Mo' Money Podcast

Millennial money expert, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada® and podcast host Jessica Moorhouse interviews top personal finance & business experts (John Lee Dumas, Chris Guillebeau, Bruce Sellery, Preet Banerjee), celebrities (Perez Hilton, Scott McGillivray, Farrah Abraham), as well as inspirational entrepreneurs, authors, bloggers, friends and family to help you learn how to manage your money better, make smarter choices, earn more money, become debt-free and live a more fulfilled and balanced life. New episodes air every Wednesday. For helpful resources, blog posts and podcast episode show notes, visit To enquire about being a guest on a future episode, visit
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Jun 6, 2019

For my final episode of Season 8 of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I’ve got a solo episode for you, and it’s all about answering your investing questions. I get investing questions all the time at events I organize or speak at, via email or even through social media. So, since I just did my Level Up Your Moneyevent with Erin Lowry which included a Q&A (but wasn’t part of the recording we did), I thought I would do an episode focused solely on answering all your most pressing investing questions.

Now, as a disclaimer, nothing in this episode should be considered financial or investing advice. Heck, nothing on this website or any content I create should be considered advice. It is simple information, facts and opinion. And when it comes to investing specifically, it’s hard to even give a straight answer.

You may have noticed that in the panel discussion recording, and some attendees voiced their frustration. I totally get it, but unfortunately, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all investment advice or recommendations. We’re all at different stages in our lives, with different incomes, circumstances, goals and time horizons. It would be ridiculous to say “Do this and you’ll be fine.” And if someone does tell you that, remember, even if they are an investment advisor, that is their opinion on what they think you should do. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to investing, and it’s not black and white.

Paying Down Debt. vs. Investing: Which One Should You Do First?

If you’ve got consumer debt (credit cards, line of credit, etc.), focus on paying that all off before investing because it’s unlikely you’ll be able to earn the same or higher interest on your investments that those debts are charging you. If you have student loans or other low-interest debt like a car loan or mortgage, I would say pay down debt and invest. The interest you’re paying is most likely below 5%, and 5% or higher is a very possible return you could make on your investments. Also, no matter what type of debt you have, make sure you have a fully funded Emergency Fund before you start investing.

How Do You Know When You’re Ready to Start Investing?

You’ve got to have that solid financial foundation first before you start investing. That means you have a budget, you’re tracking your spending and net worth regularly, you have a debt-repayment plan, you have a fully funded emergency fund, and have outlined all of your financial goals (short and long-term) first.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Investing?

There’s no perfect number, but I say once you’ve got your financial foundation set, then work on saving up $1,000 as your initial contribution to your investment plan. I say $1,000 because most robo-advisors actually require that as a minimum initial contribution, and some discount brokerages have similar requirements.

Is Wealthsimple a Good Robo-Advisor?

I get this question a lot, and what I think the real question is is “What’s a good robo-advisor” or “What robo-advisor should I invest with?” Here’s the thing, I do personally like Wealthsimple. I invest with them and have for about 3 years and I like their platform, customer service, and have had an overall good experience with them. But I also invest with Justwealth, and similarly I have had an overall good experience with them too. Heck, I even invest with RBC InvestEase (though a very tiny portfolio with them since I mainly wanted to test them out since I worked with them on a campaign), and I actually really like their platform and customer service to.

The reason so many people think of Wealthsimple first is because they are one of the biggest robo-advisors in Canada, they were one of the first, and they also hands-down do the most marketing. And let’s be honest, their branding is amazing. It’s millennial-focused, it’s beautiful and as someone who used to work in marketing, they are doing everything right.

But, just because I choose to invest with Wealthsimple, or Justwealth, or RBC Investease, doesn’t mean you should. It’s not that easy. You need to do the work to see which one makes sense for you. You need to do your research on each company, the portfolios they offer, the fees they charge, the ease-of-use of their platforms, the quality of their customer service, to see which place makes the most sense to invest with. That’s what I did, and that’s what you as a responsible and smart investor need to do to.

Where to start is by checking out my recommendations page that includes the full list of robo-advisors in Canada, plus two comparison sites that can help you see the difference between all of them (Hardbacon and Autoinvest).

Real Estate Investing: What Do You Think?

The home you live in is not an investment. It’s part of your net worth, but I wouldn’t consider it a real estate investment because you are living in it. This may be a controversial take, but that’s just my point of you. If you own real estate and rent it out, then yes that would be considered an investment.

Now, if you are investing in real estate, you need to determine what portion of your overall investment portfolio is it? Typically, real estate is considered an “alternative investment”, because the traditional investment asset classes are cash, stocks and bonds. So, if real estate is an alternative, most investment experts suggest not to invest more than 5-10% of your portfolio in alternatives.

All I want to really say is that if you choose to invest in real estate, don’t just invest in real estate. Invest in those traditional asset classes, invest in the stock market, make sure your portfolio is diversified. In other words, never put all of your eggs in one basket.

If I Have a Work Pension, Do I Still Need to Invest on My Own for Retirement?

Short answer, of course you do. Even though you have a pension, most likely it won’t be enough, in addition to getting your CPP and OAS payments, to cover your retirement income. To learn more about pensions, I highly suggest listening to episode 180 since it goes in-depth about retirement planning and pensions.

How Much Do I Need to Save Up for Retirement?

One million? Two million? Most people just want a straight up answer but it’s not as simple as that. First, you need to define what your retirement looks like, and then determine how much that will cost in today’s dollars on an annual basis. Then figure out how long you’ll most likely live in retirement. Then make the calculations that include an average inflation rate. Bam, you’ll get a number. The calculation itself is fairly simple, however that doesn’t mean that’s the exact amount of money you’ll need because it’s difficult to predict the future and your future needs. That’s why you need to constantly look at your financial plan and retirement plan every year and adjust when appropriate. I’d also like to recommend to amazing books on retirement income planning:

Should I Participate in My Employer’s RRSP Program?

If they match dollar-for-dollar to your contributions then yes. Even if they have you invested in high-fee actively-managed mutual funds, it’s still worth it because it’s free money from your employer.

I Want to Start DIY Investing, How Do I Build My Portfolio?

Quick answer, you can either look at model portfolios other investors or bloggers share (but please do your due diligence first), you can build your own by finding ETFs that match the benchmarks you want to replicate, or you can take a look at the portfolios offered by robo-advisors and just replicate their portfolios yourself.

How Are My Investments Protected?

Your investments aren’t protected through CDIC or when there are ups and downs in the market, but if you’re more concerned about your robo-advisor, investment firm or discount brokerage become insolvent and you losing your investments, you are protected under the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

What’s the Difference Between Index Funds & Index-Based ETFs?

I share way more about this in my investing course, but basically they are two different investment products. Index funds are a type of mutual funds that track the broad market index, and index-based ETFs are more similar to a stock but they also track the movements of the broad market index. So they are similar, but not the same. Also ETFs are typically cheaper.

Should I Invest the Money I’m Saving for a Down-Payment on a House?

In general, no. You should keep it liquid in cash if you plan on buying a place in the near future (so stash it in a high-interest savings account). But, if you do want to invest, invest in something conservative like GICs or a balanced portfolio with a good portion invested in fixed income.

For full episode show notes visit

Jun 5, 2019

For the last interview episode of Season 8, I talk with David Carlson, the founder of Young Adult Money, and the author of Student Debt Solutions. And his book and student debt (and finding solutions to paying it down) are exactly what we chat about in this interview.

This is pretty timely too since many students are graduating university with student debt and don’t know where to start in paying it back. If you are a student and are in this situation, just remember you are not alone. So many other new post-grads are in the same exact situation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them seriously. The sooner you start paying them back, the sooner you’ll be debt free and can allocate that money towards something much more fun like traveling, buying a home or investing.

If you know of a new post-grad freaking out because they’ve got a five or six figure student debt burden looming over them, share this episode with them!

Where to Start with Student Debt

Student debt is the ultimate obstacle to overcome, but it’s not as easy as just saying “Make more money and you’ll pay it off quicker.” Like David did, earning more money is of course a good solution. He started a side hustle on top of his day job which helped him pay off his student loans quicker. But that’s not the only thing you need to do. You need to make a financial plan starting with crafting a budget and saving up for an emergency fund. The emergency fund is crucial as it will help prevent you from getting into more debt.

For full episode show notes visit

May 30, 2019

For this bonus episode of the podcast, I interview Erin Bury, who you may remember from episode 70 of the show. Back then, in 2016, she was the Managing Director at 88 Creative. She’s since switched paths and co-founded the online will-making software Willful with her husband and has recently become the company’s CEO.

Since making a will is a very important element in having a complete financial plan, I wanted to have her on the show to shed some light about what the process looks like. I hope this episode inspires you to get a will if you don’t have one too!

For full episode show notes, visit

May 29, 2019

There’s no point in talking about investing strategies or tips on how to stick to a budget if you don’t like who you are or the direction your life is going in, am I right? Personal finance is important, but being your authentic self and striving to be your best self is something I personally believe you need to work on first, otherwise you won’t have a strong enough reason to be smart and responsible with your money.

And that’s why I’ve got Mike Bayer a.k.a. Coach Mike on the podcast. He just came out with his New York Times best-selling book Best Self: Be You Only Better, and you may recognize him from his frequent guest spots on the Dr. Phil show. He joins me to talk about how we can all choose now to take action, start living more authentic lives and moving forward to fulfilling our full potential. 

For full episode show notest visit

May 22, 2019

If you’re looking for some motivation to set your goals and actually do something about them, then this episode is for you! I interview Natasha Koifman, founder and president of NKPR, one of North America’s top PR and marketing companies, about how she was able to go from young single mom to one of Canada’s most powerful and innovative women.

For this episode, we talk about what it means to show up for yourself (and others) and why it’s so important. What it really means, to break it down, is to put yourself forward and not be afraid to take risks or try new things. You only have one life to live, so get out there, take action and achieve your potential!

Being Introverted Shouldn’t Stop You from Reaching Your Goals

One thing I’ve been noticing lately is a lot of successful entrepreneurs and celebrities even are coming out and sharing that they are introverts. I find that so fascinating because I used to think that introverts were shy and hated things like networking and public speaking. Nope! That is not the case at all. Being an introvert just means that after you do something that involves a lot of socializing, you need some time alone to recharge.

This is something I can 100% attest to as an introvert myself. After an event, I need a good couple of days to recharge on my own. The same thing goes with Natasha, who is a master networker. So, there you have it. Being an introvert can no longer be an excuse for not putting yourself out there. You just need to push past that feeling of not wanting to go out or socialize and do it anyway. You’ll thank yourself later for doing it.

Say Yes When You Don’t Want To

Natasha shares a great story about how she gets this amazing opportunity to run this event in a very short timeframe. She really wanted to say no because she wasn’t sure if she could pull it off, but she also knew herself and said yes to it anyway. Thankfully she did, it was a success, and that client became one of her main clients when she started her own business.

I do this all the time to. Sometimes when I land a big opportunity, I freak out and don’t think I can I do it. Listen, this is a good thing. If you’re not terrified of doing something outside of your comfort zone, then you’re not pushing yourself enough. So, I do the same thing and it’s worked really well for me in so many situations. If you get an opportunity to take on more responsibility or try something new, do it anyway! You’re more capable than you think.

The Right Way to Network with People You Look Up

Networking isn’t getting rid of your stack of business cards at an event or asking someone to chat further over a coffee. It’s about developing a true connection with someone and being respectful of their time.

If you want to reach out to someone you think you can learn from, do it the right way. Be proactive about reaching out to them, follow up if they don’t respond (remember, their busy not just ignoring you), and be clear about what you would like from them.

And if I can’t say this enough, stop asking people to “Pick their brain”, “Collaborate” or “Chat over coffee.” If you want to chat with them, ask to drop by their office, or talk over the phone or Skype for 15 minutes.

For full episode show notes visit

May 16, 2019

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of joining forces with Erin Lowry (author Broke Millennial and Broke Millennial Takes on Investing) in Toronto for a special event we called Level Up Your Money!

It was a sold-out event sponsored by TD Direct Investing and was all about how to inspire and educate millennials about how to get started with investing. We were joined by money expert Barry Choi and TD Direct Investing Education Facilitator Diana Stoparic for a panel discussion on the key things we all need to know about getting started with investing.

Here is the live recording of our panel discussion, and as promised in this episode I’ll be doing another episode with the Q&A!

For full episode show notes visit

May 15, 2019

It’s been a few years since I first had Erin Lowry on the show to talk about her first book Broke Millennial (that’s episode 109 if you want to listen), and she’s back with a brand new book called Broke Millennial Takes on Investing! She’s still on her book tour, but we recently teamed up to co-organize our Level Up Your Money Torontoevent last week, and while she was in town I got to do an in-person interview for this episode of the podcast.

Since her new book is about investing, but specifically a guide for beginner/millennial investors, that’s what we talk about in-depth in this episode. As we shared, we often get asked investing book recommendations, and there isn’t a whole lot out there as a good starter book. You can find some of mine on my recommendations page, but still many of those books can seem too advanced and thus do more harm than good.

Investing shouldn’t feel intimidating or scary, and the only way to feel more comfortable with investing is to educate yourself. It took me several years to feel confident even having certain guests on the show because I was afraid I’d say something wrong or use the wrong term. Here’s the thing, investing is simple. But it can also be as complex as you want it to be. The key thing is to start by learning the foundations, then continue educate yourself by learning more advanced topics in investing. And as a little self-promo, that’s literally why I created my Investing Foundations for Canadians course. It’s the perfect place to start to build that foundation and grow from there.

Fiduciaries in Canada

This was a topic we touched on and there’s so much confusion about fiduciary duty in Canada. If you pick up any American investing book, it’ll tell you to make sure you work with a fiduciary to get unbiased advice. In Canada, we don’t have the same regulations. Here are some articles that go more in-depth:

Different Ways to Invest in Canada

Another thing that’s important to make clear is although there are a lot of similarities between Canada and the U.S. in terms of investing, there are some differences too. In Canada, there are three different ways to invest: work with an advisor through an investment firm or financial institution, use a robo-advisor, or go self-directed (DIY) using a discount brokerage.

The biggest difference between Canada and the U.S. is of course the different regulations of our advisors, but also how our robo-advisors work. For all robo-advisors in Canada, there is always an investment professional behind the scenes. It’s not just an algorithm, there are people monitoring portfolios, rebalancing, and giving advice to clients.

May 8, 2019

I love having repeat guests on the show, especially when it's been years since their last interview with me. For this episode, I have founder and author Todd Tresidder back on the show to talk about his new book The Leverage Equation. If you're a longtime listener, you'll remember him from episode 46 where we talked about his journey of reaching financial independence at 35.

For this episode, we talk more about the topics he discusses in his book, namely how to reach financial independence by using leverage.

So, what is leverage? It's not a negative word at all! It actually means using different processes and strategies to reach your goals. For instance, we talk a lot about how many investment experts will share how passive investing is the way to go. And although Todd agrees this strategy has merit, he doesn't believe can reach millionaire status quickly by doing this alone. In order to reach financial independence at an early age, you need to take advantage of other asset classes besides stocks and bonds, such as real estate and entrepreneurship.

To learn more, grab a copy of his new book The Leverage Equation!

Todd's Relevant Blog Posts You May Want to Read

Check Out Todd's Courses

Todd has a whole series of courses on different aspects of investing. Click here to check out all 7 courses about how to reach seven figures in seven steps!

Grab Copies of Todd's Books

Follow Todd Tresidder

For full episode show notes, visit

May 1, 2019

What was going to be an interview about how Grant Sabatier, blogger at Millennial Money and new author of Financial Freedom, was able to become a million in only 5 years, sure turned into something quite different!

Maybe it’s because I’ve interviewed so many guests on the show about how they’ve reached millionaire status at such a young age, or because Grant majored in Philosophy, but in this episode we dive deep and talk about the “Why” behind wanting to reach financial independence.

For Grant, saving up a million dollars meant freedom. All he wanted was freedom. He wanted to be able to dictate his own schedule and essentially not be forced to make life decisions based on the balance in his bank account. I know many other people working towards F.I.R.E. also seek freedom, but for others it’s security or a way of laying a foundation to take more calculated risks in life.

What I’d suggest after listening to this episode is to define your financial independence “Why”. So many people think the goal is to become a millionaire, but money is just a tool at the end of the day. There are plenty of examples of unhappy and unfulfilled millionaires out there, just take a look. You need to find your “Why” or your purpose first, and then determine how much you need to save to get there.

Then, you need to figure out the “How”, which you can do by grabbing a copy of Grant’s book.

For full episode show notes, visit

Apr 25, 2019

For this episode of the podcast, I have Devon Fiddler, founder of SheNative, with me to talk about her journey into entrepreneurship and she not only hopes to grow her business, but to empower more indigenous women to become entrepreneurs too.

Devon founded SheNative in 2014, and since then has received numerous awards such as the 2015 CBC Future 40 Under 40 designation, 2015 Start-up Canada Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Award Under 29 category and is a top 5 SheEO Venture of 2016.

After experiencing her own personal struggles, and seeing other issues in the indigenous community, after graduating with her B.A. in Aboriginal Public Administration from the University of Saskatchewan, Devon started her own business as a way to empower herself and other indigenous women too. Every person in her company is from the indigenous community, and the products she creates also promote messaging of positivity, confidence and pride in the community.

To learn more about SheNative and to support Devon’s business, visit

For full episode show notes, visit

Apr 24, 2019

A topic that I think we millennials all need to focus more on is retirement planning. And the reason I think so is because traditionally retirement planning seemed like something for older generations, and what us younger generations needed to focus on was debt-repayment and homeownership.

Listen, I know us millennials have a lot going on, but NOW is the time to start planning for retirement, not when we’re nearing it. That’s why I have Ron Haik, Senior Financial Planner & Regional Manager, Ontario at Nicola Wealth on the show to talk all about how to plan for retirement in Canada and as a millennial.

Here are some things we discussed.

Where Do You Even Start?

A common question I get, because planning for retirement either seems too simple or too complicated. Where you start is determining what your retirement will look like. Everyone’s retirement is different, but essentially you need to answer what kind of life do you want to lead after you’ve finished your full-time career. Retirement may still include working, or maybe you want to volunteer, travel the world, or help raise your grandkids. Whatever it is, write it down then figure out how much in today’s dollars you’ll need as an annual income in order to afford that life.

TFSAs Don’t Get Enough Attention

For years, RRSPs were given all the attention. Although they are great vehicles for housing your investments for retirement, TFSAs are great too. They may even be better depending on your situation. You see, with RRSPs, you get that wonderful tax deduction that lowers you tax bill while allowing your money to grow tax free. But, once you withdraw funds from your RRSP, that’s when you’ve got to pay tax on that money. That also means you need make sure you’ve included income tax in your retirement budget. With a TFSA, you don’t get a tax deduction when you contribute, but when you withdraw those funds, you don’t have to pay tax either. Things to think about when considering what account type to put your investments into.

Real Estate Investing Is Great, But Diversification Is Better

I recently did a talk on investing for a retreat, and many people there voiced how they were more comfortable with real estate investing because it made more sense to them. You were investing in something tangible and they could wrap their heads around the concept better. Real estate investing is great, but you should never put your eggs in one basket. Real estate should be a portion of your overall retirement portfolio, not the entire thing.

Don’t Set and Forget Your Retirement Plan

Once you’ve built a retirement plan, it’s not something you just put somewhere to gather dust. Your life and goals change, and so will your retirement plan with them. Make sure to revisit your retirement plan every 6 to 12 months.

For full episode show notes visit

Apr 17, 2019

For anyone interested in startups or starting their own business (no matter how big or small), I’ve got an episode for you! For this episode of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I’m joined by Maria Aspan, the editor-at-large of Inc. Magazine and the author of the new book Startup Money Made Easy.

Maria has a unique perspective on entrepreneurship because she isn’t sharing her own entrepreneurial journey. She’s sharing what she’s learned by interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs about their journeys. And what’s really interesting is they all have very different journeys. Sure, they are some similarities and patterns, but in general no story is alike. That’s why there can never be a one-size-fits-all guide to entrepreneurial success. What may skyrocket one person’s business may be the downfall for someone else.

In her book, she dives deep about the financial aspects of starting a business, and here are some key things she shared in this episode.

Never Invest More Than You’re Willing to Lose

You hear stories all the time about how someone racked up a bunch of debt to get their business started…and it paid off big time and they’re now a millionaire! You don’t often hear the stories of all the people who racked up a bunch of debt and had a business that flopped. We hear a lot of success stories, and maybe not enough failure stories. When it comes to starting a business and finding that initial financing, use the same logic as investing your money for a big goal like retirement – never invest more than you’re willing to lose.

Make Mistakes Is Inevitable, Make Sure to Learn from Them

Maria mentioned that Serena Williams, famous tennis player and entrepreneur, once said that in business everyone makes mistakes. What you need to be prepared for is being open to learning from those mistakes. Usually when we make mistakes, we want to brush them under the rug, not talk about them, just move forward and forget about it. But mistakes are amazing learning tools! I’ve learned amazing things from my mistakes and failures! It’s not easy. It will definitely bruise your ego a bit. But you need to remember that success is a long-game. If you want to eventually reach your goals, you need to learn from each one of your mistakes and change your behaviours and actions accordingly.

Don’t Jump In, Make a Business Plan

I see so many people out there get caught up in the idea that they can start a blog, start posting on Instagram, sell an online course, make a fashion line, etc… and start making money right away. That’s no reality. The people who are telling you that you can make money blogging, Instagramming, selling courses, or selling your own clothing designs, they may have neglected to tell you that there’s no such thing as an overnight success. It takes time, hard work, and most importantly a solid plan!

Don’t ever think you can just quit your day job and figure it out. Figure it out while still working your day job. Start learning what you don’t know about running a business, and make a business plan you feel good about.

For full episode show notes visit

Apr 10, 2019

I don’t know why exactly, but lately I’ve been hearing from my millennial clients their big concern about not being able to afford retirement. I’m talking 20 and 30 years olds freaking out because they have no idea how they’ll ever be able to save up $1 million (or most likely more) for retirement, plus pay of their student loans, buy a home, start a family, and just simply live!

So, I thought I would bring on a retirement expert who can shed some light on the most important things we all need to know about retirement. My guest for this episode is Larry Swedroe, the author of Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement, as well as the director of research for Buckingham Strategic Wealth and the BAM Alliance.

Here are a few things we discussed in this episode.

What People Forgot to Plan – What to Do in Retirement

Most people focus on the money part. How much do I need? How should I invest to reach that number? Will it be enough? But really, you should start by outlining what you want to do when you’re actually retired. How do you want to fill your days? What’s your exit strategy from the workforce? Are you going to do a full-stop retirement or ease into retirement by going part-time or consult? Before testing out any retirement calculator, define what your retirement will look like first.

Planning to Live Longer Than 20 Years in Retirement

Another concern I often hear is that we’re all living longer. Many of us will live until 100! So if we retire at 65 and live until 100, that’s 35 years of retirement we need to prepare to have income for. That might make your palms sweaty, but it’s actually fairly simple math to figure out how to afford a long retirement. Larry suggests taking the number of years you plan on being retired for and multiplying it by the gross annual income you’ll need to live off of in retirement. Then, figure out how inflation will come into play, and that’s your number!

How to Be a Savvy Investor

Larry shared some amazing pieces of wisdom when I asked him about how we all can be savvy investors. Here are his top tips:

  • Make sure you’re only spending money on things that are important to you.
  • Save as early and as often as possible.
  • Make your savings automatic through auto-debits and auto-withdrawals to your savings and investment accounts.
  • Read the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein to learn how to nudge yourself into doing the right things
  • Invest in low cost Index funds or index ETFs
  • Avoid investment products sold by insurance companies and Wall Street investment brokers as they’ll be more expensive and most likely won’t outperform index funds.
  • Don’t work with any financial profession who earns a commission when working with you.
  • Diversify your portfolio to include more foreign equities and fixed income. Don’t focus solely on domestic stocks and bonds (just Google what happened in Japan).
  • Don’t mistake the home you live in for a real estate investment. If you live in it, it’s not an investment. Once you sell it, it is.
  • Be careful with real estate investing (just look at what happened and is happening in the U.S.)

For full episod show notes, visit

Apr 3, 2019

If you’re a long-time listener of the Mo’ Money Podcast, you’ll remember when I had Robin Taub on for episode 32 to talk about her book A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money Smart Kids.

Well, that was a few years ago now so I thought it was time to have her back on the show, but to talk about something very different. As I mentioned at the beginning of the show, we bumped into each other at Melissa Leong’s book launch for Happy Go Money and started talking about the different ways both genders think, talk and manage money. It’s a subject that Robin has been researching quite a bit lately, and one that I thought would make for a great conversation on the podcast since gender roles is a fairly hot topic right.

As humans, we all deal with money differently from one another. As the saying goes, personal finance is personal so there’s really no such thing as a one-size-fits-all financial solution. But, not only do we deal with money different as individuals, there’s a lot of research to indicate striking differences between how men and women handle money.

Here’s one of the studies that Robin mentions in the podcast by CPA Canada:

The impact of personality traits: a fresh look at gender differences in financial literacy

What much of the research shows is that women tend to be more risk averse or risk conscious, we struggle with financial confidence, and we tend to be better investors than men. We chat about all this and more in the episode, so enjoy!

For full episode show notes visit

Mar 27, 2019

This is by far one of my favourite interviews on the podcast…ever! For this episode, I chat with John David Mann, and award-winning author whose books have sold more than 3 million copies, including titles such as The Go-Giver with Bob Burg and the New York Times bestseller The Red Circlewith Brandon Webb.

For his latest book The Latte Factor, which he co-authored with best-selling author and OG personal finance expert David Bach, they discuss the term that Bach coined several years ago in his popular book The Automatic Millionaire. You see, even though pretty much everyone has heard of “the latte factor,” most people don’t really know what it means. Surprisingly, it doesn’t mean you should ditch your morning coffee to save money. It’s actually bigger than that. It’s less about coffee and more about how we all need to spend our money more in line with our values, and how little bits of money over-time can have a major impact on our financial futures.

What I loved most about this book is that it’s a very short read (you can read it in a day), and it’s not a typical how-to book and written in a narrative style. Similar to how David Chilton’s structured The Wealthy Barber, this book has central characters we follow along so we can learn the same lesson they’re learning and can identify with their struggles too. I 100% could relate to the central character, a 20-something city-living millennial who feels like no matter how much they earn, they still never have enough. Who hasn’t felt like that at some point in their life? But, she learns that it’s not necessarily how much you earn that’s the problem. It’s what you do with what you earn now that is most important.

And yes I know, earning more can sometimes be a solution, but from working with so many clients now, I can tell you that cash flow usually isn’t the problem. The problem is not understanding what they are spending their money on. The problem is not having clear financial goals to work towards. The problem is not having the financial literacy necessary to make solid and confident financial decisions moving forward.

The book isn’t out quite yet (it comes out May 7), but you can pre-order now and you enter to win a free copy by visit the show notes.

For full show notes, visit

Mar 20, 2019

Can you believe it’s been almost 4 years since Barry Choi from Money We Have on the show? We’ve been friends for years now, and he was guest number 7! Since so much has happened in our lives since that interview, I needed to have him back on the show now that he works full-time for himself as a personal finance & travel expert.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I’ve done a few unofficial meetups with podcast listeners the past few months, and the feedback I got was to have someone on the show to talk about credit card reward programs and travel tips specifically for Canadians. Well, of course I thought of Barry who is always in the news or on TV sharing his wisdom on how to get the most value out of your credit cards and how to travel on a budget without it feeling like you’re doing budget travel.

Here are some great tips and resources he shared on the show.

Include Travel in Your Budget

If travel is one of your big values in life (it is for me!), then you need to add it as a line item in your budget. Don’t just book a trip and figure out how to pay for it later. Research where you want to go, price out the cost, then start putting away amounts every month until you can afford it.

It’s what both Barry and I do, and honestly it’s the only way to afford travel without getting into debt. For me, I put away money every month for trips I take with my husband and trips I do on my own (usually work-related like conferences or retreats). In terms of how much to save, it depends on where you plan on going. As long as you’re saving a good amount for your emergency fund, retirement and your other financial goals, it’s up to you how much to save for travel.

Use Deal Sites to Save Big

I’ve used deal sites for years, like Kayak,, Expedia, Trivago (you get the picture), and to me it’s the best way to get the best price for flights, car rentals and accommodation. Yes, it can take some time and effort to really figure out the best time, place and dates to travel, but it’s worth it if you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars! Just think, that savings can be used for excursions, food or shopping to make your trip even better!

Travel in the Off-Season

You’ve heard this tip before, but it’s true. If you want to save big, travel during that location’s off-season. I’m so used to doing this, I don’t even know what it’s like to go somewhere during the on-season. And I don’t want to! It’s actually really nice to avoid the hordes of tourists, even if it means going somewhere during spring or fall.

 Best No-fee Credit Cards

Here are Barry’s picks for the best no-fee credit cards in Canada. Just remember, even though it’s no fun paying an annual fee for a credit card, you usually get better benefits with those cards than no-fee cards.

For full episode show notes, visit

Mar 13, 2019

It was one fateful day when a 17-year-old Lesley-Anne Scorgie went viral because of her financial acumen. Not only did she get featured in newspapers across Canada, she also landed a spot on the Oprah Winfrey show because she aspired to become a millionaire by 25 and was well on her way to reaching that goal.

As Lesley-Anne says in our interview together, the Oprah effect is real and her short segment on the show catapulted her career into one Canada’s top money experts today, with four books under her belt, regular TV appearances and speaking gigs. Not only that, she launched her own money coaching business called MeVest, and focuses on teaching others how they can take control of their financial future like she did.

In this episode, we discuss what inspired her to get into personal finance at such a young age, what she learned from striving towards an aggressive goal in her 20s (spoiler, she wishes she enjoyed her 20s a bit more), and what some of the most common concerns and struggles her money coaching clients have.

Grab Copies of Lesley-Anne’s Books

For full episode show notes, visit

Mar 7, 2019

Have you ever heard from someone that if a bank fails (goes bankrupt), you’ll lose all the money you had their? Because that is 100% false! You see, there’s a little thing called the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) and Brad Evenson, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs of CDIC joins me for this bonus podcast episode to discuss in-depth how all Canadians are protected.

For full episode show notes, visit

Mar 6, 2019

For this episode of the show, I interview young entrepreneur Nathan Latka who has released his first book (like…today!). It’s called How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital, and it’s his guidebook on how to successfully start a business or side hustle without that much money at the beginning.

You see, Nathan has a pretty interesting story. He basically realized that because of the Internet and social media, the possibilities and opportunities for making money were limitless. He’s started many businesses himself, his first being one where he built and sold Facebook pages (back when you could add apps and widgets to Facebook pages).

The reason I wanted Nathan on the show was to talk about a very important, though sometimes overlooked, topic of personal finance — making money. So many personal finance books (or experts) give advice assuming you’re an employee at a company and you’re limited by your salary. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case if you don’t want it to be.

Just take my personal finance journey. I worked numerous 9 to 5 jobs since graduating university, but I always had a second job or side hustle to earn more to I keep reach my financial goals sooner. And at that time, none of my friends or family were doing it. Luckily, I was inspired by other people in the personal finance community who were doing the same thing, so I followed suit. Now, so many of those people who thought I was crazy for working more than one job have started side hustles themselves. And that’s what I hope this episode (and Nathan’s book) help you with. Hearing that you don’t have to start out rich to become rich, you don’t have to be a born entrepreneur to start your own business or side hustle, and essentially your past should not define your future.

Another thing I really want to press is that money should never be the end goal. Building wealth isn’t solution, it’s the journey. The solution or reason you’re building wealth is so you can live a life that is meaningful to you. For me, I work hard to earn my living so I can afford to travel, have more spare time to fly back to Vancouver to visit family and friends, and sometimes just have the flexibility to take a Thursday afternoon off to read a good book when it’s snowing outside.

Why do you want to build wealth? Really define that, then check out this interview or Nathan’s book for some guidance on how to go about making that a reality.

Grab a Copy of Nathan’s Book

As Nathan mentions in the podcast, his book wasn’t meant to be an evergreen book you can pick up in 20 years and it still be relevant. The business and digital marketing are evolving so quickly these days, his advice may not work even in a few years from now. So, if you want to learn what’s worked for him recently, grab a copy of his book, read it and take action NOW!

For full episode show notes visit

Feb 27, 2019

I had Tanja Hester from Our Next Life on the show back in November 2017 for episode 133. Back then, Tanja was still an anonymous blogger who hadn’t yet quit her job yet to retire early with her husband. Well, a few months after we recorded that episode she left her job and has been officially retired ever since!

Not only that, she finally revealed her full name on her blog and the news literally went viral, being picked up by MarketWatch. Because of this, Tanja has had a very busy retired life, that includes doing speaking, writing for MarketWatch, and of course publishing her first book Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way.

Since so much has happened with Tanja since that first episode, I wanted to have her back on the show to talk more about what life is like in early retirement, and how you can strategize to retire early too!

Retiring Early Isn’t About Opting Out

Planning to retire early doesn’t start with the number crunching (or at least it shouldn’t). You need to figure out the “Why” before the “How”. Most people just think retiring early is a way they can finally opt-out of working, or subtract something from their life. Instead, you should think about it as a way to add more to your life.

As we discuss in this episode, most early retirees aren’t just chilling on a beach reading. That’s nice for a vacation, but that can get boring quick if it’s your every day. Instead, think about what things you want to do now that you don’t have to focus all your time and energy on earning an income. Maybe it’s volunteering. Maybe it’s starting some new hobbies. Maybe it’s writing a book like Tanja.

No matter what it is, retiring early isn’t about opting out of work, it’s about opting into a life that’s more fulfilling and meaningful to you.

You Can Continue to Earn Money in Retirement

Another thing we discuss is the idea that by retiring, that doesn’t mean you have to stop earning money…or working for that matter. Early retirement or financial independence means you don’t have to work to earn an income anymore. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t if you want to.

From talking to so many early retirees on the podcast and in real life, all of them are working in some way. Usually not full-time, but they are definitely staying active and contributing to society in some way. And yes, this means they earn money. Earning money doesn’t negate the fact that they are financially independent or retired. It just means they have extra fun money to play with.

Follow Your Own Path

I see and hear so many conversations about F.I.R.E. (financial independence, retire early), most of which are negative. Many people believe it’s a dangerous idea because most people will either run out of money or it’s just completely impossible because they aren’t high income earners.

As Tanja mentions, early retirement isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. Moreover, one person’s path to early retirement shouldn’t serve as a template you should try to mimic because it may not work for you. Personal finance is personal after all, so if early retirement is something you want to do, do your research, learn from other people’s journeys, then carve out your own path that’s unique to you.

For full episode show notes, visit

Feb 20, 2019

I’ve got another repeat guest on the show, who first appeared on the Mo’ Money Podcast this time last year in episode 151 to promote her first book Worry-Free Money. I’m talking about the lovely Shannon Lee Simmons, and she’s back with her second book all about debt called Living Debt-Free.

Since her first book was essentially the feel-good personal finance book we were all looking for, Shannon’s second book does the same thing for debt. There are so many negative emotions surrounding debt, such as shame and guilt. Debt is bad right? Well, guess what…real people have debt. And they shouldn’t feel shame or guilt for having it. Shame and guilt aren’t exactly motivators to doing anything, so why would we think making people feel bad about their debt will help them get out of it.

Having a Positive Mindset for Debt Repayment Is Key

Instead, Shannon shares stories and advice on how to tackle your debt by adopting a new positive mindset and asking yourself some of these helpful questions:

  • What is your debt holding you back from in life?
  • What kind of life could you have without this debt?
  • What’s really important to you?
  • What are your core life values?

Having clear answers for these questions will help you stay on track to paying off your debt. Yes, strategies like the debt snowball and debt avalanche are helpful too, but from my experience and Shannon’s, people are more likely to get back into debt or stop their debt repayment plan because they lack positive reinforcement and motivation.

By thinking with a more positive mindset, such as “What could I add to my life once I’m debt-free?” instead of being critical of your current situation like “You’re not as well off as your peers because of your debt,” you’ll be able to change your financial picture quicker than you ever thought possible. Not only that, you’ll be able to stay out of debt because you’ll have a clearer vision for your overall finances.

Emergency Funds Are for Emergencies

Recently, there was a question that popped up in my Facebook group asking whether it was a good idea to use Emergency Fund money to pay off debt. Shannon and I both agreed that Emergency Funds should be reserved for emergencies only, not debt. Lack of emergency savings is one of the main reasons people fall into debt. Something unexpected happens, like their car breaks down, they don’t have the money to pay for it, they use credit to fix their car, now their in debt and can only afford the minimum payments.

To avoid this cycle, save up 3 to 6 months of your living expenses and put it in a high-interest savings account. Then don’t touch it until a real emergency happens. And once you touch it, make sure to pay that money back so it’s never empty.

Shannon also suggest having two Emergency Funds. One is for real emergencies that you don’t touch unless you absolutely need to. One is more of a slush fund that you are constantly contributing to, but dipping into when you need cash for unexpected expenses (that don’t fall into the emergency category).

The Only Way to Avoid Over-Spending with Your Credit Card

There are only a few ways to avoid over-spending with your credit card. One way is to use debit or cash for all of your variable expenses, and just link your credit card to any of your regular fixed expenses like your cable bill, phone bill, and utilities.

Or, if you do like to use your credit card for your variable spending, set its limit to the exact amount you’ve budget for variable expenses. Then, as soon as you make a purchase with your credit card, move money from your chequing account to pay off your credit card.

That’s it! There really isn’t any other magic way to do it. Believe me, I’ve tried them and so has Shannon and these are the ones that work!

For full episode show notes, visit

Feb 13, 2019

It’s that time of year again. You know, the time to start thinking of getting your taxes done. Most people dread it, I love it (because I’m a weirdo), but as the saying goes taxes is one of the two certainties in life.

To give you a head start this tax season, and to help you change your mindset so you don’t hate it, I’ve got Lisa Zamparo (CPA & founder of The Wellth Company) back on the show. You probably remember her from episode 137 where she joined me to discuss how to be responsible with debt and credit.

Well, she’s back and is sharing some amazing tips on how to do some tax time prep like a pro! Also, as Lisa mentioned, if you want to get one of her tax season self-care kits, sign up to work with Lisa before February 21!

4 Steps for Tax Prep

Tax prep is super easy, you just need to give yourself some time and know what to do. Here are 4 steps you can take to get prepared like never before!

Step 1 – Download my tax prep checklist.

Step 2 – Get some stationary, boxes and tools that are pleasing to the eye to get you excited.

Step 3 – Actively try to switch your mindset about tax time. Remember that by taking the time right now to make a system for tax time, you won’t have to do all this heavy lifting next year. Once you’ve got a system in place, it’ll be 10x easier next time!

Step 4 – Start preparing tax return. If you want to do it on your own, use online tax software like SimpleTax, UFile, TurboTax or H&R Block’s Online Tax Software. Make sure to Google for a promo code to save money. If you need some help with your taxes, hire a professional tax accountant to help you (like Lisa!).

Step 5 – If you’re self-employed, make things easier for next year by using some online accounting software like Freshbooks, Quickbooks or Wave.

Step 6 – After you’ve filed your taxes, if you get a tax refund, be smart about it! Don’t just spend it. Use it to pay down debt or invest for your future.

Follow Lisa

For full episode show notes, visit


Feb 7, 2019

Since it’s launch week for Season 8 of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I’ve got a bonus episode for you!

Last season, CoPower sponsored my podcast. So, I thought it would be fun to bring on Trish Nixon, Managing Director & Head of Capital of CoPower, to discuss impact investing with me.

You may or may not have heard about impact investing before, but that could be because it goes by so many different names: socially responsible investing, green investing, sustainable investing, ethical investing (you get the picture). No matter what the name, what this episode is about is being a more mindful and conscious investor.

You see, with every dollar you invest you are saying you want the companies you’re investing in to become more profitable and successful. There’s nothing wrong with that…unless the companies you’re investing in aren’t actually very ethical or don’t align with your personal values. That’s why we need to be more aware of what companies are in our mutual funds or ETFs. We need to see if there’s something we don’t like, then do something about it.

One thing you can do is negative screening. It’s basically a way to take out the worst offenders in your portfolio, or find a portfolio that doesn’t include them. This is obviously easier if you’re a DIY investor because you have more control with what companies you invest in, but as you’ll see below there are a ton of big banks and robo-advisors that are offering more SRI portfolios now too.

Socially Responsible Investment Products

To give you a better sense of what kind of socially responsible investments exist, here’s a quick list of model portfolios and investment products that are considered SRI.

For full episode show notes, visit

Feb 6, 2019

Welcome to Season 8 of the Mo’ Money Podcast y’all! I know, I know…where have I been? For the past 3 years I’ve always started a new season of the show the first week of January. Well, to tell you the truth, I only had this episode recorded before I took off to Vancouver to enjoy Christmas with my family. In other words, I wasn’t ready! And I didn’t just want to put a season together quick, I wanted to make sure this season is one of my best yet! I believe it is, starting with having the amazing Melissa Leong on the show for my first episode.

You probably are already familiar with Melissa. She was my favourite financial journalist at the Financial Post for years, then transitioned into an entrepreneur herself as a speaker, host, TV personality on The Social and now personal finance author with her new book Happy Go Money.

This book has been a decade in the works because although Melissa shares some great advice and research in it, it is also very personal. What inspired this book was her husband’s depression that got her exploring the world of happiness.

I think it’s no surprise that we’re dealing with a major happiness problem today. So many of us (myself included) are dealing with depression, anxiety and feelings of failure and unfulfillment. But that doesn’t mean we should just throw our hands up and give in. We need to get our happy back! Especially when it comes to our money.

Here are some of my favourite gems from this episode.

Give Me 3

One of my favourite parts of the podcast was when Melissa shares her tip for keeping accountable when trying to focus on the positive, instead of complain about the negative. I find I get especially down during the winter months, so I’m going to practice this whenever I, or my husband, catch myself complaining for no real reason.

How does it work? If you find yourself or someone you know focusing on the negative, say “Give me 3!” and share 3 good things about your life, your day, or whatever you want!

Focusing on the positive takes practice, so start practicing with me today!

No More Victimhood

I find this a lot with people who I deem “negative”. You know who I mean. Those people that no matter what, everything is always the worst and nothing is ever their fault. Life just happens to them, and they sure are unlucky. Umm…no! The only way to change your life for the better is to stop acting like a victim. You need to take control of your life, your circumstances and your future. The only way to do that is to stop being a victim, take responsibility, and then take action!

Meditation Can Be as Effective as Medication

This is 100% true, and not just because it’s a claim backed by research. I know so many people who swear that meditation has been the fix they’ve been looking for. I myself have even experimented with it, and when I do it regularly, I do find myself so much more happy with my present.

There are some great apps you can use to get started too like Calm and Headspace, or you can simply practice on your own. But try it out and see if you start to feel a change.

Books to Read

If you want to continue learning about happiness, money or both, here are some book recommendations mentioned in this episode:

For full episode show notes, visit

Dec 12, 2018

For my 5th Millennial Money Meetup (and my only event for 2018), I hosted the event in downtown Toronto selling out tickets in only a few weeks to 50 attendees.

This event was sponsored by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to celebrate Financial Literacy Month. I was joined by technical consultant and pensions expert Tim Thomson of FSCO, and we dived deep into the topics of retirement planning and pensions in Canada.

This is the live recording of Tim and I’s discussion on the subject, but as we’ve mentioned throughout the event, make sure to learn more at

For full episode show notes visit

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