The Personal Finance Show

The Personal Finance Show is a place for people to tell their personal finance stories. Everyone has a personal finance story.

40 - Mark Rivard

July 13th, 2018

What does a book about quitting smoking have to do with your personal finances?

That’s what I asked my friend Mark Rivard when he told me about his personal finance story.

I know you’re thinking, if you quit smoking, then you save money. Sure that’s part of it, but the money saved on cigarettes is not going to make a huge dent in $20,000 of credit card and student loan debt.

When Mark told me his story, I knew that other people needed to hear it.

You see Mark got a bit too comfortable living off the generosity of others.

We all go through periods like this in our lives. Maybe we’re just figuring things out and a friend or family member helps us get through the low income, or financially difficult times of our life.

But how do you learn to take care of yourself financially, when you’re so used to relying on handouts?

Where does the motivation come from to make a change?

Just because people keep offering you help, doesn’t mean that you should take it.

And this advice also extends to the “help” that credit cards offer you in times of need. Credit cards can often seem like a great tool to fund the life that you want. But they come at a huge cost, which you might not realize until you’re swimming in debt. At that’s the point when you might really need help, but you already used up all of your handouts. What do you do in this situation?

I’m so glad that Mark decided to open up and tell his story. It’s important to hear and I hope that hearing it helps you or someone you know make a positive change.



If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Personal Finance Show.

Next week, my guest will be Brian Daley, Co-Founder and CEO of a company called SmartRefer.

39 - Tyler Sheff

July 6th, 2018

Tyler Sheff doesn’t believe that real estate is a “get rich quick” investment. His team understands the value of the old saying that “slow and steady wins the race”.

Many people look to real estate as a way to make some quick money, or guaranteed returns.  But it’s way more complicated than that and if you don’t understand what you’re getting into, you can easily lose your shirt, and more, by getting into real estate with a lack of financial intelligence.

Tyler started Cashflow Guys because he knows how challenging it can be to deal with all the pieces of the puzzle.  Tyler is so serious about making sure that you are a good fit with his program that he doesn’t just take anyone as a client.  There are some people that just don’t have the right mindset to get into real estate right now. And if Tyler notices that, he tells them to keep their money and sends them packing.

This isn’t about Tyler making money while others lose money.  His whole business is about connecting the right people and ensuring that everyone involved is successful.

But Tyler didn’t get into real estate until later in life.  Let’s start at the beginning - to a small town called Hamburg, New York.




If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.  It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Personal Finance Show.

Next week, my guest will be a good friend of mine, Mark Rivard  He has a great personal finance story and I’m excited for you to hear it.

38 - Mark Podolsky

June 28th, 2018

Mark Podolsky buys land from people that don’t want it and sells it to people who do.

He’s done this over 5,000 times since he started in 2001, and he averages a 300% return on every deal. For example, if he buys a parcel of land for $2,500, he would sell it for $10,000, making a $7,500 profit.

As Mark says:

“There are billions of acres of raw land and only a handful of people doing this.”

So he launched The Land Geek to teach others how to:

“Learn the Art of Engineering Geeky Systems that Create, Grow, and Protect Your Cash Flow​.”

When I heard about Mark’s success in land, I had a few questions, and maybe you are wondering these things too:

Who owns land and why do they want to sell it to Mark, and for so little?

Who’s buying this land from Mark and why would they pay 4 times the price?

Why don’t the buyer and seller do this directly? Why do they need Mark to be in the middle?

These and all the other questions you have about buying and selling raw land will be answered by Mark in this episode. But first, let’s hear about Mark’s personal finance story.


Mark, is offering his $97 Passive Income Launch Kit for FREE to listeners of The Personal Finance Show. If you like what you hear in today’s episode, just email and mention that you heard Mark on the show and you’ll get the kit for free.



If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Personal Finance Show.

Next week’s guest will be Tyler Sheff from Cash Flow Guys.

37 - The Future of Payments

June 22nd, 2018

This episode is about the Future of Payments in Canada and around the world.

How do you pay for things today, in your personal and business lives?

Cash, cheque, credit, debit, wire transfers, email money transfers?

Maybe you’re living in the future and pay for everything with your phone.

Have you ever wondered if cash and cheques, aka paper transactions will always be around?  Did you know that 875 million cheques were written in Canada last year?

That might surprise you if you don’t even have a chequebook.  

But many businesses still rely on cheques to make all of their payments.  It provides a paper trail, or audit trail, if you always have the Canada Revenue Agency on your mind.

Will it always be this way?  What does the future of payments hold?

To understand the future, it might help to understand more about how payments are processed today.

In May 2018, I was at the Payments Canada Summit and interviewed 4 people about the future of payments:  

Sue Whitney of Payments Canada - 2:18

Sam Mulligan of Mobeewave - 11:32

Chris Chan of Dwello - 15:44

Laurence Cooke of Nanopay - 30:06



If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.  It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Personal Finance Show.

Next week’s guest will be Mark Podolsky,  aka The Land Geek.

36 - Gordon Stein

June 14th, 2018


Gord Stein wants you to build 2 million dollars in wealth over the next 10 years.


If you implement every cashflow savings idea in his book, and then take that saved money and invest it over 10 years at 7%, you will have an extra $2 million.


How does that sound?


Ok, maybe every part of the book doesn’t apply to you, but with 60 different cashflow recipes, you will find some area of your life where you can save.


The point is that, wherever you are spending money in your life, you need to review that spending every so often to see that it makes sense.


Paying $100 a month for a storage locker?  What’s really in there? Could you sell the stuff, and invest the $100 a month instead?


Buy your lunch every day at work for $10?  That’s $50 a week. $2,500 year.


If you invested $50 a week for 10 years, you would have $38,000.  In 20 years $114,000.


This isn’t about giving up stuff, it’s about making little changes in your expenses that don’t really impact your quality of life, but free up small amounts of cash flow.  


And if you apply these little changes to all the areas of your life, the little bits add up.


Gord spent 2 years compiling the list for you and put it all in a handy guide he called the Cashflow Cookbook. He sat down with me in Toronto to tell his personal finance story.



If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.  It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Personal Finance Show.

Next week is my Future of Payments episode featuring Sam Mulligan from Mobeewave, Chris Chan from Dwello, Laurence Cooke from Nanopay and Sue Whitney from Payments Canada.

35 - Barry Choi

June 7th, 2018


Barry Choi wasn't always a personal finance expert.  Back in his 20s he didn't know anything about investment fees or what he should be investing in.

But when someone suggested that he might be paying more than he needed to, he quickly found that it was even worse than he thought.

That incident from 10 years ago kicked Barry into high gear and created the personal finance expert we know him to be today.

Barry is also one of Canada’s leading travel experts and blogs about his travels, and various personal finance topics on his site

Barry has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Financial Post and MoneySense magazine, just to name a few, and he’s made many appearances on Canadian TV over the years.

Barry joined me in Toronto to tell his personal finance story.


36 - Gordon Stein

34 - Jeff Cates (Small Business Episode)

May 31st, 2018


Jeff Cates is the president and CEO of Intuit Canada, the company behind QuickBooks Online, TurboTax and

There are 13 guests on this episode!

Here are the times they all appear if you’re looking for someone specific:

4:55 - Jeff Cates, President and CEO of Intuit Canada

25:34 - Claire Niburski from Knit Technologies 

26:50 - Rhys Mohun from FundThrough

27:50 - Christian Ali from Dream Payments

29:43 - Brendan Woods from AutoEntry 

31:01 - Paul Abrams from WayPay 

31:54 - Geoffrey Gualano from HubDoc 

32:52 - Charmaine Cheung from Plooto 

33:59 - Lisa Zamparo from

35:03 - Elliott Stone from MDTax 

36:42 - Cathy Bonch from ACCPro Services

37:33 - Londale Lindo-Sewell from ACCPro Services

38:10 - Vicki Curtis from Curtis-Villar and her new company Digitfy Inc.

Read the rest of this entry »

33 - Raj Lala

May 24th, 2018

Raj Lala is an investment fund artist.

I talk about exchange traded funds(ETFs) a lot.

How the best portfolio is a diversified portfolio. And how the simplest way to diversify is to buy a handful of ETFs that are built to mimic certain parts of the market.

Robo-advisors, for example will usually have what we like to call “buckets” made up of ETFs that balance each other out to try to achieve an overall return, depending on your level of risk tolerance.

But how are these ETFs built?

Who creates funds and how are they created?

The answer is that there are a handful of people out there who are skilled at taking a bunch of investments and packaging them together in a bundle, or fund.

This is more of an art form than something you can learn about in books.

The art of fund-building is something that is acquired over years of practice, but there’s also a lot of natural talent to start with, like someone who is a great artist or musician. You have to have some talent to start with and then you hone your craft.

Raj Lala is one of these artists.

With his new company Evolve ETFs, Raj is focused on investments encompassing topics that intersect in Canadians’ daily lives.

Products like their North American Gender Diversity ETF, which invests in top North American companies as ranked by Equileap’s extensive Gender Scorecard, which includes 19 criteria of gender balance and gender equality.

I met Raj at the Evolve office in Toronto where he shared his personal finance journey and the idea of investing in financial products that mean something to you.



If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Personal Finance Show. Like I said at the beginning of the episode, next week is my small business episode and the launch of my new site I’m really excited about this and I hope that you tune in next week and check out the new site.

32 - Laurie Campbell

May 17th, 2018

Laurie Campbell is very passionate about improving financial literacy.

When I saw her speak at the Financial Wellness and Retirement Readiness Conference in February of 2018, I was impressed by her devotion to helping people solve debt problems.

Getting out of debt is hard and involves a lot of sacrifice.

But for some people it’s even harder to not get into debt in the first place. There are people, like myself, who had mental health and addiction issues in the past, and that led to an overwhelming amount of debt.

This is very hard to avoid, but as Laurie and I discuss in the interview, you can get out sooner if you reach out for help early. The problem is that there is still so much stigma, shame and embarrassment surrounding consumer debt, and people feel that they need to keep it to themselves and fix it on their own.

What happens is that their consumer debt gets larger and by the time people end up at Laurie’s office, they’re in big trouble.

But as Laurie has found out in her 25 years at Credit Canada, it’s never too late to make the changes to your life that are needed to get yourself out of debt and on the right track.

I visited Laurie at her office in Toronto to learn about her personal finance story and how she ended up as CEO of Credit Canada, a Canadian Registered Charity dedicated to helping Canadians overcome debt problems and improve their personal money management skills.



If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening The Personal Finance Show. I'll be back next week with Raj Lala, President and CEO of Evolve ETFs.

31 - Matthew Jarvis

May 10th, 2018

Matthew Jarvis is not a magician.

Yet there are those that come to him when they are about to retire and expect him to make a small amount of retirement savings last for 30 years.

Matthew is a Certified Financial Planner who’s clients are exclusively retired, or within 5 years of doing so, with at least $500,000 saved up.

Depending on your current lifestyle, half a million dollars might seems like either a lot of money, or very little, to last for 30 years. And that’s the thing about retirement planning. It’s very specific to the individual or couple, and what they intend to do with those next 30 years.

The truth is, everyone’s afraid of running out of money and there’s no shame in that. What’s important is that you talk to someone about it before it’s too late.

Though he is still a young man of 36, Matthew has been able to build Jarvis Financial into a very successful business since he started in the industry in the early 2000s.

He currently manages over $115 million in assets for his clients and has structured his business in a way that allows him to take over 80 days of vacation every year, spending quality time with his 3 kids, while still providing full service to his clients.

Matthew joined me from the Seattle, Washington area to tell his personal finance story.



If you liked this episode please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. It would mean a lot to me and it only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much for listening The Personal Finance Show. I'll be back next week with Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada.

30 - Hamza Khan

May 3rd, 2018


Hamza Khan had a toxic relationship with money.

Obsessing about saving and spending caused a lot of stress in his family when he was young, so when he started making his own money, he just didn’t want to go there at all.

But when you’re not paying attention to your finances, things can get out of hand, even if you’re making good money.

During this time, Hamza was also experiencing what he know realizes was burnout.

Driven by his need to prove to his family that he could be successful in the world of marketing, he would forego sleep and work insane hours to achieve as much as possible.

But a series of troubling incidents led him to question his way of doing things.

This introspection ultimately led him to write his new book “The Burnout Gamble”. Hamza joined me to talk about burnout, productivity, freedom, mental health and his personal finance story.

“If a budget for your money is a reflection of your priorities, then your calendar is a reflection of your most valuable resource, which is time.” - Hamza Khan


31 - Matthew Jarvis

29 - John Kalos

April 26th, 2018

John Kalos worked in a bank for a long time.

Over the years he realized that the bank’s mandate was to sell products first and helping people took a back seat to this mandate.

He found himself in a situation where he was being told he had to sell investment products that weren’t right for his clients.

John had enough and decided he could be a financial planner on his own, without the bank forcing sales quotas on him. He could offer his clients the right products for them, based on their individual life situation and goals.

Once out on his own, he could so clearly see that people were still being taken advantage of by the banks, so he created his podcast “Confessions of an Ex-Banker”, which strives to inform Canadians about the important financial stuff that the banks won’t tell you, because it’s not going to help them sell more products.

John is very passionate about actually helping people, and not just selling them a product to get a commission, and then hanging them out to dry, which is unfortunately what many financial professionals have done in the past, leading to mistrust and skepticism of everyone in the personal finance business.

John joined me from Montreal, Quebec to tell his personal finance story and how he’s trying to help people achieve their financial goals.

John's website: 



30 - Hamza Khan

28 - Shannon Lee Simmons

April 19th, 2018


Shannon Lee Simmons wants everyone to have access to unbiased and affordable financial advice.

In late 2010, frustrated that Bay street was only interested in clients that have tons of money, she left her high paying job to start the Barter Babes project. Shannon would offer her financial services in exchange for any good or service that she needed.

Over one year Shannon helped over 300 women and never once accepted cash for her services. Unable to go back to Bay street after that, Shannon realized her only option was to start the best fee-only financial planning firm in Canada.

She called it the New School of Finance and she never looked back.

When she's not helping people at the New School, you can find Shannon in just about every newspaper, and all over Canadian television, promoting her new book Worry-Free Money.

Shannon was nice enough to host me at the New School of Finance where we talked about her personal finance journey.

Shannon was also the first guest to agree to sing on the podcast! Look for that fun segment near the end of the episode.


29 - John Kalos

27 - Brendan Lee Young and Brendan Wood

April 12th, 2018


There are two main types of investing, active and passive.

Active investing is typically for people who have a deep understanding of the investments they are working with. They are trying to time the market by buying an investment when it is low, and growing it to the point where it's grown enough to achieve whatever profit goals they set, then selling that product for a profit. The classic buy low sell high strategy. You have to be paying attention to what's going on in the world and be ready for quick movement to avoid losses. There are people who are very good at this but it is highly risky and not for everyone.

Passive investment is when you buy something and hold onto it. You pay attention as it grows over the years and you control your overall risk by keeping your investments balanced based on the amount of risk you are willing to accept. A typical passive investment is an exchange traded fund or index fund. Passive investment can be done through robo advisors automatically, they take care of the risk management for a small fee, or you can open a brokerage account and do it yourself.

Typically passive investors fall into these two categories: You just want to keep it simple and live your life so you pay a robo advisor half a percent and they take care of everything. You decide you want control over your investments and also want to try to save money on fees and do it all yourself. Usually this type of person enjoys monitoring their investments and taking a hands on role, at least on a semi regular basis.

But what if you fall somewhere in the middle?

You don't want to spend a lot of time on your investments, but you also want to have full control and try to minimize your fees.

Brendan Wood and Brendan Lee Young fall into this category.

They wanted to invest their own money but realized there were so many tedious tasks that still had to be done manually through their online brokerage.

So they created a tool to automate all the manual stuff. A kind of Swiss army knife for do-it-yourself investors.

Both Brendans joined me from the province of New Brunswick to share their personal finance stories and talk about their new portfolio management tool Passiv.

5 Steps to Passive Investing for Retirement:



28 - Shannon Lee Simmons

26 - Matt Matheson

April 5th, 2018


By day, Matt Matheson is a teacher and assistant principal, but when the day is done he takes on his role of Canada's newest personal finance blogger.

Matt started writing at in October 2017 and since then has gotten the attention of some major personal finance publications.

In January 2018 he was published in MoneySense magazine and just recently he was a guest blogger on the popular personal finance site

Matt joined me from Edmonton, Alberta to tell his personal finance story.


27 - Brendan Lee Young and Brendan Wood

25 - Eric Brotman

March 29th, 2018


Eric Brotman understands that a relationship with a financial planner is a multi-generational thing.

I talk about this a lot on the show, but it’s all about a holistic plan that takes into account all the financial aspects of your life, and it’s about reviewing the plan once or twice a year and changing it to match your goals and objectives as they change throughout the course of your life.

This is an ongoing thing. It’s not a one-time plan or a transactional thing. This is a lifetime deal.

In the interview, Eric didn’t list what he calls his “alphabet soup” of designation letters after his name. He’s got a lot of professional designations and that’s not a bad thing, but as he says, you can’t get a diploma in integrity and hang it on the wall. Confidence is something you earn.

So yes, credentials are nice, but never blindly trust someone because they have a lot of letters after their name. Talk to them and make sure that they’re listening to your story and working towards your goals.

And it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion.

I couldn’t make it down to Maryland anytime soon so Eric joined me online to tell his personal finance story.


26 - Matt Matheson

DISCLAIMER: Eric offers securities through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS are not affiliated with Brotman Financial Group or any entity referenced herein. Neither Kestra IS nor Kestra AS provide tax or legal advice. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation. Comments concerning the past performance are not intended to be forward looking and should not be viewed as an indication of future results.​

24 - Cait Flanders

March 22nd, 2018

In 2011, Cait Flanders had credit card debt of $30,000, no more available credit, $100 in the bank, and had to move back in with her parents.

Cait decided to reboot the blog she had previously deleted, called Blonde on a Budget, hoping that writing about it would help with her debt repayment and struggles with overspending.

Since that first post in June 2011, on what has now become, Cait paid off her $30,000 in full, got a job offer because of her blog, and came up with this crazy idea of going on a one-year shopping ban.

And then after a friend wrote an article on about her shopping ban, she was contacted by 6 different literary agents asking if she wanted to write a book.

And she did!

It’s called The Year of Less, and it came out in January 2018.

Cait joined me in Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods park to talk about her personal finance journey.


Note: special thanks to PaullPeterson (Twitter) realtorchef (Instagram) for the picture of us in the park.



25 - Eric Brotman

23 - Megan Nobrega

March 16th, 2018

Carrot Rewards is a free app for your smartphone or Fitbit that helps you earn your favourite reward points by making healthy lifestyle choices.

What if I told you that you would get a reward every time you went for a walk?

Ok, sometimes I'll reward myself by walking to the donut shop, but I'm not talking about that kind of reward.

My favourite part of the app is the steps section. It tracks the steps I take every day to come up with my average daily steps and then rewards me with a few points every day I exceed my average.

But healthy lifestyle choices aren't just about walking. As I discussed in episode 20 with Canada's Financial Literacy Leader Jane Rooney, financial wellness is just as important as physical and mental wellness.

And let's not forget environmental wellness which is about living a lifestyle that respects our surroundings. For all of these other wellness topics Carrot Rewards sends you offers in the form of quizzes and surveys within the app that take only a few minutes to complete.

Megan Nobrega introduced me to Carrot Rewards at the Canadian Personal Finance Conference in November 217 so I decided to visit her at her office and find out more about her personal finance story and how she ended up at Carrot.

Update: Carrot Rewards now has over 750,000 users in Canada!

P.S. Once you get the Carrot Rewards app, use my code to get bonus rewards: beauh1933



24 - Cait Flanders

22 - Richard Peddie

March 8th, 2018

Since he was 20 years old, Richard Peddie dreamed about being president of an NBA basketball team.

In November of 1996 his dream became reality when he was offered the job of president of the Toronto Raptors.

In 1998, the Toronto Maple Leafs bought the Raptors and Richard became President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment or MLSE.

Richard ran MLSE for 14 years and for 6 of those years, I worked there as Event Accountant in the Live Entertainment department, or as we liked to say, the E in MLSE.

What I remember most about Richard was that he always seemed very approachable. He was always very appreciative of our work in Live Entertainment, and probably the biggest fan of the company band, which I was lucky enough to be part of for 6 years.

I got to play on stage at the Air Canada Centre several times, and one time I even got to do a live performance with Alan Frew from the band Glass Tiger. I doubt that any of this would have happened if Richard didn’t approve.

Richard taught me the importance of having a vision and values in business but also in the rest of your life as well. Knowing my core values helps me feel confident about big decisions I make.

And I believe it’s important that when you’re applying for a job that you make sure that at least a few of your top values align with those of the company.

Since retiring from MLSE, Richard has written two books.

Dream Job is his autobiography and takes you through his journey in detail.

21 Leadership Lessons is his second book and though at first you might think it is a book reserved for business leaders, after reading it I realized how applicable these lessons are to everyone.

I wanted to have Richard on the show because I believe his lessons about values, leadership, integrity, and yes even thank you cards, are important for everyone to hear, and can be applied to your personal life as well as your career.

Today, at 71, Richard is a passionate city builder and philanthropist. He is active on Twitter and regularly writes posts on his website

I feel very fortunate to know Richard and grateful that he agreed to host me in his home for this interview.



23 - Megan Nobrega

21 - Lindsay and Graham Plumb

March 1st, 2018

Lindsay and Graham Plumb want you to be unstoppable with your personal finances.

If you’re 30 to 45 years old, for example, and you have a couple of kids, and a mortgage, maybe unstoppable is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of your finances. But this is actually the most important time of your life financially.

This is the time when tracking your spending, paying down your mortgage, having the right insurance and building up that emergency fund is crucial.

And then there’s the investing part - do you want to put some away for the kids’ education in an RESP account, and what about investing for retirement? Lindsay and Graham know how hard it is to wrap your head around all this stuff.

They were working in the traditional mutual fund and insurance business and realized there wasn’t a whole lot of holistic financial planning available. Holistic financial planning is when someone looks at your whole financial picture.

Do you have debt? Do you have existing investments that cost too much?

What are your goals around money? Do you want your kids to have a education fund or would you rather they take out loans themselves in the future and learn something in the process?

Do you have an emergency fund? Do you have insurance?

And when Lindsay and Graham tried to help clients with basic personal finance stuff like tracking and budgeting, the company they worked for told them: We don’t do that here.

How were they going to make you unstoppable, if all they were allowed to do was sell you products and then send you on your way?

This is the story of Lindsay and Graham Plumb and their company Moola Financial Coaches and Advisors.



22 - Richard Peddie

20 - Jane Rooney

February 23rd, 2018

Did you know that Canada has a Financial Literacy Leader?

It's true.

Jane Rooney was appointed Canada's Financial Literacy Leader in 2014 within the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).

Yes, there is a government official whose main job is to make sure Canadians are financially literate.

Jane is awesome and she's joining me in the second half of this episode.

But first let’s talk about the only reason I even know Jane exists, and that’s because of the Conference Board of Canada.

Earlier this week, February 21st and 22nd, 2018, they hosted a conference called Financial Wellness and Retirement Readiness.

While preparing for the conference I found out the FCAC was a sponsor and they offered me an interview with Jane Rooney.

From the Conference Board I was offered an interview with their Vice-President of Industry, Strategy and Public Policy, Louis Thériault.

Louis gave a great presentation about the current state of financial wellness in the workplace.

After the presentation I sat down with Louis and asked him how he got into this world of economic and policy analysis.

As Louis says in the interview, there is a quadruple gain with financial wellness programs: The employee gets financial information and support to get out of financial trouble or to prevent them from getting into it in the first place; the employer benefits from less down time and more productivity; the insurers save money when overall health is improved; and, overall wellness is good for society as a whole.

So companies are making positive changes, what about the government?

When I started researching Jane Rooney for this interview, I was totally surprised by the commitment the government has made to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.

A common theme at the conference and in the discussion with Jane is the importance of overall wellness.

Whether you go through what I did and have mental health issues that caused addiction which led to financial problems, or whether you have unanticipated financial issues, which in turn may cause mental health issues, we now understand that one can’t be addressed without looking at the others.

And though we didn’t focus on it, physical wellness including healthy eating habits play a huge part in overall wellness as well.

I would like to thank Jane and Louis for taking the time to share their stories and insight. It’s comforting to know that there are people out there who are looking out for us and trying to improve the overall well-being of Canadians.

Here's the link to the FCAC hotline that Jane mentioned in the episode:



21 - Lindsay and Graham Plumb

19 - Allison Suter

February 14th, 2018

Allison Suter is a total tax nerd.

When someone mentions income taxes, do you get excited or are you filled with dread?

Do you wait until the last possible moment to file your taxes?

When you finally start the process, are you so on edge that if the slightest thing goes wrong you want to throw your laptop across the room?

And when it’s over, are you 100% sure that you messed it up somehow?

If this sounds like you, you should probably check out SimpleTax.

Allison Suter is a former tax lawyer.

One day she was doing her taxes online and started wondering: Why is preparing my tax return so complicated? Why is tax software so slow and expensive?

If a tax nerd like Allison thinks it’s complicated, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Luckily for us, Allison and her co-founders decided to build what they like to call “the best tax software in Canada”.

Allison joined me from Vancouver to talk about how she went from tax lawyer, to world traveller, to wedding photographer and finally to SimpleTax. 



20 - Jane Rooney

18 - Amélie Arras

February 8th, 2018


For the Money 20/20 Payments Race in October 2017, Amélie Arras chose bitcoin as her method of payment and made her way from Toronto to Las Vegas in a week.


Imagine you’re visiting Europe for the first time.

For some reason you didn’t think to buy any Euros before you left home. You are Canadian, so all you have is Canadian dollars on you.

You find out that things have changed recently in Europe and there is no longer a way to exchange your Canadian dollars for Euros.

Your only option is to try to find businesses and people who will accept your Canadian dollars.

You’ll need food so you start by asking at various restaurants, and each one says, sorry, we don’t accept Canadian dollars.

You have internet access so you’re able to search for the Canadian community in the city you are in. You eventually find someone who agrees to take your Canadian dollars in exchange for some food and transport to your hotel.

But not every city in Europe will be like this.

Luckily you have some hotels pre-booked, but for most everything else you’re going to have to figure it out along the way.

This is what it’s like to travel with only Bitcoin.


Somehow, using only bitcoin, Amélie won the payments race.

Amélie joined me from the UK to tell her bitcoin story.


19 - Allison Suter

17 - Jessica Moorhouse (Payments Race)

February 1st, 2018


Jessica Moorhouse travelled from Toronto to Las Vegas over one week using only a chip and pin credit card.

It’s October 2017 and I’m at the SIBOS global financial services conference in Toronto. I post something about the conference on Facebook and my friend Jessica Moorhouse comments that she’ll be at the conference tomorrow.

I had just found out that she would be participating in this payments race - think of it as the amazing race for money nerds.

It turned out the race was going to start the next day from the conference that I was already attending.

I was able to get an interview with all 5 contestants in the race, Jessica being the only Canadian.

All 5 racers had to make it from Toronto to Las Vegas in a week, using different methods of payment.

There was bitcoin, gold, contactless ring/apple pay, cash, and Jessica had to use a chip and pin credit card.

Maybe you’re thinking, that’s easy.

You can pay for everything with a chip and pin credit card in North America, right?

That’s what the race is all about.

The organizers didn’t do a trial run from Toronto to Vegas and try all of those methods to see if it was possible.

The race was created to find out if it is possible.

So Jessica and the other contestants headed out into the unknown to see whether it would be a breeze or if they would run into obstacles along the way.

Jessica joined me a few weeks after the race to tell her side of the story.


If you want all the details about Jessica’s payments race journey, you can find them here:

Personal finance bloggers who helped Jessica along the way:

Cait Flanders:

Michelle Jackson:

Barry Choi:


18 - Amélie Arras

16 - Stephen Weyman

January 23rd, 2018


Stephen Weyman knows a lot about credit cards.


In my opinion, credit cards should only be used in one way:  I think you should only buy something with a credit card if that money is sitting in your bank account right now.

Credit cards are not for borrowing.

Please don't use credit cards for borrowing.

There are times in our lives when we need to borrow money. But credit cards are one of the worst tools for borrowing. The interest rate is way too high.

So just promise me that if you ever really need money, right now, and you're thinking about borrowing it with a credit card, look at other options first.

Maybe a loan or a line of credit with a lower rate.

Just look at other options and only borrow with a credit card as a last resort. Credit cards are a tool for convenience and benefits.

Now that you have agreed to only spend money you have in the bank, I can introduce you to Stephen Weyman and his new website called Credit Card Genius.

There are so many options when it comes to getting a credit card.

Before I talked to Stephen, I would have told you to never get a credit card with an annual fee.

You know I hate fees.

But what if the benefits you get when you use the card are much higher than the annual fee?

Example: Before I owned a car I rented cars all the time. Many credit cards come with collision and damage coverage if you book the rental car with the card. If you don't have a card with collision and damage coverage, the rental company will charge you $30 per day. That's an extra $210 on a rental for just a week. So if you rent a car for a week, even once a year, maybe a $99 annual fee on a credit card isn't so bad.

This is just one example of a credit card benefit. But there are so many that trying to remember them is making my brain hurt.

That's where Stephen and Credit Card Genius can help.

For over 7 years Stephen has been the mastermind behind the website And while he included credit card reviews on, he realized the world of credit card selection was complex and needed its own space.

So Stephen found all of the credit card options in Canada and put them on one site.

Turns out there are more than 150 different options.

He even built some cool features to help you find the credit card that works best for you. Stephen joined me in downtown Toronto for my first outdoor and underground mobile episode of The Personal Finance Show.

(And a special shout out to Daniel Trezub from for making that cameo at the end.)


17 - Jessica Moorhouse (Payments Race)