Bloomberg Radio is so yesterday. And how many of us can actually say we sit down and read the Wall Street Journal every day? Podcasts have become one of the most popular ways for consumers to ingest information on just about anything–so why not get your daily dose of finance medicine through one of these hand-picked podcasts we have cultivated!
Photo Credit: ChooseFI.com
Co-hosts Jonathan Mendonsa and Brad Barrett discuss all things personal finance with a focus on helping listeners achieve financial independence. Some of their popular topics include reducing expenses, tackling debt, tax optimization, side hustles, and other great tips! In their most recent episode, I learned that you can ask a hospital for a discount on paying your bill in full. And guess what, most of the time they will allow it! With a 5 star rating on iTunes along with a listing as one of their Top 25 business podcasts since its creation only three years ago, ChooseFI is definitely an essential!
Photo Credit: Bad With Money
New York Times best selling author, Gabby Dunn, started the Bad With Money podcast in 2016 to research and discuss economic topics with a social justice view, as she considered herself to be "bad with money" and wanted to start a journey to better understand how it affects our day-to-day lives. Ex-writer and producer for Buzzfeed, Gabby now focuses on discussing money topics from the point of view of POC, women, and the LGBTQ+ community and asks often neglected but important questions that are important to people identifying with these groups. One of her recent episodes discusses the costs of living abroad as an LGBTQ+ or black person. iTunes gives Bad With Money a 4.5-star rating, but I give it a solid 5!
Photo Credit: Millennial Money
Shannah Compton Game, a Certified Financial Planner, started the Millennial Money podcast in 2018 to help make talking money less taboo. With a connection to her listeners declaring she is "just like you," Shannah aims not to necessarily teach, but to empower people to take the reins on their financial future. Many episodes focus on money mental fitness, a pillar of mental fitness in which people learn not how to necessarily have more money but feel more in control of their money, which has a huge impact on overall mental well-being. Shannah is considered fairly new to the podcast world and currently has a 4-star rating on iTunes, but I believe she has the potential to become one of the biggest financial podcasts out there.
Photo Credit: Planet Money
This long-established podcast that's sponsored by NPR has been in the podcast world since 2008. Current hosts Amanda Aronczyk, Mary Childs, Karen Duffin, Jacob Goldstein, Sarah Gonzalez, and Kenny Malone bring the perfect amount of comical banter to the money world to make every episode interesting. Check out the twitter account they created for their stock-market bot created to follow Donald Trump's business tweets and make stock-market trades accordingly, ironically handled @BOTUS. The Planet Money podcast currently has a 4.5-star rating on iTunes and boasts a Peabody award and the 2017 Edward R Murrow award for the investigations into Wells Fargo's retaliation against whistleblowers.
Photo Credit: The Investor's Podcast Network
The Millennial Investing podcast is part of The Investors Podcast Network. This fairly new podcast is hosted by accounting and finance professional, Robert Leonard. The lead focus is covering all the basics for millennials to get into the world of investing. Robert interviews experts in the field, such as Scott Young, author of the bestselling Wall Street Journal book, Ultalearning, and Greg Smith, CEO of Thinkific to uncover their tips to help young millennials get into the investing world. For a newer podcast, Millennial Investing impressively holds a five-star rating on iTunes.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.