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In this episode of The Financial Confessions podcast (from our social-distancing-friendly set!), Chelsea speaks with investment expert Amanda Holden on all our most pressing money concerns — from investing through a global crisis to how to think long-term when our short term is so uncertain.

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Financial Confessions on our socially distant compliant set.

We have a guest today that I know you guys, a lot of you, are big fans of already through a lot of the other work she's done with TFD, but for some of you, she may be new. And she is an invaluable resource to us when it comes to getting money expertise that doesn't want to make us, you know, lay down and cry from boredom.

But before I introduce you guys to her, I want to give a quick hello to our beloved partners with whom we make every episode of The Financial Confessions, Intuit. If you haven't heard of Intuit, you have almost certainly heard of a lot of their amazing products. They make things like TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, Turbo, basically all of the tools that you need, many of them free, to get all of your finances in order, understand your own habits, understand your business's finances, do your taxes easily, get a high level perspective on all of the various ins and outs of your money life.

And for me, especially with Mint and QuickBooks, using these apps and programs has been absolutely invaluable. I could not do a lot of the things that I do without them. If you have been thinking about changing how you handle your money, getting a much, much more active role in it, and starting to understand it, I could not recommend them more, and I will talk a little bit later about some of the specific products from them that I really love.

But if you cannot wait to get started, check out Intuit at the link in our description or our show notes. As promised, we have a guest today who is very exciting for me. She's a friend of mine.

She's a friend of TFD. She's a familiar face to a lot of TFD followers, and she's an investment expert, which is incredibly exciting, Amanda Holden. Thank you so much for having me, Chelsea.

Hi, Amanda. Hi. Hi.

How has quar been for you? Oh, man. There are good days, and there are bad days.

Aren't there always? Tell me about it. Oh, it's-- you know, I'm alone, and so it's been a lot of Mandy time, which I feel like is never that healthy.

Yeah. I feel like if you are only splitting your time between thinking about yourself and thinking about the incompetence of the government, then you're real-- you need something in the middle. Yeah.

Yeah. I feel like-- I would say I need a lot-- I'm living alone, too. I need a lot more distractions from my internal monologue.

Oh, yeah, for sure. And I don't know. It's hard.

I'm never the one that's out trying to give advice on how people should be living their lives. I'm just trying to take care of myself, and I don't know. But the one thing that's been helping me lately is saying to myself, you know what?

This is not OK, and it's probably not going to be OK, but in life, things were never going to be OK. And this is just the form that it's taking right now. Exactly.

And so that's kind of how I deal with it. Same, same, same. So for those who may not know, tell us a little bit about yourself and why-- like, what makes you an investment-- an investing expert?

Sure, so my background is actually in investment management, so after graduating from school, I took a job at an investment management firm in San Francisco. And there, my primary role was working as an investment counselor. So my job was to work with our high net worth clients, basically answering questions about the market, getting to know their personal financial situations, keeping them updated on portfolio strategy.

So basically, I was doing a lot of hand-holding with old, rich, white guys all day. That was basically my job. And so it was a great job, and I learned a lot.

The learning curve was really steep, but when you have to get on the phone and talk to somebody who could call you out at any single moment about what you do not know, you learn real quick how to talk about these things. And so it was a great job for a young woman. I was one of very few women in the department.

I was definitely the youngest woman. But I also kind of fucking hated it. Yeah.

I can imagine. And so I got to a point where it was very much like a January 1st resolution, where I was like, wow, I'm killing myself being here. Like, I am-- I hate this job.

I hate coming in every single day. Like, I'm drinking myself to death outside of work. Like, I've got to get out of here before I kill myself, basically.

And so I ended up saving up all my money, and that's actually when I procured the nickname, Dumpster Doggy. Everybody's always like, why that? And I'm like, well, if I could do it all over, I might not choose that.

But it was a nickname I got during this time period while I was at the firm, and I decided, you know what? I'm not going to spend one more dollar until I can quit this place. And so I went super hard on saving.

I was so scrappy about it, saved all my money. My co-workers gave me the nickname, Dumpster Doggy. Wow, co-workers.

I know. Well, and it was just the ones that knew about my plans, so my really close guy friends there. Oh, got it.

And so they knew that it all had a purpose. And in fact, when I quit my job, my boss looks at me, and he kind of like cocks his head, and he's like, wait a minute. Is this why-- is this why the guys call you Dumpster Doggy?

And I was like, yeah. And he's like, is this why I saw you pull a burrito from the trash? And I was like, yep.

Oh, my god. It was because I was just like, you know what? I'm going to do everything in my power to get out of this place, and I used that very intense motivation as a way to save.

I don't know that I would say that that's healthy or that anybody should mimic that, but it was really kind of what spurred me to get my own financial house in order, because I was working at this investment management firm, but that didn't really mean that I was really doing anything with my own money or really applying any of the knowledge. In fact, it was more the case that I wanted to shut it off every time I left work. And so anyways, when I was leaving, I ended up saving up all this money for about eight months, and then I quit.

And I left, and I left to go travel. And while I was traveling, I thought I was going to leave money altogether. I was like, I don't like doing this.

I don't like talking about money all day. But while I was traveling for a number of reasons, one of them witnessing women at a consistent financial disadvantage, which happens abroad, but it also happens here, of course. I decided, you know what?

Like, maybe my work here isn't done. I have been coaching my girlfriends through all of this stuff. Like, what is a stock?

What's a bond? What's a mutual fund and so on? And this is really invaluable information that I just happened to learn as a byproduct of working in investment management.

And so I decided, you know what? Maybe I should turn around and give this thing one more chance and actually try to deliver this information to the demographics that I actually care about, which are young women or really anybody who's felt left out of these conversations, because these conversations are so often reserved for people who already have money. Yeah, exactly.

Well, given the current context, and I know you did-- so Amanda, for reference, did a really amazing video for TFD, where she kind of broke down everything you really need to know about investing during coronavirus. But for those-- I mean and please go watch that after for a very comprehensive exploration. But for those who are kind of wondering, why should I even care about investing right now?

The sky is falling. Everything is ruined. Nothing will ever be normal again.

Like, why should I even care about investments? No, that's such an interesting question. And it's not the question that I've been getting asked a lot.

What's the question you've been getting the most? Well, what should I do with my retirement accounts? Got it.

Well, those people we'll get to, but what about people who are like, this was already, for me, so not even part of my realm of understanding? Why should I care now? Sure, OK.

So this is such a-- I love this framing, and this is such a good question. And so where I think I will start is-- so when we're talking about investing first, let's make sure that we understand that often what we're talking about, when we say markets, there are all sorts of investment markets. But we're often, when we say the generalized markets, we mean the stock market.

And so just so everybody understands, that is what we are talking about. And just to like lay a little bit of foundation, I don't want to-- it's helpful to talk about, what is a stock, first. So a stock is a share of ownership in a company.

So even just making it super simple, let's say that TFD wanted to share-- sell shares of ownership in TFD. And maybe you split it up into 10 pieces, 10 pieces of the pie. And so one share would be 1/10 of owning TFD.

And so you could literally buy ownership in TFD, and that's all a stock is. I mean think that when we think about investing and these crazy markets, something that you can't really hold on to, we lose sight of what it is you own when you own a stock. You own a share or a percentage of ownership in a business.

Now granted, it is a teeny tiny little percentage of ownership. Yeah, it's like a 0.00, like tiny, tiny thing. Right, it's tiny, but you have to remember it is still a percentage of ownership.

Like, if you buy one share of TFD, you still own 10%, no matter what the market is currently valuing it at. Now really quickly, I'm going to shift over to talking about real estate markets, because I think it's easier for people to conceptualize with something that provides you tangible value. So this office is providing us a nice, warm, dry place so we can film this.

We understand its value, and so let's say-- well, let's talk about a home. Let's say you bought a home for $500,000, and then there's a real estate bubble a la 2008. The market crashes, and now your home is worth $250,000.

Would you try to sell the dang thing, just because the price is lower? No, because then you're ensuring that you are taking a huge loss on that house. Exactly.

It would be the exact wrong time to sell. What you would do is you would just chill out, wait for things to come around, reassess in a couple of years. But you understand why you own a house.

You own it to provide you with this long term value, immediate and long term value. And if you are really lucky and in a place of privilege, you might even be able to think, now would actually be a pretty good time to buy a house. And it's the same idea with the stock market and with buying into the stock market.

Now, I don't want to imply that I think that right now is a particularly good time to buy, because we did see some volatility in the spring. Over the last couple of months, we had a really wacky couple of months. March, we saw a crash in the market, but then April sprung back up.

And so we're actually very similarly positioned to where we were at the beginning of the year or even a year ago. And so what I don't want to imply is that we are in some incredible buying opportunity, but to answer your question, what happens if this does get worse? And what if it stays bad for a really prolonged amount of time?

Well, from the vantage point of a new investor, that's actually the best thing that could happen, because when the market crashes, that's a really good time to buy into the market. And the longer the market stays down, it's really counterintuitive. The longer the market is bad, the better it is for young investors who are trying to get into the market.

It all depends on the vantage point from which you are looking at the market. Now that would be a very bad thing for somebody who is trying to live off their investments in retirement, but it is very advantageous for somebody who's trying to build wealth. And I think that this is part of the reason we get so confused about the stock market specifically, because when we talk about the stock market, we use the words "bad" and "good," and a bad market is generally actually a good time to invest.

So for example, if we have a really bad next 10 years in the market, which there are plenty of highly reputable think tanks that think that we might, and nobody knows. Nobody can predict the future in the stock market. And don't try to do it, and don't trust anybody that says that they could do it.

No. Please. They can't.

Chelsea to the camera, no. No. That said, when we look at greater trends in the market, what we do see is that in larger swings, we see the market do really well, and then do not as well.

And so the last two decades are a really great example of that. The 2000s or the aughts or whatever we call the 2000s, the 2000s were not good. We had two bear markets, which is a bad market, and overall, if you invested throughout that entire time period, you would have been like, this is bad.

This really-- this really sucks. But imagine that you were buying into the market over and over, and you were being consistent about it, even though everybody around you was saying, it's bad, it's bad, it's bad. For those 10 years, you would have felt like you were treading water.

But then what happened in the decade after that? Huge gains were realized. We saw a huge run-up in the marketplace.

And so that-- the last decade, the 20-teens. What do we call it? Uh, the teens.

The teens. The 20-teens. The rowdy teens.

The rowdy-- they were rowdy. They were weird, that's for sure. The teens.

Yeah, we saw this incredible run-up in the market. And so all these people that spent all of the aughts buying in then got to participate on that upswing. And so that upswing in the teens is what we call a good market.

But if you were buying in throughout that good market or at the tail end of that good market, what do we expect happens next? Yes. We expect there maybe to be a more tepid period or even a downturn.

That's just the way that the market works. We say that it works in cycles, and that's what it means is that there are going to be good times. There are going to be fruitful times, and typically, that is followed by less bountiful times.

That's how the market works. And so-- That old annoying phrase, the market is cyclical. It's just super annoying.

It is. It is. I will also, just to take-- because I know a lot of people would probably ask this clarifying question, so stocks are obviously a huge part of a lot of people's investment portfolios.

But bonds also do make up, for many people, some part of their portfolio. I describe bonds most easily as like you own a little tiny piece of a debt, essentially, that's owed by someone. You become like a creditor, like a teeny tiny piece of that.

How would you describe bonds in the same way that you conceptualize stocks? Like, what's an easy way for a person to see the word "bond" and be like, that's what that is? Yeah, so a bond is often considered to be stocks' less risky, less volatile counterpoint-- counterpart, excuse me.

I always like to compare stocks and bonds to dating. Should we use one of my dating examples? Yes, please, let's.

OK, so first, let me say that I know not everybody dates men, and not everybody lives in the prison that is the gender binary, so-- [INAUDIBLE] your nail file sawing at the bar of the gender prison. But anyway, but men are also really easy to make fun of. And so OK, so imagine that you're dating two guys, and what I will-- two guys.

So imagine first that risk and reward are very much two sides of the same coin. You do not get to have one without the other. And I think that's actually a really important piece of investing that people lose sight of, that if you want to achieve more returns, then you're going to have to take a little bit more risk.

That's simply the way that it is. If anybody tells you that they have an investment that is all reward and is no risk, then what is that? That is a scam.

That's a scam. That is absolutely a scam. And so, OK, so imagine that you're dating two different guys, so the first guy, guy number one, his name is Steve.

He's a nice guy. He's an accountant. He tucks his t-shirt into his jeans.

He thinks that Nickelback is hard rock, OK? OK. So he's going to be there when you get home on a Sunday to watch Netflix programming, but you're not exactly leaving footprints on the wall every night.

Oh, my god. [LAUGHING] Right. Like this is the type of guy-- Saucy. I know.

Like, this is the type of guy, where you're like, you know, he's going to be-- he's reliable. He's going to be there for you, but you're not exactly like taking ecstasy in Ibiza on your anniversary. Right, OK.

So this is kind of [INAUDIBLE]. So this is bonds, right? And then guy number two-- well, his name actually happens to be Guy.

Now Guy is the lead singer of an up and coming band. This band could turn out to be the next Smash Mouth, but it could also turn out to be the next Rolling Stones. OK.

Dating him is a real roller coaster. You might have to hawk some t-shirts out of the side of an airbrushed tour van. Yes.

But you could also be riding an albino tiger around your Miami Beach courtyard while you light your Newport Slims with $100 bills. Yes. Right?

So guy number two is stocks. And so with bonds, it's a little bit more really reliable or predictable, but there is significantly limited upside. With stocks, it is not predictable, but there is more upside, more potential upside.

And so that's how I like to think about stocks and bonds, and you can come full circle then to understanding why it is recommended that young people take a little bit more risk in their portfolios, because they have the time. More on the stock side. And so they are more heavily allocated towards stocks, and as you get closer to retirement, when you need a little bit more stability and you don't have as much time to get the stock market to work in your favor, then you shift towards a more conservative or bond heavy allocation.

And so the bond question, just in general, is it a good investment right now, is also tough, because bonds, just you said, Chelsea, you are essentially loaning a company, like Coca-Cola or the government, usually the federal government, but it could also be a local government-- Or governments of other countries. I mean there's so many. Yep, exactly.

And so you are loaning them your money, and then they are going to pay you a stated rate of interest for borrowing your money. So they're going to be like, hey. They're becoming a creditor, essentially.

Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] bank. Like, think of a mortgage loan, but in reverse, right? And so you're loaning out your money.

And so how much money you make in a bond is very closely tied to interest rates, interest rates that are more or less set by the government. And right now, what do we know? Interest rates are extremely low, which means it's a great time if you're trying to get a mortgage.

It's a tough time if you're on the other end of the equation, if you're investing in debt. Got it. And so if you're looking at it right now, do bonds look that great?

Not super great. Moving forward, do they look great? It's really kind of hard to tell, because we don't know what interest rates will be.

But I think it's probably pretty safe to say that we'll see interest rates kept pretty low, more or less, moving forward. That seems to be the name of the game right now. Which is intentional, which is something that is done for a variety of reasons, but mostly to stimulate things.

Like you said, it makes it a great time to buy a home. It makes it a great time to make these decisions, but obviously, there are drawbacks to it. I think a lot of people-- by the way, if you guys are like me, as charmed by this whimsical and informative way of thinking about investments, I will talk about it later, but Amanda does have a whole class that crash courses you on literally everything you need to know about investment that I watched myself, was extremely charmed by, could not recommend more.

So we'll talk about that later. And we'll link you guys in the description in the show notes, but it's amazing, got to say. But I think for a lot of people-- so I listen to-- it's interesting, because I am very not aligned with it on a lot of ideological levels, but I listen to The Financial Times every day, because I find it to be, especially on things like foreign policy and the politics of a lot of these decisions, to be-- while it is ideologically bent in a way that-- like, their goals, I think The Financial Times editorial board's goals for humanity and mine are quite different.

I find that the information is almost often the most neutral you can find, because their only-- their only interest is capital. Their only interest is what's good for the market, what's good for investors, what's good for the various, mostly private interests that are often in tension with the federal government of tons of countries. But when I listen to it, I think one of the things that even I-- and I'm constantly bathed in this stuff-- find very difficult to understand is we know, for example, that the Fed, which I think a lot of people are like, what even is the Fed?

Is it just a board of shadowy figures, which it kind of feels like even to people who are very familiar. We hear like, oh, they're intervening to adjust interest rates and to do all these things, and the governments are tracking inflation and trying to counteract it. And what should people feel like, especially with all this macroeconomic news tied to COVID, which can feel overwhelming and which can feel scary?

What should people feel that they have to really pay attention to, and what should people feel like they can tune out of? And what are some good kind of daily information sources that you feel are good to follow? OK, so such a good question.

And-- Thank you. --investing is really interesting in that we have found, at least historically, that one of the very best things that you can do is just keep adding money in and being completely unbothered by whatever it is that's happening currently. And so this is actually your one hall pass in the world of money, specifically as it pertains to investments. What I'm not saying is that you should be ignorant about what is going on, but in general, when you're investing in the stock market, what you are doing is you are investing in the idea that companies are going to grow over time.

It's basically as simple as that. Now, if you were to invest in something like a broad index fund, which is a really cheap, easy way to basically just invest in the whole market. That's like what you're saying.

So what you're not saying is that I'm picking American Airlines to do well, or I am picking Tesla to do well. What you are basically saying is, I'm investing in American or global business on the whole. And what you are hoping for is that, over time, we will see business, capitalism, whatever you want to call it, continue to build additional wealth in the world.

And so I believe that you can be a good investor, really, if you believe two things. If you believe that companies are going to create additional wealth in the world, which I personally tend to believe that they will, for better or worse. And this is not me saying that I think it's sincerely a good thing.

I just think that they will. And then number two, do you think that the stock market will reflect that? And so historically, what we have seen is that the stock market actually does, for being as frenetic as it is, it does a really good job of reflecting the actual value that is created by these companies over time.

That's also why it's very hard to punish a company through its stock, because a stock is going to more or less reflect the reality of that company. Is that company making money? Then investors are going to buy into that stock.

That's just kind of the way that it is. And so what we know or what we've seen with investor behavior, at least in the past, is that the more you can just buy in consistently, don't allow your cognitive biases or your instincts to make decisions for you in the market, because, again, that good versus bad thing. You might be doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, and we can talk more about cognitive biases if you would like to.

I find it very interesting. But again, all you've got to do is just keep buying in, and then give it a really long time period. And this is not really what people like to hear as far as people want-- people want immediate results.

And here's the thing about the stock market is you can't make the stock market do something that it wasn't going to plan on doing. And so you have to just be along for the ride. If you're going to play the game, you have to play the whole game.

And so it's almost like a bit of a relief in that you do not need to track it every day. You do not need to know what happens every day. Really, you just have to believe that companies are going to be richer in 30 or 40 years, and the stock market is going to reflect that.

And so as far as where you should be focusing your energy, I would almost say, you know what? I'm just going to set it and forget it with my investments. I'm going to use my very precious resource that is energy to focus on what it is that need to be doing right now to take care of myself, and I would say, for most people, that means focusing on their employment.

So I get asked a lot right now for what financial advice do you give somebody, and you're hearing a lot of the same things, like build up your emergency fund. Have your cash savings. If you need to shut off your retirement account contributions, because you need to free up some cash flow, then do that as well.

That's great. But I think that one of the things that isn't being talked about as much, because it's hard-- it's hard to have this conversation when so many people have already lost their jobs. But the best thing that a lot of people can be doing financially is really focusing on what it is that they can do to keep their job.

Right. That's true, or add additional streams of income. Add additional streams of income.

And so I didn't even really answer your question, which is-- No, but I think you did, which is that you can generally-- you can't tune it out entirely, but I think that there's greater freedom and perhaps even benefits to your ability to decision make, to tune out a lot of it. I should say that although I do listen to the FT's news briefing, and I read a lot of this stuff because I am fascinated by it, it doesn't change anything that I do, which is worth noting. But I will say, one of the things that I often think about-- and I guess because you sort of cultivate a following that naturally sort of echoes some of your thoughts, so a lot of our audience here at TFT I think shares it.

So there is, in some ways, an inherent tension between what makes the stock market, quote unquote, "good" or "do well," and what is good for the American people on a very sort of individual level. And so a lot of people are probably familiar with the fact that, OK, so in April, we reported like the greatest job losses in a single month since the Great Depression, and the market went up. Or we look at the fact that United Airlines, who in one year, had just scandal, after scandal, after scandal, and beat that man, that doctor, and killed the dog, and just could not have had a worse year.

That did not do nearly the amount of damage to its stock value that negotiating a better deal with their flight attendants union did because often what will drive an individual company stock to increase is realizing greater profits, which is often at the expense of their workers, at the expense of overall inequality, and which is driving toward a greater and greater sort of conflict of interest. And we often will point out that the stock market in many ways is not the economy. The economy is people.

The economy is job security. It's a quality. It's even to an extent-- And I think Andrew Yang, I didn't agree with a lot of his kind of positions.

But one thing that he talked about a lot that I thought was really on point was that if we're not including things like physical wellness and mental wellness and all of these things as a kind of economic indicator-- because for so many of us, they are so directly tied to economic factors-- then we're only getting a very incomplete picture of what a healthy country looks like. In the personal finance world, you have a lot of big figureheads who would be ready to just shovel a bunch of old people into a furnace in order to get the economy back where it was six months ago and be able to go to Fudruckers or whatever. [LAUGHS] And I when I think about OK, well, what is a way to kind of mitigate those two? I think there are a lot of ways.

I think there are really, really great programs and proposals out there by currently existing legislators to obligate companies to profit share with their employees; and have their employees have ownership; and have them have a say on the boards, and really make sure that we're realizing these benefits. And I don't think it's going to happen because I'm a nihilist at this point. But there could be fantastic opportunities-- and the stimulus happening right now-- to say, OK, Boeing; OK, GE, you want all this money?

Fine. But unlike the last 15 million times we did it, we're not just giving it to you and hoping you're nice and pay us back. We're insisting that you change some of the ways that you operate, and you're not just going to take that money and buy back a bunch of stock, airlines. [CHUCKLES] So I do think there are ways to get to a more balanced system where it's not sort of what's good for the investor versus what's good for the average worker.

But in the meantime, if you're someone who feels morally compromised by what it means for the stock market to be going up, how do you reconcile that? And what should you do? Oh, man, this is a question that hits to the core of my existence.

Yeah. Same. [LAUGHS] I'll often be on a solo walk just being like, what am I doing? Why am I peddling this?

Why am I doing anything except for trying to get babies out of cages at the border? I can't even-- I don't know why I do it sometimes. But I think that my rationale always comes down to, would I teach my best friend how to do it?

And since I would teach my best friend how to do it, I would want her to have all of the tools available to navigate this system-- that I would also want people who are not my best friend to have it as well. And so what I am not necessarily is a champion for the stock market. Basically, what I'm saying to people is, there are pretty limited options available to us under capitalism, especially, if what we are aiming for is a scenario where we get to leave work at some point.

And retirement is completely our responsibility, which is something that is the reality. It is not-- it's not what I would choose. I think we need a much more humane system to deal with retirement and to deal with people who are vulnerable and of old age.

That said, we don't have it right now. And since we don't have it, and it's all on us, of course, I'm going to try to encourage people to use whatever tools are available because you know that the rich white guys are doing it. And so if they're doing it, then we should probably be doing it too.

And so what I never tell somebody is that it's good, or the system's good, or they should be happy about it. I mean, just as I tend to believe-- and I'm sure that you tend believe as well-- that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism, there's really no ethical investing under capitalism. Right.

Yeah. But I think you're right in that this is the game that's being played right now. And if you choose to completely sit the game out, you're hurting yourself.

And you're probably not going to change anything. I do feel-- I use the Financial Diet as an example in some ways because I think the way that we run the business, I think is what more businesses should be like in a lot of ways-- not to give myself an enormous, enormous pat on the back there if I'm realizing. [LAUGHS] But no. But I mean, I can-- Do it! [LAUGHS] But the thing is that in generating revenue, in building a business, in engaging in the free market in an opportunistic way, I'm able to have a business that represents my values and represents my ethics.

And similarly, as we grow the platform, again, utilizing often fairly opportunistic means, we're able to spread a message that we think can be impactful. I'm able to give money to political candidates. Frickin', my beloved Bernie, I gave as much money as I could to him.

And I bought all the merch. And those are things-- even that-- and I give to other candidates too that I feel compelled by. Even that is something I would never be able to do if I didn't make money, and if I didn't try and raise myself up to an extent.

And I think there's often this feeling-- and I think it's very easily reflected in investment because, as you said earlier, unlike even something like own owning a home, which in so many ways is every bit an investment, just putting it in the market, is so much easier for people to wrap their heads around because it's a physical object. You can move into it immediately in most cases. You're living in it.

It's real. It feels real in a way that the market doesn't feel real to people. But a lot of people that I know, or I'm sure that you know-- who would always be like, oh, I'm not going to invest in the market.

I don't support that. That's not my life. I'm not part of that-- they would buy a home.

And they're not just buying a home because they want to gut reno or whatever. They're buying a home because they want a better life for themselves and, in many cases, their children. So they're able to understand, with the context of a home ownership, that you're doing something to build yourself a better foundation that can hopefully give you a better grounding from which to live the life and make the change you want to make.

But they're not seeing the same thing with wealth building. And I am very much-- I'm the first one to boo, hiss at the wealth building as an ends in and of itself, and the female girl boss capitalism that's all about like, "she made a million, baby." That's gross. Me too.

I agree. I hate it because money in and of itself is not an object. Net worth is not a goal.

But the life that you can live, and the change that you can affect, and, exactly to your point, the free time you can give yourself to not constantly be chained to a job that's wrong for you, or that sucks up all your time and energy, or prevents you from effecting change in your community. The worst people have all this freedom. The worst people have this wealth.

And the worst people have all the resources and knowledge. That, we need to equalize it then, I think. Yeah.

I completely agree. And the reason I keep with it is because I want women to have options. I want them to have the opportunity of freedom.

They want them to have freedom over their bodies and their choices and their jobs. And so if these are the rules of the game that we have to play, then I want people to be aware of it. Also, not understanding the system makes you incredibly vulnerable to manipulation, financial manipulation.

Not only by the system itself, but by those in your own personal life. And so I think that, as a base layer, that this needs to be understood, so that you then understand, OK, these are the options available to me. I can take them or not.

But I am now making a choice as opposed to just avoiding it because you're scared of it, or you're intimidated by it, or you hate the system, or you feel like the system has failed you, and so you are avoiding it. All of these feelings are extremely valid. But they may cause us to make decisions that ultimately hurt us over the long run.

I agree. So that's why we're doing it. I probably am not going to-- I'm the same.

And what's the new one that everybody's saying? "Nothing bad happens when women have more money." And I was like, OK-- OK-- [LAUGHS] --what? Call Margaret Thatcher. Nothing bad happens when women have more money?

Yeah. Yeah. It's like-- Who said that?

Oh, man. Should I call them out right now? What a horrible phrase?

So obviously, we're talking a lot about the kind of longer term financial decisions that can feel a little bit intangible, but we need to be preparing for and chipping away at. And for a lot of you, I know there are probably things in the next five or 10 years that you want to be working toward in your financial life. And you want to be building your overall financial health and your credit worthiness.

And if that's something that is interesting to you, I highly recommend checking out Turbo. It is a free app from Intuit that helps track all of the sort of big picture financial indicators of your overall financial health-- things like your debt to income ratio, all the nuances of your credit score, basically things that someone like a mortgage lender might look at if they're seeing how good you are for the loan you want to apply for. These are all the things that we have to kind of work at for years.

And it can feel like slow goings. And it can feel like you're not even really sure where to start. But having the right tools to track as you go and see where you're making progress and get recommendations for what you can improve will help you feel like you're making a tangible difference every day with those little decisions that you're making.

So again, to prepare for those longer term financial decisions and the big financial moments, I highly recommend checking out Turbo-- totally free, so what do you have to lose-- at the link in our description and our show notes. So what about people who say-- and I'm just really-- I didn't realize when I first started talking to you, but this has just become a catalog of everyone's existential fears right now, which I think honestly, fine. I'm happy to talk about kind of the darkness that were all thinking.

And I feel like one darkness that is kind of clouding everyone's mind is, like, what if this is forever, and we never get normal life back, and the economy never recovers? Then it's like everything is unrecognizable. How do I plan for that?

Oh, man, I mean, if you really believe that, then the stock market is probably not going to be for you. And that's just the truth. And the stock market doesn't have to be for you, right?

If you really believe that, then you probably want to invest in something like a home, right, or in real estate-- something that is going to be more tangibly valuable to you. But I think that the more important question is, is that realistic? Because we have to weigh potential outcomes with what's the likelihood that that outcome actually happens?

And in fact, I think that what we're seeing with the market-- again, with the market, what we've seen is that it's not really taking the dip that we kind of expected, given how dramatic the downturn has been in the overall economy. And I think that some of the reason for that is because people really do believe that within a year or two, things are going to get better because really the stock market is nothing more than an expectations market. And we can dive more in-- Someone was like, it's a chart of rich people's feeling.

Yeah. I saw that on TikTok. And it's so true!

It's so good! And maybe actually even that's worth exploring a little bit, understanding why that is so accurate. It is a chart of rich people's feelings in the sense that what is driving stock market prices?

And this is helpful and just understanding volatility in general and understanding why the stock market is so unpredictable on a day-to-day basis. What is driving stock prices is people buying in or bailing out of the stock market. It's really nothing more than supply and demand, which I think people lose sight of because what you hear if you were to turn on Squawk Box or CNN Money or any of that-- Squawk Box-- [LAUGHS] --most appropriately named, Squawk Box. [LAUGHTER] It sucks so bad, [LAUGHS] right?

Truly the worst name for anything ever. [LAUGHS] And so it is cable news programming, right, that is like doing this non-stop talking about the stock market. What they will say is something like this-- COVID-19 happened, so stock prices are down. Or maybe they'll say, consumer spending is up, so stock prices are up.

Or maybe they say, Saturn is aligned with Venus, and it's the third Thursday of the month, so stock prices are down, right? And it sounds right. They do a very good job of selling it, but there's actually an added step in there that they're just glossing over because it doesn't make a good headline.

And it is, OK, so let's say consumer spending is up. And so that is one factor amongst many millions of factors why people feel better. So they're buying into the stock market more.

And that increased demand is what pushes stock prices higher. Right. And so what we lose sight of is that stock prices are a thing that is for sale just anything else that is for sale in the economy.

It just happens to be these teeny tiny little slivers of ownership in a company. But the stock market is nothing more than a market for these stocks where supply and demand are what actually gives something it's price. And what's particularly interesting is demand.

Like, how much we want something or don't want something because the supply of stock actually doesn't change all that much. It's very hard to create or destroy stock. Or it doesn't happen that often I should say.

And so our demand-- so how much people are feeling good about things or bad about things is quite literally affecting the prices of stocks. And even more than that, what we see is that future expectation is baked into the price of every stock, because you would only buy an investment if you thought it was going to make you money in the future. And so if people are right now holding onto their stocks because they believe that things are going to get better in the next two years, that's what keeps stock prices elevated.

And we may be seeing that that is particularly the case right now, because, to be totally honest, rich people have gotten away pretty unscathed with this particular crash. With COVID-19, what we've seen is the people that are bearing the brunt of it are people-- Working class people. --working class people. Also, it is people who are in highly visible industries.

And so what we have seen is that it feels extremely bad. and it is. The unemployment numbers are horrifying. But bars, restaurants, massage parlor-- wait, massage parlors.

Who says massage parlors? What do you call them? Nail Salons.

Nails-- [LAUGHS] Massage parlors. [LAUGHS] What is this? The '50s? Sorry about that.

Spas. Spas, whatever it may be. These types of businesses are very vigi-- travel is a very visible industry, and they are taking a really hard hit.

But a lot of people who had computer desk jobs have gotten out of this more or less unscathed, at least for now. I think that we're probably going to see a few more waves. And who-- Of the pandemic?

Of lay offs, of economic downturn. I think that we may-- and who knows? This my prediction is as good as anybody else's prediction about this.

But I think that when we see corporate earnings coming out, quarterly earnings coming out, and we see that companies really have been decimated on a profit level, that may reflect in the stock market. We may start to see more layoffs of higher level employees within these firms, which is something that happened pretty instantaneously during the last crash in 2008. So it affected people in every economic strata, as opposed to where with this one, at least right now what we are seeing is it really hasn't impacted rich people all that much.

And so again, coming back to the point of the stock market is just a graph of rich people's feelings, well that's not actually that inaccurate. It's actually pretty dead on. And so, again, your question was about what do we do if we think that nothing is ever going to be the same?

I think that it's important to be realistic that, for a lot of people, aside from the quarantining, things are the same. I totally agree. It's interesting.

I'm just an extremely sort of squirrelly, panicky, fatalist person by nature. Me too. [LAUGHS] And I catastrophize. And I have anxiety-driven insomnia, but about the dumbest shit.

I literally-- I have anxiety. I'm not exaggerating. I did something really dumb at a party almost a decade ago, and multiple times in the calendar year 2020 have lost sleep thinking about that.

And I'm like-- so suffice to say, it doesn't take a lot for me to go to the darkest place in terms of my own brain. And one of the reasons that I feel so well-matched with my husband, and why I feel like we make such a great partnership is because he is truly-- he is in his core politically, ideologically, way further left than even I am. He's very, very-- but he, because of that, is almost like borderline nihilistic in the sense of when it comes to things like climate change, when it comes to things like the ability of us to have impacts on capital, all that kind of stuff, he's almost like zen nihilism because he's just so like, this is just the way it is and whatnot.

But the kind of result of that is that almost literally nothing upsets him. And almost literally nothing causes him to catastrophize. And especially when it comes to things like this, like when we were dealing with all the immigration stuff and having to leave, he allowed himself 20 minutes of being a little miffed about having to unexpectedly leave the country over night.

That's his level. And so when I speak to him about all of my COVID-related catastrophizing, he's very much like-- he'll humor me. Sometimes, occasionally, when I'm really panicking, I call him multiple times in a day.

And he's like, I'm not going to come onboard for your anxiety train. I have a job. I'm not going to sit here.

And you have a therapist. Call him. But when I talk to him about my COVID fears, and I talk to him specifically about what if this never changes?

What if we're just on a long downward slope to chaos and Mad Max and all that stuff? He's like, you have no idea how resilient systems are and how resilient power structures are. And there is-- he's like, every single day, the governments of most countries and the boardrooms of the 40 biggest corporations, which in many case, are one in the same interest-wise, are sitting down at a table.

And they're making very, very morbid calculations. And they're like, what do we have to do to ensure that capital survives? And what do we have to do to ensure that there is a kind of internal locus of normalcy that is reached and a stasis?

And he's like, they are making that calculation. And we are going to experience a good amount of darkness, but that they'll never let it go. They won't.

And our best hope is chipping away at the system as we go along the way and making changes and making moves. But you should worry about the restaurant downstairs. But you should not worry about your retirement account because your retirement account is fundamentally linked to the interests of the people who will keep the system going at all costs and again have created a system so entrenched and so powerful and so multifaceted that to cause it truly to be destroyed will take a lot more than this.

And for the record, everyone, my husband thinks that's awful. And my husband would be much more for like, everyone is just getting a fat check from the government and sits home in a bubble for the next three years. Sounds good.

Sounds good. And he knows that the calculation that is being made of how many old and sick and infirm people need to die to keep things going, and how we can pace that out, and how we can ensure that it happens in manageable waves is morally repugnant. But that's the calculation that's being made.

And so while there are many, many things I think to catastrophize about-- and I certainly catastrophize for our friends who own hospitality industry businesses and all those things. And I do fear the worst for them in a very real way because I think one thing that is important that I feel like I stress a lot to people who are like, we're not going to be able to go back to a restaurant or whatever for like a year until there's a vaccine. I'm like, fair enough.

But we do need to come to terms with the fact that even in countries where the most aggressive kind of subsidizing is being given to these establishments, for many of them, even a summer without business is death. And that's just not-- that's fine if we want to make that, but we have to understand the terms. So those things I do worry about.

And I think it is very realistic to worry about them on even a one- to two-year term. 4 But when we're talking about what we should be talking about with investing, which is, at minimum, a 10-year term, no. Exactly. And that's what I always tell people to remember, especially with investing in the stock market, is we get hit with all of this bad information.

We also get minute-by-minute price updates on the values of these investments, which I also don't think it's healthy. You don't need to know what your house is worth every 15 seconds. And we do get that with the value of these stocks.

It's just the nature of the way that they trade on an exchange. And we get these constant price updates. But you're not investing in a business to know what it's worth right this very second.

You're investing in a business because you believe that the people behind that business are incentivized to create wealth over the long term. And that's not something a house can do. That's not something gold can do.

A gold bar is not incentivized to create additional wealth in the world. And so that's what makes investing in business and investing in economy, which is really what you're doing when you're investing in any sort of broad-based way in the market, is you're just saying, I think that people are incentivized to create their own wealth. And there is a way to capture some of that for yourself.

And if you believe that that's going to happen, then you can more or less rest assured that, like you said, the retirement account, that should work itself out. I mean, if it doesn't, then we're all in a very different situation. Oh, yeah.

And if stocks don't work, then we're talking about a situation where probably fiat currency doesn't work. And we're all-- That's very real. And people need to really understand that because I believe I-- when I think about the radical changes that we've seen to the Overton window in just the past four years-- I got to be clear here since my boy Bernie tried it back in 2016, and the discussions we're having, and the things that people feel are possible now-- when I think of how much has changed, and what people expect now in just a four-year window, when I look at the scale of my life, I do believe that there are lots of opportunities for things to be a lot better and more equitable and less inequal.

And that we will all reach a point in which it is-- there's no debate if we want a world, if we want a planet that is livable and habitable and all of that. That will be the calculation that needs to be made. But on the shorter term-- if that were ever-- if we were ever to go to a world where the stock market as we currently understand it straight up doesn't exist, not even as way more equitable and heavily regulated, if it's straight up does not exist, the dollar as we know it doesn't exist.

The way we conceive of an economy doesn't exist. So if a change like that happens in a year, we're in the streets. That's the kind of thing where we're talking about failed state economic collapse.

And when we think of how calcified so many of these things are-- I'm not saying it's impossible to happen, but it's not going to happen on the scale of COVID. And to be extremely morbid, when we look at what is probably the real death rate of this disease, when we consider the general population versus the number of deaths, in order to even conceive of a situation where we're talking about the complete collapse of the market as we understand it and the scale of one to two years, we're talking like a 28 Days Later type of illness where 1 out of every 3 people who gets it dies. That's the kind of-- And young people-- --and young people die. --and young people are affected.

That's the kind of illness that we're talking about. We're not talking about an illness in purely economic terms. And again, it's horrible to think of the calculations that are being made, but so important that we understand them.

The vast majority of people who risk terminal outcomes from this illness are not valuable to the economy in a very morbid and horrible and we need to rethink society. But people over retirement age are not taken as a part of the calculus that needs to be made for how strong an economy is. There are people who look at what happened in Italy and saw the number of people over the age of 80 who are now gone and have probably deemed that a good thing economically because there will be less demand for care resources, and retirement withdrawals, and all of those things.

And these are horrible calculus. They're horrible, but that's what's being made here. And that's what people are looking at and understanding.

And so when you translate it to your life and your perception of your long-term economic strategy, know that if you're thinking in catastrophizing terms about the market, exactly as you said, the market is not for you. It's just not. And I do think also that when we look back at the market, everyone needs to be cracking a history book, or let's be honest, listening to a history podcast because who has the brain capacity to look at a history book.

But think about all of the things that have happened to human life that the market has recovered from. My dad is always sending me these inspirational things that he finds on Facebook. It's very dad-like.

But one of them was like, imagine you were born in 1900. Imagine what happened as a teenager, World War 1. Imagined what happened when you were in college, the Spanish flu.

Imagine what happened when you're in your prime earning years, World War II. Do you know what I'm saying? And as you hit retirement, Vietnam.

This is the life that millions of people lived. And all through that, the market recovered because ultimately the market is much more focused on what's good for the market in the long term. And petty concerns like a couple tens of thousands of people dying, ph, to the market, ph.

And again, this is horrible, but that's the truth of it. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that that's actually a really important point in that what we really need to avoid doing when we're thinking about investing is taking our own personal concerns, like, I want to be at a bar, which I do. [LAUGHS] Oh my god, I would-- [LAUGHS] Talking about retirement accounts, I would empty half of my retirement account right now just be able to like walk into a restaurant and see a friend and hug them in the restaurant and then sit down and need to get menus.

Right. And have a hot bartender bring you a dirty Martini. Oh my god.

I'm like, oh my god! [LAUGHTER] Right. And it's so easy to let our own personal frustration and even our frustration with the system that we live within, specifically governmental systems, or actually corporate systems as well, again, one and the same. What's the difference, I guess, at this point?

But you can't let that frustration dictate whether you think investing is a good or bad, right? Because again, you're missing the point that business is extremely resilient. It's extremely resilient.

And over time, there will always be these blips. And actually to go back to the point I made about how am I handling quarantine? And I was like, "uh, uh, I don't know." I guess what I tell myself is that things are not OK, but they were never going to be OK.

They were never going to be all roses. And so this is just the form that it's taking. This is just one of the things that we're going to have to deal with in life.

And we're going to have to deal with it on a personal level. And businesses are also going to have to deal with it. But you can bet that they're going to be pouring all the resources at their capacity into the ultimate rebirth of whatever it is that their business is going to be.

They are going, again, to find a way to make money over time. And so don't worry about the stocks. Don't worry about the businesses.

I tend to agree with you. What we really need to be doing as a collective is shifting our focus into trying to make it a more equitable system overall. I would happily trade some potential returns in the stock market for a system that is more equitable for all, and specifically for the workers at those companies for which are not taking-- they're not taking advantage of any of the profit that is actually being produced by that company.

I mean, that's one of the biggest problems with the corporate structure as it stands right now. So companies that are publicly traded-- so those are the types of companies for which you can buy stocks-- not all companies are publicly traded. And so you can't buy stock, for instance, in Birkenstock.

I was like, what's a company I love that Chelsy hates? Ah! [LAUGHS] Listen, I'm sure they're great people. I just don't love the shoe.

Yeah. I know. Understandable.

They're kind of-- yeah, I get it. Not everybody grew up in Happy Valley, Oregon, so [LAUGHS] Happy Valley, Oregon is a pl-- Oh, yeah, it's true. Oh my god.

But you cannot buy a share of Birkenstock. It is a privately held company. But with publicly held companies-- Apple's, your Microsoft's, even your Ralph Lauren's-- you could buy a share in this company.

These companies are required by law to put the profit of their investors first. They have got to, by law, maximize profits, which like, what? Why do we live in a system where maximizing profits is more important than taking care of your own employees?

And so my one wish through the COVID-19 thing is that maybe it leaves a big enough crack in the wall that we can throw a lever in and open it up wide and make some real and necessary changes to the corporate governance system as it currently stands because it's not working right now. And yes, we can all get invested. We can take advantage of the profit that is produced by the stock market.

But I think that we could probably all agree that would be significantly better if we could have that and also have fair treatment of our workers I totally agree. And I think that what is an opportunity that is uniquely presented by this crisis is that what we're seeing in states that are already reopening-- and we're filming this May 8, so quite early on the scale. States that are already reopening, bringing back their bars, their restaurants, their nail salons, et cetera, just because it's available does not mean people are going.

And part of that is because of health reasons and fear of the virus. But also part of it is because a lot of people are hurting economically and are not trying to spend frivolously. So I think that in that sense, a lot of the solutions to the problem-- there's a big difference between things being available to buy and people buying them.

And an economy where consumers have no confidence, and people are not spending, and money is not circulating, that's a huge, huge issue and will have impacts on everyone at every level. So for not for once, but for in this instance, when we look at what kind of stimulus packages are being offered and what kind of programs, we're seeing that what is necessary are things like the disbursements direct to people's bank accounts, which would have been unheard of a year ago. And what we had was insufficient, and we're probably going to have another one-- so things like that, things like the PPP, which doesn't go far enough.

But as a small business owner with eight employees, that was great to get, and something that I never thought I would see from the US government, and I'm so glad to see. And things like cutting American Airlines a big, fat check so that they can keep their executive bonuses intact and do a bunch of stock buyback-- that's not going to do much for the economy. Giving a really rich person more money that they just hoard and put away, or in many cases throw off seas, that doesn't do shit for the economy.

Putting a dollar in a middle class person's pocket so they can go to the grocery store and go to their local mom and pop or their local restaurant and order takeout, that is what makes a huge difference for the economy. And I think with the nature of this particular issue where just because you build it does not mean that they will come-- and there needs to be a much, much heavier increase in consumer confidence-- I think that will hopefully open the door to more things like the stimulus checks, like the PPP, that are much more about helping people from the bottom of the pyramid upward. And I think also when I think about the calculus that is being made about how many people can die in order for things to go, quote unquote, "back to normal," I think what they're understanding now-- and I think examples like Georgia will be unfortunately Guinea pigs for this example-- is that if you open up recklessly, and you open up without sufficient test and trace, and without sufficient resources invested in health care, and making a lot of these things available to everyone, they ain't going to come.

They ain't going come to your restaurant. And when we look at models around the world where there have been really sort of, quote unquote, "good examples," these are places where immense resources were invested in containing the spread of the virus. So I think that-- I hate that this is the truth.

But the good outcomes are often only going to be backed into out of economic necessity and market demands. And once they realize that in order to get people to go back to Fudruckers and sit in the booth and order their Fruit Loops martini or whatever, it's-- I'll take it! [LAUGHTER] Obviously, like I said, I would go to a Fudruckers. Oh my god.

But in order for people to do that, you're going to need a comprehensive health public service response to this. They're going to be forced to do it. And they're not going to want to because they're not going to want to want to spend the enormous financial and infrastructural resources necessary to do a test and trace program on the scale of South Korea.

But eventually they're going to have to. Yeah. And it's a silver lining.

It does feel interesting in that this fight to reopen, it doesn't really feel like a fight to save the economy because that can't be done from a reopening standpoint. It does feel like-- it's politicians and people who are fighting to save capitalism because they know that the second people get some help from the government, they're going to be-- they're never going to want to go back. [LAUGHS] Right. They're going to be like, wait, I'm sorry-- Hey, this works! --this whole time the government was capable of doing this?

Right. My goodness. Yeah.

And that's what they don't want-- I mean, when you think about all the headlines about people earning more in unemployment than they have in their jobs, they're going to realize that the minimum wage laws in this country are out of control, and that they need more at their jobs. And that working 80-hour weeks in order to get by is not sustainable. But I think that-- I try to be hopeful.

When you look historically at big bad things in history, very often, they open up windows to better. And very often, they open up windows to a more kind of to what should have always been obvious all along, and what was obvious to many people. And I think I'm very-- it's funny because although I am very skittish and panicky on an overall if you look at the stock market of my life and all the cycles, I tend to be a very positive, optimistic person.

And I do think that there will be a new normal that in many ways I think there will be a lot of upside in. I think the rise of remote work is going to be a great thing for the economy and for the individual well-being of Americans and people all over the world. And I think there will be a focus.

We had an episode yesterday where we talked about the changes on social media and celebrity and conspicuous consumption. And I think people are starting to realize, I'm kind of bored with all of that really shallow, superficial shit. Right now, most people would trade every brunch Instagram post for the ability to hug their moms.

And we'll see that what we missed most and what we wanted most was just to be around the people we loved. And I think that that's hopefully something that will trend in a better direction, going forward because people won't forget. Yeah, hopefully.

Hopefully, we don't just revert into being the same assholes we were before. [LAUGHS] My most nihilistic take is that everyone's just going to become a doomsday pepper and a giant suburban McMansion with their huge tank SUV. That's my worst-case-scenario in all of this. But I don't know.

I think there's opportunity. So for people who want to-- I mentioned that you have this big crash course in investing. Tell us where can people find it.

Obviously, we'll link it in the description and the show notes. But how can people learn more about investing with you? Sure.

So I created this course. I just converted it to video-- yay! That was my big quarantine project, because for the last couple of years, I've been teaching it live, which is really great.

I think it's great to learn live from a teacher, but that also precludes a lot of people-- moms, women who have things to do after work, people who work in health care. And so I finally buckled down, and I converted to video. So it's 15 super fun videos breaking-- you can call it Investing 101.

But I think it's more than investing 101. It goes pretty deep. You will come away with a really complete education about investing.

And it's me teaching. There's also office hours. And so you can find it through me at-- I'm at @dumpster.doggy on Instagram or The Dumpster Dog Blog.

Or you can find it through The Financial Diet. As Chelsea said, we'll link to it in the notes. I'm very excited for you guys to see it because we we're watching it, some of us at TFD, and we we're talking about how it's just very enjoyable.

You're very entertaining. Oh, thank you. Which is great because this topic can feel very boring.

But I find that-- I don't know. As we're talking about now, as soon as you're talking about the market, you're automatically talking about so many things, many of which are very interesting to follow along and understand. And I think understanding the market at this point, in some ways, is understanding how the world works and understanding-- and not to say it's the way it should work-- but the way it does work.

And when you understand all the factors that go into it and what the markets, quote unquote, "concerns" are, and what its incentives are, you really start to understand so many things. And I was recently talking to a boomer, who shall not be named, who was very much like, I don't think they're going to the reopen rallies, but very much like, "the government's keeping us locked down because they want to control," whatever. And I'm like, trust me when I say that if the board members of all the 40 biggest corporations in this country want the economy exactly the way it was three months ago, which is what they all want and would give anything to have.

What does the CEO of Boeing want right now? If that is what they all want, and we are not doing it, then it is extraordinary need to do it. That, if we're doing it, it's because we absolutely have to, and everyone is like gritting their teeth and white knuckling it and would want this to be over the second it can be over.

And thinking about who benefits? Again, you just have to start looking at these things as a much bigger, more collective, more long-term thing. And the world starts to make a darker kind of sense, but more sense.

And I also think that it's important for people to understand that the amount of information that you need to understand about the markets is finite. I think we can get caught up in believing that it's endless, and that you will have to spend every single day of your life trying to understand what are investment markets in order to be successful when that's actually not the case. It's very open and shut.

And yes, of course, you'll want to supplement your learning throughout time. But do know that there is a bulk of information, which if you know that, then you're going to be really well-prepared to be able to navigate investment markets moving forward. And so that's what I try to cover in this course.

I can't cover everything, obviously, but all of the tools that you need to have a really good foundational understanding of the markets. OK. So before I let you go, Amanda, real quick, we got to do our famous rapid questions.

Oh, dear. So let me pull them up. "What is the big financial secret of your industry?" And we'll call that industry, investing. That it's not hard. "What do you invest in versus what are you cheap about?

Mm, god, I'm so cheap. There's so many things I do-- I know. I invest in my social life in normal times.

And so I don't generally hold back there. I love to be out and about. What am I cheap about?

Beauty. Clothes. But you always look so on point.

Well, thank you. "What has been your best investment, and why?" I would say, in my own knowledge. "What has been your biggest money mistake, and why?" Oh my god. Does my entire 20s count as a-- Yeah. --money mistake? I mean, I was definitely one of those people who, the second they got their first big girl job, was like, excuse me, this is what getting a regular paycheck is like?

And so I basically cast all of my monies in to the roaring tire fire that is getting your first paychecks. And so I was doing a lot of stupid shit. Nice.

I remember what I was-- yeah. I remember once spending-- when I had $800, spending $400 of it on a night going to a David Guetta concert. Oh, David Guetta.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

David Guetta. And yeah, imagine the low. [LAUGHTER] David Guetta I can imagine you didn't like that. [LAUGHS] I loved it at the time. It's like no self-respect, OK. [LAUGHS] "What is your biggest current money insecurity?" The global cataclysm? [LAUGHS] The global cataclysm.

I would say that the my biggest money insecurity is that I struggle to charge people money for my services because I got into this for what I think are the right reasons. Now I'm not some paragon of morality by any means. But it's really hard to charge for educational services.

And so it's a tough business model. It's a tough model for which you can build your business. And so, yeah, unless you want to take that corporate money, which you have to do judiciously, of course, then it's a tough business to be in. "What has been the financial habit that has helped you the most?" Always spending less than I earn. "When did you first feel successful?

And what does that word mean to you?" Oh, man. I'm so self-deprecating. This one's very hard for me.

I think that I've felt success-- I felt successful academically throughout school and throughout college. And so I understood that as a notion of success. But within my own life as an independent adult, I probably had it at some point when I was working in investment management, and making real money for the first time in my life, and then probably now again, getting back on my feet with my business, and being able to move to New York City.

Yee! What great timing? I know.

Well, thank you so much for being here, Amanda. It's awesome as always being in the same room. It's just so exciting in this time.

And obviously, we'll have links in our description and show notes to her awesome class, which I highly recommend, her socials, all that stuff where you can get more and more Dumpster Doggy. Yay! And for those of you at home who are a little bit worried about managing your day-to-day personal finances in such a chaotic time, I could not recommend the app Mint more.

I've been using it for over seven years now, It is totally free. It basically just syncs up to all of the various elements of your day-to-day financial life, your accounts, your cards, all that good stuff, and gives you a really, really nice overview picture of your financial health. It shows you your spending habits; shows you where you may be spending a little too much in certain categories; will even send you little warnings when you're getting close to going over budget.

And basically, it just helps keep you on track and understand all of the nuances of your financial life, which in a time like right now, where your money life has probably been flipped upside down in some way or another is incredibly useful and valuable to have. I check Mint obsessively and could not recommend it more. Again, it's free.

So why not check it out? It's at the link in our description and our show notes. And as always, guys, thank you so much for joining us here at The Financial Confessions.

And we will be back next Monday. Bye. [MUSIC PLAYING]