Episode 57 - Your Digital Estate with Shirley Diefenbach

Does your estate plan handle your digital assets?  Unless you've had your documents drawn up by a forward-thinking attorney in the last few years, the answer is probably no.

Your online assets are more than just your mobile banking accounts. We're talking email, social media, blogs, podcasts, frequent flyer miles...It's a complicated area, and it's only getting more complicated as more and more of our lives move online.  Pictures of your kids?  Your Facebook profile?  That Pokemon Go collection you've built over the past 2 years? 

Who is supposed to clean all that up if you're dead or incapacitated? And how in the world are they supposed to do it when faced with threats about Terms of Service and privacy concerns? You need a plan.

We spoke with attorney Shirley Diefenbach, who has built up a specialty in this area.  She took us through both the legal and practical considerations of preparing your digital estate.

Episode 56 - Public Policy Update with Dave O'Brien

Dave O'Brien - financial advisor, NAPFA board member, public policy junkie, and all around good guy - joins us for his second ZebraSmash appearance to provide an update on DOL, SEC and state-level approaches to fiduciary rules. 

The high level summary:

1. The DOL fiduciary law is still the law. It's just not being enforced, like bedtime during the summer.

2. The SEC is taking a crack at the fiduciary concept with three proposed rules, all of which are in the public comment period. Nothing says "cool" like reading 1,000 pages of legislative prose at the beach, so here are links to the Proposed Regulation Best Interest, the Proposed Investment Adviser Interpretation, and the Proposed Form CRS Relationship Summary

3. Some folks at the state level are trying to do the right thing. But did you know there are 50 states? It's hard to keep track of what all of them are doing. If you hear about something in your state, let Dave know. 

Episode 55 - 2018 AICPA Conference - John Bohnsack and Matt McKay

The AICPA planning conference is a solid event every year, but this year we had tax law changes, making it a must-attend event.  Or if you couldn't attend, it's at least a listen-to-a-podcast-about-it-afterwards event.

Roger's colleagues John Bohnsack and Matt McKay were there, and have returned to Texas to give us a download of what they found.

Following are some links to the things we talked about:

Adam Grant’s website: http://www.adamgrant.net/

Adam Grant’s podcast: https://www.ted.com/read/ted-podcasts/worklife

Kitces.com article about employees becoming independent contractors: https://www.kitces.com/blog/section-199a-business-entity-choices-qualified-business-income-qbi-deduction-strategies-financial-advisor-specified-service-business-phaseout/

Episode 54 - CFP Capstone Course - Nathan Harness, Karis Jochen

The CFP® Capstone requirement.  If you're really old, normal old, or just a little bit old, you didn't go through it when you got your CFP®.  We sure didn't go through it, so we think that makes us just a little bit old.

In any case, the capstone course is now required for all CFP® candidates.  What is it?  How hard is it, really?  And does it really leave candidates better prepared for jobs in the industry?

In this episode we talk with Dr. Nathan Harness, who co-authored the capstone case study for Texas A&M's financial planning program.  We also talk with Karis Jochen, one of his students who just completed that very same capstone case study.  Anybody looking to add younger talent to their teams should listen in to see how they're learning about the profession.

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: