Zebra Smash logo


Episode 4 - An Evening With Andy Millard, Video Expert

Roger caught up with financial planner/Congressional candidate/teacher/school principal/video master Andy Millard at the Technology Tools for Today conference in beautiful Garden Grove, CA. Ben was safe and sound in his house in North Carolina. And despite being in different time zones, the three of us harnessed the Awesome Power of Technology to talk about how advisors can use videos to better connect with clients, prospects, and even potential employees.

Andy touched on some critical elements of what makes a good advisor video:

  • Be authentic
  • Keep it short, as in 30 seconds. If it's longer than 2 minutes, you're toast.
  • Make 1 point, and make it interesting
  • Tell a story. Use a script, if possible.
  • Use evergreen content

Andy also mentioned a few technical items for better quality videos:

Some of the favorite videos we mention in the podcast are still available on Andy's YouTube channel, like the ones about liquidity; credit default swaps; happy poor/unhappy rich; and the granddaddy of them all, the geyser video.

You can learn more about Andy's current projects at www.andycanhelp.com. You can also follow Andy at MillardCFP on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Fun fact: Did you know that by 2020, 82% of all online traffic will be video? And 75% of that traffic will be videos of cats chasing laser pointers and getting the bejeezus scared out of them by toasters? The future can't get here fast enough.

Episode 3 - Recap of the 2017 NAPFA South Region Symposium

In this episode, we recap the Symposium recently put on by the South Region of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) in Atlanta, GA, titled The Softer Side of Financial Planning. This event is special to us, since at least one of us has been involved in the planning or running of this event in each of the past 6 years.

This year, Ben actually served as the emcee of the Symposium, while Roger participated at a simulcast site in Houston. On the podcast, we touch on the general content of each presentation, along with our impressions and general takeaways. Roger also provides some social commentary on the traffic situation in Houston. Also, the word millennial comes up a lot. Don't be frightened.

Symposium Speakers:

Christy Eckoff (Director of Gift Planning, Greater Atlanta Community Foundation) : "Generational Lens"

Lisa Kirchenbauer (Omega Wealth Management): "Essential Skills of an Exceptional Planner"

Nicole Pinkham (SummaSource at Auburn University at Montgomery): "Communicating to Increase Client Engagement"

Dr. Daniel Crosby (Nocturne Capital): "Improving Client Outcomes Through Behavioral Finance"

Panel (Lisa, Nichole and Daniel): "Client Management and Communication"

Neat Links

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®)

Kinder Institute of Life Planning

You can buy Dr. Crosby's book, The Laws of Wealth, at Amazon.com

Houston's I-10 freeway has a total of 26 lanes. It's thought to be the largest freeway in the world. No offense, but that sounds terrible, and I'm originally from Los Angeles!

Color Coordination for Men, so that Roger never again makes the cringeworthy mistake of mixing black, brown and blue all at the same time.

Episode 0 - The Prequel

Every good superhero has an origin story. We're no super heroes, but that's not going to stop us. And sure, it's a little weird to have Episode 0 after we have 2 real episodes. But this is 2017. Up is down, dark is light, dogs and cats are living together...you get the idea.

In this episode, we touch on 4 critical questions:

  • Who are Ben and Roger?
  • Why are we doing a podcast?
  • What can you expect in future episodes?
  • Where in the world did we get the name Zebra Smash?

Neat Links

Roger's About Me page at his firm

Ben's About Me page at his firm

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

My favorite zebra-related GIF:


Episode 2 - All About Bonds, Part 2 [CFP CE Credit Eligible]

Yes, we're aware of the irony of having multiple parts of podcasts titled "All About Bonds." We accept that. But guess what? This episode is ALSO eligible for 1.0 CFP CEs, which you can earn by taking the quiz at www.cheetahsmash.com. In Part 2 of "All About Bonds", we talk about different types of bonds, including municipals, special types of corporate bonds, international bonds, and TIPS. We touch on the different ways advisors can build bond portfolios: some buy bonds outright, while others use mutual funds and/or exchange traded funds. We also dip our toes into the murky world of bond indices. Fun!

To access the CFP CE credit quiz, please navigate to www.cheetahsmash.com. (You'll have to create an account, but you'll be able to use that same account for all future Zebra Smash CE quizzes.)

Stuff we talked about

  • Municipal bonds: while we don't discuss it, there's a formula you can use to figure out the tax equivalent yield of a bond that's not subject to federal income tax. That way, you can compare muncipal bonds to, say, Treasuries.

    • Tax equivalent yield = Tax Free Bond Yield/(1-Marginal Tax Rate)

  • Private activity bonds and Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Special cases of corporate bonds: convertible bonds, preferred stock, structured notes
  • International bonds: diversification benefits, but watch out for currency risk (unless that's what you want!)
  • TIPS: constant rate, but fluctuating principal based on changes in inflation
  • Buying bonds outright: bond desks, bid/offer spreads, accrued interest
  • Bond mutual funds: there's a lot of them (more than 4, less than 4 million)
  • Bond ETFs: still more than 4, but not as many ETFs as there are mutual funds
  • Constructing a bond index : mechanics and challenges for funds/ETFs tracking bond indices

Neat Links

Episode 1 - All About Bonds Part 1 [CFP CE Credit Eligible]

Our first ever episode, in which we discuss bonds at length. Topics include bond terminology, how to value them, and key risks. Eligible for 1 hour of CFP CE credit.

To access the CFP CE credit quiz, please navigate to www.cheetahsmash.com. (You'll have to create an account, but you'll be able to use that same account for all future Zebra Smash CE quizzes.)

Show Notes

  • What’s a bond: definitions, components, etc.

  • Bond price calculation (semiannual coupon bonds):

 Thanks Wikipedia!

Thanks Wikipedia!

…or just use your HP-10BII+ calculator!

  • Zero coupon bonds: what are they, and why would you buy them?

  • The myth of reinvestment risk, as commonly propagated (Required reading: http://www.economics-finance.org/jefe/econ/ForbesHatemPaulpaper.pdf)

  • Prepayment risk, callable bonds and the concept of “yield to worst”

  • Collateralized debt obligations to mitigate pre-payment risk

  • Credit risk and credit spreads

  • Bond enhancements to ease credit risk

  • Interest rate risk

  • Duration – we thought about putting this calculation in the show notes, but come on. No one is ever going to ask you that. So instead, here’s the chart that Roger talks about that illustrates return on changes in interest rates on different bond maturities:

 Gary Shilling's newsletter will teach you everything you need to know about duration.  He's been long duration for 30 years!

Gary Shilling's newsletter will teach you everything you need to know about duration. He's been long duration for 30 years!

  • Comparative returns: Long duration bonds vs. stocks since the early 1980s
 Thanks again to Gary Shilling's newsletter for this gem!

Thanks again to Gary Shilling's newsletter for this gem!

Neat Links