Money For the Rest of Us
Money For the Rest of Us
J. David Stein
A personal finance and investing podcast on money, how it works, how to invest it and how to live without worrying about it. J. David Stein is a former Chief Investment Strategist and money manager. For close to two decades, he has been teaching individuals and institutions how to invest and handle their finances in ways that are simple to understand. More info at
Is Student Loan Forgiveness A Good Idea?
Should the U.S. cancel $10,000 or more of student loan debt per borrower? What would be the economic and financial impact? Why the student loan system is broken and how to fix it. Topics covered include:How large and what is the growth rate of U.S. student loan balancesWhat are the projections for student loan lossesWhat are the pros and cons of forgiving student loansWhat would be the impact on federal finances of canceling student loansWhy the U.S. government is already technically insolventHow student loan programs should be restructured Thanks to LinkedIn and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode. Show Notes Student Loans Owned and Securitized, Outstanding—Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louise Senate majority gives Biden path to student loan forgiveness by Sylvan Lane—The Hill Schumer pressures Biden to bypass Congress to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower by Annie Nova—CNBC Biden will call on Congress to forgive $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers by Annie Nova—CNBC Outreach From Borrowers Could Overwhelm Student Loan System When Pandemic Pauses End by: Sarah Sattelmeyer and Lexi West—PEW Financial Report of the United States Government FY 2019 Warren makes case to Fed chair for canceling student loan debt by Naomi Jagoda—The Hill Student Loan Losses Seen Costing U.S. More Than $400 Billion by Josh Mitchell—The Wall Street Journal Final Monthly Treasury Statement Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government For Fiscal Year 2020 Through September 30, 2020, and Other Periods—U.S. Department of the Treasury Average Student Loan Debt at Graduation by Mark Kantrowitz— Profile Of The Labor Force By Educational Attainment by Vernon Brundage, Jr.—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Millennial life: How young adulthood today compares with prior generations by Kristen Bialkin and Richard Fry—PEW Research Center Forgiving Student Debt Isn’t a Great Stimulus Plan by Noah Smith—Bloomberg Average annual salary of bachelor's degree recipients employed full time 1 year after graduation, by field of study: Selected years, 1976 through 2001—National Center for Education Statistics NACE Salary Survey Winter 2020—National Associations of Colleges and Employers Australia’s student loan problem is a teachable moment for the U.S. by Jason Delisle and Alex Usher—Brookings
Jan 13
23 min
The New Math of Retirement Spending and Investing
How should individuals invest and spend in retirement with interest rates so low, stock valuations high, and inflation uncertain. Why retirement managed payout funds and income replacement funds failed. Topics covered include:How managed payout and income replacement funds compare to immediate annuitiesWhy Vanguard and Fidelity changed the objective of their retiree focused income replacement and managed payout fundsHow fixed annuities workHow retirees should combine annuities with multi-asset class portfolios to ensure a successful retirementWhy the 4% retirement spending rule is not appropriate for all investors all of the time.Why inflation is the biggest determinant of how much retirees can spendWhy is there so much controversy over the current and future inflation rate Thanks to Mint Mobile and Truebill for sponsoring the episode. Show Note Links Vanguard Throws in the Towel on Its Managed Payout Fund by Daren Fonda—Barron's Generating Retirement Income Isn’t Easy, Even for Vanguard by Reshma Kapadia—Barron's Today's Best Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities (MYGAs)— Opinion: The inventor of the ‘4% rule’ just changed it Brett Arends—MarketWatch The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future by Jeff Booth Alternate Inflation Charts—John Williams' Shadow Government Statistics Americans Are Richer Than We Think by By Phil Gramm and John F. Early—The Wall Street Journal For more information on this episode click here.
Jan 6
27 min
Convertible Bonds : The High Return Asset Class That Vanguard Abandoned
How convertible bonds work, why they gained 50% in 2020 and outperformed stocks over the past five years. Why Vanguard shut down their convertible bond mutual funds. Topics discussed include:How big is the convertible bond marketWhy companies issue convertible bondsHow convertible bonds work and how to analyze themWhy convertible bonds have performed so wellWhat is a reasonable expected return for convertible bonds and what are the risksWhat are ways to invest in convertible bonds Thanks to Netsuite for sponsoring the episode. Take the Money For the Rest of Us listener survey. Show Notes A Plunge and a Recovery Drives a Top-Performing Year in Convertibles by Andrew Bary—Barron's Convertible Bond Indices: An Overview by SPDR EMEA ETF Strategy Team—State Street Global Advisors CONVERTIBLE SECURITIES: Structures, Valuation, Market Environment, and Asset Allocation by John P. Calamos, Sr with contributions from Eli Pars—Calamos Investments Tesla, Inc. 2.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2024 (the “Convertible Notes Offering”) Issuer Free Writing Prospectus—U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Risk and Return in Convertible Arbitrage: Evidence from the Convertible Bond Market by Vikas Agarwal, William Fung, Yee Cheng Loon, and Narayan Y. Naik The Fluctuating Maturities of Convertible Bonds by Patrick Verwijmeren, and Antti Yang Convertible Bond Arbitrage by George Long—Eureka Hedge For more information on this episode click here. Also, go here to learn more about Money For the Rest of Us Plus membership.
Dec 16, 2020
23 min
2020 - The Year We Will Never Forget
A review of how the pandemic, financial markets, and government policy evolved in 2020 to make for an unforgettable year. Topics covered include:Why the Covid-19 pandemic ranks as the second worst in modern historyWhat is the difference between risk and uncertainty and how our investing should be different when dealing with uncertaintyWhat portfolio changes did David make in 2020 and how should he have invested if he had perfect foresightWhy speculative assets such as gold and cryptocurrencies have performed so well in 2020Why high savings rate and pent up demand provides a tailwind for the economyHow to invest and live when the future is unknowable Thanks to Policygenius and LinkedIn for sponsoring the episode. Show Notes 286: Coronavirus and the Financial Impact of Pandemics 291: How To Survive the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Shutdown Madame Vivelda—Saturday Night Live What Is Risk vs Uncertainty?—Money For the Rest of Us Guide 299: Has the Pandemic Changed You? Personal Saving Rate—Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 302: Investing is Not Knowing 310: Why the Stock Market and Economy Are Rebounding So Quickly How 700 Epidemiologists Are Living Now, and What They Think Is Next by Margot Sanger-Katz, Claire Cain Miller, and Quoctrung Bui—The New York Times Paul McCartney Is Still Trying to Figure Out Love by David Marchese—New York Times Magazine For more information on this episode click here. Also, go here to learn more about Money For the Rest of Us Plus membership.
Dec 9, 2020
23 min
The Economy Is Not a Machine
How the drive for efficiency leads to greater wealth concentration and threatens capitalism. What can be done about it. Topics covered include:Why income growth has slowed for the middle classWhy the economy now follows a power-law distribution rather than a normal distribution, leading to skewed outcomesWhy the economy is a complex adaptive system rather than a machineHow the type of job you have and the company you work for affects your incomeWhy greater efficiency increases the risk of catastrophic collapsesWhat are ways to balance efficiency with resiliency Show Notes Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2016 to 2019: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances—The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve How America Banks: Household Use of Banking and Financial Services—Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency by Roger L. Martin How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio—Video For more information on this episode click here. Also, go here to learn more about Money For the Rest of Us Plus membership.
Dec 2, 2020
25 min
Why Currency Exchange Rates Matter
How a nation's balance of payments impacts its currency exchange rate as evidenced by Turkey and other countries. Topics covered include:What is a nation's balance of payments, its current account, and its capital accountHow an individual's personal financial flows are similar to those of a countryWhat is causing the currency crisis in Turkey and LebanonWhy gold imports have increased by 150% in TurkeyWhat is the Triffin dilemma or paradox and how does it impact the United StatesWhat individuals can do to manage currency risks Thanks to The Great Courses Plus and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode. For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Nov 18, 2020
23 min
How To Analyze Complex Investments
How to determine whether you should invest in a complex investment such as an actively managed ETF that uses option strategies. Topics covered include:A recent investment David made that he shouldn't haveWhat is the volatility risk premium and how to invest in itWhy there have been over 200 new ETFs and ETNs launched in the U.S. in 2020Why some ETF sponsors launch lower cost versions of ETFs that compete with their existing offerings.What questions to answer as part of analyzing a complex investmentWhy there is always a catch to ETFs such as the Innovators Stacker and Ultra Buffer ETF series that can make them seem too good to be true.A simpler way to lower portfolio risk without using complex option-based ETFs. Thanks to Netsuite and LinkedIn for sponsoring the episode. For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Nov 11, 2020
24 min
Somebody Won the Election. Now What?
As we await the U.S. presidential election results, we review the results of the Trump Administration's economic policies to see if Americans are better off financially than they were four years ago. Topics covered include:Why pollsters and election models can be wrongWhy the state of the economy often drives election outcomesWhat has been the economic impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs ActWhat has been the impact of the U.S. trade war with ChinaHow have poverty and health insurance costs changed under the Trump AdministrationWhat has been the growth of federal regulations under the Trump AdministrationHow have stocks performed during the Trump AdministrationWhy we shouldn't let whoever wins the presidency ruin our life Thanks to Policygenius and Tempo for sponsoring the episode. Use code David with Tempo for $100 off For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Nov 4, 2020
26 min
Here Come Central Bank Digital Currencies
How central bank digital currencies would work, what is the motivation to create them and what are the risks. Topics covered include:What percentage of central banks are working on a digital currency and plan to issue one soonWhat are the two kinds of money that central banks currently issue and how would a central bank digital currency differHow central bank digital currencies would be similar and different from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrenciesWhat are the benefits and risks of central bank digital currenciesWhat are the design principles that major central banks proposed for their digital currenciesWhat percentage of central banks currently have the legal authority to issue their own digital currency Thanks to Gen Z Green podcast and Masterworks for sponsoring the episode. Use code David for Masterworks to skip the wait list. For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Oct 28, 2020
25 min
What Are SPACs and Should You Invest in Them?
How special purpose acquisition companies work, what their performance has been and what are the ways to invest. Topics covered include:How much money has been raised in SPAC initial public offerings and who are some of the better known sponsorsWhat are the benefits of a SPAC acquisition compared to a traditional initial public offeringHow SPACs work from the initial IPO to the acquisition of a private companyHow have SPACs performed so poorlyHow a new SPAC ETF is structuredAn intriguing way to invest in SPACs that potentially could outperform Thanks to Tempo and NetSuite for sponsoring the episode. Use code David to save $100 on Tempo. For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Oct 21, 2020
22 min
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