Financial Planning Podcast

The Education of a Financial Planner

Learning how to be a financial planner is one thing. Doing it is another. Follow along with new financial planners Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) and Justin Carbonneau (@jjcarbonneau) as experienced veteran Matt Zeigler (@cultishcreative) helps them navigate the complex world of financial planning and learn about the most important topics that impact all of our financial futures. From investments to retirement to college planning to estate planning to insurance and beyond, we will cover the major financial planning issues that impact all of our lives and will provide a framework to help investors tackle them. We hope you will join us on our learning journey.

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Episode 15: Will ChatGPT Replace Financial Planners?

There is no doubt that ChatGPT and AI technology will change the world. Many think it will be an innovation that will be on par with the development of the internet in terms of its importance. But how it will do that and which areas of our lives it will impact the most is still up for debate. In this episode, we discuss how ChatGPT might impact the worlds of financial planning and asset management. We talk about the areas it might have the most impact and others where it might have a more difficult time causing significant changes.

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Episode 14: The Challenge of Understanding Your True Risk Tolerance

Figuring out an investor's true risk tolerance can be a very difficult process. There are certainly standard tools and processes that can be used to try to find the answer, but as Mike Tyson said "Everyone a plan until they get punched in the face." In this episode, we talk through the different types of risks investors face in markets and discuss some of the approaches we have used to better assess investors' true ability to handle them.

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Episode 13: Interpreting the Key Lessons from Great Investors

On our Excess Returns podcast, we have had the privilege to talk to many great investors. At the end of each of those interviews, we ask all of them one standard closing question: If you could teach one lesson to the average investor, what would that be? We recently published a compilation where we brought on all those insights together into one episode. In this episode, we discuss our favorite lessons from all of those we highlighted and discuss what they mean for investors.

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Episode 12: How Regular Investors Should Think About Alternatives to Stocks and Bonds

With inflation on the rise and the 60-40 stock and bond portfolio coming off one of its worst years ever, many investors are looking for alternatives. In our Show Us Your Portfolio series, we have looked at many strategies that go beyond stocks and bonds and the investors who manage their personal portfolios with them have made a compelling case for why they make sense. But they can also be complex and challenging to understand for many investors. In this episode, we asked Matt to give us a financial planning perspective on alternative strategies from the perspective of the clients who utilize them. We discuss the pros and cons of these strategies, how to analyze them and the importance of knowing yourself when considering them.

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Episode 11: Key Lessons for Investors in Their Later Retirement Years

In this episode, we take a look at the major considerations for investors in their later retirement years. We discuss how to think about spending in your later years, the rules for required minimum distributions, inherited IRAs, Roth conversions later in life, charitable giving, estate planning and a lot more.

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Episode 10: Using Variable Withdrawal Rate Strategies in Retirement Planning

Many investors are familiar with the 4% rule and fixed withdrawal rate retirement strategies. But in the real world, maintaining a fixed withdrawal rate is rarely the way things actually work out in retirement since the future is impossible to predict. In this episode, we look at the advantages of variable withdrawal strategies and look at the major approaches they utilize.

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Episode 9: Using Monte Carlo Simulation in Retirement Planning

In this episode of the Education of a Financial Planner, we take a detailed look at Monte Carlo simulation and how it is used in retirement planning. The look at the inputs that are used, how the simulation works and how to interpret the results. We also discuss some of the limitations of the process, how to calculate expected market returns to use in the simulation, the importance of properly framing the results and a lot more.

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Episode 8: The Importance of Asset Location

Most investors pay close attention to their asset allocation. And that makes sense since research has shown that the asset classes a portfolio is allocated to drive the majority of its return over time. But asset allocation isn't the whole story. It turns out that where those assets are located among taxable, IRA and Roth accounts can also have a big impact on an investor's after-tax return. In this episode, we take a deep dive into asset location and the key concepts investors need to understand.

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Episode 7: Understanding the 4% Rule and Safe Withdrawal Rates

The 4% rule has become a standard used by many investors to determine the amount they can safely withdrawal in retirement. But most don't know where it came from, the assumptions used for it and how safe withdrawal rates can be impacted by the many factors we deal with as investors. In this episode we take a deep dive into the 4% rule and the concept of safe withdrawal rates and look at the answers to those questions.

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Episode 6: Lessons For Investors Approaching Retirement

In this episode, we talk about the most important things people need to know as they approach and enter into retirement. We discuss the importance of maintaining a purpose in retirement, managing sequence risk, how to think about home equity and Social Security in a retirement plan, how to avoid the most common mistakes retirees make and a lot more.

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Episode 5: Retirement Planning in Your Prime Earning Years

Regardless of when you start saving for retirement, the most important period to save is probably the period when your income is at its peak. In this episode, we discuss how to think about retirement saving during your prime earning years. We discuss the Roth vs. traditional IRA debate, the importance of avoiding lifestyle creep, how to think about how much you need for retirement, the benefits of Monte Carlo simulation and a lot more.

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Episode 4: A Detailed Look at FDIC and SIPC Insurance and the Protections Available for Investors

With the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, many investors have been worried about if their money is protected. In this episode, we take a detailed look at the protections provided by FDIC and SIPC insurance and how they work in the real world. We also look at protections available for depositors at credit unions, cash value in life insurance policies and a lot more.

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Episode 3: What You Need to Know About Retirement Planning Early in Your Career

There are so many things to think about early in your career. Starting a new career, potentially paying off student loans and managing other expenses is usually the focus of young workers. Retirement is often not a major consideration since it is so far in the future. But saving early can start the process of compounding and can make a big difference down the road. In this episode, we discuss the things that young investors should keep in mind as they balance their present needs with their future retirement goals and get into the details of some of the vehicles available for retirement saving.

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Episode 2: A Primer on College Planning and Saving

In this episode, we take a detailed look at the options available to save and invest for college. We discuss 529 plans, UTMAs and UGMAs and non-traditional approaches. We also discuss financial aid, grandparent 529s and a lot more.

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Episode 1: The Basics of Goals-Based Planning

In this episode, we talk about the basics of goals-based planning. We discuss how to define goals, how to balance multiple goals, how to think about future return assumptions and where goals-based planning can go wrong.

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Performance Disclaimer: Returns presented on are model returns and do not represent actual trading. As a result, they do not incorporate any commissions or other trading costs or fees. Model portfolios with inception dates on or after 12/30/2005 include a combination of back tested and live model returns. The back-tested performance results shown are hypothetical and are not the result of real-time management of actual accounts. The back-testing of performance differs from actual account performance because the investment strategy may be adjusted at any time, for any reason and can continue to be changed until desired or better performance results are achieved. Back-tested returns are presented to provide general information regarding how the underlying strategy behind the portfolio performed in our historical testing. A back-tested strategy has the benefit of hindsight and the results do not reflect the impact that material economic or market factors may have had on advisor's decision-making if actual client assets were being managed using this approach. The model portfolios offered on Validea are concentrated and as a result they will exhibit high levels of volatility and their performance can be substantially impacted by the performance of individual positions.

Optimal portfolios presented on represent the rebalancing period that has led to the best historical performance for each of our equity models. Each optimal portfolio was determined after the fact with performance information that was not available at portfolio inception. As a result, an investor could not have invested in the optimal portfolio since its inception. Optimal portfolios are presented to allow investors to quickly determine the portfolio size and rebalancing period that has performed best for each of our models in our historical testing.

Both the model portfolio and benchmark returns presented for all equity portfolios on are not inclusive of dividends. Returns for our ETF portfolios and trend following system, and the benchmarks they are compared to, are inclusive of dividends. The S&P 500 is presented as a benchmark because it is the most widely followed benchmark of the overall US market and is most often used by investors for return comparison purposes. As with any investment strategy, there is potential for profit as well as the possibility of loss and investors may incur a loss despite a past history of gains. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Results will vary with economic and market conditions. is a research provider that is owned and operated by The Reese Group, LLC. offers model portfolios, screening and stock analysis that is not customized to any individual. No information on should be construed as investment advice. Validea Capital Management is a separate investment advisory firm registered with the state of Connecticut. Validea Capital offers investment management services directly to clients and is a separate entity from The Reese Group, LLC. The Reese Group and Validea Capital are affiliated entities and share partial common ownership.