Take control of your personal finances and make better money decisions. Eric Roberge, CFP and Kali Roberge share how use your money as a tool to enjoy your life now while still doing strategic financial planning for the future. This is the show for anyone who wants to change their mindset and go from financially stuck to self-made wealth. Join in on these intimate conversations to improve your financial situation, reach financial success, and get more of what you want from your life.
Managing Equity Comp: How to Balance the Risks and Rewards
25:5349: Leveraging equity compensation is one of the potential avenues we previously highlighted for use on the road to building wealth. But to enjoy the rewards, you have to know how to manage the risks along the way. Many industries offer a piece of ownership to company employees through equity compensation packages. If you receive equity, you might get incentive stock options (ISOs), non-qualified stock options (NQSOs), restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs), or have the ability to participate in an employer stock purchase plan (ESPP). Any type of equity compensation can supercharge your ability to grow your assets in a short period of time. But with high potential for reward comes the real threat of risk and loss. Successfully leveraging your equity compensation will require you to strike the right balance between reaping the benefits and protecting against the downsides. Today on the show, we provide a general overview of equity compensation and how to manage it to your advantage. We cover: Why companies might offer equity comp to employees Common types of equity we most often see our wealth management clients receive from their companies The benefits of receiving equity (and why pursuing a position with a company who offers it as part of their compensation packages might be a worthwhile effort) The downside risks of any equity comp package and the common mistakes we see people make Why even the opportunity to hit a home run with a rising company stock price is probably not worth chasing (and what you can do instead that will still increase your wealth without sacrificing your ability to achieve your goals) Baseline strategies you can use to manage your equity compensation over time
What It Takes to Manage Investments Well
25:5648: Lots of people think they're good DIY investors. But they miss a lot of nuance, and make a lot of mistakes. Here's what it really takes to manage investments well. If you invested in the market over the last 10 years… it was easy to win. The markets climbed up and up, with the longest bull market in history running from 2009 to 2020. Even a global pandemic wasn’t enough to keep the markets down in the spring of 2020. Stocks cratered and lost 30% of value in March — but had you not paid attention in the spring and only looked at market performance around August of that year, you might not know anything happened at all as the big indices hit record highs once more by late summer. The real question, especially for DIY investors who have had success and see themselves as good at portfolio management, is this: Will you keep seeing these same results going forward? Knowing the mistakes DIY investors make, there’s no guarantee you’ll keep winning unless you know what pitfalls to look out for and avoid. In this episode, we’re looking at the common areas in which average investors consistently misstep. We’re also sharing our perspective as professional investment managers on what makes or breaks a DIY investor. The bottom line? Hiring a professional to manage your assets for you or going the DIY route are both good options. The right choice for you depends on precisely who you are and whether or not you have the skills, time, and expertise to avoid the mistakes we cover today. Today, we’re looking at: Why “investment management” is not just about asset allocation. (Yes, that’s an important component – but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg!) What good asset management looks like, either when done by a pro or by a DIY investor (hint: investment management should be a complete process and a system – not a handful of to-dos to cross off a list. Good management is ongoing, proactive, and comprehensive.) The killer mistakes we see investors make when they invest without guidance, including failing to eliminate cash drag, taking the “set it and forget it” philosophy a little too far, and failing to properly execute complex strategies like backdoor Roth conversions or making strategic tax moves within brokerage accounts. How market timing will kill your returns, and why average investors tend to miss the best-performing days in the market. And more. This is a big one, and a must-listen for anyone considering how they can better manage their own portfolio… or for anyone who doesn’t understand why you’d ever hire an investment manager. If you think investment management is just asset allocation and picking an index fund or two, there’s a lot you might be missing. Get in the loop by queuing up this episode of the show.
Make Your Money Goals Easier to Achieve
19:5247: Today on the show, we discuss a key strategy in making your money goals easier to achieve, faster. It's all about the FPA framework: focus, prioritize, and act. In this episode, we cover: How to determine if you're making progress... or just looking busy but not actually getting anywhere Where most people go wrong with financial goal-setting (and how to avoid their mistakes) Why creating wiggle room and a buffer in your finances - with everything from your goals to your overall plan - is a critical component to success that most people skip How to make decision-making around spending and saving much easier Where our brains fail us when it comes to understanding probability (and how to plan around that shortcoming) The kinds of goals you may want to avoid, because they're more likely to hold you back or distract you from making real progress when it comes to building wealth The strategies and tips you can use to set goals that better align with your values, and are actually easier to achieve We also share our number-one personal financial goal and priority that we set each year, and how you can accomplish it yourself if you want to work toward it with us.
5 Ways to Build Good Financial Habits
11:2746: People aren't just born being good with money. They take the time to build good financial habits —and you can, too. What usually makes the difference between someone who seems to manage money well and someone who consistently struggles? It's all about our good financial habits (or lack thereof). Instead of feeling like you have to change who you are, or beating yourself up for what you feel are weaknesses or shortcomings, you can simply focus on building better money habits if you want to improve your financial situation. Good financial habits do take time and effort to build, but it is possible to achieve — and today on the show, we're outlining 5 specific ways that you can do just that. Try some of these activities and exercises that can help you optimize your money management skills and level up your financial life.
Do You Need a Budget If You're Financially Successful?
21:0245: You earn good income, have enough money to pay pills and contribute to savings, and feel like you made it. Do you REALLY need to keep up with a budget once you're financially secure? Uh, yeah. Because budgeting isn't a bad word. It's a mindfulness exercise for your finances. Although it might feel like budgeting is basic personal finance 101, or that it's only something you do when money is tight and you need to carefully manage every last penny, a budget is always a useful tool for your cash flow. In fact, the more money you earn and need to manage, the important it is to pay close attention. A budget can help you do just that as you spend more time handling your increasingly complex financial life. Without a budget, you may miss opportunities to optimize and maximize the dollars you have. It also leaves you without critical data that you need to make fully informed spending and saving decisions. In this episode, we explore why budgeting is not a basic financial function -- and why the more successful you become and the more money you earn, the bigger the role a great budget can play in your continued prosperity. We also share how we personally budget, the money meetings we have each quarter, some of the complexities of our own cash flow, and we provide a few tips on employing the same bucketing strategy that we use to ensure we save and invest appropriately so we can spend freely and without guilt.
Credit Score Myths and Truths Revealed
19:3444: Do you know what ACTUALLY impacts your credit score? And how much does it really matter anyway if your score drops by a few points? What should you do to raise your score -- and what isn't worth trying at all? In this episode of the show, we bust some very common but total misconceptions around what goes into your credit score and how to maintain a high one. We also talk about the facts for the best way to manage your credit so you can secure the best interest rates when it's time to finance a purchase. We cover: What factors determine your score When it's a GOOD idea to close a credit card account The surprising things that can hurt your score that people usually don't think about Good credit habits to maintain Why credit card points might not be all they're cracked up to be (and how to make the most of credit card rewards without shooting yourself in the financial foot over them) and more. Join us in this conversation to reveal the truth and bust the myths that commonly surround what we think about our credit scores.
The Value of a Coach
17:2043: You don't need a coach, right? You can just train yourself! That's what we tell ourselves a lot of the time. And too often, it's just not true and we sell ourselves short when we fail to recognize the value of coaching. A recent experience with a running coach made Kali realize how important it is to have an expert there to guide you -- and how equally important it is that a coach is not someone who gives you prescriptive advice and tells you precisely what to do. The best coaches are the ones that set up guardrails, point you in the right direction, and then motivate you to drive forward on your own terms while providing feedback so you can improve along the way. In this episode, we discuss how coaching can make a difference, how it applies to your financial life, what to look for in a good coach, and when to know it's time to hire someone to help elevate your game (or your finances, or your training, or your life) so you can reach your highest potential.
Want to Build Wealth? Then You Need to Create THESE
18:4342: Most people assume they just need to earn a high income, and then they'll be wealthy. Unfortunately, building wealth (especially when you're doing it on your own from scratch) is not always so simple. In this episode, we discuss why only focusing on your income as a measure of financial success is a big mistake that most people make. We also explain what you should do instead, and what's even more critical to create for yourself if you want to build significant wealth and reach financial freedom.
So You Want to Make a Speculative Investment
20:5541: A broad-based, globally diversified portfolio is hands-down the right answer when it comes to growing wealth for the long term. But that doesn't mean other, more speculative and risky investments are always a bad move... They're just not a great idea most of the time. Today, we're looking at some alternative ways to invest outside of a globally diversified portfolio, including stock-picking, placing sector bets, private equity and private placement investments, and more. Generally speaking, these kinds of vehicles are big no-nos for most people. Although it's easy to get swept up into the allure of hitting a home run and scoring an outsized return, the reality is most people swing and miss with investments like this. In fact, speculative bets are just that: bets in the market, and your odds of winning big are usually not in your favor. That doesn't mean you can't ever explore investing outside of your trusty diversified portfolio designed to build wealth over the long run, but you must understand all the caveats, pitfalls, and risks you take when you reach out from that core strategy. In this episode, we explain: Why most people can't afford to take on speculative investments, even if they promise the potential for a big return What you must consider the next time you hear about a "too good to be true" investment opportunity (hint: it sounds too good to be true because it's too good to be true) The questions to ask yourself before you walk out on a limb and take a big risk with an alternative investment The checklist you should be able to complete before you even think about putting your money into high-risk vehicles, as well as helpful rules and guidelines to follow if you want to explore these risky options If you're curious about investments beyond your globally diversified stock market portfolio, this episode will help you better understand the options that are out there... and why there is no easy way to wealth when it comes to building it yourself.
Understanding Insurance: What You Need and What You Don't
26:10In the wake of the pandemic, many people have scrambled to take out insurance policies. But before you buy, make sure you understand the real purpose of a policy so you can choose the best option for your needs. Insurance is, as Kali puts it, something that can make you go "eurrrgh." It's a product you buy hoping you'll never have to use, which is frustrating enough... but combine it with the fact it forces us to have some really emotional conversations, and it can be tough to think logically about the decision to get a policy. Today, we're giving you an overview of what to think about as you start protection planning. Specifically, we're taking a look at disability and life insurance, and explaining: The purpose of this insurance, and what it's designed to protect How disability insurance works (and why you may not need short-term, but long-term disability can be critical) Things to consider before buying your disability policy, including elimination periods and riders Who needs life insurance and why What to think through when determining how much life insurance coverage is adequate The kinds of life insurance that are probably most suitable for you (and what's not necessary) What to watch out for when doing financial planning or buying life insurance (here's a hint: if someone offers you "free" financial planning, run!) We also talk through the policies we have personally, and our thought process on why they were important to put in place — and we make a movie reference or two along the way. Ready to educate yourself so you can feel empowered to make strategic, sound decisions around the insurance you need (and the coverage you don't)? Tune in now.