Money For the Rest of Us

Money For the Rest of Us

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


March 27, 2023 49 min

David has a fascinating discussion with Kristof Gleich about active management, indexing, and how ETFs and mutual funds really work.

Topics covered include:

  • Should individual investors even try to select active mutual funds
  • Is there an indexing bubble
  • Why are there so many new ETFs
  • Should we be worried about an ETF flash crash
  • What do ETF market makers and authorized participants do
  • Do SEC yields for international equity mutu...
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"If something is profitable, it will be done," says Martin Wolf of the Financial Times. We explore how profits will drive the energy transition and how and where water from the Colorado River is used.

Topics covered include:

  • How profits have led to higher energy market share for natural gas and renewal energy
  • What is hindering a faster transition to renewables
  • What is contributing to a water shortage in the southwestern U....
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What caused Silicon Valley Bank to collapse in only 44 hours, and how likely will the contagion spread, leading to other bank failures?

Topics covered include:

  • How losses on bonds blew up SVB's balance sheet
  • How is Silicon Valley Bank similar and different than other regional banks
  • What the FDIC and Federal Reserve are trying do to restore confidence and stop bank runs
  • How a weakening of the Frank-Dodd bank regulation act s...
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How leveraged loans and CLOs work and how to invest in them. What are the risks and opportunities with the new CLO ETFs.

Topics covered include:

  • What are the characteristics of leveraged loans and how David has invested in them in the past, both professionally and personally.
  • Why LIBOR reference rate for leveraged loans is being phased out
  • What is the current investing climate for leveraged loans
  • How collateralized loan obl...
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Do activist hedge funds including Carl Icahn's add value? Should you invest in Icahn Enterprises L.P., a conglomerate with a 15% dividend yield and a stake in Carl Icahn's hedge fund?

Topics covered include:

  • How Icahn Enterprises' (IEP) investment performance compares to Berkshire Hathaway
  • How to analyze individual stocks and why it is challenging
  • What are activist hedge funds and do they make a positive performance differ...
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February 15, 2023 22 min

Why long-term U.S. stock market outperformance could be because it has avoided major catastrophes. Does an over-reliance on historical U.S. stock returns when modeling retirement outcomes lead to spending rates that are too high?

Topics covered include:

  • Why you might consider earthquake insurance
  • What is survivorship bias and what are some examples
  • Why the U.S. is an outlier when it comes to stock market performance
  • Why the...
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What are the pros and cons of a simple stock and bond portfolio consisting of two funds or ETFs? Given U.S. stocks have significantly outperformed the rest of the world over the past decade, is there even a role for non-U.S. stocks in your investment portfolio?

Topics covered include:

  • How have 60/40 and similar portfolios performed over the long-term
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 60/40 portfolio
  • What is th...
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We consider four case studies in which individuals struggle to decide what to do with their investment portfolios.

Topics include:

  • Why it's so difficult to reenter the stock market after sitting on the sidelines and what to do instead
  • What are the risks of having a too aggressive portfolio allocation in retirement and what to do instead
  • What to do when an investment strategy has worked really well but you feel it is time t...
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What you need to know to confidently invest in bonds.

Topics covered include:

  • Key components of bond investing include face value, coupon rates, yield-to-maturity, duration, and convexity
  • How to decide between owning longer-term or short-term bonds
  • How to decide whether to own individual bonds or bond funds and ETFs
  • When to use active bond management versus bond indexing
  • How bullet bond ETFs work and when to use them
  • How to k...
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How sophisticated AI apps from OpenAI and other companies create articles, art, and other works that have never existed. How generative AI will impact business owners, employees, students, and financial markets.

Topics include:

  • How AI is creating personal finance articles and other creative works
  • ChatGPT's attempt at writing a script for the Money For the Rest of Us podcast
  • How ChatGPT and other large language models work
  • W...
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We analyze the worrisome national debt situation in the U.S., UK, and Japan and consider what will determine the likelihood of default

Topics covered include:

  • How big is the national debt in the U.S., UK, and Japan
  • Why Japan and UK interest rates have increased
  • When do federal government debts jump the most
  • What two numbers are key to whether a level of national debt is sustainable
  • What are five ways indebted countries have ...
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January 4, 2023 46 min

We kick off 2023 by answering your questions on making portfolio changes, risk tolerance, the strong dollar, inflation and retirement, influential books, and other topics.

For more information on this episode click here.

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How public equity REITs differ from private REITs. Why investors are selling out of private REITs and why private REIT sponsors like Blackstone and Starwood are limiting investors' ability to do so.

Topics covered include:

  • What are public and private real estate investment trusts
  • Why has Blackstone's BREIT been such a success
  • Why investors are trying to exit private REITs
  • Why commercial property values are falling
  • Is now a g...
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December 7, 2022 22 min

How to solve the conundrum that consumption reductions lead to economic disasters while benefiting the environment.

Topics covered include:

  • Why consumption, fossil fuel usage, and carbon emissions keep growing
  • How fossil fuel consumption goes well beyond heating and transportation uses but is tied to agriculture, steel, and cement production
  • The four times global consumption fell and the dire economic consequences that res...
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What are the best options for safely investing cash.

Topics covered include:

  • High-yield savings accounts
  • Certificates of Deposits
  • Government Bonds
  • Money Market Mutual Funds
  • When should you invest in long-term bonds
  • Why some savings apps try to look like banks but they are not
  • What happens when central banks lose money
  • Where not to deposit cash for safety

For more information on this episode click here.



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Camden and David converse with Asha Mehta, Managing Partner & CIO at Global Delta Capital about the bullish case for emerging and frontier market stocks as well as the risks.

Topics covered include:

  • How to go about investing in emerging markets
  • Should you invest in China
  • Where are the most promising emerging and frontier markets
  • Why aggregate emerging markets earnings have been lackluster
  • How to balance quantitative anal...
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How the bankruptcy of FTX, the world's third-largest crypto exchange, undermines trust in cryptocurrency and decentralized finance, making it even more difficult for crypto to ever be taken seriously as a monetary alternative.

Topics covered include:

  • How FTX squandered its customers' deposits
  • How FTX is another example of a private money bank run
  • How traditional securities lending works and why it is very low risk compared...
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How the International Monetary Fund, the world's economic firefighter, works for global monetary cooperation and prosperity while using its own made-up currency, the SDR.

Topics covered include:

  • What was the Bretton Woods monetary system that led to the formation of the IMF and the World Bank
  • How the World Bank and IMF differ
  • What does the IMF do
  • How the IMF creates its own money out of thin air
  • Why does Argentina, the IMF's...
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How to survive in a world where luck and randomness play a pivotal role.

Topics covered include:

  • What are power laws
  • What are the narrative fallacy and hindsight bias
  • What are examples of domains where randomness has contributed to success
  • What are ways to distinguish investing skill from luck
  • How sixth-century philosopher Boethius had an accurate view of chance
  • What are ways we can benefit from good luck while protecting our...
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October 26, 2022 24 min

How to use laddered inflation-indexed bonds (i.e., TIPS), CDs, fixed annuities, and fixed index annuities to meet retirement living expenses while worrying less about running out of money.

Topics covered include:

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