Who reads Stacking Benjamins? Who listens to our podcasts? What’s their story?
We asked ourselves that in a team meeting last week and the answer came back: we don’t know enough about YOU….and we think it’d be fun to hear more. So we reached out to a few of you. Want us to profile you? Write us a note. Tell us a little about yourself. You could appear here next!
Live: Seattle, Washington
Thanks for doing this….lots of people out there want to know what “real” people are doing instead of those crazy financial bloggers and podcasters.
Here’s my big question: Most people struggle with money….some are good. Where would you put yourself?
Very good although it did not used to be this way. It was honestly dumb luck that I stumbled upon personal finance podcasts, which led to books and learning about the power of compounding interest/saving while I was young.
What would you say was your most valuable money lesson?
The power of compounding interest. If they’d only preach that to high school kids I don’t think we’d need Social Security.
When did you get your first job?
At the age of 12, delivering newspapers for the Seattle Times.
Whoa! That’s young….why’d you get that job?
I think it was my parents more than anything. They taught us not to expect any handouts and to take self responsibility.
What lessons did being a paperboy teach you?
Hard work. It was not enjoyable waking up at 4am and riding a bicycle around Seattle. Cold. Wet. But it provided a sense of accomplishment at a young age that I think helped me think outside the box. I think it helped me transform into someone who doesn’t pay attention to what my peers are doing but rather tries creative thinking to find ways to do things better.
I eventually invested all my money saved into a biotech stock in 2005…
Lost everything. That sucked but I definitely learned to diversify.
Have you ever been an entrepreneur?
No, but I do consider myself one in a way by owning equities through index funds. All the ownership without all the work/risk.
Great answer. You really do own a BUNCH of businesses! (And delegate the management to others….)
Have you struggled with debt? What tools/plans are you using to get out?
I came out of college in the hole by $75,000 (student loans). I worked ~50 hours/week and lived as cheaply as I could to pay it all off within a year. My tools were hard work and sacrifice. There is no other solution.
What about investing? How do you invest?
I have two portfolios. One is my “essential” retirement portfolio that is diversified through index funds, with a slight tilt towards value/small cap/REITs, that will eventually contain bonds (I am 30 years old, will start adding bonds by the age of 40). This “essential” portfolio was started a few years ago and has now grown to a size that, assuming average future returns, will grow large enough in 40 years for me to retire.
My other portfolio is everything in excess of the “essential” portfolio and includes all future earnings/contributions. This is “play” money in a sense, as I already have secured a well diversified portfolio that should grow large enough for me to someday retire on. So my second portfolio is more aggressive: it is tilted very heavily towards small and value, both domestically and internationally (along w/ emerging markets and REITS).
As long as my “essential” portfolio is on track to grow to my “retirement number” by 2055 (inflation adjusted), all future contributions will go towards my more aggressive portfolio.
What tools have you used to create your financial plan?
I use Personal Capital, sigfig.com, and I listen to several different financial podcasts/read lots of books.
What tools do you use in your daily life to manage your personal financial picture?
(We asked Jason if he had any other questions we should ask….and this is what he said:)
You should ask me: What are your favorite financial podcasts?
Obviously #1 is “The Stack”, as it’s known on the streets. Joe and OG are PHENOMENAL and it’s amazing how long they’ve been doing this free service to the community (especially if you go back to ‘two guys and your money’).
After that, there are several other good podcasts : Dough Roller, Money for the Rest of Us, Paul Merriman, Money Tree Investing, Clark Howard, Wes Moss, Listen Money Matters (several different versions), and Good Financial Sense, off the top of my head. I listen to others but there’s lots of spam out there and it’s hard to find honest people giving the right advice.