Previous: 5 Ways My Budget Has Changed As A Canadian Living In The U.S
Next: 9 "Responsible" Decisions That Secretly Waste Your Money



View count:91,014
Last sync:2024-05-20 09:45
This week, Chelsea and Graham Stephan sat down once again to answer your most burning money questions — from how to find the best bank account to how they approach money differently.

To learn more about Intuit’s suite of products:
To get started with QuickBooks today:

Subscribe to The Financial Confessions podcast here:

For our favorite moments from The Financial Confessions podcast, subscribe to our highlights channel here:

Graham Stephan’s Website:
Graham Stephan’s Twitter:
Graham Stephan’s Instagram:
Graham Stephan's YouTube:

The Financial Diet site:
Hello, everyone, and welcome to what I humbly consider to be a very unique episode of TFC, because it is our first ever repeat guest that was so heavily requested.

And I will get to that guest in just a minute. But before I do, I want to say a quick hello to our beloved partners with whom we make every episode of The Financial Confessions.

So as you guys know, we make every episode in partnership with Intuit, which is this amazing company that makes all of these financial products that have been, no joke, changing my life for, I think literally, seven years now. Because seven years ago, I first downloaded a free app called Mint, which I have used ever since, to manage my personal budget and is the first tool that I ever used to really take control of my money. But Intuit makes all kinds of products that help take every kind of financial decision, and goal, and task in your life and make it so much easier and more intuitive and something that really actually feels sort of nice to do, because they have beautiful interfaces, and make nice pretty charts, and give you notifications, and all of the things that you need to basically have a second brain in your back pocket that helps you manage your finances.

And all of their products work beautifully together, QuickBooks, TurboTax, Turbo, Mint, to give you this really well-rounded and nice, beautiful way of taking care of your finances at every level. I have been using Intuit products for, like I said, seven years now. And I could not recommend them more.

So take a look at them at the link in our description or our show notes. So as promised, you guys wanted more Graham, and you got more Graham. Graham Stephan-- Hey. --is back in our Hollywood studio.

Smash the Like button for the YouTube algorithm. Smash that Like button. Also, I have decided that your fans are named Teddy Grahams.

OK. OK. And the Teddy Grahams are numerous.

And you guys wanted him back on the channel. And when we threw it out to you guys that we're going to do an AMA, you guys came through with, I think, the most questions we've ever received for a prompt. So-- Cool.

We can't wait to dive into those questions and both answer them. But before we do, for those who may not be familiar, Graham, you want to give a little info about yourself? Yeah.

Yeah, my name is Graham Stephan. I started as a real estate agent, then turned somewhat real estate investor, then somewhat YouTuber and personal finance enthusiast is what I've been calling it. Nice.

Yeah. So that's me. You are known in some circles for saving about 99% of your income.

Yeah. --which is so cool. And we'll get into more of all of that later. But I figured we would just dive right into some of our favorite questions that you threw out too us.

Looking forward to it. And we will not be able to get to them all. But we'll do our best.

All right, let's do it. All right. So let's start with one of the ones that you really liked.

Does Graham celebrate holidays? And if so, does he buy gifts? Yeah.

So I do celebrate holidays. Like, who doesn't celebrate holidays? Yeah, that should not be a part of your financial plan.

No, but I would say like the major holidays, absolutely, like New Year's, Christmas. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Some of the three-day weekends, admittedly, you know, those to me are really another workday.

Yeah. Sometimes it's a good excuse to get out of town on a long weekend and just use that as like, hey, you may as well just leave, you know. Go to Las Vegas for a few days, something like this.

And of course, do I do gifts? Yes, I do gifts. Do you do a very specific budget for the gifts?

I don't really have much of a budget. My thing is I don't really ever want gifts, because I feel like if there's something I really want, I would just go and get it. So I usually tell people, if you're going to get me something, just go and get something for yourself.

You don't need to get me anything. And then for myself, there's never really any budget. It's just whatever kind of comes up around the holidays that I feel like might be of good use within reason.

Right. Honestly, I'm not going to do thousands of dollars, but within the few hundred range usually. Nice.

I think that's pretty reasonable. I feel like it might be a generational thing. I feel like our parents' generation is way more into a lot of gifts than our generation might be.

I don't know. That's just-- Ryan's nodding. I feel like I've got some backup here.

My parents on Christmas, they just love the tree with it just overflowing with gifts under it. And I understand the magic that that is. But I also always feel I kind of feel like you.

I have everything I need. Yeah. But I do like giving a gift within reason.

All right. So what's another Graham pick. We have question 15 on our list.

And shout out to our social media manager, who always organizes these so nicely. Since Graham is a homebody, why not move to an area with a lower cost of living. Wow.

That is a really good question. And that's popped into my mind so many times, of just moving to-- honestly, Nevada would be the only place if I were to move anywhere. Really?

Where in Nevada? It's close by, I feel, to LA, to California and 0% state income tax, which, for me, would at least just be the only reason to move would just be for tax purposes. The only reason why I have not done that yet is really because my entire life is here in LA.

All my friends are here. My family is here. I like living here.

And I'm afraid if I just picked up and moved, would I be miserable somewhere else? And would that impact the work I do if I was not as creative, or motivated, or really enjoyed where I live? So for me, at least right now, I kind of see that Los Angeles, I'll pay way more to live here, but that gives me, just like I said, set support system right now that I think is really important.

Nice. I live in probably one of the highest, not the highest, but it's got to be-- Manhattan's got to be amongst the highest tax. And we're also incorporated there.

And I only, if I were ever to move somewhere, move somewhere with higher taxes. Higher taxes? Well, France.

Ah. Yeah. We got the thumbnail.

The usual reaction. Yeah, I know. All right.

I'm going to get one that was primarily to me, but you can also absolutely answer it. Oh, this is a good one. Is there such a thing as too much diversity in your investments?

I would say my answer to that, I think because everyone knows that I'm just an extremely risk averse person when it comes to investments-- so I'm assuming by extremely diverse, they're probably talking about having just funds and just basically as diverse as you can get in that regard. I would say it's almost never going to be an issue to have things too diversified. The only thing that I would say is that you may not be doing enough focusing on the more medium term versus long term investments.

And you want to make sure that each of your investments is really serving a purpose, because, obviously, the way you might invest for something that you could theoretically take out in 10 years is going to be different from something that you would take out at retirement. But I feel like I would rarely say that too much diversity is the problem. Usually, the problem is that there's not enough of it.

But again, I'm an extremely-- I invest in the most safe and diversified possible way I would say. What about you? I agree with that.

I know you're a little bit more risky. No, I agree with you. I really think there's not such a thing as too much diversity when it comes to your investments.

My only issue would just be, are you playing it too safe? If you're 20 years old, and you're only investing-- I'm playing it too safe. Yeah, but if you're going crazier in bonds, or savings accounts, or really super risk averse investments and you're young, then maybe you could probably afford to take on more risk.

But overall, I don't think too much-- But then again, just the question alone, too much diversity would almost lend itself to thinking that you're going really risky and really safe at the same time. So maybe just diversity in itself-- Yeah, the question's a little vague. Yeah.

But I will say- well so to your point, if you are including things like a high yield savings account, and you've got a whole bunch of money in that, definitely don't do that. But in terms of like-- yeah, if you're having a broad basket of longer term investments, I think that's generally the way to go. Usually, the mistake people will be making is to put a lot of money in something like a single stock, which is-- Tesla.

Do you have money in Tesla? I do. Did you see my video?

No, way. Tell me about it. Wow.

What happened? So I invested-- so when I bought the car, the Tesla Model 3, I figured I would just throw some money in Tesla stock to-- in my mind, it was like, oh, if this pays for the sales tax of the car, I would be super happy. And I bought in it 260.

And then it went down to 176 or whatever. And I was super bummed about that. But I invested an amount where, basically, if it went to zero, I wouldn't really care.

Is this pre or post SEC? S-- what? The fine.

Oh, oh, no, this was almost a year ago. OK. Yeah.

So my video the other day was that I sold this stock at 9-- what was it? 912, I think. Whoa. Yeah, it was stupid how much it was going up.

And I figured, at this-- because my intention was sole Tesla for a very long time. I never buy individual stocks. This is the only one, because I got the car, and I kind of believed in it.

Yeah. But when I saw it run up like that, I'm like, now I would be stupid not to take profits at this point. So I did.

Yeah. Well, listen. So I always say that buying individual stocks is really not all that different from going to Vegas.

And you did the exact smartest thing someone can do in Vegas is that when you have a bunch of winnings, leave a table. Yeah. Don't stick around.

But I will say, also, I think it's a good point that I am very similar to you in that if I ever do buy an individual stock, it's because I support the company for some reason outside of what could potentially be my financial health. It's literally, I either support their mission, or I am a participant in their product and want them to thrive. You have to have some reason to do it, because it's really not a super sound strategy.

I agree. If people could tell which stock was going to perform and which wasn't-- I know. And that was luck, by the way, for me selling at that price.

Totally. Yeah. What is it at now?

I think like 750. I mean, it dropped like 20%-- Oh my god. --after I had sold it. But everyone is saying, Graham, you knew.

You're so smart. But honestly, the tables would be turned. I mean, it could have just as easily gone up to 1,000.

And everyone would be like, Graham, you're so stupid. You're so dumb. I can't believe-- you know, so it's luck at that point.

I'll admit that. Graham, have you ever done something reckless with your money? Oh, man.

Not really. I am so careful about money. Reckless with money?

I bet $500 on the Super Bowl. And I lost that. This year.

Yeah. Lost that one. They were supposed to win.

Oh, no. [LAUGHTER] That was pretty bad. Really reckless or not, I'm so careful with everything that I do. Everything, right now, has worked out so favorably.

You know what? I guess the most reckless thing I did, I threw like three grand into a cryptocurrency two years ago. It was called RaiBlocks.

And I bought in, I think it was like $1.60 or $2.00 a coin, if you want to call it. It went all the way up to like 40 something dollars a coin. And I was sitting on some really amazing profit on that.

And I didn't sell it. Oh, no. Yeah.

It was supposed to be listed on this exchange called Binance. And I was like, it's going to go to like $45, $50. And my plan was to sell it as it approaches $50.

But it never did and started going down. I'm like, it's going to go back up. It's going to go back up.

And now it's worth, I think, like, $1. So now I'm like, I've lost money on that. Oh, no.

I know. Listen, I mean, you kind of get what-- you know what you're getting into with coins. I mean-- Yeah, but still.

Do you believe, and we should both answer this one. All right. But I'll let you go first.

Do you believe that work is a means to fulfillment or just to wealth? Oh, man. I think you can go both ways on that.

I think there is, for some people-- I don't even know how to answer that. I think it's so personalized. I think for a certain percentage of the population out there, your work can be a means for fulfillment.

And I think if you really love what you do and you've found a way to make money doing that, then absolutely. But I think for the majority of people out there, work is just a means to an end. It's just something you gotta do to get what you want.

And maybe they're not totally passionate about what they're into or really enthusiastic about it. I think it can be. But I think, unfortunately, the majority of situations out there are not the case.

You know, I very much agree with that. I feel like what's frustrating for a lot of people is that a lot of times the people who are giving advice about things like work fulfillment, et cetera, are often people who are in really cool jobs, or people who really do what they love, or people who have the luxury of working a job that extremely aligns with what they want to be doing every day, which, to your point, is not the case for most people. I would say, I mean, for me obviously, there's an element of fulfillment to it.

But ultimately, at the end of the day, I think people often-- it's the worst outcome for people when they treat their job, especially when it's just they're working for an employer, and they treat it as if it should be everything to them. Their work is their family. And their job is their love.

I think that often, for a lot of people, creates really unhealthy boundaries between work and life, where you'll find yourself sending emails at 11:00 PM or checking it first thing in the morning on a Sunday. And it just creeps into the rest of your life. And I think you always have to remember that, at the end of the day, work should enable you.

It should enable you to do things you love. But it should also enable you to live a good life. And if you find yourself letting work overwhelm the rest of your life, that's time you can't get back, in my opinion.

Yeah. Now if you are someone like Graham or myself, and you own your own business and that's something that you absolutely love doing, sure. But I know a lot of people who are, I would say, a little bit too dedicated to their work.

And it creeps into their life. But if they're too dedicated, couldn't that be their sense of fulfillment? It could be.

I think for some people it is. But I do think a lot of our audience will say they feel a little bit like workaholics. They just don't know how to put up that good boundary.

Yeah. And I feel like-- that's why I feel like it's important to have at least one thing outside of your job that you really care about, a hobby, an activity, something else that balances out. Because if it's just work, and going to sleep, and watching TV, it's not healthy.

I agree. How do you deal with the anxiety and pressures of YouTube to come up with new ideas? I'm still trying to figure that one out. [LAUGHTER] In terms of coming up with ideas, I drive myself crazy.

Oh, really. Yeah. Oh, jeez.

So my process of coming up with video topics, I watch so much YouTube. Yes. I mean, I probably spend two hours a day watching YouTube videos.

And that's all my downtime. If I'm not-- even as I'm making breakfast, the eggs are cooking on the skillet, and I'm sitting there scrolling like, who is posting what? And then I watch all my videos at two times speed.

So that way I can try to get through videos faster. I do 1.5. 1.5, yeah. Find a healthy balance there.

But I see what other people are posting, any trending topics that come up. I read so many websites too, like CNN, CNBC, anything on Reddit, any financial blogs. I read so much, really until the point where just all of a sudden you get this whiff of inspiration, let's say.

I'll read a topic sometimes. I'll be like, oh, this is so cool. Or I'll see something that is trending or something a lot of people are talking about financially.

I'm like, oh, I want to give my insights on this. And that's typically my favorite is anything newsworthy. Right.

Or something happens with a credit card, and I can comment on it. Those are my favorite videos right now to do is just my commentary over a subject, less right now how-tos. Yeah.

I started doing a lot of how to make $100, how to make $10,000, how to invest. I've just grown a little bit bored of that. Yeah.

Commentary stuff for me. But it's a grind. And there's certainly days where I just don't have any motivation or just there's just nothing there.

And I'm like, well I gotta get a video out today. So I have a backlog of just ideas that I've come up with in the past that I know are going to do well that maybe I'm not totally into. But I know people will enjoy them.

So I just chug through. And I just do it anyway. I would say that that is probably a more profitable, and viable, and strong growth strategy, because being responsive and being timely on YouTube hugely works in your benefit as a channel.

It just is. We have always made a conscious choice at TFD to not be timely at all. We literally make all of our videos two months ahead of time.

We don't respond to anything. And we don't know what's going on when the video comes out. We have no idea what the news will be, which does put us at a disadvantage sometimes.

It just does. I literally recently, on a video, commented on the Tati Westbrook, James Charles thing that happened a year ago. Oh my god.

You can't do that. No, I mean, very neutrally, but you know, just basically, I spoke about the issue. But suffice to say, it happened a straight up year after that thing happened, which is not how the YouTube ecosystem and algorithm works.

So that has just been a conscious choice. And I will say, I think that it leads us to miss out on some things. And it leads for our growth to be less sharp than it could be and for us to go viral less than we could go.

But I think in terms of, for me, balancing sustainability, it's been a good option for us. But that being said, I'm not totally closed off to the possibility of one day getting a little bit more into the commentary space. Oh, yeah.

For me, it's definitely, you have to upload within hours. Yeah. When the whole Tesla situation happened, I sold my stock that morning.

And then seven hours later, I had a video out about it. So some of those things, you have to be on it, otherwise, someone else will. And I took pride, by the way, in that I was one of the first people to comment about that and really put a lot of time into this.

So sometimes with YouTube, in terms of a growth strategy, you have to be the first to comment on it, because by the time three other people talk about it, it's old news. You have to just be on it. Yeah, I don't think I've ever done that.

That's what I use Twitter for. No. It's so much fun though when you get the pressure, just like, a gotta get this.

This is like, you know-- and it's like this challenge. It's this race. It's like, I gotta get this video out first.

Do you edit your own videos? I do. I do everything myself.

See, I don't do that at all. So I would have to really-- I would be like-- could you imagine, I get our edit. I would be like, Emily, get this up now.

My editing would be so much better if I hired a professional. But no, I do it all myself, all iMovie. It's nice to have control though.

Oh, yeah. This one's interesting. This one's kind of saucy.

Have you ever been told you don't deserve what you have? And how did you respond? Don't deserve what I have?

I'm assuming they're referring to being a millionaire. Oh. I've just never been-- that's just never been a thing that's come up for me, I guess.

I've been told, I mean, not that I don't deserve what I have, but I think I've encountered people who-- because, to be honest, what is successful in media is kind of luck of the draw to a large extent, in terms of we got picked up by the algorithm on YouTube one day in 2016. I disagree though. I don't think it's just luck.

It's not just luck. Oh, yeah. No.

Consistency, putting out a good product, all those things are important. I believe there's a strategy behind it. And as you could dedicate yourself to the strategy, that will lend itself to be picked up by an algorithm.

Beyond a certain extent, I think there is an element of, I don't want to say favoritism, but I do believe beyond a certain point, there's a bit of just some channels are favored more than others. But until that, I think, there's definitely a strategy you can follow. And some of that, by the way, is just you got to drop everything when a trending topic comes up.

You got to do it. You've got to be the first to be on it. Well I can only say in our experience that there was zero strategy involved in getting on the home page.

We literally did not know what was happening for the first three hours. We were like why are our metrics going crazy? Our analytics are frozen because they're so extreme.

And we did learn that that-- we later learned the dynamics behind what led that video to be on the homepage. What video was that? I think it was the things that I cut from my budget and don't miss at all.

I'm pretty sure that was the video. I'd have to go back and look. There were a couple that were on various trending things.

And one was on the homepage, and I think it was that one. And to be fair, we did learn from that. And we leaned into that experience and made some choices that would recreate it.

When I've heard, not you don't deserve, but people being salty, it's about why are you getting this and another person isn't? And the truth is, that yes, some of that can be strategy. But sometimes it's just a question of putting yourself in the right place at the right time.

I feel like that's a terrible mindset though, to think that you don't deserve this or you did this-- because otherwise, I feel that almost puts yourself in just a vulnerable and victim mentality. Yeah. You're focusing more on someone else's accomplishment than you are on yourself.

And I think just the element of focusing on someone else and trying to put them down or, let's say-- what's the word I'm looking for? diminish, let's say, there accomplishments. Crabs in a bucket. What is it?

Crabs in a bucket. Never heard of that. A bunch of crabs are in a bucket, and one starts crawling out.

And the other one pulls the crab down to help himself get out. But it just pulls them both down. Oh, see, there you go.

I feel like people can get a lot further if they focus more on themselves than other people, if that makes sense. Negatively. I think you can look for other people for inspiration, but not in terms of just, hey, they shouldn't have that.

I feel that's important for everyone. Listen, we all probably look at other people in any career field and say, wow. I would love to have that someday.

But you have to learn to-- one thing that I have found is extremely cool as a strategy, is anytime I've seen someone who I really admire, and I'm liking what they're doing, and it could easily turn to envy, or resentment, or whatever, I reach out to that person. And I say, I'd love to do something with you or, at the very least, I love what you're doing. And it sort of diffuses it.

And now maybe that person could end up being a collaborator. Cool. You've got to squelch those feelings.

They're not healthy. All right. What differences in opinions do you two have on money?

It's capitalism. [LAUGHTER] True. Oh my god. Taxes.

Taxes. Yeah, well elaborate. I'm a firm believer that if you want money, you just got to go out and work for it.

I'm a firm believer that, well not in all situations, but I think in some I would be in favor of slightly lower taxes for certain things. In terms of just a free market, being able to go and if there's demand for something out there or a problem, you could solve it and capitalize on that. And those things to me are important.

Raise my taxes. I would love to pay more. Love, love social programs, love the government.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions that I feel is so important to clear up. Even if you look at a country like Finland, I don't know, any of these countries that have really robust social programs, they're also fundamentally capitalist countries. They have a free market.

So that's kind of a misconception. I clearly don't hate capitalism. I have a small business.

But I definitely think there could be a stronger role of the social safety net, and I love to participate in it. I actually enjoy paying taxes. I get a little thrill out of it.

You do. I love it. It makes me-- it feels like a privilege to me, because it means that you're doing well enough that you can give to others.

That's kind of how I look at it. Now does that mean I necessarily love every single thing that my tax dollars go to? No.

But overall, it's better than the alternative, which is that you're not making enough money to be able to pay them, which used to be the case for our small business. Yeah, I mean, some places where taxes go, I totally agree. It's a necessary thing.

You got to do it. I wish, and we could just go in-- this is totally another video on this. It's maybe if some of the tax dollars went to better programs and better uses.

Yeah, I think that's true, for sure. I would also say a big difference philosophically is, I think that you feel that the individual has a stronger possibility of financial agency than maybe I do. And I think there's a lot of people-- I'm very interested in, for example, the cycle of poverty and how difficult that can be for a lot of people to get out of.

And I think what I always want to do is balance out what I think is-- obviously, we do give financial advice. There isn't a large extent to which I think people are capable of helping themselves into making better decisions. But I don't think, for example, that everyone could become rich.

I really want to believe that anyone can be rich, because I think just even having that optimism, that anything is possible, certainly gets you a lot farther than believing that I can't do it. Yes, what I'll say that I do agree is that I think that it's important to keep the belief that you could have a better situation than you currently do. And I think that that's important to keep in all elements of life not just the financial.

I agree. Being defeatist doesn't help anyone. Oh, salty.

How do you both feel about luxury goods as an investment, such as Graham's watch? How do you feel about my watch? So tell everyone how much your watch costs.

This Is a different one today. Oh, no. Well tell them how much the fancy watch costs.

Yeah, the fancy one was about $20,000. Here's the thing. Unlike many financial personal finance people, I think that's fine.

I think that everyone-- what I'm mostly concerned about is two things. Can you afford it? And does it genuinely bring you joy, and fulfillment, and it's meaningful in your life?

I think there are a lot of people who buy designer and luxury goods because they want to be perceived in a certain way. And they either do that without it really giving them much value, or they can't really afford it. And I think that's pretty much universally bad.

But if something is genuinely of real value and meaning to you, and it's something you're going to get a ton of use out of every day or you know very often, I think you're fully entitled to make that choice. I totally agree with you on that one. I think another component of that is that a lot of, not all, but some luxury goods keep their value really well.

That's true. Rolex watches, for instance, some of them should keep pace with inflation. There's some watches out there, like a Rolex Daytona, you can get a stainless steel-- let's say, you get it for $12,000.

Chances are it's going to keep its value if not go up in value maybe 5% a year or so. Yeah. Not all watches, but there are a lot of things that you can get that are basically the equivalent of a savings account, same with certain cars.

A Ford GT would be a perfect example. For $300,000, you can have this amazing, exotic car and then be able to drive it for years and sell it for the same price, if not more, than what you paid for it. So there's certain cars and certain things out there you can certainly do well with.

Hermes bags, I think, are another one. I don't know much about those. But I hear they're pretty good.

Yeah. And the thing is that it also just depends on what is going to really add value to your day-to-day life. I would never, personally, buy a luxury purse, for example, just because it wouldn't really make a difference in my life.

But I have a lot of kitchen things that are very high end. I have Wusthof knives. I use stone cookware.

I use a lot of things that on their ticket price are incredibly expensive. But I cook constantly. And they really improve my experience of cooking every day.

Every time I slice with that knife, a little shiver of joy runs down my spine. Nice. And shitty knives are dangerous, because you have to bear down too hard, and you can cut yourself.

How many bank accounts do both of you have? I don't even know. Do you want me to count?

Sure. OK. Hold on.

I got to-- Let's count credit cards too as a bank account. OK. Just to really give the full spectrum.

And we can count investment accounts too. From what I see here, eight. And that includes what?

Bank accounts. Just bank accounts. That's bank accounts, yeah.

Just a bunch of different savings goals? It's eight different banks. Whoa.

Yeah. Yeah, well some of the issue was that I'm over the FDIC limits, because I save everything. So I try only to keep 250 per bank.

And I didn't want to be too concentrated within one place. But also, I've opened bank accounts to get better mortgage rates. I opened up one recently to get a better interest rate on that.

And then other banks, Ally is a big one that I have multiple different checking accounts with Ally. But otherwise, I basically just tried a whole bunch of bank accounts. Same thing with like-- because they make a lot of videos about, what's the best high interest savings account?

So for me to do that, typically, I'll go and open up the bank account, go and use it, and that way have a firsthand experience if I go and talk about it. What about credit cards? How many do you have?

Over 10, 11, 12, something like that. Honestly, I don't even know at this point. Several are business cards.

A lot are personal. I wouldn't even know. I don't even have them on me.

Yeah. I'll go through it. I have to think about it, but-- OK.

So obviously, investment, retirement, all that is separate. So we'll leave that out, but several of those. I have my checking account, my savings account, our joint accounts, both checking and savings, all at the same bank.

And then I have, at a different bank I have business checking, business savings. And I think that's it. So yeah, about seven, six, seven total that I use on a pretty much daily basis.

And then credit cards, three personal, one business. Yeah. You get more, some more credit cards.

Yeah, I could get more credit cards. We're actually thinking of changing. Amex recently switched around all of their benefits with Delta, because basically, the vast majority of what I use my credit card for, because I fly all the time, is just miles and points.

I also use the Chase Sapphire. So just a lot of that. So we're always just keeping up on, what are the benefits?

Can we get a better-- you should always be making those cards work. And you can totally call your card company. You can negotiate things, because you always want to make sure that the benefits that you signed up for with that card are holding in place.

And sometimes they change. Agreed. Chase Sapphire Reserve, we're looking at you.

Yeah, we are. Also, the Amex Gold. All right.

A lot of bank accounts. Oh, this is good. How much money would you feel you need to be satisfied with and not feel like you need any more?

I mean, my goal has been-- I really don't even have a goal, but $10 million was the number I felt that would be just a cool number to hit. And that's net worth? Net worth.

OK. That includes your properties? Yeah.

I don't know, though, because even at 10, then you'll look at people with 20. And at 20, you'll look at people with 40. I don't think there's ever an amount that you would necessarily feel content with.

I think you could really feel that with almost any amount as long as you have enough to cover your expenses. So I mean, that's my answer. It's just I think we as people always want to be progressing and doing more and seeing progress in what we do.

So I don't think there's ever going to be a number where you hit that and you're like, OK, I'm done. I feel like there's always going to be something a little bit more that you can do and work on. Yeah.

I feel like I have enough money now. I don't need any more. When we give our-- the partners were talking about raises at the end of last year.

And I could have given myself a bigger raise other people got. But I didn't take it. Because I was like, I'm fine.

I'm saving enough. I'm on pace with all my goals. I love where I live.

I love my lifestyle. So I'm good. I'll take the raise.

Yeah, no. I'm good. Give it to me.

You should buy some luxury goods. No. Buy the Rolex.

No. But I would-- no. No, but in all honesty, it's not just for totally altruistic purposes.

It's also that at this point, I'm sure you can relate to this, I would rather keep more money in the company. Yeah. Fair enough.

The safest I feel, the best I feel is when TFD has a huge emergency fund and a great line of credit. I totally agree with that. So that's the most important to me.

Cool. Now Graham and I talked a lot about taxes in this first half. But no matter how you stand on them, you're going to need to pay them.

And you're going to want the right tools to do it. I know that taxes are probably not your favorite subject, even though I love them, as I keep going off about in this show. But no matter how you feel about taxes, they're going to be something that you have to do.

And what is most important in doing your taxes is making sure that you're doing them correctly and that you're getting the maximum possible refund that you're entitled to. It can feel sometimes really, frankly, overwhelming to do taxes by yourself. And you don't always necessarily know if you're doing it right.

You don't always know the answers to the different questions you're being asked. So I highly recommend a product like TurboTax, made by Intuit, that will help walk you through the process, ensure that you're doing everything the way you're supposed to be doing, that you're reporting all of your various income correctly, that you're doing the right deductions, that you're basically just doing everything cleanly and well, and ensure that at the end, you're getting the maximum possible refund that you're entitled to. What you want more than anything when you do your taxes is peace of mind.

And that is exactly what TurboTax offers. So I highly recommend you check them out. I have used TurboTax myself several times to great success.

So find out more about TurboTax at the link in our description or our show notes. This is a good one. How much did you, Chelsea, and would you, Graham, pay for your wedding?

I'm happy to share. Yeah, you go first. So I don't know the exact total off of my head.

But I will give you the total breakdown of how we paid for everything, and what money we received, and what was out of pocket. So we had a bit of a unique situation, because we're from two different countries. So it was not realistic for us to have some big wedding with everyone that we know in our lives.

So we had a fairly reduced number of people. We were 27 at our wedding. And we had it in France near where his family lives, which meant that half the attendees had to come over from the states.

So our goal was to pay for a villa for everyone to stay for the week and cover all of their food, the actual ceremony, all that, reception, everything, so that they would only have to fly themselves out, which is already quite a substantial expense. So they would have to fly themselves out, but that was it. And we did no gifts and everything.

So the villa, which we did pay out of pocket for the week, I believe it was somewhere around $6,000, $7,000. But that, obviously, is lodging for almost 30 people. We had a pool.

We had a bocce ball court. It was fantastic. And everyone got to stay for free.

I think on top of that, auxiliary expenses, we probably, because we paid for a couple people's plane tickets, we paid for a few things here and there, rental cars, all that, I think we additionally maybe paid a couple grand. So we came close to paying about-- and a lot of the meal we put toward. I think we paid about maybe $10,000 to $12,000 out of our own pockets total.

After that, each of our parents contributed $5,000, which went to various things like a rehearsal dinner, the actual ceremony itself, the reception, some of the auxiliary expenses. And we, of course, also had the food that was at the villa. And Mark's, my husband's, family, they're farmers.

So they had a lot of food. And they also are part of a wine co-op, so they brought a ton of wine. So we had a lot of freebies on the food and drinks, which really offset the cost, which was awesome and such a luxury.

But so suffice to say, long story short, about 30 people in a villa for a week with all the various ceremonies, we out-of-pocket paid around $10,000, I think. And our parents contributed, between the four, $10,000, so about $20,000, which, believe it or not, actually puts us way below the average in a lot of states. People spend more than $20,000 on a wedding?

I think the average in New York is something like $52,000. What? Yeah.

They're huge, huge these things. How is it that expense? I think the actual average number is $37,000.

Wow. That seems-- I don't know anything about wedding expense. I was thinking more like $10,000 to $15,000.

Well if you think about it, most weddings are well over 100 people. So if you just think about the food, drink, all of those costs, it totals up. My answer is, I don't really know.

But mine is like $10,000 to $15,000 I would think. I don't know. I just don't know.

Hard to say. But the thing is it really totals up even if you do have a small wedding. Out of the $5,000, for example, that my parents gave for me, $2,500 of that was just dinner and after, because we also did a civil wedding in New York with a much smaller group.

But even just that dinner, it was $2,500. This was like, I don't, 20 people or something. Just go to McDonald's.

The dollar menu, have you seen the dollar menu lately? It's looking pretty good right now. You know, the thing is, one thing I will say, all things considered, there's not a single penny of that experience that I regret.

And I highly recommend small, intimate weddings. I think the degree to which your dollar stretches and you're able-- because to be able to spend a week in a house with all of your favorite people that you don't get to see all in the same place, that's something I'll take to my grave. For both, what would you do if you won the lottery?

What would I do? Honestly, it depends how much. Let's say the lotto, $360 million. $360 million?

Probably what I would do is just-- I'd probably take 10-- wait, wait, how much? $300 million? Let's just call it-- let's just say it's $150 million after tax or $150 million. I'd probably give immediate family, I don't know, $10 million of that and just split it up.

And then the rest of it would probably go into, I would say, probably commercial real estate or very large apartment buildings that I would just buy with cash. Set up a property management system on all of it, so it would be as passive as it could be. And then I might just leave a few million leftover in cash to cover any expenses.

But all of that would be spent pretty immediately on just investing it. I feel like that amount is dangerous for people to have all at once. I feel like I would just want to just invest it as quick as possible and then just live off of whatever that produces.

Yeah. I would, not to make myself sound like some kind of a martyr, but I would probably do-- a lot of that would go to charity. I would like to start-- there are various non-profits that I would like to start if I had that kind of philanthropic level wealth.

Definitely do a few nice things for family members for sure. I would definitely set aside a large amount of it to see my in-laws more frequently, just a lot more frequent back and forth across the ocean, bring them here and vice versa. And then as far as the actual financial strategy, I mean, I would definitely put a lot away in pretty secure investments so that you know my 4% is substantial to live on.

I would set myself up to be financially independent but in a much more sustained, slow drip way that I'm not-- like you said, you want to be overwhelmed with that amount of cash at the same time. And I would probably buy a few properties. And for charities too you can often, by the way, you could invest your money.

And then with those investment proceeds, donate to charity. Yes, I'm very-- I think I'm very uncomfortable with a lot of money. So I would-- You could pay it in taxes.

Half would go to taxes. It would. Actually, I don't know how it would work with-- that's an interesting question.

Would France take some of it too, because it would be both my husband and I. And I don't know what Uncle Sam is, Uncle Sam. But anyway, yeah, we might even end up owing taxes abroad.

Isn't that exciting? Yeah, no, I mean, listen, when my accountant was like, are we setting up in Delaware? I was like, New York state, baby, where I live, where my-- Delaware sounds so good right now. --my little neighbor kids go to school, and we work on the roads, and the firefighters.

OK. Oh, this is a good one. I know index funds are a very safe investment, but are they profitable?

Yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Good question. Good question. Of course, the answer is no.

No, they're not. They're not. They're a scam.

Nope. Ponzi scheme. Oh, ultimate favorite books, does not have to be finance related.

Think and Grow Rich. How to Win Friends and Influence People. I would say those two books.

How to Win Friends and Influence People, I think for myself is probably the most impactful for me. Also, Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. And The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss.

This gets you thinking. Hitting the greats. I will keep mine to the finance slash business side to just stay consistent with that.

My number one all time favorite book is a book called Rework by the co-founders of 27 Signals, Ruby on Rails, Basecamp, just two guys in the tech space, who are all about just thinking about work in a different way. They're all about a more community-based profit-sharing. Everyone has a really reasonable workweek.

Their employees are all super well taken care of. And they just are all about-- they're all super anti hustle porn, anti burnout, anti growth at all costs. And it just completely shaped the way I think about owning a business.

And they also have a recent book out, their new one called, It Doesn't Have to be Crazy At Work, which is also excellent. So DHH and Jason Fried, they're also constantly going off on Twitter, very interesting people to follow. OK.

I'm trying to see which one is a slightly different angle. What is your-- oh, that's good. What is your biggest financial regret?

So thinking of this from a financial perspective of overspending on something or a bad investment, I really haven't done anything that's been that major, because I really haven't spent that much money on much. And I've been pretty safe about where I put my money. I would say, if anything, my only financial regret, and this takes a completely different approach with this, is that in my early 20s, I would say, well actually I would say between like 18 and 23, I didn't go out and do much.

I stayed home for the sake of saving money. And there were a lot of times where friends would be like, hey, come out. Come out with us.

We're going to be going and eating at this place and going over here. And I wanted to go. But I didn't want to spend $50.

And so there were so many times where I didn't go out. And I would just sit at home or just work extra. So I regret not going and doing those things.

And now you feel like you have more of a balance. Now I feel like I have more of a balance. But back then, I was definitely way too extreme.

And looking back now, I mean, that would've made no difference for me to go out on a weekend and spend even $100 in a weekend every now and then. It would have made no difference. So I've definitely loosened up since then.

This is a good one. And I'm actually curious on your feelings on this too. And I just lost the question.

Let me pull it back up. How important is it to have good relationships with people when it comes to business? I think it's everything.

I mean, why wouldn't you want to have a good relationship with someone when it comes to business? Really important. I don't how to answer that.

I mean, extremely important. Yes. I would agree.

I would only make one caveat. So having healthy, wonderful relationships with my business partners, with my employees, my colleagues, that is of limitless advantage to me and makes life better. One thing I will say, though, is that a lot of people conflate business relationships and personal relationships in the sense that you have to still be able to hold people accountable.

And you have to sometimes separate out your personal feelings from someone with what needs to happen on a business level. And if you don't have that skill, which I still have trouble with and took me a long time to develop, it can be very harmful. For example, you can stay in business relationships that aren't necessarily beneficial to you.

Or you can stay at a job that isn't healthy for you or not where you can be doing the best for your career because you feel an outside sense of loyalty to an employer or what have you. You have to make sure that you're cultivating those good relationships, but you're still making sure that the business gets done, that you're taking care of yourself, and that you're not overly giving yourself to another person and being taken advantage of. You answer that way better than I did. [LAUGHTER] I agree.

All right. What's your outlook on the economy for 2020? I think-- so I have two things.

Number one, I feel like there's so much going on right now with our economy that I think would bode to be a little bit more negative. But the markets keep going up and rates keep going down. Some of that to me is a little bit illogical.

Now does that mean you should time the market? No, because that's not to say that this market won't continue going up for another 3 to 10 years. Who knows?

But lately, I've been a little bit more, I don't want to say cautious, but certainly more cautious, because I feel like I'm not concerned that we've gone up for too long, and this can't be sustained. But I think the markets right now are acting a little bit more irrational. And I think lowering interest rates even further seems more like a tactic to prop up the markets.

But I'm not timing the markets or anything like that. I'll continue investing. But I definitely keep enough cash on the side, where if the markets go down, I would be able to buy back in at lower prices.

And if anything were to happen, I'd be OK. And I highly recommend other people do the exact same, to keep an emergency fund, don't invest more than you're comfortable with. If you need the money anytime soon, maybe you shouldn't go all in Tesla, certain things like this that I think anyone can do.

But that's my thought of the market right now. I mostly agree. I think anyone who claims to know what the market's going to do is a bit of a huckster.

Don't listen to anyone who says that they can predict the future. They can't. But that being said, we know that these things are cyclical.

We know that, generally speaking, around every 10 years, there is going to be a little bit of a lull there. I mean, it's pretty much inevitable at some point. When that point is, is unclear.

But on a personal level, my husband and I are keeping a lot more cash than we usually do, because there is a fairly good chance that in the next maybe two years, there could be an opportunity to buy in at a low price, as he mentioned, on some investments, perhaps even pick up some property. But just also we want to make sure there's a lot of liquidity, because you know you never want to be in a position where a lot of your money is tied up and at that point then you need it, not worth a whole lot. So just really keeping our options as open as possible.

So yeah, I basically just agree with that. But I will say, again, the kinds of steps that you should take to prepare yourself for a bear market are really the kind of steps that you should take in life in general. I agree with that.

Just like a slightly ramped up version of it. I agree. And as my husband often says, worrying is praying for something negative to happen.

So don't worry about something that you can't control, just plan and prepare. I agree. Chelsea, would you ever want to live in France permanently?

Why or why not? Maybe, depending. Why?

Because otherwise, we don't see my husband's family. They're a lot less mobile than my family. It makes them sound like they're all a million years old.

OK. This one is absolutely adorable. I'm 17 with enough money for a down payment on a home.

Is it better to wait until I can pay in full? No. 17 though with enough money to put it down, that's pretty impressive. I want to know what the 17-year-old is doing.

I don't have any more information. But no, I would not buy a home in cash. I don't think it makes sense.

If it's a rental property, especially, a lot of those mortgage expenses are going to be a complete write-off. With interest rates right now as low as they are, it makes sense to almost arbitrage your money. You can get an interest rate right now in the low 3% on a 30-year fixed.

And typically, if you were to invest that somewhere else, over the long term, you should be able to make more than that. So to me it just makes sense to not have all of your money tied up in a property and to instead at least have it on the side, and you can go and play with it. And if you ever need to, you can always sell off those investments to pay off the house if you desire.

I mean, you're 17 though. So I would encourage them to wait at least until they're 18 to make any decision of that magnitude. Don't you think?

You think 17, you could make a decision to buy a home at 17? It depends what the goal is of that. But I feel like at 17 if you've saved up enough money to do that, I would put more money into whatever you just did to make that money.

What if it was a grandparent dying? Like kill the other-- Well then I think-- well if that's the case-- hopefully it's not that bad. But if that's the case and it's an inheritance, then I think real estate, of all places, would be a fairly safe place to park money.

Yeah. I think that's probably true. But I would consult with a grown up.

How do you know that a house is a good investment? That's such a long question to answer. I look at the comparable values in the area.

And I see what I can get a certain deal for compared with what everything else is selling for. So if you know the market's area, let's say, is a million dollars. But this house is the equivalent, and it's selling for $920,000, then I know there's $80,000 of equity in that house that I had built into that deal.

But also, if a property makes good flow compared to everything else in the area, then I think that's another thing to consider. So for me, I look at those two things. And then I also look at the future appreciation and the potential of the area.

I think there are some areas that have more upside than others in terms of development, in terms of where people are moving. And I think that's something that you can get ahead of the curve in and just buy in an area right before the development starts up in an area that you see people are kind of moving into. So that helps you on the appreciation on that.

Nice. That's my short answer. Yeah.

And also, I mean, obviously, if it's going to be your primary residence, does this suit your needs to live in. Where did I just lose it? Oh, what are the best and worst purchases you both have made in the past few years?

Best purchase, well the best purchase ever was the Tesla. I mean, that completely catapulted my channel. So if it were not for me buying the Tesla Model 3, I mean, I wouldn't have had that video.

That video would not have done so well. And I don't know where I would be without that car. So that car was definitely my best purchase.

But that was never intended. But that worked out really well. That was a lot of luck involved in that one.

Worst purchase I would say was that stupid RaiBlocks cryptocurrency by far. I mean, that was very stupid of me to have done that. We stand an honest man in this house.

It's really kind of weird to refer to them as purchases, but the best money I've ever spent in the last year was definitely my employees. I have great-- I work with fantastic people. And I just adore them all.

And they have made my life so much better and my business so much better. And each one has been better than the last. So that's the best money I've spent.

I would never refer to them as a purchase. But that's definitely the best money. Worst money I've spent, oh, there's so many is the problem.

It's not that I have a hard time thinking of them. It's that I make bad purchases constantly. I would say, oh, definitely-- oh, my husband would kill me if I didn't mention this one.

So I don't know how I managed to do this. But I bought two bed frames [LAUGHTER] instead of one. And even just repackaging that bed frame, because my poor husband-- so I bought two of them without realizing I had bought two for our guestroom.

We moved at the end of last year. I bought two without realizing it. The two boxes were in the hallway.

And he thought they were both part of the bed frame. That's an honest mistake. He literally disassembled both packages.

And it's one of those packages with a million parts. And he lays them all out, and he's doing it. And it took him well into the process to be like, holy shit.

This is two bed frames. And then he spent several hours reassembling the package. And it is still in our hallway, because it is about 100 pounds.

So it's very difficult to even get it out of the apartment. You should sell it. This is the platform.

It someone needs an extra bed-- Honestly, at this point, if you can come pick it up-- I live in Manhattan. I'll give you the address when you reach out to me. But if you want a free bed frame, you can come pick it up.

It shouldn't be free. You should charge at least-- how much is it worth? Oh my god.

It's such not that expensive of a bed frame. How much is it worth? It's like $180 or something.

So the price is $50. Yeah, OK, fine. $50. There you go.

Yeah, I'll take a Starbucks gift card. Anyway, that was it. And every time-- it's still in my hallway.

And on the occasions that I get upset at Mark, he just gestures towards the bed frame. And he's like, really? Really, are we complaining about something that I did?

Yeah, that was not a good move on my part. OK. Let's do one rapid fire, two rapid fires.

All right. What is your definition of happiness? I would say it's freedom.

I would just say to have that freedom. To me, it means happiness. Happiness to me is spending time with the people I love, like Mr.

Rogers. Call it the freedom to spend the time-- The freedom to spend time with the people I love. It's the freedom that comes is everything.

What is one specific major goal that you each plan on accomplishing this year? OK. Mine is to set up a reef aquarium this year.

This is my goal. Cool, the aquarium. It's going to come soon, I think another few months away.

What is my goal? God, what is my goal for this year? I don't really have any.

You know what? You know what my goal is? To truly take the summer off of making videos.

Whoa. But the algorithm though. I know.

The algorithm is not going to like that. So don't worry guys. We're going to have content for you all year.

But we're getting way ahead of schedule. We have a few more things planned for the channel that will just free me up personally to spend two months, July and August, without filming any videos, which would be the first time that I've ever gone more than a week without filming a video in four years. So that is my number one goal.

It will take a while to get there, especially because one of my colleagues is going on maternity leave at that time. But I'm going to use that as further motivation to sync up that timeline, get way ahead of schedule, and take July and August off the camera. So you're still going to have content posted, but it's just for two months you're not going-- Yeah.

I got it. OK. I'm either going to film ahead of time, or we have other people who make guest content for us.

But we will have content for you. Do not worry. It's just, I don't want to be physically filming videos for that two-month period.

Fair. That's a goal. Cool.

Yeah. Well thank you so much, Graham, for being here. Thank you.

I really appreciate it. A pleasure and a joy. Where can people go to find more of you?

The C? Yeah. It's

It's a good channel. Or you just search Graham Stephan. Yeah.

Down below the description. Or Google Tesla stock, and I'm sure his video will appear high up. I wonder if it ranks?

It could be ranking right now. All right. Well thank you, guys, for tuning in, as always.

And we will see you next Monday. Now Graham loves to buy houses. That's no secret.

But I bet you that when he goes to buy a house, he has a very clear picture of his full financial situation. And if you are someone who has been wanting to learn a lot more details and nuance about where you stand financially, you should check out Turbo. Turbo is a totally free app that basically gives you a bird's eye view of all the various indicators of your financial health, things like your credit worthiness, your net worth, your debt-to-income ratio, your credit utilization ratio, your credit score, and all of the information to get you to a place where you are super financially healthy and are going to be approved for things like, for example, a great mortgage, a great loan.

You want to go into these big decisions, possible meetings with lenders and banks, knowing everything you can and getting your finances to the best place they can be, so that you are a good candidate for something like a loan. And so you'll want the tool that will give you that picture and give you the understanding you need to improve all of those indicators, and put your money in the right place before you go make those decisions. I highly recommend you check out Turbo at the link in our description or the show notes.

And remember, it is totally free. [MUSIC PLAYING]