke news and having absolutely nothing to do with Joe’s mom.
I just found out that a blue whale’s tail is about 25 feet across. I mean, I already knew that anyway, but now I know for sure. Blue whales are incredible animals. They’re majestic, intelligent, powerful, I guess you could say. I’m their spirit animal. If you’ve never seen one in the wild, you gotta go. I took a girlfriend on a whale watching cruise for Valentine’s Day once.
I flew us all the way out to California, got a hotel and tickets for the cruise, I even paid for dinner. Man. I’m a great boyfriend. Wait, what was I, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah, whales. Whales are cool. When their calves are nursing, they gain up to 198 pounds per day. That’s like gaining a Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug every single day.
That’s a pretty massive ROI for whale breast milk to look into that. Today’s trivia question is, what is a whale in Las Vegas? I’ll be back right after I put up my own hammock in my own yard where there’s plenty of sunlight, so I can’t ever mistake another person for a pile of leaves again.
Hey there, stackers. I’m whale ologist and proud owner of my very own Hammock Joe’s Mom’s neighbor, Doug. We’re having a whale of a good time over here. Oh, I wrote that. I wrote that one myself. Blue whales are the largest animals to ever live on the earth. Allegedly. We never did get Nessie measurement, though.
I’m like Lochness monster. They’re also the loudest animals on the planet. Whales not Lochness monster and can be heard from up to a thousand miles away. Now, now that I think about it, that sounds a lot like the noise Joe’s mom made when I accidentally flopped into the hammock. Ugh. Today’s trivia question is, what is a whale in Las Vegas?
The answer sometimes referred to as cheetahs a whale in Vegas is someone who consistently places high betts or more simply a whale is a high roller. You know, think Doug and you got the image and now here to teach you how things that are seemingly inconsequential can change the overall arc of your life.
It’s today’s mentor Brian class
and I’m super happy he’s joining us in mom’s basement. Brian class is here. How are you man? I’m doing great. How are you? Well, I’m very good. When we have mentors and guests, I’m Brian. I don’t normally begin by telling them a story. I’m far more interested in your stories, but I do have to share one with you that I think will inform everything we talk about.
Something I’ve joked about with my twins for a long time, they’re 28 years old now, is that if I weren’t. An okay runner, but not good enough to really see it through. They wouldn’t even be alive. I was a scholarship athlete at the Citadel, the military College of South Carolina. I was hurt a lot. I didn’t love running in college.
And so after my sophomore year, I stopped and I went back closer to home to Michigan State. Had I not gone to Michigan State, Brian, I would not have seen this ad in the paper to be a middle school track coach. I would not have then coached that team and been in on the hiring process for the girls coach who ended up being Cheryl, who now we’ve been married for 30 years and my kids are their existence too.
But these flukes aren’t just me. You have a far bigger fluke. I wanna ask you about a person you’re not related to, but who really is a big part of your life named Clara Magdalene Jansen. Did I get her name right?
That’s right. No, exactly. So, so Clara is, uh, a woman who is alive in, around the turn of the, the century.
So, uh, she died in 1905 and she lived in this little farmhouse outside of a place called Keila, Wisconsin, and had four young children at home. I think the oldest was five in, in 1905. And she snapped one day. And it was this, this tragic story where, you know, it’s probably postpartum depression, but they didn’t have a word for it back then.
She killed her four kids and then she decided to take her own life after she did that. And the reason I tell this story is because this is my great-grandfather’s first wife. And he came home and discovered the family, the entire family, of course, dead. And the reason I, I mentioned this is sort of twofold.
One is that quite literally my existence is predicated on them because my great-grandfather remarried to my great-grandmother. Right? And so without that mass murder, I, I wouldn’t exist, you wouldn’t be listening to my voice right now. Right? But there’s another, I think, more profound point here, which is that, you know, I did not know about this until I was 20 something.
My dad sat me down at one point and told, you know, showed me this newspaper clipping and so on. And that is the way that the world actually works, right? That there’s all these invisible things that produce our existence. And like, yeah, okay, you have this diversion where you end up, you know, on the track, uh, you know, hiring committee and so on.
And that’s visible to us. But there’s like so many things that are invisible that are constantly diverting our trajectories that we’re just not aware of. And, you know, in a quite literal sense, part of the story of my existence is a mass murder. 119 years ago in Wisconsin from I. Uh, a woman I didn’t know existed until I was in my mid twenties.
My daughter spent, uh, three years in Japan teaching English, and you kick off this entire project, Brian, with a big discussion about Japan and a gentleman named Al Stimson, who’s a name that a lot of our stackers may not know. Tell us about HL Stimson and how HL changed the world.
Yeah, so, uh, HL Simpson and his wife went on a vacation to Kyoto, Japan in 1926.
And, you know, Kyoto is a beautiful city, and they, they just fell in love with it. So they spent like a week there. Everything was perfect to them, and they just got this, you know, sort of, it happens to a lot of us. We go on vacation, we get a soft spot for the place. Well, this didn’t seem to matter until 19 years later when, uh, Henry Stimson, the HL in that story ends up as America’s Secretary of War, and he is overseeing the decision of where to drop the first atomic bomb.
And the targeting committee unilaterally and, and uniformly says. Kyoto’s our pick, right? It’s, it’s a strategic location. It’s the right place to drop the bomb. Now, he doesn’t want this to happen because him and his wife both really like Kyoto, so he tries to convince the generals and they basically have none of it.
So he goes to the top and he, he meets with President Truman twice and convinces him to take Kyoto off the targeting list. And that’s the reason why the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima instead, and the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki because the other choice, the, the, the primary target that day Coura was briefly obscured by cloud cover.
One of the things I always try to make the point of with this story is like, you know, whenever we try to figure out why stuff happens, we immediately gravitate towards like the big obvious variables. Like, oh, okay. The way you would figure this out is like. What are the best military targets? Like what would be the best place to drop a bomb and so on?
And instead, like the, the actual decision for one of the most consequential choices in 20th century history changed because of one tourist couple 19 years earlier and a cloud. And the point I’m trying to make here is there’s just all these moments that we can’t know about and all these accidents of history that divert our trajectories and change our societies and fluke is trying to grapple with how you make sense of that world.
Well, it is funny because as I, as I was reading the early chapters of this fascinating work and, and story after story about how flukes have influenced and still influence every part of our lives, heck, it even influences you and me getting together today to talk about this. Right? Had you and I not had some people between us to connect the two of us, we wouldn’t even be talking right now.
Your whole premise is this, well-ordered life that we think that we have what I have for breakfast. I feel like I’ve got my calendar down. I know where my week’s gonna go next week, that this is all largely to some degree a lie.
Yeah, I think it is a lie. I mean, I think it’s a useful lie some of the time, right?
Because it’s convenient and pragmatic to try to command your life in a sort of control style way. But it’s impossible, right? I mean, I have this line that I use throughout Fluke that we control nothing, but we influence everything. And I think it’s a useful way to think about our lives. There’s a brief story that I love in Fluke that just captures this beautifully, where there was a swimmer off the coast of Greece named Ivan, who went out for a swim.
Oh God, I love this story. Yeah, he gets, he gets stuck by a riptide, right? So this riptide sucks him out to sea. His friends go looking for him. They can’t find him, and he is lost for 24 hours. And we all know how the stories end when someone gets ripped out to sea and is gone for 24 hours, except for this time, right as Ivan was about to drown, he saw a soccer ball that saved his life and he, he clung to it.
Now, the reason this is a, an amazing story comes next because the Greek news showcased his survival and this woman watching this, you know, I can imagine her like dropping her coffee mug or whatever. As she sees this, she recognizes the soccer ball because her kids had kicked it off a cliff 10 days earlier, 80 miles away.
From where Ivan was swimming. And the point was that you know, his, for them, from their perspective, and this is the thing that I think is really mind boggling, it’s like from their perspective, unless they’d seen this TV show, the TV news, it would’ve just been, oh, a lost soccer ball. Too bad. We’ll buy another one.
But instead what happened was they realized like, this is, this interconnection between us saved his life. And so, you know, it’s a really profound example, but it’s one that is happening constantly. I think the mentality we have where we’re sort of in control of our day-to-Day existence, it’s a convenient myth.
And in fact, our trajectories of our lives are endlessly diverted by small changes, big changes, choices that other people are making, things that we’ll never know about. And that’s the story of our lives. And I think that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pretend that we’re in charge, because obviously it’s still very adaptive to do that, to try to strive to make the most of your life and so on.
But there’s a limit to it. And you know, Ivan is alive because of a, a, an accidental kick of a soccer ball 10 days earlier by some kids. And that’s the way the world actually works.
I feel like we swim our stroke and there’s these ripples that are created around us that I think are so important. Before we move on though, I really wanna ask you, because I was so fascinated by the story, Brian, that as I was reading about Ivan and the soccer ball, I thought to myself, how did he find this?
And if we can just go into the sausage making process for a second, that doesn’t have to do with Fluke, but just how did you even find that story?
When you’re an author, you just sort of, you’re, you act as a sponge for anything that is a related idea, right? And when I was doing research, I had this massive Word document, and I just, every time I caught something, a glimpse of something that might be worth checking out later, I, I did that.
And then somebody posted this, you know, just the story of, of this guy who almost drowned. And then when I looked into it, I was like, actually, this is a story about causality, right? It’s a story about like how things happen and the, the way the world works. So like a lot of the stories were tabloid style, and I actually found it in a tabloid, but then I checked it out and it’s a real verified story and so on.
It’s a, it’s it, it actually happened. But this is the kind of stuff where, I mean, one of the things that was so fun about writing this book is that there are a lot of people who are asking these questions. I mean, in business you have questions about change and what creates success. You have questions in physics about how the world works in reality.
You have questions in political science about the way politics changes the world. And all of us are sort of grappling with our little. Chunk of the world and what I was, you know, with this is why this was so fun to work on this book was I was like, what if I try to like weave them together, right? Where I have like, you know, here’s a little bit of chaos theory from physics combined with political science, which is my background, economics, you know, a little bit of stuff around philosophy and history.
And I was reading the weirdest stuff. I mean, I was down these rabbit holes and that’s where you find these things. And the Ivan story was just one of those things that I stumbled across and I’m very glad I did.
Well, speaking of philosophy, let’s go there because you draw this big line between aism and relational philosophies around life.
Can you talk about the difference between those two? Yeah, so I mean,
western modernity, which basically all the people listening to this myself as well, are, have been steeped in for our lives. It’s basically, you know, it’s, it’s the atomistic worldview, which is to say that you’re an individual operating individually in a, and you don’t need to really understand the system as much, right?
You need to understand your own choices, your independence. The American dream is like, you know, atoms on steroids. It’s like, if you want to succeed then you know, you just need to work hard and, and play by the rules and so on. The Eastern philosophy realms have much more of a relational viewpoint and like, there’s a few ways to think about this.
One is that we do have some aspects of relational thinking that we obviously internalize. One is like you don’t introduce yourself as a human at a cocktail party because you think about how you are relative to other people, right? Like you, you describe yourself relationally and socially. We, we understand that, but when we think about like the way that the world works, we don’t think relationally, we think atomistically, the relational mindset says.
Hold on. Yes, the components are important, but the most important thing is how they interact. And this is the thing about society that I think a lot of people misunderstand, is that there is no meaningless action. Everything has a little ripple effect. And if you don’t understand that and how those ripples occur, you’re not gonna understand the overall system.
And this is where, you know, chaos theory comes in, which by the way, is still the reason why we cannot predict the weather beyond, you know, seven to 10 days. Because if the, if the measurements in any of the models for the weather are off by even a trillionth of, you know, a degree. The forecast will become wrong as the model unfolds over about 10 days.
Chaos theory teaches us that really small changes can have really big effects over time. And so I think that’s part of the relational mentality. We, we live in this complex system that is modern society, and the idea that we’re the sole author of our life stories is, I think, a lie. I mean, I think I, I really worried about using that word in the text because of course, it’s one that a lot of people believe, but I, I don’t think it’s true.
I think that there’s actually a much more complex reality bubbling below the surface, which physicists grapple with and so on. But a lot of people who study humans, uh, too often ignore.
Well, and I thought even as I read your words, that this is a lie. It made me think back to before my time and your time, like the Cold War days, and worried about what’s somebody halfway around the world gonna do that’s gonna wreck my world that I can’t do anything about?
And as I read more and more about this, you know, the Butterfly Effect, the Black Swan events, all of these things, I thought, well, what use is planning? But then I went back to the title of your book, which is Chance Chaos and Why Everything We Do Matters. Not that nothing matters, that Everything We do matters.
Talk about that because it sounds like once we embrace flukes and we embrace the relation, I don’t know, I guess it opens us up, Brian, talk to that. So
I find this really empowering. You know, some people, when I describe the ideas in the book, they say, oh, maybe it’s gonna be nihilistic because there’s a lot of randomness involved and so on.
I think it’s the opposite. I think that everything that we do has ripple effects that affect people, and we will not see most of those ripple effects, right? But that means that there’s nothing that we do that’s unimportant. I think one of the things that’s part of the EZ of modern life is a lot of people feel interchangeable, right?
You have automation, you have robots, and all this stuff, and people feel like, oh, maybe I don’t matter that much. I mean, I think quite literally the way that reality operates is it’s showing that that’s not true. That the individual actions we make. Create the future. And in, without going into too much detail, I mean about the, the specifics of this, I will say that, you know, the moment that a child is conceived is one of the most contingent in the world.
If there is a microsecond change to that instant, a different person gets born. Right? And that means that everything that happened that day affected who became a person. But that goes back on and on and on because you had to be together at that exact instant for that person to be created. And I think that when you start thinking about this, there’s just so many ripple effects that happen.
And our trajectories through life are just, you know, constantly jostling together and so on. But nothing is unimportant. And I think this, this mentality of we control nothing, but we influence everything does leave to this, you know, profoundly important belief. And it’s also one where, you know, Clara, the woman that I told you about before, like she had no idea that her action is horrible tragedy.
This horrible murder she perpetrated was going to give rise to a podcast in 2024, but lo and behold it has, right? And that, that, that’s just the way the world actually is. So here we are.
You know what I thought about as I thought about this as I was putting my arms around, this is number one, the level of gratitude I have now, Brian, thinking about all the flukes in my life that not just made me to your point, but made this possible, makes crap everything we do every day.
Just the level of thankfulness that I have, that relationships kind of brought us here. But also on the other side, coping. I think too many of us, I believe, and I think you even talk about this a little bit in your previous work too, when you talk about politics and corruption and some of the other work that you’ve done, like just the coping we have around those things, I think becomes a little easier when you’re like, Hey, this didn’t break my way, but it’s not the end of the world.
Yeah. You know, the thing is when I was trying to come up with like metaphors for the way that I think reality actually operates, I used this idea of a, a thread, right? A thread of your life. Now, of course, you can slightly change the trajectory of the thread or the type of thread you’re using. I. But the point is, if you’re making a tapestry of the world, every change to the thread actually changes the image of the tapestry.
It’s not like a normal tapestry. You can pull out one thread and nothing else is affected. It will reach, recreate the image. And I think the idea for coping, which you’re, you’re very astute to point out, is one where if you think about it this way, there is no unbroken line between the worst moments of your life and the best moments of your life because they were caused by each other, right?
So like the worst moment of your life is what is part of the causal chain of events that leads to that moment of euphoria, the best moment of your life. And that, to me is like really, really good for processing things because, you know, there’s, there’s an arbitrariness to this. Of course. This mass murder in Wisconsin, a terrible, terrible event has given direct rise to everything that I’ve enjoyed in my life.
I mean, if, if it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be here. But that means that also every wonderful moment in my life is potentially causing somebody else’s really awful moment. And that interconnection makes me feel part of something, right? And I think this is where I. This aspect of modern life. I think there’s a lot of stuff where people feel lonely, they feel unimportant, and I think when you start to look at how, you know, physics shows that the world actually works with chaos theory and so on, we should feel really important, and we should also recognize that those awful moments are inextricably linked to the euphoria that does exist in the rest of our lives, which I find very, very uplifting.
Other people might process it differently, but that’s, that’s my take on it anyway.
What surprised you most when you were doing the research for Fluke?
I think it was my reaction to the realization that I don’t believe there is some massive cosmic purpose to my life. And, and I, I, I don’t believe there is I and many people do, right?
And many people who believe in God and so on who have a, a different worldview than me, you know, they’ll, they’ll have a very strong opinion. There’s a cosmic purpose. The thing that I found really surprising was it didn’t bother me that much because even if I am somewhat accidental, right? I’m this byproduct of this mass murderer, like human evolution that’s produced these strange effects where all of a sudden I exist.
Maybe it’s just enough to like live in a world where I get to enjoy, you know, great experiences, be alive, experience consciousness, have a good time with good people, and hopefully make other people’s lives a little bit better. And you know, to me, like I, I think I was surprised by that because I think it would’ve been very jarring had somebody told me when I started researching the book that you’re going to come to this revelation that you don’t believe is a grand, you know, purpose to your life.
I’m actually okay with it. And I, and I think it’s something where one of the things that’s that’s fun about writing books like this is, you know, everybody reacts to these ideas differently. It’s the beautiful thing about human consciousness. You’re gonna have 8 billion people who make their own sense of reality.
8 billion different ways. But this is the only thing I’ve ever worked on professionally that changed how I think about who I am. And that was super, super cool. Everything else I felt like I’ve been writing sort of, you know, in broadcast mode, like here’s stuff I already know. This was an experience that sort of cut to the core of what I think the world is about.
And that was a, a very fun experience.
I love what you have this dichotomy between when good things happen to us and you use an example of we win the lottery. It’s serendipity and wow, that’s a fluke. It’s amazing. But it was a fluke that affect my life. But when bad things happen, your quote is, well, you know, every time bad things happen for a reason, you’re like, no, they don’t.
No, they often don’t.
So does everything happens for a reason. Mantra. You hear this almost exclusively when bad stuff happens, right? Cancer diagnosis, breakup, getting fired from a job and so on. And there’s loads of psychology research that is verified that we accept chance or randomness as explanations for positives that are unexpected.
And we cannot accept that. You can’t believe that this horrible thing is happening for no reason. And so I think, you know, there’s, there’s an aspect to this where I think it is true that some just really awful things happen, right? I don’t think there’s always a grand plan for why tragedy strikes, but I think there’s that uplifting aspect of, of the sort of unbroken chain of events that deals with that.
So even if you deal with this massive setback, which is unfair and unjust and terrible for you, you know, it will either present much better outcomes in the future, potentially link to that, or, uh, for somebody else you might have a really positive ripple effect. And so, you know that interconnection, I think.
Deals with some of the angst that we feel, but yeah, I mean, humans are allergic to explanations of chance when bad stuff happens to them, and I, I think the logical thing that I would say is there aren’t two ways that the world works, right? One for positive news and one for negative news. It works the same way both times.
So one of our psychological interpretations is wrong, and I think it’s probably the one that says that there’s a, a sort of directed trajectory to everything that’s happening.
This work is called Fluke Chance Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters, and it is available everywhere, right, Brian? Yes, indeed.
Anywhere you buy books. Awesome.
Brian, thank you so much for, for helping us realize that it’s not about really what happens to us, but it’s about what we do next and realizing that we’re part of this bigger, more interconnected existence. Thank you so much.
Thanks for having me on the show. It was a pleasure.
Hey, this is Pete the planner, USA today money columnist and host of the Ask Pete the Planner podcast, when I’m not fixing the weirdest financial situations you’ve ever heard of.
I’m Stacking Benjamins.
Big thanks to Brian. You, you know, the piece of that OG that I’d like to highlight is this idea that random stuff gets in the way of our plan.
I mean, we, we can plan and plan and plan all day. And don’t get me wrong, I hope people didn’t take away from that you shouldn’t plan because of all the flukes. I hope we made it very clear that how you cope with the plan going awry is almost every bit as important as the plan in the first place.
I like to think that the activity of planning is the most valuable piece because you’re right.
There’s, you don’t have any idea what’s gonna happen. The way that I think about it from a money standpoint is you wanna give yourself the opportunity to have the most choices in the future with whatever decision you’re making right here. And if you do that, if you’re young and you’re like, oh, I only have to save $500 a month to reach my financial goals by the time I’m 65, that’s fantastic.
But wouldn’t it be nice to have the flexibility at 45 should something go awry to go like, ah, I need to go a different direction here. Thankfully I saved extra money so that I have some flexibility in my plan if it’s exactly to the dollar every time you are hoping that nothing goes amiss, which obviously just life happens.
So plan for flexibility and the activity of actually sitting down and thinking about it is probably more important then the document that you write it down on. Couldn’t
agree more. Actually, I’m, I’m really glad you said that. Thank you. Thank you. Perfect. Um, because there were a lot of times when I, well, it was one time in particular I’m thinking of, but I would help organizations either do strategic planning or some operational and tactical planning or disaster recovery preparedness.
And I remember. One time somebody getting pretty animated and saying, what’s the point? You come up with all these plans and they sit on the shelf and you don’t do anything with them. And well, in the case of disaster recovery preparedness, that’s exactly what you wanna have happen.
Exactly. You’re right.
Let’s burn the office down and see what we do. Let’s test
this. All of that time spent in conference rooms, going through some exercises and using different sort of problem solving tools to, to think about all the what ifs and or strengths and weaknesses and oppor, you know, and threats and opportunities.
Those discussions are incredibly valuable and you go off and do all of these other really important things for your business. Yeah. Did that strategic plan get followed to the letter? Probably not, but all the other stuff you uncovered in the process of coming up with it, changed the course of your business.
And that’s where the value is, is, is just forcing yourself to think that way.
Thanks again to Brian and I hope that helps our stackers cope. When I was an advisor og, it was much more about coping with the stuff that went wrong and people just get completely derailed from the inability to cope with the flukes that just came up.
Yeah, it’s a difficult place to be, but to know that it’s going to happen ahead of time, I feel like is, uh,
part of the game. I mean, it’s just as simple as talking about market fluctuations. I mean, this is, it’s as simple as all of a sudden it’s, you’re down 20%. It was really
weird, og ’cause Joe said, thanks again.
And I thought for sure he was gonna say thanks again to OG and Doug for imparting all of that wisdom. But he. Who’s Brian? What?
Did you mess up my name? You thought my, you thought my name was, thought my name was Brian. I was spelled with a D, not a B. Yeah, dog. Who’s that guy? Hey, time for one stacker. Who had to better call Saul?
See? Hi and og. This is the part of the show where we answer a question from a stacker. And you know what? With, uh, Gigi being here on Monday talking about her dad’s four cars and how in her culture, having, uh, cars definitely a status symbol. Well, somebody asked a car question in our Facebook group called the basement, Stacking Benjamins dot com slash basement to get there.
But, uh, somebody asked this and I wanted to get, uh, your take. They asked, how long do you believe it necessary to keep a car in order for buying it to be worth the investment? For example, we purchased a 2014 van eight years ago for $16,000. I could get around 9,000 for it now, making it $7,000 for eight years, or $875 per year to own.
I’m thinking of purchasing a new car, which will be two years old, family car, et cetera, which I’ll probably keep for another eight years. Question is, is it not a sound choice to purchase a $32,000 vehicle and keep it for eight years and then resell? Am I looking at the math correctly? Is buying used always the best option?
It’d be a cash purchase, so interest rates don’t apply. Any insight would be appreciated. The only thing I could think of there, OG, was that they weren’t thinking about the cost of maintenance and upkeep. Like they’re just looking at cost to buy versus amount that I’m gonna sell. I can’t say that I’ve ever
thought about a car purchase in a sense of what is it gonna be worth on the backend, thus, what’s my annual cost to own?
And I guess if I did, I would be thinking of it in comparison to what? Like what’s the alternative? A bike? I mean, just buy a cheaper car. Like, I mean, well, no,
I think what they’re comparing is two different cars, two different rides, right? Three different rides. Do I buy new brand new and drive it till it dies?
Is that actually a better thing than holding onto it for six years, holding on it for eight years?
Like is a couple year old car holding onto it for six years or eight years? I
think generically speaking over history, I think most people would agree that the vast majority of the depreciation on a vehicle happens in the first couple years.
And if you can have someone else deal with that through buying, you know, a year or two old vehicle, I think, I think that puts you on the better side of the ledger statement. Generally, uh, during CID there was all sorts of weird stuff going on with. You know, used cars and all that sort of jazz. But, but across the board, I think most people would agree that the biggest depreciation happens the minute you drive it off the lot, right?
You, you buy the car for 50 grand and you put a thousand miles on it and it’s worth 40, you know, so if you can buy it a year later for 40, or buy it a year later for, you know, whatever, and, and that first initial hit of depreciation, you’re gonna be always be better off because, ’cause that residual value at the end of that five year period, or 10 year period or whatever, is gonna be the same regardless of whether or not you bought it on day one or on day 365.
You know, 10 year, a 10-year-old vehicle will be worth X dollars. So I think uniformly that’s probably gonna offset any sort of maintenance cost. I ran an experiment a couple of years ago. We have always bought new cars, driven them generally speaking, until the maintenance cost gets obnoxious. You know, and what I mean by obnoxious is no scientific fact.
Just like, is this another $5,000 car repair bill? Like how many more of these are we gonna deal with? Before you know, oh that’s it, that this is the last one we’re selling it type thing. And I figured out that the total cost of maintenance after we paid the car off was the same as if we would have just bought a new one and had payments.
Really? Yeah. The car costs 500 bucks a month, whether you, whether you own it and you pay your own maintenance
costs or you bought a
brand new one and it comes with a little bit of a warranty and some maintenance plan and all you gotta do is put oil and gas in it, you know? Right. It about
averaged about the same.
I remember talking with somebody about this who leased vehicles, and I said, God, what a,
you’re an idiot who leases cars. And he goes.
A, I like having a new car every couple years. That’s just me. Okay, fine. That’s his, that’s where he likes to spend money and that’s a lifestyle choice.
Yeah, that is. And he goes and, and, and BI bet that my
costs, which never end, there is no end date on my lease payment.
Right. Because when it’s over, I have another lease payment. He says, but I bet my lease payments are the same as your all in costs, even though eventually you stop making payments, you have to pick up your own maintenance. Yeah. And I never have that. And, and it’s,
and it was silly that it was a, you know, it was plus or minus about the
same, you know, so I was thinking about this in the context of the Warren Buffett, uh, Charlie Munger question.
Somebody asked, you know, when should you buy a house? Or when should you, you know, invest in your primary residence? And both of them looked at one another and went, uh, when you need a house, I guess, or if you’re married, when your partner says It’s time to get a house and get out of this apartment.
So what, you know, what kind of cars should you buy?
Whichever one makes you happy and
does what you want it to do. I think far too often people buy. Depreciating things like vehicles or boats or whatever because of the feeling they get from
it, not because of the utility
that it provides. And if you take out the feeling and just go with what do I need to have that satisfies this?
Then, you know, you can kinda get rid of all of the feeling and brand name and all that sort of stuff. And then if you want to add the brand name on it, go like, but I really like the Lexus. Right. All right, cool. Then, then you’re deciding that that’s a lifestyle choice. To your point, Joe, that, that that’s why you’re deciding to, it’s not just a pure utility
OG and, and purchase Joe, you both sort of patiently lived with me through all of my deliberations on getting rid of the green monster.
Remember the Traverse, the Chevy Traverse that I, especially og I talked to you about it a lot ’cause your brother knew a lot about him and, and we had one. Oh, that’s right. That’s right. And you know, this cycle of cash flow on a vehicle ownership I think is the same whether you buy it brand new or you buy it maybe two years old and you’re gonna have this time period of maybe four to five years.
Where you really are not doing a lot of monthly maintenance on it much at all, and it feels great. And then all of a sudden on the back end of that, we all say we wanna drive it into the ground. And then the ground hits pretty hard and you’ve got the $5,000 for the new, you know, lifters and you know, new struts and new timing belts and all of that stuff.
And to your point a minute ago, og, when you amortize that out will cost 12 months. By the time you’ve had a couple of those big repairs. It’s about the same as a new car payment. So it really comes down to how do you want your cash flow to look on your family balance sheet? You want a 500 bucks a month or do you wanna have a couple of lump sums at the end?
Big ones. Well, I think there’s another piece that goes into this, which is, can you afford the surprise? Because to your point, the, the, the person that you know, oh gee, that leases a car, probably somebody that either can’t afford a surprise or, and this was the case that you talked about. They either need or just want a new car all the time and then that is what it is.
Yeah. But some people I know in some businesses you can’t afford a surprise. I need that car to work every minute. And for them, I think the upcharge that they know they’re getting with a lease, the guaranteed payment, it’s gonna happen the rest of my life. I’m gonna go up with inflation. Right. ’cause the, those payments are never gonna get
I mean, there’s no doubt about it. Like. I haven’t, it’s not new anymore. It’s a couple years old, but I bought it brand new. I picked out what I wanted. I ordered it, I did all of the things. And it’s still under warranty, still as a maintenance plan. There’s, it’s pretty nice to like literally just drive it in, toss the keys to, to the service manager and they throw me in a, in a loaner or I sit there and, you know, and then I signed the receipt that says it’s done and I didn’t pay anything.
And, you know, that’s just kind of all part of the deal, you know? Would it have been better if I would’ve paid for it in cash and then every year had to write a check for maintenance? I don’t know. Same, same, right. Like to, to Doug’s point, it’s, it’s a smoother, it’s a smoother cash flow ride for us. ’cause I know the payment’s, the payment and I don’t have to worry
But I think there is this gray area though that Doug, I think you referenced, not directly, but what drove me crazy was when people would talk sometimes about how this is, this car’s starting to nickel and dime me. And then we would dive into the numbers and the nickels and dimes are way less than what the car payment would be.
Hmm. And assuming they’ve got the time to deal with the nickels and dimes, they’re fine. They’re not up to the major stuff yet. Yeah. And that always, that always the, well, it’s nickel and dime me. So they’re, they’re justify it. They’re totally trying to justify, justify, and don’t get me wrong, if that’s what’s important to you, go ahead and do it.
But the justification in your head drove me crazy on, and the, and dimes
happen when the car is like six or seven years old. Pretty soon the Hyundais start showing up and the thousands start showing up when the car is like eight to nine years old. And you think, this is it. I’m just, I’m gonna do the struts on this and it’s gonna last for another two years before I have my next five.
Nope. It’s not, you’re gonna have another $5,000 repair about eight months later.
Well, and what was. Doug, you and I talked about this, what, what used to be a $500 visit to to
the auto repair place is now a smooth thousand bucks. Yeah. It’s always a thousand bucks, right? It’s like, oh, the evaporator core.
Yeah. It’s in, they’re outta stock and Oh, it’s 114 degrees outside and you want air conditioning. I bet you do. Well anyway, it’ll be 1200 bucks. You’re like, just whatever. Here, I’m with you. I think the little things happen from years four through eight, four through seven, and then when you get to about year eight, stuff starts falling off.
It’s like, what’s that clunking sound?
Oh yeah, I had that. And there’s your answer. Then maybe it’s seven or eight years. Is is is the answer to this question? Yeah. Might be the Wow.
Sweet. That’s, that’s what he said,
right? Seven or eight years. Yeah. Seven or eight years. What’s it going for? Yeah, sounds like a great idea.
Buy the Bugatti, is that when the Aston Martin starts to go through the floor really goes downhill? Yeah. You know, a family car like an Aston Martin. Exactly. Hey, if you’ve got a question for us, you know what? You can actually get some sweet Stacky Benjamin swag if you call them in stacky Benjamins dot com slash voicemail, and we’ll begin doing that again shortly.
I thought this week’s a nice time though to, uh, shine a light like we do periodically on, on our Facebook group, the basement. But you know what, if you’re not here with a question about the length of a car on your wallet, the lengths to which you’ll keep your car alive, what effect that has on your wallet, you’re here because you need a better team in your corner.
OG and his team are taking new clients, and so the first step is to get on their calendar. Stacking Benjamins dot com slash OG leads you there and, uh, you can see how their team will interface with you to help you make better decisions in 2024 and beyond. Stacking Benjamins dot com slash OG for that calendar.
Alright, uh, time for us to head out to the back porch. Oh, gee, you’ve got something for us. So
guys, my fridge is on the fritz again. Again
or still. Where are we at on this story? Because the last we heard in the continuing story of, uh, your, like sands through the hourglass. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, this, this, uh, your, your fridge dude said, really not much or nothing.
I can I, ’cause not my monkeys. Yeah. Nothing. Nothing I could do. And then you called him and said, Hey, the fridge is working. And he’s like, all I did was reset it. Yes. Did you, whatever that meant is, is that where you stopped? Well, we
called somebody else. He gave us a referral to another guy who specializes in these systems, I guess.
And they said, well, you know, if it’s working, I’m like, yeah, but it’s not like, I don’t know why it’s working. Right. It shouldn’t be working, but it’s been working for two weeks. And then today it stopped again. So we kicked it, threw water in all the equipment just to see if that would help. I’m kidding. We plugged things in, we unplugged things.
We did all sorts of home.
Did you shake
your finger at it? You listen here fridge.
Well, you know the hard part is if, out of all this, the worst thing about it is the frozen food and the freaking ice. First of all, it takes forever to make a bucket full of ice. Right? You kinda like waste it all. You gotta throw it all away.
’cause otherwise it’s just a flood everywhere. And then when it does get fixed, it’s like another four days before it fills up ice again. That’s
what they make.
Those big white boxes outside of gas stations for,
I know you’re not wrong, which could be a solution, but it’s just cold enough here. And actually it’s like, of course it happens on the day where it’s supposed to get to like 45.
Tomorrow’s 55. It’s like it just happens on the warm enough day to not just leave it outside. Three days ago you could have just put everything out there, right? Yeah. Or just, you know, in the garage or something. It’s 40 degrees in the garage. It’s close enough. Yeah. They’re coming tomorrow. Well,
they’re coming tomorrow.
They’re coming to try to fix or are you just gonna buy a new one? No,
coming to try to fix, I mean, I’m still holding out hope. It’s something simple like a motherboard. Whatever those things are. That’s simple. They sound free. Really inexpensive. Yeah.
And you know, they make ’em really easy to get to as well.
Well, that I figured, you know, this doesn’t have an NVIDIA graphics chip in it, so it should be
accessible. You know, some refrigerators have that crap
I just, yeah, my mom’s, I bought my mom a refrigerator in her new place and uh uh, you know, it’s a double door one that opens like that Uhhuh, whatever that’s called.
French doors with the freezer underneath. Yeah. And you put your most popular stuff in the front, right? And then, you know, when you go to go, oh, I wonder what’s in the fridge. You, you don’t, you just knock on the front door. You gotta be kidding me. And it lights up the inside of the fridge,
there’s a window.
The window’s like a stat. It’s just a window, right? No, it’s
its own separate door. So like, literally if you’re like, I’m just getting the milk, you can put the milk, milk, cheese, creamer, you know, like kinda whatever. Like right in that front. It’ll, so you can just like get easy access without like opening the whole thing.
Oh. So she’s still gotta open it. It is an opaque door that she’s gotta open.
It’s a double door. Yeah. Alright, well, the right side is a
double door. The reason I ask is because
I have, and it’s opaque that you can knock on to light up the whole inside. All right.
I’ve seen some that are, it’s glass on the right hand side, so you just, you know, can see what’s in there all the time.
And then others that have the, I can’t remember what they call ’em, but it’s a giant LCD panel. Like who the hell needs an LCD wifi enabled
Connected. No, it’s a
door that triggers the light on, but it also is a double door that you can have your other standing. Hey, here’s
another thing we can use to connect this story to the financial.
World, our audience. So craves there is a really common hack that has been happening primarily I think with Samsung appliances and some LG appliances. You know, you’re nodding your head like you know about this. No, I’m nodding. They being comic. So all these wifi connected devices that have no godly reason for you are washing machine does not need to be connected to the internet.
Who the hell needs to start their washing machine remotely? You gotta walk over to it to put the clothes in it. Exactly. And put the soap in it and the, and microwave. Same thing. Nobody, you’ve gotta put the brownie mix into the mic. I’m ranting Anyway. They’re all connected and they are being commandeered to harvest and mine Bitcoin.
Duh. Yeah, right. Of course. And if you look at, uh, if some people who are really tech savvy will look at the traffic through their router and they’ll see like every day their washing machine has like 3.8 gig going up to the cloud and like 5K coming down. Like there’s no, it’s all just
The five Gs are coming for us guys, it’s the five Gs, right? It it’s just, it’s
the five gss. They’re re processing power and they can distribute that across thousands and thousands of, of internet connected devices. Wow. User washing machines, they’re
spying on how dirty. Doug’s underwear. That’s what the, that’s, they’re not, they’re, yeah.
even know what you guys are. They’re using, they’re just using the processor. There’s a sensor in there. They’re not looking at
the undies. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s what they want you to believe. They want you to believe it’s something benign. Like, like a Bitcoin processing. In fact, they’re sniffing your panties.
Are there skin I just threw up in my mouth,
please. I don’t know about that. But, uh, I do Doug all my best TV watching in front of the refrigerator. I just pull up, pull up to the LCD screen and watch that. But I gotta tell you guys at, at CES,
if you do that, how are you gonna get your steps for the day, walking back and forth from the TV to the refrigerator?
Who needs steps?
When I got the food right there, food and the game. It’s amazing. Cheryl’s like, why is the La-Z-Boy in the middle of the kitchen? I don’t know. CES Finally this year, the consumer electronic show this year finally had a piece of technology that I’m actually excited about. Like what’s the last piece of technology that you thought was really cool?
I think for me it was way back when Hugh Lighting was first introduced. Remember when the different your, your lights could change colors? Oh my God. I was like, that’s incredible. Like that is in, that’s a cool technology. Maybe some of the That’s so sad. Biotech stuff on your watch. That’s okay. That’s good.
But can you guys think about something that really a technology where you went, that’s neat. I remember when Sirius old guy story, but I remember, you know, Sirius and XM radio coming out. Oh God, you were so
into satellite radio. You had a constant erection walking around with satellite radio. Couldn’t stop talking about it.
As a guy who hated the death of AM radio and you know, I used to listen to AM radio shows all the time, and then if they became scarce it was like, this is awesome. A hundred channels of radio. Just phenomenal. It’s just like am But the big thing this year, I don’t know if you guys saw the rabbit R one, did you guys see the rabbit R one?
Yeah. This thing is, is truly the first piece of technology that looks incredible. So og you know what this is? Is it the
bartender thing that makes your drinks?
No, this, I’ll show you. This is a little square device.
Does that looked amazing? Okay. I can’t, you’re, it’s out of focus. Why don’t you just explain it.
This is a podcast, Joe. Use your words, use your words.
All that you gotta see is it’s a little red device. You see it’s a little red device with a screen. That’s it. It’s a little cooler. So there’s a little, there’s a little, there’s a little red. Now you can cut, cut.
it’s a little red device that you carry around.
It connects, apparently. The way I understand it is it connects to all the apps that you have. So instead of, instead of going, I wanna plan a trip and I go into TripAdvisor, then I go to my Marriott app or my Hyatt app, and then I go into the, however I book my flight app. I saw a guy do this on stage where he said, I wanna go to London.
I wanna, I wanna focus on the cheapest flight I can get. I’m okay with, with economy, whatever, seat OG iss. Like, I hate this tech. Yeah. Deleted, well, let’s do OG way. I, I wanna fly at least business class and uh, I generally wanna travel between these times. I wanna stay X type of a hotel and I’d like to go to a couple of, well-noted four star restaurants within this area, and I’d like you to surprise me.
It will go into the different apps that you have and instead of all the upgrades they have and the offers and sign up for our thing and whatever. AI takes care of all that and just brings you back. I found a flight from. Dallas to London for X amount. Would you like me to book it? Yes. Your credit card’s already.
Un file. Boom. Book the flight. I found this hotel in this area. Yes. Book it fantastic. Doesn’t go into any of the places does it? You know where, who caress, where they found it? Who caress what The thing was, they got all the deals. I’m dealing with one thing and I’m avoiding all the trash that I gotta go through to get from point A to point B.
Somebody wrote, why would I have this device and my phone in my, in my pocket? Like why would I have a second device in my pocket? And I love the reply that they gave, which is for people that wanna just flip TikTok videos all day, wherever they are. Yeah. This isn’t for you, but for people to think my phone is too much noise and I wanna get rid of it.
Instead I just say, Hey, schedule this thing for me. Done. It is done. This is just a cool first use of AI that I’ve seen where I go. I could see myself using this in a heartbeat. My
problem is, is I’m gonna be like, I want a beach vacation in St. Petersburg. I want to go business class. I wanna stay at a nice hotel, and it’s gonna be like, we found this really inexpensive flight and dah, dah, dah, dah, and I’m gonna like show up at Russian Customs at the wrong St.
Petersburg. You know, it’s gonna be like sending me to, you know, again, again, I would be like, I wanna go to Paris. And they’d be like, whoop, you can drive. Welcome to Paris, Texas. We
got it in under budget. It’s only gonna cost you $35. Get gas. Exactly. To get to Paris. What bargain? Joe, click the link in the drive to downtown
Dallas, get on the Greyhound and
you’ll be there in no time.
I think there might be part of this og, which is trust, but verify. If it says, if it says, it says you’re going to the other Paris, it might be there. I haven’t really dug into this technology, but just hearing it from a peripheral.
of view going to Sydney
Nova Scotia. Like, wait,
what? It’s beautiful.
This time year, I did have a friend that found a really inexpensive trip to, uh, Portland and, uh, exactly. It’s another town. It turned out that it was Portland, Oregon, not Portland, Maine. They were, they were headed to, because Portland, Oregon was, uh, was a cheaper flight from the airport. They were going to, by far.
They’re like, oh, I found one that was way cheaper than the others. And, uh, yeah, that’s a way better, way better schedule. Luckily, two days before they realized they were going to the wrong place, so they actually canceled their hotels and booked new ones and took an unexpected trip and then went to
Portland, Oregon instead.
oh yeah. Went to the Willamette Valley, loved it. Went down the, uh, Columbia Gorge and saw the beautiful waterfalls. Thought it was great. It’s George, but yeah. Okay. Columbia George named after George.
Obviously Columbia Doug.
Mr. Mr. Columbia, George Columbia himself.
I think the show might be over Doug.
What are our to-dos for today? Maybe not including, maybe not including at all. Mr. River. Uh, get the refrigerator fixed.
Well, Joe, here’s what’s on our to-do list today. First, take some advice from Brian Class. Don’t think your decisions matter. They do matter and in sometimes weird ways. Also, when things don’t go your way, be flexible.
How you react to what happens is every bit as important as careful planning in the first place. Second, here’s A to-Do think about your team as a board of directors. When might they retire? What’s your contingency plan? Don’t have one. Well, there’s a big to-do right there, but what’s the biggest to-Do I think I’m gonna offer to send Joe’s mom on a whale watching tour so I can avoid her a little while longer?
Maybe the fresh salty air will help her forget the feeling of my face being smooshed into her whale tail. Thanks to Brian Klas for joining us today. You can find his book, fluke Chance Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters Wherever Books Are Sold. We’ll also include links in our show notes at Stacking Benjamins dot com.
The show is The Property of SP podcasts, LLC, copyright 2024, and is created by Joe Saul-Sehy. Our producer is Karen Rein. This show is written by Lisa Curry, who’s also the host of the Long Story Long podcast. With help from me, Joe Kate Yakin, Karen Rein, 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. Wonder how beautiful we all are. Of course you do, but you’ll never know if you don’t. Check out our YouTube version of the show. Engineered by Tina Eichenberg. Then you’ll see once and for all that I’m the best thing going for this podcast.
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, Stacey Doe and Julia Garib are our social media coordinators, and Gertrude is the room mother in our Facebook group called The Basement.
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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, Duggan. We’ll see you next time back here at the Stacking Benjamin Show.