January 24th, 2019
Jackie Lam wants you to be proud of being frugal.
Frugal doesn’t mean cheap.
There was a time when Jackie needed to be frugal because she had no choice.
But today, for her and many others, being frugal is really about making sure that her spending behaviour aligns with her values.
It’s about making money decisions that help you live your best life.
But for many years, Jackie was shamed for her frugality. Whether it is actually a symptom of living in poverty or a value choice, many people still judge frugality and praise free spending.
So imagine the validation when Jackie gets to college and meets other frugal minded individuals like her. Finding frugal friends that celebrated their frugality inspired Jackie to create a blog in 2009 called Cheapsters, which morphed into HeyFreelancer.com, her site about keeping your money in check so you can do what you love.
Jackie joined me from Los Angeles to share her personal finance story.
67 - Nico Barawid
January 17th, 2019
Damion Lupo wants you to ask yourself: How can I serve and contribute to others in a deep and meaningful way?
If you’re just chasing dollars without meaning, you could end up rich if you’re lucky, but even if you are one of the lucky ones who makes millions, there’s a good chance you’re going to be miserable.
Damion’s been there. He made millions and then lost it all. And he wasn’t able to get back on track until he found meaning and truth and focused on that instead of just making money.
After going through this experience he and a friend wrote a book called Reinvented Life. Reinvented Life is a process and methodology for stepping into the life you are supposed to be living versus the one you are living today.
Personally, I think we should make it a habit of stepping back from our lives and asking: is what I’m doing adding value to the world? Is what I’m doing fulfilling? Am I making a difference in any way other than lining my pockets?
The most important thing to me is that you’re living the life that you want and that you chose, rather than just following a path or a checklist made up by someone who has no idea what is best for you.
Damion shifted from helping himself get richer to helping others have the life they always wanted. Here is his personal finance story.
(To get the free Reinvented Life workbook head to: http://reinvention.net/)
66 - Jackie Lam
January 11th, 2019
Melissa Leong wants you to spend smart, save right and enjoy life.
Those are the words on the cover of her new book Happy Go Money, which was just released this week!
Melissa is a personal finance writer, on-air personality, speaker and bestselling author.
You might be thinking, Beau, you can’t say bestselling author if Melissa’s first book just came out.
Well we didn’t talk about this in the interview but Melissa is already a bestselling author. Her self-published paranormal adventure novels, What Kills Me and I Am Forever, written under the pen name Wynne Channing, have sold almost 70,000 copies and soared to #1 on a number of bestseller lists on Amazon.
Melissa is funny and mindful and really just wants to help you manage your money while maximizing your happiness.
Melissa invited me to her home where I got to meet her family, have some snacks and talk about her personal finance story.
65 - Damion Lupo
December 21st, 2018
Cal MacWilliam helps developing countries get money when they need it most.
Cal is a senior economist at the World Bank, a global organization that helps to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.
Cal will meet with the government officials of these countries, who have already reached out to the World Bank for loans or grants, and provide them with the funding they need.
OK it's not that easy.
The government officials might need to make a few changes, before they qualify for the loans or grants. These are usually changes that will improve their country in some way. Positive changes.
Sounds like it should be an easy decision, right? Implement policy change that is meant to improve the lives of your citizens and you get money from the world Bank.
Money you asked for. Money that you said you really needed. And If it's a grant, you don't even have to pay that back.
But often Cal will visit these countries after speaking with their government officials and find they haven't made the changes necessary to qualify for the money.
Despite these frustrations, Cal continues to dedicate his career to helping others, as he has since he started at the Canadian International Development Agency or CIDA in the 1980s.
Cal now lives near Washington DC and I was very happy that he agreed to sit with me, when I was visiting earlier this year, to talk about his personal finance story.
64 - Melissa Leong
December 14th, 2018
Zena Amundsen wants you to know that money is emotional.
One of the emotions often associated with money is fear.
That’s what Zena felt when she separated from her husband for 2 years, with 2 small children and absolutely no knowledge of her personal finances.
It was during that time that she decided to stop worrying about money and start learning about it instead.
Today she is a Certified Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a Certified Cash Flow Specialist.
She’s got the financial knowledge but that’s only part of it. Personal finance isn’t just about graphs and rates of return.
Money is emotional but we don’t talk about it that way. Realizing the current financial education system is lacking, Zena decided to write a book called “The Heart of Your Money” specifically to empower Canadian women to build a healthy relationship with money.
Zena joined me from Regina, Saskatchewan to tell her personal finance story.
63 - Cal MacWilliam
December 8th, 2018
Mr. Prairie FIRE wants you to discover something about yourself by knowing your finances.
Mr. Prairie FIRE, let’s call him Fred, is an anonymous Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) blogger in the prairies of Western Canada at prairiefirecanada.com.
Fred calls his discovery of the FIRE movement his financial enlightenment.
After surviving 3 large financial crises in a very short time period, he was determined to take control of his finances.
Specifically Fred was drawn to the FIRE movement and the freedom that financial independence promises.
Fred joined me from somewhere in Saskatchewan to tell his personal finance story.
62 - Zena Amundsen
December 1st, 2018
Elizabeth Naumovski is the host of a new television show called Finance is Personal.
On the show she talks with women who are experts in personal finance, while educating viewers about financial literacy.
Elizabeth decided to make women the focus of her show because she believes we need to change what is referred to as the women's money mindset. Many women are not interested in spending any time on their personal finances and this can be detrimental if there is a need to manage money issues on their own.
There aren't that many women on finance shows and definitely not many Canadians on TV at all talking about the financial issues that specifically affect women.
Having a broadcast and finance background, Elizabeth is very well suited to promote financial literacy to Canadians.
I met with Elizabeth at her office in downtown Toronto to hear her personal finance story.
61 - Mr. Prairie Fire
November 23rd, 2018
Glen James wants you to know that money doesn’t really matter.
Glen has a very successful financial planning business in Australia and hosts Australia’s top podcast for millennials, called my millenial money.
Glen believes that if you follow your passion, focus on helping others, start your own business and automate everything that you can, then the money will come.
But it doesn’t come overnight. Glen is in his early thirties, but he started in business almost two decades ago, and by the age of 25 had more real life business experience than most people in their 40s. Glen didn’t come from money, and worked hard to get to where he is today.
When the money does come, the thing to do isn’t always extreme frugality and aggressive saving. You have to take care of future you and your fixed expenses, but once you’re covered there, you should have permission to spend the rest and enjoy your life.
Glen wants you to know that the pursuit of money alone won’t bring you happiness. Money gives you options but it should not be the goal.
I didn’t get to connect with Glen during my visit to Australia in July but we were able to meet up later in Orlando during FinCon 2018, where he shared his personal finance story.
60 - Elizabeth Naumovski
November 17th, 2018
Liz Enriquez wants you to grow and learn and ask questions about money.
By age 21, Liz had travelled to over 20 countries and paid for them out of pocket...
By age 22, she paid off her university tuition…
By age 24, she saved over $50,000 and bought a house...
By age 26, her net worth grew to 6 figures...
And this year, at 27, she quit her government job after making $10,000 in one month through her various income streams.
Liz worked hard, kept her costs down and saved a lot to accomplish all of this by 27.. No handouts. No help from her parents. No inheritance.
She realized while going through these financial milestones that there weren’t many resources available millennials like her. And the resources that did exist were scattered and difficult to understand for someone who isn’t a financial expert.
So Liz created ambitiousadulting.com to help Canadian Millennials understand personal finances so they can save more, earn more and reduce stress about money.
Liz joined me in the studio in Hamilton to tell her personal finance story.
59 - Glen James
November 9th, 2018
At 22, Arian Beyzaei is Vice President of Operations at Enriched Academy and has investments of over $100,000.
At 16 he read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and told his parents he wasn’t going to college or university.
They were not happy with his decision.
That year he saw Enriched Academy on Dragon’s Den and decided he wanted to join their mission to help Canadians learn, understand and control their money.
Though he was young, the founders of Enriched Academy were impressed by Arian’s passion for personal finance and his willingness to learn and let him join the company as an intern at 17.
He was hired on full time after 8 months and since then he has presented to tens of thousands of Canadians and has been the keynote speaker for hundreds of different corporations.
Arian joined me in the studio to tell us his personal finance story.
58 - Liz Enriquez
November 2nd, 2018
Danielle Alexandria wants to help you create true wealth and freedom for the rest of your life.
She believes that creating wealth isn’t just about investing in funds and letting them grow for 40 years. A more holistic approach is needed.
As a financial empowerment coach Danielle will help you overcome your limiting beliefs about money, heal your emotional wounds and help you develop the mindset of the wealthy.
Your thoughts about money might be holding you back. You might think that you can never be wealthy or that attaining financial freedom is not possible.
Well, guess what, if you keep thinking these thoughts, there’s a pretty good chance they are going to come true!
Psychology plays a huge role in finances and Danielle is here to help you break down whatever barriers are between you and financial success.
Danielle joined me in Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto to tell her personal finance story.
57 - Arian Beyzaei
October 26th, 2018
Robert Gignac wants you to know that you are capable of creating the financial future you desire.
But you can’t create a financial future if you don’t know anything about your financial present.
17 years ago, Robert lost his job in IT and realized he was actually doing ok financially. Sure, the money he had accumulated wouldn’t last forever, but as long as he generated some income to fill in the gaps along the way, he would be fine.
Robert only knew this because he had a financial plan in place.
If you are laid off and don’t have a financial plan, the only thing you can do is wonder if you’re going to be ok. You might get stressed out looking for a new job and panic if you don’t find one right away.
With a long-term financial plan, you don’t have to wonder. You’ll know if you’re ok or not.
But this personal finance stuff is really dull so Robert decided to write a book called Rich Is a State of Mind, to try to convince Canadians that taking control of your money is easier than they might think.
A highly sought-after speaker, Robert delivers dynamic keynote speeches and interactive workshop programs to International organizations, financial industry conferences and private clients.
He also has a podcast called Money, Motivation and More and a TV show called We Talk Money.
Robert joined me in the studio to tell his personal finance story.
56 - Danielle Alexandria
October 19th, 2018
Rona Birenbaum wants you to be financially successful.
Rona started out in the financial services industry at a time when sales commissions were huge and the focus was on making money for yourself, and not necessarily your clients.
Rona decided that this was all wrong and in the year 2000 she founded Caring For Clients, Toronto’s best financial planning firm.
At Caring for Clients, Rona and her team do something called Integrative Financial Planning. Sometimes referred to as holistic planning, it means looking at your whole financial picture. I believe this testimonial from caringforclients.com says it best
"Rona and the team at Caring for Clients helped us put together a plan that is far beyond financial advice. Their unique holistic approach had us explore all aspects of our life to ensure that we had all the necessary support in place for our future."
Over the years, Rona realized that paying for a full financial plan from Caring for Clients wasn’t always in the financial best interest of prospective clients. So with the help of new technology, she recently created ViviPlan.com, where you can still get a great financial plan, but for a fraction of the price of a full-blown Caring for Clients plan.
I visited Rona at her office in downtown Toronto where she shared her personal finance story.
55 - Robert Gignac
October 11th, 2018
Darlene Patgunarajah never fit in with the status quo. Darlene is a pioneer.
She started out as a registered nurse, and is currently working at an agency for financial advisors. This is not a very common career path.
Darlene is an excellent example of someone who built her own career path by creating new roles and systems that fit her skills and interests.
Just because you started somewhere doesn’t mean you have to end up there.
Just because a role doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean you can’t make a case for its existence.
It’s ok to reinvent yourself and even take a pay cut rather than stay somewhere that you don’t belong.
It is only by trying different things and making changes that you are able to find your true calling.
Darlene joined me in Toronto in Trinity Bellwoods park to tell the story of her non-traditional career path and how she managed her personal finances along the way.
54 - Rona Birenbaum
October 5th, 2018
David Jenkins wants to help you learn about investing. But he doesn’t want any compensation.
David wants you to pay it forward. If you learn something from his website, he wants you to make a donation to charity instead. David’s charity of choice is the Sanfilippo Children’s Research Foundation which was created to help find a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome, a degenerative and terminal genetic disorder that affects children.
To try to simplify the complex world of investing, David created a website called theansweris.ca. It’s a financial education website that provides step-by-step instructions for a Model Long-Term Investment Portfolio containing six low-cost ETFs that are well-diversified both geographically, and more importantly, by economic sector.
But David doesn’t want you to just jump right in - he wants to make sure you understand the service he’s providing - and therefore he made it so that you have to complete a 6 question quiz before you proceed.
Especially if you are new to investing, it can be dangerous to follow David’s 100% equity model ETF portfolio if you don’t fully understand that he wants you to buy and hold for at least 10 years.
It’s also important to understand that the information that he provides is purely educational and is just one option for investing your money. David is a self-taught investor and is simply using this website to convey what he’s learned to whoever wants to listen.
Similar to what I would do as a personal finance coach, David is simply interested in providing you with information to help you make the right decisions for you. Please be sure to read all the disclaimers on theansweris.ca when you check it out.
David joined me in the studio earlier this year to share his personal finance story.
53 - Darlene Patgunarajah
September 27th, 2018
After driving for 20 hours to Orlando, Florida from Hamilton, Ontario, I decided that my 51st episode of the show would be a live solo episode from the podcast studio at FinCon 2018.
What am I talking about for 25 minutes?
Podcasts, of course!
I listened to 18 hours of podcasts during my drive. The last 2 hours I had a live person in the car, Sarah Li-Cain, from the website High Fiving Dollars and the podcast Beyond The Dollar, so I turned the podcasts off and we had a conversation instead!
Many of the episodes I listened to were more than an hour long so I didn’t listen to as many as you might be thinking. In today’s live, unedited, solo episode, I talk a bit about FinCon but mostly about the 7 podcasts I listened to during my 2.5 day road trip. Here they are, in no particular order:
Beyond The Dollar
The Money and Media Podcast
Mo’ Money Podcast
The Fairer Cents
The Money Millhouse
You should check out all of these podcasts, but also all of the podcasts nominated for Plutus Awards this year. You can find the list here.
If you need to pick one, I 100% recommend The Fairer Cents. Tanja and Kara are talking about things we should all be talking about and they are really good at it. This is my favourite podcast.
I had a great trip down travelling through 8 states - New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. On the way back, I get to add 2 more states, Maryland and the District of Columbia. See you when I'm back in Canada!
52 - David Jenkins
September 22nd, 2018
Tina from Money Flamingo will reach semi-retirement in 863 days.
Money Flamingo is an Australian blog about Financial Independence and Retiring Early, also known as FIRE.
There are many FIRE bloggers on the internet, and I will have a Canadian one on the show in the near future, but Money Flamingo is a bit different and not just because Tina and her husband are Australian.
In May of 2018 they started Project 1000, which is their plan to build their nest egg to $500,000 in 1000 days, then quit their regular day jobs, work part-time for 10 years while their nest egg doubles to $1,000,000, which should provide them with financial independence and the option to stop working.
You won’t find Tina’s picture or last name on the episode cover, because, like most FIRE bloggers, she prefers to remain anonymous. If you had a plan to quit your job in less than 3 years, you might not want your employer to know about that either.
You can check out Tina’s progress at moneyflamingo.com and decide for yourself whether you think their plan is feasible. Many people have achieved early retirement, and there are many ways to get there, depending on various factors like how much you want to spend today and what you intend to need for funds when you do stop working.
But Tina and Mr. Flamingo only started focusing on early retirement recently. A lot had to happen in Tina’s life before she even realized financial independence was possible for her and her husband. Tina met up with me somewhere(it’s a secret!) in Sydney, Australia to tell her personal finance story.
51 - Live from FinCon 2018
September 14th, 2018
Bessie Hassan is passionate about helping people find better deals and save money.
Bessie is the Australian Head of PR and Money Expert at Australia’s largest financial comparison site, finder.com.au.
I reached out to Bessie for the Australian Personal Finance Series because I think it’s so important to provide everyday consumers with as much information as possible, so they can make informed financial decisions. Not only does Bessie do that at Finder, she does it in a way that is relatable and accessible and helps promote financial literacy.
I met up with Bessie at the Finder headquarters in downtown Sydney, or CBD, Central Business District, if you’re Australian, where she shared her personal finance story.
50 - Tina from Money Flamingo
September 7th, 2018
Kylie Travers turns obstacles into opportunities.
During a 3-year period, Kylie Travers lived through spousal abuse and subsequent divorce, she was homeless, robbed of everything including her underwear, she was temporarily paralyzed, had a cancer scare, and on top of all of this had to figure out how to support her 2 girls who had been diagnosed with learning disabilities and needed extra care, which costs extra money.
But Kylie didn’t let any of this get her down. In that same 3-year period, she was a speaker at the first FinCon conference in Chicago in 2011 and won best international personal finance blog at the Plutus Awards at FinCon 2012 and 2013.
Kylie runs her own successful business, where she is consultant, influencer, ambassador, marketer, and is involved in charity work in Australia, which led to her being named finalist for Young Australian of the Year in 2015.
Kylie has written several personal finance books which are available on her personal finance site called The Thrifty Issue and has a ton of free resources and blog posts at kylietravers.com.au.
In July 2018 I travelled to Australia to join my wife, Kaila, who was doing a one month exchange with a Sydney hospital as part of her McMaster University Medical training here in Hamilton. We already had plans to head to Melbourne for a weekend, so I reached out to Kylie, who lives there, and she agreed to meet me in Carlton Gardens to tell her inspirational personal finance story.
49 - Bessie Hassan
August 31st, 2018
Eric Arnold’s personal finance story is not for the risk-averse.
Eric is what you might call a serial entrepreneur.
Whatever people have in their brain that prevents them from taking huge risks… yeah, Eric doesn’t have that.
What does this mean for Eric?
It means when the rest of us were working our 9 to 5s - making spreadsheets for our bi-weekly paycheques, Eric was building businesses.
Some did very well and some did not.
With success comes failure, but Eric learned something from every business.
Today Eric is CEO of Planswell, a company that provides free financial plans to Canadians. Planswell is doing great, having raised $13 Million dollars to date and so far providing free financial plans to over 100,000 Canadians.
But a lot happened before Planswell was even an idea. Here’s Eric to take us through his personal finance story.
48 - Kylie Travers
August 24th, 2018
Boyce Collins doesn’t want you to become house poor.
As a mortgage broker, his responsibility is to get you the best mortgage for you. This isn’t always the case when you go to get a mortgage from a bank. And the best mortgage isn’t necessarily the one that leaves you strapped for cash if the interest rate changes by a quarter of a percent, or leaves you with an empty bank account every month.
If you listen to the show, you’ve heard me say this a bunch of times: banks care about making money. They don’t care about you.
After talking to Boyce for over an hour, I actually believe that he cares about his clients.
A house is usually the biggest purchase of your life. So for the biggest purchase of your life it really makes sense to me to go see a specialist.
Boyce currently works for The Personal Mortgage Group, a brokerage founded by his mom, Suzanne in the early 90s. This brokerage is all about trust, integrity and financial wellness. They have 92 5-star reviews on Google and if you’re in the Hamilton area, you should really check them out.
But Boyce wasn’t always the mortgage expert he is today. Here’s Boyce to tell his personal finance story.
47 - Eric Arnold
August 17th, 2018
Engel Jones has conducted over 2,000 interviews since 2016. They were all at least 12 minutes long.
In 2016 Engel decided that he was going to do 1001 interviews in 3 months, using a framework of questions that he came up with that take around 12 minutes and are meant to help you discover Your Own Unique Real Self. He called it Twelve Minute Convos. This was all done from his home in Trinidad with guests from everywhere in the world.
Let’s think about this for a second: 1001 interviews divided by 90 days is around 11 interviews per day.
When I schedule interviews for The Personal Finance Show, I do one, maybe 2 per day. Whether it takes an hour or 12 minutes, interviewing someone takes a lot of energy and creativity.
When the 1001 interviews were completed, Engel released a workbook called Your Own Unique Real Self, a reflective self-discovery guide, which is now available on Amazon.
As if that wasn’t enough, in 2017 Engel decided to try it again! This time focusing on interviewing other podcasters. He got to 813. That’s 1814 conversations in 2 years. My 12 minute convo was episode 1,437.
And as of March 2018, which is the last episode published on iTunes, the episode count is at 1987.
But it doesn’t end there! In June of 2018 Engel and his wife Amanda(who is a registered nurse and published author) decided to leave Trinidad and make a 12 week journey across North America to meet and do follow-up interviews in-person with as many previous guests as possible.
So they are way past 2,000 episodes now - they just haven’t been published on to the podcast feed yet. They are all on Facebook and YouTube if you search for #12minconvos. The in-person interviews are currently at episode 289 and you can find me on episode 106
It was a privilege to host Engel and Amanda at my home in Hamilton, and provide them with a place to stay while on their journey. If you like what they are doing and want to throw them some support, head over to gofundme.com/12minconvos.
Engel agreed to take a break from being the interviewer for a whole hour, to share his personal finance story and how 12 Minute Convos came to be.
46 - Boyce Collins
August 10th, 2018
Tom Kuegler graduated from college with a degree in marketing, over $80,000 in school debt (that’s US dollars by the way) and couldn’t find a job in marketing.
He realized that he was good at writing and started taking whatever writing jobs he could. At one point Tom would write 2,000-3,000 words a day at his online writing job and he was only making $15 for every 600 word post. Have you ever tried consistently writing 2,000 words every day? It’s hard. And even harder when it’s about things you aren’t even interested in.
Today, Tom has 23,000 followers on the popular blogging platform Medium.com and that number grows every day. Tom has been so successful on Medium that he launched an online course called The Medium Mastery Academy, where he shows you how to get followers on Medium and how to monetize your writing skills as he did.
But Tom only got to where he is today because he never gave up on himself. I think it’s sometimes too easy to keep a job we don’t like because it pays well enough and there’s $80,000 of debt staring us in the face.
Tom joined me from the other side of the world in Indonesia to tell his personal finance story.
45 - Engel Jones
August 2nd, 2018
Leanna Haakons grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. She realized early on that if she wanted to make a living for herself that she had to build skills and take advantage of opportunities as they came to her.
So it’s no surprise that at the age of 30, she is running her own financial services marketing firm, Blackhawk Financial, and is a best-selling author with her new book Young, Fun and Financially Free.
Often we think that we have to sacrifice today to build wealth for the future. And we also think that money management has to be boring and complicated.
Leanna wrote her book to help you realize that you can create a wealthy future and still life the good life today. A lot of it has to do with having the right mindset. And it doesn’t have to be so serious!
Leanna joined me from Vancouver to tell her personal finance story and how she is able to be Young, Fun and Financially Free.
44 - Tom Kuegler
July 26th, 2018
Ian Clarke was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) for 26.5 years and as of 2017 is the current CFO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).
As a CFO, he manages the finances of corporations, but is corporate finance really that different from personal finance?
As it turns out, they are pretty much the same except for the human emotions that are involved in personal finance.
Emotional spending and emotional investing can lead a rational person to spend money they don’t have or gamble money they can’t afford to lose.
But often the way out of a bad financial situation is to put the emotions aside and treat our personal finances like a business.
In a business, you are accountable for your financial actions, as you should be in your personal life.
But what happens instead is that you might decide you want to buy something, before you calculate whether you can afford it. It is this kind of behaviour, encouraged and promoted by the credit card companies, that leads people into real financial trouble.
So have a listen to Ian’s personal finance story, and his experience as a CFO, and hopefully you will see the value in his rational approach to money management, and life in general.
43 - Leanna Haakons