DiscoverMoney For the Rest of Us
Money For the Rest of Us
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Money For the Rest of Us

Author: J. David Stein

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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

315 Episodes
What is the cause of the current U.S. coin shortage and when have there been other shortages. Why is there a push to get rid of both the penny and the hundred dollar bill.Topics covered include:How many coins does the U.S. Mint produce each year and why hasn't it been enough to avert a coin shortage in 2020.How the U.S. coin shortage in the early 1960s differs from today.How much profit does the U.S. Mint make producing coins even though it loses money minting both pennies and nickels.How often and under what circumstances do U.S. consumers pay with cash.Why the U.S. penny should be discontinued.Why companies and individuals are hoarding cash, mostly in one hundred dollar bills.Why the existence of one hundred dollar bills would impede the effectiveness of negative interest rates in the U.S.Why has the U.S. mint sold 300% more ounces of gold coins in 2020 compared to last year.Thanks to Chili and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode.
What are the pros and cons of income share agreements for partially funding higher education. Are investing in ISA's a viable opportunity?Topics covered include:How do income share agreements (ISAs) differ from student loans for funding higher education costs.Are ISA's really a partial form of slavery or indentured servitudeWhat are the components of an ISA contract.How adverse selection, differential pricing, moral hazard, and a lack of regulation pose challenges to income share agreements.What is an internal rate of return and why is it the best metric for estimating the return of investing in ISAs.How students should evaluate ISA's relative to loans.What are some pricing examples for specific ISAsWhat options exist for investing in ISAs.Thanks to LinkedIn Jobs and for sponsoring the episodeFor show notes and more information on this episode click here.
What are the three primary ways to allocate assets and build a portfolio when saving for retirement or living in retirement.Topics covered include:How saving for retirement and living in retirement differ.What are the expected return and risk of the Permanent, Golden Butterfly, and All Season portfolios.What are the pros and cons of a role-based permanent portfolio.What are the pros and cons of a strategic portfolio mix, such as the Bogleheads Three Fund PortfolioWhat are the pros and cons of an adaptive asset garden portfolio.Thanks to NetSuite and The Great Courses Plus for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Are Banks Safe?

Are Banks Safe?


Is a bank collapse coming due to bank exposure to collateralized loan obligations as defaults increase?Topics covered include:What are collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), how are they structured, and what has been their historical default rates.How much exposure do banks have to CLOs and will it impact your bank savings and investments.What are bank capital ratios and how are they calculated.How banks are more conservatively run due to the adoption of the Basel III regulatory framework.What are bank stress tests and how have they performed.Why the Federal Reserve just capped dividends for the largest U.S. banks.How many U.S. banks have failed during the pandemic crisis compared to the Great Financial Crisis.Thanks to Simplifi and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
An analysis of the returns and risks of different lending platform options including asset-based lending, unsecured peer-to-peer lending, cryptocurrency lending and a cash advance company that promises to pay a 15% annual percentage yield.Topics covered include:U-haul Investors Club and other asset-based lending optionsDriverLoans Investor Club that promises a 15% guaranteed returnBlockFi - cryptocurrency lending with yields over 8%LendingClub and why returns are only 4% to 5%The economics of cash advance and payday loan lending businessesThanks to LinkedIn and Aspiration for sponsoring the episode. Text the word David to 64000 to open an Aspiration Save and Spend Account.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Why individuals should use a more agile approach to investing and financial planning.Topics covered include:How to incorporate low probability catastrophic events in your financial plans.How traditional financial planning differs from agile financial planning.Why we need to test-drive our financial plans.How too much efficiency can lead to a lack of resilience.How David's portfolio is allocated using a role-based flexible bucket approach.Thanks to Policygenius and The Great Courses Plus for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Investing Is Not Knowing

Investing Is Not Knowing


How successful investing requires judgment and humility not accurate forecasting ability.Topics covered include:Why pretending to know when you don't is harmful.Why true experts admit their limitations.Why David recently increased his allocation to stocks in his portfolio.How the number of new retail brokerage accounts has exploded.How the stock of the bankrupt company Hertz is a great example of how not to invest.What is privilege and what should we do about it.Thanks to NetSuite and Aspiration for sponsoring the episode. To open your Aspiration Spend and Save cash management account, text DAVID to 64-000For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
How alternative investment opportunities, such as venture capital, private equity, real estate and real assets, are increasing for individuals. Why these opportunities differ from what is available to institutional investors and how to evaluate them like a pro.Topics covered include:What are alternative investments and how are they structured.What are 5 factors that determine alternative investment returns.Lessons from three recent alternative investment deals including one that defaulted.How to evaluate alternative investment opportunities.Thanks to Simplifi and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
What are the forces that lead to the rise and fall of nations. Why does the U.S. appear to be in decline and what investors can do to prepare.Topics covered include:An overview of Ray Dalio and Bridgewater Associates' investment processWhy human productivity is the most powerful force for creating wealth.Additional forces that contribute to nations increasing in power and wealth.Why being the reserve currency is an exorbitant privilege.What are factors that indicate a nation's influence and power is in decline.What are 5 important monetary principles all investors should understand.What are the questions you should ask to gauge your economic well-being.What investments should you own to prepare for a changing world order.Thanks to LinkedIn Learning for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
A look at growing patterns consumers and businesses are adopting as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.Topics covered include:Two constants in a radically unpredictable worldHow removing things is more powerful than adding thingsHow airline travel will change, leading to more local travelWhy bicycle sales are soaringHow our social interactions are changingWhat is local maximaHow the forces of money, trust, technology, and climate change have played out in the aftermath of the pandemic.Thanks to The Great Courses Plus for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
How the stock market differs from and can perform differently than the economy while remaining highly dependent on the economy for its success.Topics covered include:Why the stock markets in countries with lower economic growth performed better than the stock markets in countries with higher economic growth.How the top 5 stocks in the S&P 500 Index have the largest weighting in 30 years and what will it takes for these stocks to outperform the market.What are the largest contributors to U.S economic growth, most of which are not publicly traded.How the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve saved the stock market.How have stocks performed during economic recessions.Why it is risky for investors to be dependent on the financial prospects of the largest technology stocks.Thanks to Grammarly and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
How to protect your savings from monetary threats like devaluation. Why high yield savings accounts exist, and are they worth it.Topics covered include:Why Lebanon defaulted on its national debt and announced it will devalue its currency by 57%.Why some depositors in Lebanon will probably lose some of their bank savings.What investors can do to protect themselves from currency devaluations.What are stablecoins and why are they useful.Why some online banks pay above-average interest rates on savings accounts.Why banks need to attract new deposits even though they create deposits when they make a loan.Thanks to Mint Mobile and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Why the oil price fell below zero and what are other examples of negative prices. What lessons can we learn from negative prices.Topics covered include:How oil futures work and why the oil future prices fell below zero for the first time ever.Why has the United States Oil ETF (USO) lost so much money.How ETF authorized participants create new shares only so they can be shorted.How storage problems for oil and electricity can lead to negative prices.How negative interest rates are another form of negative prices.Why sellers will pay buyers to deliver a service to them.What financial lessons can we learn from negative prices.Thanks to LinkedIn Learning and The Investor's Podcast for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
How central banks can become insolvent and why it can lead to hyperinflation. What are four ways the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury could monetize the national debt.Topics covered include:What are the major asset and liabilities of the Federal ReserveHow does the Federal Reserve make a profit and what happens if it suffers a loss.How has the Federal Reserve has significantly expanded the types of assets it will hold and what are the risks.What could cause the Federal Reserve and other central banks to become insolvent.What are the constraints central banks face.What are four ways the U.S. national debt could be monetized.How investors can protect themselves against central bank insolvency.Thanks to The Great Courses Plus and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
How the stories we tell ourselves lead to economic change. What are current pandemic related narratives that are impacting financial markets and the economy.Topics covered include:Examples of mathematical models for epidemics.What are the risks when the global economy is opened again.Under what circumstances do individuals rely on anecdotal evidence rather than statistics.What are some propositions that underly how economic narratives spread.What are some examples of major narratives that impact the economy.How humans have a bias toward action and how to deal with that when the best course is to stay in place.Should investors be increasing their stock exposure now that the markets are rallying and central banks are taking aggressive action.Thanks to Policygenius and LinkedIn for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
What is the difference between risk and uncertainty and how our decision making approach should differ under each scenario. Why pandemics are highly uncertain and should be treated as such.Topics covered include:How the coronavirus pandemic is far worse than other pandemics this century.How humans have a difficult time accepting that things won't return to normal.What is the difference between risk and uncertainty.How we make decisions should differ if something is uncertain versus risky.What is the minimax regret approach to making decisions under uncertainty.How stories help us deal with uncertainty.How the story driving financial markets has changed.What is the duration and severity of bear markets during a recession and how large have bear market stock rallies been.What will it take for the pandemic to end and to be more confident about the future.Thanks to Mint Mobile and Grammarly for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
What central banks such as the Federal Reserve and federal governments are doing to counteract the negative impact of the pandemic related economic shutdown. What are the risks of this massive monetary and fiscal stimulus and how to mitigate those risks.Topics covered include:How central banks have the capacity to create an infinite amount of money.How the Federal Reserve is using its money-printing ability to stabilize the financial system and reduce the negative impact of the pandemic related economic shutdown.What are the mechanics of quantitative easing.What are examples of stimulus programs during the Great Depression that didn't work because they were too focused on social engineering. How massive central bank and government stimulus could lead to inflation or deflation.How inflation-indexed bonds such as Treasury Inflation Protection Securities can help reduce inflation risk, and why owning individual TIPs is particularly attractive right now.Why it's okay for investors with a long time horizon to ride out the current market turmoil without reducing risk.What are current and leading economic indicators suggesting about the severity of the economic shutdown and the potential for recovery.Thanks to LinkedIn Learning and Rad Power Bikes for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
How to avoid ruin and help others avoid ruin as the economy shuts down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Topics covered include:What is the precautionary principle and how can it help us make important decisions with regards to the coronavirus pandemic.How many people could be infected with Covid-19 in the next 30 to 60 days at the current daily growth rate.Why investment managers are selling assets to reduce their market exposure.Should individual investors be increasing or reducing their exposure to the stock market in the current market environment.How recent actions by the Federal Reserve suggest they think a U.S. recession is imminent.What can individuals locked down at home do to survive mentally and emotionally.What we can do to help businesses avoid ruin during the pandemic crisis. Thanks to Netsuite and Rad Power Bikes for sponsoring the episode. Text the word RAD to the number 64-000 to get a free accessory with the purchase of a bike.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Why closed-end funds are David's favorite investment vehicle, particularly during market panics. What are the unique characteristics of these funds and what are successful strategies for investing them.Topics covered include:How closed-end funds differ from open-end mutual funds and ETFs.Why most closed-end funds are bond funds and use leverage.Why closed-end funds can sell at large discounts and premiums.What are managed distribution programs.How to evaluate and select closed-end funds.What is the Income Factory approach to closed-end fund investing.Thanks to LinkedIn and The HPScast for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Why most investors practice both market timing and time in the market. Why it is okay to reduce stock exposure given the coronavirus pandemic threat.What would a stock portfolio return that misses the best or worst days and how likely is that.How do rolling 30-year stock returns differ depending on the starting point.Why are stocks likely to outperform bonds over the next 30 years.What is sequence of return risk. What is market timing.Why long-term investors should never move completely out of the stock market, but it is still okay to adjust stock exposure based on market conditions.What are some additional rules of thumb for market timing.How the coronavirus pandemic has increased financial and economic risks and what to do about it.Thanks to Policygenius and Mint Mobile for sponsoring the episode.For show notes and more information on this episode click here.
Comments (12)


Hey JD - awesome explaination on collateral and repo. I wonder - why there is not any prohibition on banks for not engaging in practice of using only the limited % of institution’s money.

Jun 6th


with Trump in office i could see him or some other extremist leader causing hyperinflation through a policy mistake or two.

Feb 20th


One of my favorite episodes. David is an academic when it comes to explaining an issue.

Jan 11th

Richard Davis

Great skyscraper bond Example where speculation drove Production above reasonable levels

Oct 24th

Xiaosong Rong


Apr 1st

samrat hazari

waoooww really appreciate your podcast

Nov 13th

David Johnson

I love this podcast. I learned of it from the Afford Anything podcast and am so happy I found it!

Oct 26th

iTunes User

Man, this podcast is fantastic. I am so glad I came across it. My favorite episode is #24 because it deconstructs and evaluates the Permanent Portfolio by Harry Dent. I like the podcast as it is, but would love to hear more episodes that cover the various investment portfolios out there. I'm particularly interested in Lazy Portfolios and have followed David Swensen's with good results, but would love to get Mr. Stein's take on it.

Aug 30th

iTunes User

I discovered your podcast on iTunes a few days ago. I am listening to them from the beginning. I usually listen to podcast about why hyperinflation is on the way and everyone needs gold or silver to survive. I have been stressed out for years waiting on dooms day. The more of your podcast I listen to, the less stress I feel. Thank you for explaining how money works in a way I can understand.

Aug 30th
Reply (1)

iTunes User

an excellent podcast. mr stein is articulate, pleasant to listen to, has great delivery and clear podcasts and while our investment styles and philosophy differ greatly, he has a sound understanding of money, investing and ideas about how to incorporate these into a philosophy of success.

Aug 30th

Matthew McKibben

This is a great podcast. I'm 29 and have just been starting to invest into a 401k and have been looking into other options. This makes it possible for me to learn while going to work

Aug 1st
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