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Motley Fool Answers

Saving, spending, planning — you've got money questions and we've got answers. Every week host Alison Southwick and personal finance expert Robert Brokamp challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves. Send your questions to answers@fool.com.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 20, 2016

Douglas McCormick joins us to talk about his book, Family Inc., and the benefits of applying business principles to your own family finances. We’ll also answer your question about after-tax 401k contributions, share some listener feedback, and then exchange anniversary gifts (Warning: We get a little self-indulgent).

Dec 13, 2016

We tackle your questions including what to do with a lump sum of money, the complex world of self-directed IRAs, claiming Social Security benefits from an ex-spouse, analyzing a pension payout and much MUCH more. PS: Here’s that time-weighted returns excel spreadsheet Bro mentions: http://tinyurl.com/hd3f6rm

Dec 6, 2016

Impress your friends and family and make Santa jealous! We’ll cover five scientifically-proven ways to become the best gift giver on the block. Also, we answer a listener question about how to present a gift of stock and we ask a bajillion favors of you, our listeners.

Nov 29, 2016

We’re sneaking you into the recent member event in Boston so you can hear the best bits that were delivered on stage. David Gardner shares investing advice worth embroidering on a pillow. Morgan Housel explains why you’re not too late to invest in the most disruptive trends of today and tomorrow. And Tom Gardner sits down with the cofounder of the Conscious Capitalism movement to discuss why responsible companies outperform. We also answer your very personal question about our personal finances.

Nov 22, 2016

The Fool’s Chief Wellness Officer is back to share 5 tips for maintaining--and not gaining--weight over the holidays. Don’t worry, you can still have festive fun. We also answer your question about laddering bond funds and Bro makes a pricey wager.

Nov 15, 2016

If you’re looking to make some extra money, starting a side job/venture/gig/hustle is all the rage these days. Kimberly Palmer joins us to talk about her book, “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life” and how to turn your passions and skills into additional income. We’ll also answer your question about making the most of a 403b and delve into the darkest corners of Etsy.

Nov 8, 2016

Prognosticators have been working overtime to predict what will happen to the economy when Trump or Clinton win the election. If history has taught us anything, they’re probably wrong. Fool historian, Matt Trogdon, joins us to talk about the folly of letting an election impact your investing decisions. Also, we get the inside scoop from Disney World Cast Members on how to plan the best Disney vacation ever.

Nov 1, 2016

You say the Chicago Cubs may finally win the World Series after a 108-year drought? Well, crazier things have happened! Especially in the world of finance. Motley Fool analyst Jim Royal joins us to talk about a few economic events that pundits and experts said would never happen…but did! Womp womp!

Oct 25, 2016

She’s been called the Witch of Wall Street, but also, more charitably, the Warren Buffett of her time. With the help of humorist/historian Therese Oneill (author of Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners) we explore the bizarre life and peculiar habits of Hetty Green—the woman who defied Victorian-era conventions and made bajillions of dollars in the process. Thanks to Criquet for supporting this episode. Get 20% off your first purchase at criquetshirts.com/fool with the promo code “fool.”

Oct 21, 2016

If you're one of the 75 million baby boomers who are planning to retire in the coming years, it's time to position your portfolio to defend against every possible economic onslaught. Ron Gross joins us for this bonus episode to talk about the benefits for soon-to-be-retirees — or anyone looking for a more conservative approach to investing — of becoming a Wealth Defender. For more Foolish guidance and free reports, go to http://defend.fool.com

Oct 18, 2016

Earnings season is upon us again when many publicly-traded companies can bury us in an avalanche of accounting mumbo-jumbo and excuses. What’s an individual investor to do? What should you believe? And what really matters? Motley Fool Advisor, Seth Jayson, joins us to unpack a typical earnings report and shares his approach to earnings season.

Oct 11, 2016

We covered some basics of mutual funds last week, but we needed more answers (see show name). We collared Fool Funds Chief Investment Officer, Bill Mann, brought him into the studio, and forced him to fess up about what’s really going on in the mutual fund world. We also answer your question about the benefits of creating your own benchmark.

Oct 4, 2016

Mutual Funds can seem as simple as a basket of puppies, but they are way more complex and much less cute. Robert Brokamp helps us get past the basics of mutual funds to understand the inner workings that can affect your bottom line. We’ll also answer your question about tax managed funds and meet some historically unreasonable people.

Sep 27, 2016

When it comes to your history with money, you’ve made some smart decisions and a few mistakes. Sure, finance is personal, but don't keep it to yourself. Be a great example AND a horrible warning to your loved ones so they can benefit! Personal finance expert, Kimberly Palmer, joins us to talk about why you should write a letter to your kids or grandkids to share your money experiences. She’ll cover what to write and when to deliver it.

Thanks to Pearl Auto for supporting the Motley Fool. Go to http://pearlauto.com/fool to get FREE two-day shipping!

Sep 20, 2016

For more than 15 years, analysts have been predicting that Brazil, Russia, India, and China—aka the BRIC—were going to take off economically and these emerging markets were the place to be investing. So what happened? Do they really deserve a place in your portfolio or are there better options? Joe Magyer, Foolish Fan Favorite, gives us an update on the BRIC and shares his strategy for getting international exposure.

Sep 13, 2016

Summer is over and as the kiddos head back to class, so do we with bite-sized money lessons in History, Econ, Math, and English. We’ll dissect the Dutch Tulip Mania, learn about three key ratios, explore the origins of the word “portfolio,” and more. We’ll also answer your question about how to weigh rental properties in your portfolio.

Sep 6, 2016

Should you max out your 401k or invest in individual stocks? Does it make sense to pay off student debt with a 401k loan? How can you make your dwindling funds last post-retirement? Is long-term care insurance worth it? So many questions! We have so many answers thanks to special guests Joe Perna and Sean Gates, financial planners with Motley Fool Wealth.

Aug 30, 2016

Hedge Funds! What are they? How do they work? Are they worth it? Ron Gross is our tour guide as we venture into the pricey, exclusive, and loosely-regulated world of Hedge Funds. We'll also answer your question about diversifying your portfolio if you only own 2 stocks.

Aug 23, 2016

Robert rounds out the list of the Greatest [Investors] Of All Time with four more inductees and three honorable mentions. We'll also answer your question about whether you should diversify your assets when it comes to who's managing your money.

Aug 16, 2016

Now that we all know the meaning of the acronym GOAT, we’re going to look at the Greatest [Investors] Of All Time. We'll introduce you to five of the most influential investors ever, as well as share their most notable quotable and peculiar quirks. We'll also answer your question about whether to cash out a pension in a lump sum and manage it yourself or let it ride.

Aug 9, 2016

In the spirit of competition, we will make medal predictions for which countries will be the leaders in tech, manufacturing, energy and more in the years to come. We’ll also answer your question about how much money you should have in the stock market and we’ll get an insider’s guide to Rio. Stick with us here. It’s a long episode, but we have a ton of fun.

Aug 2, 2016

Jason Moser joins us to talk about how to identify the kind of stocks that you'll want to hold forever. A handful Motley Fool analysts will share their "never sell" stock and we'll answer your question about how to adjust your financial game plan when your income changes...dramatically.

Jul 26, 2016

If you ask the Internet, Millennials are the worst generation ever. But is that really true? We’re going to dig into the research to find out if Millennials are just as entitled, lazy, and lousy with money as the prevailing opinion believes they are. We’re also going to answer a couple questions about required minimum distributions (fun!) and then have our very own battle of the generations between a Boomer, Gen X-er and Millennial.

Jul 19, 2016

While everyone else is telling you what you should read this summer, we're giving you a list of what to avoid. Morgan Housel joins us to share his anti-reading list (okay...and a book recommendation too). We also ask fellow Fools what they are doing this summer instead of lounging by the pool with a good book and answer your question about how to smooth out market volatility in your portfolio.

Jul 12, 2016

We enlist the help of NerdWallet Investing Writer (and Answers Alum) Dayana Yochim to answer your pressing credit-related questions including which type of debt to pay down first, how to overcome a slip-up, and why you should get at least one credit card even if it's at Old Navy (just make sure you pay it off every month).

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