Episode 154

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Video Episode

Stacked Benjamins. Joe Saul-Sehy

Episode Description

Our next guest, Joe Saul-Sehy, has gone from 16 years as a financial advisor to being the creator and co-host of The Stacking Benjamins Show and Money With Friends podcasts, creator of a network of five podcasts, and monthly contributor to another! He represented American Express and Ameriprise in the media and was the “Money Man” at Detroit’s television channel WXYZ-TV.

From receiving top awards for The Stacking Benjamins Show and hosting the FinCon Expo Main Stage multiple times to being a current board member at large of The Plutus Foundation, Joe has proven himself as a household name in the finance arena. He is also the recipient of the FinCon 2021 Plutus Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Recorded live at FinCon 2021, Austin, Texas.

Bob and Joe trade war stories and bromance the day away.

[1:53] Leaving the world of financial advising to climb other mountains.
[8:21] Feel the fear and do it anyway.
[10:50] Crying about money. Most of us have all done it.
[16:33] Why surround sound is so important.
[18:55] Timelining your goals.
[25:29] Obvious quote by Sherlock Holmes.
[27:52] Tricking yourself to succeed.
[37:41] His book “Stacked,” 15 years in the making.

“Stacked: Your Super Serious Guide to Modern Money Management,” Joe’s new book is available for preorder now!

Connect With Joe Saul-Sehy:

Website: https://joesaulsehy.com/
Podcast: https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IStackBenjamins

Twitter: @SBenjaminsCast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stackingbenjaminspodcast/

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-saul-sehy-b3426b31/

FinCon Live Podcast Sponsor:

NEFE: https://www.nefe.org/

Links to FinTech Mentioned in the Show:

FinCon: https://finconexpo.com/
Qube: https://qubemoney.com/

Acorns: https://get.acorns.com/bonus10

Public: https://public.com/

Joe’s Latest Book

Episode Transcription

Click to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to a special edition of Money You Should Ask. We’re here live at FinCon, Austin, Texas. I’m so excited because today’s guest is Joe Saul-Sehy. He is the co-host of Stacking Benjamins and also the recent winner of the FinCon Plutus Awards, Lifetime Achievement.

Thanks to NEFE.org, the National Endowment for Financial Education for sponsoring live podcasting, a FinCon 2021. Joe, and I wasn’t even going to say your name cause I was going to say our next guest,

[00:00:48] Joe Saul-Sehy: yes.

[00:00:49] Bob Wheeler: Is the Pluto lifetime achievement award winner.

[00:00:53] Joe Saul-Sehy: Who, who is that?

[00:00:54] Bob Wheeler: And that would be Joe.


Yeah. Joe from Stacking Benjamins.

What did I say? Pluto, Pluto, Plutus, Pluto, Pluto, Pluto.

[00:01:04] Joe Saul-Sehy: We’ll make it whatever word we want.

[00:01:05] Bob Wheeler: It’s plural of Pluto.

[00:01:08] Joe Saul-Sehy: That’s right.

[00:01:08] Bob Wheeler: There were lots of Plutos.

[00:01:09] Joe Saul-Sehy: I only won one award. Oh. So it was, it would have been Plutus if I’d won multiple awards.

[00:01:14] Bob Wheeler: Or Pluti..

[00:01:14] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes.

[00:01:15] Bob Wheeler: If we were doing Latin.

[00:01:16] Joe Saul-Sehy: I’m so happy to be here, Bob. I have been stalking you for quite a while. And any guy with a background in comedy and just having fun is my kind of person.

[00:01:27] Bob Wheeler: Well, I’ve been stalking you too, but according to the law, I can’t follow you. So that’s,

[00:01:31] Joe Saul-Sehy: We are violating-

[00:01:33] Bob Wheeler: -the terms of the restraining order, but that’s all right. That’s all right. We won’t tell no, there’s nobody here.

[00:01:41] Joe Saul-Sehy: Our secret.

[00:01:43] Bob Wheeler: So in your bio, you know, you’ve got, you co-host Stacking Benjamins, you do all these great things. You were a spokesperson for Ameriprise and American Express.

[00:01:53] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes,

[00:01:53] Bob Wheeler: But you’re also a financial advisor, which is probably one of the most riveting jobs. So I was wondering why you would even leave the world of financial advising to do something fun, like podcasting or talking with people.

[00:02:05] Joe Saul-Sehy: That’s actually, it’s it actually is a more interesting story than you would think. I had this mentor who is a guy that a bunch of us respected. He was a guy that we loved. His name was Chris and Chris one day did something that nobody does in our business. He, he gave like a two weeks notice. He, he wrote a letter and the letter said, and by the way, the reason I say nobody does this, the type of business I was in was the one like Jerry Maguire, where you leave at midnight with all the client files at 6:00 AM.

Everybody’s calling to see who you’re going with. Right.

[00:02:38] Bob Wheeler: That’s right. That’s right.

[00:02:39] Joe Saul-Sehy: And Chris didn’t do that. Chris wrote this beautiful letter that said, I like financial planning. I don’t love it. I’ve been lucky and blessed that I’ve been able to save some money. And so I feel like if, you know, if, if Shirley McClain is wrong and I’m only here once, right?

Maybe, maybe people are too young for that joke..

[00:03:01] Bob Wheeler: I appreciate it.

[00:03:02] Joe Saul-Sehy: But if we don’t get reincarnated, we only live one time. Then I can’t waste my life, not knowing what I really, really want to do. And I’m working so hard at this thing that is maybe 90% that I don’t have time to do it. And he said, he said the phrase, “I have other mountains to climb.”

[00:03:18] Bob Wheeler: Wow.

[00:03:19] Joe Saul-Sehy: And that was really powerful, not just for me, but for a bunch of us. And I look at the trajectory of a bunch of us that he kind of mentored and we’ve all gone on these different paths towards stuff that really inspired us. So it’s actually funny. When he said, I have other mountains to climb. He wasn’t kidding.

He actually went and climbed Mount Everest twice. He’s climbed most of the tall peaks in the world. He now owns an adventure travel company in, in Colorado and he loves it. So, but he’s two years younger than me. Wow. I was turning 40 at the time. And I thought to myself, reading Chris’s letter, and then I called him.

I’m like, really? And we had this great chat and I’m like, you know what, that’s totally me. I like it. I don’t love it. There’s pieces I love, I love the media piece of, the teaching piece I loved. And I said, you know, I’ve also done a good job saving. I was a disaster with money at first, but I’d gotten it together.

And I had a nice nest egg and I could sell my business because it was a franchise.

[00:04:14] Bob Wheeler: Oh, cool.

[00:04:15] Joe Saul-Sehy: So I knew I was going to get a bucket of money for that too. And I said, you know, I really want to be a high school teacher and a track coach. That’s where my wife and I met each other. She was a girls middle school track coach. I was the boys.

[00:04:24] Bob Wheeler: Was she running from you?

[00:04:25] Joe Saul-Sehy: Oh, it’s funny you’re joking Bob, we hated each other. We totally hated each other. She, she could not yeah, then we got married.

[00:04:33] Bob Wheeler: To punish you.

[00:04:35] Joe Saul-Sehy: I know that’s right. She’s awesome. She is definitely my best friend and clearly my better half. She and I had so much fun doing that, that I started,

So I sold my business and I started taking classes to become a high school teacher.

[00:04:48] Bob Wheeler: Cool.

[00:04:49] Joe Saul-Sehy: And I learned for my clients that have been teaching,and god bless teachers.

[00:04:52] Bob Wheeler: Oh yeah.

[00:04:52] Joe Saul-Sehy: You know,

[00:04:53] Bob Wheeler: For sure.

[00:04:53] Joe Saul-Sehy: My teacher clients told me in fairness to them, they said, “You’re going to, you would be a great teacher, but you’re going to hate it because you’re going to fight administration all the time, because you’re not allowed to teach.”

[00:05:03] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:05:04] Joe Saul-Sehy: You have to check all these boxes and you can’t teach anything. And you know what, when I started taking classes at Texas A&M, the first thing they taught me Bob, was that you’re going to fight administration. And during that time I’m in shorts and a t-shirt cause I’ve done so much media stuff for American Express,

I’m now writing, writing TV scripts for my friends that were also on television, in different markets and just for fun. And I make a little money. And then I I started writing client newsletters for some of my friends and I did some math and I realized I’m in shorts and a t-shirt, my kids are in high school and I get to see them now and, and be there when they get home and take a bigger part in their lives before they go away.

And I also did the math and I’m like, I’m making as much money as a first-year teachers making and I’m having a blast. And so that turned into a blog. The blog turned into the podcast and then the podcast after a couple of years took off. Now I’m here with you. I’m at the pinnacle, my career sitting there with Bob.

[00:06:00] Bob Wheeler: Well, it wasn’t that we already talked about the fact that you got the lifetime award. Everything’s starting to go downhill. I’m catching you at the peak. Feel really good.

[00:06:10] Joe Saul-Sehy: This is my sign-off. It doesn’t get better than this. Oh, just a minute.

[00:06:14] Bob Wheeler: I’m going to wait for that stock to hit the, oh, there it is.

[00:06:17] Joe Saul-Sehy: There it is. Sell, sell, sell stock in Joe today.

[00:06:21] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Well, so this guy, Chris though, I want to go back to that.

[00:06:25] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah.

[00:06:25] Bob Wheeler: The main takeaway I heard from that was. I only made it to Base Camp Mount Everest, and he made it to the top twice. So I’m disappointed in myself, but no,

[00:06:34] Joe Saul-Sehy: I’ve got no desire.

[00:06:35] Bob Wheeler: Oh no, no.

[00:06:36] Joe Saul-Sehy: I mean go into base camp. What you did, did you really go to base camp?

[00:06:39] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.

[00:06:39] Joe Saul-Sehy: See, I would love to do that. I’d love that hike. It’s enough. If I can see the mountain, that I don’t need to go up there.

[00:06:47] Bob Wheeler: It’s a far drop. Once you go alone, you have to cross the crevasse and I wasn’t going to cross the crevasse. So yeah, but there’s so many people out there thatare not going for what they want.

And one of the things you talk about in your new book is that it took you 15 years to write the book, right. That you said you were glad that you got it done and I’m paraphrasing. Yes. But that it was a bigger bear in your head than it was actually doing it. And so there’s a lot of people out there that want to not be at their 90%.

They want to be at a hundred percent of happy and they want to be content. And one of the things I think that you’re doing is trying to get people to like, I feel like that’s your message of like be happy and-

[00:07:28] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah.

[00:07:28] Bob Wheeler: And wealth is really a way to actually have the life we want you not about having millions of dollars.

So can you speak to that a little bit for the people out there that are like, I don’t know. I don’t, I shouldn’t write this. I shouldn’t give my voice. I shouldn’t go for what I want.

[00:07:41] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah. Yeah. I’m, I’m afraid of everything. I come from a family of people that feel a lot of fear. Like I see it. My dad has 16 brothers and sisters, a big Catholic family and.

And I see it in my aunts and uncles, and I knew it from the time that I was in high school. I remember thinking that I’ve, I’m afraid of, I am afraid Bob, of everything. And I remember I was deciding what college to go to. And and I was a runner. I ran for the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. And I, I remember seeing Nike just before they had “just do it”


They’re phrase before was was, “feel the fear, but do it anyway,” and this-

[00:08:24] Bob Wheeler: Oh, I love that.

[00:08:25] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah. And it’s not as sexy. I can see why they morphed it for their thing to just do it. It’s it’s simpler. But for me, feel the fear, but do it anyway, fits so much better for me. And that’s been my mantra ever since I, I feel so much fear.

And I realized like with the podcast, as an example, the podcast does very well. And I, and I, and I feel great about it now, but you know what. There was a year between the time we thought we were going to do it. Right. And the time we actually did it, and it was all stupid excuses and stupid things. And you can’t start climbing the mountain if you don’t put, you know, I love that, that, that little song

[00:09:02] Bob & Joe Sing: “Put one foot in front of the other.”

[00:09:05] Joe Saul-Sehy: Right. And soon you’re walking out that door with bags of money, right?

[00:09:08] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, exactly.

[00:09:09] Joe Saul-Sehy: Gotta, you got to just begin the journey and, and by the way, what are we afraid of? We’re afraid we’re gonna mess up. So let’s do this. Let’s take that away. You will mess it up, right? You totally will. So get it out of the way, get it out of the way as fast as you can make the mistake, make the mistake early, make it often and fall forward and you’re going to do great.

[00:09:29] Bob Wheeler: Well, i, I can’t disagree because I also, my life was life or death. Everything I did was fear-based if I do this, if I work on self-improvement it’ll kill me.

[00:09:40] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah.

[00:09:40] Bob Wheeler: If I speak up, it will kill me. And so I lived a very fear-based life. For a long time. And I also thought that if I mess up, it’s like the end. So nobody told me, Hey, step up, step out, go for it.

Maybe everybody won’t like you, maybe everybody won’t agree with you. Everybody may not go. Yay, Bob, do it anyway. Like do it for you. Feel the fear, like what you’re saying. There’s so many people out there that I know also sit there in fear saying “I don’t deserve,” “They’re better.” “They’re better looking.” For me, they’re taller.

Whatever it might be. Like for me, there was a part that I finally just said, I’m going to go after every fear I’m afraid of. I’m afraid of conflict. I learned martial arts. I’m afraid of this. And I just started moving towards my fears.

[00:10:26] Joe Saul-Sehy: Address it face on.

[00:10:27] Bob Wheeler: And then I found out, oh, that didn’t kill me.

Write that down. It’s not died, did not die. And it got easier and it got easier. It was not fun initially, but I really relate to this piece about like, ah, what’s going to happen. What’s going to happen. And so I. Yeah, I think that’s such an important message for people to go for it anyway. Mess it up.

[00:10:47] Joe Saul-Sehy: Well, and I’ll tell you, this is, this is the reason why the stakes are high.

Like my, my book is like our podcast has a lot of comedy, right? I mean, it’s what I like to laugh, but, but we’re, I’m very serious about it. And the reason is Bob, there’s a statistic I just read recently in a research piece, 65% of us admit to the fact that we have cried about money.

[00:11:12] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.

[00:11:13] Joe Saul-Sehy: 65% of people have cried. And I was that guy, by the way, I was a money disaster. I remember, I remember thinking that I didn’t know how I was going to survive the next day.

[00:11:23] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.

[00:11:23] Joe Saul-Sehy: I mean, I’m sure I would have found a way to survive the next day, but I had no money. I had no resources. I was completely tapped out. I was screwed. And I remember just, just crying.

Because I was so screwed. And it’s funny because we also think by the way that when you cry about money, that, that that’s always about income, also not true. It certainly is more prevalent when you’re in that spot where you don’t have much income, 60% of people who make more than $250,000 a year, admit that they have cried about money.

Yeah. And so there’s pressure, there’s always money pressure. So the reason that I embrace comedy is because of the fact to lighten it up. So I don’t feel the fear so much so that I can go, you know what? It’s not go-, to your point. It’s not going to kill me. It’s not going to kill me. I’m going to laugh about it.

And I had to keep telling myself about that. There’s going to be a time when I’m gonna look back at this and I’m going to laugh, laugh. I really, there was a time when the credit agencies were calling me and it’s awesome having a name like Saul-Sehy that nobody can pronounce, right?

[00:12:23] Bob Wheeler: You know it’s not a friend.

[00:12:23] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes, yes. Yes. “So is Joe Saul-Shay there,” and I know it’s a credit, it’s a collector, right? Right. It’s a debt collector. And I would say, no, he died. Because I wished I died. I’m like, If I just die, these people would stop calling me. And yeah. So I think we have to lighten up the conversation so that we can move forward and really get serious. Because the truth is that we need to have these deep conversations that nobody wants to have.

[00:12:50] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:12:50] Joe Saul-Sehy: But we can’t get there by, by, by starting off with these deep conversations, you got to kind of wade into the shallow end of the pool.

[00:12:57] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And that’s, I use comedy as a way to disarm clients or I tell funny stories and they look at me and go, “Oh, that’s me.” Oh, well, “oh, I didn’t get the connection,” you know?

Yeah. Because it is so serious and a lot of people think when you’re talking about money, they mean have a fight or have a conflict. Let’s you know, let’s duke it out. But they are difficult conversations. And I know for me, I was a CPA, and terrible with my money. Giving other people great advice.

I knew what to do. I just wasn’t doing it. And like, there was this presentation piece I had to present well and hope that nobody pulled back the curtain. Like, can I just get my stuff together before they pull the curtain? So that I’ll be like, “oh yeah, no, it was like this the whole time.” And I think so many people get caught up in that, especially in LA, but everywhere.

[00:13:47] Joe Saul-Sehy: Everywhere.

[00:13:48] Bob Wheeler: We’re trying to like, oh, I hope they don’t. I hope I clean up my mess right before-

[00:13:53] Joe Saul-Sehy: It’s like the wizard of Oz. Yeah. Just don’t look back there. No, it’s so funny, we have so much in common. My, my lowest point of all with money, I was on my home, on my way home from advising other people about their money.

I was a financial planner. I was a fairly new financial planner. I was in my second year and I had this really beat up minivan. Cause it was all I could afford. I had a young family and a spouse who was still in school. And so I’m supposedly supporting the family.

[00:14:25] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:14:26] Joe Saul-Sehy: I have no credit. I have nobody have no resources.

So when I cried about money, it was when I ran out of gas-

[00:14:31] Bob Wheeler: Ugh.

[00:14:32] Joe Saul-Sehy: On my way home. And I’m digging through the seats-

[00:14:35] Bob Wheeler: For change.

[00:14:36] Joe Saul-Sehy: Looking for change so that I can, by the way I walked almost three-quarters of a mile to a gas station. The dude didn’t want to give me the little plastic gas can, cause he didn’t think I’d bring it back.

Cause I only had seventy-five cents in there. Like these it’s like these, these just, you know, th th this money’s has been under the seat. Right? Right. So it’s this nasty 75 cents or 78 cents, so I could get enough money to get home. But even, even when I got home, I didn’t know how it was getting back to work the next day.

And I’m advising, like you, I’m advising other people about what to do with their money. And I, and I was crying cause I’m a sham. I, I have no resources. I’m not taking any my own advice.

[00:15:16] Bob Wheeler: Right. When I was studying for the CPA exam, I went and took this course in Alabama for a couple of months. And I had spent all my money and I took the course. A friend let me stay with them.

And so I wanted to take them out to dinner. And my credit card got declined. So then I’m like, he’s like, “let me pay.” “No, no, no. Hold on.” Another card, got declined.

[00:15:36] Joe Saul-Sehy: Declined.

[00:15:37] Bob Wheeler: Third card, declined. So I said, “Look, I’ll let you pay, but I’m gonna write you a check.” Bounced the check. Like I’m supposed to know better.

Right. And nobody can know. And I think, you know, once I could let go of that, you know, it took a while because it’s, it’s, there’s so much shame and we’ve got to present. And I imagine that there’s a lot of young families out there. And there is still a little bit of that tradition that the male is supposed to handle it.

Even though it’s not always the case, but that pressure,

[00:16:08] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes.

[00:16:08] Bob Wheeler: You got to feed these other mouths. Everybody thinks you’re the man. Everybody thinks you’ve got it together. Yeah. Like there’s so much impact that happens besides just the feeling of worthlessness, but that feeling of how am I going to feed them?

Tempers may raise. Like there’s so much emotional impact that.

[00:16:27] Joe Saul-Sehy: This is why for me, Bob, that a surround sound is so important. Like who you surround yourself with. So one of the first things I did to, I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I did to get out of my hole was I realized I needed to change the people I was around.

And it’s funny because there’s people here at this conference that I know are like, “Don’t hire a financial advisor. You can do all this stuff yourself.” I’m from Detroit. I’m a smart guy. I could build a car, right. I could totally build a car. It would take me 10 years. It’ll run like crap.

You know what? I’m going to buy one. Right? Cause they’re smart people that used to be clients of mine who are geniuses at this. And I can’t be genius at everything.

[00:17:04] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:17:04] Joe Saul-Sehy: So why would I not? And don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t have to be like my, my definition of financial advisor. Isn’t, it is much broader, I think, than other people, other people’s are..

I want to throw myself people that are good at things that I’m not good at. I want to have coaches. I want people that are going to teach me. I want to be the dumbest person in the room. Yeah. And when somebody tells me, they’re like, “Well, no, no, no, you shouldn’t have a financial advisor.” I’m like, why would you be egotistical enough to think that you’re the smartest person at this.

And by the way, you’re always going to be emotional about it. I was so emotional about my life and to have these unemotional people around me that believed in me, but were more objective about how far I could go,

[00:17:43] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:17:44] Joe Saul-Sehy: was like the first step to me getting my crap together.

[00:17:47] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, no, I agree. And there are lots of financial advisors that have zero emotion.

[00:17:51] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah. There are plenty of those.

[00:17:57] Bob Wheeler: That can be a good thing. You have to interview your advisors. You don’t just go with the first one.

[00:18:03] Joe Saul-Sehy: That frustrates me. That, when you said that, that’s what, I’m looking at, people can’t see Bob and I here, but I’m like jumping right in there because this, this is the thing when somebody is like, “Well, I had a, I had a bad time with a financial advisor, so I believe you shouldn’t have one.”

“Wait a minute, does that mean all advisers are bad. Or does that mean your interviewing process sucks?”

[00:18:24] Bob Wheeler: Right?

[00:18:24] Joe Saul-Sehy: Cause I think it’s your interviewing process.

[00:18:26] Bob Wheeler: Exactly.

[00:18:27] Joe Saul-Sehy: You need to figure out who fits you and surround yourself with those people.

[00:18:31] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. You know, if I am trying to buy my second house or my first house, and I’m talking to somebody that just got out of college and they’re a trainee that doesn’t even know about mortgage or any of that, or has much life experience, they’re probably not going to, they’re going to buy, buy the annuity that I’m selling for Vanguard.

[00:18:48] Joe Saul-Sehy: Right. Well, anybody and, and, and I’ve got, I’ve got a great friend who was here yesterday. His name’s Roger Whitney, The Retirement Answers. Roger is a guy you should know, by the way that I’d love to introduce you to, but, but Roger, Roger has this thing. He’s a great CFP. And he says, “if you ever meet with anybody who doesn’t start with your goals and process, If they start with product, you need to run.”

[00:19:11] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:19:11] Joe Saul-Sehy: Because nobody, it all starts with your goals in the fuel, that rocket fuel that gets you to your goals.

[00:19:17] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:19:17] Joe Saul-Sehy: You, you, you can’t talk about that until you, so whenever anybody tells me like, “Oh, I got this great thing.” There is no such thing as a great, there is a such thing as a great thing, but it’s going to be different for you and me. Cause an annuity,

and I’ll give you, cause, cause I love you brought up annuities.

[00:19:32] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.

[00:19:33] Joe Saul-Sehy: Annuities don’t suck. Right? I mean a lifetime income? If. Hey, Bob, there’s this pension, that you can get, that will last your lifetime. You don’t have to worry about it. It’s as guaranteed stream of income, and be like, “Hell yes, sign me up.”

I’m like, well, it’s called an annuity.

You’re like, “Oh, get away.” But annuities, these companies to put bells and whistles on them, they put fees on them. They’ve done all this crap. The way annuities are sold stinks.

[00:19:56] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:19:57] Joe Saul-Sehy: Annuities don’t stink.

[00:19:59] Bob Wheeler: Totally. That’s the same with life insurance. There’s so many things.

Life insurance makes a lot of sense and term makes a lot of sense. You’re young family and you got three kids. Term makes a lot of sense, but oh, life insurance and it’s people need to get more educated or they don’t need to, but getting more educated as really helpful in being able to actually move towards what you want.

[00:20:22] Joe Saul-Sehy: But the cool thing is, is I think people start, when you say educated, they start with getting educated about product.

[00:20:27] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:20:28] Joe Saul-Sehy: Don’t get educated on that first. Get educated about your goals. Like we even start off in my book, we start off with timeline, your goals.

[00:20:35] Bob Wheeler: That’s right.

[00:20:35] Joe Saul-Sehy: Like this is the first thing. Put all your goals out there because that’s going to give you this, this, this very simple equation.

You need to save X amount of money, times Y return, to get that goal. And once you have all these different goals, you may go, I may be, you know, if you and I are meeting, I might go, okay, Bob, you can’t have the fourth house. And get retirement when you want it.

[00:20:57] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:20:57] Joe Saul-Sehy: So would you like to instead get a tent in the backyard and you can have retirement?

Or are you going to push back retirement two years so you can get the house. And it, by the way, then that brings up these cool conversations about your priorities. And once you have your priorities in order, then instead of this huge number of investment options, you have that everybody, it freaks everybody out, freaks me out.

I’m like, oh, I got nervous. Nope. I don’t have to know everything about everything. I only have to know about these few things that do what I’m trying to do. And it simplifies everything

[00:21:29] Bob Wheeler: Well, it’s so interesting that you talk about timeline and your goals, because one of the things I do in workshops, or when I go speak, I do this little exercise and I’ll say, what is something you want?

And,” I want a music studio,” or “I want a million dollars.” “Great. When do you want it?” “Six months.” “Great. How much can you save?” “$5.” “All right. We’re not going to get there.”

[00:21:46] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah.

[00:21:46] Bob Wheeler: Right. And like, and it’s very basic, but all of a sudden, when you start to actually give the, when you march out the timeline, it’s amazing how people go, “Oh, that might not be possible.”

[00:21:58] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes.

[00:21:59] Bob Wheeler: “I could do it in three years. Oh, oh, oh, maybe I don’t need a brand new computer.” Maybe I, but it actually is something very, very, very tangible.

[00:22:08] Joe Saul-Sehy: And your brain is super smart. Once you come up with you can’t that, that doesn’t work. Your brain immediately does what you said goes, oh, maybe the use computer or maybe the, maybe the thing maybe I’ll rent it.

Maybe I’ll co-own it with somebody else. Maybe I’ll do this thing. Maybe I’ll push the goal back. Cause it’s really not that important or whatever. Your brain starts coming up with all the-

[00:22:28] Bob Wheeler: We’re going to solve it.

[00:22:28] Joe Saul-Sehy: Creative things.

[00:22:30] Bob Wheeler: It’s, it’s amazing. And so I love that you do that and that it’s like it does help us get aligned with our goals, right.

With actually what you, also hear people say, oh, I want to have a lot of money in retirement. I want to have a house. I don’t have any money though. You just spent $5,000 in Cancun. You just went on a drinking spree.

[00:22:48] Joe Saul-Sehy: Oh, I did that last night.

[00:22:50] Bob Wheeler: Oh, there you go. Okay, good. So you’re not, you’re not getting the retirement house, but then if you can stop and then say, wait a minute, I’m gonna spend 300 bucks on this trip, or I’m gonna spend 5,000 bucks, or I could put that away and have some delayed gratification, which is a sexy word.

If you can learn to see the sexiness of delayed gratification, then you can actually make choices of, oh, this isn’t going to serve me in my long term goals. Because I’ve been timelining it. Then I’ve been sending it and I know what’s important to me, my kid’s education or whatever it is.

[00:23:22] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah.

[00:23:23] Bob Wheeler: And, and even if your goal is I want to be rich, so everybody thinks I’m cool.

At least, you know what it is, but then you can say, how long is that gonna sustain me? Like everybody thinks I’m cool for 10 minutes. And then they find out I’m an asshole. Okay. Maybe I only got pleasure for five minutes. Whereas if there was something that was, and it’s not that it’s shallow or this or that.

It’s like everybody needs to pick what works for them, but understand the impact as well.

[00:23:46] Joe Saul-Sehy: So I have a friend that admits that. That says that he is shallow and he is driven by status. He is driven by status. So he scoured the fore-. He scoured the foreclosure markets and, and constantly kept bidding on these foreclosed mansions.

And he ended up paying Bob half price for a mansion. So it’s funny that you talk about. For me, that’s kind of shallow, right? But for him, he’s like, no, this is my goal. And there’s no stake on that goal. And by the way, he owns a Ferrari that he got from a, like a wholesaler in this crazy deal, because he, he likes being seen in a Ferrari.

He likes the fact that he’s got this huge mother-in-law’s suite over his garage. He has two different garages on his house. By the way, one you pull up in the front. One you pull up in the back. He’s got his Ferrari, he’s got a Porsche, he’s got, you know, and, and he’s into the status. Lives on one of the coolest lakes in the Detroit area.

[00:24:38] Bob Wheeler: But see, that’s, what’s so important is not to judge it. So I often say “Don’t judge it, Put it in your budget.” Right. If you’re addicted to [Bleeped], just put the amount so that we can actually budget. So we know that we’re not going to eat this week.

[00:24:51] Joe Saul-Sehy: What is your blow fund? There’s two different ways. Yeah. There’s money that you blow and then there’s money you blow.

[00:24:56] Bob Wheeler: Exactly. You gotta be aware of it, not judge it. So I think it’s whatever it is, just own it.

[00:25:05] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes. And then timeline. And he did he timeline it and he goes, okay, I need this. status. For me, how do I get it as cheaply as possible? And then he was able to put together a plan like he did about getting it and paid half price for everything to get the same status he’d get if he paid full price.

[00:25:22] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And one of the things, so there’s a quote in your book that I have to read it, so I get it right. Because it relates to timelining, but the quote is “The world is full of obvious things, which nobody by any chance ever observes.” And the quote is by Sherlock Holmes, which is obviously a fake person.

So, I don’t know if you’re going to, if I don’t know if it’s a real quote or,

[00:25:48] Joe Saul-Sehy: You know, what’s funny, even my, even our editor at Penguin Random House, Nina, who’s incredible. Nina even wrote to us and said ” So do you want this quote to say Sherlock Holmes? Or do you want to say Arthur Conan Doyle? Because it should be Arthur Conan Doyle who actually wrote that.”

And Emily and I, my co-author, we said, “No, Sherlock Holmes says it.” And that, Sherlock Holmes, I think to me resonates a little more, but it does, but we fought about that. For example,

I knew, I knew that you did. And I knew it was intentional, but I, it was, it was fun for me. Right. I’m like, I like the little nuances because a lot of people are like, Sherlock Holmes said it..

Right. That’s right. That’s right. No, my favorite meme. And you’ve seen this one before. Is that best quote ever by Abraham Lincoln is “don’t trust things you read on the internet”.

He said it. He did, he did. Oh, man. That is so funny. So let me ask you this, right now with what you’re doing, what are some of the things that you still struggle with?

Like you said, when I see all these choices, I guess worried about, but there may still be things that sure. You know, am I going to have enough for retirement? Whatever enough is. And how do you address those? How do you calm yourself down? How do you get grounded back to reality?

So the one stress that I always have is that I can’t be trusted, and this is what I learned, you know, crying over barely being able to make it home on that 75 cents worth of gas is a, I can’t be trusted to have money on me.

Right. And I’m actually the opposite of what some of the big time gurus say. A lot of the big time gurus say, don’t have plastic in your wallet. Have bills because for most people, bills spend slower, but you know, what’s funny for me and I’m taking out my wallet right now. I’m exactly the opposite .I have. I have, as you’ll see, I’ve got four credit cards in here, five credit cards in here, and I have no money.

[00:27:42] Bob Wheeler: Wow, he has no money.

[00:27:44] Joe Saul-Sehy: Because I can’t be trusted with paper. If I have $10 in here, it’s gone. It’s gone. I find it that, but I feel guilty whenever I take out this card. Right. If I, if I take out the credit card, I feel guilty every time. So I’m, I’m the opposite of most people. So I think my problem, which is a problem I’ve had since my twenties, but I admitted it that day.

You know what the trick for me is to always hide money for myself.

[00:28:12] Bob Wheeler: Right.

[00:28:13] Joe Saul-Sehy: And once I started doing that, that was the obvious thing that Sherlock Holmes, it’s so obvious. But now that I hide money for the second, I started hunting money for myself, I cleaned up my credit card debt. I got my emergency fund.

All of a sudden my investments started moving and then what was cool was in my head, it became a game. And now, instead of how do I get my ass out of trouble? Right? It was how fast can I go? Right. And then that was fun. It was so, so fun, but that’s, that’s always been, it’s a daily struggle and that.

[00:28:46] Bob Wheeler: It’s funny that you picked that because what I did was I created multiple bank accounts.

[00:28:52] Joe Saul-Sehy: Oh yeah.

[00:28:52] Bob Wheeler: And then I had all of them not connected to my main bank account.

[00:28:56] Joe Saul-Sehy: Perfect.

[00:28:57] Bob Wheeler: And then five bucks here, 20 bucks here, every week, this one took 20, this one took 50 and all of a sudden, oh, So I had to trick myself. And so for me, I tell people, figure out what you need to do to trick yourself.

[00:29:09] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes.

[00:29:09] Bob Wheeler: When I had my business, I found that I treated the money in that business much better than my own.

So I wouldn’t take it out of the business. So the business account was like, that looks sweet, but I’m like, no, that’s the business. Right. So we have to find those tricks.

[00:29:23] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes

[00:29:23] Bob Wheeler: and know ourselves. And like not judge it be okay and say, oh, this is how I need to not self-sabotage.

[00:29:31] Joe Saul-Sehy: The cool thing that I like for people that are just starting out, that you and I didn’t have, which is here at, at FinCon or, or just on your phone.

Yeah. There’s all these cool little FinTech companies that help you gain FI. Yeah. Like there’s so many companies doing things. You and I were talking about one earlier. Can I say that? Yeah, there’s a company called Qube. By the way they sponsor my show cause I asked them to sponsor, but they do what you say.

You have, you have separate envelopes in that account. You walk up with your, with your debit card and you actually get on your phone, right when you’re at Kroger or wherever and you tap the grocery envelope, your card won’t work until you tap it. And if there’s not enough money, it will deny the purchase.

[00:30:13] Bob Wheeler: Love it.

[00:30:13] Joe Saul-Sehy: So you’ve got these separate and we didn’t have that, you know.

[00:30:17] Bob Wheeler: We had envelopes. And I love, I love the envelope method.

[00:30:21] Joe Saul-Sehy: Absolutely.

[00:30:22] Bob Wheeler: It’s because then you’re forced to make a choice. So I love that. And even a program like Acorns, which,


You spend $2.50, 50 cents now just rounded up, 50 cents went into investment, right?

Totally a game. It totally game.

And if you make it fun and you don’t have to shame yourself, just figure out the ways that you can help yourself with yourself, but yeah, I think so many of us take ourselves out.

[00:30:44] Joe Saul-Sehy: Absolutely. There’s another company here they’re actually right across from us. They’re not a sponsor of my show, so I should mention somebody who’s not. Public, here.

At first I thought it was kind of Robin Hood-ie, which I don’t like Robin Hood. That’s gamification evil, gamification. Right. These guys it’s social, it’s buy and hold, but it makes investing fun and getting out there, learning about investing fun and being a buy and hold investor. And we, you and I talked about surround sound.

A lot of people listening might be like, you know, I don’t, I don’t know anybody. Well, a place like public gives you this whole community. So you actually have people around you it’s, I don’t know. I find FinTech just really fascinating what some of these people are working on.

[00:31:18] Bob Wheeler: There so much. I would be so much richer if they had had this 15 years ago.

[00:31:24] Joe Saul-Sehy: Public, if you want, sponsor Bob’ show.

[00:31:25] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, please, please. Well, listen, I know we’re going to talk about your book in a second, but we’re at the five fast. All right. Fast. So I’m going to ask you these five questions and just top of mind.

[00:31:34] Joe Saul-Sehy: Do I need to stretch first?

[00:31:35] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Well, if you need to, you might need to, but you’re a runner

Barely a jogger. Crawler.

Yeah. You know, you can use the wheelchair. All right. We all know, we know. What was the last time you felt regret after making a purchase?

[00:31:49] Joe Saul-Sehy: Oh, man. Six months ago, I bought a board game at a store. I love board games, and I knew that I had already, kick-started two new games that I have. It’s the one thing I have too many of Bob, and I bought it and I’m like, I didn’t need that.

And I’m not even going to play it for the next six months. I could have waited. Yeah.

[00:32:08] Bob Wheeler: Do you play risk?

[00:32:09] Joe Saul-Sehy: I used to. Now I prefer shorter games where I don’t want to flip the table. Yes. I like Settlers of Catan. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that or –

[00:32:15] Bob Wheeler: I haven’t tried that.

[00:32:16] Joe Saul-Sehy: Or a Ticket to Ride.

[00:32:18] Bob Wheeler: I love risk. We’ve, many deaths have occurred, not just on the board.

[00:32:24] Joe Saul-Sehy: I’d been in those it’s evil. Yes.

[00:32:26] Bob Wheeler: Is there anything you wish you did differently in the early days of creating Stacking Benjamins?

[00:32:30] Joe Saul-Sehy: I wish that we had pivoted sooner to make the show lighter and funnier. And I wished that we had studied comedy earlier.

We were two guys that just thought we were funny. And, and, and, you know, I mean, we have a lot of knowledge, my knowledge, my, my co-host is a working CFP. And so we we’ve got this depth of knowledge there. We thought we could be a comedy show without ever studying comedy. You’re a guy that knows tons of comedians.

You can’t do that. Right. You have to study it,

[00:32:57] Bob Wheeler: There’s actually an art to it.

[00:32:58] Joe Saul-Sehy: And so we took comedy classes and started writing, honing the comedy piece. I wish we’d done that earlier and not been so cocky about, yeah, you can just come in here and throw this together.

[00:33:08] Bob Wheeler: It’s easy. I hear ya. What’s one thing you wish you could undo a financial decision this last year.

[00:33:15] Joe Saul-Sehy: I thought that COVID was going to end sooner than it was, that it did. So I Airbnb- for a while we were nomads. And we just actually bought a house again in Texarkana, Texas. But during the time, during that time, I thought we could live in Bali for a month. So I, so I, I Airbnb this place in , Bali, and, and, and they closed Bali to everything.

But Airbnb and the host wouldn’t give me all my money back. Airbnb gave me a partial credit, but I ended up being out about $800 because I was optimistic.

[00:33:49] Bob Wheeler: Yes, don’t be optimistic.

[00:33:51] Joe Saul-Sehy: Don’t be optimistic., Be a pessimist.

[00:33:54] Bob Wheeler: Bad things will happen.

[00:33:56] Joe Saul-Sehy: So if I could undo that one, that would say me almost a grand. Yeah, I hear eight Benjamin’s right there.

[00:34:02] Bob Wheeler: Eight Benjamins. Who’s your favorite podcast guest that you’ve ever interviewed?

[00:34:05] Joe Saul-Sehy: Oh yeah, that’s easy. I have this total crush on this guy named Austin Kleon, and I talk about him way too much. Austin Kleon is here in, in, in Austin. So Austin in Austin, but if you don’t know, he has this book, Steal Like An Artist. And, and I look at what we do creatively, I think like you do. And, and how do we get more creativity? And he says that all creativity is born on the backs of other people. So don’t be afraid to steal, but the way that you steal is this don’t rip somebody off. Cause it’s not going to be, you take these things that you like and meld them together and make it uniquely yours.

And so whenever I feel like I met my wits end, my, my rope. I go find stuff that inspires me and I try to add it to what we do. Like I get inspired by old time radio. I love the Jack Benny show, which a lot of people are looking up like Wikipedia. Who’s Jack Benny, right?? Jack Benny was massive. That guy was huge, huge.

And so I’ll go listen to old Jack Benny episodes and all of a sudden Stacking Benjamins gets fresher, more fun, and I’m kind of recycling some of his. Nobody knows. Nobody knows they don’t have it and I’m not doing the exact joke cause that doesn’t work. But I’m like, oh, that setup was funny. Let’s do that.

We did a Fibber McGee and Molly, and nobody’s going to get that one. We did this whole Fibber McGee and Molly bit on our show. And I was so proud. We did, by the way, at the end of the show, you know what I did cause I did rip that off at the end, in our credits, we said today’s episode was a redo of a Fibber McGee and Molly episode from the 1940’s.

[00:35:31] Bob Wheeler: Credit where credit was due?

[00:35:32] Joe Saul-Sehy: Absolutely. Yes. I’ll pay homage pay credit, but I love Austin Kleon and it’s so inspiring. So that’s, that’s somebody. Yeah. And I got to interview him twice, by the way I had to, so I initially said, come on my show. And he said, no. And then I started tweeting about what a bad-ass he was.

And then, and then he finally wrote me, he goes, okay, I’ll come on your show. And then we had fun and then we became friends and now he’s been on my show a couple times. And yeah.

[00:35:59] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. What’s the best thing about your job?

[00:36:02] Joe Saul-Sehy: I get to laugh. No seriously. I, you know, when you’re a financial planner, I felt the stress all the time.

And now I get to sit here and laugh. And if I’m laughing, that means that things are going well for us, because if I’m not laughing as the creator, then nothing’s going well for what we do.

[00:36:18] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. If we’re not happy, if we’re not having fun, what’s the point.

[00:36:21] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes, yes. And pivoting to a second career, Bob, where I get to laugh all day. And if I’m laughing, things are going well. That’s great. I friggin love it.

[00:36:30] Bob Wheeler: No, that’s awesome. A piece of financial wisdom or a practical financial tip that you can give us.

[00:36:37] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah, we mentioned it earlier, but this is the big one. Automate it. Whatever it is, if you find, if you find some money, automate it. So if you let’s say that you change your phone plan and you save $40, everybody high-fives himself, and then they take the $40 and they lose it in their budget.

Don’t do that. Take the $40 and add it to your automatic savings.

[00:36:57] Bob Wheeler: Right?

[00:36:58] Joe Saul-Sehy: Add it to your monthly mutual fund thing, like capture that money that you save.

[00:37:03] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And where can people, your book is coming out?

[00:37:07] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yes,

[00:37:08] Bob Wheeler: it’s called, Stacked.

[00:37:09] Joe Saul-Sehy: December 28th,

[00:37:10] Bob Wheeler: December 28th. So we will put all that up in social media when it comes out.

[00:37:14] Joe Saul-Sehy: I just found out a few things yesterday that I’m not sure that I’m supposed to talk about, but I’m going to tell us. I found out that I think we’re going to be on Good Morning America.

[00:37:23] Bob Wheeler: Awesome.

[00:37:24] Joe Saul-Sehy: I found out that Publisher’s Weekly is going to do review the book. Cool. I found out I’m going to be on Bob Wheeler’ show.

[00:37:30] Bob Wheeler: That’s even, that, is wow.

[00:37:32] Joe Saul-Sehy: That was like the yes, but I felt that and, and, and, and I think, I think it’s Better Homes and Gardens, which is weird. Also wants to do it. So we’re way, I mean, we’re still three months out. And the traction that we’re getting is already, it’s already, it’s already pretty good.

So I’m, I’m super excited, but if I can pitch one thing, it’s actually not just for my book. If, if you like financial literacy and I know you have other authors on, you have other creators on, and you want more people to join that voyage. And that’s what I’m passionate about. As many people as possible joining that. Always pre-order stuff that you’ll like.

And then share it with somebody. And the reason I say pre-orders because the way that these lists work and I never knew this yeah. The way these lists work are largely on pre-orders. So if Stacked or any other project gets a lot of pre-orders, you make the Amazon list, which is great. And the more people see it that might not have seen it, and then they’ll pick it up and then hopefully they get their act together.

Maybe we make the Wall Street Journal list, which is even better. Right? God forbid, we make that big boy, the New York Times. Right. But the way that all works is pre-order. So now I went from never pre-ordering, to if you hear any guest on Bob show, and I’m not talking about, I’m talking to you, listening, pre-order their stuff and, and help your friends and give it away after you’re done with it, donate it to a library, give it to somebody you think should, should read it,

[00:38:55] Bob Wheeler: Give them some love.

[00:38:55] Joe Saul-Sehy: Yeah, but pre-orders everywhere. Or just go to stackingbenjamins.com/stacked.

[00:39:01] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. Well, that’s I’m, I read through it. It’s a great book. There’s some good jokes. There’s some jokes. There’s some Sherlock Holmes quotes. And it might win a Pulitzer. He’s hoping, he put it in there. He’s putting it out there.

[00:39:13] Joe Saul-Sehy: It’s coming. So I’m sure the Pulitzer people I’m good. They’re

[00:39:16] Bob Wheeler: good. They’re coming. But Joe, listen, this has been so much fun. They’re going to kick us out of the FinCon conference. So. Michael’s looking at us, but so much fun. I love that you got the book done 15 years later. But it’s out.

[00:39:30] Joe Saul-Sehy: I had to get a co-author. Emily’s like, hurry this crap up.

[00:39:34] Bob Wheeler: She’s like, I’ve got a life to live. So listen, thanks so much. I appreciate what you do. And I appreciate that you’re out there promoting financial literacy because we all could use a little more of that.

[00:39:45] Joe Saul-Sehy: Likewise, my friend. Thank you so much.

[00:39:47] Bob Wheeler: Thanks.