Listener Questions: Asset Allocation Methods, Evaluating REITs, Emergency Funds, Personal Budgets, and more

Top Listener Questions from our favorite listeners. 

Where should I invest my emergency fund? Do I need a formal Budget? How do I evaluate REITs? What is the best asset allocation for me?

Listen to these questions and more...

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Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Today's Panelists

Financial Advisor Research Survey – How Do You Want To Communicate With Your Financial Advisor?

Want to know how most financial advisors communicate with their clients?

This recent survey from Sean Brown at Ycharts discusses the current state of communications with clients and their financial advisors. How are you looking to communicate with your advisor?

financial advisor research


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YCharts - Smart Investment Decisions Made Simple

We here at Money Tree Podcast use YCharts to uncover new investing opportunities, analyze trends and monitor our progress. YCharts is a powerful financial data platform designed for Individual Investors, Financial Advisors and Asset Managers. Their platform makes our lives easier. What can be better than that.

We struck a deal for our listeners where you get 20% off your access to YCharts if you sign up in the next month


Today's Guest:  Sean Brown

  • Proud father of 2 (13 year old son, Quinn; 11 year-old daughter, Emerson) and husband to Lisa. And their family dog is Lou.

  • Notre Dame & Stanford grad

  • College football and Chicago Cubs fan

  • President and CEO at YCharts (Swiss Army Knife of investment research and client communications)

  • Has been an executive at several startups, private equity backed firms, and public companies. Predominant focus on financial services and software.

  • He’s passionate in his belief that investors should be able to leverage great investment data and tools anywhere, and any time and they should also have access to outstanding human support to ensure their success

Sean's Online Presence:


Today's Panelists

Tax Loopholes Of The Rich: Economic Opportunity Zone Investments – An Insider’s View With Brandon Lacoff

Are you looking at economic opportunity zone investments for your capital gains?

This episode is for you

Want to know how the rich take advantage of the tax code to grow their wealth?

This episode is for you

Not familiar with what I'm talking about?

Put on your earphones and listen to this interview with industry insider, Brandon Lacoff, who tells us exactly what to look for when considering an economic opportunity zone fund. If you are looking to defer your capital gains with this new secret part of the tax code. Join us for another episode in our Tax Loopholes of the Rich series.

Don't let the tax tail wag the investing dog.

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Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Today's Guest:  Brandon Lacoff

Mr. Brandon Lacoff is currently the CEO and Founder of the Belpointe REIT which is the first public Opportunity Zone REIT in the country. Mr. Lacoff is also the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Belpointe, a private equity investment firm.  Mr. Lacoff was the Co-Founder of Belray Capital, a Greenwich, Connecticut based real estate and investment firm, which was acquired by Belpointe in 2011. Belpointe is known for its luxury condominium developments and its class A apartment communities.  Belpointe owns several operating businesses, including Belpointe Asset Management LLC, a financial asset management firm that manages over $1 billion in tradable securities. Mr. Lacoff and its executive team bring financial strength, operational expertise and investing discipline to its portfolio of investments.  Mr. Lacoff holds a Juris Doctor degree and a Master’s of Business Administration from Hofstra University and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Syracuse University. 

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Today's Panelists

Buying Real Estate on Terms

Have you ever wondered how people buy real estate with no money down? 

Me too.

That's why we interviewed expert Chris Prefontaine about buying real estate on terms. He talks about the three best ways to buy real estate without putting cash down and reducing your risk on your investments in real estate.


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Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Today's Guest:  Chris Prefontaine

Chris Prefontaine is the best-selling author of 2017's "Real Estate On Your Terms" and this year's "The New Rules of Real Estate Investing". As a real estate investor with over 27 years experience in the field, Chris is the founder of Smart Real Estate Coach and host of the Smart Real Estate Coach Podcast. He lives in Newport, RI with his wife, Kim, and their family. Chris operates the family business with his son, Nick, his daughter, Kayla, and his son-in-law Zach, along with an amazing team. 

Chris has been a big advocate of constant education. He and his family mentor, coach, consult, and actually partner with students around the country, teaching them to do exactly what their company does. Between their existing Associates nationwide and their own deals, Chris and his family are still acquiring 5-10 properties every month and control between $20 to $30 million dollars worth of real estate deals -- all done on TERMS without using their own cash, credit, or signing for loans. 

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The Top 5 Reasons To Consider International Asset Protection And Offshore Banking – Interview with Joel Nagel

Do you work in a profession that is at high risk for lawsuits? Do you worry about creditors taking advantage of your wealth? Do you want to take a trip to a beautiful destination and write it off as a tax deduction? This is an exciting episode where we explore the idea of using international asset protection strategies and offshore banking. Learn some of the top reasons people consider these strategies for protecting their wealth.

Reaping the Benefits of International Asset Protection and Offshore Banking

The Benefits of International Asset Protection and Offshore Banking

Offshore banking is the term that is commonly used to describe what essentially is international banking. Basically, if you use the services of a bank that is not based in your home country, then you have an “offshore” or international account. There are several reasons that make offshore banking an attractive choice for businesspersons and private individuals. I’ll discuss some of those advantages in a moment, but first I’d like to clear the air from some of the negative connotations that too often go hand-in-hand with the term “offshore banking.”


Removing the Stigma

Whereas once upon a time you could walk into a Swiss bank with a suitcase full of cash and open an untraceable bank account with no questions asked, legislation in recent decades has eliminated any real possibility of using international banks or financial centers for tax evasion. That simply can’t be done anymore. Another stigma mistakenly associated with international banking is the allegation that financial centers are frequently used for money laundering by people who are mixed up in drug trafficking and in financing terrorism. I can say from the years of experience that I’ve had in the international banking industry that it simply isn't true. Very rarely do people come knocking on the bank’s door looking to do anything of the kind and, on the extremely rare occasion that they do, they are quickly declined by the banks, which are meticulous about doing their due diligence.


Businesspersons: Tax Efficiency and Currency Flexibility

Who does use the services provided by offshore banks? I’ll divide my answer into two groups: active businesspersons and corporations, and private individuals seeking to protect their assets, diversify their options, and find new opportunities. I’ll start with businesspersons and corporations.

An American businessperson or corporation in a partnership with a foreign-based counterpart will often look to offshore banks for tax efficiency. Financial centers, such as Belize, take zero tax from corporations that are set up in their jurisdiction, allowing the owners to be taxed for their profits only by their home country—by the United States for Americans, by Germany for Germans, and by Japan for Japanese, facilitating global business.

A second factor that makes offshore banking attractive for international businesspersons is their currency flexibility, which can be crucial to facilitating smooth business operations. In American banks, for example, it can often difficult to arrange to keep funds in any currency other than the US dollar, which can be onerous if your business is being done in Germany or Japan and, consequently, not in dollars. At banks at international financial centers, on the other hand, you can just check a box and have your funds in five different currencies at a time, if you should so choose.


Devaluation Protection, Asset Protection, Currency Diversification, and Investment Options

The second group of people who often opt to keep offshore accounts are private individuals. If you live in a country such as Venezuela, which suffers from a weak currency and an unstable economy, offshore banking provides you with protection from rapid devaluation and other risks of banking at home. Many people in Latin American countries, including countries that currently are economically stable, opt to keep at least some of their funds offshore so as not to be caught off-guard if things take a turn for the worse and the currency becomes rapidly devalued. While rapid devaluation may be less of a concern for American and other Western investors, many of those who use offshore banking do so to benefit from the asset protection, currency diversification, and access to investments that it offers and that would otherwise be closed to them.

Asset protection is important for a variety of reasons, one of which is that more and more individuals are at risk due to rising litigiousness. The legal trend in the United States and elsewhere in recent years has been increasingly favorable towards plaintiffs who seek court orders to freeze the assets of lawsuit defendants. Doctors, contractors, and other professionals in the US and elsewhere who are vulnerable to litigation often choose to keep at least some of their financial assets in offshore accounts to ensure that they won’t face a situation in which all of their assets have been frozen—which could happen if they are all under domestic jurisdiction—and keep an emergency fund available and liquid in an offshore account.

As noted above, it is hard in most domestic banks to keep funds in currencies other than the local one. For long-term investors, that lack of diversification can be deterring since their primary goal is to preserve and grow the value of their assets over the course of generations. Therefore, like international businesspersons, retired Americans who may have chosen to live in a country with an arcane, inefficient banking system may choose not to keep a large bank account in that country. Instead, they will prefer to bank elsewhere using an international banking account to maintain and grow the value of their savings.

Many Americans also maintain offshore accounts to provide them with access to foreign investments that would otherwise be closed to them. American legislation in recent years has mandated that any foreign investment funds that have American investors must comply with US reporting requirements. Many foreign investment funds simply opt not to accept American investors as a result, so as to avoid the bureaucratic headache of compliance with US demands. Offshore banks provide a way around that obstacle, allowing Americans to use the non-American offshore bank to invest indirectly on their behalf.

Offshore Banking: A Useful Strategy to Keep What's Yours

The fact is that capital flows to where it is treated best. The financial systems of many Western countries, including that of the United States, can be quite restrictive. As a result, many look overseas for greater flexibility and protection for their hard-earned assets. Having the right structures and strategies in place are important in order to enable you to keep what is rightfully yours. International banking together with smart planning can be a significant and valuable avenue for you to maintain the control over your wealth that you deserve.

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Sign up to be one of our Money Tree Ultimate Insiders. You will have instant access to new episodes, automatically have access to our monthly giveaways, and the potential to be a guest panelist on our show


Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Today's Guest:  Joel Nagel

Attorney Joel Nagel is an American lawyer, speaker, writer, and strategic thinker. He is best known for being the founder and managing partner of Nagel & Associates, LLC. Nagel specializes in international commercial transactions, international law, asset protection, and estate planning. He has served as the keynote speaker at many conferences and seminars and writes prolifically, having been featured in numerous publications.

Education Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Joel Nagel grew up speaking both English and German. Nagel's bilingual skills paved the way for his future career in international law. He attended Allegheny College, where he completed a double major in German language and political science. He then continued his studies abroad as a Fulbright Scholar. Returning to America, he completed a law degree at West Virginia University and a master’s degree in international law and taxation law at Georgetown University, graduating with honors.

Professional Background Nagel got his professional start at the U.S. Department of Commerce and went on to work for Buchanan Ingersoll as an attorney. In 1992, he opened his own specialty law firm and has since become expert in the handling of international investments, estate planning, asset protection, and global commercial transactions. Joel Nagel has served on the board of over 15 companies, including in Belize as chairman of the board of Caye International Bank, which was recently named Best Private Bank in Latin America. In that position, Nagel provides the bank with guidance as to best practices and has played a crucial role in establishing the bank's reputation as one of financial responsibility, diversified funding and revenue structures, and customer support. Currently, Nagel has over 30 years of experience in international commercial transactions and business, asset protection, and tax planning.

Philanthropy Attorney Joel Nagel serves on the board of several philanthropic organizations, including the Nicaragua Development Corporation, which helps improve life in Nicaragua by building health clinics. Nagel has also been an integral part of the Pittsburgh Rotary Club for over 25 years, serving in various positions such as president, district governor, and foundation chairman.

Personal Life Joel Nagel married his high school sweetheart, Dr. Susan Entress Nagel, and they have seven children. They live together in their home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.


Joel's Online Presence:


Today's Panelists

Financial New Year’s Resolutions – Starting The Year Right

Happy New Year!!!  Welcome to the new decade of 2020. 

We are starting off the new year on the right foot by discussing the best way to create your financial new year's resolutions. Listen to our panel of experts with decades of experience helping people succeed. We have a great list of books that are great tools to help you do this right.


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Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Book References:


Today's Panelists

Paying Off Debt Quickly – We Interview the Experts – Katie Welsh And Denis O’Brien

Did you end up spending way more during the holidays than you expected? Did you max out your credit cards? Did you know that debt is probably causing you much more stress that you realize? This week we discuss paying off debt with 2 experts who were able to quickly pay down a large amount of debt and go back to enjoying life without stress.


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Sign up to be one of our Money Tree Ultimate Insiders. You will have instant access to new episodes, automatically have access to our monthly giveaways, and the potential to be a guest panelist on our show


Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Today's Guests:  Katie Welsh and Denis O'Brian

Denis O'Brian: 

Denis is a CA(SA) from South Africa. He co-founded his podcast, Chain of Wealth with his wife, Katie. Together they conquered $200,000 worth of debt.


Katie Welsh: Katie is an elementary school teacher that didn't realize that she was $200,000 in debt- that was until her boyfriend Denis eventually added all of her bills up and came to the staggering number. Oh yah- and all this without a job. To help keep her accountable, she started the Chain of Wealth podcast, where she talks about her journey to debt free life, how to save and what she's doing to invest. Now, flash forward 2 years and she is completely (& finally) debt free.

Jeff's Online Presence:


Today's Panelists

Incentive-Based Corporate Tax Policy: Innovative Ideas For The US Tax Code – Interview with Chris Macke – Solutionomics

Are you worried about how global trade wars are going to affect your portfolio?

What about changes in tax policy?

This is the episode for you. Chris Macke discusses these issues and some innovative solutions like Incentive-Based Corporate Tax Policy to make real change. We also discuss how you should look at these big issues in regards to your investments.


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YCharts - Smart Investment Decisions Made Simple

We here at Money Tree Podcast use YCharts to uncover new investing opportunities, analyze trends and monitor our progress. YCharts is a powerful financial data platform designed for Individual Investors, Financial Advisors and Asset Managers. Their platform makes our lives easier. What can be better than that.

We struck a deal for our listeners where you get 20% off your access to YCharts if you sign up in the next month


YCharts of the Day

Unemployment rate vs consumer sentiment:

unemployment rate

Probability of a recession vs consumer sentiment:

recession probability

US Job Openings vs Unemployment:

unemployment vs job openings

Today's Guest:  Chris Macke

For more than twenty-five years, Institutional Investment Strategist Chris Macke has worked in America’s financial sector discerning what stimulates job and wage growth.  He has advised the Chicago and Washington, D.C. districts of the U.S. Federal Reserve providing market updates and insight on the impacts of monetary policy changes to asset valuations and market distortions. Macke has been a contributor to the “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District” (The Beige Book) and has worked for Fortune 500 companies including General Electric as well as advising CalPERS, the largest U.S. public pension fund.

 

Macke earned a B.A. in political science focusing on political campaign strategy at the University of Southern California and an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He has guest lectured at Harvard, Columbia, and Georgetown Universities.

Chris' Online Presence:


Book References:


Today's Panelists

Tax Loopholes of the Rich: Defined Benefit Plan – Interview With Brent Henningson

Do you make high 6 or even 7 figure income and are frustrated with the limitations of your 401k plan? This week we discuss the defined benefit plan, a secret retirement saving strategy that is used by wealthy families to put away up to 6 figures annually in their retirement plan.

Want to know why your financial advisor never told you about it? We discuss that too.


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Listen on
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Sign up to be one of our Money Tree Ultimate Insiders. You will have instant access to new episodes, automatically have access to our monthly giveaways, and the potential to be a guest panelist on our show


Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Today's Guest:  Brent Henningson

Brent is the Chief Executive Officer of Saber Pension & Actuarial Services, a third party administration and actuarial firm. Using Defined Benefit Plans, Saber Pension helps business owners reduce their tax liability while they save for retirement. They assist clients all around the United States.

Brent has over 15 years of experience working with Defined Benefit retirement plans. Throughout his career, he has consulted with organizations ranging from one-person businesses to publicly traded companies with multi-billion dollar pension plans. 

Over his career, Brent has saved his clients millions of dollars through the use of innovative and timely strategies related to plan design and implementation. He also has extensive experience in the ongoing administrative and compliance requirements of retirement plans. Brent has a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Brigham Young University. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, the Society’s highest designation, and an enrolled actuary.Outside of work, Brent enjoys skiing, traveling and spending time with his wife and three daughters.

Brent's Online Presence:


Today's Panelists

Millennial Investing Interview with Kara Perez

Millennial's have it rough. They came into the professional world during the great recession. They are widely misunderstood by corporate America, and they are the biggest generation since the baby boomers. They want to make an impact. If you are a millennial, listen to Kara's view of how millennial investing can be done differently to make a difference and still be successful.


Subscribe & Download

Never miss out on a new episode! Subscribe using your favorite podcast app.

Listen on
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Sign up to be one of our Money Tree Ultimate Insiders. You will have instant access to new episodes, automatically have access to our monthly giveaways, and the potential to be a guest panelist on our show


Looking for a better way to invest? 

Consider Betterment.

It doesn’t cost much to start, and you get access to a portfolio built around your risk tolerance and your goals. Using Modern Portfolio Theory, pioneered by a Nobel laureate, Betterment can help you build wealth without getting caught up in the noise of the market.


Today's Guest:  Kara Perez

Kara is a personal finance expert who has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Lifehacker, and Forbes. Kara has spoken at Lola Retreat, FinCon 2017+2019, and events in the Austin TX area. Founded in 2017, Bravely has an engaged community
across the country. With pop up events ranging from Portland, OR to Boston, MA, you can find the Bravely community anywhere!


Kara's Online Presence:


Today's Panelists