Better Money Decisions

You’ve probably started with great intentions, telling yourself you’ll stash away more for retirement and buy fewer lattes (because some writer said buying lattes is a bad thing). But life happens. It’s not as neat and tidy as the financial experts on TV seem to think. You’ve got a lot going on in your life, and you need more than simplistic, cookie-cutter instructions to keep you on the right financial path. Kate Stalter escorts you to the right path for your money. She talks to experts and "normal" people who have taken the right steps to make better money decisions.
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Better Money Decisions





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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 28, 2017

Today's guest is Jordan E. Goodman, America's Money Answers man. He is a nationally recognized expert on personal finance as well as being a regular guest in the media, such as The View, Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNBC, CBS and many other places. He is the co-author of thirteen best selling books on personal finance and he was previously the Wall Street correspondent at Money Magazine.


Lately, Jordan has been examining the idea of a Life Settlement- in other words, when it makes sense to sell your life insurance policy into the Life Settlement Market, for cash. He points out that 10,000 people per day turn sixty five, many of whom have not saved nearly enough money for a decent retirement. He explains that many of these people have a life insurance policy, an asset that they may not even realize that they can sell into the Life Settlement Market for cash, which they can then invest to create a steady source of income for their retirement years. Listen in today to find out what the Life Settlement Market is all about and how it could help you to create financial security for your retirement.


On today's show, Jordan talks to Kate about:


•How easily you will sell your policy and the amount of money that you will be paid out depends on your age and state of health.

•Who would benefit from selling their Life Insurance policies.

•How you could create a regular source of income for your retirement by selling your policy.

•That you can't buy a policy with the intention of selling it.

•Another option for retirement, without affecting people's lifestyle, could be a reverse mortgage, which has both pro's and con's.

•Why it's not a good idea to sell a policy to pay for long term health care.

•Why Medicare will not be sufficient to cover your health issues, post retirement.

•Why Medicate is a planned impoverishment business.

•How to go about selling your policy to the Life Settlement Market.

•Why your Life Insurance Agent is not going to help you to sell your policy.



Today, Kate answers a question from Shay about coverage for health care, should she need skilled nursing when she's older. Kate points out that the traditional policies have some significant issues. She explains that a good financial advisor can help you to sort the good products from the bad. She also discusses ways to cover yourself for long term care concerns, with fixed annuities and with life insurance, both with long term care benefits. Listen in to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of these options and how they work and also about new hybrid life and annuity products that could give you solutions to  your health care issues, when you retire. 


Links Mentioned:


Jordan's website:


Jordan's Radio Show: The Money Answers Show, with a link on The Voice Of America Business Network.


To ask questions or contact Kate: 


Resources Mentioned:  - Independent Broker to bring buyers and sellers together.


Jordan's books: Fast Profits And Hard Times, Master Your Debt and The Dictionary of Finance And Investment Terms are available from Amazon, as well as his other books.




Feb 23, 2017

Today's guest, Rob Lutts, is the author of The Great Game of Business- Investing to Win. He is the Chief Investment Officer and President at Cabot Wealth Management in Salem, Massachusetts. Although Kate was initially unsure about interviewing him on her show, as Rob and his team have a different investment policy to Kate's company, Better Money Decisions, she's happy now that she decided to have him as her guest. This is because too many investors are trapped in the idea that there's a big crash coming, with 2008 still fresh in everybody's minds. The truth is that we never know what the market will bring. If it were all certain, stock investing would not be a particularly lucrative endeavor.

Rob's company uses single stocks, something that Kate's firm does not advocate, yet even though their philosophies differ, Rob makes some points that Kate fully agrees with. Kate is intrigued by Rob's views on the future of investing. He talks about getting people out of the negative mindset that it's all going to come crashing down. His view is that technology is advancing and that's investable. Kate reminds you that the investing world is about companies and regardless of the current 'zeitgeist', profitability remains the bottom line, no matter what the products are. She points out that the idea of a systemic collapse overlooks all the current technological advances- which are investable.  Listen in today and keep yourself up to speed, when it comes to making your investments.


Today, Rob talks to Kate about:


  • His book, The Great game Of Business, about what works in financial markets.
  • The idea that everything is going to come crashing down.
  • The role of the Financial Adviser.
  • How he sees emerging markets as an investment opportunity today.
  • How the speed of technology today is leading to incredible advancements, with the USA being a leader in this space.
  • That the capability of computers is going to continue to accelerate.
  • The idea that we raise expectations in the negative cycle so high that people actually believe that it's true.
  • The wonderful systems in place in the USA today, as compared with the rest of the world.
  • Why he thinks that the USA is dominating in so many spaces today.
  • What's driving returns in the long run.
  • Stemwinders- what they are and what they do.
  • Why investors need to get used to things moving faster.
  • Why his favorite place to look for wealth creation is in Artificial Intelligence.
  • Why he sees the winning companies to be those with all the data, like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.


Today, Kate answers an email from Amy, who asks: “How much can I contribute to my 401K? Listen in to hear Kate's Response.


Recommended books:

Singularity by Ray Kurzweil

The Progress Paradox by Gregg Easterbrook

Feb 21, 2017

Tom Corley points out that when you pursue success, the emotional downturns are about ninety five percent of what you have to contend with. He maintains that, due to this, it's your vision, your dream and your passion that will ultimately keep you in the game. He should know this as all his books to date, have focused on the idea of rich habits.


Tom, who is getting better known as an author and a speaker, is a CPA, a CFP and he holds a Masters Degree in taxation. He's the president of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm and he also has the Rich Habits Institute. Tom's latest book focuses on the science of habit change, as well as on his own research on habits that helped to transform one hundred and seventy seven ordinary individuals into self made millionaires. Today, he talks to Kate about his latest book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.


Tom talks to Kate about:


•How he selected the particular group that he studied for his book.

•Some habits that he observed with the self-made millionaires.

•That you will quit in business if you're pursuing profit, not passion. If you're pursuing passion, you will engage.

•The idea of growing- how you grow and where growth takes place.

•How he surrounds himself with people who really get what he does.

•Three things to ensure your success: 1) Pursue your dream 2) Read every day 3) Surround yourself with like minded people, who get you.

•How it disrupts the 'herd' when one of them pulls away to do something unique or different, so they try to stop them, rather than trying to change themselves.

•What he has found in his research about people having grown up with issues of poverty and poor education.

•A story to demonstrate the difference between how rich and poor kids are raised and how changing their habits can change this.

•That close to 85% of the poverty in America is due to negligent parenting.

•That his second (award-winning) book, Rich Kids, was written to educate the educators.


Tom's website:


Feb 16, 2017

The guest on today's show is Marc Miller, founder of Career Pivot, a company that helps people to move forward into a new career in small practical steps, landing them where they want to be. Mark has had an interesting career journey. He left his position at IBM in 2000, after working there for twenty two years and then had various thriving tech startups. He subsequently had what he describes as a painful stint as a high school teacher and also did a gig, raising funds for the Jewish Community Association of Austin- as a non-Jew. Later, he had a near fatal bicycle accident, which changed his perspective forever. 


On today's show, Marc talks about his bicycle accident and how it lead his doing what he does today. He also explains how he helps people to make the transition to doing what they love. Listen in today and find out how you can take some small steps to land just where you want to be.


Today Marc talks to Kate about:


  • His accident and how it happened.
  • How this accident changed his perspective.
  • His multi-cultural approach to life.
  • The processes involved with Career Pivot.
  • One of his interns as an example to demonstrate how the Pivot works as a multi- step process.
  • That he's actually a closet introvert- how he's learned to behave like an extrovert.
  • Stealth Competitors- what they are.
  • Changing who you are because it will pay you more.
  • Helping closet creatives to find their niche.
  • The value in using Restoritive Niches.
  • The emotions involved in the transition from one career to another.
  • The  revised version of his book, Repurpose Your Career- A Practical Guide For Baby Boomers.




Marc's website:


Marc's email:


Go to and subscribe to Marc's blog to get a download of the three preview chapters of the revised version of Repurpose Your Career.


Books Marc recommends: 


Know Your Value by Mika Brzezinski


Quiet by Susan Cain


Feb 14, 2017

The guest on today's show is a popular author, Kimberly Palmer. Kimberly was the senior Money Editor at US News and World Report for nine years. She's currently the Features Editor on The Money Team at AARP. Her focus is on work and jobs content. Her latest book is called Smart Mom, Rich Mom. In her previous book, The Economy Of You- Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life, Kimberly tells the stories of 100 people who built financial security for themselves by launching a side business. This includes her own story of the Etsy Shop with her money planners. She's also written the book Generation Earned- The Young Professional's Guide To Spending, Investing and Giving Back. Listen in today and find out how to ensure that you can afford to retire when the time comes.


Today, Kate points out that for many reasons, retirement is very different now to how it was back in Grampa's day. She says that although the Boomers are healthier and more active than their parents were, the downside is that many of them don't have the financial resources that their parents had to retire. Join Kate and Kimberly today and become inspired to keep growing, personally and financially.


Today, Kate and Kimberly talk about:


  • The main take away that Kimberly gets from the experts and the ordinary people that she interviews.
  • Why you should start saving as soon as possible.
  • Why people need to connect and network with as many people as possible, in order to stay on top of things today.
  • The amount of interest that people are showing in embracing some form of entrepreneurialism.
  • How people have to think about maintaining and protecting their jobs today and the effort that it takes to stay on top of things.
  • That as a mom today, you could easily end up working for someone who used to work for you before.
  • That it's not always up to you how long you keep your current job, so you need to have a Plan B.
  • The number of people in their 50's going back to school and going for career changes today.
  • Some lessons that younger people could take from the Boomers.




Kimberly's website:


Kimberly on Twitter: @kimberlypalmer


Her book 'Smart Mom Rich Mom' is available from Amazon and other bookstores.


Feb 9, 2017

Today, in response to a question from one of the listeners, Kate talks about making charitable donations from brokerage accounts. She explains the tax benefits that you could enjoy from doing that. She cautions you, however, to avoid donating losing shares to charity, as this will not be to your advantage when it comes to your tax return. She also talks about Donor Advised Funds and discusses how you can benefit from those in terms of tax deductions and not having to pay any capital gains tax.


The guest on today's show is The Financial Mentor himself, Todd Tresidder, who Kate met at a Fincon conference last fall. Todd has a BA in economics and he's also a serial entrepreneur, having built many businesses since his childhood. His real claim to fame, however, is retiring at the age of thirty-five, from his position as a Hedge Fund Investment Manager, responsible for a twenty plus million dollar portfolio. His work at the hedge F=fund produced 100% winning years, apart from one, which showed less than a 5% loss.

Twelve years later, he became a self-made millionaire, by using the same personal finance and investment strategies that he teaches. Todd was an early pioneer in statistical and mathematical risk management systems for investing and he's still an active investor, earning consistent returns in both up and down markets. He has written a number of books, one of them being Investment Fraud- How Financial “Experts” Rip You Off and What To Do About It. Listen in today, as Todd advises you about how you can wise up and avoid the fraudsters.


Today, Todd talks about:


•The reason he can smell fraud from a mile away.

•What really governs the growth of your wealth.

•His own failure.

•Trusting in all, but tying up your camel.

•His three principles that you can use to protect yourself against the sixteen different types of fraud: 1) Regulated Domestic Securities and dealers have a lower risk of investment fraud than the unregulated and offshore counterparts. 2) Investment fraud comes in many different forms and changes with the times. 3) Have a healthy dose of skepticism and do your due diligence.

•Fraud vs bad investing.

•The results of artificially low interest rates.

•The recent cycles of “bubbles”.

•The bond “bubble du jour” we're facing now.

•How the risks get tilted when you get into a premium market.





Todd's website: This is where you can find Todd's free book, 18 Essential Lessons From A Self-Made Millionaire.


Kate's website:


Kate's email:

Kate's book: Don't Let Your Money Kick The Bucket Before You Do is available from Amazon.


Feb 7, 2017

Today, Kate starts out by talking about inheritance. She looks at a study, done by MetLife in 2013, which states that the boomer generation stands to inherit a whopping total of eight point four trillion dollars! There are certainly implications to this, as today, people are living for so much longer. On today's show, she discusses a few things that you need to become aware of, in this regard.


Kate points out that:


  • The science of investing was not available to our parent's generation. This had an effect on their stock purchases.
  • You no longer need to wait for the commissioned stockbroker to give you a recommendation, today.
  • The role of an advisor now, is behavioral.
  • You would do well to choose an asset allocation that works for you and stick with your plan to build wealth, rather than trading in and out.
  • The average investor underperforms even the SMP500- just because they try to beat the market.
  • The portfolio that you inherited could be costing you a lot. 
  • Actively managed Mutual Funds from big brand National Brokerage Houses come with huge costs.
  • You should watch the Capital Gains when inheriting- don't just sell willy nilly.
  • When receiving an inheritance, you want to clean it up and tailor it to your needs as soon as possible.


The guest on today's show is Dan Sotiroff. He is an engineer, by profession and he also has a blog called The Personal Finance Engineer. Dan could be described as 'The New Voice on the Market'. He prefers to take a pro-active approach, which is evident in his deep dive into the Peter Lynch era at Fidelity Magellan. Today, Dan demystifies the role of the “Star Manager”. Reading the book Beating The Street, by Peter Lynch, didn't really explain much to Dan about what Lynch had been doing- he found Lynch rather hard to corner. Listen in and find out more about market trading today.


Dan talks to Kate about:


  • Being open to change, over your life cycle.
  • How your investment allocation changes as you get older.
  • Peter Lynch's investing cycles.
  • Whether or not the timing (1980's) made a difference to Lynch's success.
  • Closed vs open funds being a consideration to Lynch's success. 
  • The average investor at Magellan only made 7%- due to going in and out- you have to stay in to make it work.
  • Dan advises you to be realistic- remember the concept of mean reversion- what has done well in the past is not likely to do well in the future.
  • His findings in his statistical analysis of Lynch's portfolio.
  • Dan's advice for you (as per Peter Lynch).




Dan's Blog: The PF Engineer.Com


Dan's Email:


Dan on Twitter: @danielsotiroff


Kate's website:


Feb 2, 2017

Today's episode of America Talks Money focuses on setting up an effective portfolio that does not involve guesswork in trying to beat the market. The science of investment is improving all the time, so Kate shares four steps that you can take now, towards creating an effective portfolio.


On today's show, Kate and Kelly talk about how you can let the markets work for you. They discuss how, in time gone by stock brokers used to try to beat the market. Today, however, this has been shown to be ineffective. We currently live in an era where people tend to be more panic stricken than hopeful so you could lose a lot of money by trying to guess what the market is going to do. It's really difficult to predict in the short term, because you just don't know what's going to happen. It's important to note however, that regardless of volatility and big spikes, markets do go up over time. There's no reason that this will end, despite what goes on in the news. Science is really the best way to do this. Listen in as Kate explains how it works.


Today, Kate and Kelly discuss:


•That small caps do better over time than large caps- this does not mean that you should only invest in small caps though.

•That the science involves taking the whole market into account.

•How value stocks, over time, do better than growth stocks. Kate explains the science of how this works.

•Risk- and possible ways to manage it.

•That bonds are not going to give you the best returns.

•Balancing risk and return.

•That you should not trade because of what's in the news- news readers aren't there to help you manage your money!


The guest on today's show is Aye Soe, Senior Director of Global Research and Design at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Aye is the main researcher behind the SPIVA Scorecard that S&P releases on a regular basis. These compare and contrast the performance of actively managed funds vs indexes. Listen in and bust up any myths you may have about how good National Brokerages really are for your for your own investment outcome.


Today, Aye talks about:


•What she was looking at in her most recent research and what she was trying to determine.

•Her findings with this research.

•The fees and expenses of active funds- how they make quite a dent in your performance.

•The impact of fees on performance.

•The importance of investors understanding the different layers of the fees they're paying.

•How the under performance of institutional managers does not apply to her firm, S&P Dow Jones Indices.

•That the onus is on the investor to truly understand.

•The vast amount of available information for the self education of investors.





S&P Dow Jones Indices website:


For the archive of all the past SPIVA and other scorecards related to active vs passive:


Email Aye:


Email Kate and Kelly:




Book: Getting Back To Even by Jim Kramer (2009)