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.

50 - Tina from Money Flamingo

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 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


49 - Bessie Hassan

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,

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


48 - Kylie Travers

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

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



47 - Eric Arnold

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


46 - Boyce Collins

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


45 - Engel Jones

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

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


44 - Tom Kuegler

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 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


43 - Leanna Haakons

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


42 - Ian Clarke

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


41 - Brian Daley

July 19th, 2018



Did you know that it can cost $30,000 to hire someone in the tech industry?

Let’s say you have a company and you want to hire a data scientist or mobile developer. Maybe you’ll pay them a $100,000 salary. Tech recruitment companies could charge you 30% of that first year’s salary to find you the right person.

Why would you pay this much to hire someone? Well, hiring is complicated.

You want to find the right person, but you might not have the network or the resources to do that. You don’t want to waste your time and end up having to settle for whoever’s available, so that’s why recruiters exist. They’re specialists.

Plus, the best people are going to go to the Googles and Microsofts of the world and if you are a small company, they might not even know you exist.

But there’s gotta be a better way than spending $30,000 to hire someone, right?

That’s what Brian Daley thought when he started his new company SmartRefer, which is the first open-source employee referral platform to leverage blockchain technology.

Brian didn’t start out in the recruiting business, or the tech business, but he always had this philosophy of keeping his options open, and constantly building skills and relationships.

Let’s hear Brian’s personal finance story and how his personal philosophy has led him to where he is today.


42 - Ian Clarke


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.


41 - Brian Daley


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.



40 - Mark Rivard


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.


39 -Tyler Sheff


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


38 - Mark Podolsky


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.


37 - The Future of Payments


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. 

I am sooo excited about this episode. If you listen to the show, you probably know that I'm a personal finance coach. I help people organize and simplify their personal finances. 

But I also have tons of experience with bookkeeping and accounting so, on the small business side I am also a bookkeeping coach. I help people learn how to do their basic small business bookkeeping. And because QuickBooks Online (QBO) has this awesome program for accountants and bookkeepers, I became a QBO ProAdvisor. 

But maybe you don't need a coach like me. Maybe you need an experienced bookkeeper or accountant who knows your type of business. Maybe someone who's done small business tax returns for the last 20 years and understands how to make sure the Canada Revenue Agency doesn't come knocking at your door, and if they do, you’re ready for them. 

People ask me to recommend an accountant all the time.

They want someone they can trust.

So I decided to build my new site is Canada's Bookkeeping and Accounting Hub and it is live today!

I have featured accountants who I've met and are real people. You will hear from them later in this episode.

There are tons of companies that have created apps that are integrated with QBO. These are apps that make data entry easier, help you get paid quicker and make payroll and benefits really easy, just to name a few. I met some of these QBO partners and you'll hear from a few of them later in the show too.

But first up in the show, I was lucky enough to get an interview with Jeff Cates, president and CEO of Intuit Canada, the company behind QuickBooks Online, TurboTax and

At the December 2017 QuickBooks Connect conference in Toronto we talked about how automation and artificial intelligence are changing the way we manage business finances. There’s some really fascinating stuff coming that is going to ultimately make it easier for the user, YOU, to focus on growing your business, instead of worrying about your accounting.

I put all this together to help you get your business organized. That’s what my new site is about. Whether it’s me or someone else you find on the site, I want to make sure you know where to find the tools you need and the right people to help you. So head over to to find all the links that were mentioned by any of the 13 guests on today’s episode. 


35 - Barry Choi 


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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.


34 - Jeff Cates


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.


33 - Raj Lala


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.


32 - Laurie Campbell


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.


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