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10 money podcasts to help you brush up on personal finance

Rather than ploughing through a personal finance book, many are now turning to podcasts to help them manage their finances more effectively. Here are 10 of the most-popular personal finance podcasts currently available.
From left: senior correspondent for Marketplace Molly Wood, editorial director TED Radio Hour Guy Raz, and creator of This American Life Ira Glass discuss podcasts during Advertising Week in September 2015. Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images for AWXII
From left: senior correspondent for Marketplace Molly Wood, editorial director TED Radio Hour Guy Raz, and creator of This American Life Ira Glass discuss podcasts during Advertising Week in September 2015. Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images for AWXII

Podcasts have been around for as long as the iPod for which they were named. But their popularity has skyrocketed in the past couple of years – with personal finance one of the most popular subjects.

Some 57 million Americans – more than a fifth of the population over the age of 12 – now listen to at least one podcast a month, according to Edison Research. That is as many as use Twitter. Monthly podcast listenership has soared by 75 per cent in just three years.

So what is a podcast? Really nothing more than a radio show that you listen to in your own time.

There are more than a quarter of a million available on iTunes – close to 2,000 about business – and more than a billion subscriptions are made in Apple’s Podcasts app.

“Podcasts are an engaging way to learn or brush up on a subject,” says David Pitt-Watson, an executive fellow of finance at London Business School and co-author of What They Do With Your Money.

“That’s a real boon when it comes to investments. A whole book can prove daunting, and professional advice is often costly and sometimes self-serving.”

But he warns you cannot know if the advice given by podcast hosts is “comprehensive”, or their motive in creating the podcast – and he says there is never a “magic formula which gives outperformance”.

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To tune in, you can stream a podcast directly from a website or download one to your phone or tablet to listen to any time, even without an internet connection.

The easiest way to subscribe is through iTunes, although there are many apps – Apple’s Podcasts for the iPhone and Stitcher for Android, and others such as Overcast and Pocket Casts. Here we review 10 of the most popular personal finance podcasts:

Meaningful Money

Pete Matthew, the managing director of the UK-based Jacksons Wealth Management, uses “simple, everyday language” to provide information and advice in two segments: everything you need to know and everything you need to do to move forward with that subject. Although professionally made, this podcast series has a very personal feel as Mr Matthew is very bubbly for a financial adviser. Voted podcast of the year at the UK Podcast Awards 2015, Meaningful Money is downloaded about 6,000 times a week and there is an archive of 175 episodes to listen to if you get hooked. Try The lazy person’s guide to investing, Financial planning for divorce and The (only) three uses of money.

Origin: United Kingdom

How long: 17 to 50 minutes, although most hit the 30-minute mark

How often: Weekly

BiggerPockets

The top-rated real estate show on iTunes, with some 90,000 listens per show, this has been running since 2013 and has almost 200 episodes in the archive. Joshua Dorkin, the founder of BiggerPockets real estate social network, and investor Brandon Turner provide investing tips and resources, and interview investors on anything from long term rentals to short-term flipping – try Finding and managing rental properties while working full-time. The network boasts 263,000 members. The shows are on the long side, but with the odd nugget of solid advice for would-be American property lords – if you have the patience to listen to the whole show.

Origin: United States

How long: 60 to 80 minutes

How often: Weekly

Financial Times Money Show

You don’t get much for free from the FT but its podcasts are, and this is their most popular one. It offers UK-centric advice, mostly from the FT’s money and digital editors, that focuses not just “on the pounds in your pocket but the policy and politics behind it”. A great episode is on teaching your children (probably those of a generation of wealthy bankers) about money and wealth – Warren Buffett apparently says you should leave them enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing. Another is a full Brexit FAQ. Hard Currency is another FT podcast to try, focusing on the week ahead for international currencies.

Origin: UK

How long: About 20 minutes in average

How often: Weekly

Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life

“Short and friendly” is how Texas-based Money Girl Laura Adams dubs herself in this podcast from the Macmillan’s Quick and Dirty Tips Network, where transcripts and links to sites mentioned in the podcast are available. Originally planned to run for 10 minutes, episode length has crept up but is still bite-sized at under half an hour. This podcast is aimed at millennials, and is popular with the demographic, being downloaded up to half a million times a week. Popular episodes include Five ways to get a loan with bad credit and How to pay off debt by making more money, but the podcasts are as varied as saving money at farmers’ markets and spending less on clothes while building a better wardrobe. “Live rich and enjoy the journey”, as Ms Adams says in her podcast slogan.

Origin: US

How long: From eight to 25 minutes

How often: Weekly

Expatfocus.com

This podcast covers the everyday stuff about living in various countries, from Costa Rica to France. There’s a very small and sporadic library of podcasts and only a couple that focus on money – such as an interview with an author on how to make a living from writing books about expat life and the best ways to organise your currency transfers. There are only a few expat podcasts out there, and those that exist seem to focus on Americans living in South America or expat parenting. Definitely, a massive gap in the market.

Origin: UK

How long: 10 to 30 minutes

How often: Only eight episodes in total

WSJ – Your Money Matters

For five minutes a day, The Wall Street Journal will update you on the latest global markets, economy and money news. Personal finance episodes include How to buy a vacation home with a buddy and Does student debt lead to lower grades? although there are also episodes on the US election’s effects on the economy and markets, and Twitter moving into live streaming, so all business news is covered. The WSJ teamed up with huge podcasting network Panoply, to launch this and 11 other podcasts late last year. It’s fairly dry but a very quick way to upload finance knowledge.

Origin: US

How long: Five to 11 minutes

How often: Daily

Planet Money

From podcast giants National Public Radio, this focuses on the economy in the news. Why is the milk in the back of the store?, Why do textbook prices keep rising?, Is a Stradivarius just a violin (or, how much of a brand is real?), There is a special series of five episodes on oil – from buying it to who sets the prices to fracking to uses for oil and a world without oil). Chatty and informative, this would be a great one to help broaden your economic knowledge – although perhaps not, directly, your personal finance decisions. But definitely some great dinner table topic titbits.

Origin: United Kingdom

How long: 15 to 20 minutes on average

How often: Every two to five days

Dubai Eye Business Breakfast

Not so much a podcast as recordings of 103.8’s morning on-air interviews from presenters Brandy Scott, Malcolm Taylor and Richard Dean. However, it’s the closest thing to a regional finance podcast from the station’s most popular show, now 12 years old. The podcasts can only be found on their website, so this is not a show to download. Ms Scott says: “The podcasts give our listeners the chance to go back and hear an interview at their leisure. Information that people can really use in their day-to-day lives, like personal finance advice, is information they will take the time to listen to.” Good recent interviews include why the UAE is doing well in terms of global competitiveness, London’s property market post-Brexit and the growth of tourism in Ras Al Khaimah.

Origin: UAE

How long: About 10 minutes

How often: Two to five interviews a day

Linda Jones, Be Wealthy & Smart

Not to be confused with Linda Jones, who has a podcast on nursing, Linda P Jones is a self-made millionaire and investment coach, who says she made US$2 million by the age of 39 through her investments and now considers herself “America’s Wealth Mentor”. She started her podcast a year ago, after a 25-year career in the finance world. Her advice hinges on putting a financial map together and not being ashamed to chase your dreams, like lusting after million-dollar properties (listen to The one thing that’s holding you back from your goals). By and large, this didn’t do it for me as Ms Jones takes time to get to the point. One good episode was on owning versus renting your home. Her advice is to minimise housing moves, one of the most expensive outlays in your life – and also to pay down an extra one-twelfth per month to clear the mortgage early.

Origin: US

How long: Varies massively, from five minutes to an hour

How often: Every two to three days

Industry Focus from Motley Fool

Looks at a different sector of the US stock market every day – a good way to get a deep dive into company and sector performance, from health care to technology and energy to consumer goods. Episodes include Is $80 the new $100 for oil producer profitability?, The surprise state leading the way in wind energy (it’s Texas) and Twitter rumour mill: How should Twitter shareholders feel? A little slow moving, but short enough to keep you interested, particularly if stocks are your thing.

Origin: US

How long: 13 to 36 minutes, average 30

How often: Daily, Monday to Friday

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Updated: October 7, 2016 04:00 AM

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