Financial independence. It’s often presented by writers as the place dreams are made of. You’ve reached this magical place called “enough” and now life is all unicorns and rainbows. But what happens when you realize that the march toward shoveling everything toward an uncertain future is creating a horrible existence TODAY? That’s what happened to Jess, one half of the Plutus Award winning coaching team The FIoneers. Jess and Corey came by Joe’s mom’s basement to tell the tale of their “a-ha” moment that led them to reject shoveling tons of cash from a hated job toward an early retirement…and maybe an early grave.
Before that we celebrate our Halloween-kickoff episode with a visit from financial columnist and the host of the Money Life podcast, Chuck Jaffe. Chuck orchestrates an awesome, interesting, and always-changing economics game every Halloween with the trick-or-treat’ers who come by his home. What’s the game this year? He’ll share what he’s planning, and hopefully inspire you to find clever ways to teach kids some money or economic lessons.
Of course we also throw out the Haven Life line (this time all the way to India!), and Doug regales us with his mind-bending trivia.
It’s a Halloween party in the basement! Hope you can join us.
FULL SHOW NOTES: https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/FIRE-horror-story-1428
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
Our Headline Interview: Annual Halloween Economic Game With Chuck Jaffe
Watch On Our YouTube Channel:
Our TikTok Minute
Corey and Jess
Big thanks to Corey and Jess for joining us today. To learn more about The FIoneers, visit The FIoneers.
- What is the most dangerous candy to eat?
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.
- Nirajan from Mumbai, India, is a mutual fund distributor to long-term investor clients, and has a question about the importance of asset allocation and diversification in creating an appropriate investment portfolio.
Have a question for the show?
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).
- Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez)
Join Us Wednesday
Be sure to join us on Wednesday for a very special episode from this year’s FinCon in New Orleans where we’re joined by the host of Afford Anything Paula Pant, the guy behind the amazing Rob Berger YouTube Channel, Rob Berger, and the king of Side Hustle Nation…Nick Loper!
Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Stop Pressing Life’s Easy Button (SB1427).
On this darkest day, I think it’s time to drink some extra dark coffee to start my day. How about that? This is like the darkest day, Eve. OG, what are you dressed up as? Cause you’re scaring the hell out of me. Yeah. The
French maid outfit was a little too much for this, this episode. OG.
I’ll say. A little
You put it in all the right places,
you know, all the wrong places, Doug, uh, you know what, you know who dresses for work every day and goes out there to the front line so that we can laugh about having a kick ass Halloween? The men and women of our armed forces, that’s who. So let’s raise that darkest coffee spooky mug.
Mine’s about a
waterfall. I’ve got the world’s ugliest fishing mug again. The one that OG gave me. And OG’s got Lady Liberty.
Lady Liberty. There it is. Bam. On behalf of the men and women making Spooky Podcast in Mom’s Basement and all those Halloween lovers at Navy Federal Credit Union, big salute to our troops.
Let’s go stack some Benjamins today and get plenty of candy.
I’m not dead. What? Nothing. Here’s your ninepence. I’m not dead. Here. He says he’s not dead. Yes, he is. I’m not. He isn’t. Well, he will be soon. He’s very ill. I’m getting better. No, you’re not. You’ll be stone dead in a moment. I can’t take him like that. It’s against regulations
live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I am Joe’s Bob’s neighbor Duggan on this special pre Halloween episode. Let’s help you battle your money demons, worrying about busting out of your boring career, oh, afraid the spirit of your boss will haunt you after you leave. Let’s welcome the team of 9 to 5 exorcists who will help you fight the fear and get living your dreams.
It’s Corey and Jess, AKA The Pioneers. But before that, who turns Halloween into an economics game? I mean, who turns Halloween into an economics game? Who’s nerdy enough to do something like that? Well, it’s the man who’s the voice behind Money Life with Chuck Jaffe. And I know this is going to be a shock to you.
It’s Chuck Jaffe! And for our TikTok Minute, you’ll find out how to ward off tens of… thousands of interest zombies from your mortgage over time. Plus, we’ll throw out the Haven Lifeline and I’ll hand you some sweet candy of a trivia question. And now, two guys who are so good with financial advice, it’s scary.
It’s Joe and O G G G G!
You’re very proud of that one, aren’t you, Doug? Very, very proud of
that one. Oh, yeah. That was a good one. Hey everybody,
welcome to podcast. I’m Joe Saul Sehy. Average Joe Money on Twitter. Happy, or on X rather. Happy, happy Halloween to all of you. And uh, the very scary man sitting across the card table from me, uh, we just call him OG.
How are you man? It’s not Halloween yet. It is Halloween. Oh, it is. It’s the day before Halloween. It’s the day before Halloween. But I want candy now!
I was gonna say, Joe’s eating all the
candy already. I want candy
today! He’s like, none of the kids came. You know, it’s a pretty light night at the Saul Sehy house.
So, I guess this is all mine.
Why is there toilet paper all over our trees?
Who knew? I dressed up for nothing. Is that a thing in Texarkana? What, putting toilet paper
all over the trees? Yeah. Devil’s night and all that ding dong ditch it. Yes. Oh
yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Good. Good times.
Jokes on them. My doorbell doesn’t work.
You could do that all night long. Oh, we got a fantastic show and it’s a pack show, so we’re going to get on it. But Doug, you violated all the rules on trick or treat last year. So I think we need to review that with you first. Here’s what we don’t do when we go to the neighbor’s door. And that’s why you can’t
taste test candy while
you trick or treat.
And beyond that, Doug, I mean, think about the kids. That one time when you… I mean, I’m not
allowed to just take their candy? I mean, they’re… Easy
targets. Taking candy from babies? You’ve never heard that story
before? It is. Hit the gym, punk kids. Doug
likes to lick all the Jolly Ranchers and wrap them back up.
too far. Oh, that is too far. That’s so, stop. Don’t even put that in, oh no.
I don’t, uh, this is watermelon. Don’t like it. Put it back. Peach. Ooh,
sour apple. I saw a wonderful TikTok video. I would have made it our TikTok video, but it was all visual. So for an audio mostly podcast, uh, you wouldn’t have gotten it, but the kid came dressed like an adult.
It was like, Oh, it’s so great. Oh, we do all the trick or treating. It’s fake. Come up here, honey. Don’t be, don’t be shy. Don’t be shy. And this, this girl dressed like an adult has her dad dressed like a kid march up to the door and grab the candy. It was, it was so awesome. So much creativity. Share with us your creativity.
Let’s, uh, let’s talk about that later on in the back porch, uh, in a future episode. Joe at stackingbenjamins. com. Just send those to me, but we got a great show. Chuck Jaffe is our headliner and then we’re our featured interview, the fine ears. Uh, so let’s get moving. Hello darlings. And now it’s time for your favorite part of the show.
Our Stacking Benjamins headlines. And I’m super happy he’s here for what is becoming a tradition here on Stacking Benjamins, Chuck Jaffe. back, which means, uh, time to get the Halloween costumes ready, Chuck. Absolutely.
This is my favorite thing to talk about all year.
It is one of mine. In fact, just before we hit record, mom said to me, she’s like, so what’s Chuck doing this year?
I’m like, I don’t know. I’m about to find out the same time you do. So she’s very excited for the report as well. But for people that are new to this whole thing, you don’t hand out candy. Like a normal person, because you are Chuck Jaffe, there has to be an economic exercise attached to it. Tell me about how this whole thing started, Chuck.
Well, I’m a long time financial columnist. Anybody who’s got that job knows that sometimes you got to come up with something to write. And I realized a long time ago, Hey, I could write about, like, we don’t need to give out candy. We could use this to do financial choices. So I started with a simple, what would happen if you offered kids cash versus candy?
Like a simple, you can have, cause the standard in my house has always been three pieces of fun sized candy. You come to my house.
That’s what you’re getting.
So what if I said, no, no, no, you can have some money instead. You can pick, like, just make it different envelopes and you pick an envelope. It might only have a quarter in it.
It might have 5 in it or what have you. And we started with that simple cash or candy choice. And then I quickly realized, no, no, no. Let’s go all the way to real financial lessons where. You can make a choice. You have multiple choices of, I can take a, the candy, because the candy is always an option. It’s Halloween after all.
I could take some money. I could play the lottery, etc. And, and it’s evolved dramatically. It changed during COVID where we couldn’t give out candy. We were giving out, you had a choice of the candy or a 1 gift certificate to a local ice cream shop that I was like, Hey, let’s be able to support that. And so you start to think about it.
Okay. The three pieces of candy were worth what? Yeah. The dollar is worth what I’m giving you candy to trade. We, during pandemic, we could not take your candy,
right? I love the idea here, though. Now we’re back to being able to do trade or trade. Well, hold on just a second, Chuck. What I love about this whole thing, when you first told me about it, you know, it’s a very light lesson, which are my favorite lessons for kids because we get heavy handed.
And then kids are like, you know, I’m 55 years old. I want nothing to do with the heavy handed lesson, but it’s this great idea of you have limited resources. I get to go to Chuck’s house once, right? And I’m going to make one decision. And with this limited resource, just like an adult going to the grocery store going, you know, I’ve got limited reason.
What am I going to do with that money? Am I going to gamble? Am I going to take the sure thing? Am I going to take maybe a middle ground gamble? Like the idea that we have just this limited thing is really cool to me.
Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. Well, it was funny. I was talking to somebody who said, well, who would ever take the candy?
And there’s a story that goes back to the first year where we were doing trades. I had this group of seven girls that come up, it’s near the end of the night. They’re all like 12, 13. So they’re near the end of their trick or treating lives. And they come up and they’ve got pillowcases filled with candy.
And so you could trade me three pieces of candy for the chance to win some money, et cetera. I reach in, I pull three small pieces of candy out, put them in my bowl, et cetera. First six young women all trade. Now take a handful. Just three. I take the candy out, last woman goes, I want candy. And she picks three Snickers bars.
And I go, I got to know, you just watched all six of your friends trade for money and you took candy. She goes, I got to deal with my parents. Snickers bars are my favorite. So when I go home tonight, Snickers bars are mine.
My parents can’t take them,
right? They are mine. There is no grief. I watched you. She goes, we just got Snickers bars from somebody else.
So they were on top. You pulled Snickers bars out of like every single one of my friend’s bags. So if I not only don’t make the money, but I lose a Snickers bar, it’s a real loss. I’m like, you’ve got it. You spent your money, you know, the return on coming to my house and you got exactly what you wanted.
She got those three Snickers bars, could not have been happier, was happy for whatever money her friends got, et cetera. And I’ll point out the other cool part. Those girls. They came to me the next year, and then the following year was their last year of trick or treating, and they all made a point of telling me, We came to you last.
We want yours to be the last house we ever trick or treated. And they stuck around and talked money for like 10 minutes about, Oh, this is a choice I made last year and I lost, I want to make sure I get something.
See, that’s it. You just wet the thirst. Like you just, you just wet the thirst and now they like the money lessons.
True story. By the way, that girl with the Snickers bar, she’s now a high level industry executive in the insurance industry because she knows risk management, Chuck. She knows risk.
It’s entirely possible. I would not be surprised. So
let’s go to this year’s iteration. I know when you and I started talking about even this segment, you’re like geeked about what’s going to happen tomorrow night.
In all the time we’ve done this, there’s one thing that has never changed. The one thing that has never changed is what you get when you come to my house. So again, and I’ll point out, by the way, this only applies to kids third grade and up. The teenies, it’s, because it’s gotten complicated, it’s, it’s more than the teenies can do.
So it’s third grade and up, and, and we’re going to have a huge influx this year in our neighborhood, because last year we had a whole bunch of teenies that are now third graders. The change this year is simple. I changed the candy. If you come to my house and you’re third grade and up, no more three small pieces of candy.
One full sized candy bar. Retail value. Now I’m not saying I’m paying retail. Retail value is a buck and a quarter, buck and a half, which means that the candy is now arguably your best choice, which has never been the case before. The case before was always, are you trading the candy, et cetera. So if you look at the candy this year, here’s your choices.
You can have one full size candy bar. Retail value, we’ll say a buck and a quarter. Actually, my grocery store would tell you it’s a buck fifty. I’m buying them, buy one, get two free. So that’s why, you know, it’s not that way to me. Yeah. Or, you can take a one dollar bill. The actual value is a dollar. Which, last year would have given you a forty cent profit, or so.
This year, nope. Little bit of a loss. Or, you can trade two pieces of candy. to pick an envelope that has between 0. 25 and 7. 50. 7. 50. Yep. Half of the envelopes contain 50, so it’s a quarter or a half dollar. The average envelope is 1. 50. But that means that the expected value of this option is 1. 00. Because that’s the average envelope minus the cost of the candy you traded me.
So again, you get something, you’re going to get money. But it’s not the right choice. The candy is still the better choice. And then there’s the bigger choice. You trade me four pieces of candy for the lottery option. There are 50 envelopes. There’s a jackpot envelope of 20, a second place of 10, and there are 48 empty envelopes.
So the average per envelope is 60 cents, but you traded me about a buck in candy to make the play. So the expected value is negative. If you want to play for the big money, go for it. I’m going to take your candy, the bully in your neighborhood, I suppose. But it’s the first time that the candy has actually been the best value,
which blows my mind.
What I like too, though, that you’re introducing is the concept of efficacy. which I know is a bajillion dollar word, but when I was a training manager, efficacy means, is it going to stick, is it usable? If a dollar I can use for whatever I want, versus a piece of candy I got one choice to eat, even though a dollar is less Chuck, a dollar might have more efficacy to the kid than the candy does.
Which means that the dollar still might be a better choice than the candy, even though the, unless, Unless he’s got a built in market to sell the candy and capture the arbitrage between the two, right? If he’s got that, he or she has that, and it’s probably this insurance executive girl who, her protege will nail this.
That’s what’s going through my head. So that’s fabulous.
Yeah. To me, it winds up changing the game in a lot of different ways. And yes, there is that choice. Would you rather have the candy? Would you go for the value? Because think about it. We have plenty of people. You and I know people who go shopping every day and they buy something that’s on sale.
But it’s not necessarily what they need. That’s that advocacy problem. That’s that cardinal utility problem that we learned in economics class and all the rest. And so this takes that on. If money is the value to you, then the question is, do I value the money? And remember too, are you valuing what you are doing?
That’s the other thing I hope that they will do because, you know, we all have to value our time and all the other sorts of things that we do. You get a return for coming to my house. That return is a minimum of 1 in cash or 1. 25 in candy now, or what have you, or playing the game hoping you can get more.
If you don’t value the candy that’s in your bag, you can take that chance on getting bigger money and just kind of go, Yeah, it didn’t really cost me anything. And that’s fine. And by the way, all of this is written up. So kids go home, if you take an envelope, when you open the envelope, whatever is in there or not in there comes out, and there’s a little sheet of paper that tells you what you did because I want the kids.
To go home and do it at home. I’m always telling them, please don’t open it in front of me, take it away, because I don’t want to know if somebody wins the 20 bucks, which by the way, has been won on multiple occasions. I don’t want to know, at the end of the night, I want to know because I want my, if it hasn’t been won, I want my 20 bucks back, but if it has been won, I don’t want to know because I have to pitch this to each kid, and if I knew that the 20 was gone, it would be very difficult for me to sort of explain the lottery option and like, not want them to go, please don’t take it because you’re not going to win.
Yeah, kid, you’re about to get hosed. Right. I’d rather be the carnival barker going, nah, some of you winning are not that good. But then, then, Oh no, I’m ripping you off. Just put the candy in the bag, go home empty handed.
. Uh, what do you expect? I
expect kids will still go for cash more than they go for candy.
I’m hoping that we haven’t made it more complicated because it’s already a thing where kids have to decide, but I think that it will make the decision easier for the kids who want to take candy, provided that they like the candy that I’ve purchased. That I think that the Snickers bar thing, like it’s not Snickers bars.
That’s not the candy that I’ve been able to buy on sale. So. If you like the candy that I’ve got, the candy that I’ve got is a good value to you. Are there
kids that come to your house or their parents and even the kids and their parents, Chuck, are like, what the hell is this? Just give me a Snickers bar and let me go home.
There are a few that the parents never do that. The parents are fascinated. Parents want to know what the kids would do. The kids sometimes want to know what the parents would do. I think every now and again, like I try not to judge. when I wind up seeing the parents driving through the neighborhood later, depending on the car that they’ve got, what they were saying when they’re like, Oh, you should take the chance.
I go after the big money. Really mom. Is that the lesson you wanted to teach here? Cause probably wasn’t the best financial lesson. If
mom’s like, somebody’s got to win junior,
exactly. Got to be in it to win it. You don’t need all that candy. Give it up. Like, and you see that that’s the really cool thing. So, so yeah, you’ve got the press.
I mean, And, and the other side of it is the kids who have done it before, like the first kid who won the lottery was a neighbor child. And I actually knew he had won it because he opened it at the end of my driveway and we saw him celebrating. He like came back to thank me. I was like, Oh, it’s the worst of all worlds.
I know. And, and it was at the beginning of the night. But the father, you would have thought that kid who had won would have just played the lottery forever, right? And he did not play it the next year or the next two years and he played it again last year and was really bummed that he didn’t win. Like, I didn’t play it the last couple of years and now I didn’t, like, the odds were never in your favor that like, oh, if you took two years off.
funny? He’s trying to make math where there is, but that’s a good lesson, right? I mean, that’s also a good lesson.
I’ll point out his father is a financial advisor. But the best part of that is Joe. I can promise you no matter what, he may not remember me or my name or anything else, but I can promise you someday he’s going to be telling about his kids about the time he went out trick or treating and came home with 20 bucks.
I’m sure Chuck, there’s an outlet that you might know of where people will hear the results of what happened shortly afterwards. There just might be a podcast that talks about this.
There might be if folks want to learn more about it beforehand, they can find my show Money Life with Chuck Jaffe. And then afterwards we will do it.
It probably will probably have to take an extra day. I think it’ll be the November 2nd edition of Money Life where I will give the results out because I’m a little busy on Halloween night. Sure. Necessarily give the full tally and, and kind of come through my breakdown. I’m
disappointed you wouldn’t stay up to like 3am Chuck getting that done for us.
know, maybe I will, we’ll see, but
maybe it’ll be November 1st. I’ll be happy with it on the 2nd, as a guy who’s done this for a while, like you have, not nearly as long as you have, but. Yeah, the second is probably fine. Chuck, thanks for sharing with us again today. And, and, uh, everybody had to Chuck Jaffee’s house in the Boston suburbs for, uh, Halloween.
hope so. We’ll see you there. Happy Halloween, everybody. Thanks, Joe.
So fun. Every year, OG gets a little more elaborate, a little more fun. How great is it to, uh, turn Halloween into a little, you know, fun money lesson. Yeah,
my money lesson is, get your candy in advance at Costco.
No, no, no, that’s a horrible idea.
Oh, is that a bad
money lesson? Why? Cause I ate a nine pound bag of candy because we
bought it too early. Lesson number two, have some self restraint.
Mrs. OG said, I said, hey, did you? get candy yet for, I should probably get to Costco real fast. She was like, I already got two bags in the closet. I hid them from the kids.
And I’m like, but you didn’t hide them from me.
Hey, time for our TikTok minute. This is the part of the show where we shine the light on a TikTok creator. Who’s either doing something brilliant or air quotes, brilliant. Oh, gee, I think we got some brilliance today on our. pre Halloween episode. Uh, Doug gave
it away. I feel this
one’s going to be great.
Well, let’s take a look. This comes to us from John’s Finance Tips is the name of this one. Let’s see if we got something scary.
bank, I’m here to make my first mortgage payment. Great. Your monthly payment will be 2, 000. Actually, I think I’ll pay you 1, 000 bi weekly. Oh, that’s so much trouble. Listen, pay me monthly and we’ll call it even.
No, really. I insist. 1, 000 every two weeks. But that’s the same as 2, 000 monthly. Not exactly. By making bi weekly payments, I’ll be done with this mortgage in 24 years versus 30, and I’ll save close to 100, 000 in unnecessary interest payments. What? No, no, no. Oh yeah, 52 weeks in a year. I make 26 payments, meaning I pay you 26, 000 in a year.
If I made monthly payments, I would pay 2, 000 over 12 months, which means I pay you 24, 000. By making one extra monthly payment a year by paying bi weekly, I will save close to 100, 000 and be done with this thing six years early. Would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for John’s Finance Tips, a fellow real estate investor who’s helping you save some big money from
the big banks.
Right in the commercial, John. Nice job there at the end. You know, there’s nothing scarier than banks, and there’s also no nightmare worse than thinking banks actually care enough to have that conversation. Bank doesn’t care at all about that conversation. But, oh gee, making that extra payment a year can pay big results.
Math checks. That’s right. I absolutely despise this setup of… So I would like to re re guess and I’m gonna say hashtag brilliant only on the basis of I absolutely hate the one person playing the two person thing. Like, uh, I’m at the bank. I’m a
Hey, look. Oh my gosh. I’m gonna wear glasses.
So now I’m a different person.
that? He’s so annoying.
Get creative people. If you’re going to do this crap, get creative. Joe,
every time now I want one of these videos because he can’t resist. He snaps every time we have one of these videos on TikTok. I
can’t take it. I’m with him on this one. It is so annoying.
Oh yeah, of course it is. Everybody hates it. Nobody likes this. But the best part, the most entertaining part about this is not the content, it’s the reaction from
OG. Do you know why John does it this way? Because he’s such a loser. He’s, he’s such a nerd about banking. He doesn’t have any friends that he can call over to actually do this with him.
Well, well, let’s talk about this a little bit, OG, because. The bi weekly payments allows him to make an extra payment a year and John’s Obviously right on on the six year thing, but you could even do this better The problem is is that the bank holds that payment and then makes it at the end of the month?
Usually unless you sign up for some banks have actually a prepay program where you can even sign up for the bi weekly and and they will apply it immediately. So you avoid a little bit more interest that way. And they charge fees for that OG, but that may be something for people to look into.
Yeah, that’s really kind of the fine print here is that mathematically it checks.
The reality is, is that, you know, banks are onto this, right? They, they know exactly what this looks like. So a lot of banks will charge you to set this up the biweekly payment plan and charge you some sort of, you know, fee to set this up, which eats into the savings. And like you said, if you make a payment that’s not a full payment, they’re more likely to hold onto it and just say, well, this isn’t a full amount.
We’ll just wait until you make the other payment. And again, kind of sort of defeating the purpose, not always, but kind of, sort of. And that’s your favorite phrase that I use. Kind of, sort
of. That’s what I’m afraid of this pre Halloween. Oh, gee, he’s going to say kind of, sort of again. Kind of, sort of
all over the place.
I’m going to kind of, sort of. And then the other way to do this really is just to, oh, and the other risks that you run. is that they assume that the payment you just made is now a principal only payment. Right? Like if it’s too close to the actual due date, you could run into the situation where they go, Oh, well, it’s the second and you just paid early two weeks ago.
So we’re going to assume that this is an extra payment, a principal payment, which, you know, you want it to be part of your regular payment. Otherwise that print, you know, that doesn’t count basically if you make an extra payment. So, um, the other way to do this of course is just make one payment at the end of the year, make a 13th payment.
like John’s way mostly because it makes it easier to make that extra payment. A lot of people say I don’t have the money to do it. Just to your point, OG, make sure the bank is putting those in right, because I’ve, I’ve heard a few horror stories. Speaking of horror stories, how about the horror story that you’re stuck in a toxic job?
You hate your job. But you don’t have enough, you know, well, you look at that grind of the fire movement of, I’m just going to grind it out at this toxic job. Oh, gee, I’m going to extra work and, uh, you know, try to just retire early. Well, Corey and Jess, who are the fine ears thought there might be a different way.
We’re going to talk about their story, talk about what could be maybe your story if you’re in that situation coming up next. But before we get there, Doug, you’ve got the pre Halloween. Trivia for us.
Sure do Joe. Hey there stackers. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor Doug I am so excited for Halloween tomorrow spent the morning putting out bone chilling decorations like overdue bills wet band aids and a long form 1040 Unfortunately, I waited too long to find a costume So I had to throw something together last minute can’t wait to see the look on Joe’s mom’s face when I trick or treated her house Dressed as her.
It’s almost too eerie to think of. Now, I just have to find a kid who needs a chaperone for the night. I don’t want the neighborhood boys and ghouls. Ghouls? Did you get it? The ghouls? To be disappointed. Not home. So I’m gonna leave out a big bowl of loose good and plenty so they can just take as many as they want.
And even better news, I hate Good and Plenty, so have them all, kids! Today’s Spooky Trivia question is this, If Good and Plenty is one of the most hated candies, what is the most dangerous candy on Halloween? Or, for that matter, any other day? I’ll be back right after I finish painting my front steps with fake bloody footprints.
Those always keep the kids guessing.
Hey there stackers, I’m candy corn lover and adult trick or treater, Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug. Halloween is my favorite holiday because it’s the one day of the year when I can ask my neighbors for candy without getting any weird looks like all the other days. Today’s trivia question is, what is the most dangerous candy to eat?
The answer? According to veneers.com the most. Hold on. Can we talk about veneers.com for a second? ?
Of course, they’re gonna know the
dangerous candy. Isn’t there somebody that gets to say, no, I’m sorry. You can’t have a website anyway, . Anyway, according to veneers.com, the most dangerous candy for your teeth is a jaw breaker.
It’s right there in the name. If they didn’t break your teeth, they’d have to change the name to just like choking hazard or something. Oh, I’d buy that. And now here to teach you how to escape the grind of your nine to five. Let’s say hello to the Pioneers.
And I’m super happy. They’re here with us in the basement. Jess and Corey, the Pioneers are here. How are you guys? Doing great. Doing awesome. I was super excited yesterday to see your van pull up in our driveway. Welcome to Northeast Texas. Thank you. Thank you.
Yeah, it’s great. , you got, you’re saying that we get to, we get to park the van right next to the basement.
right next to it. Isn’t that wild? The uh, we don’t get to say that often, that there’s a van here, you know, and you got to see all of Texarkana last night. All of it. All three minutes of it. Easy, Corey. I’m right here. It’s fantastic. We did go to our speakeasy, though. Tell me
that wasn’t cool. That was very cool.
And then the bookshelf that moved off the wall for the slot machine that you broke. Right.
I did. It was broken before me. Just to defend my honor. And we saw the world’s weirdest band, I think, there. Oh my gosh. It was a husband and a wife and their kid who was out past his bedtime, I think.
Was he like eight years old?
He could have been
older than eight. He was
a musician though. He
was a musician. That kid.
It was amazing. Definitely more talented than me. Well, anyway, which doesn’t say much. So
clearly more talented than me. Well, let’s talk about your talents though, guys. How about that for a segue? Huh? He’s got it. When did you decide to hit the reject button, Jess, on just the normal nine to five, I’m going to get off this train and live a different existence.
early 2018, Corey actually gave me the book, Your Money or Your Life, and I read it and I was like, huh, this is dumb for the first two chapters. And then I got into it and I was like,
huh? You’re like, the book was dumb. Yeah. And then you got to like chapter four and you’re like, we’re dumb. Yeah, exactly.
Exactly. I was like, wow. Okay, I get it. I get it now. But also at that same time, I was also like, okay, this is interesting. It’s asking interesting questions. Like, what would you do if you didn’t have to work for income? And that was like super mind blowing for me to even think about because I was in a really stressful, toxic job where I was commuting for an hour and a half a day.
And you know, it was just awful. And so I was thinking like, okay, this fi thing sounds cool, but , I I don’t want to stay in the same situation that I’m in for another year, let alone another 10 years just to. Or 20
years or yeah,
whatever it might be. Yeah. Yeah. And I think we did the calculations and for us it was actually about 10 years.
Okay. But I was like, I can’t, I, I don’t think I can do this. So we took a trip to Maine that summer. And I feel like we always do our best thinking when we’re like
off the grid. I want to get back to Maine in a second.
But before we go there, I want to ask Corey, you give Jess this book. Where’d you first heard about Vicki Robin and about Your Money or Your Life? It’s a
good question. I’m not sure if I remember exactly. I do remember reading a ton of blogs early on that were FI
focus, which is how you and I met
Yeah. And so at the time it’s funny because I didn’t think I was even like eligible to be like in the FI community. This is not for me. You know, like I was like disqualified somehow, which
seems stupid. I thought about that about exercise, by the way. I’m like, Oh, that seems cool for them. But exercise, not for me.
Yeah, that’s a
good thing for them. And I was just like in the community reading, listening, digesting. And so there were definitely core tenants that like stuck with me of like increasing your savings rate. And as our income grew, as our careers advanced, it was just easy, you know, to increase our savings rate, and so we would do that incrementally.
I would have conversations with Jess and be like, hey, let’s save 3 percent more this year, you know, thinking it was like He’d just jack it up a little bit at a time. Yeah. Yeah, like you can feel it. It wasn’t like we’re depriving ourselves or didn’t think feel like it.
I was just always like, but why? Like why would we do that?
For you is don’t don’t lead with the numbers of the spreadsheets lead with the why right and so that’s something I learned through this journey is You have to understand what you’re moving toward, and not just running away
from. Well, that’s interesting, and I want to get back to Maine, but before that, just on that note, I think, I mean, that’s a problem.
A lot of people think a budget is restrictive, right? That the savings rate thing is restrictive, but it’s not restrictive if you have your why. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So for anybody out there that has trouble budgeting, I mean, the, the big thing is to know why the heck you’re doing it so you can get more life out of, out of it.
So you decide to go to Maine. So now you’ve got this idea in your head planted, Jess, that maybe this Vicki Robbins, not all, not the crackpot you thought she was. So you go to Maine. What happened to Maine?
So we go to Maine, and we’re just talking about it and thinking like, okay, we don’t want to do it the traditional fire way.
And I think on the way up, I think we had maybe listened to a podcast on Afford Anything, and it was like Paula interviewing J. D. Roth. And his thing was specifically saying, Money doesn’t fix your problems. When you get money, you just have more problems, or like you, you don’t have excuses anymore and have to deal with your problems.
And that was a really helpful message for me to hear because I was like, yeah, I don’t, I don’t want, I don’t want to do this if like we’re just going to get to the point where we have the money, but like we’d hate our lives. And so we started talking about the idea of the pioneers and. That we wanted the journey to be as remarkable as the destination.
We actually were like Googling things and found the pioneers. A domain that was available
still. Isn’t that amazing, by the way, when you find that out, like, cause it’s such a cool name and it really cool cause. You know, we feel like pioneers, people that are bragging about how old their car is versus having the new car.
We brag about the opposite. You’re totally a pioneer charting this different path. But to know that’s available. I remember we found out stacking Benjamins was available. I’m like, are you kidding me? StackingBenjamins. com. Really? Really? Okay. Yeah, we’ll get that. But anyway, we like bought it right
away. Oh, immediately.
We did. Yeah, we, and we didn’t have service. So we had to like go somewhere to buy it, to
buy it. We use the public library, like the free Wi Fi, like, like parked outside. On
brand. You don’t even have a brand yet and you’re on brand. How great is that? But let’s go back to going to Maine, because I think this is an important thing for everybody too.
I think it’s very difficult to think about what you want your life to be in life design when you’re right in the middle of it, when you’re in the muck. I love the idea of just, even if it’s for a weekend, getting out of that, that same, I don’t know, the same apartment, the same place, the same, whatever, just go somewhere.
Because I think you think bigger when you just leave.
Yeah. I totally agree with that. And so we were having these conversations about, okay, what do we want life to look like? And we want the journey to be as remarkable as it is destination, all of that. We come back and I’ve literally been back at work for four days and in the middle of the night at 3am I wake up and I seriously think I’m dying. Like I can’t breathe. I had a hours long panic attack and I’m waking Corey up and I like him crying and so in the morning I call my therapist and I’m like, , I have no idea what happened, you know, so she’s talking me through that, you know, at first we’re , okay, I just got to take the day off and then it’s , okay, I just got to take the rest of the week off.
Okay, maybe two weeks, you know, and it sort of becomes clear that This situation had gotten so bad and that I hadn’t taken care of myself and didn’t listen to myself that I was in a situation that I needed to have gotten out of or could have gotten out of a lot earlier, but I didn’t. And so then my, my body and the anxiety was like, okay, we’re just not
letting you go back the theme this year on the show inadvertently, right?
Cause there’s just different things running through the zeitgeist of the personal finance community. But this recurring theme, Jess, that you’re hitting on is a burnout. We’ve had great experts talking about the nature of burnout. People that have thought that more money equaled more love and to JD Ross point that you talked about, you know, she realized she just had more problems.
It’s so, it’s so, but this is beyond burnout. I mean, this is, this is, I physically am done.
Yeah. Yeah. So it was beyond burnout. And so, right. So it’s this thing, we got to , really get serious about what does it mean to live a life that we want. And , not be so focused on the money piece of it. Because even though I wasn’t interested in Phi, I was still like, oh yeah, I’m the high powered female, whatever, and I’m gonna , get the six figure job, and I’m gonna keep working my way up, and , all of that.
And so my motivation was much more , proving myself in some way. Also maybe learning about Phi also helped me realize What’s the point of that anyway? , I don’t even want that. Like, I want a good life. And so in some ways it, , gave me permission to say, Like I’m trying to go against this narrative that says that women aren’t as capable, but in that, that process, I was going way too far and sort of going in a direction that I also didn’t want to
Right. Toxic for you. Toxic for me. Just to prove a point.
Yeah. And so what happened was I ended up quitting that job. Never, ever went back. We were really then like, okay, let’s figure out what life could look
like now. Let’s pause right there. Cause I want to bring Corey into this discussion. So she wakes you up in the middle of the night. She’s having these panic attacks. , what are you thinking at that time?
I think I’m like, I don’t know what to do to make her better, right? Like, how do I help her through this? And like, there’s that traumatic middle of the night scenario. But then once it goes beyond that, it’s, it’s funny. We are very money focused people or have always been. And it’s those moments that really make you re evaluate like what’s most important.
And it became really clear, like getting her healthy and better. comes first before any of the financial goals. And so that kind of forced a perspective change for us. Yeah.
It’s funny because it’s this fusion of health and money that creates wellness. .
And so it was just like, okay, like we did have these ambitious goals, but we also wanted to make , the journey as enjoyable as possible too. So it was giving new flavor and color to that meaning to that phrase. What do you mean by ambitious goals? Um, I think we did want to retire early, like early retirement, early retirement.
Although we, I don’t know if we were calling it retirement. It was just more of like the ability to walk away from work and do whatever we
wanted, but it was kind of, let’s sock it away and grind it out. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And then the grinded out part was proving
toxic thrown out the window. Right. When all of this happened, it was like, Oh, well, why did we even think that this was the only path there are many more paths that are much more enjoyable and that allow you to.
Find hobbies and interests along the way. And you’re not just grinding it out.
So as you’re discussing this, Jess, clearly then you’re having this discussion about how do we make sure that, that we’re still able to reach financial independence, but at the same time, so on one hand, you’re still charting your course.
You told me yesterday, something that was pretty telling you were talking about how, no, no, no, I’m a planner. Like I’ve got, I got my day all planned out. I’ve got everything played out. I want to know exactly what we’re doing here, here, here, here. I would imagine for a planner, that’s kind of difficult because you’re like, I’m going from this clear cut ending quote end to the number might be a little more nebulous.
Tell me about trying to get right with that in your
head. I guess the first thing that happened was I knew that I wanted to go back to work, but I didn’t think that I was going to be able to go back to work full time right away, at least. Um, and so at first we were like, okay, so I could go back to work part time, find a better job now that I’m, you know, recover, like have taken six months off.
I’m recovering from burnout, you know, all of this stuff. And we did the calculations. So we did, we were like, okay, if I work 60 percent three days a week for X amount of time, That will add three years to our FI timeline or something like that. And we were like, okay, that seems worth it. Yeah,
but Corey, do you feel more burdened at that point then?
Like it’s, it’s resting on your shoulders now to bring in the income?
Not really. No, I think when we were looking at it, it was like, oh, we make more than enough money. I mean, certainly there was the pressure to keep working at that time. Yeah.
And you like your job at that point? Yeah. I was loving that.
Yeah. So that’s good. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. So then it’s like, okay, well, maybe I’ll do three days a week for like six months or a year. And then like I can increase or whatever. Yeah. About six months in, maybe a year into me working part time, we were like, Huh, why didn’t our FI timeline change? We realized that we were just spent so much less money.
Wow! When we weren’t exhausted. I looked at the spending and it was wild. It was restaurants, it was takeout, it was like groceries because we were getting like the pre cut vegetables because we were so tired and too tired to like cut our own vegetables. You know, which are so much more expensive. And then it was travel and general merch, random stuff from Amazon.
And we realized
It’s like, I’m sorry, but it’s like, there’s this degree of, I mean, some of it is the cutting vegetables and stuff, but what I think I heard is part of it also is there’s this self care, this self medicating to make up for my crappy existence, so I’m buying more shit, I’m going out to eat more because
Yeah, exactly. So, and so, and I actually thought about it as convenience and escape. Yeah. And , that’s what we were spending money on. And we realized in that first year, we spent like 17, 000 less. Wow. And it was all, and like, it was like almost all of it was convenience and escape. Okay, so then why would I ever increase my hours and go back to full time if , we’re just going to end up spending that money?
Hold on a second, Jess, because I think people got to be clear. This isn’t 17, 000 everybody. This is 17, 000 after tax. Meaning that 17, 000 after all your expenses, if you’re in the 25 28 percent tax bracket, add another 25 28 percent on top of that. I mean, we’re talking about mid 20s, that you save there plus whatever.
I mean, there’s even, there’s even, there’s state tax on top of that, depending on where you live. Wow.
Even more so than the money. It was like the improvement of well, that’s
the bigger thing. Your
health is better. Health is better I’m sleeping.
I’m not stressed. I’m no longer having panic attacks I have all this free time to cook and take walks and yes You know take care of my health And do all of these things. , it probably took me about a year of working part time to feel like, okay, now I have excess mental energy that I want to put somewhere.
I think sometimes when people experience burnout, they’re like, I think that I would never want to do anything ever again. You know, I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that level of burnout, but so many people want to retire early because they are in such an acute state of burnout that they think they’ll never want to work again.
But I got to a point after working part time for about a year that I was like, I have this excess mental energy that I want to put towards something and so that’s when I then was like, okay Let’s let’s expand the pioneers beyond a blog and I want to start doing coaching for people. And, you know, and that, and so that’s when I built that side of the walking them
through all the emotional range that you had gone through, all of the numbers that you experienced.
Well, that was my next question because, you know, we see these statistics and we’ve, we talk about purpose a lot at stacking Benjamins about a lot of times people think when I, when I get to financially independent. It’s going to be all sunshine roses and unicorns, but to that same point we talked about earlier, you still show up.
So if you were miserable before, you’re still gonna be the same miserable human being today, just financially independent and miserable. So getting a sense of purpose, it feels like you finally had time to think about what that true purpose is and then go exploring like, what’s my true, my true thing, which I mean, you’re working now, but you’re much happier working now.
Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I had time to do a lot of that experimentation, right? And some of it was through the blog and the writing for, for the pioneers and You know, starting to talk with people in my, my career history is in human resources. And so it was a very natural fit to move into coaching and facilitation, you know,
that, that I could imagine you could talk about using your benefits to get to where you want to go more quickly too.
Right. Yeah. Yep.
Yep. For sure. So I did a lot of experimentation to figure out, like, what’s, what is the direction that I want to go? And then when I started the coaching, that was just, you know, in my mind, another experiment. , and in my mind, originally when I started that I was thinking, oh, like, uh, well, I was thinking about the question from your money or your life of what would you do if you didn’t need to work for income? . And so my original plan was start, you know, start this coaching program, do it on the side. Maybe I can do that for fun because there’s value in just doing the thing that I would love to do anyway.
And it ended up going really well and better than I expected. And about nine months later, I ended up quitting my job to take that business, quote unquote, full time. .
Well, I gotta, I gotta bring Corey into this before we say goodbye. So during this whole journey that Jess is having, You’re enjoying the work that you’re doing, but how do you then transition from I love the work I’m doing to Corey Fionnier.
it took several years for me to get there. And certainly I was helping a few hours a week throughout this whole time while I was working full time. Sure.
Because the cool thing about you, you have been blogging for a while, so you know setting up the blog, you know the back end, you know the search engine optimization piece.
Yep. Like I’m sure you’re helping in those areas. I don’t know, Jess, if you know those, knew those areas going in, but I know your husband, I know he
did. Yep. So that was the division of labor. She would do most of the work. of the writing, I would optimize, I would do all the SEO, I’d build technology, the back end, the finances for the business, which was easy when we made no money early on.
It’s been easy here for 14 years.
And then I think slowly over time as she was starting the coaching and it became a real business generating revenue, obviously the activity picked up, but also at the same time my interests changed. So work was going in a new direction and they launched a new strategy that I became less interested in.
And I thought I was going to be there for a couple more years, but then it got so bad that I was like, I have other things that I want to do, um, and if I were to leave now and we’re starting a new strategy, you can find someone else that would be better suited and more excited about it. So, um, it actually kicked up my timeline a little bit.
I like how you
phrased that though, and I think this is a lesson for everybody listening. You phrased it, it’s in their best interest to let you go.
Right. . And so I gave them a long notice to make sure it was a smooth transition, which I think worked out for both parties.
It was definitely earlier than I was planning and also a really good thing because I was also burnt out and I didn’t want to admit
it. Did you feel like now both of you are on this train that you’re kind of stepping off into the darkness?
There was definitely less security nets, for sure. Like, I think one thing I’ve realized since leaving the job in February is that I found so much security in the income instead of wealth or…
any other financial metrics. You just knew a paycheck
was coming two weeks
from now. And like there’s, I can do anything. I, you know, I’m not a big spender, but I can spend money wherever I want and it’s going to be enough. Yeah.
do you find, Jess, when you’re coaching people, most people are either misinformed or they’re getting their trajectory wrong on trying to open the floodgates and live today versus grind it out?
I think that the biggest issue is with scarcity mindset and feeling like I will never have enough. And sort of defining, , what does enough actually look like is a really important piece of it. And saying, okay, this is, this is what I expect to be enough long term, right? And so I guess I think about enough in sort of three levels.
I think of short term enough as, will I be able to cover my expenses this year? Long term is will I be able to retire comfortably and not be in poverty in my old age? And then midterm, right, mid level enough is what are the experiences that I want to have in my life? And so for us, we know we have short term enough, right?
We will be able to cover our expenses this year from either active income from our business and or runway that we’ve saved. We have our long term because we’ve reached this milestone called Coast Vi, which means if we never add another dollar to our retirement, we will be able to, it’ll grow and we’ll be able to retire comfortably in our like late fifties.
And so now everything that we earn beyond what covers our expenses goes toward those medium term goals. And those medium term goals are, these are the experiences that I want to have in my life. Whether it’s working less, traveling in a van, retiring early, could be one of those experiences that people want to have.
Texarkana, hang out with Joe. Exactly.
Way at the top. But I think the biggest issue is this idea of enough and that, that goalpost always moving or just not actually being grounded
anywhere. I love how it starts off with these bases and the base then just for most people just keeps getting better.
I got to imagine most people you coach, like they start off with this groundwork on the short, medium and long that are okay. But then to your point, it just gets better and better. Every time something good happens, it’s this blessing where we can add to the middle, which is, which is super cool. Yup.
Exactly. People want coaching, they find you at thefineers. com. I imagine. Jess, Corey, thanks for hanging out in mom’s basement and helping people on this pre Halloween episode. We were going to talk about scary stuff, but I think we help people not be afraid of taking the leap. Let’s live more, man. Yeah.
Thanks for having us. Thanks so much.
Rob Berger. When I’m not rolling in the dough, that’s
stacking Benjamins. Big thanks to Corey and Jess. You know, OG, I gotta say that if you’re in a toxic job, job number one is, is to find a way out. And I know there’s all these, you know, people call them handcuffs, right?
Well, I’ve got great benefits or it pays X amount, but man, if, if we’re living in the assumption that we get to do this life one time. If we are living that assumption, then, then we’ve, we’ve got to find a way.
There’s so much opportunity out there. , it’s like when we moved from Michigan to Texas, you know, it’s, people underestimate how much of a change you can have by. Move in a thousand miles,
just a change in scenery, just
see what’s up.
So there, that also exists in the work world. There’s a great fit for work that has great benefits and great culture. And like that place exists, just look for it. If you’re not
happy, I’m just going to say his first name. There’s a stacker named John who wrote me a few years ago saying we have this opportunity to move the community.
I’m in the, the place I am. It’s good, you know, didn’t sound like it was great, but it was good. It was fine. It was okay. And, uh, he said, you moved across the country. How did you process that? And I had family members that told me you’re going to hate it. You should stay here. And Cheryl and I just decided to look at life as an adventure, you know, even if it ends up being worse, we’re learning from it.
And I’m moving from something that’s not 100 percent wonderful was certainly good enough to something that’s great. I mean, the mutual friend of ours that kind of spurred my move. And I think yours wrote a note when he left Ameriprise saying, you know, I like it, but I don’t love it. I’ve got quote other mountains to climb.
And he went and climbed Everest twice. Like, he went and just did the thing he’d wanted to do. And I think planning for that and creating a life of adventure is so exciting. Only twice. Only twice. Right? What an underachiever. Three, two,
Dude. Had I wanted to. Wow. You know, I don’t want to climb Everest, Doug, but I would have climbed it three times at least.
I mean, had I wanted to. I mean, why even
start if you can’t do it three times? I know.
Come on, Chris. Uh, hey, time, uh, to throw out David Lifeline. This is the part of the show where we… tackle some of life’s most important questions. Our friends at Haven Life Insurance Agency, our friends at Haven Life Insurance Agency, Doug, they put what you value first.
You wouldn’t think I’ve read this 1, 500
times. We’ve been doing this like, what, 20 years, Joe? And you still can’t just rattle that off in your sleep.
I know Matt from Haven Life is like, really? Really?
Unbelievable. I’ll tell you what I, I value most right now. It’s either full rain gear, head to toe, like I’m working on an Alaskan crabbing boat.
I need either that level of rain gear right now or my commercial grade backpack leaf blower. Because we are right now, I’m living in the, the rain’s only falling like seven feet right now because that’s how, we’re just in the cloud. It’s just happening right at head level. And the leaves, it’s bringing down all the leaves.
I’ve got like 15 inches of leaves in my yard. So I need some serious equipment. It’s like a one,
two punch. Um, and yeah, the next five days looking at the forecast. Oh yeah. We’re all of that. Yep. It’s going to be raining. It is your loved ones in your time with a leaf blower. How fun is it if you got your loved ones around?
You got lots of time with a leaf
blower. So much fun can be
had. Why they made buying quality turb life insurance actually simple. You go to stackingbenjamins. com slash haven life now for a free quote. At Haven Life, they are committed to offering insurance the modern way. They moved it all online. It’s very simple.
You get this done so you can take out the leaf blower and giggle. stackingbenjamins. com slash Haven Life. Today, we’re going to throw it out to a stacker who is half a world away from us. I’m super happy. This, this guy writes me a couple of times a year. I think it’s the same person. Let’s say hello to Niranjan.
Say hi, Niranjan. Hi, Joe and Eugene. This is Niranjan from Mumbai, India. I somehow cannot get my head around asset allocation. I am a mutual fund distributor and all my clients are long term investors. Since Equity MFs give the best returns, do I need to do asset allocation? 100 percent Equity MFs have been doing fine for all my clients.
Any views? Well, Dhirenjan, I think that’s why we are friends. And by the way, good to finally hear your voice, my friend. Uh, from India. How cool is that? OG listened to us from a long time, from Mumbai. Cheryl spent time there, spent a month, and it’s one of her favorite cities on earth. And, uh, Nirenjin, we go back.
I want to, I want to hang out with you, man. But 100 percent equities works for him, OG, like it works for you. But you see this broad based diversification approach that CFPs worldwide talk about. Um, so, asset allocation. Let’s dive in. Well,
the question is, if equity returns are so much better than fixed income returns, why do I have to have fixed income in my portfolio for diversification?
And the answer is, you don’t. but you do have to have diversification between different asset classes on the equity side because the reality is, is did the United States and India, for example, we’re going to have different economic cycles and you start adding other countries in there and you’re going to see different ups and downs and that’s really how you can build in a little bit smoother of a ride and also build in An automatic rebalancing plan.
You know, the whole idea of investing is to buy low and sell high, right? That’s the idea. Well, what happens when you have different asset classes is that some things go up and some things don’t go up as much and some things go down and it builds in an automatic way for you to say, I’m going to take the gains from this area.
And in this case, this area of the world and say, I can redeploy this into another area of the world that hasn’t done as well lately. So I’m buying low and I’m selling the excess returns from my successful investment in Australia or whatever. And that’s what we mean by diversification at the equity level.
And then I think also beyond the countries, you also want to look at, you know, big companies and small companies, because both of those are going to respond differently. The last 10 years has been largely dominated by large tech companies. But what’s interesting about that is that we’ve heard this, we’ve heard this story before.
Large U. S. tech companies, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 timeframe, right? Joe, you remember this, you were in the middle of it just like I was. The Nasdaq hit 5, 000 in March of 2000, and that was a big day, and it was, the whole thing was like, there is no old economy anymore, it’s all new economy stuff. Go under the moon.
Yeah. And so, you know, the market went down, and then came back up again. How long did it take for the Nasdaq to go from 5, 000 back to 5, 000? I
think, uh, what? 10 years?
Yeah. I think it was 11, with a 78 percent decline. In the middle. So even within a certain category of investments within, you know, within a country, it’s best to be diversified because Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, you know, yada, yada, yada is doing really well right now.
It’s really hard to predict that they’re going to do well for the next.
Well, and that’s a struggle that I have. We see people talk about Microsoft, how they’re kicking ass now. Apple, to your point, kicking ass. Remember back to 2000, the name that was the quality name was Cisco Systems, right? Cisco Systems was amazing.
Just a well run company. John Chambers, their CEO was all over Fast Company Magazine and CNBC and was just like the guy that everybody wanted to be leading this company that, I mean, they are the plumbing of the internet back then. I remember this whole story and even if everything else fails. You’re still going to have the internet.
So Cisco systems is going to be where it’s at. And off the top of my head, OG, I think they lost 80 percent of their value. 80 percent for a company that everybody thought was the company that can do no wrong with the leader that was the biggest genius in Silicon Valley. So, um, you know, sometimes it’s not about that one company.
Well, there’s no
way to predict in advance the returns of any particular stock or sector of the economy on any one particular day or week or month. So how in the heck can you tell me that you can predict the results of a sector of the economy or sector of the market for the next 25 years of your
Yeah. So what you’re saying is, is that asset allocation, it’s a hundred percent stock is fine. Um, but to Niranjan’s point, cause he’s talking about. Equity only, have a lot of different types of equities to get that
hammered. Big, small, US, non US, international, different countries,
the whole deal. Niranjan, I am so excited to send a, uh, Stacking Benjamins shirt all the way across this great world of ours to you.
I want you to, uh, I want you to wear this thing proudly, man. It’s going to be super fun. You can’t
even get one across the basement, but you somehow can manage to get one to India. Dude, you
go to India. And call me and we’ll send one to you. Okay, deal. It’ll be worth it. Fantastic. And OG and I get a break for a couple of months from, from the Doug.
Uh, let’s, uh, roll into our last segment. This is our community segment. We call the back porch and we start off with what’s going on in the community. Doug, what do we got? Well,
actually, my favorite thing from the community, uh, recently we got a note from Stacker Tracy who said she was listening to last Friday’s episode.
Now, do you remember what episode that was, Joe? Yeah, because
now it’s been a couple of weeks. This was episode 1421. When have your saving, spending and earning habits gone, gone too far?
I love that she reached out to us and shared, uh, oh. Fun example, heavy air quotes on the fun. She said her local NPR morning show had people calling with ideas for frugality.
Someone called in and said, so they’re copying us, NPR’s looking to us, market leaders, why wouldn’t they? Uh, somebody called in and said he rinses his floss. And reuses it. I’m assuming he’s talking about like dental floss. Either way, it’s disgusting, super gross, and even the host was taken aback. It’s been at least 10 years, and this has stayed with me as going way too far, says Tracy.
I didn’t share this on that show because we were having such a deeper discussion on a lot of areas, but my, my two uncles, Uncle, uh, Eddie and Uncle Dick went on a, uh, went on a lighthouse tour around Michigan, all the beautiful Michigan lighthouses. And, uh, Doug, you probably have one near where you live, one of those lighthouses.
It’s great in the fall to go do this. So they, and my aunts, they, the four of them went. My, my uncle Dick is so cheap, he would not, you know, these, these lighthouse, uh, conservation people have like a 3 fee OG to go up in the lighthouse. He wouldn’t pay the fee. Now that is fine. If you’re like on a trip to Northern Michigan and you stop at a lighthouse, you’re like, yeah, I don’t need to go up because really it’s not that big a deal.
He’s on a lighthouse. trip specifically to see the lighthouse and for 3 will not go up the lighthouse. That’s hilarious. I think Doug, we need to turn this into a thing though. I would love to hear more of those. Yeah.
Cause it’s such a common theme for us. We talk often about ways to save money. I love this notion of.
What do people consider going too far? Because, you know, the whole one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What’s going too far for you might be completely normal for other people. So I’d love to hear about this. Call us. You know, call into the voicemail line. Get on our Facebook basement group. But, uh, find a way to let us know, because these are both hilarious and, and kind of insightful.
Yeah. Let’s do some more in a future Back Porch episode. Uh, also coming up this Thursday, you’re Chuck Jaffe at the beginning of this episode. Obviously, we don’t know how it’s going to go tomorrow night. So, OG on Thursday, we’re going to have, uh, Chuck 5 p. m. Eastern, 2 p. m. Pacific, do the math, mountain, mountain and central.
I can’t do everything for you.
We need a spreadsheet for Joe to like have him. auto
calculate. Chuck’s going to come on our Instagram live and he’s going to tell us what happened. So, uh, if you want to hang out and if he can’t be there live, you can always, uh, tune in later. Just go to our, uh, Instagram and click on our, uh, SB live and you can watch it whenever you get to it.
So Chuck Jaffe on Thursday is going to tell us how it went, which is great. Uh, what else we got, Doug? Anything else? Uh, well, Joe,
here’s, uh, what I think is, uh, worth talking about is scary movies. Any, I mean, you watch movies all the time. Any good recent ones, or are you watching old stuff to get in the mood for tomorrow
Well, what’s funny is we’re recording this a couple days early, but, uh, but a friend of mine and I, Really wanted to see this movie that got great reviews called The Blackening. Uh, I don’t know if you saw this last night
when I made a steak.
Well, this is, this is from that long time Hollywood thing that when you have a Hollywood movie, right?
The black guy dies first.
Right. They’re making a movie about that premise.
They did. Yeah. And for a horror movie, it got a solid six out of 10. And so my buddy, Rick was like, Anytime you can get a campy premise like that together with a horror movie. So I watched it last night as people are listening to this, but I have no idea how I liked it.
So I’ll report back, but listen to the, the subtitle and it’s in big letters across the top. We can’t all die first because the entire cast is black.
I love it. It’s so
good. So I’m going to watch the blackening. How about you?
You know what I think I need to do is, uh, now that you’ve said that, I think I need to watch get out again because I, I didn’t like it.
And every, every time I tell that to people, they can’t believe that I didn’t like it.
I liked it. You like, you had two heads. I was like, what?
What I didn’t like about it was that it felt like it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. As a movie. Is it a comedy? Is it a thriller? I just didn’t, like, pick one, man.
I just, that was what I didn’t quite get. That’s the
only Jordan, that’s the only Jordan Peele movie that I’ve seen. I haven’t seen the other ones. I haven’t seen the Doppelganger family one. And, uh, I haven’t seen the, uh, one where they are, um, They’re out like on this ranch thing and the wind starts blowing.
I didn’t see that either, but, and because I didn’t like Get Out, everybody raved about Get Out and it just didn’t land with me.
Uh, last thing I had today, I just want to thank everybody at FinCon. It was so fun being the closing keynote speaker and meeting so many people. It was just, it was a great time.
I saw a video of you
dancing. I thought we’ve established that, uh. I can’t dance. Old white dudes should not be dancing on stage.
But maybe I can distract them with this awful outfit and they won’t notice that I can’t dance. I’ll put this
court jester thing on and that’ll surprise the hell out of them.
And what’s funny is around that, I got to give a very blunt talk to our community that we need to collaborate better and more and, um, and I’m glad that, uh, that it went over very well. So, super, super grateful for everybody at FinCon. So if you were there, thank you so much. Did you give
them the, it’s not me, it’s you talk?
I’m not the problem! I just got to say,
I’m pointing the finger at all. You idiots. No. Uh, uh, Hey, uh, last but not least, if you’re not here for our hilarity around Halloween or talking about my closing keynote at FinCon, you’re here because you’re not making the world’s best financial decisions. And you know what? 2024, you want to wipe the slate clean and do better.
You can’t go back and make better decisions last year, but you sure can go forward. With much better decision making. OG and his team are taking clients, so head to stackybenjamins. com slash og. And that’s the link to his calendar. And, uh, he will dive into how his team can make your team better when you’re looking at your financial decisions.
All right. I think that does it for today, Doug, man, there’s a lot here today. What should we have learned today? Well, Joe, I’ll tell
everybody what they should have learned today. First, take some advice from the pioneers and follow your purpose to achieve financial independence. And, trust that your portfolio will grow long term by listening to Chuck Jaffe and sticking to your financial plan in all conditions.
Second, while the TikTok might have been annoying, the message was solid. Find a way to put some extra payments towards your mortgage and you could save a pumpkin full of cash. You know, like those little plastic pumpkins that kids carry. Anyway, but the big lesson, if you’re going to decorate your front steps with bloody footprints, make sure you Take your shoes off before you go back inside.
I’m gonna have a lot of explaining to do for the next date I bring home.
Thanks to Chuck Jaffe for joining us today. You can find Chuck at Money Life with Chuck Jaffe. Also, thanks to The Pioneers for chatting it up with Joe today. You can find out more about Jess and Corey at ThePioneers. com We’ll also include links in our show notes at stackingbenjamins. com. This show is the property of SB Podcasts LLC, copyright 2023, and is created by Joe Saul Sehy.
Our producer is Karen Repine. This show was written by Lisa Curry, who’s also the host of the Long Story Long podcast. With help from me, Joe, and Doc G from the Earn Invest podcast. Kevin Bailey helps us take a deeper dive into all the topics covered on each episode in our newsletter called The 201.
You’ll find the 411 on all things money at The 201. Just visit stackingbenjamins. com slash 201. Wonder how beautiful we all are? Of course you’ll never know if you don’t check out our YouTube version of this show, Engineered by Tina Ikenberg. 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. Want to chat with friends about the show later? Mom’s friend Gertrude and Kate Youngkin are our social media coordinators, and Gertrude is the room mother in our Facebook group called The Basement.
Say hello when you see us posting online. To join all the Basement fun with other stackers, type stackingbenjamins. 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 Benjamins show. I’m
not dead! He says he’s not dead! Yes he is! I’m not!