003: Laser Focus on Financial Success with Joe Saul-Sehy

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Who is Joe Saul-Sehy?

Alright, let’s meet today’s Master of Money. Joe Saul-Sehy is the host of the Stacking Benjamins podcast, a light, magazine-style podcast that covers interesting events in the financial planning world and interesting people making those headlines. Kiplinger named Stacking Benjamins “Best of 2016”!

Joe Saul Sehy Emcee at FinCon15

Joe is also the co-host of the Money & Media Podcast, a show we put together to showcase the FinCon community and events. He’s a friend, fellow Texan, emcee at FinCon, 16 year veteran of the financial planning industry, and one of the best storytellers I know. I know you’ll enjoy hearing some of his stories today. Stick around after the interview for my biggest takeaways.

Listen to This Episode with Joe Saul-Sehy

I hope you enjoyed that. A big thank you to Joe for giving us the gold today.

Show Notes

[01:50] Focusing on in income side of the equation.
[03:10] Joe’s “failed” DJ business and lessons on “barriers to entry” in business.
[06:55] His Dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and a snapshot of his financial planning career.
[08:45] Balancing a part-time job with the DJ business.
[11:30] Learning on the job (and the toilet) in the financial planning industry.
[13:45] No more Chicken Dances! Transitioning to financial media.
[18:45] Joe’s finances before he was a financial planner.
[22:40] The big mistake he made early in his business.
[27:50] Where Joe keeps his investments and his simple setup.
[31:10] What he’s been doing since selling his business.
[34:10] Joe’s goals for his business and his future lifestyle.
[36:30] What he’s not good at when it comes to his finances.
[38:50] How he developed his “out front” advantage.
[41:00] How Joe feels about his journey.

Show Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by our list of The Best Robo-Advisors for Automated Investing. Visit ptmoney.com/best-robo-advisors/ for more information and to get started for free.

Links/Terms/Concepts from the Show

Disclosure: All opinions expressed are our own. We are compensated by some of the businesses that we link to and review (e.g. TD Ameritrade).

3 Takeaways from My Interview with Joe Saul-Sehy

1. Be careful who you use for financial planning advice.

Joe talked about jumping in and working for his financial planning franchise, while still a DJ, without having much financial education. He was just cleaning up his own financial mess when he got started.

Although Joe picked things up quickly – and became a student of personal finance and investing – just know that not everyone in the financial planning world is the same. Not everyone is going to be as far down the road with their own finances as you might think.

Or worse, they’re excellent at their job of selling you on expensive, over-complicated investments. Investing should be simple enough to understand it and transparently inexpensive (yep, I just made that term up).

Be careful when working with future financial planners. And realize you need to become your own financial expert.

When in doubt, if you need a helping hand with your finances, my advice is to stick with a Certified Financial Planner or Certified Public Accountant and work on a “fee only” basis to avoid conflicts of interest.


2. You can’t shrink your way to greatness.

Joe laser focused on his entrepreneurial endeavors. It led him to some failures, AND some big wins: a successful financial planning firm and a #1 rated financial podcast.

When you break down your financial life to its simplest equation, you’ve got income – expenses = financial gain (loss).

Expenses should be focused on initially when you’re trying to clean up your finances. It’s certainly the low hanging fruit. Cancel some subscriptions, downsize your lifestyle, clip some coupons, etc. You can score some quick wins.

But this kind of thinking is limited. It doesn’t help you become great with your money. If you spend $2,500 a month in expenses, the most you can ever add to your bottom line by focusing on expenses is $2,500. You can’t reduce expenses any more than that.

So, there comes a point when you have to start thinking about the income side of the equation. And the gains you make on the income side don’t have to stop at $2,500. Your income has unlimited potential!

Who knows, with a lot of hard work and a little luck, one day you could end up like Joe (and Kid Rock)…making plans for a long-term vacation in Northern Michigan.

3. Your career is not your boss’.

Joe’s father told him, “your career is not your boss’ responsibility. It’s your responsibility.” It’s your job to take control of your career.

Don’t rely on your boss to educate you, give you your next role, or to have you pointed in the right direction. That’s on you. Take ownership of it. Love this tough love from Joe’s Dad. And I really love that Joe took it and ran with it.

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This show is part of the FinCon Podcast Network and was produced by Steve Stewart.

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