Want to know how to stack AND enjoy more Benjamins? Us too! That’s why we like taking life advice from the right people. In our minds, Ron Shaich, founder and former CEO of Panera Bread joins us to talk about living a life of service. Ron’s had a full life, making money quickly but still working. How come? It turns out, Ron’s best life advice revolves around how to live with meaning, rather than chasing money. We talk about his early days with the company, reinventing Panera before it was broken, and coming back out of “retirement” four times to pursue the next phase of running the business he loves.
Speaking of life advice…one crypto trader could use some. Mom always said “measure twice and cut once” when doing anything. This trader lost OVER one hundred thousand dollars on a trade recently. We’ll share how and what life advice this may mean for you! (There’s plenty).
Of course, we still throw out the Haven Life Line to a lucky listener and also dive into some of Doug’s juicy trivia.
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
Big thanks to Ron Shaich for joining us today. To learn more about Rob, visit ronshaich.com. Grab yourself a copy of the book Know What Matters: Lessons from a Lifetime of Transformations.
- What’s the most popular sandwich in the U.S.?
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.
- Martin is a public employee and wants to know whether he should continue to contribute to his high-fee 403(b) or redirect that money toward his low-fee brokerage account.
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Join Us Friday!
Tune in on Friday for a special roundtable where we’re talking about the value of making life hard on yourself with The Retirement Answer Man Roger Whitney, Afford Anything’s Paula Pant, and the cohost of the Mile High FI podcast, Carl Jensen.
Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Our Top 5 Ways to Cut Expenses Fast (SB 1425).
I, Maxwell E. Snavely, being of sound mind and body, do hereby bequeath the following. To my wife, Rose, who spent money like there was no tomorrow, I leave one hundred dollars and a calendar. To my sons, Rodney and Victor, who spent every dime I ever gave them on fancy cars and fast women, I leave 50 in dimes.
And to my other friends and relatives who also never learned the value of a dollar, I leave a dollar.
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement, it’s the Stacking
I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor Doug and today we’ll learn how being honest with yourself will help you grow your business with founder and former CEO of Panera Bread, Ron Schaik. In our headlines, one investor lost over 100, 000. 1, 000 in a trade. We’ll explain their oops moment and how to prevent it in your portfolio.
Plus, we’ll throw out the Haven Lifeline to Stacker Martin who wants to know if he should stop contributing to his fee heavy 403b plan. And then, I’ll share some cheesy trivia. And now, two guys who are as steady as peanut butter and jelly, it’s Joe and O, J J
J J G!
Hey there, stackers, and I am the peanut butter on this podcast, Joe Saul Sehy. Average Joe Money on Twitter, which means, sitting across from me… You’re jelly of me! I was gonna say, you’re the jelly roll on this podcast. Hey now. Mr. OG, how are you, man? Crunchy or creamy? Uh, you know, I go back and forth. Go to is crunchy.
You go both ways? I do. Uh, go to is crunchy, but there’s times when I’m like, I don’t want my jaw to get that much work. Jif
or Skippy? Jif. Yeah. Skippy is so bad, isn’t it? Or Peter Pan? Oh,
Peter Pan’s alright.
No, Jif. Jif or bust? Crunchy Jif or non existent. Welcome to the
Peanut Butter Evaluation Podcast. I’m Joe Saul Sehy.
This is OG. Speaking of peanut butter, it’s almost time for peanut butter blossoms.
close, aren’t you? It is a holiday delicacy. Of course, everybody knows we do it with Biscoff. You do.
That is the secret. And remember the number of stackers after you did that that tried it? And then we got… I think we just
need to post the recipe on the, on the website.
You should because
we got tons of mail from people that tried it.
have a better idea, we’ll post the recipe in the Stacker Newsletter.
Sounds good. The 201, StackingBenjamins. com slash 201. And we’ll have Kevin post the recipe there. Sounds good. Speaking of sounds good, we’re talking food.
I know. I’m just, I looked at the headline.
I was like, I love me some Panera. I have Panera for breakfast today. I might have Panera for lunch. I definitely will have it for dinner. You’re keeping
Ron happy. Absolutely. You know, the great thing that Ron did and we’ll talk about this OG is he blew up Panera four different times and it was when the company was doing fairly well, but he knew they needed to continue to compete.
And there are times, you know, when you’re like, things are okay, but they’re not great in your life. And you just got to have the bravery. You just got to have the… Just nuke it. Have the ability to go do it. We’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about having a mission beyond financial independence.
Ron was financially independent very quickly. Panera did very well, very quickly, had lots of money. Why do you keep working after you’re financially independent? We’ll talk to him about that and much, much more. But before that, a headline that you sent to me, but even before that, Doug, we got to talk to you about not licking the knife before you put it back in the jelly here.
Here’s the deal, Doug. Because then when I open up the jar to the peanut butter, and there’s little jelly bits in the peanut butter, Yeah, it’s so
gross. So gross. Knock it off Doug.
Yeah, which is why I think this is our new rule
You know when you open the jelly and there’s that it’s kind of watery. Yes, you got a stir it up Oh, you
why that is.
Do I want to know?
I’m gonna tell everybody why it is You can cover your ears if you want because this is what I was told. I’m not a biologist This is what I was told, when you lick the spoon, put it back in the jelly, you have all of the particles in your mouth that are associated with digestion. So it’s starting to digest the jelly with your slop.
No! And then you’re mixing it all together. No! So don’t lick the spoon. Don’t lick the knife, Doug. Please stop. Oh my god. I do not need your digestive juices.
We gotta get going before I throw up. Let’s get this thing moving.
Hello, darlings. And now, it’s time for your favorite part of the show. Our Stacking Benjamins
I’m glad Ron’s not down here yet, because he’s gonna report the basement to the health department after that. Pretty good idea. This headline comes to us from cryptonews. com. It’s written by Jimmy Akee. Jimmy writes… In an unexpected turn of events, a decentralized finance user accidentally lost a fortune after he swapped 131, 350 in wrapped USDR for, wait for it, 0 in USDC.
Transaction initially captured on DeFi OpenOcean by X, formerly Twitter user RektFencer. Man, this is a, just imagine losing 130, 000 OG.
All because of a quick transaction that you were trying to day trade yourself out of. And oops. Here’s
what happened. Neither you nor I spend a ton of time in crypto land, but the way that I read this piece, USDR has been pegged to the dollar.
It’s what’s called a stable coin. So it’s made to be a safe place. Well, that stable coin was unwinding very quickly. Turns out it wasn’t so stable. It wasn’t, no stable coin. And since there’s no
regulation, then there’s nobody to get in
trouble. And so the stable coin starts going south. The user tries to get out of it as quickly as he can.
It’s a panic trade, right? It’s a panic trade, tries to get out of it as soon as they, as quickly as they can, accidentally trades it for something that is already pegged to zero and uh, trades 130, 000 for nothing. Yeah.
And if you keep reading, what’s even more interesting in this is that there was some sort of technology bot arbitrage bot or something that picked up on this as it was happening and did the right thing.
What the original user was trying to do. Jumped in, solved the problem for itself, not for the user, and made a hundred and ten grand for the bot. At the same time. So there are people out there who have written programs to catch when people are doing dumb things and profit from the dumbness, if that makes sense.
I have a very close story to this where during the All of the crazy stuff going on with AMC, and GameStop, you remember that from a couple years ago? Sure.
The movie Dumb Money out right now.
Which apparently lost a hundred million dollars,
so. The movie lost a hundred?
Yes. Really? How ironic. Tell me, tell me this moral of this story without telling me the moral of this story.
But anyways. So I have a very close friend, not, it wasn’t me, so it’s not me, but I have a very, very, very close person in my life who was making a slaying on day trading AMC and day trading AMC options to the point where like had turned several thousand dollars into tens of thousands of dollars, 40, 50 thousand dollars.
Similar news comes out that, oh, oh my gosh, the world’s imploding. AMC’s going, you know, whatever it was, jumped online pre market to sell, but did it as a market order. So difference between a market order and a limit order. So if you’re going to buy and sell stock, and especially if you’re going to buy and sell stock in a panic move, you have to put a limit order there because a market order just gets
Whatever the next available trade is, you’re on the end of it. You’re
saying I will take any price. I don’t care. I just want out. That’s what a market order is now in a normal functioning market. And you’re going to go sell Apple or buy Apple. And you’re going to buy a hundred shares. Well, you know, that’s trading a million shares a minute, you know, that’s either way, you know, you’re just, you’re just in there.
Right. But if there’s a panic sale and everybody’s selling, because remember all sellers are matched up with buyers in the equity markets, right? So if there’s a bunch of sellers, then the buyers are going, well, I don’t know, you guys want out, I’ll offer this.
And especially if you’re doing it pre market, the computers that are matching are also.
They see the trend and you could open 50 percent lower or higher with the first trade of the
day. Absolutely. And so just like we tell people, and you know, we had a recession guide that we put out a year ago about, you know, how to, how to profit from a recession. And one of those, one of the strategies there was put in ridiculously low limit orders on stocks that you wish you would have bought in the last recession.
You know, you go, gosh, it would have been great to get Apple at a hundred. and the market’s down 20 percent and woe is me, well, hey! put a limit order to buy a hundred shares of Apple at a hundred, you know, see what happens. You know, you might get it. So that’s what happened. So someone had literally put in, buy these AMC options at one penny if available.
And then this associate of mine went, I’ll take any price. And the computer went, well, one penny is any price. So surely you want
that? Oh my goodness. So he sold
a 50, 000 position. for one penny of share. So he ended up with 500 bucks, basically out of 50, 000 was recognized when he put the order in, Hey, I might not get 50.
I might get 48. I make it 47. I might get 40. I don’t care. I’m out. But how about 40? Because it was a market order pre market. And what’s crazy is that at the end of that day, AMC finished up. So if he like literally would have forgotten about it, not read about it, not paid any attention, it would have been okay.
But because all of the panic stuff and the volatility, in that moment, got wrapped up in it and, uh, took 50 grand and turned into 500. What’s the
lesson here? Is it that, I mean, obviously the day trading thing is a, is the obvious lesson, but when I’m placing my trade, do I do the Amazon thing? Like when I think I might want to buy the stupid thing, I put it in my cart overnight and think about it first.
And then I press the button. Do, do I, you know, when you talked about limit orders, do I put limit orders out there? Like what’s my takeaway from this?
I mean, there’s a lot of different strategies for individual stock positions, you know, first and foremost, if you’re buying something that doesn’t fit in your financial plan for a long period of time, Warren Buffett’s famously quoted by saying, you should be allowed to own 20 stocks your entire life.
So be very judicious in which 20 you feel like buying to own your entire life. And so if you’re evaluating your, you know, financial plan and you’re saying to, to fulfill my plan, I need to own stock. I’m just going to day trade my way. You know, like if that’s not one of the stocks you want to own for 20 years, I would question why you even want to get it in the first place.
If this is a fun hobby and you’re just day trading and you’re like betting on football or whatever your deal is, you know, that’s a different thing. You’re you’re saying I’m, I’m okay with losing all of this. So firstly it’s kind of starts there from an asset allocation standpoint, but. But even if you’re going to own individual stocks, every company now, every custodian, has the ability to put limit orders, or trailing limit orders, or trailing stop limit orders, all these different protections.
So that you can say, Hey, I want to make sure that if this turns sideways, if this position turns sideways in a hurry, and I’m not literally sitting by my computer when it happens, there’s a mechanism and a technology that will get me out of here. Basically, I’m not going to get to get the price. I’m not going to pick the price, but it’s gonna, you know, it might not make me whole, but I’m going to have some capital left over on this deal.
And those are the trailing stop limit orders is what you’re talking about there. If you’re just out there buying stock, it’s a Tuesday and you’re buying it. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. If you’re going, Oh my gosh, I need to, you know, I need to watch this every second because I’m worried about the next tick that comes across the news.
I’m wondering why you’re owning the thing to begin with. Yeah. And the same thing is true with any of these esoteric investment pools, crypto or individual penny stocks or like all these things. I have a friend of mine that was working at a brokerage house, like old school stock broker. And this guy was making a killing on penny stocks in one particular stock in particular.
He was Just trading it every day and was making tons of money and then he bought he’s like, oh, you know He kept doubling down basically and then bought a big position and then the next day he goes I want to sell it and make this money. They’re like, yeah, you can’t you own 10 percent of the company
Wait what? Yeah, you have accumulated so much that you have now now you are an insider rules You are now you are required by the SEC to file disclosure documents in order to make them all like well No that that blows up the whole plan. I got to sell it right now to get my Yeah, sorry. You’re a 10 percent out.
Wow. Wow. You know, it’s just, it’s like, it’s like a surprise, you know, but let’s say stupid games win stupid prizes, I suppose. So you just got to be careful. I was sitting watching football the other day. Kurt Warner’s on TV, old school quarterback, won a couple of Super Bowls for the St. Louis Rams. He was talking about betting on football.
Cause that’s all the rage these days. And you know, he’s got the rules, right? His rules of the game by Kurt Warner, right? One of the rules is you don’t bet more than you can lose. And so if you’re going to go play the penny stock game, you’re going to play the day trading game. You’re going to go buy options because you saw it on Reddit and you want to do it, man, have fun, do your thing.
Don’t, don’t make it part of your financial plan because that’s not going to be a success story probably, but if that’s what keeps you excited and you know, whatever, have fun, but have it out and don’t make it such a big portion of your day or of your money. That it’s so stressful if you, if you lose it.
and I think that’s a, I mean, to me, that’s the biggest takeaway of all is keep the garden weeded. Like, I can’t tell you the number of times when I would meet with people and they go, well, I’ll sell this. But after it goes up to X, you know, after it reaches X point. And I’m like, we’ve got to accept the dollar the way it is today.
And it doesn’t fit today. If it doesn’t fit today, something else could go up and this’ll continue to go down. I’m thinking about one family that had like 80 percent of their portfolio in Ford stock. Of course, I’m in Detroit. So they got all their money and Ford’s never goes down. Yeah. They got all their money in Ford.
Well, and here’s the deal. Oh, gee, the reason they met with me was because it had gone down. And so I put this whole plan together for them. And the very first move, obviously, is we got to diversify to make sure that you get some type of retirement, whether it’s Ford or any single company. It’s not as predictable as an index will be.
We need something more predictable. So I had this strategy knowing they were nervous about getting out to, I had it in three stages should have been all at once. I wasn’t worried about the market. The strategy is worried about them. So I’m like, we’re going to sell a third now, a third later, whatever dude wouldn’t do it.
And he said, I will only do it if the stock’s trading at 12. He said, I’ll do it when it goes back up to 25. Of course, the stock went down to eight and two eventually, and to two. And by the way, I ended up not working with him. There was nothing we could do. There was, there was
zero to do. Well, and this is an important lesson, I think, for young people, and we see this a lot, and it seems like it’s impossible to happen to you.
So I’m going to tell this in a parable, but most people say, well, that’ll never happen to me. If you’re a young person and you’re getting some, and I mean young, you know, you’re early in your career, 25, 35, whatever. And you’re getting some of your compensation in restricted shares. You’re getting some of your compensation in non qualified options, incentive options, whatever.
And you do not have a plan for liquidating those positions as they become in the money or when the tax burden is exactly right or whatever. If you haven’t mapped that out, you’re gonna end up like that person that has 80 percent of their net worth in one stock. And you go, well, that’ll never happen to me.
It could, because I’m assuming you’re working at a company that you really like, that makes good stuff, that you’ve got a lot of hope and optimism in. And so all those companies, all those tech companies, all those, all those companies that are paying you based on outcomes, if they do well, and you haven’t built a plan for how I’m going to sell, you know, keep this percentage of my portfolio, a reasonable percentage, you’ll wake up one day and go, Oh crap, I’ve got 80 percent of my net worth in one stock and it’s doing amazing.
And so now to get out of it, it’s going to cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to get out. So now I don’t want to because, because you know, and then you get this, but it’s doing really good. So maybe I don’t want, and it explodes, huge percentage of your net worth, huge net worth. And then one thing can cause that whole you know, house of cards to come down.
So if you’re looking at your compensation, you get restricted shares, non qualified options, you know, incentive options. You’ve got an ESPP through work. You got 401k match. You’ve got all these opportunities to own your company stock, believe in your company. That’s great. But also make sure you’ve got a way to keep that percentage of your net worth fairly constant over time.
Otherwise time will go by. It’ll be 20 years. And you’ll be calling Joe going, I got 80 percent of my money in Ford. Well, which by the
way, you’ll still continue to have more and more of the stock. People like, well, I want to own more than, you know, a thousand dollars in my company or two that, well, if you’ve got a million dollars and you decide that 10 percent of your number, you get a hundred thousand dollars in a single company.
when you’re 50 and you’re making three 50 a year in compensation and your bonuses, you know what I mean? Like you think about it today, you’re 27 making a hundred grand and you get a 5 percent bonus. When you’re 55 and you’re making 450, most of your comp is bonus. You know, you’re getting 000 a year in stock compensation.
Like, it scales also,
to your point. We will dive into this more in our newsletter. The 201 comes out every Tuesday and Thursday, right the day after this show. And what’s cool is even if you happen to, we don’t want you to miss an episode, of course, but if you do miss an episode, the 201 is made so that you can still pick up a lot of great tips while you’re on the road.
And then you can circle back and listen to the show later. StackingBenjamins. com slash 201, always free, comes out the day after our Monday, Wednesday episodes. Coming up next, Ron Shaik is the guy behind this little company known as Panera. I’ve had a bread bowl or two, don’t know about UOG. Also another company, All Bon Pain, which I, I probably slaughtered, uh, the pronunciation of that, but I think we’ve all seen it.
We’ve all seen those. He is out of those companies with a massive sale that he did back in 2017. Now he has some new ideas in, and a few others. We’re going to talk to him about. Lessons he learned while developing Panera. But before that, Doug, I think you’ve got some trivia for us.
Hey there, stackers! I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug. I’ve been working on a recipe book for Joe’s mom. You know, because I like to help. So far, I’ve printed a dozen recipes I found online of things I’d like her to make for me. At the top of the list… I got, uh, baked Alaska, uh, there’s some, uh, coq au vin, there’s a beef wellington, a few different types of souffle.
She’s gonna be so happy! I, I got all my favorites in one place for her, so she doesn’t have to ever guess. I decided to not include any sandwiches, though, since, you know, that’s my specialty. If you got hot dogs, I know four sandwich recipes by heart. That includes the one I just made up this morning. Bacon, egg, and cheese, with peanut butter and jelly.
With, with the peanut butter. It was so good. I don’t know if I should even be listing all the ingredients on here You might be able to figure out how to make it. According to legend Sandwiches are named after the 18th century British nobleman John Montague, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Montague was such a devoted gambler that he had his valet put salted beef.
No, I said it right That’s how they say it in England, valet. He put salted beef between two pieces of bread So he could eat dinner at the cribbage table without having to interrupt a game I actually created my own on the go food item. What you do is, you slice a banana down the side, and you stuff it with trail mix.
That way, you don’t have to carry the nuts separately. I’m gonna start calling it the Hot Doug. The Hot Doug. The hot Doug. Today’s trivia question is, what’s the most popular sandwich in the U. S.? I’ll be back right after I make sure Joe’s mom has a pasta maker.
Hey there stackers, I’m sandwich chef and recipe book publisher, Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug. I tried the hot Doug during the break and unfortunately, turns out it’s harder than you think to eat trail mix out of a sideways banana. That’s still in the peel. It’s very complicated. Today’s trivia question is what’s the most popular sandwich in the U.
S.? The answer? A cheese sandwich. Grilled or cold, Americans can’t get enough of cheese between two pieces of bread. I mean, you got your favorite flavored fat in there. You got your starches. What could go wrong? According to one stacker, That’s borderline child abuse, though. And now, here to help you identify what matters most while building your business, it’s founder and former CEO of Panera Bread, Ron Schaaf.
I’m super happy you’re here with us, Ron.
It’s good to be in mom’s basement here, Joe.
I gotta start here. You begin this topic… this project by writing that when you retired, what you were looking forward to when you were first going to retire, what in 2010, 2012, that you were looking forward to writing a book about the lessons you learned building Panera.
And then you say, this is not that project, which by the way, when I laugh out loud at the first line of a book, I know it’s going to be a nice ride from them. What did you mean by that? That this is not that project.
Well, I sold the book in 2011. I started to write it, big New York publisher, and I ended up going back to Panera for the fourth time.
I went back to do another transformation of Panera. I’m knee deep in it, working 90 hours a week, and I’m working on this book at 4 a. m. And I said, Ron, this is sheer idiocy. You can’t be doing this. Let’s cut it. And I basically said, I will give the publisher back their money. Um, always hard, gave them back their money and said, I will write this book when I get done Panera.
And in 2017, I sold it in the biggest U S restaurant deal ever done among the highest multiples ever done. And I began doing a lot of speaking on the pervasive short term ism in our capital markets. And I realized this was still a bucket list item. I wanted to do it. And I wanted it for your listeners. I wanted it for those folks out there that are starting out, that are trying to build something in their lives.
They’re trying to figure out how to do it. And this book is different than so many of them. So many of this genre, uh, Starts with a thesis. I did wonderfully. I’m wonderful. You just have to be like me. It’s sheer nonsense. This is a this is hard work. There’s a lot of trade offs in it. And I want to talk to your audience about it.
And I want this book to serve them in understanding what they’re really getting into and how to go forward and how to do it and how to build a life that not only has economic value to it, but a life that actually has values and leads to their own sense of self respect.
Well, I want to ask you some questions about the early days from some of the early chapters of the book, what I read, so people can get a sense of what you’re talking about, about how hard this is and how much work you have to put in it.
But I got to question you on what you just said. You said you went back four times. I was just reading yesterday a piece talking about Bob Iger, of course, uh, the Disney chairman who just went back to Disney. And he said Disney’s in worse shape. Than he thought it was and he’s exhausted. Ron, it’s clear you had plenty of money.
Yeah. You were doing just fine. Why does a guy who already has enough security for himself go back to
take part again? Because none of this is about just simply financial security. Once you get over a certain point. It’s not gonna change your life what is about a self respect and i’d love to panera i love the people there and what i could see and feel was the ability to make a difference and what was clear to me the way i went back in two thousand ten i was the executive chairman i was still.
Doing some of the customer facing stuff. And again, as I said, I was doing a lot of public speaking and Joe, I came back from looking at acquisition one weekend and I sat at a computer and I wrote a document, how I would screw with Panera if I weren’t part of Panera, literally how would I compete with Panera?
And I, I basically at that point called for digital access. And I called for clean food, and I called for Omni Channel, and I called for loyalty. And these were things that were not in the restaurant industry at that point. And the guy who took over for me, my very dear friend, a guy named Bill Morton, Bill says to me, Ron, will you go work on it?
And I love nothing more than figuring things out. And I said, yeah, I’ll go work on it. And remember, I’m Executive Chairman. And within nine months, I’m working on this thing 80 hours a week. And I’m loving it because I’m building the next iteration of what Panera could be for its guests. I’m actually putting in place.
One thing led to another. Bill couldn’t travel for some personal reasons. We ended up swapping jobs. He became executive vice chairman. I came back yet again as, as CEO and we put that in place. And between 2011 and 2017, we affected the largest transformation, I think, among any large scale restaurant company that occurred.
And Joe, if I may say it, I say this to your readers, your listeners, it sucked. It was horrible. It’s difficult. Change is difficult. And the question is how you think about that and how you manage it, because the core of all of this, which goes to your question, is how do you leave it with a sense of your own self respect, that you walk away when you’re done, you say, I did something, I did it well, I did something that I can
Let’s go back a few years because you really drive the point that you just said home very early in this project. It’s 1998, Ron, and your dad has moved into your apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Can we talk about that? Why was your dad moving into your apartment? Yeah,
my dad. had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
And we wanted to get him to Dana Farber here in Boston, where he could get into clinical trials that could potentially save his life. And he was here off and on over a number of years, but he actually ended up living the last nine or 10 months of his life in my apartment. And I watched him go through this process.
And what I saw was that each of us, if we have Chronic illness or if we go through that kind of process we step back and we actually review our lives and it became clear to me that there is a judgment day i cannot promise you it’s up there that’s a personal spiritual decision i can tell you there’s a judgment day if you have that opportunity and i watched him reflect on his life i watched my mother reflect on her life and it was very clear to me that at least one of them felt better about the decisions they made than the other and it’s from a personal perspective.
I wanted to go through the same process, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing in the ninth inning with two outs. I wanted to do it in the seventh inning, the fifth inning, the third inning. And I began a process, you know, decades ago of sitting down every Christmas and asking myself, A question, where do I want to be with my life in terms of my core relationships, my relationship with my health, my relationship with my family and the people that I love, my relationship with my work and my financial capabilities and doing work that was meaningful to me and then ultimately my spiritual life and I began to write a five year vision of where I wanted to be and then I began to take that and break it down Into what I needed to get done this year and what were the specific projects that underline the things that I needed to get done this year.
And then I began to review that every quarter. Is
this the thing that you describe as, you call it a pre mortem? Yeah,
like the time to do your post mortem is not when you’re at your funeral. It’s not post? Yeah, the time is to figure out what you’re going to respect, my friend. And if you don’t figure it out, right, you’re going to lead a life where you’re in reaction.
And what we want to be is proactive. We want to make some choices. Now the truth is, the mantra of the book, and my own mantra is, tell yourself the truth, confront the 800 pound gorillas, what’s really true, know what matters, know what few things really matter, and then get them done. And I can only tell you whether you’re running a business or you’re thinking about your life because they’re very similar.
If you’re doing that. You need to understand what few things are going to matter, you know, we often talk about presidents of the United States and you think about how they spend their lives and what they do. And all the meetings they attend, but generally they’re known for one or two or three things.
You go back to, to Bush and it was, it was 9 11. You can go to Obama. It was Obamacare. You can go to Trump and maybe it was COVID in January 6th. You can go to Biden. Maybe it’ll be Afghanistan. It’s these, these few big things that matter and understanding what they are for you, what you’re going to respect when you get down the road is the key.
By the way, same in running any enterprise. If you’re just reacting to today, you’re going to actually get yourself in trouble. And so that’s one of the things that we talk about. Here’s something else we talk about in this book, Joe. Means, ends, and byproducts. And here’s the reality, we’ve gotten lost in corporate America on byproducts as if we can create the byproduct.
Let me tell you by way of a story. I have a friend who’s a type 1 diabetic. His goal in life is to stay alive as long as you and me. But he can’t make it happen. It’s a byproduct. Like happiness is a byproduct. So what’s his end? His end is to keep his blood sugar between 80 and 180. If he keeps his blood sugar between 80 and 180, the byproduct is life.
His means, diet, exercise, insulin control. To your listeners, it’s the same thing. You want to have financial rewards. You want to build a business of quality. You want to have that. You can’t make it happen, right? It’s a byproduct. What’s it a byproduct of? Building a better mousetrap, building a better competitive alternative, better serving your target guests.
When you do that, the byproduct is the financial rewards in the success.
That was, I think, going to be a big aha for a lot of people because you write that profit is not the end. Profit is the byproduct, which, by the way, I was so glad to hear you say, because I had a business partner once and I was trying to explain.
What you’re saying here, much less eloquently than you did just now, Ron, and she kept accusing me of not wanting to make
money. Listen, I’m long term greedy, not short term stupid. And you want to be short term stupid, you react and you try to squeeze. You want to be long term greedy, you understand who your target customer is, and you deliver better for them than anybody else.
You do that, you’re going to build a sustaining, powerful business. And you’re ultimately going to have far more financial
I don’t know, like, it sounds like almost a 7 11 and the dude gets mad at you that’s working behind the cash register? I mean, I mean, they accused me of
shoplifting, Joe. I didn’t look at you,
Ron. Look at you.
Anyway, I ended up on the board of that company later. Yes. No baloney.
So, so let’s talk about, tell us that story about how you created the first business.
Well, you know, I didn’t, wasn’t interested in business. I was probably on my way to law school. I was gonna, I wanted to change the world. I wanted to make a difference in the world. And I was the treasurer of the student body at a place called Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. And I was tossed out of this local convenience store.
And I came back to campus and said, the heck with these guys, let’s create our own nonprofit convenience store. We don’t need them. They just hassle us. And I, this treasurer was able to raise 60, 000 in capital, basically a tax on the student body. And then we had to figure out who was going to build this place and who was going to run it.
And ultimately I volunteered to do it. I spent the summer ripping out a faculty wives thrift store. That was what they gave me. I ripped it out. The administration didn’t support it. And I ran this store and as a kid in college, it’s just, you know, it was 50 years ago, but as a kid in college, to be honest with you, I couldn’t dance.
I couldn’t sing, but this was the closest I came to live performance art. I loved it. I love the creative process. I love serving people. I love figuring it out and it opened up a whole world for me and the irony of it is sort of the problem in my life. We started making a lot of money. It’s supposed to be non profit.
So we lower the prices. What happens? We make more money. We lower the prices. At the end of the year, we had about 60, 000 in profit. This is where the
administration gets interested. Oh, isn’t that weird? All of a sudden they’re excited about it.
Yeah, I wanted to throw a Grateful Dead concert on the village green as a way to give the money back to the students, but we ended up, um, shall we say in the scholarship fund.
That’s very nice of you. Yes, that was the way it came down and that store lasted
30 years. How did you in those early days though, get product? Cause you’re not Walmart. I mean, you’re not able to, even as a student, I can’t imagine how you get wholesale pricing to go
and resell stuff. We didn’t listen. We went to the, the local deep discount, uh, supermarket at about five in the morning.
You know, we took seven or eight carts, shopping carts. of food and then we went back to the store and we re merchandised it. But here’s my point to your readers. My stories are just fun. The reality is the joy in any of this is figuring it out, right? How do you get it done? It can get done. And when you’re small, you have an advantage.
The reality is you can move quickly. Your executive committee can meet on the way into work and resolve it by the time you get there. It’s not all that complicated. The power you have when you can be flexible and move is extraordinary. But the key is to know what you’re focused on. You know, the key to this book is to know what matters.
What are you trying to get done for whom? In order to do that, part of what we talk about in this book, is telling the truth, the 800 pound gorillas, telling yourself the truth, telling the people you work with the truth, knowing what matters, and then most importantly, getting it done. Too often in corporate America, we talk about what we’re going to do and we don’t get it done.
And so this is central to the entrepreneurial experience. And Joe, before we go forward, I want to tell you there’s just something else, share with them something else. I think we as entrepreneurs, and I think there are many who might be listening, are often misunderstood. People think of entrepreneurs as risk takers.
That’s not an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are opportunists. We see opportunities that other people don’t. It’s that simple. And then we are committed to protecting that opportunity, that ability to meet that need in a way that other people, and what I would say to you is if you want to build an entrepreneurial life, if you want to build up any activity, it’s to start and figure out with empathy.
What is that customer need? Where can I make a difference that other people don’t? How can I do it differently? How can I be that much better than the next guy? You know, there’s a great story, Joe. I don’t know if you ever heard about two guys out hunting. And all of a sudden, you know, a grizzly bear jumps into their tent.
Both these guys, uh, throw on their pants and one guy looks at the other and says, why are you throwing on your pants, Joe? You know, why are you doing that? And the other guy looks back and says, well, you know, I, I, I have to simply outrun you. And if I outrun you, I will succeed. You’ve got to figure out. What it is that you can do in a differentiated way that’s better.
And when you do that, you actually have a business model.
Well, it makes it so much fun too. Cause you’re not trying to just do the thing. Like how many entrepreneurs out there do you see during your career that are just doing the exact same thing somebody else did? It’s boring. It’s derivative. The customer can see right through that.
It adds no
value. Right. Right. I look at the whole central thesis for us of value creation. Is being a better competitive alternative. That’s our end. In every business I’m in, and you may know, not only did we create Obon Pen and Panera, I’ve now been chairman of Kava, which we just took public, we have something else called Tate, Life Alive, some of you may know, we’re in BJ’s restaurant, I essentially sold Panera, took my own money, some of it, and have now built a billion dollar plus portfolio of businesses that our whole central theme in Act 3 is figuring out, What are the niches that are going to matter?
Discovering today what’s going to matter tomorrow. What are the niches that are going to matter in the restaurant industry in the next 5 to 10 years such that they have tailwinds behind them and then helping build the dominant brand in each of these niches. That’s literally what we did with Kava and that’s literally what.
We did with Panera, what we did with Au Bon Pain, and we’re doing with a range of other businesses. It’s there to be had if you know how to be differentiated and you know where your competitive advantage comes from. I
wanted to get back to that idea of knowing what’s important because there was a time early in your life, you thought you were going into politics, right?
So you think you’re going into politics, you also find out you’re very good at the world of business. Obviously, we got a lot of listeners that are sitting on a fence like that, where they got these two competing things that they think they might want to do. How’d you decide to go business versus enter the political
You don’t decide, you try. And one of the things that I discovered is no matter what road you take, they’re mostly all going to lead you to the same place. When I did business, I always brought a political sense to it. To me, a business is simply a little society you get to control. Tax policy is compensation.
Customer satisfaction is all part of it. On the other hand, when I did politics, I was always a strategist, and I was always trying to figure it out. To me, a business, frankly, is a campaign that never ends. And a campaign is a business that has one day of judgment. But very similar kinds of skills.
Understand what matters. And to me, understanding what matters is to understand what matters to your target customer. If you can figure that out and you can listen to them with empathy, you can create opportunities. You can create opportunities as an entrepreneur, you can create opportunities as a CEO of a multi billion dollar, hundred thousand plus employee organization.
I think what’s cool is too, Ron, you’re creating opportunities for your customer to do business with you.
Yes, but here’s the key, you know, we use all these fancy MBA terms, you know, like competitive advantage and differentiation. Here’s it in the most simple terms. Are some people going to walk past your competitors and choose you, right?
If you can’t get that to happen, my industry, at least the restaurant industry is dirt farming. It’s a crummy business in which you get your market share and there’s not enough margin and you don’t do particularly well. You’ve got to be the best alternative for some people. You better figure out who that target customer is and you better deliver it to them.
Let’s talk about that in terms of the early days, because you’re not just talking about these high level ideas, Ron, this is, this is your development. You started off with a cookie company,
right? I started out with a 400 square foot store and I built four or 5, 000 restaurants since then. Let’s talk about
step one, because every step I feel like.
Is a little bit of lather, rinse, repeat, because you’re sitting there with cookies. You see people at the start of the day walking by the front, the front of your store. And you’re like, how do I get those people in? Tell me about the early days of the cookie company and then transitioning into breakfast.
Yeah, Joe, let’s step back, right? People often talk about my life and my legacy is the financial results. You know, I ran a public company for 27 years, longer than Cal Ripken played baseball. And what people talk about is that company, Panera, delivered the best returns. In the restaurant industry over two decades, twice Starbucks, four times Chipotle, 25 percent returns.
Somebody told me we actually beat Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. That’s what people say. But to me, as we were talking, that’s a byproduct. What I’m most proud of is not that. What I’m most proud of is I transformed my company. Four different times over the course of thirty seven years basically every eight to nine years i let a transformation when i started i visit a cookie store i merged it with a french bakery three french bakeries i was working on the counter and it quickly became clear to me that people were buying french baked goods.
croissant and bread, and using that for a sandwich. And we quickly changed our business from being the big good business to being the sandwich business.
Powerful. Literally. Slice of bread changed everything.
Yeah. We went from being a broken down French bakery to being one of the hottest concepts in the late eighties.
Au Bon Pain. And we were, you know, everybody wanted one. And it led to us going public in 1991. But that was a byproduct, right? That came as a result of figuring out. The business the consumer what they really wanted they wanted a sandwich and the bacon was simply an ingredient to the second major transformation for me according the nineties and it was clear to me that were huge trends happening in our consumer society and i spent two years on the road trying to listen with empathy to guess what i discovered is one out of three consumers.
Walked into fast food and held their noses. And yet the only alternatives at that time were fine dining and fast food. And people wanted something more. They wanted something better. And I began to imagine if we could deliver real food, environments that engage them. People that care, that we could deliver for our guests an elevated experience, something that they felt respected them, something that, that essentially elevated their, their sense of self esteem.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but that became that ideology, that understanding. The visibility we saw became what is the fast casual industry segment of the restaurant which is now a hundred billion dollars and we came away from that experience understanding there was a powerful and deep trend i speak a lot more about this in the book and i end up using tenera.
St. Louis Bread Company was what it was first called, later we renamed it Panera. We ended up using Panera and it became the poster child for Fast Casual. But it was that, that learning that was, that I’m so proud of and then how we turned Panera into the poster child. The third major transformation occurred at the end of 99.
98, 99. And again, we all get these moments where you’re kind of down. I was down. I was running a large public company. I had four different divisions, Obonpan, Obonpan International. I had a manufacturing division and this thing called Panera. And I could see Panera had the potential to be nationally dominant.
But for every hundred guys that talk about being nationally dominant, Joe, one ever makes it. It’s so hard. And I was kind of bumming. And I said, we’re going to screw this thing up. It’s a gem. I know it, I can feel it. And I’ll never forget, I was in the Caribbean, a friend looked at me and said, Ron, what would you do if Panera owned Au Bon Pain, not Au Bon Pain owned Panera?
And I hadn’t thought about it that way. It was a changing paradigm.
It totally felt to me the same as when Dayton Hudson said, you know what, Target is really where we’re at. It was the same flip, like, oh, we got this little company Target here, we got Dayton Hudson, but Target is really who we should be.
It’s the gem and understanding what the gem is is what matter and i made the decision i left that i said you know we gotta protect this thing at all costs it needs all the financial resources we have it needs the best human capital we have if i had any strength to go down there and make it happen.
As CEO, and I’m this kind of guy. I think about it for a while and then I say, you know what, Ron, let’s go for it. And I did it. I, over the next year and a half, I sold every other business. We had every one of them. It was horrible. It was blood in the streets. Obonpan was my first son. I loved it. I loved the people.
Good news is, after we sold them, after non competes were over, they often came back. But nonetheless, the truth of the matter is we sold everything out, any given day you could have convinced me to not do it, we did it, at that point you could have bought our stock at a penny on the dollar. People say to me all the time, Rob, why didn’t you tell me?
I look at them and go, I was telling you, right? Nobody wanted to listen for the year. You gotta believe, right? And I did it, and I executed. And that allowed us to build what became a, 2000 plus restaurant chain. And then quite frankly, as I, I may have mentioned to you, I retired in 2009 to to work on reducing the hyper-partisanship and the polarization in our civic society helped form a group called No Labels.
But I still was the executive chairman of Panera and I ended up coming back from a trip looking at some competitors and writing a vision for how I would compete with Panera if I weren’t part of Panera. It made
me think of the old days, I think it was Jack Welch who said, change
before you have to. No, I think Jack Welch said, control your destiny.
Or somebody else will. Right? Or somebody will control it for you. Yeah. Right? Which is the same as saying, you do it to yourself. Yeah.
Yeah. You had to blow up
Panera. I, absolutely. I, listen, I had to sell my first child, Obonpan. I had to blow up Panera. I had to take on the sacred cows. And I had to do it in which in a time when you’re going through transition, we don’t talk about this, but I want to talk about in the book and I hope your readers or your listeners will see it if they buy the book, I talked about the difficulty and pain of the process from 2011 to 2017, I had activist investors who came and said, you know, we can short, short cut this.
You don’t need to spend that 200 million on technology, right? You don’t need to do that. We can put on more debt. Yeah. And I kept thinking, yeah, you know, I’ll get left with the carcass when this doesn’t work for the guests. I had people when you’re going through transition, you’re making less money, not more money.
I people that, that, that lost faith, that quit. It’s horrible. These are guys that I had known for years, you know, and one of them quit on two weeks notice, you know, and there are these moments where you really almost wonder. I can remember my daughter was up in Manchester, uh, Massachusetts. I lived in Boston.
My family was up there. It was a tough day. My CFO had quit and I was just beaten up and I wanted to just go to bed and my daughter calls and says, dad, we could drive an hour and come up here and put me to sleep. And my first reaction was, Emma, I can’t do it. And then I called her back and Tim and said, I’m coming.
And I got in bed with her and she looked at me and said, dad, I really had a tough day. I had a horrible day. And I looked at her and said, you know, Emma, the beauty of life is that you’re going to go to sleep tonight. You’re going to wake up tomorrow. The sun’s going to be shining and you get a whole new day and a whole new approach.
You needed that message
yourself. That was who it was for. And the reality is when you’re going through tough times, it’s to remember that. It’s to keep that. In your mind’s eye what what it is that you’re trying to do what you gonna respect and it should go through transition you know when somebody once said he never lost the game ran out of time you know that’s often the worst fear and how do you deal with that i can tell you joe i had five billion dollars of investors that were betting on me.
That I was, you know, I had 125, 000 employees that their mortgages and their lives and their kids education were dependent on us. And you don’t know yet if it’s the right decision, but you better have made the right calls and taken that organization the right way, which gets us to this principle of getting it done, actually knowing what matters and getting it done.
Well, and I wanted to end with a question on that topic. Clearly the organizations that you built, you know, currently with Kava and your current portfolio with Panera, with Obampan, with the cookie company, even with that first, a lot of what you’ve done is about people and about having an organization that supports the people that support the organization.
How do you let somebody go? When it clearly isn’t right for them because there’s people listening to this that are leading people that you just know Ron that it’s not the right fit and it’s going to be better for you and them for them to go someplace else.
Yeah, you know, Joe, I’ve had thousands of letters I’ve gotten over the years from people that I fired who said to me, thank you, I learned more while I was working with you and I learned more about myself when I was fired.
And the reality is I have almost never had a problem in firing people. Personally, it kills me because I love these people. Yeah, yeah. You know, it’s really true. But if I tell the truth, people get it. And people understand. So I truly believe one of the most important lessons for me in looking back is I try too hard to do people’s jobs for them, to make it work for them, to get them through what they were going through.
And I had that capability, but that wasn’t enough. And I can, I can remember in so many ways, how often people would say to me, thank you for telling the truth. Thank you for actually telling it the way it is. Now they didn’t always tell it to me when I fired them, but they certainly did. They had to see the
Yeah, because I think we all know, but all I’m saying to you is one of the growth points for me as a, as a leader, and I hope for many of your listeners. Is to recognize that you don’t own somebody else’s work. They own their work. You need to be an honest broker. You need to tell them the truth. You need to be clear with them and you need to come at that with a heart, not a heart to protect them, but a heart to make sure that they understand with clarity what is true and what isn’t.
Last question, Ron. How has COVID changed things? You know,
ironically, I, my belief generally is COVID, like so many things, has not in a material way changed things. Yeah, we have a little more delivery, but the truth of the matter is in my industry, the food industry, consumer businesses, restaurant industry is the second oldest profession.
You know, it’s, it, it ain’t going away and people want what they always have wanted, which is a place of community, a place to gather, a place to break bread together, to enjoy, and they want the best food they can get access to. It hasn’t changed. It won’t change. I don’t think we’re going to be talking about COVID maybe with the exception of.
idiosyncratic things like Zoom and its effect on offices. I don’t think you’re going to see dramatic changes in our
consumer society. The book is Know What Matters? Lessons from a Lifetime of Transformations. We barely touched on stuff at the beginning of the book. There’s so much here. There’s so many lessons.
But more than anything, Ron, I got from it, this idea of leading with your North star. And then the building that comes from that, the fallout that comes from that, man, the times when you were a public company, we’ll let people read that on their own. And just the, the, the lessons from being public pit in my stomach.
You know, Joe, if I could say this to you, as we conclude, there really is no legacy, right? This is all going to turn to dust, all these businesses, all of this, what matters is your self respect and what matters are your relationships. And focusing on those, your relationship with your guests, focusing on your relationship with your team members, and doing things that three years from now, five years from now, seven years from now, you can look back and say, I can respect that.
That’s what it’s all about, my friend.
Hey, I’m Mr. Wow.
And I’m Mrs.
Wow, from Waffles on Wednesday. And when we’re not eating
waffles, we’re stacking
Benjamins. Big thanks to Ron for hanging out. You could hear the excitement OG and Ron’s voice and this idea we talk about a lot when you retire of having a purpose.
Ron comes out of retirement again and again and it’s not because he doesn’t have enough money. It’s because he’s got this purpose. His purpose clearly is. serving these people, his idea of what Fast Casual should be. I mean, you see it with Howard Schultz at Starbucks who came out of retirement. Heck, you know, we talked about Bob Iger coming back.
I think Iger might be a different situation at Disney. I think that was more of a dumpster fire and he, he kind of had to come back. But I do think this idea of purpose after you’re financially secure is a super important thing.
I mean, otherwise, what are you going to do? I mean, you spent your entire life being, you know, motivated and fascinated by this thing.
And then all of a sudden, you’re going to go like, now I’m, now I’m going to sit on my, sit on my couch all day. And all
these studies of people that just atrophy because, you know, they said, Hey, I’m going to travel and play golf. And that’s about as much as they think about their retirement goal. It’s got to be deeper than that.
I agree. Gotta be. Hey, let’s throw it to Haven Lifeline and tackle some of life’s most important questions. Our friends at Haven Life Insurance Agency OG, they put what you value first.
Uh, first today is, oh, the exciting news that my in laws are coming for two weeks and a half. You are thrilled. I am beyond thrilled.
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All policies issued by their parent company, MassMutual, more than 160 year old. I’m sure it’s online. It’s very quick. You know, you need life insurance. Go get it now. StackyBenjamins. com slash HavenLife. All right. Uh, today we’re going to throw out the lifeline to our good friend, Martin. Hey, Martin.
Hello, Doug, Joe and OG.
I’m new to the personal finance world and I discovered that my educator 403B with a core bridge has a weighted expense charge of 1. 62. I contribute 1, 000 per month, have an account balance of 200, 000. with a 70 30 stock bond mix. I’m 53, earn around 170, 000. We’ll work for at least six years and receive a net pension of 94, 000 annually.
My wife will continue to work while I retire and have an income of 36, 000 annually. Once she retires, she’ll receive a pension of 12, 000 annually. We spend about 100, 000 per year, which will go down once the two college age kids have left the nest. Again, because we’re new, we have two Roth IRAs with Vanguard, total 37, 000.
We have a new brokerage account, 6, 000. We contribute 750 per month. We max out the Roth IRA. So my one question is, what should I do about the outrageous fee heavy 403b? Stop contributing and move the 1, 000 to the brokerage account, or is there another recommendation? Of course, when I retire, I will roll it over to an IRA, work part time.
So thanks for your help. My shirt size is medium. Love
the show. Thanks, Martin. We’re definitely going to send you one your way, but you don’t need to brag about being a medium because we send you a code. He
sounds like a shmedium type of
guy. A shmedium. He likes the tight medium. Oh, yeah. So he doesn’t show off the guns.
Yeah, it’s gun show. Martin, congratulations, by the way, on digging into your personal finance picture too. And, uh, man, those pensions, OG. If you can get them, that’s a nice amount of cash flow coming in. And by the way, the two college age kids, that’s where my hair all went. Martin was going through that. So I can, I can hear the finish line coming in your voice, but, uh, that is a fairly hefty fee OG 1.
7 ish. What’s he do about that?
thinking of a couple of things. Number one, most 403B providers or most companies that. or places that have 403Bs have multiple options with the 403B. Oh, that’s good. Not all. Yeah. But a lot of times there’s like three, four, five different choices. Companies, school districts in particular, have started to pare those down because you can imagine from an accounting standpoint, it’s just a nightmare to keep track of them all.
But you might inquire to see if there’s other options. Maybe the one that you’ve seen access to is just the most popular salesperson who’s around, you know, handing out the free donuts and coffee every morning to get people to sign up, which Forbes would be a good idea. But check with your HR department to see if there’s other choices.
Obviously, there’s some advocacy there. Since you’re picking up this torch of financial independence and you’re starting to recognize this, it doesn’t hurt to talk to the HR people and go, what’s going on here? Like, this is, this is crazy. There are countless people. in your community who would love the opportunity to sit in front of the school board and go, ours is better and it’s cheaper and it’s easier to manage and it’s better and whatever.
If you open that up for some competition from a bidding standpoint or make it known to the, the 403b salespeople around that you’re open for business and competition, you’ll be surprised at how fast those prices will go down on the existing one you have. Plus you could just find a better one. You know, I mean, we’ve done it, I’ve seen it happen.
Where clients have brought us in to basically pitch a new deal so that the existing person goes, wait, what? No, no, no, no We can match that. Hey, it’s weird how these… Hey, look, just as a matter of fact We were about to show up with this new proposal. Look, it’s a better deal for you. Timing
Very weird So if that none of those things, you know, that doesn’t answer your question of what do you do with your thousand bucks today?
Listen, you’re putting the money in pre tax, I assume, in the 4th or B. Most 4th or Bs are going to be pre tax, which means you’re getting a tax break on every dollar that goes in. You put 1, 000 a month in, getting 12, 000 pre tax, which, you know, could be as much as 1, 500 or 2, 500 in tax savings every year.
I don’t think you want to forgo that and the simplicity of having it come out of your paycheck. for a higher expense. You know, the trade off I don’t think is there. Tax savings is better than paying a high fee. Would it be great if you could get a low fee? A hundred percent. But to me, I don’t know that I want to martyr myself of, I’ll show you, I just won’t save for retirement.
Not that you’re saying you’d do that because you said you put it in your brokerage account instead. But I do like the idea of making sure that there’s some tax deferred money there and you get a tax break while it grows, which is going to help you in terms of. The growth opportunities and how much the money is going to grow over the next, uh, 10, 15, 20 years, I guess, 23 years before you have to take the money out.
So, I think it’s a two pronged approach. I think you try to advocate for yourself and for your fellow employees and say, this is horse manure and we need to, uh, we need to get this squared away while also contributing the money. That’s my two cents on the matter.
I have nothing to add. Yeah, clearly, uh, looking for different options or helping the company bring in different options is great.
And I also think that’s your number one place to save, period, full stop. You know what, OG? He may have had more money. if he didn’t have those high fees. But the fact that he had an easy way to save is why he’s got the 200, 000 sitting in there. Yeah. That’s why I’ll let, let’s not let perfect be the enemy of good and a forward progress.
Cause you’re right. The second that you say you’re going to start writing a check every month,
just historically. I mean, it’s, it’s no different than, you know, you look at other areas that are adjacent to money, you know, health, for example, When you dive into all of that stuff around health and calories and protein, and it’s like, well, yeah, it’s probably better if you don’t eat Twinkies and you eat a salad instead.
But at the end of the day, it’s the fact that you’re out there exercising and like, you know, you’re just doing the thing that’s going to have a much bigger impact than trying to exactly time your carbs exactly right. You know what I mean? And that’s how I think about it with the, the fee stuff is important.
And I don’t want to like diminish that and say, well, you can just pay whatever, because that’s not true, but it’s the, it is the icing on the cake, right? It’s save the money, make sure it’s allocated correctly, big picture stuff, and then try to find, you know, a good value for, for the service. Which
is where I think the second you bring competition in, if you can find a way to bring competition into that, that thing that you mentioned is going to happen immediately.
It’s going to be immediate. Those people are going to start to dance around those fees the second you bring it up because you’re not the first one, Martin.
Yeah, probably not. But, um, you know, it’s, it’s such a weird thing, especially in schools because it’s always, it’s kind of, for lack of a better term, it’s a good old boys network still over there.
It’s a very. opaque industry. And there’s a lot of great providers and there’s a lot of great people who care about educators and make sure they do the right thing. But it’s also a great opportunity to be a little slimy, a great opportunity to obfuscate all of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes.
Because, you know, like, Oh, well just put 50 a month in and who cares, you know? Um, but it does matter. So. If you can lead the charge on the advocacy for your compadres, I think, um, I think you’ll find some pretty good resolution in a hurry.
And as, uh, Martin insinuated, we’re sending him a Stacking Benjamins Haven Life shirt for being brave and calling in, sharing some, uh, personal stuff so we can all learn from his situation.
If you’ve got a question for us, stackybenjamins. com. Slash voicemail and we will do the same for you stackybenjamins. com. Slash voicemail. All right. Time for the last segment of this show that we call the back porch. Going to begin with a community calendar. Since Doug went upstairs to get a drink, uh, I think.
On Monday, Doug mentioned our Instagram live time has changed for Thursday, and I believe it’s a little different than what we even said on Monday. Katie Kramitzos joining us. She leads Women’s Meditation Network. If you’ve heard the show for any length of time, you’ve heard me talk about how much. I like the fact that Katie helps people relax and be more mindful when it comes to money so they don’t lose 130, 000 in a single trade.
Oh gee, maybe meditate first, calm it down a little bit. Meditation has helped so many people and uh, Katie is going to join me and teach us how to be a little more mindful. That is going to be Thursday, 1230 Eastern. I do believe that is a different time than what we had before 1230 Eastern, 1130 Central.
Uh, what is that? 1030 Mountain, 930 Pacific, if I know my time zones. So that is Thursday on Instagram. You can find all the places, uh, where we chat with people. Our YouTube channel, which has always some great clips and lessons, which is just go to youtube. com slash Stacking Benjamins. You know, the best place to go, our welcome guide shows you all the different channels we’re on.
stackingbenjamins. com slash welcome gets you to that. Uh, that’s that. Oh, gee. Entertainment wise, Cheryl and I have started watching a documentary that I find fascinating. You know, she’s, she, she and I both were in love with Ted Lasso. Did you watch Ted Lasso?
Watched one episode. Didn’t really care. Ah,
Loved it. Watched the whole thing. Like a lot of America, a lot of the world. But now we’re watching everyone except OG. Well, no, I mean, I’ve met other people that just didn’t get into it, but, uh, you know, that was me in breaking bad. I watched the first two episodes and everybody told me like, you got to watch like the first four and then you’re hooked.
I would say the same thing about Ted, but welcome to Rexim, which is the true story about Rob and Ryan buying the Reynolds. Yep. Yup. Buying the team and their story of trying to bring this team from four, four, uh, leagues under the premier league and trying to get things moving. We’re, we’re three episodes in, four episodes in.
It’s really good. If you like sports and you like kind of sports management documentaries shows and about how they make it, it’s pretty, we’re really enjoying it. It’s on Hulu. I think I would qualify it though, that you gotta, you gotta be into sports management stuff. I came
across this, uh, video, so we don’t actually need to see the video, we can just listen to the audio.
It showed up in my feed a little bit ago.
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So did you pick up what this was all about?
Yes. Well, what’s funny is when they said ARK invest at the end.
So at first I’m like, Oh, okay, this is a parody. And then I went, no, wait a minute. It’s not a parody index funds in a traditional world. And you can actually get it. Then I’m like, okay. Well, this makes sense to me. Like that is some safe stuff to invest in. And then when she says ARK invest at the end, I’m like, damn, this
is an ad that ARK put out about how silly it is to invest in the status quo in traditional broad based diversified portfolios.
And instead, you know, like, are you, are you scared of innovation and you just want the status quo? Well, talk to your advisor about getting a broad based, boring index fund. Here’s the
funny part. Which is funny because I think it’s a good, I think it’s a good advertisement for the broad based index fund.
Well, it certainly is when you go and say, well, this was posted on October the 14th of 2020. Oh. And, and. Let’s see how Kathy’s done since then. Since then. Your S& P, your crappy S& P fund that invests in dumb things like tangible assets and real estate with predictable cash flows Is up 25 and a half percent.
Yeah, it sucks and your, you know, new technologies fund is down
62 percent 62 percent you lost more than half your money. You lost two thirds of your
money. 62 percent since the video, this video came out Just let that sit there for a second. Okay, I’d let it
sit there And I still like the Broad Based Index Fund.
Yes. Even not knowing the future. Oh man. Because
you know what? The Broad Based Index Fund has the new stuff in it. It does. Weird. Yeah. How that works. It’s just not all that stuff. And I’m sure in three years from now or five years from now, somebody will pull this out and go, see, you told you, told you there it is.
But the volatility, something else. I think it’s a
good place to leave it. Uh, last thing on my list is if you’re somebody hoping to make better decisions and maybe, maybe invest in stuff that actually makes sense. OG and his team are taking clients. If you need a better plan. Not talking product, but talking process.
You need a better process to get you from point A to your goals. Head to stackofbenjamins. com slash OG. That’s the link to their calendar to, uh, set up a first meeting so that you can make better decisions in the future. stackofbenjamins. com slash OG. All right. That’s going to do it for today. Uh, Doug, I think you got it from here, man.
What should we have learned today? Well,
Joe, first take some advice from Ron Shake and build your business around a life you’re proud of so you can leave a positive impact on the world. Second, take away from our headline, don’t make panicked trades, and whenever you have to make a move quickly with your money, measure twice before cutting so you don’t lose over 100, 000.
Ouch. But the big lesson, anything can be a sandwich if you put it between two slices of bread. Anything. Thanks
Schaik for joining us today. You can find his book, Know What Matters, wherever books are sold. 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 Ichenberg. 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.
What was that? It’s called the medium sketch. The medium sketch? Yeah, it wasn’t rare and it certainly wasn’t well done.