Cover image of Listen Money Matters - Free your inner financial badass. All the stuff you should know about personal finance.
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Rank #9 in Investing category

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Education
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Listen Money Matters - Free your inner financial badass. All the stuff you should know about personal finance.

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #9 in Investing category

Business
Education
Careers
Investing
Read more

Honest and uncensored - this is not your father’s boring finance show. This show brings much needed ACTIONABLE advice to a people who hate being lectured about personal finance from the out-of-touch one percent. Andrew and Matt are relatable, funny, and brash. Their down-to-earth discussions about money are entertaining whether you’re a financial whiz or just starting out. To be a part of the show and get your financial questions answered, send an email to listenmoneymatters@gmail.com.

Read more

Honest and uncensored - this is not your father’s boring finance show. This show brings much needed ACTIONABLE advice to a people who hate being lectured about personal finance from the out-of-touch one percent. Andrew and Matt are relatable, funny, and brash. Their down-to-earth discussions about money are entertaining whether you’re a financial whiz or just starting out. To be a part of the show and get your financial questions answered, send an email to listenmoneymatters@gmail.com.

iTunes Ratings

1612 Ratings
Average Ratings
1282
140
49
48
93

Annoying hosts !

By Rsubaru535 - Jun 11 2019
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Both hosts are very annoying but the content and the guest are actually interesting.

Keep it up

By PBQ23 - Jun 11 2019
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I am no podcast expert, but with that being said I have tried a few dozen different financial podcasts. These gentlemen have improved not only my general finance knowledge, but my day-to-day life by doing something people enjoy. Keep it up guys!!

iTunes Ratings

1612 Ratings
Average Ratings
1282
140
49
48
93

Annoying hosts !

By Rsubaru535 - Jun 11 2019
Read more
Both hosts are very annoying but the content and the guest are actually interesting.

Keep it up

By PBQ23 - Jun 11 2019
Read more
I am no podcast expert, but with that being said I have tried a few dozen different financial podcasts. These gentlemen have improved not only my general finance knowledge, but my day-to-day life by doing something people enjoy. Keep it up guys!!
Cover image of Listen Money Matters - Free your inner financial badass. All the stuff you should know about personal finance.

Listen Money Matters - Free your inner financial badass. All the stuff you should know about personal finance.

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #9 in Investing category

Read more

Honest and uncensored - this is not your father’s boring finance show. This show brings much needed ACTIONABLE advice to a people who hate being lectured about personal finance from the out-of-touch one percent. Andrew and Matt are relatable, funny, and brash. Their down-to-earth discussions about money are entertaining whether you’re a financial whiz or just starting out. To be a part of the show and get your financial questions answered, send an email to listenmoneymatters@gmail.com.

Rank #1: How to Actually Save Thousands on Your Mortgage

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Adam Carroll joins us to discuss how to actually save thousands on your mortgage with home equity lines of credit.
 When we interviewed Adam for our new Rich Tips series, he mentioned how he is paying off his mortgage years ahead of schedule and saving thousands of dollars in interest. We were intrigued and asked him to join us to explain his strategy in greater detail.
 What Is A Home Equity Line Of Credit?
 A home equity line of credit, HELOC, is “An open ended line of credit extended to a homeowner that uses the borrower’s home as collateral. Once a maximum loan balance is established, the homeowner may draw on the line of credit at his or her discretion. Interest is charged on a predetermined variable rate, which is usually based on prevailing prime rates.” Most institutions will lend up to about 90% of loan to value.
Strategy
Adam has an ingenious use for his HELOC and you can use his strategy too. The HELOC is used as a checking account. All of your income is deposited into it and all of your expenses are paid out of it.
Depositing your paycheck into the HELOC acts like a payment so you aren’t adding a monthly payment. The money left over at the end of the month gets sent to the mortgage. What this does is send a massive payment to your mortgage each month.
The trick to make this work though is that you have to make more than you spend. Let’s look at an example: You bought a home for $100,000 with a $20,000 down payment. You can immediately take out a HELOC for $10,000. You then put that toward your mortgage.
In order for this to work though, you must make more than you spend. You make $5,000, spend $4,000 and have $1,000 left. That $1,000 goes into the HELOC until it’s paid off, so for ten months. Let’s say your interest rate is 5%. So that’s $500 over 12 months, $41.33 the first month in interest but when the income goes in, you’re paying a little less each month because you’re slowly paying the loan down with that $1,000 a month.
Rather than taking ten months to pay off, it takes around 7. And because your mortgage went from $80,000 to $70,000, you will pay less interest not just over ten months but over the entire life of the loan.
What If You Don’t Own A Home?
You can still use a similar strategy if you don’t own a home. You can get a personal line of credit, PLOC. A PLOC is “A loan that you use like a credit card account that you access without using a card. Instead, you write special checks or request a transfer to your checking account by phone or online. You have a credit limit, receive a monthly bill, make at least a minimum payment, pay interest based on your outstanding balance, and possibly pay a fee each time you use the account. 
PLOC are unsecured, unlike HELOCs, which are backed by a mortgage on your home. PLOCs are offered by banks and credit unions and usually require that you also have a checking account with the same institution.”
PLOCs have their drawbacks. The interest rate is higher than a HELOC and the interest is not tax deductible. But if you have high-interest debt and don’t own a home, they can be beneficial.
What Keeps Us In Debt
It’s the way we bank and borrow. Taking out a 30 year mortgage is just SOP in the United States. Amortization is the process of paying off a debt, like a mortgage over time with regular payments. An amortization schedule is a table detailing each periodic payment on an that loan.
We borrowed $80,000 to buy our home above. With a 30 year mortgage at 3.5%, you will pay $50,000 in interest when it’s all over! Your first mortgage payment will be $359,

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Dec 07 2015
1 hour 9 mins
Play

Rank #2: 5 Questions: Roth IRA's, Investing 10K, and Using Acorns

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Competition is heating up among the Robo-Advisors. We get a lot of emails asking which is better: Acorns vs. Betterment vs. Wealthfront so we broke down each of the services to see who deserves your investment.
 The whole point of going with a Robo-Advisor is the ease of use. Based on the research, it’s highly unlikely you’ll outperform the market on your own. Better yet, if you tried to do it on your own, it would be much more expensive.
For someone just looking to invest with the right service, it’s getting harder and harder to tell where you should put your money.
Before we get started, I also wrote an incredibly in-depth Betterment Review, an equally detailed Wealthfront Review as well as interviewed the Acorns founders so if you’re looking to go even deeper check those out. In this article, I’ll be focusing more on the nuances of each service than the nitty-gritty features and how they work.
Let the Robo-Advisor battle begin!
A Birds Eye View
Every good investment comparison needs a sexy chart breaking down the differences. I’m not one to leave you wanting so bask in its glory:
Promotions
Students Invest For Free
Up to 6 Months Free
Invest $15,000 Free
Management Fees
0.25% a year
0.25% – 0.5% a year
0% – 0.25% a year
Minimum Deposit
None
None
None
Automatic Rebalancing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Tax Loss Harvesting
No
Yes
Yes
Assets Under Management
$73.6 Million
$5 Billion
$3.5 Billion
iOS App
Yes
Yes
Yes
Android App
Yes
Yes
Yes
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
Yes
IRAs
Yes
Yes
Yes
On paper they’re very comparable but as you know, the magic is in the details. In order to objectively compare Acorns vs Betterment vs Wealthfront I’ve come up with three main rounds the services will battle in to win your investment.

Round 1: Ease of Use and Sex Appeal
Acorns has a beautiful app and a beautiful website. It’s one of the best-designed apps on my phone by a long shot. I’m of course not the only one to notice this – they’ve won some design award every year since they opened their doors.

That’s sexy investing, am I right or am I right? This Round was just going to be called Ease of Use, but Acorns elevated it to Sex Appeal. I’m willing to bet this is the biggest way they get people to try them out. Sexy screenshots.
That can also be a downside though. We’re about investing for the long-term here so if you need to keep opening your app just to see the pretty colors; you’ll also see daily fluctuations and go slowly insane.
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Oct 02 2014
36 mins
Play

Rank #3: Real Estate Investments Without The Mess- Inside Memphis Invest

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We interview Chris Clothier from Memphis Invest to explain real estate investments without the mess. Collect the rent check while someone else does the dirty work!
 Passive Income
 If you’ve listened to LMM for any length of time, you know how much we emphasize the importance of passive income. One of the keys to building wealth and achieving financial independence is to have more than one source of income and because there are only so many hours in a day, some of that income should be passive.
Passive income is income generated with minimal effort on your part. Good sources of passive income can include your investments and retirement accounts, making money from things you already do like driving, shopping, or going out to dinner and our favorite, rental property income.
Becoming a landlord can generate significant passive income. But how can owning rental property be considered passive income if you’re searching for homes to buy, tenets to live in them, and handling any repairs that have to be done and the whole list of other things a landlord has to do?
The secret to making rental property a source of truly passive income is hiring a management company

to deal with the day to day hassles of being a landlord.
Turn Key
Turn key rental property means that the home is ready to be rented out as is. Any needed repairs or upgrades have been completed and it’s ready for occupancy. This is the best kind of property to buy if you’re going to be an out of state landlord. It’s hard enough to deal with renovations when you’re local, almost impossible if you’re trying to do everything from a distance.
There are turnkey management companies too. The right turnkey management company can do nearly everything for you from finding the property and renovating it, to putting a tenant in place and dealing with any repairs and maintenance that might need to be done.
They collect the rent and send you a check. They also handle the sometimes protracted process involved when a tenant has to be evicted. You pay a management fee which is typically 8-12% of the monthly rent, some charge additional fees to cover expenses, and some charge a flat monthly fee.
You can’t just blindly turn such a big investment over to anyone. You need to do your research when looking for a management company. Are there any real estate centered Meet Ups you could attend either in your local area or the area you want to buy in?
It might be worth a trip to talk to some local investors and get recommendations for a management company. If you can’t travel, the internet has plenty of reviews for management companies so you at least have a starting point.

Once you have a few recommendations you can start interviewing companies. The preliminary round can be over the phone but once you have your list further narrowed down, you probably want to make a trip down in person.
Some key questions are:

* How long has the company been in business in the local area?
* What services do you offer?
* How many properties do you manage?
* Can the renter and I reach someone 24 hours a day?
* What are the fees?
* Under what circumstances can I cancel my contract?
* Do the fees change when there is no tenet in the property?
* How do you screen tenets?
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Aug 17 2015
50 mins
Play

Rank #4: Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

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Your paycheck gets deposited, groceries purchased, bills paid, and then you’re broke again until the next payday.
 That is the story for almost half of American households, and the vicious cycle is hard to break. It won’t be easy, but you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.
 An NYU study found that about 70 million Americans live in “wealthy hand-to-mouth” households. These are families that own assets like homes, retirement accounts, college funds and cars but yet still live paycheck to paycheck. They spend almost every dollar of their annual income to keep up their lifestyle and pay all the bills.
 Why is it happening?
 If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, you need to find the root of the problem. It is probably very simple – you are spending more than you earn. You may not throw your money away on extravagant things, but you are still living above your means.
 It’s time to consider making some lifestyle changes. Start by making a list of necessary and optional expenses see where you can save.
 If your spending is already very low, ask yourself what you need to survive and reframe your lifestyle choices. That can mean moving to a cheaper apartment, stop eating out,  taking the bus to work, making lunch at home, getting rid of the gym membership or get your bills lowered.
There are many people who people survive on very little – look at Mr. Money Mustache. Take a hard look at the choices you have been making and create a budget that will give you the flexibility to save, even if it’s just $50 a month. You can build wealth one dollar at a time.
Prosperity Mindset
The mind is a powerful thing. To make real changes in our lives, we need to create a positive shift in our thinking. I’m not talking about The Secret “think it and it shall happen” bullshit. Well, maybe a little.
Having a bigger vision for what you believe is possible for yourself is the first step to getting there. There is truth in the law of attraction. If you feel that you will never be financially stable or you’ll never get out of debt you most likely won’t. That negativity is reinforcing your limitations.
Take full responsibility for your financial circumstances. Your willingness to change it is a key factor in your ability to make better financial decisions.
Remember, prosperity is not about having a big house or ton of money. It is about being happy and living comfortably, and the way to get there is with a positive attitude and motivation.
Breaking the Cycle
Think for a moment on what you’ll gain from breaking the cycle. How will it feel to have extra money at the end of the month? Once you start having money left at the end of every pay cycle, you’ll begin to feel a little freer. Having financial breathing room will significantly reduce your stress. 
Give yourself a pay cut. Living slightly below your means will help you stashing away some savings every month to grown an emergency fund. Try to pretend you earn less than you do.
Start a crash savings program and do it in a short period like one to two months. Try saving 5-10% of your paycheck. Set up an automatic transfer to your account so it is easier to stick with it. Roughing it for a short period is all you need to get out of the cycle. Once you see that it is doable, it will be much easier to stay on course.
If cutting expenses aren’t enough, then you need to build more income. Having an additional stream will make a huge difference even if it’s only $100 extra a month.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be another job.
If you have a few extra hours a week,

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Aug 01 2016
43 mins
Play

Rank #5: Budgeting For A Lifestyle Change

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You may have a budget but what if you have a big life change? Move cities, have a baby, buy a home. Budgeting for a lifestyle change can make or break you.
 You got the new job in a new place, your family grows, you need to care for a parent. Your old budget won’t do.
 A New Place
 What if your new job involves a big change of location? Moving from the suburbs to a city for example. Will you still need a car? Will there be a place to park your car? Maybe, but it might not be free and if it is free, you’ll likely be competing for lots of other people for the spot. Not many attached garages in the big city.
 What is the cost of living like compared to your current location? You might be getting a $20,000 jump in income but in the right (or wrong) city, that can be gone just paying deposits and broker fees. City-Data is a great resource to help compare the cost of living between cities.
The Best Laid Plans
Hopefully you’ve planned when to start your family but accidents happen. What if that happened to you? Would you be financially prepared? One of the biggest considerations before having a kid is day care costs. Prices fluctuate widely and sometimes the cost is so expensive, it actually makes more financial sense for one parent to stay home.
A family situation that is harder to predict is that of your parents. None of us want to think about our parents aging and getting ill but it happens and you might have to step in. How much money do they have set aside? Would they want to live with you, stay in their own home, move to an assisted living facility? Who will make medical decisions if they cannot? Have these discussion with your parents before any of this happens.
Buying A Home
You found a $100,000 home and you have $20,000 to put down, great 20%! No, not great to the bank. They don’t want you to be cleaned out making the down payment. You won’t be able to pay the mortgage or the taxes. You might want to do some renovations so you can put your own stamp on the place. You moved from a studio to a house. Your futon and bean bag chair will look pretty lonely in a 2,000 square foot place. Twenty percent is not enough.
Start A Business
You have a killer idea and you long to quit slaving away for the man and want to start your own thing. Great! How much run way money do you have? What are the start up costs? Is your spouse on board or will they freak out if there isn’t a regular pay check coming in? How will you pay for insurance now that you no longer have it through your employer?
Get A Baseline
Where is your money going now? Before you make any big changes or decisions, you need to know this. If you had to cut to make room for something else, what could you sacrifice? Some things become such an ingrained habit, that you don’t notice anymore just how expensive they are (booze). Not everything has to be completely axed, some things could just be reduced (booze).
Think back to your past. There was probably, hopefully, a time, when you spent less money than you do now but were still happy. Now think how much more you’re spending currently. Does the level of happiness correlate to the greater amount of money you’re spending? Probably not.
It certainly costs more to be an adult than it does to be a college student but if your costs have sky rocketed, it’s unlikely that all of that money is going to fixed costs. A lot of it may be going to lifestyle upgrades, a bigger place, better car, nice clothes. The longer you can live like a student while earning like an adult, the further ahead you will be for the rest of your life. 
How Much Do You Cut?
Let’s say you make $50,000. Use a base of 60%, so $30,000 after taxes and savings. Divide the $30,000 by twelve months to get $2,500.

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Oct 26 2015
43 mins
Play

Rank #6: The Real Difference Between a Rich Mindset vs. a Poor Mindset

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Maybe you are rich. Maybe you are poor. Maybe you have experienced being both at some point in your life. If you haven’t figured it out yet, being rich isn’t all about money. It’s about well-being, abundance, having time, success, and the right mindset. There are definitely social issues that contribute to poverty, however, rich vs poor mindsets can also drive wealth and success. There are many poor people with a rich mindset, financially poor due to circumstance. And there are many trust fund babies with a poor mindset.

Full Article Here

Show Notes:

Order of Man Podcast

Menfluential Conference

The Dip By Seth Godin

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Mar 26 2018
1 hour 18 mins
Play

Rank #7: The Personal Finance Blueprint 2.0

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The Personal Finance Blueprint 2.0 will show you how to build a strong financial foundation and show you when and where to start with investing.

Show Notes

Freddie Murkury IPA Mikkeller Brewing San Diego

Leftover - Matts new home brew

Betterment Smart Saver

Simple Bank- No ATM fees here

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Nov 05 2018
1 hour
Play

Rank #8: How To Retire Early with Mr. Money Mustache

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Do you dream of retiring early? We interview the expert in early retirement, Mr Money Mustache. We must learn his ways.
A Crisis
Mr Money Mustache didn’t retire because he was making so much money from his blog. He had actually been retired for six years before he started writing. The blog was born when he looked around at his friends who had good jobs but were still living pay check to paycheck.
They bought into what has long been sold as the American Dream; go to college, get a job, buy a house, fill that house with as much stuff as it can hold (and when it can’t hold anymore, rent a storage unit), have some kids, and get stuck in an unfulfilling job, dreaming of freedom that will always be out of reach.
Retire, maybe at 65 if you’re lucky, and live out your days, just kind of existing, hoping your money will outlast you. The best years of your life long past. But what if you could be retired by thirty?
Why is not spending so hard? It’s largely cultural. We believe it’s normal to borrow money for a car, to consider shopping a hobby, to order takeout every single day for lunch at work. We think it’s normal because that’s all we see.
There aren’t any frugal people represented in the media unless you count those coupon shows but those people aren’t the norm any more than a Kardashian is a norm. But just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do or that you have to do it too.
MMM started the blog out of frustration, he wanted to show them, and now us, that they could do what he did. And an empire started.
So What’s The One Simple Trick?
MMM doesn’t have some magical secret. The first and most important step is to keep spending low. Really low. MMM spends 50-75% less than his peers. He was saving about half of his income. He has shown that if you can save 50% of your take home pay starting at age 20 (a time when you probably aren’t making much, so this isn’t about having a big six figure salary), you could retire before you turn 40.
It sounds impossible. Save half your income? You can. Name a category and you are spending too much on it. Your housing costs alone would probably go a long way to getting you to that 50% savings.
Here’s why; the average house size in the 1950’s was 983 square feet. The average household size was 3.37 people. In the 2000’s, the average house size was 2,300 square feet while the average household size was 2.63 people. Do you see the odd inverse? We are buying bigger homes to house fewer people!
Cars are another biggy. It certainly is a convenience to have two cars if there are two adults in the household but is it absolutely necessary? What if one of the cars were totaled and no replacement was available for a week? Would one of you just stay home from work or would you figure out a solution? Like many things in life, if you had to do it, you would find a way.
Saving this way goes against societal norms for sure. If you’re saving this much, you aren’t living in a 3000 square foot McMansion, you aren’t driving a brand new car, and you aren’t eating only the most expensive, hand harvested, organic quinoa from Whole Foods.
You are living in an affordable home, near your place of work. Because you’re so near to work, you don’t have a car at all. You bike or use public transit if you’re lucky enough to have it.
Real Happiness
But how will you be happy if you aren’t always buying stuff? Because stuff does not make us happy. It’s true. megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 08 2014
55 mins
Play

Rank #9: 5 Questions: Down Payments, Debts and IRA’s

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Our listeners send in some great questions, and today we are going to tackle five of them. We answer five questions about down payments, debts, IRAs, 401k fees, and investing during a chaotic period in the stock market. You asked, and we answered your five questions!
 Question One
 Hey Guys- My fiance and I are getting married next month, and we are trying to get our finances in order as we plan to buy a house. We are looking for something in the $300K range in about two years and will have minimal savings following the wedding. However, we also have about $100K in student loans, with varying interest rates from 4.5% up to 7.6%.
 With proper budgeting, we think we can save about $70K over those two years. Would it be better for us to save all of it for a 20% down payment and closing costs? Or should we use the first $30K to pay down the highest rate student loans and use the other $40K for a 10% down payment and closing costs, knowing that we will have a higher interest rate, PMI, etc.?
 The first thing you need to do is consolidate your debt and refinance any student loans you might have. Lowering your rates and monthly payments will help you make ground quicker. If you go with a variable loan that extra percent off your interest rate will help you gain 2-3 years of progress.
Don’t overextend yourself. Rent until your loans are paid off before you even start thinking about buying a home. Your debt will factor into getting your mortgage loan. As for a smaller down payment, without 20% down you will basically throw money away with PMI.
Question Two
Hey guys- I’m currently trying to save for a house with my partner, and while she has a substantial amount for a deposit, I have near to nothing. We really want to buy something in the next year and a half. I might mention too that I have a bit of credit card debt….($8000)  I earn abut 1400 a fortnight. I know it might be a broad question but what do you suggest I do to be able to get on top of everything? Do you think it is smart to take out a loan to consolidate the credit card debt?
The short answer is yes. Take out a loan to consolidate your debt. The interest rate will be so much better than the credit card interest you are paying. There are many companies that can make the process painless like Sofi, Lending Club and Prosper just to name a few.
If you plan on taking out a loan remember that there is a loan origination fee that will be a percentage of the loan amount. It will be different between companies. Do the math and be sure the fee is worth the amount you will be saving in the long run.
Question Three
Hi- A little background on myself… I am 25 years old with my career being in Chicago, IL. I am working to get to the point where I am saving 15% regularly through 401K, the match, and Betterment IRA. However, you all talk a lot about retiring earlier than the old school 60 years old and such, which sounds amazing. Ha.
My question is: With the goal of continuing to add more money into my accounts as my salary increases and retiring as early as possible, is it better to invest my money into a Betterment Roth IRA or Betterment General Investment Account?
Pros? Cons? Thoughts? Suggestions?
If you are planning to retire early,

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Mar 14 2016
50 mins
Play

Rank #10: How to Make Passive Income a Reality

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There is a lot of chatter in the personal finance world about passive income, why you need it and how great it is. But what is it and why is it such a topic of conversation? Passive income is money that you earn without doing much to make it. Some passive income ideas take a degree of upfront work to earn, like writing an e-book and some don't take any effort at all, such as investing with a robo advisor. Today we talk about what exactly passive income is and understanding the non-passive nature of building it.

Full Article Here

Show Notes:

SeatedYou nee to use Seated to book restaurant reservations. Every time you complete a reservation, you get a gift code for up to 25% of your bill that you can use at Amazon, Uber, or Starbucks. The rewards are available within 24 hours of your completed reservation. Laura and I almost exclusively eat out with Seated because it saves us so much.

Paribus: Receiving refund checks are our favorite past-time. As it turns out, stores owe you money but they don’t pay if you don’t ask. That’s where Paribus comes in – they go to bat for you. Price drop? Get cash back for the difference. Deliveries arrive later than advertised? Get cash back.

Fundrise: Did you know that investors with 20% allocated to real estate outperform those who only invest in stocks and bonds? Diversify without the dramatics of actual tenants. The minimum investment is $500.

Lending Club:
The banks had a monopoly on personal loans until Lending Club came along. Now you can get a loan sourced from normal people. Reduce the cost of your debt and refinance. Lending Club has competitive rates and borrower benefits.

Drop: Earn cash rewards from your favorite brands. Drop is the free app that's giving out millions in cash rewards for the spending you do everyday.

BizBuySell: BizBuySell is the Internet's largest and most heavily trafficked business for sale marketplace, with more business for sale listings, more unique users, and more search activity than any other service. BizBuySell also has one of the largest databases of sale comparables for recently sold businesses and one of the industry's leading franchise directories. 
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Oct 29 2018
52 mins
Play

Rank #11: The 8 Best Vanguard Funds That You Should Buy

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We’re big fans of Vanguard, but admittedly, investing in Vanguard funds is a bit more complicated than using a Robo Advisor.  In this article, we break down what we think of Vanguard’s 8 best funds while balancing both performance and cost.
If you’re looking for a deeper dive into our logic as well as some colorful commentary than check out the podcast episode we did on this:
Before we jump in, it’s important to mention why we are focusing so heavily on fees here. Due to their exponential nature, fees of just 1% can cause you to lose up to 25% of your earnings. That’s pretty horrendous and often what turns investors on to Vanguard in the first place.
I also highly suggest you check the fees on your accounts via the free Personal Capital fee analyzer. In addition to running simulations, the analyzer pinpoints all of the overly fee-hungry funds across your accounts – retirement or otherwise.
The difference between an Index Fund (ETF) and a Mutual Fund
First, let’s quickly discuss what an Index Fund (ETF) and a Mutual Fund are. Who better to ask then Vanguard themselves?
An ETF is a collection (or “basket”) of tens, hundreds, or sometimes thousands of stocks or bonds in a single fund.
If you’ve ever owned a mutual fund—particularly an index fund—then owning an ETF will feel familiar because it has the same built-in diversification and low costs.
Source: Vanguard
A Mutual Fund is very similar to an ETF with one crucial difference:
You can set up automatic investments and withdrawals into and out of mutual funds based on your preferences.
Source: Vanguard on ETF vs. Mutual Fund
In other words, if you want to automate your investing, then you use a Mutual Fund. If you want cheaper fees over time and don’t mind making contributions every month, then you should choose an ETF. I use ETFs because I don’t mind making investments manually and fees are the worst.
We often get asked how much you need to invest in Vanguard. If you’re investing in an ETF, then all you need is $1. If you’re investing in a Vanguard Mutual Fund, then the minimum initial investment is between $1,000 and $3,000.
Total Stock Market (ETF) – VTI
NYSEARCA:VTIVanguard | MorningStar | Fee: 0.04% | 5yr Avg: 14.24%
This ETF is Vanguard’s flagship fund and in our opinion,

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Oct 25 2014
47 mins
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Rank #12: When To Invest and When to Just Save

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At LMM we bang the drum loudly in favor of investing over saving. But are there times when it’s better to just save? We’ll find out today.
 We’ve gotten a lot of questions about when to invest and when to just save so we thought we would dedicate a whole show to the subject for you.
 One of the good things about Betterment, and why we encourage you to keep your emergency fund there is that there is no penalty for taking money out and you can have it quickly, within a few days.
 But an emergency fund is for emergencies.  If you’re constantly pulling money out, that’s a problem.  If your time frame of needing to access money is less than a year, that money should be kept in a savings or checking account.
 The Rule of 72 is a way to determine how long it will take to double your investment.  With a 7% return rate, it will take about ten years to double your money.
What do you need to buy soon?  A car in two months, a house in two years?  If you need the money in that time frame, you’re better off just saving it. Unless, you have some flexibility in that time line.  The more fixed your time line, the greater the risk.  Your hard date could be the day the market crashes.
If you have a big, non-monthly expense coming up, like paying for your semester, it’s not a good time to invest or even to pay down existing debt.  Outside of this scenario, paying debt almost always comes first.
If you’re in a grey area, something low risk like Treasury Bonds are an option.  There is no one answer.  The decision to invest or save is based on your risk tolerance, your time frame, and a host of other factors.
Show Notes
Penn Dark:  A European style dark lager.
Betterment:  The easy way to invest.
College Info Geek:  How to save on textbooks.
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Mar 18 2015
36 mins
Play

Rank #13: How To Negotiate With Skill, Not Force

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Learning how to negotiate is not just a nice to have skill – it’s critical. Everything from your salary to your purchases to even your relationship requires it. Here we break it down for you and give you the knowledge you need to hit the ground running.
 Perhaps the most important thing you need to understand is that most successful negotiations come with skill and practice, not force. We’re not going to show you how to strong arm your opponent or debate them into submission.
 Instead we’ve created an epic resource with everything you need to know to get what you want and walk away from the table with everyone happy.
 Podcast Episode
 Want to learn but would rather do it during your morning drive or while you’re working? Give this episode a listen, it’s pretty awesome.
 (show note links are at the very bottom of the article)
 Negotiation Vs Bartering
 Before we jump into it we think it’s important to discuss the difference between negotiation and bartering. There tends to be a lot of confusion around the two. It comes down to knowing your goal and having the right approach.
 Negotiation: This is not about winning. It’s about achieving your goal or objective. It’s not an argument but a constructive discussion. Since success is measured by achieving your goal or objective it’s then easy to eliminate certain approaches immediately. We’ll get into them later in the article.
 Bartering: This is also not about winning. It’s about exchanging your commodity or service for something of comparable value with a minimum effort or time commitment.  Right off the bat we’ve taken two big departures from negotiation. You don’t want to work too hard or spend too much time here. If you have a fruit stand at a fair you may barter with potential buyers. However, if you’re selling (or buying) a car you’re negotiating. Bartering is about value where as negotiation is about something much larger.
 The 7 Core Negotiation Tactics
 There are a few key things you need to keep in mind for a successful negotiation. While some may seem immediately obvious we really encourage you to read deeper. Because negotiation is about achieving a win-win situation and not a win-lose situation it’s really important to keep these core principles in mind – and refine them over time.
 If you ignore following a strong approach you’re at best opening yourself up to a less than optimal deal and at worse looking at no deal at all.
 Come Prepared
 You might have heard the saying “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” Well, the same idea applies here. You’re not going to go to a car dealership and purchase a car originally having no idea how much it costs or what its positives/negative attributes are. The same applies to all negotiations.
 If you’re looking to get a raise, do you know how much other people with your skill set and background get paid? We talk about price anchors in the episode and this is a great place to use them.
 Head over to sites like Glassdoor or Payscale and do your research. Site’s like Indeed.com will also show you a data-driven aggregate of what they’ve seen people make for the position you have (or want).
Use resources like these to ground yourself in reality, improve the chances of your success and logic for how you’ve approached your position. Remember, you’re looking for a win-win outcome.
For a negotiation that’s a bit more nuanced like a big purchase you need to understand the value you’re getting, the main features as well as the weaknesses.

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Oct 19 2015
58 mins
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Rank #14: How To Use a Credit Card Like A Responsible Adult

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Used properly, a credit card can have all sorts of benefits. Used improperly, it can drag you into bankruptcy.  A credit card can be a blessing or a curse. Some people refuse even to touch one. But if you know how to use one, it is a tool like anything else.

Full Article Here

Show Notes

Tallgrass Brewing Buffalo Sweat:  A sweet, oatmeal cream stout.

Credit Karma:  Get your credit score for free.

Extra Pack of Peanuts:  Learn how to churn airline miles.

LMM How to Improve Your Credit Score:  Hacks to boost your score fast.

LMM Best Travel Cards: If you want free flights and hotels, these are the best cards.

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Feb 13 2015
53 mins
Play

Rank #15: 5 Questions: Home Equity Loans, Student Loans, and Mortgages

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Today we’re answering listener questions. Student loans, home equity loans, over paying your mortgage and a day in the life of a data engineer.
 We love to answer your questions on the podcast. If you are wondering, odds are someone else in the audience would like to know too.
 1. I miscalculated and took out too much in student loans. Should I pay it back right away? Yes, pay it back if you don’t need it. Pay off the higher interest rate loan first.
 2. Should I take out a home equity loan to pay for roof repairs? Yes, a home equity loan will have a lower interest rate than a personal loan or heaven forbid, putting it on a credit card.
 3. Should we use Betterment as a savings account for a down payment, to bulk pay student or car loans, and as a place to keep a 3-6 month emergency fund? If you’re going buy a house in less than five years, no. Yes to the loans again applying the five year rule. Yes to keeping your emergency fund there.
 4. How to allocate extra money to mortgage payments versus to a retirement fund or emergency fund? It’s almost never best to over pay the mortgage. It’s better to throw extra at the retirement account. If you do want to pay extra to the mortgage, pay more than once a month to cut down on the interest you pay.
 5. What’s a typical day for a data engineer? Data engineer is a niche job so it commands good money. Andrew has an undergrad in info technology. He pulls data from various sources, builds warehouses to store it, and gathers insight from the culled data. He goes to lots of meetings.

Show Notes:
Betterment: The easy way to invest.
Patreon: Help support LMM.
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Apr 13 2015
29 mins
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Rank #16: Investing Is Not Hard And Anyone Can do It

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Many people are afraid to get started investing. Some are scared to lose money, feel they don't have enough money or it can be due to lack of personal finance knowledge. Investing is not hard and anyone can do it. You can start investing with any amount money and the earlier you start, the better. We'll explain the fundamental concepts, lingo, types of investments and the basics of how to start investing. You got this!

Full Article Here

Show Notes

An Mas Chili Jesus: 12% ABV, what else do you need to know?

Krane Financial Solutions: Justin's fee only investing firm.

JKrane.com:Justin teaches business owners how to be smart with their money so they can fund personal goals.

Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties.

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Jul 24 2017
1 hour 12 mins
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Rank #17: Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning with Tyler

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We receive a lot of questions on these topics so we brought in an expert. Today we discuss wills, trusts, and estate planning with Tyler.
 This is a big topic so we brought in a member of the LMM Community Forums who deals with this for a living. Tyler and is estate planner and a lawyer in the military.
 Put simply, estate planning is deciding where you want your stuff to go when you die or are incapacitated.
 Do you need a will? Probably. Do you need a will if you have a kid? Absolutely. You can’t count on the state or sometimes even family, to carry out your wishes.
 An asset that doesn’t have a next owner listed, some checking accounts for example, has to be assigned by a probate judge. A non-probate asset, like a life insurance policy or some brokerage accounts, bypass the process and are paid out pretty quickly.
 If you die in debt, creditor’s get first crack at your estate. But your family will not be held responsible for that debt unless they have co-signed for the debt.
 A living trust can help to take some of the burden off your family when you die. It takes some of the work and hassle out of the probate process.
 Power of attorney gives someone else the power to make financial decisions for you. They can handle things like paying your bills. Health care power of attorney allows someone to make medical decisions for you.
 You can leave money in a trust and set the parameters under which it will be distributed. Tyler recommends age, the age of 30 as the parameter.
 Having a big life event is a good time to check in with your estate planner to find out if you should update your will.
 You can have a will drafted for between $400-1500. A trust is more expensive because they’re more complex.
 This topic brings up things that none of us like to think about but making sure that your family is taken care of is worth it.
 Show Notes
Estate Planning: A Primer: Tyler’s in depth article on the subject.
Featured Image Photo Credit: “Fountain pen nib” by Ben FrantzDale
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Sep 07 2015
44 mins
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Rank #18: Prioritizing Your Financial Plan

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By now as a long time LMM listener, you have a financial plan.  But do you know how to prioritize it?  We’ll explain how best to get your ducks in a row.
Matt and Andrew got into a pillow fight the last time they tried to do a show on this topic this takes two.  The good folks over at LearnVest set out a list of three financial priorities.  Retirement, emergency savings and debt.
1.  Retirement comes first.  Because of inflation, the dollars you have now will be worth less than when you retire so you need to accumulate those dollars now.  Most of us will also not be able to rely on social security or pensions once we stop working.  Pay yourself first whatever that means for you, 401K, Ira, Roth IRA etc.
2.  Emergency Savings.  Have a rainy day fund otherwise, you have to rely on a credit card which may mean racking up lots of interest charges or you’ll draw from your retirement account which means robbing the future you.
3.  Debt.  Debt is an emergency, this is a no-brainer.
We have some issues with this list.  If you have debt, that should be higher on the list.  We would put retirement first only so far as you are getting matching funds from your employer.
Mortgage and student loan debt with low-interest rates get a bit of a pass on the “debt is an emergency” category.  If your student loan interest rate is high, refinance with a company like Earnest to get the rate reduced.
Credit card debt and in some cases, car loan debt, are emergencies and should be dealt with first.  Once you have money going into your matched 401K and your credit cards are paid off, save one and a half to six month’s expenses in a checking account.  Once you reach that you start investing in something like Betterment or Vanguard up to $25,000.
Now you can start playing around a bit.  Maybe buy individual stocks you are interested in, emerging markets, Lending Club.  You can also start going after your low interest student loans and mortgage.
There was some contentiousness in this episode because some of these rules are so dependent on each person’s situation and various interest rates.  The interest rate drives the urgency.
Show Notes
Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale:  The perfect October beer.
Village Idiot Punk O’ Lantern:  A local Jersey brew.
Betterment: The easy way to invest.
Vanguard:  Next level investing.
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Oct 12 2014
53 mins
Play

Rank #19: Money Making Ideas: Smart Ways to Increase Your Income

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At a certain point, you can’t save any more money; there just isn’t anything left to cut. And really, saving money is not nearly as impactful as making more. So whether you want to increase your income to pay off debt, save for a home, take a vacation, or retire early, we have ways to do it. Here are our favorite money making ideas.

Full Article Here

Show Notes

Cellar 3 Silva:  An Imperial stout.

Simple Wealth: Research and evaluate rental properties.

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Mar 12 2018
1 hour 13 mins
Play

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