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The Rational Reminder Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore of PWL Capital.

A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore of PWL Capital.




A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore of PWL Capital.




Factor Investing in Fixed Income (EP.138)

How we model our expected returns hugely impacts our financial decision-making, with poor models leading us to retire either too early or too late. Today’s episode is a deep dive into two topics: how we model expected returns and how fixed income bonds fit into your portfolio allocation. We open the show by talking about the books and news of the week before unpacking the relationship between bond terms, credit, and fixed income returns. We then explore why it’s easier to forecast the...


David Blanchett: Researching Retirement (EP.137)

Today’s extensive conversation with David Blanchett covers nearly all aspects of retirement planning. As the Head of Retirement Research for Morningstar, David has published extensively on the topic and speaks energetically about how you can best manage your retirement wealth. After a brief digression on Kentucky's Bourbon Chase Relay, we open the episode by discussing how an increase in your pre-retirement income can impact your plan. David shares his insights on what your plan should...


Chasing Top Fund Managers (EP.136)

When you see funds performing monumentally well, you may feel regretful for not investing in them earlier. There is, however, a long history of funds that skyrocketed only to have major falls from grace a brief period after. The bulk of today’s episode is spent exploring this idea in the portfolio topic section but before getting into that, we kick the show off with some updates. We begin by talking about the GameStop short and whether this casts any new light on the concept of market...


William Bengen: The 5% Rule for Retirement Spending (EP.135)

At a time when the financial community provided inconsistent retirement advice, the 4% withdrawal rate was a data-backed strategy that revolutionized retirement planning. Today we speak with William Bengen, a literal rocket scientist and the influential personal advisor who popularised the 4% withdrawal rate, A.K.A, the 4% rule. After exploring what the 4% rule entails and the impact that it had on the financial industry, we talk about updates that William has made to his theory since first...


The IPO Lottery, Planning for Wellness, and Talking Cents (EP.134)

Skewed Factor IPO Investing and Financial Well-being Episode 134: Show Notes. Many IPOs start with a bang, resulting in high first-day closing prices that attract retail investors. Today we unpack new and established research to explore how the hottest IPOs compare with average market returns. We open our conversation by first sharing community updates and details about the book and news of the week. After reflecting on how 2020 was one of the biggest IPO years since 2000, we talk...


Adriana Robertson: "Passive" Investing, and What Matters to Investors (EP.133)

The terms passive investing and index investing are often intertwined, but they are not exactly the same thing. Today’s guest is Adriana Robertson, the Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci Chair in Capital Markets Regulation and an associate professor of Law and Finance at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Rotman School of Management. Adriana is interested in index investing and, in this episode, we hear her views on whether or not index investing is passive. Hear facts from her...


Cullen Roche: Understanding the Modern Monetary System (EP.132)

With so many moving parts, it’s difficult to develop a clear view of the US monetary system. Today we speak with Pragmatic Capitalism author and Founder of Orcam Financial Group Cullen Roche, leveraging his expertise to build a comprehensive understanding of the monetary system. We open our interview with Cullen by asking him the deceptively simple question, “what is money?” We then explore where money comes from, the role of the central bank in securing our money supply, and why poor...


David Booth: The First Index Fund, Competing Fiercely, and Keeping it Simple (EP.131)

At its core, managing wealth is about finding the best solutions for your clients. As he mentions in today’s discussion with him, this sentiment has guided David Booth’s storied career. As the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors, David’s career is so illustrious that he’s been called the father of evidence-based investment products. We open our conversation by exploring David’s career, beginning with his job as a shoe salesman in Kansas to developing the first...


A Year In Review (EP.130)

For this episode of the Rational Reminder Podcast, we review our year by playing back and discussing a collection of the most impactful moments of the show from 2020. This has been a drastic year filled with many learnings for us all, and in today’s show, we cover topics of happiness, decision making, dealing with uncertainty, and the connection that financial planning and investing have to all of this. We collect some amazing gems of wisdom from guests like Annie Duke, Ken French, Michael...


Five Factor Investing with ETFs (EP.129)

After months of research, number-crunching, and receiving listener requests on the subject, today’s episode is devoted to introducing our new model ETF portfolios — which promise to offer a smoother ride to getting reliable returns. We open our conversation with a financial news roundup and by touching on our book of the week. We then dive into the theory behind our model by first exploring how market assets are priced. We discuss historical views on asset pricing models before looking at...


Morgan Housel: The Psychology of Money (EP.128)

As author and financial expert Morgan Housel explains this episode, “people don't make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. They make financial decisions at the dinner table.” Today we chat to Morgan about his key insights into financial decision-making — many of which are captured in his book, The Psychology of Money. Our conversation opens with an exploration of how investing success has less to do with what you know and more to do with how you manage your behaviour. We then look into the...


Fooled by Dividends, and the Future of Financial Planning Research (EP.127)

There is a sharp divide between those who invest in dividend-paying stocks and those who don’t. Underpinning this is the question of whether dividends are relevant to the evaluation of shares. Today we answer this question by digging into the data and parsing the maths before exploring what the future of financial planning looks like. But first, we open our episode with news from the Rational Reminder community — including the fact that we just passed one million podcast downloads. We then...


Dr. Brian Portnoy and Josh Brown: Beyond the Orthodoxy - How Financial Pros Invest (EP.126)

Dr. Brian Portnoy and Josh Brown’s book How I Invest My Money, captures the stories and investment strategies of 25 top financial advisors. The book highlights that while there are established dogmas that tell you how and why you ought to invest, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ way to invest. Today we speak with Brian and Josh about the key insights that we can derive from their work. We open our conversation by exploring how they conceived and developed their book before talking about why...


(Rationally) Investing in Technological Revolutions, Human Capital, and Asset Allocation (EP.125)

On today’s show, we explore rational explanations for pricing bubbles, how the concept of human capital relates to financial decisions, and a whole lot more! We kick things off with a discussion of Ashley Whillans’ book Time Smart, which explores proven strategies for improving your ‘time affluence’. Diving into this week’s portfolio topic, we use a previous discussion about Carlota Perez’s model for technological revolutions as a springboard to introduce Lubos Pastor and Pietro Veronesi’s...


Prof. Lubos Pastor: Equilibrium Models vs. Intuition (EP.124)

Professor Lubos Pastor’s brilliant and varied research has been consistently referenced on this podcast. From how politics impacts stock returns to measuring the skill of active fund managers, Lubos joins us today as we explore some of the ‘greatest hits’ of his research. With Lubos’s position on the board of the Slovakian Central bank, we ask him about how quantitative easing can be used to strengthen the economy. His answers highlight how easing can prop up asset prices and raise inflation...


(Irrationally) Investing in Technological Revolutions, Household CFO Job Analysis, and Learning to Sell Mutual Funds (EP.123)

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, most of the companies that push us into the next technological revolution deliver poor investment returns. Today we look at current and historical data to show why this is the case but first, we chat about the top financial news of the week. Borrowing heavily from Carlota Perez’s Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, we then explore how the links between tech revolutions and investing adhere to a consistent model. Following this model, we...


Prof. Moshe Milevsky: Solving the Retirement Equation (EP.122)

There are seven equations that, if understood, will put you in the best possible position to tackle your retirement plan. Today we speak with business professor Moshe Milevsky about these equations, which he’s written extensively about in his best-selling book, The 7 Most Important Equations for Your Retirement. After introducing Moshe, we dive straight into the first equation that maps out the longevity of your money. Following this, we talk about determining how long you will live by...


Day Trading and Overconfidence (EP.121)

Despite the mountain of evidence against it, day trading is thriving. Today we dive into the research and explore why the practice is alive and well before answering the question — “Can too much confidence lose you money?” After touching on investing news, listener feedback, our books of the week, and our take on the ‘Ultimate Ned Debate,’ we open our discussion on day trading. In our conversation, we look at the results of numerous papers on the topic, none of which present-day trading as...


Annie Duke: How to Decide (EP.120)

Good decision-making is a fundamental part of achieving our goals, so getting better at it would be in anybody’s best interest. Here to talk about making better decisions is Annie Duke, expert poker player and author of How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Decisions, and Thinking in Bets. Annie starts by defining what a good decision should look like and some of the steps involved. From there, we explore the idea of how to accommodate the fact that our preferences change and we...


The Stock Market vs. Elections, and Incentives in Financial Planning (EP.119)

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Rational Reminder. We start this show with some great news about the comment section and our migration to Discourse. Having an open dialogue has always been crucial for us—it has even led to our latest hire—so we felt it was time to add more structure to it. We then talk about mortgage rates and why so many people do not know that it is possible to negotiate them down even further. There is often a big gap between what is publicly advertised and...