BiggerPockets Money Podcast 185: “I DON’T Want to Retire Early” with Investing Expert Barbara Friedberg

BiggerPockets Money Podcast 185: “I DON’T Want to Retire Early” with Investing Expert Barbara Friedberg

45 min read
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Barbara Friedberg wasn’t always the savvy investor and saver that many people know her as, but her background helped get her there. Born to parents of the great depression, Barbara had the traits of frugality and modesty instilled into her from a young age. Money was an open subject of discussion in Barbara’s household, unlike most households today. Her parents taught her to value money, not waste it, and be smart when you spend.

Barbara’s innate financial intelligence was clearly shown when she met her husband. Within two weeks of them getting together, Barbara had already taken over her future husband’s finances and got his money into a retirement account. This led to them having a very financially healthy relationship, never spending more than they needed to, and putting a substantial amount of their income into savings and 401(k) accounts.

Barbara then went on to become a financial planner, investor, consultant, and author. In a time where the market is so overvalued, she advises young people to be smart with their income and understand that wealth is built in the long-term, not through quick gambles. Save your money, invest it consistently, and get off the hedonic treadmill. “Don’t covet your neighbor’s BMW” is what she told us!

Barbara also gives us an inside look into her current investments, and why she heavily favors passive index funds over single stock picks. She goes into short, medium, and long-term money, and the uses for each. For young people who haven’t gotten a grip on finances yet, this is a great episode to hear from someone who has done it successfully for decades!

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Mindy:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast, show number 185, where we interview Barbara Friedberg and get investment advice from a rockstar investor.

Barbara:
We went actually to a financial planner at that time, and he said to me, I cannot believe how much you were saving. I thought this is normal. I just need to save, to me money is not what you can buy with it. Money is security. If you have it, you feel more secure than not.

Mindy:
Hello. Hello. Hello. My name is Mindy Jensen and with me as always is my suitcases full of cash co-host, Scott Trench.

Scott:
Do you think that these creative intros add to the show Mindy, or do you think that they’re just baggage?

Mindy:
I think they add to them Scott and I are here to make financial independence less scary. Just for somebody else. We’re here to introduce you to every money story, because we truly believe that financial freedom is attainable for everyone, no matter when or where you’re starting.

Scott:
That’s right. Whether you want to retire early and travel the world, go on to make big time investments and assets like real estate, start your own business, or just simply build wealth over time and find that security you’re looking for. We’ll help you reach your financial goals and get money out of the way so that you can launch yourself towards those dreams.

Barbara:
Scott. I am so excited to bring in Barb today. She is an absolute delight. I have known her for several years through FinCon and I talk to her frequently as a panelist on a podcast called Moneytree Podcasts. She’s just a delightful person to talk to. She’s so smart. She even says it during the show today. She’s like, “I’m a smart woman.” She is smart. She’s very smart and she’s very clever. It’s just a fun trip down her story, starting in a position of unenviable poverty and ending up in a position where she has maybe not enough to her, but she definitely has enough for most.

Scott:
I really enjoyed the interview with Barb today. She’s got a very strong outlook on money and a really strong journey. Fundamentals, consistently applied over a very long period of time and applied with extreme intelligence over the course of her investing and wealth building journey here over a very long period of time.
My favorite part of today’s interview was when we said, “Hey, debt yields are at all time lows, so you can’t invest in bonds and expect to get any income. The stock market is at all time highs with respect to PE ratios or crazy highs relative to PE ratios so you can’t get any return out of the stock market. Real estate is just through the roof because interest rates are so low and prices are soaring across the country and inflation is looming on the horizon. I can’t sit on any cash. What the heck kind of option does that leave you with?” that I think she’s got a great response to that.

Mindy:
Yeah she is not just off the cuff. She’s very smart and thinks about her answers. She’s just got a lifelong knowledge base of information and there’s no surprises in this. She’s not going to say you need to win the lottery. In fact, over her shoulder, there’s a book called how to get rich without running the lottery. She’s just all about starting early, making consistent contributions to your retirement accounts, saving money, spend less than you earn. Her comment about being happy with less; when you’re happy with less, you will be happy with less. When you want more, you’ll never be happy and that’s just really profound and at the same time, it’s common sense and everything about this episode is fabulous and fun and you are going to love Barb as much as I do.
Barb Freeburg. Welcome to the BiggerPockets money podcast. I am so excited to talk to you today.

Barbara:
Thank you so much for having me, Mindy and Scott. I am ready to talk money, investing and the secrets behind my story.

Mindy:
Ooh, well, let’s just jump right into it, Barb. Where does your journey with money begin?

Barbara:
I got to say it begins when I was born because it starts with my mom and dad, who are my greatest inspiration. My parents were born in the depression. My father was born in abject poverty. He started working when he was aged 10, selling newspapers on the corner. He got his first bike by going as a child to a police auction by himself to bid on a bike. My mom grew up middle-ish class, but the tone within my family was always to be very smart with your money. It was you don’t waste money. It’s an important commodity. It’s really something that you value and you talk about. That’s the overall view that I grew up with.

Mindy:
Okay. Everything that you said was not surprising, until you got to the part that said, you talk about it. That is fantastic, because I grew up in a similar-ish story. I’m a grandchild of the depression and my parents never talked about money. I think one time my mom showed me how to balance a checkbook or something, but that’s not anything like helpful in real life. That’s not going to show you. They had money, of course it balances. When I balanced my first check book, I’m like, “Look at all those negatives. That’s not good.” You guys talked about it. How old were you when you first remembered them talking about money?

Barbara:
I don’t remember ever not talking about money. It was always within the conversation and a little side secret when I was a rebellious teenager, I thought they are so materialistic. Oh my gosh. Do they think about anything other than money? A few years later here I am. What do I talk about? Don’t mock your parents because you’re going to turn out like them.

Mindy:
So true. What does your financial position look like, graduating high school and moving into college?

Barbara:
Well, I always worked. So working was embedded. It wasn’t something that came from the outside. I had the inner drive that I wanted to work. I wanted to be an adult. I wanted to be productive. Graduating high school, I had actually inherited from a single aunt. I think it was about $7,000, which to me seemed like a ton of money. I had saved up some money from working and from gifts and that kind of thing. I had a start. My bank balance wasn’t negative. I went to college at a time, at a public university where you didn’t need debt. It’s like, it was another world than I know a lot of people are experiencing today.
I used part of my inheritance to help me pay for college. My parents helped pay for college. Again, I worked part-time in the summers and always had a savings mentality. Yeah, I craved what everyone else had. I had my mind that when I had money, I was going to get the fancy car and the fancy house and blah, blah. Lo and behold, when I had money, it’s, “I’m not wasting it on that stuff.” That was me when I graduated high school and went into college.

Scott:
So what was the position upon graduating college? Where’d you get your degree and how did you start in the workplace?

Barbara:
I graduated college with a degree in economics and I graduated during a huge recession, not unlike the recession of the like recent 2008. So there were no jobs. I was like, “Oh my God.” I took a secretarial job and I worked for a moderate salary. Then I transitioned and I said I’m going to get… My parents had a real estate business. My dad had a lot of different businesses, but at the time that I graduated from college, he had a brokerage company and he also had what is known today as a fix it and flip it. We didn’t have those names before, but he bought dilapidated properties, fix them up and either rented them out or resold them. I said, I’ll get my real estate license. I started working in real estate and selling real estate and that was my love. Kind of started making my way in the world. Mindy, you look like you have a huge question.

Mindy:
I have a huge comment. Okay. You said, I went to school at a time where you didn’t have to have student loan debt to graduate, which I love. I also went to school during that time. You said, I worked summers. Did you say you worked during the school year too part time?

Barbara:
Yeah, most of the time, not a hundred percent, but I always get a scheme. I was always looking for an angle where I could make money. At one time, I love crafts and sewing, so I made hippie shirts and sold them to my friends. I worked as their tutor, so I always had some sort of angle going on. I worked a lot during school as well. Not full time.

Mindy:
Okay. I just want to point out for people who are listening, who have kids, who aren’t talking to their kids about money, Barb’s parents talk to her about money all the time. What did you say? I don’t ever remember not talking about money and then you didn’t need to go into debt to graduate from college. You still work to pay and get money, and you always had a scheme. I would love to see some of your hippie shirts because I have never met a person that I would consider less a hippie than Barbara Freeburg.

Barbara:
I know, I’ve changed a lot.

Mindy:
You’re so classy, you are a really classy woman. I don’t equate hippies with class. I don’t know. That’s a horrible thing to say, come on. Did they have signs in the sixties; no hippies allowed?

Barbara:
Pretty much but whatever, yeah.

Scott:
What I’m hearing from your story here is, “Hey, this financial discipline was instilled early and often, and there’s a $7,000 inheritance. College was paid for with that hard work and some assistance from mom and dad. Then those habits continued straight on through after graduation, where you could find work and always applying a side hustle. So what I’m curious about is, do you have any sense of like the percentage of your income, that you were able to save during those first few years out of college, and how you kind of began approaching the wealth building game with that?

Barbara:
Yes. I want to share a story because in my mid twenties, I met my husband, my current husband. Within two weeks I had taken over his finances. I know this is not typical, but I was like, “You don’t have an IRA account, come on, get with it.” We need to open an IRA. I will be managing your money. He said, “Let’s go shopping at one of the major department stores.” I said, “You’re not going to the outlet mall, come on” he’s like, “I don’t shop at the outlet mall. I’m like, “Well, you’re going to shop at the outlet mall now.”

Scott:
So you guys didn’t have the money talk before. You had it after.

Barbara:
Yes. That is a good point, Scott. He paid full price for his car so I’m like, I know.

Mindy:
You still married him?

Barbara:
He’s such a wonderful guy. He is the best ever.

Scott:
This is one way to go about the money talk, is you say, “All right, we’re married now. I got the money. You shop here now.”

Barbara:
That’s exactly how it goes. So how much did we save? I always saved more than I could afford literally. We were the master of the hack. How do you get a lot for a little? Actually, after we had been married for a couple of years, my husband wanted to go back to graduate school and he has since got in, he got his PhD in psychology. He’s been a child psychologist for many years. But at the time his graduate school, we had to come out to California, which was a really expensive place. Tuition was very high in our minds. I’m not going to tell you how much it is because you’re going to say today, that’s nothing.
I got actually a really, really good job. I had gotten my master’s degree in counseling before that, and was a career counselor for a couple of years. Got a great job at San Diego state university. Contributed the maximum amount allowable by law to my 401k. We went actually to a financial planner at that time. He said to me, I cannot believe how much you were saving. I thought, this is normal. I just need to save. To me, money is not what you can buy with it. Money is security. If you have it, you feel more secure than not. Range saving from 20,15 to 40% of our income, pretty much always. When we didn’t have a lot of money it was more in the 15 range and sometimes we would dip a little bit into our savings to live just so we could fund that IRA or the 401k.

Scott:
Okay, great. You have an X amount of months in your emergency reserve or savings account, whatever you’re referring to. You’re saying, “Hey, great. I will forgo keeping that at the level that I want in order to fund my IRA’s or other investment options.” Is that right?

Barbara:
Yeah. But I am so conservative by nature that we always had enough savings that would last us should an emergency arise.

Scott:
How do you think about that amount? Did you think about that in terms of months of spending or did you think about that as a dollar sum? How did you-

Barbara:
I just always thought I need more money in my savings. At that time personal finance wasn’t the industry that it is today and there weren’t all these rules, so you didn’t think how many months do I need? It’s like, I need a lot of money in my savings because I never know what’s going to happen.

Scott:
Your savings account just continuously grew for a long number of years and you continued to add to it while also adding to your IRA.

Barbara:
Yes.

Scott:
Did you invest in anything else while you’re doing this?

Barbara:
When my husband got out of graduate school, we were both working, then we could start investing. We had a brokerage account. We’ve always, probably since my mid twenties, I’ve always had a brokerage account. Stocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, we’ve been investing in everything for many years.

Scott:
What I’m hearing is, again, we have a good savings rate. We’ve got a good approach with money. It’s continuously piling up more. There’s a lot more cash coming in than going out. We’re building that wealth and investing it across… We’re deploying that wealth across a continuously growing savings account, an IRA and a brokerage account where we’re investing in stocks, bonds, and those types of things. Is that right?

Barbara:
Yes.

Scott:
Was there an intent, for example, to retire early or was there an intent to start a business or have some sort of outcome with the wealth that you were building other than just continuing to build the wealth? Did that just kind of continue for a while and ad infinitum or was there an evolution of thought or how did that? I don’t know.

Barbara:
This is an embarrassing question. This is so embarrassing. Do not tell anyone this okay. Between the three of us. I have like really modest tastes. Okay. I’m not looking for a second home. I don’t want to retire. Look, I’m not saying I don’t spend money on things. There are things that are important that I want. We’ve always owned our own home. We travel a fair amount. There are things that we prioritize to spend our money on. When we were raising our child, we spent a lot of money on her. She had sports and we really prioritize that. Those were the priorities. We had to have money for those things. We had to be able to afford to travel, to visit our parents. We had to take a vacation every year.
My husband also did consulting. We’d pair his consulting jobs at different places with a vacation. We were always savvy. When you talk about a goal, I don’t want to retire early. I don’t want a second home. One of my financial advisor friends once said, “The end amount of money that you have, you always want about 30% more.” I thought that was so crazy because no matter what level you reach, you don’t feel like it’s enough. I kind of resonate with that. I’ve got enough. I don’t foresee needing more, but there’s always in your mind, well, it wouldn’t hurt to have a little more because you never know what’s going to happen.
In terms of these ultimate goals, I know the F.I.R.E. Movement, excuse me here. I know I’m going to get a lot of hate mail for this. I think that’s stupid and it’s indulgent because really on the majority, most of the people that can do that are people that are like earning 150 and $200,000 a year and have fancy jobs or live in places that are really, really cheap. It was never; can I retire early?

Scott:
Well, let me ask you this, because I think this is great. I think that’s a great perspective. I completely respect it. Let’s just get inside the minds of someone listening, who’s starting out. I’m listening to this I’m 20 or 30 or 40 with that. I’m looking to build wealth and get really excited about that stuff. A big motivator of why the obsession with personal finance that I personally kind of went through, was that idea of having the option to retire early. I am clearly not retired. I love my job. Mindy is the same way, or so she tells me. That’s the driver or the motivation behind that. What I’m interested in learning and that’s taken for granted I think by a lot of folks, perhaps me and Mindy included in some cases on the personal finance, like why you’re listening to these shows and those kinds of things, but it seems like there’s another motivation that’s moving you.
How can we share what that motivation or impact it a little bit and access more people with this, because it is a good outcome to just want to work for your entire adult life and be productive and amass a substantial net worth. You have enough, should there be a problem, or should you need it with those types of things, but I guess I’m just trying to get into an unpack in that motivation and how that can fire somebody up in addition to the F.I.R.E. Movement.

Barbara:
Well, first of all, I want to say something, I want to own up to something. I am privileged. Okay. A lot of people have not had the good fortune that I have. I recognize that and I appreciate that. I had parents that trained me well. I didn’t know people that took on a lot of debt. I’ve had a lot of good luck and I think luck is a part of this journey. I don’t want to say, oh, I did law and I’m so great. No, I’m not. I had a lot of help along the way. I had a lot of good fortune. I have a husband who’s wonderful who supports me, who also has a good job. I just want to put that out there. So I have the luxury of being able to work at something I love.
I know a lot of people don’t have that luxury. I think I might have a different mindset if I had to work at something that I didn’t love and everyone cannot do that. My internal motivation is a lot of the fact that I’m doing things that I love. I know there’s this common conversation that you find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life, blah, blah. Well, that sounds really wonderful, but everyone can’t do that. Some people just have to work at a job that they may not love to put food on the table.

Mindy:
I love that. I want to go back to the comment you made a couple of minutes ago. You said the F.I.R.E. Movement is indulgent and people who are part of it have fancy high paying jobs. I think at the very beginning of that, that was really true. You’ve got all of these software engineers who are making $250,000 while being naturally frugal. My husband is this way. He was making a huge salary. We spent like 30 or $40,000 a year. We just don’t spend a lot of money. That’s with buying good beer instead of garbage beer and going on vacations. But we go on vacations with miles and points instead of dollars. But still, we were part of this community because he had a job that he hated. He was writing software for the VA hospitals.
If you need a unit of blood, he wrote the software that makes sure that the blood you’re getting is compatible with your body. You can die if you get the wrong kind of blood. There’s some stress involved in that. One day he was doing some work and there was a bug and he’s like, “Oh my God, I could kill somebody with this bug. I’m so freaking out” then it turns out there wasn’t a bug, but for like five days, he couldn’t eat, he couldn’t sleep. He was so stressed out and he’s like, I can’t live like this anymore. I got to get out of this. I got to do something. We had been just like you, we both grew up without a ton of money.
He grew up, his dad was a union electrician in Chicago. He would work through the summer and then get laid off in the winter when there was no jobs every single year. He grew up financially insecure, I would say, is the right way to phrase that. You gravitate to this F.I.R.E. Movement because you can become financially independent and then leave the job that you hate. I think a lot of people focus on the, leave the job that you hate instead of the being financially independent. You have options. You said that you wanted more money because money is security. It is because when I have a big fat bank account and my boss tells me I got to work on Sunday every day for the next year, I can tell him, “No, I’m not going to do that.” If he says, “Well, if you don’t, you’re fired” I can say, “Well, see you later” and be okay with that.
Having the financial security, I think is something that should be more focused on than the retire early part. I also think that a lot of your background, you said your father was born into abject poverty. I don’t really think people like millennials and people who are the younger generations realize just how awful the depression was. I remember going through my grandmother’s things when she passed away and I’m like, why did she save this? Why didn’t she save that? She saved it because you never know when you’re going to be able to get that again. They save everything, the elastic from underpants, “Oh, there’s holes in the underpants. I’ll cut out the elastic and be able to use that on something else.” Now you’ve got people who throw away TVs because there’s a little line down the middle.
The mindset can be very different. I think that growing up without having a lot of money, really can mess with your head. I think there’s really two ways to handle that when you grow up without a lot of money, you are either hoarding money, which is a lot of the people in the fire community, or you are spending it like you can’t make it fast enough because you never had anything before. Now you have to experience all the things. I think that you obviously went to the former side, which is how I did that too. We don’t spend money. I would love a second home, but I don’t live in California, do you live in California?

Barbara:
I do.

Mindy:
Yeah. You live in California, that’s kind of a beautiful place to live?

Barbara:
Yeah, I don’t another home.

Mindy:
I think that there’s a lot of things to consider and not just the retire early part. I really, really want everybody to be financially independent so they can make decisions that are smart, then you don’t have to work the job you hate, you can work the job you love, which is what I do.

Barbara:
Very good point. Very well put

Scott:
During your journey, it seems like there was no necessarily end goal with the wealth accumulation. It seemed more like a process and making sure that there was more and more security. Is that right?

Barbara:
Yes, absolutely.

Scott:
What I’m interested in is, I understand you’re a business owner at this point. Is that also right? Okay. Yeah. Could you walk us through maybe how your financial position opened up kind of career in business options for you throughout your journey? Perhaps was the decision to maybe go into business for yourself related to a feeling of security with some of those financials, is there any commentary around that, that may be as a part of your story?

Barbara:
Well, I got my MBA when I was older. Okay. I’ve always had a passion for business and I kind of fell into it because after I got my MBA, I had the option. I can go work for a corporation. I had already been an investment portfolio manager before I got my MBA and got my MBA during that time. Then there was a chance where I could do another job or something like that, or I could transition into something else, but I really, I didn’t find anything that I really wanted to do. I didn’t want to work a 60 hour a week.
I kind of [cabo 00:28:47] together, started writing online. From that initial blog, which I started, which was Barbara Freeburg, Personal Finance, I still have that. Business has grown. I’ve written books, both self and other published. I’ve started another website. Robo-Advisor Pros where I cover all the robo-advisor field. Then companies have contacted me because they want me to consult on the robo-advisor industry. I’ve done a lot of freelance writing because I like to write about investing for major publications. I didn’t say, “Oh, I’m going to start a business.” It was kind of something that evolved.

Scott:
Got it. So, so this was kind of like a side hustle while working your full-time job, it started as and then you evolved into that.

Barbara:
Yeah. Then kind of transitioned, left my full-time job and turned into something else.

Mindy:
You are part of the F.I.R.E. Movement. You’re financially independent, you retired early from that other job, and now you have your own job.

Barbara:
Okay. Except the early part is kind of subjective. I know I look 25, but really I’m not.

Mindy:
Same. I have that same problem.

Barbara:
Yes, it is a problem.

Mindy:
You what, I do think that’s important to note. When you were starting investing, when you were saving in your savings account. I remember double digit interest rates for your own personal investments, as well as for when you’re getting a mortgage. My entire college was funded by my parents buying me savings bonds as a kid. Then in second grade I had to sit down and sign like literally this stack of savings bonds with my name on it, not get any money. Then my dad put it into some sort of a 10 year CD at 15% interest.

Barbara:
Yes. Those were the interest rates in the ’80s.

Mindy:
Yeah. Then at the end of the time that I graduated high school in 1990, then the bond was up and the guy’s like, “Hey dad, do you want to extend this?” he’s like, “Can you give me another 15%?” they’re like, “No.”

Barbara:
Yeah, it’s crazy that interest rates were in the double digits, a 6% mortgage used to be like so cheap. We’re in a totally different world today than a generation ago.

Scott:
What kind of advice would you say, you would have for folks looking to begin building wealth or repeating kind of your successes that you’ve had over your career? It sounds like it’s based on frugality, spending less than you bring in and investing very consistently over a long period of time with a security emphasis and a strong cash position, a financial fortress that you built early and maintained in perpetuity with that. What advice would you have for folks that are looking to repeat that story?

Barbara:
I think the first place to start is with your mind, because if you want less, you can become happier with less. You don’t have to covet your neighbor’s BMW or Tesla, and you can be happy driving a 20 year old car and feel like I don’t need to impress anyone. First you have to know what’s important to you and you have to figure out, okay, I’ll spend on important to me, but not what’s important to other people. That’s where you start. Because as long as you’re coveting more and more, you will spend more and more, and avoid really expensive hobbies. Don’t buy more house than you can afford. Don’t buy a fancy car, unless you can afford it. Meet your savings and investing goals. That’s where I would start.

Scott:
I love it. The mindset is so important. One of the concepts you have that brings to mind is the idea of hedonic adaptation, which is a big point that Mr. Money Mustache likes to make. Something that I read on his blog a while back, but it’s like, “Hey, regardless of what you’ve got, if you can learn to be happy with what you’ve got, you’re going to be happy. If you’re always wanting more, you can buy more. You’re going to be just as unhappy as you are today within two weeks after buying that new car or the bigger house or the fancy doodad or whatever, there is no end to the hedonic treadmill, which is a thing that you can Google and learn about if you’re listening.

Barbara:
Yeah, that concept sums it up Scott. That is just perfect.

Scott:
I think that there’s a lot more time and optionality to pursue happiness once you’re in a position of security, whatever that means to you. For some people that security, it sounds like you’ve reached that point of security Barb, and it sounds like some folks might reach that when they hit the 4% rule for F.I.R.E., or they might reach it long after that, or even before that, depending on how that has to go. So I think that’s a great place to be because the pursuit of happiness probably seems more attainable from that position.

Barbara:
Well, I want to throw something else that is; because on paper I’m secure, but psychologically there’s always anxiety. You always worry, well, you can’t control the future. In particularly during this past year of COVID, you learn, there’s a lot you cannot control. That’s where you have to get back to controlling your mind, because there’s so many factors that are uncontrollable and the security is great, but you also have to train yourself to realize that you’ve got to be able to accept uncertainty in your life.

Scott:
What gives you anxiety right now about with regards to finance?

Barbara:
Oh, that’s a really good question. I guess the biggest thing that scares me is having some sort of medical emergency. I think the medical emergency is the most, because that is something that can rip through your finances like mad and you have insurance and we have long-term care policy as well, but it’s not a hundred percent. That’s the one thing that is outside my control.

Scott:
Going back to your journey a little bit here, how important were any outsize investment winners for you on your wealth building journey? Do you have any that you can recall or talk about directionally?

Barbara:
I do. I think that’s a super question, Scott, because the one thing I like to put out there when people talk about investing is you have to be diversified because every investor knows that not every investment is going to be a home run. You can kind of expect that you’ll have some outside winners and you will have some horrible losers. Then the rest, if they kind of stay in the middle, you’re going to come out ahead.
One of my biggest winners was investing in Oracle. I don’t even remember when I first invested in it. It might’ve been in the ’90s and that was before I switched to a more passive index fund investment approach. Oh gosh, it must have quintupled. So I sold about half and then hung on to the rest. That was, I’d say, among my biggest winners. My current house is not an investment, but it’s a very nice gain because we bought our house in a short sale 10 years ago in California. So it is appreciated nicely.

Scott:
That’s awesome with the housing stuff there. I love what you said that before you switched over to passive index fund investing. My understanding is that that has, that really gained traction as a all approach in the ’90s, 2000s kind of in general and more of a mainstream fashion. What was your evolution thinking with respect to that and how did that-

Barbara:
That is another wonderful question. As a portfolio manager, I researched individual stocks and bonds, and really invest in a stock portfolio. I’m really good at fundamental analysis and valuing companies, etcetera, et cetera. I went to my MBA program and the finance professor says, who thinks they can beat the market. I’m like, my hand shoots up. Oh yeah, I can beat the market I’m a great investor, blah, blah, blah. She said, well, let’s talk about the research. What I subsequently found was about 30% of active investment managers beat the investment markets every year. 70% of the time, index fund investing works. The problem with that is, if you say, “Okay, well, I’ll go with those 30% of investors that beat the market every year. It’s not the same ones every year.”
I’m very smart. I looked at the probabilities and it was like, oh my gosh, I’m doing all this work. Yeah, most of the time I do pretty well, but the risk reward for me was if I can invest in a diversified grouping of passive index funds and rebalance it back to an allocation, which means the percentage invested in each of the different types of assets, stock funds, bond funds, value funds, international real estate funds. Then I have a likelihood of getting a market return in all of those assets and the market returns on those assets typically beat 70% of actively managed portfolios. I had a huge aha moment. Now I still own a couple of stocks that I could not part with. I just never could seem to sell them. One is Lowe’s. One is Stryker, which is a medical company and they’ve done very well. I still can’t see a reason to sell. I’m not going to buy more.

Mindy:
You keep answering all of my questions as I’m typing them, we have a document that we type our questions in together. I’m like, ooh, I wonder what she thinks of index funds and you’re like that’s when I moved to passive index funds. Oh, okay. I guess she likes them. Oh, I wonder if she doesn’t need individual stocks now.

Scott:
Let me just kind of share, I want to read an excerpt from something that I’m a big fan of here that I think really emphasizes your point Barb. This is from Warren Buffet. This will be 60 seconds, maybe 90 seconds. We’ll see. I’d like you to imagine a national coin flipping contest. Let’s assume we get 225 million Americans up tomorrow morning. We asked them all to wager a dollar. They go out in the morning at sunrise and they call the flip of a coin. If they call it correctly, they win a dollar, from those who called wrong. Each day, the losers drop out, in the subsequent day, the stakes build as all previous winnings are put on the line. After 10 flips on 10 mornings, there’ll be approximately 220,000 people in the country who have correctly called 10 flips in a row.
These are the 30% of fund managers by the way that Barb mentioned earlier who beat the market that year. Each of those 220,000 people have won over a thousand dollars. This group is going to get started, getting a little puffed up about this, human nature being what it is. They may try to be modest, but at cocktail parties, they’ll occasionally admit to the attractive members of the opposite sex, what their technique is and what marvelous insights they bring to the field of flipping. Assuming that the winners getting the appropriate awards from the losers, another 10 days we’ll have 215 people who have successfully called their coin flips 20 times in a row. Who by this exercise of each turned $1 into a little over 1 million, 225 million would have been lost. 225 million would have been won. By then, this group will really lose their heads.
They’ll probably write books on how I turned a dollar into a million in 20 days working 30 seconds a morning. They’ll probably start jetting around the country, attending seminars on efficient coin flipping and tackling skeptical professors with, “If it can’t be done, why are there 215 of us?” This, I think really sums up the passive investing portfolio. Now he goes on to say, hey, if some of those coin flippers happened to be all from the same zoo in Omaha, maybe you start looking at them for something that actually does separate.
That maybe there is something special about their coin flipping prowess, but absent that or absent anything that you can detect unifying it. Why do you believe that the past, the active fund managers given the statistics are anything better than the ones who outperform the market? Are anything better than the ones who picked stocks that happened to do better that year and will have no more than a 50/50, or even 30% shot at outperforming the market the next year. That, that’s why I don’t invest with active fund managers and instead invest in passive index funds. I think that really emphasizes your point. That was probably a little bit longer than 90 seconds, but my point is made out that loud politely now .

Barbara:
I love that. That was wonderful. Scott

Scott:
I’ll link to that article in the show notes here.

Mindy:
That would be fantastic. I think you brought that up before, and I don’t know if we’ve ever linked to that article. But yes, please include that in the show notes. I hear people listening in the car saying, “Oh, well I chose XYZ stock and I’m doing really well with it.” There’s always this, I don’t know, drive to prove yourself, but like, “Oh, I can do better than that.” What percentage does Barb Freeburg think is okay to dabble in individual stocks. What percentage of a portfolio and zero is a valid answer, if you want to say that.

Barbara:
Sure. I think that’s a wonderful question because I don’t think anyone’s like perfectly disciplined and there’s something fun about trying your luck in investing or trying out these new platforms or portfolios or seeing what you can do with maybe a more speculative investment. My rule of thumb is 5%. Take 5% of your investment portfolio and do whatever you want with it. Maybe you’ll hit a home run if you lose it all, you won’t be in terrible shape.

Mindy:
Okay. I like that answer a lot.

Scott:
Let me ask you this question. When I first started out my journey, I saved up 20 grand and I put it all on a duplex. I put it all into a house hack duplex. I had no diversification. My belief was that if I bought this duplex moved in, fixed it up, lived in half, rent out the other half and live for free. That that would be a far better use of my investing proceeds than a diversified portfolio. So how do you feel about the index fund?
Why I’m asking this is, if I’m putting myself in the shoes of somebody who’s listening right now, and is just getting started with their first five, 10, $15,000, the index fund strategy is very unappealing because, great. I’m going to make 10% on 10 grand. That’s a thousand dollars next year. That is not very exciting. That’s not going to make any change to my life. It’s going to take me a very long time. Do you have any advice for people who are just getting started out on whether there is a place to lack that diversification, go all in on something that can make a bigger outcome for them in the early days? Do you kind of prefer the slow and steady pilot on approach in the index funds.

Barbara:
Scott, your approach wins my vote and I’ll tell you why. First of all, you’re living free. Eventually your mortgage is going to be paid off. You’re getting rent, so you’re getting paid to live. Any time you can slash your housing and your cost of living, then that is a brilliant investment. Scott, just out of curiosity, where do you live?

Scott:
Denver, Colorado.

Barbara:
Okay, awesome. Denver, you can get a reasonably priced home and make that work.

Scott:
Because what people in California think.

Barbara:
Well, I unfortunately live in the most expensive area of the country, which is like daunting to someone who was born in the Midwest. So location matters, but I would say if you can afford to do what Scott did with your first $10,000, that’s a no-brainer, do that for sure. That’s an immediate win.

Scott:
Okay, great. It sounds like there are some cases, especially in the early days where, that’s where it comes to like diversification ensures average results. That’s awesome for me with my stock portfolio, because I don’t think I can get those outsize returns and an average result on a big pile of money that I’ve been accumulating year after year after year is wonderful and really secure. I feel great about that. But in the early days, you guarantee yourself very slow progress with a diversified approach, which I think is the fundamental challenge for a lot of folks.

Barbara:
That’s very true. That’s actually a big negative for some of these small change apps, which they invest the difference between like your purchase and a dollar so you’re investing 25 cents a day. It’s going to take you forever to build up any sort of money with that. If there’s a way that you can get a hack to get yourself some capital to start, you will save yourself some, you’ll get a leg up. Whether it be a side hustle, like if you have a side hustle and you don’t need that money, you can build up a lot of money more quickly.
If you can earn an extra thousand dollars a month, starting a website or something like that, keep your day job, your spouse keeps their day job. Then you’ve got a thousand dollars a month to build up so that you’re making your wealth building process a little bit faster. Starting with $10,000 and then waiting for it to compound is like watching grass grow.

Scott:
Love it. That’s awesome. I love that analogy there. Okay. Let me ask you another question. I’m just firing now in random directions because I’ve been enjoying picking your brain on this stuff, but let’s suppose that for the last 10 years I’ve been slowly building and investing and honing this, and I’ve recently kind of come around to the idea of passive investing and I’ve got holdings in other companies that have been huge winners for me, such as I bought Tesla or I bought Amazon or Facebook or whatever it is.
Now I’m like, okay, things are going pretty well. I’m [inaudible 00:09:24] like 200 grand in these stocks, but I’m way over-weighted towards them. If I sell them, I incur taxes and have to change those things over. If I don’t sell them, I have this weird portfolio where half in index funds and half in these huge companies that have been great for me so I’ve got a great problem. What do I do in that situation?

Barbara:
That’s a wonderful question because a lot of young people are in that situation right now. They’ve built up enormous amounts of money in very narrow positions. They’re like, I can’t sell this. It’s only going to go to the moon. If you’re a huge risk taker and you don’t care if it tanks 50% and you can live with that, then don’t do anything. If you’re more or less, the risk tolerance goes from like very conservative to very comfortable with risk, very aggressive.
I’d say for most people we’re somewhere in the middle. What I typically recommend is sell half of the positions, so you lock in your gains. Sell half the Tesla, sell half the Bitcoin, sell half the Facebook and diversify with that. We’ve got another situation now that the markets are very overvalued. I believe in the next couple of years, we have a greater likelihood of a market decline than we do greater advances. Now I could be wrong. Don’t quote me on that. You will feel a lot better. There’s nothing even wrong with taking some cash out and just saying “I’m just going to take some of my profits, pay the tax on it because that’s what you do and sit with some cash for a while, so I can think.”

Scott:
Do you have any tax advantaged approaches to doing that? Are there ways to kind of avoid the capital gain on some of those things because-

Barbara:
Invest in a retirement account or other than that, with real estate you’ve got the 1031 exchange which may be leaving you under the Biden administration, but with stocks, when you sell in a taxable account, you owe the tax. Yeah, you really can’t afford that fortunately, the capital gains rates are lower than they have ever been in probably a decade. Literally you’re better off selling now than waiting for maybe sometime in the future, they’re going to go up and you’ll pay more tax in the future, but that’s just part of doing business. You can’t avoid paying taxes.

Scott:
Makes sense. Barb interest rates, I’m just peppering questions now with this. Interest rates are really low. Buying bonds seems like I’m not going to get very much income. Stock market is really overpriced, right? Or it’s at a very low PE ratio or very high PE ratio, where I’ve got a very little income being generated by per dollar invested there. Real estate prices are at all time highs because of the low interest rates that are making them that much more affordable for home buyers and landlords and those types of things. How do I think about that, if that’s terrifying me from an investment approach perspective.

Barbara:
I resonate with that because you have to look at your money in terms of short, medium, and long-term. Any money you need within the next five years, I wouldn’t put it in the stock market. If you’re saving up for a home and you’ve got some money in the stock market, and you think, oh, I’ll just put this in my down payment in two years. Well, if you lose 30% of that money, you’re going to be really upset. Money you need for the short-term, bite the bullet, put it in a CD or a money market fund. You’re not going to earn any interest, but you’re not going to lose any principal. Money that you need for 10 years, well we’re for retirement. Keep invested in the markets and realize there are ups and downs, but timing the market is really, really hard. Then if there’s money you need in like seven years, that’s kind of a tougher call. I might just pull some out into cash and leave the rest there to see what happens.

Scott:
Let me ask you another tricky question with this. Pulling some out in cash and seeing what happens, what if all of these prices are still too low because the looming thing on the horizon that it seems like the market is betting on is inflation. That means that if I take out cash, I’m also in a really risky position. I can’t win on any of those four alternatives, bonds, stocks, real estate or cash. What do I do?

Barbara:
You are absolutely correct. That is why we are diversified. I was looking at some research by Jeremy Grantham at his GMO fund. He’s a brilliant guy. He did asset projections for the next seven years for major asset classes. Every single U.S. and global asset class showed negative returns for the next seven years, with the exception of international, no, emerging market value stocks. Which look, this is one guy. It’s not a guarantee, but it brings up the point we are in a very unusual situation.
What my personal belief is, and this is you may or may not agree with me, is, yeah, inflation may kick up, but if I need money in the next five years, I want to have cash. Yeah, I might lose a little bit per year due to inflation, but if I leave it in the stock market and I lose 30% next year and 20% the year after like the S and P 500 lost in 2000 and 2001, I will be much happier in cash than I will in the stock market. It’s all about risk mitigation and diversification and the length of your time horizon.

Mindy:
Yeah. I think there’s a lot of people who have been riding this extremely long wave that we’ve been having since what, 2012.

Barbara:
2009.

Mindy:
Okay. What is that 11 years? That’s a really long time. A lot of people, especially people like Scott who are younger, this is the only market they’ve ever known. When did you graduate from high school Scott?

Scott:
I graduated from high school in 2009. In high school jobs was not very fun, but I graduated from college in 2013, which is fine. It was great economy. It’s been booming ever since I began investing both in the real estate and stock market. I’ve only ever known that. I’ve only ever also known the fear of, wow, this booming market is going to come to an end. The Pundits are always, I have a list of them, articles from the last 10 years and it’s always the bubble is about to pop in about 18 to 24 months.
So I’ve got articles predicting that from 2013, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’18, ’19, ’20 and then a recent article just said, basically the same thing again. One of these days, The Pundits is going to be right. They’re going to do that. I know the fear, but I haven’t actually experienced that huge drop, except for, with the exception of that, market crash, that Mindy called To The T in March of 2020.

Barbara:
Yes. We all know about her predictive abilities.

Mindy:
I blew it all in one shot right there. I think that you cannot continue to expect these unbelievably ridiculous gains that we have had over the last 11 years. When people who have been investing in this market only start to experience that, I think they’re going to be in for a shock. I love your concept of thinking in short, medium and long term, you are still going to need to retire at some point, or be able to pay for retirement when you don’t have a job anymore. Even if that’s not early retirement, even if it’s 65, 70, 75, you’re still going to need money to live at that time. Putting something in the stock market right now is a good bet because the stock market goes up into the right, not every year, not every day, but over the course of time, it goes up into the right.
I am a firm believer that it will continue over the course of time to go up into the right past performance is not indicative of future gains, but I’m a big believer in the country of America. The stock market that I’m investing in is the American stock market. I really think it’s going to continue over the long haul to grow. Short term, I have some money in savings accounts, but they’re paying nothing. I don’t know what I’m thinking about in medium term. I haven’t thought about medium term money. I guess I just wanted to throw that out there that I do still believe in investing in the stock market, but when you needed it in the short term, don’t put it in the stock market, because imagine you needed to pull money out at the end of March last year. Now you’ve lost all this money. It didn’t come back, but did anybody predict that it was going to come back in like 30 days or whatever ridiculous bounce it came back in?

Scott:
I think it just all comes back to like, let’s spend much than we earn, build up a strong emergency reserve, invest consistently, but not aggressively for the long run where we can and maybe start with [house act 01:00:00]. As part of that, we all agree.

Mindy:
Okay. Well, let’s look at where Barb is investing her money. She talked about index funds. You talked about a couple of long-term stocks. What does your investment portfolio look like in terms of percentages?

Barbara:
I have probably a 65 stock, 35 fixed portfolio. In the fixed portion, I have some bond investments which are bond funds that I have some municipal bond funds. I have some bond funds that have a term, so they have all the bonds, their ETFs, and thereby shares and they have a term. One term is up at a maturity date, so they are funds, but they act like an individual bond. It goes up in December of 2021. I have another one, I kind of ladder them.
Another one that comes due in 2023. That way, if interest rates are higher, I can reinvest that fixed money in other bond funds with higher returns. On the stock side, I have U.S. diversified index funds. I have S.P.Y., which is as the Standard and Poor’s, I have VTI, which is Vanguard’s Total Market. I have RSP, which is an equal weight U.S. stock market fund, which will favor more value stocks because it is not market capitalization, which means for those of you who don’t know, most of your index funds are market capitalization weighted, which means the bigger companies have a greater weight than the smaller companies.
Then I also invest internationally, oh, wait in the U.S. I also invest in some small cap value mutual ETFs, mid cap, and then REITs, U.S. REITs. Just to diversify U.S. real estate investment trust. Then I have international holdings, a broadly diversified stock index fund develop market, emerging markets. I did have an international REIT stock real estate fund, which I sold just, the returns were horrible. I’ll probably regret it because now they’ll probably go up since I sold it. So just in a summary, I have diversified U.S. in global stock and bond portfolio, weighted towards small caps in value, because historically value stocks have done better than growth stocks. Although not recently.

Scott:
It sounds like most of this portfolio is going to be publicly traded securities managed through your brokerage account in IRAs. Is that right?

Barbara:
Yes, absolutely. That is correct.

Scott:
Do you have other assets?

Barbara:
I also have a couple of robo-advisors. I do have to put a plug for that. I love robo-advisors. I review them. I think they are wonderful. I do have a couple of them myself.

Scott:
Do you have other assets outside of those, for example, you mentioned you have a house in California, you have a business, your cash position. Is there anything else maybe beyond those? Could you walk through those other assets?

Barbara:
No, I do not. At present, I get pitched, I look at all the time. Private investment opportunities, investment opportunities, and alternative types of platforms. Crowdfunding. I did have two debt crowdfunding platforms that I am… They’re long-term holdings so you can’t sell those until all of the loans within those platforms come due. I invested in those probably eight years ago, and I am now taking my money out of those, because I just don’t like the returns for the amount of risk, a lot of defaults. That’s the really only alternative crowdfunded type of investment that I have.

Scott:
Oh, nice. We’re in the same club there. I actually lost a good amount of money through a dead crowdfunding portal myself. It doesn’t sound like you lost money, but yeah. That was fun.

Barbara:
Yeah. We all have losses and that’s a reality. At first I was getting like 9% returns by the end, I was getting 3% returns and it’s like, I don’t need this. I’m enrolling my position. I feel like, although I always get excited, I’m on the money tree investing podcasts, and we get all these opportunities. Every time I hear someone say, this sounds fabulous. I’ve got to invest. But when it gets down to what, I try to keep my life kind of simple. A lot of these other type of investment platforms require a lot more due diligence because a lot of them are not regulated in the same way that the public markets are. I’m not saying I’ll never invest in a private investment, but I’ve just haven’t done that right now.

Scott:
Got it.

Mindy:
I liked that comment. You have to do your due diligence. Don’t just hear about some hot new investment and be like, ooh, I’m totally going to jump in with that, because you could lose everything if you don’t know what you’re doing. I think that’s really great to remember. Okay. Barb, in terms of monthly spending, how many months do you keep on hand in cash or other easily liquidatable funds?

Barbara:
Well, you have to remember that I’m a lot older than your typical viewers. You also have to remember that I’m in the sphere where people retire. So I always have in the back of my mind, well, maybe I will want to retire. My husband as well, he’s like maybe we’ll want to retire. I preface that. We have two years.

Mindy:
Okay. I think that is a really important question because I think there’s a lot of people out there who don’t have adequate cash reserves. There’s this idea, oh, I can’t have any money just sitting around. I need to have every dollar working for me. No, sometimes your dollars are working for you by sitting there waiting to be deployed in an emergency. If you can’t cash flow almost any emergency, you should have some dollars sitting to the side. I like that answer. Okay. It is now time for our famous four questions. These are the same four questions we ask all of our guests. Barb, are you ready?

Barbara:
Yes.

Mindy:
This has been delightful by the way. I really enjoyed you being here today.

Barbara:
This has been so fun. I could talk to you guys all day, although I’m sure the listeners would be totally bored by the end.

Mindy:
Okay. What is your favorite finance book?

Barbara:
The Elements of Investing by Malkiel and Ellis. It’s a hundred pages and it is an easy read. I think everyone should read it.

Scott:
All right. I’ve heard of that one before. That’s an interesting, I’ll go check that out. What was your biggest money mistake?

Barbara:
I think it was a house that we bought in Indiana. Back in, long time ago. We used to live in California and we lived there for 10 years. After our daughter was born, we decided we wanted to get off the rat race and moved back to the Midwest where we could raise a child without both of us having to work full time. My husband took a job in Indiana with the intent I would stay home with our daughter. The dollar bought so much more in Indiana than it did in California, we bought a huge house, brand new, beautiful, decorated just the way I liked it. Modern, contemporary. Think Indiana. Okay. Is that the style that goes in Indiana? Then the job was not great. In fact, my husband didn’t like it at all.
Two years later we were ready to move, put the house on the market and people didn’t like it. Finally, and this is so important. We got a realtor who said to us. Well, I have someone who wants to make an offer, but it’s, oh, I think it was like at 10%. We would have taken a 10% loss if we took it. I’m like, no, we don’t want that offer. Long story short, we ended up selling the house for a $25,000 loss. We should have taken that offer. My lesson is that when someone says, I have someone that wants to make an offer, get them to put it on paper, then you can always negotiate. If you say, no, you have no choice. That was a huge learning experience and a very big mistake. Then we ended up selling it for a $25,000 loss.

Scott:
It sounds like you got [hosed 01:10:19] on this house.

Barbara:
Another piece of advice. If you’re decorating in Indiana, probably don’t want to go for a really modern look. More traditional is big in Indiana.

Mindy:
That is still good advice to this day. I used to live near Indiana just on the Illinois side and yeah, not a lot of design trailblazing there. Okay. Besides that piece of advice, what is your best piece of advice for people who are just starting out?

Barbara:
Gosh, I could talk to you guys forever and I would love to, but if you are just starting out, be patient. Do the smart things. Financial success takes time and you’re not going to get there overnight. Balance out how you want to live today with saving and planning for the future. Save part of your money, invest in your 401k. Create an emergency fund of at least six months. If you can, set up a brokerage account as well, have your money automatically transferred out of your paycheck, if you can’t see it, it’ll be easier to live on what’s left in your checking account.

Mindy:
Yes, yes, yes.

Scott:
Great advice. What is your favorite joke to tell at parties?

Barbara:
I’m the worst joke teller ever, Scott. I’m handing you the reins Scott. I can’t do it.

Mindy:
You’re going to regret that.

Scott:
Here’s a gem that we got from anonymous. I got hit in the head with a can of soda yesterday, but luckily for me it was a soft drink, okay. Where could people find out more about you?

Barbara:
I would love to hear from you. So you can find me at Barbara Freedburg Personal Finance, Robo-Advisor Pros and my brand new YouTube channel called Barbara Freedburg. I have 200 subscribers and I know that does not sound like a lot, but I have to tell you guys, I love those 200 subscribers.

Scott:
All right, well go check them out. We’ll link to all three of those areas on in the show notes. The show notes can be found at biggerpockets.com/moneyshow185.

Mindy:
Barb. This was fabulous. I knew having you on was going to be fun, but I didn’t know it was going to be this fun. I’m so pleased to be able to spend time with you today. Thank you so much for coming.

Scott:
Yeah. Thank you. This is great.

Barbara:
Thank you for having me. You guys have just made my month.

Scott:
All right.

Barbara:
Thrilled to be here.

Scott:
It’s the first day of the month or like the second, one of those. Yeah, so we appreciate the compliment. I’m glad this could be [inaudible 01:13:39] so far.

Mindy:
Okay, Barb. We will talk to you soon.
Okay. That was Barb Freeburg. Scott, I already knew Barb before this. What did you think of the episode?

Scott:
I thought she was fantastic. I think she’s really smart, as she said so and I think she has a really good approach to wealth building. It was really fun peppering her with questions and seeing her just fire off responses because she’s clearly mastered a lot of these mental models around wealth building. I just had a great time and learned a lot from her.

Mindy:
I did too. I love her thought process. This isn’t rocket science, this isn’t something you’re going to have to really learn and understand. She was a financial advisor. She was a fund manager and she still invests in index funds. The story that she told about having the teacher asked, “Who in here thinks they could beat the stock market?” You’re only 30% chance and your chances turn over every year. In short, you can’t beat the stock market long-term and making smart decisions so that you can hopefully match the stock market is the best way to go.

Scott:
Well guys, I am really interested in the exploring more deeply, potentially the question that we pose to her about around like, “Hey, real estate is expensive. Stocks are expensive. Bonds are low yield, inflation may be living on the horizon. What do you think you invest in? Or how do you think you approach that problem?” If different from the conservative, diversified, all around approach that Barb referenced on the show earlier today. I would love to hear your opinions and let’s have a discussion on that in the Bigger Pockets, Money, Facebook group.

Mindy:
Yes. You can join our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/bpmoney. We’re going to post this question in the Facebook group. I would love to hear your responses because yeah, where do you put your money? Where do you plant your money so it can grow while everything’s already grown to the top or so it seems. We recorded this show at the beginning of March. I’m curious to see what happens this March because last March was kind of a wild ride. Hopefully we have a very calm and boring March, but we will talk to you on April 5th in the Facebook group. Scott, should we get out of here?

Scott:
Let’s do it.

Mindy:
From episode 185 of the Bigger Pockets, Money Podcast. He is Scott Trench and you can find him on Instagram @scott_trench. I am Mindy Jensen and you can find me on Twitter @MindyAtBP. We are saying too-da-loo kangaroo!

 

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In This Episode We Cover

  •  Making sure that money is a topic often discussed in your family
  •  Knowing the value of money and fighting back the urge to spend frivolously
  • Saving a large amount of your income whenever possible
  • Why Barbara doesn’t believe the FIRE Movement is attainable by most
  • Why You HAVE to be diversified in order to succeed
  • What to do with your short, medium, and long-term money
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Book Mentioned in the Show

Connect with Barbara:

Barbara Friedberg wasn’t always the savvy investor and saver that many people know her as, but her background helped get her there. Born to parents of the great depression, Barbara […]