Money Podcasts: How to Listen to Personal Finance Commentary and Advice at Your Convenience

iPod lineup by dan taylor on Flickr!Most mornings, I tend to listen to a handful of podcasts while I write. I listen to a wide variety of things to keep informed, from tech podcasts and food podcasts to sports podcasts and personal development podcasts, but I keep quite a bit of time open to personal finance podcasts. They’re a great way to regularly expose yourself to personal fiance thoughts and ideas.

What’s A Podcast? How Can I Subscribe?
Most of you are probably already quite familiar with podcasts, but they might be a new thing for some of you, so let’s get everyone up to speed and on the same page on this.

What’s a podcast? A podcast is an audio recording you can download on your computer. Podcasts are much like radio programs (there are also a few video podcasts out there, which are like television programs, but I’m going to focus on audio-only podcasts) except that you control the station – you choose which programs you wish to subscribe to and your computer automatically downloads them whenever a new one comes out. Whenever you want to listen, you just choose which podcast you want to hear and you’re good to go. The name “podcast” comes from the fact that many people download podcasts to their iPods so they can listen to their preferred podcasts wherever they’re at.

How can I subscribe to a podcast? The easiest way for most people to subscribe is through Apple’s iTunes program. Just visit the iTunes Store and then choose “Podcasts” on the left hand menu. They have thousands upon thousands of podcasts listed there – just wander around and subscribe to a few. They’re all free. If you don’t like them, unsubscribe – you’re completely in control.

Seven Money Podcasts I Listen To
I am currently subscribed to seven podcasts that could be described as “money podcasts.”

Planet Money
http://podcast.com/show/89739/
This is probably my favorite podcast out there on money topics. It’s produced by NPR and comes out once or twice every weekday and is between twenty or thirty minutes in length. I listen to roughly 80% of new episodes. For the most part, it focuses on financial current events, but they do a very good job of connecting things like, say, Iceland’s economic crisis to your personal financial situation.

Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life
http://podcast.com/show/19720/
This one comes out roughly each week (it’s usually weekly, but occasionally has a “special edition”) and is about seven minutes in length. It’s very “tip” oriented – it usually describes how to do something specific related to your money, such as setting up a 529 for college savings or how to allocate your assets or what exactly a recession is.

Marketplace
http://podcast.com/show/5270/
Marketplace is produced by American Public Media and is just a replay of their daily Marketplace radio program that appears on NPR in the afternoons. It’s about 29 minutes in length and comes out once every weekday. It tends to focus more on economic issues than personal finance, but it often crosses over into focusing on your pocketbook.

Marketplace Money
http://podcast.com/show/95918/
This is very similar to Marketplace, except it has a bit stronger focus on personal finance. It also comes out just weekly, but it’s about 52 minutes in length. They tend to go a bit more in depth with specific stories, which can be good sometimes, but on occasion results in stories that drone on and on.

Your Money Matters
http://podcast.com/show/3920/
This one’s produced by the Wall Street Journal, comes out daily, and is about five minutes in length. It often seems like a very short version of Marketplace Money – a nice little bit of money news. I find it just a bit drier than Marketplace, but it’s still well worth a daily listen.

Vanguard: Plain Talk on Investing
http://podcast.com/show/19731/
This podcast (produced by the Vanguard mutual fund company) comes out roughly monthly and is about ten minutes in length. It mostly focuses on specific advice for investments for different goals – retirement, college, what kind of IRA to choose, and so on. It’s good, solid, useful advice.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
http://podcast.com/show/17281/
This one comes out very irregularly, though it averages about twice a month. It’s also often larded down with a lot of “game show” noises. It also varies a lot in length, from two minutes to twenty minutes. So what’s good about it? Once you strip away that stuff, there’s usually some very strong information in here. It just doesn’t pop up as new all that often.

Will There Ever Be A Simple Dollar Podcast?
I’ve thought many times about creating my own podcast or video series. If I did one, it would be similar in vein to the Money Girl series – short episodes that focus on a single topic with realistic, useful tips.

Two things hold me back from jumping on board. First, I don’t have the best radio voice. I don’t know how to describe it, but it doesn’t sound all that great in recordings. Second, I don’t believe a podcast would provide appropriate value for my time. I currently feel like I’m much more likely to reach people with a well-written Simple Dollar post than I ever would with a podcast.

If the right situation came along, I’d be willing to try it, but for now, it’s one of those “back burner” ideas.

If you enjoyed reading this, sign up for free updates!

Loading Disqus Comments ...
Loading Facebook Comments ...

48 thoughts on “Money Podcasts: How to Listen to Personal Finance Commentary and Advice at Your Convenience

  1. ubi says:

    s/personal fiance/personal finance

  2. Greg says:

    plain talk for investing isn’t very good. When I listened I felt like I was in kindergarten. My opinion is: only listen to it if you want an introductory material. If you are a hard core simple dollar reader, ignore it!

  3. Benjamin says:

    It’s natural to think that your voice sounds funny when recorded. The first time I heard my voice on an old VHS video camera tap I thought that there was something wrong with my parents camera!

    Thanks for the list of pod casts. Sometime I listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcasts, but the show tends to drag on at times and is very repetitive.

    Once you listen to a weeks worth (maybe less), there is a lot of repeated inforamtion. Now I will read the summaries of each day and see if there are any topics of discussion that relate to my situation.

  4. Jared Meyer says:

    I know this doesn’t technically fit with this list, but “This American Life” has two excellent podcasts about the current crisis — “pool of money” and “another scary show about the economy” or something like that… that’s how i got turned on to Planet Money, actually.

    Also, i think podcasts appeal more to younger people — of which i think you have a larger following than might be expected.

  5. Nate says:

    Trent, what about letting someone else be the ‘voice’ you just come out with the content???

  6. Carlos says:

    Hey Trent-

    You might also want to check out:

    Bob Brinker’s Money Talk (nationally syndicated radio show which airs three hours every Saturday and every Sunday). Podcasts of the show are available on demand via his web-site (for a fee), but, you can download seven days of KGO (big radio station in San Francisco which airs his show) archival content, here: http://www.kgoradio.com/Article.asp?id=49920.

    Money talk airs on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm-4:00pm Pacific Time. You can download those six hours from KGO, free, for seven days after the shows air.

    +++

    “Sound Investing” is a weekly infomercial for Merriman Capital Management, but, they have some very interesting guests: http://rescue.fundadvice.com/sound-investing/shows-10.html. I enjoy listening to it, depending on who the guest is.

    +++

    BBC has about 10 shows/week that are free and interesting. One of my favorites is Melvin Bragg’s “In Our Time”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/index.shtml. The subject matter is arcane, but, it’s an excellent show.

  7. KJC says:

    Trent, I’m stunned that you can listen to a podcast while you write. Isn’t that distracting??

  8. Your Firendly Neighborhood Computer Guy says:

    I’m a big fan of podcasts and have a few on my regular rotation to listen to on my 1 to 2 hour commute every day.

    Trent, I think most people would say they don’t have a “radio friendly” voice when they hear it played back, but I’m sure if you started doing a regular podcast you would find you voice soon enough.

    I think a podcast or vido cast would be great for you to do, even if once monthly, and I think you’d be surprised how many new readers it brings. Why not try it once and see how it works out?

  9. Jillian says:

    Nobody likes the sound of their voice in a recording. It’s because you are used to hearing it resonate inside your head when you speak. If you ask someone who knows you to listen to the recording they will say it sounds exactly like you.

    I majored in radio at university, and I remember these 3 great tips from my voice coach:

    1) Try and put as much enthusiasm in your voice as you can without overdoing it. The recording will naturally sound flat, so you need to boost the energy more than you would in everyday conversation.

    2) Speak from your guts, not from the back of your throat. Let your voice come from deep down and flow with your breath.

    3) A lot of people sound better if they speak about a 5th lower than normal (if you know what that means in musical terms). Count aloud “5-4-3-2-1″ with each number being a tone deeper than the last. Then stay at the pitch of “1″ when you speak.

  10. Ryan McLean says:

    These sound like pretty cool podcasts. I would love a podcast which relates towards making money online seeing as that is the niche my blog has fallen in. I want to be more than a frugal saver…I want to learn how to earn loads of money.

    Thanks for the heads up. I just got a new nano so I definately need some podcasts for when I go running

  11. !wanda says:

    I don’t like the shift at a lot of websites now from text to speech or video. Yes, sometimes audio or video is a better way to convey information (as at http://www.jove.com). But I can read much faster than people talk and so much prefer to get information in a written form.

  12. !wanda says:

    Also, I’d just like to complain about Apple and iTunes. Whenever I even update iTunes to get the latest version, Apple secretly installs so much other junk on my computer that it’s almost malware. I’ve found Bonjour, and twice I’ve found MobileMe. Apparently, these programs help you sync your computer with your iPod, but I don’t have an iPod. The bottom line is that Apple should not install programs on my computer that it doesn’t tell me about and doesn’t let me approve. Gah. I would switch to another music player, but I’ve bought enough DRM-ed music from iTunes that burning the songs twice to get non-DRM-ed mp3s would be annoying.

  13. Adam says:

    Trent-
    As a person of the deaf community, I hope that even if you did go podcasts, that you would continue this website.

  14. steve says:

    OK, maybe you just don’t want to do it, but maybe that’s because you aren’t seeing the ways that it could benefit you. I don’t understand your aversion to the podcast. You could access an entirely new market by doing an audio show and getting it on a local radio station. Then get it syndicated. You already have a following and you can use that to sell into the next media market. I’m sure the idea would tranlate. People like to read and hear about financial issues, and people like talk radio. It sounds like a good idea to me given your base.
    It would also ramp up your web presence due to the cross marketing effect.

  15. steve says:

    Also, note that we are going into a recession, or at least people think that we are, and with the pronounced concern about external economic affairs, this is the perfect time for the kind of message that you offer. Actually, it is a great time to establish yourself as a radio presence if you were interested in doing so.

  16. Sunshine says:

    Just the post I needed! I recently discovered PlanetMoney and was thinking about other money podcasts that would be good and – here you go!

    Thanks a bunch. I’ll be testing out several of these podcasts in the future.

  17. infromsea says:

    Thanks for the list. I love podcasts and am always looking around for high quality episodes covering my topics of interest namely finances and tech.

    I’m going to sample these in the coming days and see if I agree with you.

    Thanks again.

    TW

  18. Lynn Berry says:

    Boo! Your examples are all corporate podcasts. No indies? Boo!

  19. Donny Gamble says:

    The use of podcasts are definitely on the rise and are trailing behind RSS feeds by a small margin. Once people start to grasp the simplicity of using them, they will become the next major trend.

  20. Brent says:

    I’d subscribe to a Simple Dollar podcast. I like the Grammar Girl format (short, just tips). The Slate Explainers are good too. Short and full of good information: you don’t need to get sucked into a half-hour talkshow with all the bells and whistles to have a good podcast.

  21. jblee says:

    what do you guys recommend for an alternative podcatching client aside from itunes?

  22. JonFrance says:

    I listen to podcasts pretty much all day long at work, which adds up to a lot of podcasts. Without exception, the ones that are worth listening to have at least two hosts. The banter and camaraderie that results is what hooks listeners. (After all, when was the last time you heard a morning radio show with only one host alone in the studio?)

    I think a Simple Dollar podcast could be great someday, but you would need to find a co-host to do it with for it to realise its potential.

  23. Greg says:

    How it is possible to write and listen to podcast (if you really want to focus on it, not just listen to something)?

  24. I listen to those and I can’t believe you missed my favorite…he sums everything up you need to know in a few minutes…and seems like such a likeable guy…plus I can understand everything he says…

    Try “Rob Black and Your Money”

    http://www.robblack.com/development/media.htm

    I listen to Ric Edelman too…but ultimately, he is trying to get people to go with his brokerage firm.

  25. Jon says:

    Hey Trent! Where’s the Dave Ramsey podcast? I listen to him every day!!

  26. Kevin says:

    Can’t you just go directly to the “author’s” website and download the podcasts without messing around with Itunes?

  27. Derek says:

    I use the Zune software for my podcasts (much better than iTunes). I think the other popular one is Juice. And yes, you can just go to the website and download the mp3s that way and listen on your PC if you don’t have an iPod. If you don’t have an iPod, I’d stay away from iTunes.

  28. Cory says:

    I have had an iPod for a few years now. Its one of those purchases I regret. Don’t get me wrong, I use it all the time. But Apple’s DRM, lack of support for other formats such as OGG and especially the ridiculous price I paid all make me wish I had purchased some other MP3 player.

    Finally, when my battery dies Apple tells me it will cost $99 and shipping my iPod to them to get a replacement.

    A coworker just purchased an MP3 player for 1/2 of what the similar model of iPod costs and it has all the features plus FM radio which the iPod lacks.

    Add that to the accurate comments from !wanda about iTunes and I can’t recommend an iPod for anyone who doesn’t already have an Apple PC at home.

  29. Shareef says:

    Any gaming podcasts? My favorite was 1Up.com’s Games For Windows podcast, but the original crew has been disbanded. My new favorite is GamersWithJobs.com

  30. Kevin says:

    Cory –

    My Ipod is also my cell phone (Samsung A37, I think), which was free. I had to buy a USB cable to connect to my laptop and a microSD memory card, but for $25 it was well worth it. You might look into that next time. I love it, since it’s one less device I have to carry around.

  31. Like KJC, I’m amazed you can listen to something while you write! I can’t listen to anything that has words while I write, including music. I don’t even really like to have instrumental music on while I’m writing.

  32. Frugal Dad says:

    I use a little application called IPodder to download Podcasts overnight at the office and listen in the mornings. Thanks for giving me some new sources!

  33. Trent says:

    I don’t consciously focus on the podcasts at all, but I find that I’ve usually retained almost all of the major points of the podcasts. My wife finds it kind of odd, too. I think my brain just works that way, perhaps trained from too many college lectures where I sat there doing crossword puzzles.

  34. MKL says:

    For those that want to get a great MP3 unit that isn’t an iPod, I heartily recommend the iRiver T30. The one that I have is, for all practical purposes, bulletproof, and I like the fact that the unit uses a standard AAA battery for power (I use rechargeables). It uses a standard USB cable, and so far it has worked with jsut about every media player that syncs with a portable I’ve come across (the old musicMatch, yahoo Music, rhapsody, Windows Media Player, etc.).

    As for a tool to gather podcasts and manage their download, I picked up Juice as a recommendation from the DaveRamsey show’s podcast page. It works well, and it has a small footprint on the system.

  35. Veer says:

    I tried downloading both Juice and iTunes this morning and tried all of the URLs mentioned. I also registered myself at podcast.com. However, I am getting a 0 downloads.

    Anyone on the same boat as me?

  36. Chad says:

    Hey Trent,

    I’m surprised Clark Howard didn’t make the list. But, then again, I don’t know how big of a following he’s got outside of Atlanta. He talks about scams, deals, and everything related to personal finance. The show might be heavy on the cheese, and he’s a bit of a dork, but the guy knows his stuff. And two out of the four hours he’s on the air every weekday are available as a free podcast. Definitely worth checking out, if you haven’t already.

    Anyway, keep up the good work! I look forward to checking out some of these podcasts.

  37. MF says:

    Atlanta financial planner Brian Preston has a personal finance/investing podcast that I’ve listened to for about a year now. Plain-spoken, level-headed, highly recommended. He calls it “The Money Guy” podcast and it’s on iTunes and at http://money-guy.com.

  38. t says:

    Only money podcast I listen to on a regular basis is Sound Investing. http://www.fundadvice.com/sound-investing/

    “Best Money Podcast”
    -Money Magazine
    “…an entertainingly sardonic view on personal finance.”

    Sound Investing is a weekly radio program hosted by financial educators Tom Cock, Paul Merriman and Don McDonald. The program has been on the air for 8 years in Seattle, heard Sunday mornings at 10 on 570AM KVI.

    Sound Investing provides clear, concise advice on money and retirement, and includes interviews with the most influential people in the money business including Vanguard’s Jack Bogle, Kiplinger’s Knight Kiplinger, and Money Magazine’s Jason Zweig.

    Sound Investing was recently named the “Best Money Podcast” by Money Magazine. Sound Investing can be sent to you by weekly email, podcast and you can you can always ask us your money questions by clicking here. We may even ask you to ask your question live on our show!

  39. Chris says:

    The noise-to-signal ratio these days is very high. Distraction is everywhere. Although I listen to a handful of podcasts, the number hasn’t grown in years. In fact I have cut down listening to a few and I don’t have an ipod. I find that there’s a lot of distractions out there like podcasts, vidcasts, blogs, digg, slashdot – enough to fill up one’s day just by reading/ listening to them. It robs us out of our time which could otherwise be better spent doing something useful.

    Just my 0.02%

  40. Dale says:

    You know what might be better for you? Vcasts. You could show people how you make your soaps, or do quick and easy maintenance on your car. You already have an audience. Then sell each vcast episode to an advertiser.

  41. Swamproot says:

    No description of financial podcast would be complete IMHO without mentioning “Sound Investing” with Paul Merriman. I love that show. I was on it asking a question back in July.

  42. Sharon says:

    Everyone seems to be forgetting those of us who are hard of hearing. I hate podcasts, unless you give me the text to read as well.

    Also, I agree that I can read a LOT faster than people can mumble… er, talk.

    If you go into podcasts, check the law. Under Section 508 of the Rehab Act, you must make these accessible — ie, in print.

  43. Tresaca says:

    Thanks for the list Trent!

    I also like listening to the Dave Ramsey show.
    I-Tunes also has a lot of great and free
    learning resources with their Itunes U courses.

  44. Vera says:

    I love podcasts — and the This American Life-spawned “Planet Money” is fantastic. But I agree with your decision to stay away from podcasting yourself. Too much time investment — for you and for your readers. (We enjoy reading your work and giving it full attention as we do.)

  45. Cheryl says:

    Thanks everyone for all of the ideas on podcasts….I listen to John Tesh and his intelligence for life podcasts. Now I have more options to explore.
    If you ever want a “voice” I will give it a try….sounds like it would be a good part time job! :)
    Another wonderful post!

  46. Matt says:

    Trent -
    So you have given us 7 of the money related podcasts that you listen to – think we will ever get a list of others that you enjoy?

  47. “I don’t have the best radio voice.”
    I don’t know anyone who likes the sound of his or her own voice. Have you asked others you trust how they think it sounds?

    “I currently feel like I’m much more likely to reach people with a well-written Simple Dollar post than I ever would with a podcast.” And yet you listen to podcasts from others. This doesn’t seem consistent. Why not just add a podcast to your text? You can just read your text into a podcast and that way your audience can choose whether to read or to listen. Gabcast.com works well for that.

    Jo

  48. RChancelot says:

    Hey Trent,
    Thanks a lot ! I was looking for something like this to listen to while eating breakfast (reading and eating strain my eyes)

    R

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>