Why I Love Listening to Podcasts

Random topic, I know.  But over the last year, I discovered the wonderful world of podcasts.  I’ll be honest with you, it has been a game changer for me and I have learned some pretty cool stuff, listened to some awesome interviews, and discovered new interests that I never knew I had.   So naturally, I wanted to share my experience with all of you.  Best of all…it is free!microphone-639192_640

WhY do I listen to Podcasts?

Suddenly, it hit me one day over a year ago.  I had a car problem and no, it wasn’t related to my annoying car payment or the unpredictable costs I would incur to repair my car.  This problem was different in nature.   I was constantly making long road trips for work, driving across town to visit friends and family….you get the picture.  You never realize how much wasted time you lose in a car until you are stuck driving and cannot find a functioning radio station or you are sick and tired of listening to the same set of CDs over, and over, again.  This was time that I could have been using to read more blogs, learn and research investing topics, or even just listen to someones opinions about another topic I am interested about such as sports.   My problem was that I had all this sunk time spent in a car that I wanted to turn into more productive time.

My first attempt at solving this problem was to rent a book on tape from the library.  This was actually a lot of fun and there are a lot of great books out there.  The first book I rented was Moneyball, the story about BIlly Beane, the Oakland Athletics, and their new way of approaching running a team.  I flew through this book and I couldn’t wait to drive so I could hear what was next, especially since I am a huge baseball fan and I recognized a lot of the player names from growing up.   My first book on tape was a success so naturally, when the time came to rent the next book on tape,  I thought about renting books related to investing and politics (two other topics I love learning about).   I rented an old Jim Cramer book and a few different books written by politicians on a variety on topics.   Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into the books.  The voices reading the books were boring and the topics didn’t grip  me the way I had anticipated.   It kind of caught me off guard, especially since we have a website dedicated to investing.  After this experience, I tried several other books on tape and ran into the same conclusion.

My theory for this wasn’t working for me was that the books on tape were too long, too detailed for a car ride.  There wasn’t enough excitement to grip me and wake me up from my morning slumber, as I often drove these distances early in the morning before the work day (Regardless of how much coffee/Starbucks I was pumping into my system while driving).   It is hard to listen about investing topics without being able to see and research the application of the topic immediately.   Plus, there is a lot of information to absorb  when learning about these topics.  Obviously that can’t be done while driving, so I began searching for the next solution to my problem.

One of my friends introduced me to a podcast app after I told them about my problem.   So I downloaded an app and began looking into the different options.  It didn’t take me long to realize that I have found a solution to my problem.  There were so many podcasts covering any topic that could be imagined.  Sports, politics, finance, investing, history, mystery, and so on…you name it, it was available!  The podcasts ranged from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours, perfect length of time for the amount of time spent in a car.  On average, each book on tape was around 10 hours; so each podcast was short enough to keep the topics fresh and informative but long enough to discuss a topic in enough detail where I felt that I came away from the podcast learning something (or at least very entertained).

My Go-to POdcasts

Now that the secret is out and you all know that I am an avid podcast listener, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite podcast stations.   Since there are so many of them out there, maybe I could introduce you all to one that you didn’t know existed.  And please, in the comment section, let me know if there are any stations you love and that I must listen to! Can’t ever follow enough stations.   Here are some of my favorites.

Planet Money –  Planet Money is a podcast put on by NPR that produces new episodes every 3-5 days.  The podcasts are relatively short (between 15-30 minutes typically) and can cover any topic related to business or the economy.  The podcasts are well researched and informative and the hosts make each episode fun/easy to listen to.  Very helpful as I find ways to re-rack some of my finances.

Mad Money – I’m sure 99% of you reading this article are familiar with Jim Cramer’s show Mad Money.  Well, each night, they record his show and publish the episode as a podcast available to all subscribers.  So if you are looking for a great summary of the markets daily happenings or recent happenings in the market, I strongly suggest you listen to this daily podcast.  I often use his daily podcast to build my watch list or learn about a dividend increase in my portfolio that I did not catch during the work day.

Serial – There have been two ten episode seasons on Serial and I binge listened to them both in less than a week.  I couldn’t stop listening.   Each season, Serial takes a deep dive into one real-life, cloudy situation that occurred and does an excellent job investigating every angle, back story, and conspiracy out there.   By the end of the season, you feel like you know every possible fact about the topic.   I cannot wait until Season 3 is released.

Start-Up Podcast – I stumbled on this podcast just a few weeks ago and now find myself in the middle of a binge-listening stint.  If you decide to download this podcast, you must start it from the very beginning for reasons that I do not want to disclose to avoid any spoilers!   This is a podcast produced by one of the former Planet Money people and what differentiates this podcast from the others on this list is that it focuses on start-up companies.  For the first two seasons, the podcast followed two different start-ups around for months and watched/recorded/interviewed the founders through the good times and the many bad times.   I leave this podcast excited every episode and find myself trying to think of the next great start-up that could be mine.  It channels the entrepreneurial spirit in me.  My hunch is that this podcast would also resonate with many of you out there that are chasing financial freedom like we are.

Bill Simmons –  I usually get my sports fill by listening to any one of Bill Simmons’ podcasts on the network.  I followed along earlier when he had his podcast the BS Report with ESPN (a Disney company).   After his fallout with ESPN, he signed on with HBO and now leads a Podcast network that covers various sports, celebrity, and current events topics out there.  The best part is that they are extremely entertaining to listen to.  Now that he is affiliated with HBO, he can cover any topic and has guest interviews with some of the best out there.  If you love sports, this podcast is a must.

Freakonomics – I’m sure you are all familiar with Freakonomics, the book, and the concept of reviewing some of the craziest topics.  Well, Steven Dubner has his own podcast network as well and publishes about one episode a week on any topic you can imagine.  They are always well done and well researched.  Now I have to rent their books from the library and start reading them cover to cover!

Listen Money Matters – Andrew and Thomas have one of the most entertaining finance podcasts out there.  This is what I would envision our podcast sounding like if Lanny and I started one.   I was new to their podcast at the time I initially wrote this article, so I didn’t include them in the original piece.  However, a lot of commentators kept on saying they were a must listen.   Since that point, I became hooked and look forward to each new episode produced because I leave the episode feeling inspired that I can quickly become financially free by following what was discussed in that episode.  They host a wide range of guests and cover every topic you can think of, from Amazon FBA selling to investing to [insert personal finance topic].    This is a must listen for anyone who enjoys finance related podcasts.

Summary

I strongly encourage you all to give podcasts a short.  It is a great solution to turning unproductive time spent in your car into either an educational or a more entertaining experience.  Now that I’m hooked, I try to listen to podcasts every chance I get…when I am doing the dishes, shopping at the grocery store, or even taking a walk around the block.   The best part is that this is all free entertainment.    There is a podcast out there for everyone on any topic that you could imagine!

Do you listen to podcasts?  If so, what are your favorite stations?  Do you have a favorite investing station I should check out?  If you don’t listen to podcasts or have and do not like them, please let me know why?  Is there another alternative I should be checking out?

-Bert

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28 thoughts on “Why I Love Listening to Podcasts

  1. In the last month I have been listening to finance podcasts in my car. I don’t have a favorite. Listed below is a small list that have helped with my dividend investing journey.

    Financial Rock Star – scottalanturner.com
    Radical Personal Finance – radicalpersonalfinance.com
    Stacking Benjamins – stackingbenjamins.com
    Listen Money Matters – http://www.listenmoneymatters.com

    I’m still new to the podcasts and investing so I’ll have to give what you listed a try soon. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • Thanks for the suggestions JC! I am adding them to my podcast list now and downloading some episodes. I’ll be listening to a few episodes and see if they stick or I get hooked. There are so many great ones out there, it is insane!

      Let me know what your thoughts are on the ones I provided. I’m interest to see what people think!

      Bert

  2. I also listen to Mad Money occasionally but I take anything Cramer says with a grain of salt.
    If you enjoy history podcasts I really like ‘History On Fire’. Pretty good for passing the time at work.
    I also enjoy ‘Game Of Thrones The Podcast’ if you are in to GOT, this is the best one with no spoilers.
    There’s also a nice dividend related podcast done by DGI guy and Doctor Dividend called ‘Dividend Health Checkup’ that I enjoy.

      • TDM,

        I agree without your assessment of Mad Money. I predominately use the podcast for information and definitely do not trade based on the views expressed on the show. It helps me identify the stocks that are discounted though, which I always appreciate. Have you listened to Motley Fool Money before? That was one of Wallet Squirrel’s other suggestions that I am looking into to gather stock market information outside of Mad Money.

        Thanks for stopping by!

        Bert

    • Captain,

      Thanks for the suggestion. Just added History on Fire to my podcast app and will check out some episodes. I’m saving them for a long road trip though since the episodes seem to push the distance. I had no clue DGI had a podcast…that’s awesome. I’m definitely checking that one out. I’ve been trying to find a good investing one that caters towards dividend investing versus the broader market. You have shared the same sentiment as a few commentators about the Mad money podcast. I get the most value out of it due to the fact that it keeps me aware of the market and helps me identify potential gems. I’m not buying or selling off of the suggestions on the show, but taking careful notes to see where I need to focus my time.

      Thanks again for the suggestions!

      Bert

  3. Podcast are freaking awesome! I’m surprised by the amount of people who still don’t listen to these. Such a time saver for great info and they’re free (minus some ads sometimes)

    I’ve been listening for the last 5 years starting with “Stuff You Should Know”. It’s as the name implies, explains how things work like the history of Ninjas to How LSD Works.

    I usually listen doing work, but some of my favorite financial podcast are “Motley Fool Money” put on by the people from Motley Fool. It’s just once a week and talks about the overall stock market and what’s been causing swings in the market and companies.

    Otherwise, one of my favorites is “Listen, Money Matters” put on by two 20 something dudes and they take a great approach to talking about investing to how IRAs work. In fact, I met them (2 of the 3) at a MeetUp here in Denver. Some of the coolest guys ever.

    In conclusion, Podcasts are awesome and thanks for sharing!

    • Wallet,

      I love your conclusion…they really are! Trust me, I felt like I had stumbled on a whole new world when downloaded one for the first time. I’ll take a three minute ad in the middle of a podcast any day versus paying $.99 per podcast (which is an alternative I forsee one day). I just don’t know how to break the news to Square Space that I won’t be using their services to build a website, that’s all.

      Stuff you should know has some very interesting episodes. I’m careful about which ones I download though, because there are some topics that do not interest me. But when I do listen, they are done very well. I’ve added the Motley Fool Money podcast to my subscriptions now, so thanks for the recommendation. Maybe listening to a weekly summary will suffice for stock market news as opposed to listening to a daily podcast summarizing the crazy swings and instant reaction to what transpired. There is plenty of time to absorb the information and give a rational take on what happened.

      Someone else pointed me to Listen Money Matters and I am pumped to start listening. It resembles our story a lot, so thank you so much for pointing it out!

      Bert

  4. Guys, I love podcasts!
    This was one of the big changes I made when we decided to get serious about getting out of debt and early retirement. I realized that the hours and hours I was spending listening to local sports talk radio was doing absolutely nothing for me…I realized this about tv as well.
    I listen to a few channels but I listen to the Dave Ramsey Show almost every day…not because I agree with everything he says but I absolutely love hearing families do their debt free screams. You can just hear the emotion and passion in their voices as they explain their stories and are now debt free…it gives me chills every time. Others I listen to are:
    1. Money Show Podcast – J money and Paula Pant (Budgets are Sexy and Afford Anything)
    2. Money Talks Radio Show – Local independent firm I use to work for.
    3. Bigger Pockets – Real Estate
    4. Financial Independence Podcast – Mad Fientist
    5. Stacking Benjamins
    6. Passive Real Estate Investing – Turnkey Investing
    7. The Truth About Money – Ric Edelman
    8. Money Matters – Wes Moss

    • Whoa Chad…thank you so much! Those are a lot of podcasts, so I can’t tackle them all at once. But through yours and other comments, I’m checking out over half the podcasts on your list. Thank you so much for sharing them!

      You realization resembles mine. I loved the sports talk, but that time is worthless. It hit me the hardest when all they would talk about here was the daily activities of Johnny Manziel. I just kept thinking about how little I cared about it. To your point about Ramsey, you aren’t going to agree with everything said on a podcast or every point of view. What is interesting is hearing the different perspectives of others out there. As you said, the passion is infectious. And who knows, you may pick up a tip or two from each individual story that improve your finances.

      Thank you for the recommendations. Can’t wait to start listening!

      Bert

  5. I listen to Dave Ramsey every day on I heart radio in my car. Long commute too. I will have to check out others you mentioned. I didn’t know you could get mad money on podcast. Thanks for the tip.

    • No problem Jody! Dave Ramsey is the top addition based on all the responses here. Check out some of the other responses from people here, there are a lot of great other personal finance podcasts that I didn’t know existed.

      Bert

  6. I listen to NPR on my car ride, whatever shows come on it’s my thing. If I’m in Mr.W’s car, it’d be sport or politic. I dwell too much on it, as my car rides are mostly less than 30 minutes. Some of NPR shows are pretty good – Diane Rheem (?) show, Car Talk, Freakonomics, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Stars (if I go to work at 5am, this would come on as a 1 paragraph thing), NPR partner with BBC, so I get to listen to a lot of international news also.

  7. I do like podcasts but I’m not listening to any at the moment. I haven’t actually listened to any PF ones, that could be cool. I wonder what ones there in in Australia…

    Tristan

    • Tristan,

      You should give PF podcasts a shot. You’ll never know when or which podcast will get you hooked. That’s part of the fun of it haha If there isn’t one in Australia, well then, maybe you should start it!

      Bert

  8. Bert,
    I too am a big fan of podcasts. Great way to make the commute better or just traveling in general and learn something. I am not big into most of the ones you mentioned; I like to read the stats associated with business or frugal living, because then I probably will quickly go and look at spending or investing habits. I prefer my podcasts in either history or science/engineering topics and of course comedy – as it is always good to get a laugh. If you are into history I suggest 13 Byzantine Emperors (and anything else by Lars Brownworth) and the History of Rome (by Mike Duncan), excellent historical perspectives that teach you a lot!
    – Gremlin

    • Gremlin,

      The beauty of podcasts is that there is a podcast for everyone out there that caters to exactly what you want to listen to. I never even thought about comedy podcasts, so I will definitely check those out. Do you have any good ones that you recommend? The history ones always interest me because you are always learning something new from an expert in that specific topic. It provides you with a deep dive into a topic and shares information that will blow your mind!

      Thanks for sharing some of your favorites.

      Bert

  9. Have you heard of Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn? Given your list of podcasts, it sounds like it may be one you’d be interested in. I recently found the world of podcasts too and it’s game-changing. Everyone had always been recommending that I get into podcasts but I put it off. Now I know what all the fuss is about!

    • Julie,

      I have heard of his podcast but haven’t listed to it in a while. I tried listening to a few episodes a month ago and couldn’t latch on. However, maybe it was an episode by episode thing, so I’ll give it another look. In theory, I should get pretty pumped up by the content of the podcast!

      I’m glad you stumbled into this diamond in the rough. What a great way to make your drives more interesting and productive! Cheers.

      Bert

  10. Bert,

    Great post on podcasts. I also started getting into podcasts when my commute to work exceeded 40 minutes each way. I love Planet Money and StartUp, as well! If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted podcast, check out WTF with Marc Maron – it’s fantastic and he has great guests. Also, The Tim Ferriss Show has some great guests (the Chris Sacca episode is my favorite).

    Keep up the good work.

    Scott

    • Scott,

      Chris Sacca seems to pop up on every podcast station. He gives some awesome interviews. I’ll have to check out WTF and Tim Ferris on some of my drives. Sounds like it is right up my alley. I listen to too many serious podcasts, so a light hearted one will be welcomed.

      Bert

  11. I love podcasts. My full-time gig is incredibly boring. I use the time to hear the news, learn about interesting topics, and develop skills. I like Radical Personal Finance’s podcast and M.O.N.E.Y. a lot in terms of personal finance. There are also some great history podcasts that are keeping me informed about random events. I feel more well-rounded because of them.

    • I am getting ready to listen to my first Radical Finance podcast and am pretty excited. Everyone keeps pointing me to some great history podcasts and I’m excited to start listening to them. Do you have some favorites you would recommend? I’ve been listening to David Axelrod’s politics podcast and he has had some fascinating interviews with old politicians. They seem to take you through history from a different perspective.

      I agree about being well rounded because of the podcasts. It is nice to turn down time into productive time. Makes you feel like you are squeezing something out of nothing.

  12. I am still relatively new to podcast but the one I listen to a lot of the time is called Addicted To Succes. It has a good host and there are always some interesting guests on there.

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