the money decision of the year

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Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

In This Episode / Listener Questions

  • How to say no to a life insurance sales rep (Miguel, CA)
  • Should I pick two target date funds if I don’t know when I’ll retire (Legolas)
  • I’m in debt and don’t know where to go (Kim)
  • How can I grow my clientele (TiQuisha, Hotlanta GA)
  • How to stop online shopping habits (Christine)
  • Warning from a listener about getting the right insurance (Scooby Doo)
  • Tax saving tip from Sunshine on getting the right deductions


What’s a better use of your time – keeping up with the Kardashians, or keeping up with your money? The answer will surprise you.

I was in the checkout line of Sprouts Farmer’s Market a couple weeks ago. Guy in front of me was on his phone. Have you ever stared at someone’s phone to see what they’re looking at?  Looking at someone’s phone is like looking at the sun. You don’t stare at it. It’s too risky. You get a sense of it and then you look away.

This guy was probably hovering around 60 years of age. And what is he looking at on his phone? His retirement portfolio. It was a nice chunk of change – $565,000. My first thought was – impressive. Good job dude. You can probably afford to be picking up a few things from the farmer’s market. There are no Walmart Great Value deals in here. No generic Cheerios. My second thought was; this guy can’t have any peace of mind. His plan wasn’t unshakable.

Is he asking himself

Do I have enough money to buy the all-natural peanut butter? Or should I take it out of my shopping cart if the market is down?

Is his happiness or stress on a roller coaster ride five times a day as he watches his nest egg grow and shrink all day long?

Or maybe he’s just got this bad habit of worrying about his money all the time. He’s not bullet proof and he’s constantly thinking about if he needs to duck and cover.

I’ve read countless stories in books, magazines, blog posts over the past many years. Stories from teachers at CFP school. Stories from financial advisors. They all go like this:

  • Someone with a big brain – usually it’s a financial advisor – tells a person to do something that will protect them from a disaster
  • The person ignores the advice
  • The advisor or whoever gets an update on that person and what happened years later. They think to themselves, they would have avoided that mess if they had listened to me.

I came to this sad, but true realization this weekend. Then I realized, hold up Turner, this is a happy, but true life lesson for everyone. It’s going to sound crazy though.

I realized I spend more time keeping up with the Kardashians than caring about what the stock market does. Doesn’t that make you feel good? In one sense, maybe not. What the heck is Turner doing watching the Kardashians. On the other – if he’s not paying attention, I guess its ok for me not to either.

Listeners of The Scott Alan Turner Show – you would be right.

After you understand:

  • this is how to be a smart investor
  • this is what I’m invested in
  • this is what to do when the market goes up – keep investing
  • this is what to do when the market goes down – keep investing
  • this is what I’ll be doing until I die

It’s mostly auto pilot. After I lost $40,000 investing the dumb way, the money moron way, this best way is what I’ve been doing for 15 years. When things happen, you’ll learn to shrug it off. Go back to watching Game of Thrones, Dr. Phil, Wheel of Fortune, whatever.

You don’t want to be that person in the checkout line worrying.

  • Should someone be checking their account balances every day? Or will you have more peace of mind knowing ‘I got this’ and checking it only when it’s necessary. That’s usually about 1–2 times a year.
  • Should someone be spending their time constantly looking for that investing edge? Or would you like to have a life? And do anything other than follow the stock market?
  • Should someone be always changing their plans the way some people change their fantasy sports teams? Or does it make more sense to be a fan, you have a favorite team, and you support that team through the good years and the bad years. Because they are your team. You believe in them.

It’s like Men’s’ Health magazine. Probably Woman’s Health too, but I’ve never read that one. This month it’s broccoli. Next month it’s wild blueberries that will save your soul. Next month it’s leeks that have the power to resurrect the dead. Every month, every day some new piece of nonsense financial news to get everyone worked up.

Broccoli. Bananas. Butterfingers. Boom. You already know they are good for you. And you eat them. You’re not visiting the Food and Drug Administration website during the checkout line at the grocery store. Have the macro nutrients changed in the last 24 hours?

Oh, broccoli has been updated. The latest shipment from Ecuador now contains 0.02% less vitamin B12 due to El Nino bringing in more rain from the South China Sea. Blah!

You know that doesn’t happen.

When you follow a proven savings plan. A proven investing plan. It works in good times and bad. It does what we expect it to in good times and bad. It’s unshakable. We need a reminder of that. A lot, because the media, family, friends they drown out our beliefs and have us questioning our faith in the plan.

Well we have 90 years of data backed up by research. A bunch of boring guys in suits who don’t have my Budweiser vocabulary don’t get a lot of air time. Not me, I’m not boring. Or in a suit. Weird hair they say. He can’t know anything.

Picture a guy in a checkout line on his phone. I believe checking his accounts means one of two things in his life. One, it may just be a bad habit. I have a bad habit of reading the basketball news every day. I haven’t watched a single basketball game in years.

Two, he doesn’t believe in his plan. It’s not unshakable. When you’ve built your house on solid ground, with the cement piers in the foundation and the hurricane clamps that keep the roof from blowing off, let the wind come.

You’ll be like Captain Dan on the topmast of Forest Gump’s fishing boat during the hurricane. Bring it on mother nature! Dancing in your pant suit. We’ve got a scuba suit, hip waders, a rain coat, titanium umbrella, and 14 life preservers duct taped to us. We’re staying dry. We’re staying alive. We’re not drowning. We’re unshakable.

Here’s what you should think about doing today:

  • If you have an investing app on your phone. Delete it.
  • If you have a bookmark in your browser for your 401k. Delete it.
  • If you have any accounts, subscriptions, push notifications, that update what the market is doing. Delete it.

Delete it and replace with alerts for what Kim K. is eating for lunch today. I’ve enabled push notifications for that important information on my phone.

BTW Kanye wants to move to Chicago if you missed the last episode. He said he wants to be close to Lou Malnatti’s pizza. I texted Kanye they deliver though, maybe he’ll change his mind.


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