Feb. 9, 2022

Beating Inflation, Alternative Assets, and Simplifying Your Finances

#42: Author and financial advisor Ben Carlson joins Chris to share investing, saving, and giving hacks. They discuss what you can do instead of picking stocks, the differences between how institutions invest and how individuals invest, how to assess if you need a financial advisor, short-term and long-term approaches to beating inflation, and why you should automate your giving. 

Ben Carlson (@awealthofcs) is a financial advisor and Director of Institutional Asset Management at Ritholtz Wealth Management. He is also the author of four books about saving and investing and the popular blog A Wealth of Common Sense.


Selected Links From The Episode

Connect with Ben Carlson: A Wealth of Common Sense | Animal Spirits Podcast | Twitter

Ben Carlson’s Books:

Book Recommendations:

Invest in real estate: Fundrise

Invest in art: Masterworks (skip the line with this link)

Roboadvisor: Wealthfront ($5k managed free with this link)

HSA: Starship HSA

Crypto High Yield Savings: BlockFi 

Automate your giving: Daffy (free $25 with this link)

Fiduciary Financial Advisors: Wealth Foundry | XY Planning Network

401k Fee Analyzer: TD Ameritrade 401k Fee Analysis


Full Show Notes

Who is Ben Carlson? (00:11)

Why is Ben Carlson done picking stocks? (01:22)

Alternatives to picking stocks. (04:32)

What you should do before exploring stock alternatives. (09:19)

Why you should have rules for every investment you make. (11:36)

Lessons from how institutions invest. (16:00)

What are asset allocations (and should you trust a roboadvisor with your asset allocation)? (18:19)

Should you work with a financial advisor? (21:58)

Should you max out all your retirement accounts? (25:42)

Where should you keep your cash for short-term savings? (30:14)

Using leverage reasonably: should you do it? (37:31)

What’s happening with inflation in 2022 (and how to beat it long term)? (40:30)

Should you invest in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities to protect your cash against inflation? (42:46)

Non-investment related ways to simplify your financing (optimism and automated giving). (45:29)

Having a savings allocation (fun money). (49:00)

The statistics that prove why saving is more important than investing. (51:43)

Ben Carlson’s book recommendations. (54:15)

How to connect with Ben. (57:22)




This episode is brought to you by Masterworks. Masterworks is an alternative investing platform that gives you access to one of the most exclusive and overlooked investments in history: blue-chip art. Masterworks lets regular people invest in paintings by legends like Banksy Basquiat and Warhol without spending millions. In fact, I used masterworks to invest in a 15 million dollar Picasso the other day. 

Here’s how it works: Masterworks will buy a painting they think will appreciate well over time, then they securitize that painting with the SEC, so you can invest in it instead of buying the whole thing. Once they sell the painting, later on, you get your share of the proceeds. It’s that simple. In 2020 and 2021, masterworks sold two paintings that appreciated by over 30%. They have over 280,000 users and demand is as high as ever. But I partnered with them to give you all priority access by going to https://allthehacks.com/masterworks (see important disclosures at masterworks.io/disclaimer).



This episode is brought to you by Starship. Are you looking for a new HSA? You can get one free with Starship and signing up only takes a few minutes. If you're not familiar with HSAs, they’re health savings accounts for health-related expenses like doctor appointments, glasses, prescriptions, and over-the-counter meds. The best part is that an HSA from Starship lets you get tax breaks on account contributions, when purchasing eligible expenses and on any investment growth.

In the past, my HSAs have had high monthly fees and I’ve been forced to invest through an old school brokerage. That’s why I’m so excited about Starship – there are no hidden fees, no minimum balance fees, and no monthly maintenance fees. And you can spend, save, and invest your HSA funds all from their simple app. Also, instead of having to manually invest your funds, Starship can automatically invest your contributions using their robo-advisory tool. I think Starship is the easiest HSA out there and you can sign up in minutes at https://allthehacks.com/starship



This episode is brought to you by BlockFi. BlockFi is the company I use to store all my crypto and I think they provide huge value because. Whether you buy your crypto with them or transfer in what you already have, you can start earning interest on all of it, which is a great way to earn some passive income with almost no effort. And that also includes stable coins based in us dollars where you can earn 9% without having your savings fluctuate with the crypto markets. This is where I store the cash I used to keep at a high yield savings account. Since opening my account, I've already earned thousands of dollars of interest.

BlockFi also has a rewards credit card that instead of earning points or miles gives you Bitcoin back on every purchase you make offering 3.5% back in the first three months and 1.5% percent back after that. If you want to check out BlockFi, you can get an exclusive bonus of up to $250 free when you sign at https://allthehacks.com/blockfi


Connect with All the Hacks

All the Hacks: Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Email

Chris Hutchins: Twitter | Instagram | Website | LinkedIn