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26 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Managing Equity Comp: How to Balance the Risks and Rewards
49: Leveraging equity compensation is one of the potential avenues we previously highlighted for use on the road to building wealth. But to enjoy the rewards, you have to know how to manage the risks along the way. Many industries offer a piece of ownership to company employees through equity compensation packages. If you receive equity, you might get incentive stock options (ISOs), non-qualified stock options (NQSOs), restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs), or have the ability to participate in an employer stock purchase plan (ESPP). Any type of equity compensation can supercharge your ability to grow your assets in a short period of time. But with high potential for reward comes the real threat of risk and loss. Successfully leveraging your equity compensation will require you to strike the right balance between reaping the benefits and protecting against the downsides. Today on the show, we provide a general overview of equity compensation and how to manage it to your advantage. We cover: Why companies might offer equity comp to employees Common types of equity we most often see our wealth management clients receive from their companies The benefits of receiving equity (and why pursuing a position with a company who offers it as part of their compensation packages might be a worthwhile effort) The downside risks of any equity comp package and the common mistakes we see people make Why even the opportunity to hit a home run with a rising company stock price is probably not worth chasing (and what you can do instead that will still increase your wealth without sacrificing your ability to achieve your goals) Baseline strategies you can use to manage your equity compensation over time
26 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
What It Takes to Manage Investments Well
48: Lots of people think they're good DIY investors. But they miss a lot of nuance, and make a lot of mistakes. Here's what it really takes to manage investments well. If you invested in the market over the last 10 years… it was easy to win. The markets climbed up and up, with the longest bull market in history running from 2009 to 2020. Even a global pandemic wasn’t enough to keep the markets down in the spring of 2020. Stocks cratered and lost 30% of value in March — but had you not paid attention in the spring and only looked at market performance around August of that year, you might not know anything happened at all as the big indices hit record highs once more by late summer. The real question, especially for DIY investors who have had success and see themselves as good at portfolio management, is this: Will you keep seeing these same results going forward? Knowing the mistakes DIY investors make, there’s no guarantee you’ll keep winning unless you know what pitfalls to look out for and avoid. In this episode, we’re looking at the common areas in which average investors consistently misstep. We’re also sharing our perspective as professional investment managers on what makes or breaks a DIY investor. The bottom line? Hiring a professional to manage your assets for you or going the DIY route are both good options. The right choice for you depends on precisely who you are and whether or not you have the skills, time, and expertise to avoid the mistakes we cover today. Today, we’re looking at: Why “investment management” is not just about asset allocation. (Yes, that’s an important component – but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg!) What good asset management looks like, either when done by a pro or by a DIY investor (hint: investment management should be a complete process and a system – not a handful of to-dos to cross off a list. Good management is ongoing, proactive, and comprehensive.) The killer mistakes we see investors make when they invest without guidance, including failing to eliminate cash drag, taking the “set it and forget it” philosophy a little too far, and failing to properly execute complex strategies like backdoor Roth conversions or making strategic tax moves within brokerage accounts. How market timing will kill your returns, and why average investors tend to miss the best-performing days in the market. And more. This is a big one, and a must-listen for anyone considering how they can better manage their own portfolio… or for anyone who doesn’t understand why you’d ever hire an investment manager. If you think investment management is just asset allocation and picking an index fund or two, there’s a lot you might be missing. Get in the loop by queuing up this episode of the show.
20 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Make Your Money Goals Easier to Achieve
47: Today on the show, we discuss a key strategy in making your money goals easier to achieve, faster. It's all about the FPA framework: focus, prioritize, and act. In this episode, we cover: How to determine if you're making progress... or just looking busy but not actually getting anywhere Where most people go wrong with financial goal-setting (and how to avoid their mistakes) Why creating wiggle room and a buffer in your finances - with everything from your goals to your overall plan - is a critical component to success that most people skip How to make decision-making around spending and saving much easier Where our brains fail us when it comes to understanding probability (and how to plan around that shortcoming) The kinds of goals you may want to avoid, because they're more likely to hold you back or distract you from making real progress when it comes to building wealth The strategies and tips you can use to set goals that better align with your values, and are actually easier to achieve We also share our number-one personal financial goal and priority that we set each year, and how you can accomplish it yourself if you want to work toward it with us.
11 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
5 Ways to Build Good Financial Habits
46: People aren't just born being good with money. They take the time to build good financial habits —and you can, too. What usually makes the difference between someone who seems to manage money well and someone who consistently struggles? It's all about our good financial habits (or lack thereof). Instead of feeling like you have to change who you are, or beating yourself up for what you feel are weaknesses or shortcomings, you can simply focus on building better money habits if you want to improve your financial situation. Good financial habits do take time and effort to build, but it is possible to achieve — and today on the show, we're outlining 5 specific ways that you can do just that. Try some of these activities and exercises that can help you optimize your money management skills and level up your financial life.
21 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
Do You Need a Budget If You're Financially Successful?
45: You earn good income, have enough money to pay pills and contribute to savings, and feel like you made it. Do you REALLY need to keep up with a budget once you're financially secure? Uh, yeah. Because budgeting isn't a bad word. It's a mindfulness exercise for your finances. Although it might feel like budgeting is basic personal finance 101, or that it's only something you do when money is tight and you need to carefully manage every last penny, a budget is always a useful tool for your cash flow. In fact, the more money you earn and need to manage, the important it is to pay close attention. A budget can help you do just that as you spend more time handling your increasingly complex financial life. Without a budget, you may miss opportunities to optimize and maximize the dollars you have. It also leaves you without critical data that you need to make fully informed spending and saving decisions. In this episode, we explore why budgeting is not a basic financial function -- and why the more successful you become and the more money you earn, the bigger the role a great budget can play in your continued prosperity. We also share how we personally budget, the money meetings we have each quarter, some of the complexities of our own cash flow, and we provide a few tips on employing the same bucketing strategy that we use to ensure we save and invest appropriately so we can spend freely and without guilt.
20 minutes | Oct 2, 2020
Credit Score Myths and Truths Revealed
44: Do you know what ACTUALLY impacts your credit score? And how much does it really matter anyway if your score drops by a few points? What should you do to raise your score -- and what isn't worth trying at all? In this episode of the show, we bust some very common but total misconceptions around what goes into your credit score and how to maintain a high one. We also talk about the facts for the best way to manage your credit so you can secure the best interest rates when it's time to finance a purchase. We cover: What factors determine your score When it's a GOOD idea to close a credit card account The surprising things that can hurt your score that people usually don't think about Good credit habits to maintain Why credit card points might not be all they're cracked up to be (and how to make the most of credit card rewards without shooting yourself in the financial foot over them) and more. Join us in this conversation to reveal the truth and bust the myths that commonly surround what we think about our credit scores.
17 minutes | Jul 31, 2020
The Value of a Coach
43: You don't need a coach, right? You can just train yourself! That's what we tell ourselves a lot of the time. And too often, it's just not true and we sell ourselves short when we fail to recognize the value of coaching. A recent experience with a running coach made Kali realize how important it is to have an expert there to guide you -- and how equally important it is that a coach is not someone who gives you prescriptive advice and tells you precisely what to do. The best coaches are the ones that set up guardrails, point you in the right direction, and then motivate you to drive forward on your own terms while providing feedback so you can improve along the way. In this episode, we discuss how coaching can make a difference, how it applies to your financial life, what to look for in a good coach, and when to know it's time to hire someone to help elevate your game (or your finances, or your training, or your life) so you can reach your highest potential.
19 minutes | Jul 10, 2020
Want to Build Wealth? Then You Need to Create THESE
42: Most people assume they just need to earn a high income, and then they'll be wealthy. Unfortunately, building wealth (especially when you're doing it on your own from scratch) is not always so simple. In this episode, we discuss why only focusing on your income as a measure of financial success is a big mistake that most people make. We also explain what you should do instead, and what's even more critical to create for yourself if you want to build significant wealth and reach financial freedom.
21 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
So You Want to Make a Speculative Investment
41: A broad-based, globally diversified portfolio is hands-down the right answer when it comes to growing wealth for the long term. But that doesn't mean other, more speculative and risky investments are always a bad move... They're just not a great idea most of the time. Today, we're looking at some alternative ways to invest outside of a globally diversified portfolio, including stock-picking, placing sector bets, private equity and private placement investments, and more. Generally speaking, these kinds of vehicles are big no-nos for most people. Although it's easy to get swept up into the allure of hitting a home run and scoring an outsized return, the reality is most people swing and miss with investments like this. In fact, speculative bets are just that: bets in the market, and your odds of winning big are usually not in your favor. That doesn't mean you can't ever explore investing outside of your trusty diversified portfolio designed to build wealth over the long run, but you must understand all the caveats, pitfalls, and risks you take when you reach out from that core strategy. In this episode, we explain: Why most people can't afford to take on speculative investments, even if they promise the potential for a big return What you must consider the next time you hear about a "too good to be true" investment opportunity (hint: it sounds too good to be true because it's too good to be true) The questions to ask yourself before you walk out on a limb and take a big risk with an alternative investment The checklist you should be able to complete before you even think about putting your money into high-risk vehicles, as well as helpful rules and guidelines to follow if you want to explore these risky options If you're curious about investments beyond your globally diversified stock market portfolio, this episode will help you better understand the options that are out there... and why there is no easy way to wealth when it comes to building it yourself.
26 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Understanding Insurance: What You Need and What You Don't
In the wake of the pandemic, many people have scrambled to take out insurance policies. But before you buy, make sure you understand the real purpose of a policy so you can choose the best option for your needs. Insurance is, as Kali puts it, something that can make you go "eurrrgh." It's a product you buy hoping you'll never have to use, which is frustrating enough... but combine it with the fact it forces us to have some really emotional conversations, and it can be tough to think logically about the decision to get a policy. Today, we're giving you an overview of what to think about as you start protection planning. Specifically, we're taking a look at disability and life insurance, and explaining: The purpose of this insurance, and what it's designed to protect How disability insurance works (and why you may not need short-term, but long-term disability can be critical) Things to consider before buying your disability policy, including elimination periods and riders Who needs life insurance and why What to think through when determining how much life insurance coverage is adequate The kinds of life insurance that are probably most suitable for you (and what's not necessary) What to watch out for when doing financial planning or buying life insurance (here's a hint: if someone offers you "free" financial planning, run!) We also talk through the policies we have personally, and our thought process on why they were important to put in place — and we make a movie reference or two along the way. Ready to educate yourself so you can feel empowered to make strategic, sound decisions around the insurance you need (and the coverage you don't)? Tune in now.
20 minutes | May 29, 2020
We Bought a House (in a Pandemic). AMA.
39: Buying a house is an intensive (and stressful) process in the best of times. Throw in a crashing economy and global pandemic — and the fact we don't do anything the "normal" way — and our recent experience got pretty interesting. Okay, to be fair, the pandemic didn't dramatically change much about the process of buying our first home, mainly because we were already in the middle of trying to close on it (so we had already looked for and found the property that we put an offer on and the sellers accepted). But that's kind of the bigger point: we believe in our planning so much that not even a global pandemic made us change our minds about the long-term decisions that we were making. In today's episode, we invite you to learn about all the unique, outside-the-box thinking and actions we took to buy our first home together. In this conversation, we'll cover: Our thought process on getting the most bang for our buck when we decided to purchase real estate What we prioritized before we agreed we could buy a property and why we still see massive value in renting even now that we're officially home owners Why we didn't buy in Boston (or anywhere near where we currently live and still rent) The difference between real estate as an investment, and real estate as a utility — and which one this house is for us The distinction between luck and skill/smart planning, and what will get the credit if the house ends up being a great investment in 30 years The financial criteria we had to meet before buying a house was feasible and worked for our financial plan Finally, we leave you with the biggest lesson we hope you can learn from our experience with the process of buying a house. Curious about what it is? You'll have to tune in to find out.
17 minutes | May 16, 2020
3 Unexpected Money Lessons from... Robert Frost?
38: You've likely at least heard of Robert Frost's famous poem, The Road Not Taken... and you might be just as likely to misinterpret it. In today's episode, we take a look at the REAL meaning behind one of the best-known pieces of poetry in American history — and explain 3 ways in which it can help us better understand how we look about and think through our personal finances and money management. It might sound crazy, but jump into this convo with us to learn why Frost's original meaning got lost and what in the heck any of this has to do with how you deal with and make decisions on your money.
23 minutes | May 1, 2020
5 Ways to Elevate and Optimize Your Finances
37: Let's go beyond the basics to look at how you can optimize your savings, get strategic with debt, and level up how you invest to grow wealth. There’s no shortage of podcasts or blogs that cover simple pieces of advice and the same basic money moves to make: pay down debt, save up cash, invest for the future, and so on. So today, we want to kick it up a notch and help you see how you can go from good money move, to BETTER move, to best, most optimized strategy to use in your financial plan. We're going to look at 5 good pieces of financial advice… and then tell you how to optimize each aspect of your financial life. We'll cover: How to pay off debt in the most efficient way and what you should know before you refinance — and when you might want to leverage debt to grow wealth instead. The steps to take with your retirement accounts (beyond just saving enough to get the employer match) and how to create a big pool of money in your retirement plan that won't be taxed when you withdraw your funds. Why you need to balance the temporal weight of your tax liability across present and future. What you can do to make sure you're truly diversified when you invest, and how to make your investments more tax-efficient (so you keep more of your return in your pocket). The specific actions you need to take to optimize your investment portfolio. Things to think through when it comes to maximizing how much money you can earn, through a corporate job or on your own in self-employment. Ready to optimize your finances and do more with your money?
17 minutes | Apr 3, 2020
Following Warren Buffett's Advice, and an Argument for Optimism
36: There's a lot of fear and uncertainty in the air right now — which means, if you're following Warren Buffett's advice, it's a good time to get greedy in the stock market. In this episode of the show, we discuss the opportunity you might want to capitalize on and at the very least, why you should NOT stop making your regular contributions to the market. Most importantly, we also lay out our argument for why feeling optimistic about the future makes sense for long-term investors. Join us to get some perspective to remember that "right now" does not mean "forever" hear plenty of reasons to feel good about the future.
22 minutes | Mar 20, 2020
Can You Have Too Much Cash? (Spoiler: Yes, and It's Risky)
Here's what you need to know to determine how much cash you actually need on hand — and what to do with extra funds if you have them. Most people think you can't have too much cash on hand or in the bank. Cash is king, right? Cash is safe! The reality is holding too much cash comes with its own set of risks, and you might actually be losing money because of it. Today on the podcast, we explain: The formula to use to determine how much cash is appropriate to keep on hand How we chose the exact amount to keep in our emergency fund (and why it's pretty low) Why too much cash can pose a risk to your long-term goals The cost of waiting to get your cash working for you as hard as you worked to earn it Why right now (or when markets are dropping) can be a great opportunity for long-term investors who have extra cash to invest How loss aversion can stop you from capitalizing on wealth-building opportunities The perspective you might need to put tough economic times into a more realistic context (which is hard to do when you're going through it) The right way to deploy cash into the market if you have some extra, but feel afraid of investing when the market is dropping This episode will explain what you need to know so you can more effectively manage your money to grow your wealth.
26 minutes | Mar 6, 2020
Avoiding Short-Term Distractions When You Have Long-Term Goals
34: We share a few ideas for better dealing with the coronavirus scare and the current market volatility before diving into this episode that is all about handling these exact kinds of issues that can cause you to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Most people make short-term and limited decisions without considering how these choices impact things to the right, when only looking left. In this rebroadcast, we revisit how to solve that problem. Financial success is a long-term game, and to win, you need to learn how to maintain your view of the forest that is your entire time horizon of many decades — rather than just pressing your nose up against the tree of today and failing to see anything else but what’s right in front of you.
18 minutes | Feb 21, 2020
Stop Seeking Perfection with Your Financial Decisions
33: When it comes to making financial decisions, most of us want to get things exactly RIGHT. It's your money, after all, and you probably don't want to screw it up! But aiming for perfection can actually hamstring your progress—and even lead you AWAY from the best financial choices for your goals and the life you would most enjoy experiencing. In this episode, we talk through what's truly important to understand if you want to improve the quality of the financial decisions you make every day and for the long term. Find full show notes at www.BeyondYourHammock.com/33
28 minutes | Feb 7, 2020
Why You Need Financial POWER (Not Financial Freedom)
32: What if the pursuit of financial freedom actually leaves you with fewer options and feeling more stuck than ever before? The idea of financial independence sounds nice, but it comes with a lot of potential pitfalls that big fans of the "FIRE" movement don't like to talk about. Today, we're explaining the downsides of financial freedom — and proposing a different strategy that will help you enjoy and experience more in life today AND tomorrow. It's all about financial POWER. We explore what that means, how it's more effective, and what you can do to build more power into your financial life.
22 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
The Most Important Question in Personal Finance: What Is Enough?
31: It's extremely simple in theory — but could require a lifetime of experience to answer: What is enough? The biggest challenge in financial planning lies in striking a balance between living well today (and using your money to accomplish that aim) and planning responsibly for tomorrow (which means saving your money to ensure future financial security). If you know what “enough” is, then you know how to balance your need to save and invest for your future with the reality that you live your life day by day. Your money is a tool that can be used to achieve BOTH purposes. We explain more in this episode, and also discuss: Why frugality isn't an effective operating system forever How your mindset impacts your ability to financially plan for success The importance of actually testing ideas, goals, and dreams out and experiencing as much as possible to better understand what you actually want in the future And more. Jump into the episode to join the conversation and learn how to establish what "enough" is for you.
23 minutes | Jan 10, 2020
Are You Sabotaging Your Shot at Financial Success?
30: The most common thing that stops people from achieving their highest financial potential? Themselves. "Learned helplessness" is a phenomenon that can stop you from making the progress you're capable of, and it happens when you experience struggle or suffering that you feel is out of your control — and if you practice this subconscious habit, it can prevent you from seeing, and acting on, what you can control to make your financial situation better. We all face hard times and difficult choices in our lives. What often makes the difference between someone who pushes through and carries on to an eventual positive outcome and someone who tends to stay stuck and struggling is how we interpret the things that happen to us. Today, we discuss the most common mental roadblocks we see that stop capable people with a lot of potential from reaching the financial success within their power to achieve — as well as how you can address your own mental blocks to clear your path to your goals and the life you really want to live.
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