Episode 52 - William Playfair, The Musical: A Sneak Peak

In our research for our PowerPoint presentation episode, we learned about William Playfair, and the world hasn't been the same since. Loyal listeners will recall that, among other things, Playfair invented (yes, INVENTED) the bar chart, the line chart and the pie chart. 

For most people, that "among other things" would be pretty insignificant. But not for William Playfair. Not only did he birth data visualization into the world, William claimed to have introduced the semaphore telegraph to England, blackmailed a Scottish lord, and participated in the storming of the Bastille. Not bad for a day's work. 

In honor of this Scottish Rogue of the Enlightenment, we're releasing the first song from our upcoming musical about the life of Playfair, where he contemplates the potential love of his life, Alexa Bisoap. This one's a keeper. 

For those interested in learning more about Playfair, Cara Giaimo wrote this piece on Atlas Obscura in 2016: The Scottish Scoundrel Who Changed How We See Data

For even more, Bruce Berkowitz published a book about Playfair earlier this year, available on Amazon.com. Good stuff!

Episode 51 - 2018 FPA Retreat with Holly Donaldson

Through the magic of podcasting, we find ourselves whisked away to sunny Phoenix for the 2018 FPA Retreat.  Our guide on this mystical journey is our friend Holly Donaldson, who attended in person and took copious notes.

Here's Holly's post-conference reading list.  Like we said, she took copious notes...

Richard Wagner, Financial Planning 3.0

George Kinder,  A Golden Civilization (not published yet)

Martin Seligman, Well-Being Theory

George Leonard, The Master’s Journey

Cindy Wiggelsworth, Deep Change, Inc.

Ken Wilber, Integral Approach to Money

Ed Schein, Helping

Chip and Dan Heath, Switch

Chip and Dan Heath, Decisive

Sidney Homan, A History of Interest Rates

Melanie Swan, Blockchain

Marianna Mazzucato, The Value of Everything

Dennis Stearns, Fourth Quarter Fumbles

Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

Peter Diamandis, Steven Kotler, Abundance

Lisa Feldman Barnett, How Emotions Are Made (mentioned in 2 different sessions)

Jacob Needleman, Money and The Meaning of Life

Groopman and Hartzband, Your Medical Mind

Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project

Roger Fisher, Getting to Yes

Mikhail Czikszentmihalyi, Flow

Fernando Flores, Conversation for Action and Collected Essays

Flores and Robert Solomon, Building Trust in Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life

Flores and Jerry Winograd, Understanding Computers and Cognition

Flores, et al, Disclosing New Worlds

Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, The Tree of Knowledge

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow

Episode 50 - Metasode 4

Our 50th episode and our 4th metasode!  What is a metasodo?  Well it's a meta-episode, in which we provide an update on everything going on behind the scenes here at Zebra Smash.  Are our finances still terrible?  (Answer: yes)  Are we still having fun?  (Answer: yes)  Are people downloading the show?  (Answer: We're not sure)  We cover these questions and more.

Episode 49 - Safe Savings Rates with Dr. Wade Pfau [CFP CE Credit Eligible]

We chatted with Dr. Wade Pfau about his 2011 paper, Safe Savings Rates: A New Approach to Retirement Planning over the Lifecycle.  It's really the accumulator phase version of Bill Bengen's famous 4% rule for retirees.

For CFP CE credit, be sure to go to www.cheetahsmash.com to take a 10 question quiz.

Here are the papers discussed in the episode:

Safe Savings Rates: A New Approach to Retirement Planning over the Lifecycle - Journal of Financial Planning

Getting on Track for a Sustainable Retirement: A Reality Check on Savings and Work - Journal of Financial Planning

Episode 48 - The Definitive (and Only) Radio Guide to PowerPoint

Yes, a podcast episode about PowerPoint.  There's a decent chance you dislike PowerPoint and everything it represents, but the truth is that PowerPoint is here to stay.  We'd might as well study how to use it effectively.

This is an episode we've wanted to do for quite a while now, so we're excited about it.  Be sure to listen to the bonus section at the end, in which Roger describes his first memory of a PowerPoint slide.  The story involves the Nobel prize, an unexpected pregnancy, and the homecoming queen.

Following are links to some of the things we talked about:

Episode 47 - Ben Birken - The Man, The Slightly-Older Legend

We return to our not-very-popular series in which Ben and Roger interview themselves on or near their birthdays.  In Part 1, Ben interviewed Roger on his journey to becoming an financial planner.  In this second part, Roger interviews Ben.

We get to hear about how he overcame being a Californian, how he found himself doing stand up comedy, and how he found his calling as a financial planner.  And since we've been joking about it for 14 months, we also found a way to talk about his studies in kinesiology.

Episode 46 - Announcing the Zebra Smash Conference Adventure Game on Your Amazon Alexa Device!

Tired of using your Alexa device just to check the weather and store your grocery list?  We have a solution: the brand new Zebra Smash Alexa Skill.

Our Alexa skill isn't another lame podcast app.  Nope.  Instead we built a turn by turn adventure game.  Collect items and encounter mythical creatures as you attempt to "win" a financial planning conference.

How do you enable the skill and then play the game?  Two steps:

Step 1: Say "Alexa, enable Zebra Smash"

Step 2: Say "Alexa, open Zebra Smash"

Ben learned the hard way that saying "Alexa, play Zebra Smash" gets you to a place you don't want to be, so be careful to follow the steps above to the letter.

Best of luck, and let us know what you think.

Links:

Wired - Inside the Alexa Prize

Develop an Alexa skill in 5 minutes or less

Episode 45 - Philanthropy Planning with Patrick Briaud from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors - [CFP CE Credit Eligible]

We visited with Patrick Briaud from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.  His firm works with mega donors from corporate entities, foundations, and ultra high net worth families, but it was clear from the conversation that the tools and frameworks they use can apply to clients of all sizes.  Have a listen as we go through the steps to build a solid philanthropy plan that reflects the clients true goals and values.

In this episode, we went through Rockefeller's excellent workbook: Your Philanthropy Roadmap.