Stacking Benjamins, Episode #103

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Joe Saul-Sehy is the creator and co-host of the Stacking Benjamins show and co-author of “Stacked: Your Super Serious Guide to Modern Money Management.” He was a financial advisor for 16 years and represented American Express and Ameriprise in the media.

He fully admits that he was a money disaster before putting his financial house in order. He was “The Money Man” at Detroit Television WXYZ TV. He’s appeared online in 200+ places like CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.

The Stacking Benjamins Show was called the “Best Personal Finance Podcast” by Kiplinger. Lifehacker listed the show as one of the top 10 of 2021. Joe and the SB team have won five Plutus Awards and the Academy of Podcasters “Best Business Podcast” award (beating well-known shows like The Tim Ferriss Show, How I Built This, and Gimlet’s StartUp).

Listen in for some great takeaways about Joe’s journey to creating one of the most successful podcasts to date and how following his passions have led to great success.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • How an English major ended up in personal finance [3:46]
  • What Joe means when he says he was “living a sham” [9:28]
  • Why Joe sold his practice at age 40 (while managing $60 million) [18:34]
  • What Joe wants readers to get out of his book, “Stacked” [21:42]
  • Why Joe believes we need as many voices as possible in personal finance [28:25]
  • Learn more about Joe’s podcast, “Stacking Benjamins” [32:00]
  • What Joe believes it takes to be a successful podcaster [36:00]
  • Why story-telling is such a powerful medium to convey information [38:08]
  • What Joe did that brought him joy and put him in the mindset for success [44:06]

What Joe means when he says he was “living a sham”

Joe has a degree in English, more specifically in creative writing. But one day a friend called him and said, “We don’t normally hire people like you—but I think you’d be good at this.” That’s how Joe’s career as a financial advisor started.

But Joe was horrible with credit cards, constantly overspent, and wasn’t following the very things he was teaching other people. It didn’t matter how much money he made. He made $90,000 his first year as a financial planner but spent $110,000. He couldn’t earn his way out of bad habits. He was a successful financial planner driving an old minivan because he had no credit (A car dealer ran his credit and turned him down).

So what did he do? He stopped cutting corners. He got a budget together. He surrounded himself with better people. And he turned his financial life around.

Why Joe sold his practice at age 40 (while managing $60 million)

Joe worked with over 125 families at the peak of his career. Then someone in his organization submitted his notice to leave. The man really liked financial planning—but didn’t love it. He had saved up enough money so he could move into something he really wanted to do.

It made Joe question if he was in the right place. After some soul-searching, he realized financial planning wasn’t what he wanted to do long-term. So he sold his business and became a high school English teacher and track coach.

He started writing scripts, client newsletters, etc. for friends in the financial space. He was making far more an hour doing this side work than teaching. So he turned the writing into a blog which eventually morphed into a podcast.

What Joe wants readers to get out of his book, “Stacked”

Joe believes you need to surround yourself with people like Gordon Ramsey. You need people on your team who want you to succeed and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth.

After 10 years of writing his book, Joe asked his wife to read it. It didn’t take her long to bluntly say, “This sucks.” It wasn’t fun or inviting, and he came across as a “voice of authority.” It wasn’t him. He took the manuscript, cut it into pieces, and started posting it on his blog. He had to start over.

When he was a kid, he came across a book, “The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook.” It was written with the help of a real-life FBI agent. He carried it everywhere with him. What if he could write a book that adults carried everywhere with him?

The book is a legitimate yet light-hearted book that helps people put good money management into practice. Listen to learn more about it.

Learn more about how Joe’s podcast, “Stacking Benjamins,” came to be

Joe did PR for American Express and Ameriprise. People kept encouraging him to start a podcast. But he didn’t want to tell people about their money. One day, he was listening to NPR’s “Car Talk” while he was mowing his lawn. He realized he listened to the show and felt like he learned nothing about cars (even though he did). But he always listened. He had a great time. That’s the type of show he wanted to make.

Joe points out that the science of play makes learning easier. It takes 4,000 repetitions to master something. But it only takes 40–80 if you turn it into a game. Joe believes that if you’re having fun, you’re more likely to learn something.

What else makes a podcast successful? Why is story-telling such a powerful medium? Why does Joe believe we need as many voices as possible in personal finance? Listen to this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset to learn more from a podcasting superstar!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Guest

Bio

Current board member at large of The Plutus Foundation.
Former board president and Board Member of Partnership For The Pathway.

While Joe’s “money expert story” includes being a former financial advisor (16 years) and representing American Express and Ameriprise in the media, his real story is how he was a money disaster in his early life, pulled his financial house into order, and left his business at age 40 to pursue an entirely different path.

Joe was the “Money Man” at Detroit television WXYZ-TV, appearing twice weekly. His advice has appeared in Bride, Best Life, and Child magazines, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit News and Baltimore Sun newspapers. He’s also appeared online in more
than 200 different places, including CNBC.com and WSJ.com.

The Stacking Benjamins Show was called the “Best Personal Finance Podcast” by Kiplinger. Lifehacker listed the show as one of the top 10 of 2021. Joe and the SB team have won five
Plutus Awards and the Academy of Podcasters “Best Business Podcast” award (beating well-known shows like The Tim Ferriss Show, How I Built This, and Gimlet’s StartUp).

The Stacking Benjamins Show is created in Joe’s mom’s basement in Texarkana, Texas, where Joe lives with his spouse Cheryl and their cat Cooper.

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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