An Origin Story

The motivation behind this podcast, and early lessons in investing.

Season Finale|Episode 8: Origin Story

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We’ve come to the end of Season 1 of Talk Money. I’m really proud of what we’ve created. We still have a long way to go, but we’re on our way! This project started two years ago. I was very interested in creating education around money, business and finance, and felt that podcasting was the best medium. In order to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there, we had to take a different approach - we focus on storytelling to share lessons on money, business and finance. 

In this episode of Talk Money, we learn more about my origin story. I hope understanding how I got here and why we created this show will entice you to keep listening. The goals behind this podcast were to create more transparency and simplify topics around money in an entertaining way. I didn’t learn about investing by going to business school or working on Wall Street. I was very fortunate to have people around me who taught me. I learned by making mistakes and asking questions. Throughout this episode, I’ll share lessons I experienced and why creating this podcast was so important.

I really appreciate all of you who’ve taken the time to listen. I can’t wait to share Season 2! To catch up on Season 1, see the episode list below:

Ep. 1: Table for Two, Please- How restaurants work.

Ep. 2: What’s the Deal with Bitcoin (Part 1)- What is Bitcoin and why it was created.

Ep 3: What’s the Deal with Bitcoin (Part 2)- Investing in Bitcoin.

Ep 4: Home Sweet Home- A guide to first time home buying.

Ep 5: The Mortgage Whisperer- How the mortgage process works.

Ep 6: Degrees, Debt & Your Dollar- The student debt crisis, and rethinking college.

Ep 7: Mo Money, Mo Savings- Personal finance 101.

Ep 8: An Origin Story - Who am I, and early lessons in investing.

Thank you to all my guests on Season 1. Thank you to Ryan Kailath & Max Miller for editing and producing Season 1. My friends and family who listened to every draft. My business partner and wife, Angela, for countless edits, feedback and guidance. To all of you, thank you for your support! Please help us spread the word by sharing the podcast!



Mo Money, Mo Savings

Personal Finance 101 told through a musician's incredible story

Talk Money Episode #7: Mo Money, Mo Savings

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This episode was especially important to me. It’s challenging to tell an engaging and entertaining story about “personal finance.” But, the foundation of a solid financial future is staying on top of your money. It’s not about having a lot of it. It’s about being organized.

Personal finance can be intimidating. A lot of us fear it. We find it difficult to be smart with our money. It doesn’t help that banks and financial services use jargon and make things sound so complex.

At the end of the day, it’s really quite simple. Practicing and staying disciplined is the hard part. And now with technology and automation, a lot of the work can be done for us.

In this episode of Talk Money, we tell a story about Nashville musician Ron Pope, who struggled with debt and terrible credit during his young adult life. It was his wife & manager, Blair Clark, that taught him if he wanted a family and to provide for them, he would need to have his “money shit together.”

Then, my dear friend Will Peng, founder of Northstar Money, explains why it’s so hard for us to be organized about our money, and how technology and automation are making it easier for us to be better about it. Better is good. Better is great!


Here's the key. Know your monthly cash flow. What’s coming in and what’s going out. What are your fixed costs (rent, utilities, groceries)? What can you adjust, or get rid of? Then, with what you have left over, you can :

  1. Pay down your debt. Start with higher-interest loans, and then move to lower interest loans. You don’t have to just make a monthly payment. You can do it multiple times a month. It helps lower the daily principal outstanding which lowers the interest payment.

  2. Put $ into your savings account (you can have multiple for different goals).

  3. Put $ into your retirement account (anyone can open one). If you have a 401K with work, make sure you’re taking advantage of your employer match.

  4. Put $ into an Emergency Fund. This is a savings account that meant for large out of pocket expenses (car breaks down), loss of job (3-6 months of your monthly income), or something catastrophic (2020 is already feeling that way).

To make it even easier. Here are my picks for the companies and services I use and/or plan to use.

For full automation, budgeting, savings, emergency fund, and financial advice:

For Savings:

For Retirement & Investing:

  • Wealthfront- You can open up an IRA account, 529 (for you kid’s college), or a general investment account.

This doesn’t have to be daunting. All you need to do is get started. Stop putting this off. The best thing about automation and these companies, is they do the hard work for you. I hope this has been helpful. Please respond with additional questions and topics you’d like to hear more about.

Please share this post with those you think would benefit!


Degrees, Debt & Your Dollar

How we should be rethinking college & student loans

Talk Money Episode 6: Degrees, Debt & your Dollar

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You’ve probably heard the stats:

Over 1.6 TRILLION DOLLARS in outstanding student debt”

“Over 44 million Americans are affected by student loans”

“Consumers now owe more on their student loans than their credit cards.”

We’ve been hearing time and again that the US outstanding student debt problem is causing concern for the next financial collapse. We go to college without thinking about the cost, or how we’re going to pay for it in the end. Tuition prices have gone up, and our salaries are not increasing at the same pace. This is turn makes it hard to save and invest in retirement.

In this episode of Talk Money, we’re exploring how this mess came to be in the first place. Joel Best, an author and professor at the University of Delaware, walks us through how the student loan program began and what the intention was. Then, we’ll speak to Kelly Peeler. She is the founder of Money Mentor, which is a company that helps students navigate financial aid and student loan packages. Kelly will have you questioning everything about this system - from the loans, to the value we’re getting from higher education, about the universities themselves, and also, a glimpse into what the future here holds.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The history of why the government made loans so easily available

  • How to think about college as a consumer

  • What are the most common mistakes people make with their student loans, and what you should actually be doing

  • Solutions for your current student debt

If you think anyone would benefit from this episode, please share it with them. Thanks!



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The Mortgage Whisperer

Everything you need to know about the mortgage process, and what the future of home buying looks like.

Talk Money Ep. 5- The Mortage Whisperer

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In this episode of Talk Money, we’re walking through the entire mortgage process. This process tends to get rushed through a lot of times for a few reasons. First, people are exhausted once they’ve finally found the home they want to purchase. And also, it can be intimidating and complex. The mortgage is one of the most important aspects of the home buying process because it determines what you’re shelling out in the beginning and what you’ll be paying overtime.

Post the housing crisis of 2008, the mortgage process has become more strict. However, you should know exactly what you’re getting into and not depend on the bank to tell you what’s right.

My friend John Teweles, a mortgage banker, walks us through everything:

  • What a mortgage is, and how it works

  • What you need to know about the down payment

  • What you need to know about the interest rate and term

  • What’s a better deal for you

From there, we talk with Adena Hefets, co-founder of Divvy Homes, a technology company that enables renters to become homeowners with a rent to buy model. Adena shares how technology is making home-buying more accessible, and what the future looks like.

Hope you enjoy. Please share if you think someone would find this useful. 



Buying Your First Home?

Everything you need to know as a first time homebuyer

Talk Money Episode 4: Home Sweet Home

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Homebuying is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make. Maybe you’re ready, or maybe you’re just curious about what the process looks like. Either way, it’s important that we make this as transparent as possible. It also depends on where you live.

For some of us who live in cities like NYC, for example, my wife and I, it’s hard to stomach something as crazy as-

"1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, 5th Floor Walk Up, No Washer/Dryer- Only $999,999!”

I wish I was kidding! I’m pretty sure this apartment exists in Manhattan. It’s all about the neighborhood, right? Lucky for me, my wife has a great eye for neighborhoods that are up and coming, but still have a lot of value. that in itself. In this episode of the podcast, “Home Sweet Home,” we are going to explore everything you need to be prepared for when thinking about buying a home.

  • How to think about choosing the right home

  • How to know what neighborhood is right for you

  • How to go about selecting a realtor

  • What you need to know when competing on an offer

The process of home buying can be very overwhelming and exhausting, but it’s an incredible accomplishment and something you should be proud of. I hope this episode is helpful in preparing you.



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