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Don McDonald has been in the investing business for almost 30 years. Most of that time was spent help people across the country better manage their money and investments on his nationally-syndicated talk radio program.

Don McDonald has been in the investing business for almost 30 years. Most of that time was spent help people across the country better manage their money and investments on his nationally-syndicated talk radio program.
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Mesa, AZ




Don McDonald has been in the investing business for almost 30 years. Most of that time was spent help people across the country better manage their money and investments on his nationally-syndicated talk radio program.






Finding your way to a financial future.

Isn’t it scary that of all the people out there who provide financial advice, 99% of them don’t have to do what’s best for you. We all need help and the truth is, most of us are not getting the right help from our financial advisers. This means that the majority of us have saved very little for retirement and invest badly! We all need to be putting away more money and find ways to make it grow effectively. This is your future on the line, and you don’t get a lot of chances to do it right....


Most of us really are lousy investors.

In this episode, Don takes your calls and questions, fielding queries about severance packages, pensions, short term investments and weighing the use of stocks at later stages in life. Don makes the argument that bonds can be a better choice at certain times for their stability as well as explains the big lesson that we can learn from DALBAR's 2018 study on the performance of the markets over time. Best utilization of a severance package in preparation for retirement. Pensions, IRAs and...


In case of emergency, you need money.

Many of us are just one catastrophe away from having our lives dramatically changed. Yet, most of us do not have an emergency fund in place. Today, Tom welcomes Paul Merriman back to the show. In this episode, Tom and Paul stress the value of an emergency fund and how you can save for catastrophe in creative ways, starting today. They also discuss the various income sources for your retirement and much more! Why we all should have an emergency fund. How to financially prepare for a...


There is no such thing as safe investing.

Today on the show we welcome special guest, Paul Merriman. In this episode, Tom and Paul talk about the top mistakes they see people making with their money on a regular basis and how to avoid them. Here they discuss how to overcome the fear of financial loss, the dangers of over-confident money managers, and how to think about your personal risk tolerance. They also get into the nitty-gritty of the various index funds currently out there. Why there is no safe strategy out there. How to...


Are you sure you'll never retire?

On this episode of Talking Real Money, Don and Tom talk about the recent survey showing that one in four Americans are not planning to retire. They discuss the reasons why people might say that, why this is unrealistic, and then uncover some of the real reasons behind this assertion. The truth is, not retiring might not be an option for you should you face health issues due to aging and if the company you work for decides to 'move into a different direction'. They also discuss annuities...


What's the best retirement income strategy?

In this episode, Tom and Don answer specific listener questions ranging in topics from; withdrawal strategies, asset allocation, estate planning, bond conversions, USA interest rates, the guarantee of bonds versus the guarantee of stocks, and much more! Your retirement withdrawal strategies. Are international bond portfolios necessary? Bonds as volatility reduction devices. Why five-year returns can be misleading. Tips for transferring from an IRA to a Roth IRA. Cashing-in and...


Moneyjauna and more

With Don on vacation, Tom is alone in the studio taking on a whole bunch of calls, answering questions about investing in cannabis stocks, whether target-date funds are a good option and what to do with cash that you have available right now. He also reminds listeners about the factors to consider in asset allocation, why you should not be swayed by the all-time high markets and why you have to think carefully before paying off your house bond. Tom also gives an extra titbit, going through...


Your Summer Money with Nerdwallet

Don’s on vacation and Tom is joined by Arielle O'Shea from NerdWallet, who offers advice about fiduciaries, advisor fees, IRA investments and workplace investments. She reminds us why, in the end, it is up to you to ask the right questions of an advisor. As the fiduciary standards seem to keep changing, the onus remains on the investor to stay know who they hire to manage their money. What to do when the markets are looking as good as they currently are. Don't take money advice from...


Good help is really hard to find

After a traveling hiatus, Don is back with a episode that focuses on the challenge of finding a good wealth manager. Finding someone who charges low fees, always act as a fiduciary, and follows the science of investing can be difficult. That's particularly true when approximately 99% of financial "advisors" are not ALWAYS required to act in you best interests.


How to write the script for your third act.

To thrive in life’s third act you need a great retirement strategy! In this episode, Tom and Don get into the science of retirement. Here they explore how to make your savings work for the retirement lifestyle you want to lead, offering a fresh new perspective to approach your retirement with. They also discuss smart Social Security strategies to help you better prepare for your day-to-day living and for your big retirement bucket list, starting today. In addition, Tom and Don tackle...


The folly of seeking the "next big thing"

Don is on a summer road trip from Florida to Seattle and he and Tom talk about the importance of being proactive when it comes to your investment plan. While most people want to know what the “next big thing” in the investment world will be, something which is impossible to predict, they give you some convincing reasons for investing in a globally diversified portfolio instead of worrying about jumping on the latest bandwagon. Unfortunately, studies have shown that our brains are not...


Shrinking Social Security and Booming Bitcoin

In This Episode: Transitioning to self-directed retirement accounts. Managing private deeds and real estate transactions. Daily stock market ratios that might shock you. Where to look for a fiduciary advisor. How to spot lying advisors. The crucial document your advisor needs to sign. Social Security and the reduction of benefits. Bitcoin: A way to quick riches? Benefits of a Roth 457 and pension combination. Is investing in a life insurance company a good idea? Links to...


Stocks have been very, very good to you lately.

In this episode: Why it is has been a great year of investing so far. Roth TSP plans, qualifying for a match and the conditions for pretax. The problem with focusing on dividends; no free lunches. Take your Social Security at the right time! Most people take it too early! Why it may make sense to wait to take your Social Security benefits. Weighing a 403(b) plan against an IRA fund. Vanguard's recent consideration of private equity! Vestory — The Science of...


We can do this the easy way or the hard way...

In this episode: Don's road trip update plus a bunch of questions about: Rolling a 403b into an IRA and which funds to use. Talking out loans against a 401k. Is this Nevada 529 plan a good choice?


No one predicted a great June for stocks.

Those in the investment industry, despite all their promises, are not always required to act in your best interests, which is why you should only use a 100% fiduciary advisor. Tom and Don also talk about the stock market and how it has performed over May and June this year. Ponzi schemes happen, so learn how to avoid them. Plus, a lesson on the difference between and IRA and its underlying investments. What a 100-percent fiduciary is and why you should only use them. Stock market...


Failing to protect investors yet again.

No matter what they claim, no one in the financial business (nor any other business) knows what the future holds. We also discuss what the right kind of advisor should look like, the common problem with government retirement plans, and we give you some great reasons why an annuity should not be part of it. The new rule that allows advisors not to act in your best interest. The problem with prospectuses – nobody reads them! Asking the right question: “Are you always required to act in my...


So answer me these questions three.

Don continues to catch up on callers questions with: A listener who wants the specifics of our "two-fund solution." Another wants to know if should keep paying down his mortgage every month. Finally, a man wonders if our Advisor Interview Form is legally binding.


Must everyone believe what you do?

Today, we catch up on written questions (and comments): Is a VALIC annuity a good investment for a retired couple. Don gets scolded for letting his politics show on the podcast. Is Robin Hood safe? What is a reasonable withdrawal rate in retirement.


Are gold coins better than bullion?

After a long hiatus, Talking Real Money Daily is back. Thanks for your understanding and your condolences. In this episode, we catch up on callers. One wants to know if rare coins are a better investment than the metal itself. The other has some tax concerns about a family trust being liquidated.


Some simple steps to protect your wealth.

Concerns that the economy is slowing down and there might be a recession are putting investors on edge. Tom talks a little bit about this anxiety and the repercussions of the long bull market run. Then he is joined by Herb Weisbaum, the ConsumerMan, who discusses what kids can do to build their credit score and the ins and outs of travel rewards cards. Tom and Herb also talk about the privacy issues we face, and much more. Why you need to know what your stocks to bond ratio. The...