Plus, favorite podcasts to check out.
Lock In Some I-Bonds
Did you get a tax refund or have some money you’re ready to invest? Now’s a great time to evaluate I-Bonds!
A quick refresher on I-Bonds: these US government bonds provide a base rate (recently it’s been ~0%) with an additional inflation-linked rate via the Consumer Price Index (CPI) that is adjusted every 6 months. As a result of recent elevated inflation, right now these bonds offer a 7.12% yield for the first six months you own them. There are some limitations to keep in mind, such as a 1 year lock on accessing your deposit and a $10k/year cap on the amount of I-Bonds you can purchase.
The next rate to be offered on these I-Bonds is ~9.62% - try finding a better risk-adjusted investment opportunity out there right now.
Any I-Bonds you buy in April 2022 will have the 7.12% annual rate until October 2022, at which point they would transition into the 9.62% annual rate for the following six months. So buying I-Bonds before May 1, 2022 effectively locks in an 8%+ guaranteed return for the next 12 months. Sign me up for that, please.
Podcasts to Check Out
Over the past few years, I’ve listened to dozens of different finance podcasts. Here are a few of my favorite podcasts that consistently produce interesting and valuable insights…
This was definitely my entry point into the world of personal finance and investing. Along with some great resources on his website, Meb has produced 400+ podcast episodes with investment professionals, startup founders, personal finance gurus, and more. I appreciate his systematic approach to investing, long term focus, and focus on educational content. My wife even got me a signed copy of his book for my birthday - yes I’m a nerd.
Try out this episode: Crisis Investing: How To Maximize Return During Market Panics
An awesome Bloomberg podcast with Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway. Really thoughtful analysis and fascinating discussions on a broad range of topics. One episode you may learn about how bathtub manufacturing bottlenecks are slowing new home construction, while on the next episode they’ll discuss how a shortage of wooden pallets may be hindering Russia’s progress in its war in Ukraine.
Try out this episode: This Is What 5% Mortgage Rates Mean Now For The Housing Market
Another Bloomberg production, with this one focusing on big picture, global investment stories. Will Russia’s war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions by the West reverse the trend of globalization? How are large investment institutions around the world approaching the crypto space? Along with these macro discussions, they also end each episode with “the craziest thing that happened in the market this week” where the hosts and guest each share something bizarre they learned about.
Try out this episode: The Great Wormhole Robbery
The name comes from the economist John Maynard Keynes “describe the instincts, proclivities and emotions that ostensibly influence and guide human behavior, and which can be measured in terms of, for example, consumer confidence.” The hosts - Ben Carlson and Michael Batnick - have a laid back but thoughtful approach to discussing the markets. They strike a balance between entertaining and educational. One of those shows where the more you listen, the more you appreciate the humor and topics.
They also have “Talk your Book” episodes where guests join to promote their platforms or investment opportunities. My first introduction to Fundrise was via one of these guest interviews.
Try out this episode: Tighten Until Something Breaks
The Choices We Make
Ending on a non-finance note… I recently came across this visual and it really stuck with me. All of our past choices and experiences take us down a unique path to bring us to who we are today. That part of our story is complete and set in stone. But right now as we look at this visual, we have decisions to make about who we want to be, with each decision compounding on the one before it, taking us further down that unique path.
I’m reminded of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society as he addresses his class..