Ep # 89: The Best of Our 2022 Podcasts

Benjamin Haas |

We are quickly approaching the end of 2022. In case you missed some of our podcast episodes this year, Adam and Ben recap their favorites from the year. If you have some downtime during the holiday season, it may be the perfect time to take a listen!

(1:59) Episode # 63: How to plan when you don't have a well-defined goal. https://www.haasfinancialgroup.com/podcast/ep-63-how-plan-when-you-dont-have-well-defined-goal

(4:08) Episode # 82: How would your life change if you won the lottery? https://www.haasfinancialgroup.com/podcast/ep-82-how-would-your-life-change-if-you-won-lottery

(6:40) Episode # 69: Managing investments by myself. Should I or shouldn't I? https://www.haasfinancialgroup.com/podcast/ep-69-managing-investments-myself-should-i-or-shouldnt-i

(9:33) Episode # 74: investment losses hurt. Avoid these 5 mistakes.


(11:45) Episode # 85: Emotions: The Silent financial planning killer.


(15:48) Episode # 77: How to digest sensationalized financial media headlines. https://www.haasfinancialgroup.com/podcast/ep-77-how-digest-sensationalized-financial-media-headlines

(18:00) Episode # 78: Shifting focus from control to influence when planning. https://www.haasfinancialgroup.com/podcast/ep-78-shifting-focus-control-influence-when-planning

Honorable Mentions

(20:44) Episode # 72: Giving while living: helping family beyond just writing a check https://www.haasfinancialgroup.com/podcast/ep-72-giving-while-living-helping-family-beyond-just-writing-check

(21:29) Episode # 73: Tips When Financially and Emotionally Sandwiched Between Supporting Kids and Parents https://www.haasfinancialgroup.com/podcast/ep-73-tips-when-financially-and-emotionally-sandwiched-between-supporting-kids-and-parents




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Full Transcript:

Benjamin Haas  00:02

Hi everyone and welcome to A/B conversations, where we will help you CFP your way out of it. A podcast where you get into the minds of a couple of Certified Financial Planners on how we think and feel about everyday financial planning questions and what should really matter most to you. A healthier financial life starts...now! Hey Adam, welcome back. We have some fun ideas today. I'm excited about it. Here we are.


Adam Werner  00:32

Yeah. Yep, here we go talking over each other. It's going to be a great podcast.


Benjamin Haas  00:40

Wrapping up 2022, the year of, I don't know if you remember the meme at the beginning of the year when you like realize that 2022 is pronounced 2020 too as well. T-O-O


Adam Werner  00:54

Oh, oh yeah.


Benjamin Haas  00:56

That had felt like we were back in a little bit of a slog this year. So maybe that'll be the through line of the podcast today.


Adam Werner  01:03

Well, let's hope not. Let's hope it's much more positive than a slog. But to your point, there's been parts of this year, I'm sure for everybody that listens that may have felt similar to 2020 all over again. If not just because of COVID, but some of the negative emotions that have been felt this year. We thought it'd be a good idea to kind of recap or do a top 10 list, per se, of some of our top podcasts from the year. To give a quick synopsis, point people back if they may have missed it. Yeah, and if people have some downtime in the holiday season, listen to our lovely voices.


Benjamin Haas  01:50

I do think there is a little bit of a through line today. So maybe we can talk about that at the end. But yeah, a great year of podcasting. We kicked it off. I think this one was in January, episode 63 kind of sets the tone.  You know, we are CFP-ing our way through the year and sometimes we tend to maybe have people more focused on goals than we should. Goals are focused on results, where what we talked about in that podcast was setting systems, creating good habits, these are the things that are going to lead you to the outcomes that you want. I thought that was a really, really important distinction to make for people that may not be working with planners because they're like, I don't really know what I'm working towards.


Adam Werner  02:31

Yeah, So the only thing I have to add to this section is two quotes. One of them that really just kind of resonated with me was imagine going through life, the last thing you want to do is spend your entire life climbing a ladder, only to find out later that it's been leaning up against the wall the entire time. The whole idea there of just being figure out your values, figure out what's important to you, and then align everything else in your life to those things and the last quote there being Roy Disney, Walt's brother had the quote that says, "When your values are clearer to you, your decisions become easier." So to your point, if you don't necessarily have a well-defined goal, that's okay as long as you understand what's important to you and at least are pointed on the right path, pointed in the right direction. Life's going to change, we're going to get curveballs, but as long as you're pointed in that direction and you're living by your values, you can align everything else with that.


Benjamin Haas  03:28

Yeah, and I think the only other key point that I think we made in there that really resonated with me is if you set systems and habits in place, then you can start to really feel like you identify as something. If you get out there and you're running a couple times a week because you want to get into better shape, the end result is really the lagging indicator of what you identified as and what you put in place to make sure it happened. So, you want to get to some end result, you know, identify as being a saver, right? Identify as being a giver, identify as the habits that really you want to define you. So yeah, love that one. What do you have on your list?


Adam Werner  04:06

My favorite of the year was Episode 82: How would your life change if you won the lottery? And many different reasons why I love this one but it's such a natural human, I'll call it like a daydreaming process that when you see the headlines that the Powerball is at a $1.2 billion or whatever, I don't even, I think it got close to 2 billion. I don't know, I don't play. I'm a pessimist. I'm never going to win the lottery but I remember the lump sum essentially being $990 some million dollars. If you won that amount of money, what would you do? How would your life change?  And it just really spoke to and it connects to the episode we just talked about, episode 63. If you don't necessarily have a well-defined goal but you have an unlimited amount of money, what would you do? What would you change in your life? Where would you spend your time? Where would you focus? I think going through that thought exercise, it can really distill down to what matters to you and what do you value? Where do you want to focus your time and efforts in life, assuming money is not an object and then we can also, flash forward to the reality of most of us are not going to have I think there's probably a statistic out there that says, you know, most of us are not going to hit the lottery. I'm pretty confident in that but the exercise, I think, can lead to exploring that side of financial planning for us, the more behavioral side. What would you do? What's important to you assuming you had an infinite amount, but we know that that's not going to be the case. So, let's play in that sandbox and again, just try to align what's important to you with the resources that you do have, so that hopefully we can live a more fulfilled, content life, whatever that may look like for you.


Benjamin Haas  05:55

Yeah, and I think you hit the nail on the head with my takeaway from that podcast, too. This really was about finding kind of your Statement of Financial Purpose, which is why, while this may seem like a silly exercise, what if you had all the money in the world? We talked a little bit about going to the other end, what if you got a diagnosis and you found out like, you had limited time on this earth, what would you regret? Whichever side you come from, it puts us in a position of asking a lot of questions that just dig deeper. If I had all the money, I'd retire. Okay, then what are you going to do? Well, I’ll spend my time with family, why? I think you hit the nail on the head, if we keep asking those questions, it's all about figuring out what's going to lead you to feel content, fulfilled, and oftentimes, it's not going to take Mega Millions to be there.


Adam Werner  06:36

Right. Yep. Yep.


Benjamin Haas  06:40

Episode 69, was managing investments by yourself. I think this was a really neat one that we did at the beginning of the year, before we knew we'd be in a bear market for as long as we have. But I think we hit on some key points that really got to all the things that maybe individual investors don't think about that happen behind the curtain, either that we do as professionals or that they need to make sure they have for themselves. I'll start that by saying they need, if you're going to invest by yourself, you need to have a philosophy that you can stick to.


Adam Werner  07:18

Yeah, so not only a philosophy, but I think maybe, I was going to say more importantly. Maybe they're equally important, a process to follow. I think oftentimes, people think about Do-It-Yourself investments as well, I'm just going to go pick whatever stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, however they want to go about filling that investment bucket, and just making those decisions on what to invest being the only decision that needs to be made. Meanwhile, there are so many other aspects of managing your investments than just picking this stock versus this stock. Yeah, go ahead.


Benjamin Haas  07:59

We talked about size and magnitude of portfolio mattering. So, it's different if it's a hobby but when you get into retirement, I'm sorry, I feel like I stepped on your toes. I was clearly passionate about this one. When you get into retirement, we're talking about managing withdrawals, tax efficiency, what are you selling and why, when you need to rebalance and when shouldn't. Your RMD requirements, once you get to a certain age, there's just a lot of things that go into Portfolio Management that aren't just which ETF or which stock.


Adam Werner  08:29

Yeah, and something so simple as review your beneficiaries, make sure they still match what you would want to see happen. Life changes, relationships change, people pass away, making sure that something as simple as who you designate as your beneficiary on certain financial accounts, still applies. It's just, it seems like such an afterthought, but it can have a huge impact on your heirs’ lives after you're gone to make things simple.


Benjamin Haas  08:58

Yeah, and I think the last point I would want to make I think there's definitely a spot for do-it-yourself investors. And again, maybe that's when the size and magnitude doesn't feel like one mistake would have a horrible Domino. But I think it really does take them as somebody that has a good understanding of the risk tolerance, or I know, use the word risk composure. I really like that. Where you're not going to get in your own way when things do get emotional with the ups and downs of the market, which maybe leads into the next podcast, Adam.


Adam Werner  09:33

Yeah, so Episode 74, investment losses hurt, avoid these mistakes. So going back to what we just talked about, right, having a process in place, if you're managing your own investments. What is your process to go through when life and the markets throw us curveballs? And this is where we've seen the losses throughout this year and it's not just in the stock market. It's the bond market too and our emotions can make us do very interesting things. I'll say interesting as a nice way of going about it but you know, sometimes our emotions can lead us to do things that aren't in our best interest over the long term. It can make us feel good in the short term because we feel like we have control or able to do something. But just keeping context in the grand scheme of your total financial plan, your financial life. Again, coming back to what's truly important to you. What do you value and making sure that any of those decisions that you make align to that and aren't just necessarily emotional reactions to market movements, market headlines.


Benjamin Haas  10:41

Bingo. Yeah, we talked in that podcast and I think many others about this concept of like, self-sabotage and I love that you highlighted one of my key points, too. We want to feel like we can control things. So, you may say, well, I'll stop saving with contributions, I'll sell when the markets going down so I can just feel a little bit safer. Maybe I'm going to chase this trend, I hope it wasn't crypto currency because I'm fearful of missing out. We listed a couple of different mistakes in there that we think people make, it really does come back to human nature and kind of just recognizing that you're not wrong to have these emotions but it's part of the danger and do-it-yourself investing. But it's also just part of the danger and focusing too much paying too close attention to investments in the short term because that does lead to self-sabotage usually.


Adam Werner  11:32

Yeah, and so that leads us into our next one and I won't steal the thunder because this one, I think, was a really, really good one. We spent a lot of time in this area this year. It's just, so I'll say it's episode 85 - Emotions: The Silent Financial Plan Killer and really, that's it. I mean, you talked about cryptocurrency as kind of that fear of missing out. Part of that is, you know, maybe you're paying too close attention to the market movements on a day-to-day basis and you can drive yourself nuts just looking at the market fluctuations. Where if you zoom out, there's the saying, when in doubt, zoom out, you kind of remove some of the emotions hopefully from the equation. But the reality is, we can make these decisions, we can plan in a vacuum but we are all humans. We do very human things and emotions are one of those very human things that you have to try to, I was going to say you have to try to plan for it. But you really can't plan for your emotions, you just have to recognize that it exists. There may be some biases included in our decision-making process but trying to avoid making irrevocable or big decisions just based purely on the emotions at that given point in time.


Benjamin Haas  12:57

Yeah, I love the zoom out idea and I'm kind of hearing as you're saying that the whole concept of you have to be kind to yourself. This was one of those years. When's the last time things felt normal? I mean, it's just negative headline, negative headline. I think you gave the quote in that podcast, it's like death by 1000 cuts with inflation, gas prices going up, grocery costs going up. The cost of everything going up, so it just doesn't feel good and then it's really hard to have this resiliency around your investments during this bad time. So, we know it's our job to hold hands. We know it's our job to say, you know, everything's going to be okay. We know that's not often easy to just accept. Trust us, things will be okay but we really did talk about, if you focus on a plan, if you focus on the long term, your plan is supposed to be able to absorb these types of environments. We plan to get through downturns when they happen. We just can't get in our own way and oftentimes, the best thing to do is nothing.


Adam Werner  13:58

Yeah, and what we've seen a lot this year, I think is just a little bit of context, a little bit of perspective of, okay, the market is down, you know, double digits. Maybe it's come back a little bit here to close the year out, but maybe the stock market ends up down between 15 and 20%. Oftentimes, just having a little bit of perspective of okay, but what did that actually do to my financial life? I see that right value dropping, but did that change your day to day? Does that change the amount of income that you're receiving? If the answer is no, then we hope that you've kind of put that in a box and in the absence of kind of that context, again, a very human thing is to assume the worst, right? There's a fine balance between checking your accounts on a day-to-day basis and ignoring them completely because you don't want to see the negative news. You don't want to see the bad performance on your statement. But oftentimes, what you may be thinking in your head is a worst-case scenario may not even be as bad as what we're actually seeing in the markets.


Benjamin Haas  15:02

Right, and I think that's why we made it an exercise with certain people to go right back to their financial plan and it's not to dig too deep into the weeds here. But if your likelihood of being able to do what you wanted to do was in the 90’s and now it's in the high 80’s. Okay. That's a little course correct, if we even want to course correct and I think that's the perspective you're talking about. You have to bring it back to planning. We all have recency bias. We're trained to kind of focus on the latest headline, the latest thing that came out. But when we dig deep into long term planning, long term patterns, long term projections, we're going to be okay. Things are going to be okay. It's our emotions that get in the way.


Adam Werner  15:42

Speaking of emotions getting in the way. Next podcast on the list, Episode 77: How to Digest Sensationalized Financial Media Headlines. It's exactly what they're designed to do. It's, in theory, it's entertainment.


Benjamin Haas  15:59

It's entertainment. Right?


Adam Werner  16:01

It is. It’s designed to catch our attention. It is designed to get our eyeballs reading, watching, whatever and studies show and I know I said this on the podcast, this was a study specifically on social media interactions, that people were way more likely to interact with a post that either made them upset or angry, then something that either made them happy or kind of neutral. So, the fact that it elicits such a response that gets us engaged is all part of the equation.


Benjamin Haas  16:39

Yeah, so I think we gave the advice because most people that it depends why they're engaging with it, right? For some people, they really just want to be in the know, they want to again, feel like they're in control a little bit more by having knowledge. So, you kind of have to be a skeptic. You have to recognize that not only is it entertainment, maybe it's clickbait. But is this just somebody's opinion? Is that their perspective? Are they making some sort of just prediction or projection? Or are we really dealing in facts? I think because it's designed to elicit some sort of response, you definitely need to be careful about what you're reading and what the credible source is, which is why we're not telling people not to be engaged. But this still has to come back to your plan, your situation. Does this headline affect what I am looking to do in my life? Yeah, so we want to be that filter. Permission to be emotional but be skeptical when you're reading headlines.


Adam Werner  17:36



Benjamin Haas  17:38

Anyway, I think the last podcast that we're going to go through maybe in some detail, yeah, go ahead.


Adam Werner  17:45

No, I was going to say, yes, this will be the last one kind of on the official list and we have a couple of little bonuses at the end.


Benjamin Haas  17:51

Yeah, and this one might have been my favorite. I think our whole point of Episode 78, which was to help us kind of shift our focus was focusing on things that we can control versus things we can maybe influence versus things that are completely out of our control. I think just general advice in life, it's a whole lot better when we're focused on things we can control and not things we really can't at all.


Adam Werner  18:20

I think that's, again, it's one of those things, that's easier said than done. I've had this conversation with my children multiple times. If you are focused too much or worrying too much over things that are just completely out of your control, you're just giving yourself all of the stress and anxiety without any of the ability to impact that in a positive way. So similar situation here, there are certain things that you can't control. We can't control what the market does at any given point in time, but we can somewhat control how we react. What we do in those circumstances but I think the main point of this one wasn't necessarily what you can control versus what you can't, but it's kind of that in between where there, it's that influence, there are certain things that you can do to a certain extent to influence your situation. You don't necessarily have full control but you're not completely rudderless. I just I liked that one, too. I know it was your favorite as a way just to get to give a little bit more. I don't know perspective on things that happen in your life, there are ways to kind of approach them that hopefully give you a better sense of control overall.


Benjamin Haas  19:32

Yeah, and sometimes you connect with things based on timing. I remember doing that podcast shortly after the local attorney had passed away, after a friend's wife had passed away from breast cancer. Here I am, like, focused on client conversations and it's hard because it's inflation the markets down. When, I spent that whole Friday like updating my estate plan because I could influence that. I don't know when my time is up on earth but I felt a whole lot better focusing on that thing I can control and the influence I now have over setting my family up. So that, God forbid me in my early 40’s. Like those two, something happens. I now feel a whole lot better focusing on that than the things I literally have no control over.


Adam Werner  20:15

By the way, don't age yourself. You're not in your 40’s yet.


Benjamin Haas  20:17

I'm super close that.


Adam Werner  20:18

 We're still young.


Benjamin Haas  20:23

Super close. All right. I think we had some honorable mentions that typically get a little bit more into specifics of situations. We had one that, again, themes kind of present themselves and we often wonder how many clients are going through these things and maybe not sharing it with us yet. One of them was really just helping family and the different ways that they were thinking about going about it. We've been through a pretty difficult couple of years here and we know that. There are people that are definitely in need so I don't know if there were highlights in that podcast that you would hit on really quick or just that general theme. There are ways to do that beyond writing a check.


Adam Werner  21:03

Yes, that was the main point that I would have made too. There are other creative ways beyond just writing a check. Financially, here, go take this money, do with it what you will. So yeah, I think there were just other creative ways to help out family members with either your time or your assets, whatever that may look like. Yeah.


Benjamin Haas  21:26

So that's you. That's Episode 72, followed by Episode 73, where we got into this specific situation of what we call financially sandwich generation where people are maybe still dealing with adult children but now having to maybe help out aging parents as well.


Adam Werner  21:42

Yeah, it's the baby boomers at this point that are kind of stuck in between? It's helping out adult children and seeing their parents maybe aging, needing care, needing long term care, and feeling like, how do I do all of these things, help out my loved ones. But also, I have to keep in mind, I need to take care of myself at a certain point too. It's the oxygen mask falling from the plane, you're supposed to put your own on first and then help those around you. Which I again, I know is often easier said than actually done. But yeah, it's another way to provide some context how you can help those in your life without putting yourself further behind the eight ball.


Benjamin Haas  22:26

Hear the beeping? It must mean that our time is running short.


Adam Werner  22:29

No, it just means they're doing construction on Kutztown.


Benjamin Haas  22:32

But I think that also fits, again, the overall theme, there's a very human element to what we need to do. I think we've really recognized that these last couple of years that we have to be able to help you with your own self-care and understand your values and really help you prioritize things because, man, if this was just all about a calculator, anybody could do it. It's the conversations that we need to have and I think that was the through line between a lot of these podcasts this year, where there is a very human element and there are emotions involved. We have to be there for you to talk those situations out to then be able to say, okay, with what we know, with what you're feeling, here's what we think the best thing to do is.


Adam Werner  23:13

Well said.


Benjamin Haas  23:15

That's going to be a wrap on 2022. Hard to imagine. But yeah, here we are. Well, let's hope 2023 offers another 26 podcasts of lots of listening fun for new subscribers and those that have been along for the ride.


Adam Werner  23:33

So, we didn't talk about this, but I'm going to throw it out anyway. If anybody has suggestions or ideas for podcasts they want to hear, feel free to throw them out.


Benjamin Haas  23:42

Yep, we're game.


Adam Werner  23:44

Absolutely. Thank you.


Benjamin Haas  23:46

As always, thank you for all your input throughout the year. It's always fun thing and I'm glad to do it.


Adam Werner  23:54



Benjamin Haas  23:55

All right. See you next time.


Adam Werner  23:57

See ya next year.


Benjamin Haas  23:57

You got it.


Adam Werner  23:58



Benjamin Haas  24:09

Hey everyone, Adam and I really appreciate you tuning in. Please note that the opinions we voiced in the show are for general information only, and are not intended to provide specific recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be most appropriate for you. Consult with your attorney, your accountant and financial advisor or tax advisor prior to making any decisions are interesting. Thanks for listening! Investment Advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor. Great Valley Advisor Group and Haas Financial Group are separate entities. This is not intended to be used as tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax or legal professional for specific information and advice.

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