Informed Choice Radio - financial peace of mind with Martin Bamford

What's a doughnut got to do with the future of economics? My guest on the podcast today is Kate Raworth and her doughnut model is making big waves among economists, politicians and policy makers.

Kate is a renegade economist who focuses on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges. She's the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries. As you'll hear in this episode, it's a simple but important way to think about balancing economic prosperity with available planetary resources.

Kate's a Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management. She is also a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Her internationally acclaimed idea of Doughnut Economics has been widely influential amongst sustainable development thinkers, progressive businesses and political activists, and she has presented it to audiences ranging from the UN General Assembly to the Occupy movement. And today, she presents the Doughnut to listeners of Informed Choice Radio.

Her new book, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, was published in the UK and US earlier this month. It's also being translated into Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Japanese.

Over the past 20 years, Kate’s career has taken her from working with micro-entrepreneurs in the villages of Zanzibar to co-authoring the Human Development Report for UNDP in New York, followed by a decade as Senior Researcher at Oxfam.

She holds a first class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and an Masters in Economics for Development, both from Oxford University.

She is a member of the Club of Rome and serves on several advisory boards, including the Stockholm School of Economics’ Global Challenges programme, the University of Surrey’s Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, and Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute.

I really enjoyed this conversation with Kate, so much so that it inspired me to read Doughnut Economics in full and gain a better understanding of the arguments in the book.

Some questions I ask:

-Could you start by defining Doughnut Economics? It's a fantastic name for a book, but what's it mean?

-Why are economists, and the traditional economic model, why is that so obsessed with maintaining the equilibrium?

-What are some of the ways in which mainstream economics have led us astray to date?

-How do we get to a place where the practice of economics respects social and planetary boundaries? Does that require a complete revolution or is something we can achieve through a gentle evolution?

-Do you think it will be a case of a combination of individual changes to lifestyle, to behaviour and then some big progressive leaps forward from politicians, governments and sort led at the top?

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher

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Direct download: ICR205_Kate_Raworth_Donut_Economics-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

Today on the podcast, I'm joined by Professor Steve Keen, author of Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?

Steve is Professor of Economics and Head of the School of Economics, Politics and History at Kingston University.

We know what a major impact the global financial crash had on the global economy. It took most conventional economists completely by surprise. In fact, many economists had, shortly before the crash, declared the magical recipe for eternal economic stability had been discovered.

Steve Keen was one of the very few economists who anticipated the crash.

In his new book, Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?, Steve shows why the self–declared experts were wrong and how ever–rising levels of private debt make another financial crisis almost inevitable. Inevitable that is unless politicians tackle the real dynamics causing financial instability.

He also identifies the economies that have become ‘The Walking Dead of Debt’, and those that are next in line including Australia, Belgium, China, Canada and South Korea.

His book is a major intervention by a fearlessly iconoclastic figure, and it's been described as essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the true nature of the global economic system.

If you want to get a better understanding of global economics and shortcomings in the financial system, this is the podcast episode for you.

Welcome to Avoiding the Next Financial Crisis with Professor Steve Keen, in episode 204 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-Could you start by talking a bit about why these self-declared experts got it so wrong when it came to the global financial crisis?

-What signs ahead of 2008 were predicting a global financial crash and generally what signs predict a financial crash?

-Are there any underlying faults within the global economic system at the moment that lead you to believe that there might be another financial crisis?

-What do you think about the approach politicians take towards the economy in making sure it grows each year? Because politicians tend to take a quite short-term view of the world, and the economy I guess requires a bit more of a long-term view, so are politicians compatible with long-term economic planning?

-Are you hopeful about the future in terms of improvements to the understanding of these flawed economic models and some of the new models which are coming through?

 

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.


When is the right time to sell an investment? That's our main topic this week, inspired by a listener question.

There's also a roundup of the latest personal finance news - everything you need to know about what's going on in the world of money in five news items.

I share my favourite money article this week, a random fact about money and an inspirational quote.

There's also the aftershow, where I talk about what's been going on at Informed Choice this week.

Personal finance news update

-Pet insurers paid out a record £706 million in pet insurance claims last year, the equivalent of £1.8 million a day.

-The number of self-employed workers in the UK has risen from 3.8 million to nearly 4.7 million in the past decade.

-The Financial Conduct Authority is planning to investigate the car finance market.

-Men have almost three times the pension savings of women, according to new research.

-Earlier this week was UK ‘Mortgage Freedom’ Day, when new borrowers will have earned enough to pay off the annual cost of their mortgage.

 

 

 

Get answers to your personal finance questions

Do you have a personal finance or investing question for Martin?

Email martin@icfp.co.uk or ask on Twitter @martinbamford.

You can call our dedicated podcast voicemail line on 020 8144 2745 with your question or visit www.icradio.co.uk/voicemail to leave an online voice message.

 

Direct download: ICR203_When_is_the_right_time_to_sell-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

Today on the podcast, I'm joined by Holly Johnson, author of Zero Down your Debt.

Listen to this episode to understand how to use a zero-sum budget, learn how to budget when you've got a variable income, how to use the debt snowball method to clear your debts, and the key money lesson you should pass on to your children.

Getting into debt is ridiculously easy to do. But getting out of debt? That can be much harder.

My guest on the podcast today has written a fantastic book, along with her husband, sharing actionable tips and advice on how to get out of debt and enjoy debt free living.

As you'll hear from Holly in this episode, the secret is having a 'zero-sum budget'. This is described as the black belt of budgeting methods; it's the approach Holly and her husband Greg used to wipe out $50,000 of their own debt.

Holly Johnson is an award-winning writer who focuses on frugality, budgeting and credit. Her husband Greg is an entrepreneur who turned his love of budgeting and digital media into an online empire.

Together, they blog about money at ClubThrifty.com, travel the world and enjoy the good life with their two kids.

Holly and Greg started ClubThrifty together in 2012, in part, to figure out where their own money was going and why, despite two good salaries, they weren't saving.

They figured out how to stop the bleeding and began a journey of self-empowerment by getting a grip on their money. Their revolutionary approach to spending and saving inspired a website and enabled them to quit their day jobs and devote themselves to helping others.

Welcome to Zero Down Your Debt with Holly Johnson, in episode 202 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-What first prompted you to embark on the journey to find out where all of your money was going?

-How does a zero-sum budget work?

-What about people with variable incomes, can that work for them too?

-How do you cope with unexpected items of expenditure and financial emergencies?

-I understand your motto is stop spending start living. How have you put that motto into practise?

-How bad is debt and what impacts does it tend to have on people's lives?

-What are some of the key money lessons you want to pass onto your children?

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

Direct download: ICR202_Holly_Johnson_Zero_Down_Your_Debt.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to David Orrell, author of The Money Formula.

Listen to this episode to learn how the global economy relies on quantitative finance, whether financial instruments like derivatives and credit default swaps can be a positive force in the world or just a way for bankers to make huge amounts of money, how money created out of thin air becomes real obligations which need to be repaid, and whether we've now got a better understand of quantitative finance and how it can be used safely.

David is one seriously clever chap. He studied mathematics at the University of Alberta in Canada before working on the design of particle accelerator projects in the US, UK, France, and Canada

He then returned to studying mathematics, this time at Oxford University. His doctoral thesis explored the predictability of nonlinear systems, with applications to weather forecasting.

His new book, co-authored with Paul Wilmott, is The Money Formula.

This is a book which goes inside the engine room of the global economy to explore the little understood world of quantitative finance. Orrell and Wilmott show how the future of our economy rests on the backs of this all-but-impenetrable industry.

Written not from a post-crisis perspective - but from a preventative point of view - the book traces the development of financial derivatives from bonds to credit default swaps, and shows how mathematical formulas went beyond pricing to expand their use to the point where they dwarfed the real economy.

If you've read The Big Short or watched the movie, you'll enjoy this conversation.

One of my favourite authors, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, said of The Money Formula, “This book has humor, attitude, clarity, science and common sense; it pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.” 

Welcome to The Money Formula with David Orrell, in episode 201 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-Could you start by defining quantitative finance, or quant?

-At what point did quant become a dominant form of global finance and also take control of the financial system?

-Has quant played a big role in every recent financial crash?

-Are financial instruments a positive force in the world, or do you think that they're just a way for bankers to make money?

-Do you think we've now got a better understanding of some of the risks involved and how it can be used more safely in the future?

-If we put you in charge for the day, what steps would you want to take in order to prevent another global financial crisis?

-Why are economists and traditional economic models having such a hard time of it lately?

 

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher

Your reviews on Apple Podcasts are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

Direct download: ICR201_David_Orrell_The_Money_Formula.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

Today’s episode is a big milestone, 200 episodes of this podcast.

I look back at some of the highlights of those past 200 episodes, and describe the evolution of this podcast during that time.

I also share a behind the scenes look at Informed Choice Radio; how do we actually produce three new episodes of this podcast each week?

And I talk about some plans for the future, the first time I’ve spoken about this publicly, what the future has in store for Informed Choice Radio.

Personal finance news update

-The UK housing market is stagnating, according to surveyors.

-Postal unions could take strike action following the news the Royal Mail is closing its final salary pension scheme next year.

-A new savings bond from National Savings & Investment has gone on sale, offering a ‘market leading’ interest rate of 2.2%.

-New research commissioned by Gocompare.com Money has found the average age parents expect their children to leave home is 25.

-Official figures released this week show that the UK employment rate is at 74.6%, with 31.84 million people in work.

Money article of the week

How Your Body Responds to a Financial Windfall from Investopedia

Random fact of the week

In what was generally considered to be the first recorded financial bubble, the Tulip Mania of 1636-1637 involved speculators inflating the price of tulip bulbs. By the peak of tulipmania in February 1637, a single tulip bulb was worth about ten times a craftsman’s annual income. The bubble subsequently burst and the Dutch economy was plunged into a mild economic recession which lasted for several years.

Inspirational quote

Our inspirational quote this week comes from James W. Frick, former vice president for public relations, alumni affairs and development at the University of Notre Dame, who said:

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.”

Get answers to your personal finance questions

Do you have a personal finance or investing question for Martin?

Email martin@icfp.co.uk or ask on Twitter @martinbamford.

You can call our dedicated podcast voicemail line on 020 8144 2745 with your question or visit www.icradio.co.uk/voicemail to leave an online voice message.

Aftershow links

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World, by Brad Stone

Direct download: ICR200_Past_Present__Future.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

Today on the podcast, I'm joined by Lorenzo Fioramonti, author of The World After GDP.

Listen to this podcast to learn about the flaws in a system which values GDP as the primary measure for growth and also for prosperity, what the world after GDP might look like, and what a post-GDP world mean for politics and for politicians who seem to be completely obsessed with economic growth.

Lorenzo Fioramonti is Professor of Political Economy & Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

His new book is The World After GDP: Politics, Business and Society in the Post Growth Era.

GDP is much more than a simple statistic. It has become the overarching benchmark of success and a powerful ordering principle at the heart of the global economy.

But the convergence of major economic, social and environmental crises has exposed the flaws of our economic system which values GDP above all else as a measure of prosperity and growth.

In this provocative and inspiring new book, political economist Lorenzo Fioramonti sets out his vision of a world after GDP.

Focusing on pioneering research on alternative metrics of progress, governance innovation and institutional change, he makes a compelling case for the profound and positive transformations that could be achieved through a post-GDP system of development.

Welcome to World After GDP with Lorenzo Fioramonti, in episode 199 of Informed Choice Radio.

 

Some questions I ask:

-What are some of the flaws in a system which values GDP as the primary measure for growth and also for prosperity?

-How did we get to where we are today as GDP being this main measure of what we use?

-Is it fair to say that politicians will always find a reason to continue using GDP, it always suits their particular aims?

-What would an alternative measure look like and does it exist already or is it something we need to create?

-What would the world after GDP look like?

-Would there be any negatives associated with that world?

-Are politicians like Donald Trump compatible with a post-GDP world?

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

 

Direct download: ICR199_Lorenzo_Fioramonti_World_After_GDP-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

My guest on the podcast today is Ryan Biddulph, founder of Blogging from Paradise.

Listen to this episode to find out about making the leap from paid employment to the life of an online entrepreneur, why island hopping in paradise is more affordable than you might think, some of the mistakes Ryan has made during his life as a digital nomad, and much more.

As you're going to hear in this episode, Ryan and his wife Kelli have spent the past six years travelling, pretty much non-stop. They've spent a lot of that time in some incredible parts of South East Asia; when we spoke over Skype, they were kicking back in Thailand.

Welcome to Blogging from Paradise with Ryan Biddulph, in episode 198 of Informed Choice Radio.

 

Some questions I ask:

-Where has your journey taken you since becoming a professional blogger?

-Have you always enjoyed travelling?

-What was it like making the leap from paid employment to becoming a digital nomad?

-Why did you choose blogging as a path to support this lifestyle?

-Are there any particular steps people should take to follow in your footsteps?

-How much research and preparation do you carry out before moving to a new location?

-Is the cost of travelling comparable to a more conventional lifestyle?

-What have you learned about money management when living overseas?

-Have you made any significant mistakes during your time as a digital nomad?

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

 

Direct download: ICR198_Ryan_Biddulph_Blogging_from_Paradise-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

How do you solve a problem like the nation's savings crisis?

Half of all UK adults do not have any savings or investments and are struggling to put away money. Two out of five UK adults also do not have any long term assets to fall back on, such as pensions or property.

The ONS have released figures for the final quarter of last year, which found the UK's household saving ratio absolutely plummeted to its lowest level since records began. 

In this episode, I share seven tips for saving more.

Personal finance news update

-Millions of credit card customers are unable to clear their debts and need more help, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.

-Most active UK equity fund managers underperformed their benchmark last year.

-New research from Aviva has found a lack of confidence in the availability of a future state pension among younger people.

-Lloyds Bank have named the locations of 100 bank branches they will close between July and October.

-New research from Aegon has found that 14% of working age people are saving more into their pension as a direct result of the pension freedoms introduced in April 2015.

Money article of the week

How to improve your readiness for retirement, by Robert Powell on USA Today

Random fact of the week

In 1695, the English parliament passed The Marriage Duty Act or Registration Tax. This Act of Parliament imposed a tax on births, marriages, burials, childless widowers, and bachelors over the age of 25. The tax was introduced to raise money for war on France but also to ensure proper records were kept by an Anglican church official. It didn't prove particularly effective and the tax was abolished eleven years later, in 1706.

Inspirational quote

Our inspirational quote this week comes from Stoic philosopher, Seneca the Younger, who said:

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”

Get answers to your personal finance questions

Do you have a personal finance or investing question for Martin?

Email martin@icfp.co.uk or ask on Twitter @martinbamford.

You can call our dedicated podcast voicemail line on 020 8144 2745 with your question or visit www.icradio.co.uk/voicemail to leave an online voice message.

 

Direct download: ICR197_How_to_master_your_savings_habit.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

Hello and welcome to this episode of Informed Choice Radio, where I'm joined by Sandra Navidi, author of Superhubs.

Sandra Navidi is a macroeconomic consultant and strategic relationship manager. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BeyondGlobal, an international management consultancy.

Sandra worked closely with renowned economist Nouriel Roubini as Director of Research Strategies and Senior Relationship Manager at Roubini Global Economics.

She is an expert commentator on financial markets and author of the bestselling book “$uper-hubs: How the Financial Elite and their Networks rule the World“.

SuperHubs is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the global financial system and the powerful personal networks through which it is run, at the centre of which sit the Elites - the SuperHubs.

The book combines an insider's knowledge with principles of network science. In Superhubs, Sandra offers a startling new perspective on how the financial system really operates.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to Sandra about what really happens at places like Davos, some of the common traits of the global financial elite, whether Brexit is an example of the elites losing their power, why women are the missing link, and much more.

Welcome to Superhubs with Sandra Navidi, in episode 196 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-What happens at Davos which makes it such an influential event and such an important place?

-What's been the impact of the way these superhubs and these networks work on global finance?

-What are some of the common traits that you've identified?

-Where do women feature in this, and what role could they play within superhubs?

-Is where you went to school still really important when it comes to finance networks and superhubs?

-Is Brexit an example of superhubs starting to lose out to the power of the people?

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Beyond Global

SuperHubs on Amazon

Sandra on Twitter

Sandra on Facebook

Sandra on YouTube

Sandra on Instagram

Sandra on LinkedIn

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

Direct download: ICR196_Sandra_Navidi_Superhubs.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC