When it comes to building a successful investment portfolio, there isn’t a single approach that works for every investor. We have unique goals and we have different ideals. We want wealth, freedom and confidence but our interpretations vary. It’s not enough to follow the trends or study strategies if you want to succeed. Before you take the first steps, you need to have the right mindset. One that lets you think critically, be intentional and form your own path.

In Mastering the Money Mind, financial advisors, Ed Lambert and Alex Cabot provide a guide for evaluating your goals and developing an optimal mindset for financial success. They show you how to avoid common pitfalls like adopting a groupthink approach or investing with emotion and provide insightful perspectives that are designed to weather stock market volatility and navigate inflation. 

Whether you want to re-center your approach or discover the tools for successful investing, Mastering the Money Mind is the only investment guide you need for building a life you’ve always wanted. Now, here’s my conversation with Ed Lambert and Alex Cabot.

Welcome to The Author Hour Podcast, I’m your host Benji Block and today, I am thrilled to be joined by Ed Lambert and Alex Cabot. They’ve just come out with a new book. The title is, Mastering the Money Mind: A New Way of Thinking About Personal Finance. Guys, we’re glad to have you here on Author Hour with us.

Alex Cabot: Yeah, thanks for having us on, Benji.

Ed Lambert: Yeah, we really appreciate it and we love talking about this stuff. So, when the invite came through, we couldn’t say no to it.

Benji Block: Good, I’m excited to talk about this too. This is an area that I know all of our listeners are going to be interested in but even personally, Mastering the Money Mind, I mean, that title is right on the nose, it’s perfect and I love getting to chat with you about the behind the scenes and then we’ll get into some of the concepts here.

Let’s start with this. What is your background, maybe a bit of how you guys have partnered together and what has led to the book in partnering on this?

Ed Lambert: My background is, that I grew up in the Philadelphia area, I’ve lived here my entire life. By the time I was roughly 19 years old, I knew I wanted to be a financial advisor for a living. I was studying economics at a local small liberal arts college or assigned in college in Pennsylvania and it was during the late 90s, the tech boom was happening, it was an exciting time.

You know, I was saving money from working in construction for my father in the summers and at winter break, I was buying stocks with the money. You know, at the time, I started to realize by talking to my dad that there were a lot of people who were pretty successful in life, a lot of business people who really didn’t know what to do with their money and I thought, “Wow, you know, I love this stuff.” 

I started to dive into it with my dad and then I thought, “You know what? Maybe I should do this for a living.” I knew relatively early what I wanted to do. I got an internship after my junior year at Morgan Staley, worked there through the summer, through that fall semester, senior year, got hired there, started when I graduated in 2001 full-time for Morgan Stanley and worked there until I met Alex actually in 2008.

He worked with Morgan Stanley as well, we were working together on a team. In 2009, that team left Morgan Stanley to create their own firm. Alex and I went and in 2012, we broke off from that team to start Birch Run Financial. For about almost 10 years now, you know, we’ve been running our own firm.

Benji Block: Alex, what’s your origin story of sorts here and where the paths crossed?

Alex Cabot: I feel like a comic book superhero, it’s wonderful.

Benji Block: Yes, you are.

Alex Cabot: You know, Ed knew when he was relatively young that he wanted to do this for a living and I’m kind of the opposite. I had absolutely no idea that I wanted to do this or that I’d be any good at it until I kind of got into the industry. 

When I was a kid, I was raised by a single parent and my mom’s a physician, so I pretty much assume that I was going to finish college and go to med school. Sophomore year, when I was in college, I went to Washington University in Saint Louis. Sophomore year, I just had this epiphany, this realization that said, “I have no interest in pursuing a career in medicine.” It’s just not something I have any passion for and so I finished my degree and I toyed with a couple of different long-term career options and these are going to sound really off the wall.

It was between joining the US Navy as a fighter pilot or going to law school. Yeah, I know. It’s a big difference between those two and I realized – so I took a year and I did some contract teaching work and just kind of floated around, trying to find myself so to speak.

I eventually met the woman who would become my wife in 2003 we met and I realized I didn’t want to go to the Navy because I just met this amazing woman and I really wanted to see how that went. Considered law school at that point, that didn’t seem like a good fit. Ended up kind of meandering my way into the financial services industry.

I guess it really came about because when growing up is an only child of a single parent who worked a lot, I used to go on trips with my mom. We were flying down to Washington DC every other week for a period of time. We lived in New Jersey at the time, I’ve been in the Philadelphia area since I was 14, almost 14 but I grew up in Northern New Jersey.

I went to these business trips with my mom and I got dragged to these business dinners where I had to interact with a whole bunch of physicians and pharmaceutical executives and researchers. So I learned how to have conversations and I learned how to keep people entertained, to keep people engaged in a conversation. 

It was tough, you know, when you’re 10 years old, talking to a 45-year-old senior vice president at a pharmaceutical company, it may not seem like it’s a huge amount of compatibility there but somehow I figured it out and it occurred to me later on in maybe 2004-ish when I started in the business that I have a kind of a natural gift for interacting with people. 

I’m not perfect at it and there’s definitely some people that I have difficulty interacting with but buy and large, I get along with most people. I’ve kind of felt like I was good with people, I was good with numbers and that kind of felt like a good fit for finance and working with individual clients. 

After a couple of smaller firms, I ended up joining Morgan Stanley in 2008. I joined a team that Ed was on, I believe it was May of 2008, and then we’ve been together ever since. And I think Ed still holds a grudge because, if you remember 2008 was the year the financial crisis happened.

Benji Block: Yup.

Alex Cabot: When I joined his team, the market was down a little bit for the year but it wasn’t really bad yet but as soon as I joined, then the entire world fell apart.

Ed Lambert: It was like the toilet flushing Benji.

Alex Cabot: I think Ed still thinks that I had something to do with that but I assure you, it was just a coincidence and I know it’s been almost 14 years but we’ve got to let that one go man.

Benji Block: Well, you’re lucky that if the grudge is there, he still decided to keep the partnership alive.

Alex Cabot: Yeah.

Benji Block: And it’s turned into something.

Ed Lambert: What do they say about correlation and causation?

Alex Cabot: They’re not the same thing, this was just a coincidence but you know, Ed and I, we’ve known each other for now, almost 14 years and we’ve been working very closely together in different capacities and being able to run a business with him and work with clients together and see each other every day. 

I mean, you know, people have asked me, when I’m not available if you know, if somebody can help answer their questions and I tell them, “Look, if I’m not available, you have a serious question, it’s time pressing, get Ed on the phone.” I mean, I trust the guy with my life. Literally trust him with my life. 

So we work very well together, we get along great and buy and large, we have very similar value sets just in terms of what we want out of life and how we treat other people. So compatibility’s always been there, we think we make a great team.

Benji Block: It’s cool to hear how you came together and I love the variety, Alex, of not knowing and kind of landing there over time. I want to get to the book here and just ask. It’s one thing to work together, it’s another to take on a project like this. What and why now? Why take on writing the book and this project and this season?

What Does Money Represent To You?

Ed Lambert: Great question. So, we wrote a book called Nurturing Financial Freedom that we put together ourselves, published ourselves 2015 roughly. That was great, you know? A lot of nuts and bolts about financial planning, helped our clients out, you know, hopefully helped to spread some education but what we always talked about overtime, just in our discussions between each other is how important it is to have the right financial mindset, right Benji? 

It’s not just what you know, it’s how you think about money and hit’s how you behave. What happened was, as soon as the lockdown started with COVID in the spring of 2020, you know, in addition to all the time we spent working with our clients from home, we needed a bit of a distraction from what was going on in the world, right? So, we decided, “You know what? Let’s do it, let’s dive into this” and so you know, and that’s where it started. 

So we put together an outline, we did a rough draft, we worked through this whole process with scribe media to help us get the book exactly where it needs to be, get it published and so, that’s why now, you know? it’s just, we had some time when we were essentially locked in our homes and we started on the project then and this is kind of the culmination of it.

Benji Block: I want to ask Alex, when you’re working on this project, who are you imagining. I know, clients was just mentioned there by Ed and that for the previous book, I can see that being a really fantastic resource, is this more in that same vein or is it anyone interested in financial literacy, freedom, what are your thoughts there?

Alex Cabot: We write our books and we write our articles and newsletters and things like that primarily to keep people informed about what’s going on. One thing Ed and I noticed over pretty much our entire careers is that the vast majority of what we talk about with clients is not the nuts and bolts of investing, it’s not about stocks and bonds and mutual funds and IRAs and pension plans and things like that.

That’s an important component and it makes up a big chunk of what we talk about originally and in the initial conversation with clients but as time goes on, it becomes much more of a psychological discussion, where we’re talking about how people feel about different things and helping them to visualize in statistical and probabilistic terms the likelihood of being able to meet the objectives they have. 

But we find often that investors and savers and people who are approaching retirement and really, everybody, psychologically, they end up being their own worst enemy when it comes to personal finance. You can know all of the nuts and bolts about investing and stocks, you could be the greatest stock picker in the world but if you’re not putting the right amount of money away, you’re just throwing darts at a board. You have no idea what this is actually going to mean for you.

So, we started to think about that question and say, “Well, what are the underlying concepts that are so important to everybody when it comes to personal finance?” and things like just the concept of money itself, what it actually represents and it sounds like such a basic thing. If you ask an average person, “What does money represent to you?” You just get this deer in the headlights stare where they don’t really know how to answer that question. 

Now, it’s kind of a trick question because money represents different things in different percentages to everybody differently. There’s a lot of variants among how people actually see things and how people behave. We put this together to kind of explain this to really anybody who is whether you’re just starting out in the working world and beginning to save in like a 401(k) or if you’re 10 years retired and you’re taking distributions and living off of the income and from social security.

These topics are pervasive throughout every single client we’ve ever talked to for the most part, maybe not every single client, I don’t want to say everybody, I don’t like talking in absolutes but the vast majority at least, these are the topics that I think are far more relevant over time than, “Are you better off in a traditional IRA versus a Roth IRA?” Because that’s – I mean, there’s a mathematical way to look at that and there’s way that you can evaluate that in a statistical way.

But these psychological issues, these internal thought processes that we have about money, they’re very gray and they’re very different for everybody, that was kind of our idea was to put something together that would be relevant for anybody, no matter what phase of life they’re in an some of the stuff we talk about is very – I mean, it’s almost obvious when you stop and think about it but then you realize, “Well, yeah, it is obvious but I never have thought about it that way.”

Benji Block: It’s obvious but we also don’t talk about it every day, right?

Ed Lambert: The idea is to bring awareness to those issues, where you read a chapter about thinking about where your money goes and why and your priorities around money. You know, just by reading that chapter, hopefully you stop, you reflect, you think about it and you know, you perceive more thoughtfully, more intentionally.

Benji Block: Well, I want to talk about some of the content here because you just touched on something and it’s actually a quote that I ended up highlighting but you talk about notions, prejudices, primal responses, and how those end up being these underlying things, even a mob mentality, right? 

Ed Lambert: Absolutely.

Benji Block: That’s where we go and we need to think about it in hyper-practical terms like, “Oh, do I need a Roth IRA?” instead of going, “What are my preconceived notions, prejudices, primal responses?” Ed, tell us what you see recurring here, what are the patterns, some of those notions, primal responses, et cetera.

Ed Lambert: Okay, the first one we see from an investing perspective is fear and greed driving all investment decisions, right? You know, the first is, when the markets are doing well, things are hot, prices are up, people want to pile on whatever is doing well at a given time, right? But, it creates a situation where they’re always buying things at premium prices, right? On the flip-side, when something has not been doing well lately, they want to get rid of it. They envision that a decline will continue forever. 

So what they do is markets are down, they bail out, the market goes up, when it’s high, they buy in and over time, that really cannibalizes our investment return or in their investment allocation themselves, you know. They look at all the investments and portfolio and they see what’s working well at a given time and what’s not working well at a given time and what they want to do is they want to keep moving money to what’s been doing well recently but that’s not an effective way to invest money. 

I mean, you have to be very dispassionate, very rational when you build an asset allocation and when you manage investments and if not, you know, you tend to make a lot of mistakes and you know, that’s simply from the investment side, from the budgeting/consumption side, you know, same sort of thing, we see people spend money just to essentially keep up with the Joneses and you know, if all of your neighbors have a brand-new BMW and that’s what you really want. 

Hey, that’s fine but if you’re spending an extra 25 grand on a car, just simply because you want to be like the neighbor next door. Well, guess what? You know, there is a trade-off there, that’s $25,000 less that you have in your investment portfolio to grow for a retirement.

Benji Block: Well, I can say this for me at least personally and my experience around money. One of the main culprits is just a lack of clarity. What do I actually want to do with this? And I love that you took time to speak to that. What do you advise as we consider what we want to do with our money? Are there some helpful questions we should be asking as we’re considering, “All right, I have this limited resource and I want to use it effectively” Alex, what do you find to be helpful when you’re thinking about I need clarity around my money?

Alex Cabot: The first thing is you have to understand that money has four possible uses and this is something we address I think in chapter one of the book and it’s so important to be able to see and understand this. Money can be used to buy things, it can be used to buy experiences, it can be used to – it can be deferred for future consumption which is saving and investing or, it can be given away as charity or gifts or helping family members, something like that, used to help people. And you think of anything in the world you can spend money on, it can generally be lumped into one of those four categories.

Before anything else, you have to think to yourself, “Okay, I’ve got this limited resource, I’ve got a salary” or I’ve got assets or whatever. “What is it that really is important to me?” You know, if Charity is an extremely important part of your life, well then, earmark a part of your income for that, call it already spent money, consider it an expense that is non-negotiable and you take a chunk of that paycheck right off the top and stick it into a separate account that you use for charitable contributions.

If you want to buy a bigger house. That’s kind of a hybrid between thing and experience but generally, I like to think of that as a thing, as an object. You think, “Okay, well, I could spend $500,000 on a house or I could spend $750,000 on a house. Will the extra $250,000 I spend, will it make me happy? Will I be content, knowing that I’ve sacrificed a few other things?” like the deferral for future consumption which means, if you spend a lot more in a house, you probably need to work longer or accept the lower standard of living in retirement.

You’ll probably have to sacrifice a few experiences, so you might not able to take that big vacation every year. You might have to do it every other year or whatever and you might not have as much of a charitable budget but if that really is important to you, if having that extra space or the extra land or that really fancy wine cellar, if that brings you meaning in your life then it can be worth it to sacrifice the other things. 

The same is true for the opposite direction, so one of the examples we like to talk about and we talk about this with clients all the time is Ed and I are very different with how we spend our money. Ed is a ferocious saver, he loves to save and invest money. I joke that he’s a hoarder but he’s very, very diligent about saving and investing and I am too. I think it would be somewhat inappropriate for someone in my position to completely ignore the long-term plan and investing for the future so I do that fairly aggressively as well. 

But I earmark a pretty significant portion of my income to travel. Travel is a huge part of my life, it has been a part of my life for a long time, my wife loves to travel, my kids love to travel, so we travel a lot. We spend a lot of disposable income on these experiences. To me, it is extremely meaningful, being able to say that I have been to 25 out of the 63 national parks in the US with plans to go to the remaining over the rest of my life. 

That’s a big source of excitement for me. I love that and that brings me happiness and for Ed, Ed’s not that type of guy. He doesn’t like to travel like I do, so he has a different kind of a financial value set in that respect but both of us look at our finances and our plans very consciously. We are very thoughtful with how we plan our own spending and our own investing overtime and again, it doesn’t matter what you spend the money on. 

Whether you decide to buy that really expensive car or take that extra vacation or give 10% of your money to charity, none of it really matters as long as you’ve looked at everything in its entirety. If you look at your budget, if you’ve looked at your plan and you account for all of these variables, then if you can make it work, then you can make it work and I say this, I’ve said this to clients before. 

Sometimes people will ask me, “Well, is this the best thing for me financially?” and the answer is almost always, “No.” Because if you think about it, very little that we do on a day-to-day basis is done intentionally with our financial best interest at heart and think about it, if every made decisions solely based on their long-term financial best interest, you would see no expensive cars, we would all live in very small houses. 

Everybody would invest extremely aggressively, there will be very little leisure travel and we’d all just be focused on that one component, that deferring consumption for future use but that’s not how the world works. That is not how the human mind works. We have priorities and everybody’s priorities are a little different. So if we can understand ourselves and what we are trying to accomplish, what brings us contentment, fulfillment, you name it, understanding that is definitely the first step in making good decisions. 

Because if you don’t know what your values are, if you don’t know what is important to you, you’ll just spend money without really thinking about it or you’re just throwing darts at a board at that point. 

Setting SMART Money Goals

Benji Block: Yes, so different things are going to bring us contentment. We’re going to have to figure out and even with the guidance of others, maybe fully what bring clarity to that picture but one thing you brought up too that I want to go down that road a little bit is around just money goals. So you use the SMART goal system, listeners that aren’t familiar with that, you can do a quick Google search but setting SMART goals. 

I want to go hyper-practical here Ed and just talk about what does that look like, maybe for you when you are thinking around setting SMART goals around money, how has that changed throughout the years because now you are in that routine and it is just normal and you’re advising others on it but if someone is just starting with setting SMART money goals, where would you have them maybe begin? 

Ed Lambert: You know, I think first you have to begin with the end in mind, which I believe is a chapter out of Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, right? So let’s say for example, you are 40 years old and to you, the end is stopping work at age 60, right? So then you say, “Okay, I got 20 years” and then you look at it and you say, “Okay, in today’s dollars, what type of lifestyle do I really want to live?”

You can figure that out how much that will cost in today’s dollars and then you work of course, this is a pitch for financial advisors and planners, you work with a good advisor who helps you figure out, “Okay, well, how much money do you need to be putting away based on what you have now, this time frame to be able to do this at age 60?” right? Then, they may come back to you with a number. 

You might look at that and say, “Man, you know what? I am sacrificing a whole lot more than I am comfortable with so that I can retire at age 60” so then the discussion might move towards, “Well, what if I work to 62 or 63? How does that change my savings?” right? So what you are able to do essentially is blend together all the various trade-offs between current consumption and future consumption, right? 

By doing so, you can build today a budget that is balanced appropriately for you but if you don’t begin with the end in mind, if you don’t have an idea in your head, what you actually want later in life it’s almost impossible Benji to work backwards and create a budget that matches what you are looking to achieve. 

Benji Block: You had mentioned there the idea of just getting a financial adviser. In that scenario, you are 40 so I’ll just pose this question to you more broadly. Are you going, “Hey, every person needs a financial adviser?” Is it, “I hit a certain season in my life, I hit a certain dollar amount” what to you quantifies, “Okay, now I need a financial adviser.” 

Ed Lambert: Good question. Our view is that early in life people need a financial adviser a little bit less than they do once they get to mid-late career because the stakes are increased a lot as you get really close to retirement. You know, we say this all the time and Alex deserves credit for this, you know when somebody is young let’s say they are 25 years old, the best advice we can give them for future financial security is save as much money as you can stomach and invest it aggressively, right?

You got a long time but once you get kind of mid-career to late-career, you have accumulated a relatively big nest egg, you know one thing we say to a lot of people when we first meet them and we are kind of onboarding them as clients is, you know, “Everybody knows what they are worth. A very few people know what type of future that’s going to provide to them.” I mean, we have a lot of people come on as clients or mid-50s, early 60s. 

You know, they have a few million dollars in investments oftentimes, Benji, but they don’t know what that means for being able to get them the lifestyle. 

Benji Block: Right, what does that actually look like. 

Ed Lambert: Yes, exactly. So we think it’s important for everybody to have sound financial advice or at least sound habits but we think the need increases drastically as you go through your career because if you make a mistake late in your career, you have very little time to make up for that mistake to recover. 

Alex Cabot: There’s actually a counter point to that too and I agree with Ed when he says that it is more important the later in your career you get to, to have good financial advice and make sure that you are not doing anything wrong. Because if you make a mistake when you are in your 20s, you have a lot more time to rectify that but the counter point to that is, if you start setting things up appropriately and concisely when you’re in your 20s, the impact of that over the next 30 years because you have so much time in front of you, if you do things right, the impact is absolutely massive on a financial plan. 

When you take somebody who starts saving for retirement at 30 versus someone who starts saving at 22 and they invest the same amount, they invest the same way that the one person has eight more years but then there is an additional 30 something years after that additional eight years, the difference is huge. I mean, the person who starts investing at 22 depending on the rate of return might have doubled the amount that the person who started investing at 30 will have by the time they reach age 60. 

I mean, that’s an enormous difference that only that little eight-year margin pushed your return to essentially double what the person who got a little bit of a later start is and you get to be 50, 55, the die is somewhat already cast. You’ve already made most of the important decisions that you are going to make and again, if you make a mistake when you are 55, you don’t have really any time to recoup from that mistake but if you have been consistently making mistakes from age 25 until age 55, that’s a big missed opportunity. 

So it is very important in your early financial life to at least get a sense of where you stand and what you are trying to accomplish and Ed’s point was spot on. I agree with that a 100%, you invest as much as you can, as often as you can, as aggressively as you can tolerate and you just let it do its thing. And if you can even if that is the only lesson you get when you are in your 20s the impact will be massive by the time you reach age 60. Now, you get to be 55, there is a lot of other components and variables that come into play with the timing of distributions and whatnot. 

So it’s equally important to get the right advice but by the time you get to be in your late 40s thereabout, the need for ongoing advice is much more significant. I think that’s the way I would phrase it if I were explaining it. 

Benji Block: Before we wrap up here, let’s talk to the current market because I do think there is those that are fearful seeing everything that’s kind of transpired maybe over the last couple of years and just where we are right now. So does anything change in this time where people are just, “Am I saving and investing? Am I just saving and hiding it under my pillow or in my house somewhere?” what are your thoughts on the current market and the trends that we’ve seen? 

Current Market and Trends

Ed Lambert: Great question. Without going into too much detail because the advice would be different for people in different stages, right Benji? 

Benji Block: Right, yep. 

Ed Lambert: But in general, we’ve seen is every market decline, every period of high inflation, every recession, whatever it may be, they’ve all passed, right? In our view, there is no reason to believe that this current kind of difficult sort of time won’t pass as well and what we’ve learned over the years and there’s been a lot of research done on this is that timing, you know, the investment markets is a very, very difficult chore and pretty much impossible. 

You know, if you time the markets right, it is usually a function of luck much more than skill. So the key is really re-focusing on those goals, reminding yourself of what your goals are Benji, and making sure that your investing strategy is appropriate to reach those goals, you know? If you have been investing in a way that was let’s say a bit more risky than it should have been when the markets were doing extremely well, yeah, you should make some changes right now, right? 

Because it wasn’t an appropriate strategy but if the whole time you were properly managing your portfolio and properly managing risk and setting aside the right amount of savings with the assumption that at some point there will be a difficult time because you know, the economy is cyclical, right? The markets are cyclical as well. As long as you have been doing the right stuff and you have the right plan in place, you know some small adjustments here or there can get the job done. You don’t have to make wholesale changes. 

Alex Cabot: People ask me all the time Benji, “Are we due for a correction? Are we due for a pullback? Are we due for this? Are we due for the end?” and my answer is always the same. It’s “Yes, we are due for a correction but there are three things I don’t know, when it will start, when will it end and how severe it will be. And anybody who claims to know those things, we think is either intentionally lying to you or inadvertently lying to themselves.” 

Because everybody has a different opinion of where the market is going, will go in the short term and in the intermediate and long-term and if anybody could with consistent accuracy and precision, if anybody could predict that, they would very quickly become the wealthiest person who has ever lived and it hasn’t happened and that is a pretty strong indicator that it’s not possible to time the market. 

You might get it right sometimes, you might get it right multiple times but in the end, there are just too many variables to be able to affectively predict where the market is going in the short term. My analogy I like to use is it’s like the opposite of predicting the weather and if you ask me what the weather will be like 30 minutes from now, I could be pretty accurate in telling you where I think it will be and most of the time, I’ll be right because the weather doesn’t change very much in 30 minutes. 

But ask me what the weather will be like 30 years from now, how am I going to know that? I have no idea. Predicting where the stock market and the economy is going is almost exactly the opposite. If you look at any given 30-minute period, there is no way to predict where the market will be 30 minutes from now. It is impossible, I mean you could have an idea, you could guess, you could use momentum indicators or what have you. 

There is a lot of different ways you could do it but there is no way to reliably replicate it but if you ask me where the market will be 30 years from now, you look at any rolling 30-year period in the stock market and the economy, the growth is pretty consistent over a 30-year period. So I’ll be much more accurate and precise predicting where the market will be 30 years from now, then I can be predicting where it will be 30 minutes from now. 

If you’ve allocated your investments to match up with what your plan advice is, so if your long-term investments are more aggressive and your short-term investments are conservative, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Market volatility is a natural part of investing. Volatility is the price we pay for higher returns later on. Now, you go through a period where the market does nothing but go up. 

So think of like 2017, most of 2019, from the bottom of the COVID crisis in I think it was March or later March of 2020 until the market started a correction at the beginning of this year and the market is basically done nothing but go up. That’s not how it works, it doesn’t always go up. There are downturns, there are pull-backs, there are corrections, there are bigger crisis that we experience but if you have planned appropriately, then you have taken all of that into account and you’re investments take it into account. 

So when market volatility strikes, unless you are not allocated the right way for what your long-term and short-term objectives are, you have nothing to worry about. Now, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If you are not allocated the right way, then you should change it and it doesn’t necessarily matter where the market is today. One of my favorite proverbs is, “The best day to plant a tree was 20 years ago but the second-best day to plant a tree is today because we can’t go back 20 years, all we have is today.” 

So if you notice something is wrong today, make a change today and make sure that you are positioning your plan and your portfolio and all of the accompanying variables in the right way and just let it do its thing and yeah, you might have to make some adjustments here and there. We change, the world changes, the economy changes, the markets change, our goals change but it is a living breathing entity. 

A financial plan is alive and you have to pay attention to it. You have to monitor it, you have to adjust it as that need arises. So we believe very strongly in that. 

Benji Block: Well again, the book is titled, Mastering the Money Mind: A New Way of Thinking About Personal Finance. Ed, Alex, thanks for being here with us today. For those that want to stay connected with the work you guys are doing, where is the best way for people to do that and reach out? 

Alex Cabot: So there is a couple of different ways you can reach out to us. You could always find information about us on our website, which is birchrunfinancial.com. On it, you can find informative videos, you can get links to our podcast. There is a number of articles and informational pieces that are on there, along with bios of all our team and a little bit about our process. If you are curious about that, check out the website. 

You can find us on Facebook, we’re Birch Run Financial on Facebook. We’re on Twitter, we’re @BirchRunFinance on Twitter and you can find our LinkedIn pages, Alex Cabot andEd Lambert. You can also if you want to contact us directly, you can email our general email box, which is [email protected] or if you are really old school and you want to call us, we’re more than happy to take calls. Our office number is 484-395-2190.

I mean this, we’ve actually had people listen to our podcast and call out of the blue and say, “Hey, I was listening to your podcast and I have a random question. Do you have five minutes?” and I am 100% willing to take the time to just learn a little bit about you and answer any questions that you have. It may not result in anything, I may just end up pointing you in one direction or another but we’re always happy to have that conversation. 

So don’t hesitate, if you are curious about something and you want to learn more, we’re always happy to have a conversation about it. 

Benji Block: That’s what I love about these conversations is we want to spark people’s curiosity and with a book like this, hopefully we’re providing and pointing people in the direction of great information and I believe the work you guys have put in here is just made a great resource that many are going to be able to have access to now and get their money mind right. So, Ed, Alex, thank you so much for stopping by Author Hour today. It was a pleasure to get to chat with both of you. 

Ed Lambert: Thank you, Benji, this was a lot of fun. 

Alex Cabot: Yeah, we are really excited about this and we hope that people will find this book useful and even if you can just take one little nugget of information from it, then we feel like we’ve done our job. 

Benji Block: Absolutely.