The podcast was released on Thursday
Kendra Kaake is a dear friend of mine. We met at Russell Investments, where we were thrown together to create and deliver seminars on pensions to our clients. We took to each other and enjoyed working together. So we have remained friends, despite living on opposite sides of Canada. In a conversion last year I mentioned that, because Covid had kept me at home much more, I had taken to listening to podcasts. She suggested that I try The Rational Reminder, which she enjoyed very much. I did, and I grew to like and then really enjoy it too, so for many months now I’ve arranged for it to download automatically every week and I listen to it promptly. It deals with sensible investing for individuals, and its podcasts feature both interviews and research.
To my delighted surprise, Cameron Passmore, one of the two hosts (along with Benjamin Felix), got in touch with me in March this year via LinkedIn. We chatted and found common interests, and later I sent him a copy of my FT Money article in April on how my wife and I set up a personal decumulation strategy. This led to a date for Cameron and Ben to interview me for a podcast in May, now released on June 24. (They tape their podcasts a few weeks in advance of releasing them.)
Cameron is the Executive Chairman of PWL Capital and Ben is a portfolio manager there. Together they lead one of many PWL teams spread across four cities in Canada. PWL is an independent private firm of financial advisors, dealing with all aspects of personal financial planning. If you listen to some of Ben’s investment research, you’ll understand why they use low-cost and low-turnover passive funds for the implementation of the advice they give their clients. I applaud them for this! And the podcast is just one of many ways in which they encourage the discussion of ideas. This is an evidence-focused group, to put it mildly. Why else would they come up with a “Bad advice of the week” snippet each time?
Heaven knows that the research they do revealed itself in the list of questions they sent to me before the interview, to alert me to the topics of interest to them. It was not only that it was very considerate of them to identify the questions, so that I could prepare responses and not just go “um … ah …” It was also that they had clearly read my Life Two book and checked out my career background and my website’s blog posts before they linked the topics to those of interest to their own clients and audience – wow, that was extremely impressive!
No wonder they had previously interviewed people like Hal Hershfield, David Blanchett, William Bengen, Moshe Milevsky, Michael Kitces, William Bernstein, Fred Vettese, Kenneth French, Cliff Asness, Wade Pfau, Jonathan Clements, Jonathan Chevreau … the list goes on – all familiar names to me, some of them friends. (Do you recognize three of those names as experts that Alex Mazer and I interviewed for our own podcasts?) It’s an honor to become part of that list!
Here are some of the topics that they asked about:
- How I felt after I retired, and what others can do to avoid that feeling.
- How the U-curve of happiness relates to retirement.
- The potentially scary questions that need to be answered in retirement.
- Planning the retirement income stream, “sequence of returns risk,” how stock return risk and longevity uncertainty compare.
- Asset allocation, the eat well versus sleep well approach, whether the role of bonds has changed.
- How retirees might cope with inflation.
- My own assumptions about the future, and how they lead to the calculation of a “personal funded ratio.”
- What I learned from consulting to the pension funds of companies like GM, IBM and AT&T.
- The 7 asset classes in my “life’s abundance portfolio.”
- How to challenge a financial advisor, and what a good conversation with one sounds like.
- Talking to your adult children about your retirement plans and assets.
- How do I define success in my life?
Click on the link, which also provides a complete transcript of the interview. I hope you enjoy the discussion. It’s a little more than an hour long; I found it great fun to participate, and the time passed very quickly. My thanks to Cameron Passmore and Benjamin Felix – good guys! (And my thanks for their extremely generous introduction!)
I have written about retirement planning before and some of that material also relates to topics or issues that are being discussed here. Where relevant I draw on material from three sources: The Retirement Plan Solution (co-authored with Bob Collie and Matt Smith, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009), my foreword to Someday Rich (by Timothy Noonan and Matt Smith, also published by Wiley, 2012), and my occasional column The Art of Investment in the FT Money supplement of The Financial Times, published in the UK. I am grateful to the other authors and to The Financial Times for permission to use the material here.