When you feel overwhelmed with your finances, sometimes hearing advice from outside sources can help you get started. For me, I felt hampered by the fact that I was living in Japan so buying English books was too expensive. Because foreign language books were priced more expensively than Japanese books, I couldn’t buy them as easily. At times, too, the books I wanted weren’t available in the stores. Searching online sometimes helped, but the articles didn’t address specific issues that came up when I started getting more serious about managing my money.
Enter podcasts. They were free and entertaining and enjoyable to listen to. Since I commuted by train, I loved being able to listen to a half-hour episode on my ride. It was perfect.
I started listening to podcasts in 2011, and that was when I still had about $40,000 worth of student loans to pay off. I needed to save money on information so I was able to use this resource. It was good because at that time, podcasts were just starting to come into popularity. Not many people were listening to podcasts or even knew what they were. Many of the financial podcasts I listened to were new and exciting.
Listed in descending order of my favorites, here are the podcasts I listened to that helped me manage my money:
Intelligent Investing by Pamela Otten
When I first started listening to podcasts, there really weren’t a lot out there. This is the first one that I stumbled upon. Back then, Pamela Otten was on a network called Toginet, but her podcasts got saved onto the iTunes site.
When Suze Orman still had her show, the audio versions of her show got uploaded onto iTunes. I figured if Suze’s show was available, then maybe there were others out there, too. Sure enough, I typed the word “financial” into the search bar and Pamela Otten’s show was the first one that came up. This was in 2011. Back then, I didn’t have an iPhone, but I did have an iPod Nano for my music. The good thing was that I could download podcasts, too.
If you don’t mind the Christian aspect of her show, it’s a good podcast that gives practical advice on what to do with money, how to budget and how to invest wisely (index investing). She is really down to earth and I love that she really wants to help other women deal with money. She is a Dave Ramsey fan and has been a Financial Peace Instructor. She is also a certified financial advisor so she takes her fiduciary role very seriously.
She is the one who kickstarted my investment adventure. I thought that I was doing pretty well just saving money in a regular savings account. However, when I heard her say that inflation is slowly making you broke, I realized that I needed to do better by saving through the markets. When I heard that, it scared me enough to actually start investing.
Pamela has since stopped podcasting. I think the last episode I have of hers was in 2014. It’s a shame because I really enjoyed her show.
Radical Personal Finance by Joshua Sheats
As the name implies, this show is quite radical. Joshua Sheats is a very smart guy with a lot of educational titles and certificates after his name. He is a certified financial planner and has also worked for an insurance company. He knows a lot of technical details about financial planning and tends to really ramble. And I mean, really go on for hours sometimes.
The show is not for everyone, but his fans really love him. He has a lot of crazy ideas and towards the end, I had to unsubscribe because his political ideals are very different from mine. However, his earlier shows exposed me to the idea of financial independence. His first year focused a lot on the philosophical aspect of money and finance. I recommend all of his earlier podcast episodes. You can search the site and see if which shows focus on the technical side of finance, too.
Listen Money Matters by Andrew Fibert and Matt Giovanisci
Andrew and Matt are entertaining together. This show is focused more toward younger people who are just starting out with their financial lives. The guys are not as knowledgeable as others out there, but they bring a lot of humor to your finance. Some of their advice you kind of have to take with a grain of salt, but I listen because I want to be amused. After the first year, Matt left and was replaced by Thomas Frank. The mood stayed pretty funny, but it definitely has a different vibe without Matt.
I don’t listen to the show as much as I had before, but I still listen sometimes. I like their casual conversations about finances. It’s really like talking to your own friends about your own money problems. I like that they don’t take themselves really seriously and joke about a lot of the things that makes people stressed. I also like that they don’t focus too much on the very technical parts of personal finance.
Edit: Matt came back to the show in July of 2018. Hooray! But, I will miss Thomas.
So Money by Farnoosh Torabi
I used to listen to this show religiously because she produced so much content in her first few years. Most of the podcasts I listened to aired once a week. Once I got done listening to them, I had a void to fill. Farnoosh started with a half-hour show everyday but she eventually reduced the number of episodes she puts out to three a week. However, she is up to almost 500 almost episodes at the time of this writing. That’s a lot of content for two years. I haven’t been listening as consistently as before so I still have to get caught up with a lot.
I really like her personality. We are the same age and I love that she’s another female voice in a world dominated by men. This show focuses on interviewing other people and she brings on a lot of interesting guests–mostly female–from different fields, and not just the financial industry.
In the beginning, she used to ask the same questions of her guests. Even though the questions are always the same, I loved that the answers were always different. It was a very interesting format. It makes you realize that our individual backgrounds really produces different reactions in people. Recently, though, she’s changed a lot of the questions and seems to follow a much looser style of interviewing.
Still, though, Farnoosh is great. She may not be a Certified Financial Planner, but she’s very knowledgeable about financial matters. She’s an established journalist in the field of personal finance. I trust her research skills as a journalist as she’s written many book and many articles about the topic.
The Doughroller by Rob Berger
I love Rob. I find him really easy to listen to, like a friend. He covers a lot of different topics on the show and the length of each episode varies. Sometimes he can run for a couple of hours, sometimes only 30 minutes. He mixes his show format. Sometimes he talks about a topic all on his own; sometimes he brings in people to interview. He is not a CFP, but he’s really smart as his background is in law. I like that he’s really interested in personal finance and so tries to break the information down simply for others. What he brings is his curiosity about many topics so it feels like you’re learning together with him.
He has a great voice and a really kooky personality. I have listened to the same episodes many time because his explanations are great and easy to understand. Recently, he hasn’t been producing as much content, but I always enjoy them every time they come out. As a bonus, he has a Facebook Group that is really active. If you need advice, a lot of the people there are connected through their enjoyment of the podcast. It’s a great resource.
Afford Anything by Paula Pant
Paula is wonderful and fun. I love her personality and the show in general. In the beginning, she started the podcast with a partner, J. Money, but after a few episodes together, he moved on. The show was originally called MONEY, but Paula changed it to Afford Anything, which is also what her blog was called. She gained financial independence through real estate investing and once a month she focuses on questions she receives from her listeners on this topic. Other episodes are interviews with interesting guests. The rest, she answers questions about different financial topics.
Again, like Farnoosh, she is a woman of color who has a lot of interesting things to say about the topic of money. I feel like Paula is another kindred soul. The show is entertaining and makes you really think deeply about money and your life. I love that she’s not afraid to ask questions that make you uncomfortable, that make you question what you value the most. She’s not a licensed financial professional, but I find her advice practical and easy to follow. Paula’s approach is usually explaining what typical people do and contrasts it to what she would do. Eventually, though, she leaves it up to people to decide on their own what to do.
I love this show and I always listen and re-listen to the episodes. When I’m feeling down or unsure about my path, I listen to her show to feel motivated.
Yeah, it’s that good.
Money for the Rest of Us by J. David Stein
This is by far my favorite podcast. It is a weekly podcast and each episode is 30 minutes long. The host, David talks about a particular topic in each episode. He is philosophical and talks generally about the market and the economy. These topics usually come from listeners or sometimes from his own experiences.
I never miss an episode.
For a half-hour show that tackles very complicated topics, you really learn a lot. I find his explanations easy to understand and I feel smarter just for listening to it. This is a flaw on my part, but when I want to talk about the same topic he’s just discussed, I find myself at a loss to explain it to myself–even though I thought I thoroughly understood it when David was talking about the topic.
He brings a lot of experience as an institutional investor on the show. He is very knowledgeable about stocks and the market in general. He is very well-read and intelligent and I feel really calm listening to him. But mostly, I love that he takes these very complicated issues and breaks them down simply into terms that the general public can understand. It’s all fascinating stuff.
I also like that he has a lot of interest in eastern philosophy, particularly Japanese traditions. Since I am so steeped in this country and the culture, I feel like David brings a very unique perspective to the field of personal finance.
These podcasts helped me navigate my own personal finance. I know that a lot of these podcasters are not giving me financial advice and that they are doing this for entertainment purposes. However, I’ve taken some of their advice into consideration and they have helped me become better at managing my own money situation. I hope some people can find these podcasts helpful, too.