Listen to our newest podcast episode where we discuss spending down your assets, thematic investing, and the Manti Te’o documentary on Netflix. The full transcription is below or you can follow this link to listen.
Untucked Episode 71
Meghan Tait: [00:00:00] Hey guys, welcome to episode 71 of untucked. Today. We’re gonna talk about dying with zero a concept written about by an author, and we talk about the practicality of it. We’re also gonna discuss thematic investing, um, investing in different themes. And then finally the Mante. Documentary on Netflix. Enjoy the opinions expressed on this podcast are our own and do not reflect the opinions or views of FC advisory, the financial coach group or the new wealth project, nothing discussed on this podcast should be interpreted as investment advice.
Welcome to episode 71 of untucked. This is Megan and Mike.
Jeff Mastronardo: This is Jeff. Did you know that if you count the number of seconds. between a flash of lightning and the boom of thunder. You’ve heard that whole thing before
Meghan Tait: lights [00:01:00] faster than
Jeff Mastronardo: sound. So you can you count the second between the flash of lightning and the boom of thunder.
Divide that number by five. And it tells you how many miles away you are from the storm.
Mike Traynor: Yeah, I didn’t know that. Divide by five piece. But I knew that the short of the time, the closer it is to you, right? Yeah.
Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah. Oh, okay. So I knew that like old wi I thought it was an old wives tale though, but it’s, it’s official and then you divided by five and you know, how many miles away the storm is, which I thought was pretty cool.
Yeah. That’s only half of my fun facts. Oh, here we go. In the late 18th century, it was believed. Ringing church bells, repelled, lightning. So many churches like bell, like, okay, I’ll skip that part. So it like the, the church bells repelled lightning. So during a thunderstorm bell ringers would run to the bell tower [00:02:00] to ring the bells, however, a high, a high tower with a metal bell.
Was about the worst place you could be. So between, so between 1753 and 1786 in France, 103 bell ringers were struck by lightning and killed, resulting in the custom from being banned.
Mike Traynor: So really the, the fun fact here is that it took France 33
Jeff Mastronardo: years to, to figure it out at 103 deaths. Dude, she all
Meghan Tait: doing the same thing.
Wow. So people have always been dumb like that doesn’t change I mean, I
Jeff Mastronardo: know we have hindsight, right. But electricity falling from the SI sky, like let’s run into a metal. Hey, where’s Fran SW
Mike Traynor: what happened? and then they go up when they finally these stretch another
Jeff Mastronardo: one. Oh, we lost another good soldier
Meghan Tait: who wants to be the next bell ringer.
Jeff Mastronardo: that was good. Good. Yeah. Yeah. Two-parter yeah, it it’s a two-parter [00:03:00]
Mike Traynor: what do we got? Go? Oh,
Jeff Mastronardo: man. So much. Oh man, we gotta,
Meghan Tait: we gotta cap this.
Mike Traynor: Okay. I’m gonna take a break for about 20 minutes. I’ll be back. all real, real
Jeff Mastronardo: quick. I mean, it’s it’s dude PHS. It’s been a debacle. Yeah. They’re falling apart.
They’re falling apart. Like jump off the bandwagon as soon as possible. Um, they have just lost. Two to the Arizona diamond backs back to back. They lost Monday and Tuesday night. Arizona’s not good. They lost seven to 13. On Monday, Monday, they were up seven, nothing and then gave up
Meghan Tait: 13 runs unanswered.
Jeff Mastronardo: Wow.
Last night they lost three to 12. They just, bats are pretty quiet these days. And, and, and they ended, they ended the pirate series with a law. So they took the first two from the PI pirates. Now they’re still. A half a game above the Padres for the second wild card, still a lot of baseball left [00:04:00] but I’m sure I haven’t listened to sports talker radio.
I’m sure they are like falling
Meghan Tait: apart. Yeah. As high as everybody was. And then like two weeks ago, everybody’s now that low. Yeah.
Jeff Mastronardo: They’re
Mike Traynor: all typical. They’re all turning to the birds. Right? High hopes.
Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah. I mean, love that. So we’re done. We’re done. We’re done with the Phils. That was
Mike Traynor: a great transition by the way.
Jeff Mastronardo: You’re welcome. I was gonna give you the, the rest of the Phils schedule conversations. No, we’re good. We’re
Meghan Tait: good. Yeah, we got, uh, we’ll have football in a week and a half. I
Jeff Mastronardo: don’t know how I feel about the birds. I feel like it’s too much. It’s too much positive hype. Like, I like, they feel like they’re so good on paper.
Like it on paper means absolutely nothing. Like, yeah, I’m excited because it’s another Eagle season and I love AJ brown, but [00:05:00] they still have to get on the field and execute. And there’s 53 other men who wanna stop you from accomplishing your goals. So until they kind of. do it on the field. I don’t really care.
Meghan Tait: Jason, Kelsey basically said the same thing. He was like every year that they pick us to do well or to, to be, you know, whatever the best he’s like, we end up socking and then every year, everyone, no one expects anything of us. We, we come out ready to play or some, whatever we come out and have a good season.
So it’ll be interesting to see cuz they are very much hyped. Right. . I mean, I was reading Twitter with whatever they, whoever they acquired yesterday, people are like, they’re the best defense in the league. They should
Jeff Mastronardo: win the, they should win the, the, the, the NFC east, like no problem. Like, yeah. I don’t like that.
Yeah. I don’t like that chatter. And that’s where I think coaches really carry the, the most importance. Like you need to [00:06:00] keep your players humble and hungry. I obviously, like I’m not in a locker room. I don’t, I don’t watch like the interviews of the players. Sure. So I don’t know if that’s their mindset, but I just hope they are.
Because if it’s the other way around, if they’re smelling themselves, they’re gonna get like wiped off the field.
Mike Traynor: So it’s your
Jeff Mastronardo: prediction predict we’re making a bird’s prediction.
Meghan Tait: Yeah. I don’t know if we’ll record again before the
Jeff Mastronardo: season starts. How many games do they play now? S. I think it’s 17, right?
Mike Traynor: added one, right? Yeah,
Jeff Mastronardo: yeah. Yeah. So I got ’em at nine and six.
Mike Traynor: So the other two games got postponed due to like
Jeff Mastronardo: I was curious or something. If anyone would pick up on the math um, if they play 17, I’ll put ’em at 10 and seven. Sure.
Meghan Tait: I like 10 and seven.
Mike Traynor: I’ll go 11 and six.
Jeff Mastronardo: Wow.
Meghan Tait: Wow. Mike train
Jeff Mastronardo: the, the opt optimism.
This guy. [00:07:00]
Mike Traynor: Yeah. It felt like price is right. I had to, you know,
Jeff Mastronardo: he had to go up this guy’s already got a fantasy football draft under his belt. He’s been, he’s been in the football mindset for a while.
Mike Traynor: Yeah. And there’s one player on my team that I recognize the name of .
Jeff Mastronardo: I’d have to I’d haven’t gone through the bird’s schedule, but I would.
I’ll throw out 10, 10.
Meghan Tait: We’ll come back to the tapes. Yeah. we definitely won’t. What episode is this?
Jeff Mastronardo: 71 71. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll come back to the episode. 71.
Mike Traynor: is that it for Philly
Jeff Mastronardo: sports? Let’s it. We have nos Sixers, no flyers to
Meghan Tait: talk about. All right. Coach’s corner. It is let’s do it. Okay. Should you die with zero? This is written by Nick, me, Julie. He has a blog of dollars in data. Nick’s article discusses an idea authored by bill Perkins, known as die with zero Bill’s suggestion is that people should strive to die with $0 to their name.
His reasoning is that every dollar [00:08:00] you didn’t spend while alive is wasted life. It’s money that you never needed to work for in the first place or money that could have been given to your heirs earlier in time. Nick’s article discusses the pros and cons of this
Jeff Mastronardo: approach. So die with zero Mike. You figure it out perfectly.
So you die with zero,
Meghan Tait: you bounce your last check. Yeah.
Mike Traynor: pretty, pretty silly term. And he even says, of course it’s easy to say die with zero in theory, but it’s much more difficult in practice. No, it’s not much more difficult. It is impossible in practice. Nobody possibly dies with
Jeff Mastronardo: literally zero. So what would be like a close to zero again?
I get it. I get it. Yeah. What would be a success? Like if you’re aiming to die with zero and you have a million dollars and you retire, I’m using a million for easy math in my small brain. Okay. So a million bucks, I retire between the ages of 65 and 70. I implement a [00:09:00] spend down like lifestyle where I’m spending down my money.
So I’m spending more than it’s earning. Um, so I’m dipping into principal every year. What’s a success 300 grand left or less zero . No, but that’s like a realistic, practical, like what’s a realistic success. If that’s your goal.
I don’t know. Like,
Mike Traynor: I don’t know how to even answer that. Yeah. I mean, it’s less than that. Even. I. Like, I, I picture someone who has everything paid for, like, they’re not even touch, like they’ve, they’ve spent it or almost all of it and everything else that they need is being paid for whether it’s long term care or, um, their social security covers everything.
And they really don’t have to, um, rely on their, what they’ve, what they’ve saved, what they have. and that it’s yeah, a hundred grand and [00:10:00] it just stays at that because they’re not touching it. Yeah. Yeah. Um, that’s how I picture the dye with zero person, but that assumes a lot of things that you have made provisions to have, um, resources available to you to take care of you or to, to whatever, however long you live.
Jeff Mastronardo: there were a couple interesting points in it that I, that. and I found the concept like conceptually when they mentioned, like, I don’t know if it was the book that he, that he was reading and commenting on, but you know, every dollar that you accumulate that is unused is wasted work energy. And I never thought of it that way.
Mm-hmm right. Like if you decide to work to 68 instead of 62. Mm. I mean, that’s six years of your life that you worked, you maybe didn’t have to, you didn’t have. and I know it’s impossible to time it and know, and it gets even harder if you’re a couple, because now we have the longevity of [00:11:00] two people that we need to account for.
But I thought that was just an interesting way to think about it.
Meghan Tait: I think, uh, the, the concept of it, I, I definitely, um, I don’t know if you agree with it. I, I love the idea of, of people thinking about either meaning they have to work less or they can give their money away sooner. I, I, I think it’s awesome.
And I wish that, you know, we deal with a generation of people who are raised by depression, babies. So there is a frugality mentality and a very conservative approach to their money. So there’s a psychological element that I think, you know, is very difficult. To kind of counter, but I think if you could get someone to agree that I’d rather have the money being used by people who are ultimately gonna get it, or I’d rather not work as long.
Like if you could figure it out, if we could know all of the unknowns, I think the vast majority of people would do this. Right. They would, [00:12:00] they would strive for it. Like if I knew I’m gonna be in a long term care facility for two years, I have the exact amount of money allocated for that. Right. If I knew that, like, if, if we could determine all of those things, I mean, I think a lot of people would gravitate towards a, a, you know, a, an approach like this.
Yeah. I think we
Mike Traynor: see way more people that are, um, concerned about running out of money than trying to thread the needle. Yes in that way. And not
Jeff Mastronardo: because they don’t have a lot of money, right. They have a lot of money, but they’re still concerned.
Mike Traynor: Exactly. And I, and I think that the psychology is like, everything here, you you’d rather die with more than way more than you need yes.
Than cut it close. Because then that, then, then that means that you’re maybe relying on your kids or relying on other others to kind of support you. And most people don’t wanna be in that position. So I think they air on the side of spend [00:13:00] less, maybe work longer, um, create a buffer, knowing that you probably aren’t going to run out, but that maybe smallish chance that you, that you do is, is everything.
Mm-hmm for a lot of people now,
Jeff Mastronardo: what do we, I mean, how do we see our clients using their money? Like we don’t, we, we have very few, if. that are like using a spend down method that are spending down their money. Cuz they, they, they wanna live a lifestyle and that, and that means they have to spend it down and they don’t care to leave anything.
Most of our clients want to leave an inheritance to their kids. And I think most of them are just employing the, I wanna spend a little bit less per year than my portfolio earns.
Meghan Tait: Yeah, I, I don’t think there’s anybody who’s intentionally trying to spend more. There are years and situations that warrant it, but I [00:14:00] don’t think it’s an, in an intentional approach by any of our clients.
Uh, and I would agree that most people wanna leave money. I do think at least in the last couple of years, Really account balances being as you know, high, as they’ve been, people have been very much more deliberate about gifting and I think that’s become a more regular part of our client’s plans, um, than it had been previously.
And that’s, I think part of, of this is that they’re realizing maybe a little bit, not to the extent where they’re gonna like, drastically alter their lifestyle. But if I can give, give each of my kids five or 10 grand and my grandkids, I can help someone with college. Like they’re more willing, I think, to do that.
I mean, it’s
Jeff Mastronardo: pretty, you can build a strategy where you’re doing something very, that’s trying to accomplish what this guy’s talking about. Right? Like if. Live on 40 grand a year from your investments, you [00:15:00] could take a million bucks and you can set up your 40 grand a year from there and justify for inflation every year.
And then the other half a million, assuming you have a million, five, the other half a million could be set up to be like a spend down strategy, right? Like I’m, I’m 65 over the next 20 years. I wanna spend that 500 grand down to zero. Right? Like you can do it that way. Mm-hmm cause most people don’t like seeing the number go.
they don’t like seeing the total go down and maybe that’s gonna change when this generation of wealth dies. But I think that’s gonna, I been, I was thinking about another point in the article where you was talking about most people inherit money in their sixties or 60 was the mean age, which I don’t see that in our practice.
Like I see people inheriting money in their seventies. Sure. Yeah. That’s younger
Meghan Tait: than
Jeff Mastronardo: right. Cause their parents were closer. Yeah. Right. Their clearance are younger. I. I have a buddy who just had a kid last week. He’s 45. Yeah. Like his kid’s gonna inherit money when he is [00:16:00] like 40. Yeah. Like I think that age is gonna go down because our generation was not having babies as early as our parents were having mm-hmm kids.
So I think that number was a little off, like, I think it more people are inheriting money later now, but I think as time goes on, you’re gonna get money younger. Yeah. And that’s gonna. A game changer, right? If you’re inheriting half a million bucks, when you’re 55, like that’s huge. The kids are hopefully off the payroll outta college, and now you’re entering your peak earning years and oh, by the way, here’s half a million bucks.
And it’s probably gonna be more because this generation has more money mm-hmm thoughts or feedback guys, as I was just rambling there a little bit
Mike Traynor: I thought, well, you were talking about people watching their account balances go down. I feel like. Initial thought on that is that it’s the first time in their life that that’s happened probably.
And that’s uncomfortable, no matter whether you marry it to [00:17:00] the fact that you’re spending it down and like, what you’re doing is perfectly legit. But I think I could imagine a lot of people just have a lot of discomfort with just that part of it. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I kind of feel like I would, you. when you’re used to like trying to like build and accumulate and grow for your entire life.
And then all of a sudden it’s like, you know, it, it slaps you in the face too, right? Like you’re yeah. Your days are numbered, but that’s
Jeff Mastronardo: which they are anyway. But yeah, but, but, and you’re closer to the number. So what does it matter? You have less time. It’s a morbid way to look at it, but like, I don’t need it for the next 40 years now.
I only need it for like, 20 and 20 ain’t that
Mike Traynor: long.
So we have, I mean, another challenge is we have clients that don’t spend nearly enough on like, Megan, you were talking about gifting and that’s been more [00:18:00] prevalent that, um, in, in our practice, but there’s others that just have no idea. And they. They have way more than they’re ever gonna need under any scenario and they’re, and, and many of them I can think of successful kids.
Mm-hmm these are beneficiaries that aren’t necessarily gonna be like Jeff, to your point. Like, wow. That half a million bucks came in like really, really handy or whatever, but, um, can be a challenge to get people to like assign a purpose to the money that isn’t you or your, or your kids. A charity or, or something else it’s um, it’s almost like there needs to be some other, some other thing.
If someone has no charitable interests, maybe they don’t even have kids. Maybe they don’t have, uh, anywhere that it’s like earmarked to, like what then.
Jeff Mastronardo: I mean,
Meghan Tait: nothing. I mean, then they really did work [00:19:00] for no reason. Yes. I mean that those cases are, you know, probably the extremes of this is, and that’s, that’s strictly like not wanting to see your account balance go down. Yeah. I mean, that’s the perfect example of that. If you have. No people, no organizations that you feel can benefit from you.
And the only reason you’re like limiting your lifestyle maybe, or working to achieve a certain lifestyle is for a number that’s the worst way to live, right? Yeah. I, I mean, people do it. I’m not
Jeff Mastronardo: I don’t think like. I’ve never done the exercise. At least. I don’t think I have, like, I don’t know what my number is.
Like, what am I working and accumulating towards? I have no idea.
Meghan Tait: You’ve you’ve given me benchmarks. I don’t think they’re like very well thought out. I mean, I think
Jeff Mastronardo: they’re semi thought out, but I have no, like when the house is paid off and the kids are outta college and they’re not living with my wife and I.[00:20:00]
I have no idea what my budget’s gonna be. That’s exactly
Mike Traynor: what I would say. I can’t tell you what I’m gonna spend, so I can’t give you a number,
Jeff Mastronardo: but that’s a, like if I only need 2 million versus 5 million, that’s huge dude. Like I can leave here. Like. Way sooner.
Meghan Tait: Yeah. But you know what I mean? Yes. But you’re also like charitably inclined.
So if you leave here later, it’s not like your money’s not gonna go to below. I’ll find a good purpose for it. And, and I think that’s, that’s part of the framing of this like societally, right. We’ve we’ve created this time. Of employment of work. It’s like, you gotta get to 60. And for some people it’s probably completely arbitrary, but for the, for most people, you know, there’s some number in their minds between we’ll say 60 and 70 that it’s like, I’ll start, stop working.
Have they done a budget exercise? No. Do they know how much money they need? No. So they don’t have like the important information, but it’s just the age that [00:21:00] we’ve kind of told people, like, maybe you can stop around this time. I think like the idea of people. intentionally stopping 10 years sooner is crazy.
Like, I don’t think that’s gonna be the outcome of a, even a whole generation trying to like die with zero. I think it’s the opposite. It’s like, let’s accumulate as much money as we can for those working years. And then I’m going to spend it, give it away, give it to my kids, put a, my name on a building.
Right. I think that’s. Realistic way that this something like this comes into play. I don’t, I don’t see somebody being like, oh, I can work five less years. There’s just too many unknown variables to make that type
Jeff Mastronardo: of call. Yeah. And as you’re talking, I’m thinking about how often, like people just don’t plan for it.
Mm-hmm , it’s just, I mean, M hundreds of conversations a year that we have where people walk in and are just like, look, I’m I’m 62. My wife is, uh, [00:22:00] 63. This is how much we, we have no idea if we can retire. Mm-hmm like, you have no idea what your budget is and how much money your money can give you and what social security, like they have no idea.
Mm-hmm so I think a lot of people to your point, like they just get to somewhere between 60 and 70 and then. Grab Mike train and go, Hey, can you help me figure out if I can retire? Like where were you? 20 years ago, man. Mm-hmm so like what I’m talking about doing, I think would be valuable for like a, a guy like me, like at 45.
Okay. What could the next 15 years look like? Savings, work, pay down of debt. And then what would I look like at 60? Yeah. Cause then I think you can get into that. Sure. Huge 60 with an, with an education and a framework to be like, okay. maybe I
Meghan Tait: can call it. Right. I don’t have to go to 65
Jeff Mastronardo: or I don’t have to do the same thing.
Meghan Tait: Same thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Earn the same amount. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s certainly [00:23:00] interesting, I think. And, and he says it in here, it’s what makes financial planning more of an art than a science and, you know, you could do the math, you can do, you can, you know, run the numbers, but it’s. I think you started off saying like it’s impossible.
Mike Traynor: yeah. I mean, we’ve also had the opposite end of the spectrum. People come in with a very detailed spreadsheet that goes out into the future. And it’s almost as, I shouldn’t say that it’s way more useful than having nothing. But because it doesn’t factor in all of the what ifs and they’re not gonna be what ifs they’re what wins.
Right. I just made that up. Is that pretty good? It’s a, what win? Um, it’s wrong?
Jeff Mastronardo: Your spreadsheet’s wrong. Your spreadsheet’s not right. It’s not right. I mean, it’s great work, but it’s completely wrong. All right.
Meghan Tait: Good. You wanna talk about thematic investing?
Jeff Mastronardo: What’s that Meg ,
Meghan Tait: um, a client. We recently had a conversation [00:24:00] with her.
Um, she expressed interest in purchasing a fund of it was energy specific companies, I believe. Um, and it just kind of got us talking about the different types of I’ll say themes. Uh, that investors can, um, can subscribe to, um, and fidelity defines this approach, uh, as identifying trends that are reshaping the world and investing in stocks that stand to benefit from, from that growth.
Mike Traynor: I mean, I’ll start. I have a lot, I could say on this. I mean, I’ve been buckle up. in this area of the business for like three plus decades. This is not new thematic investing is not new. Um, it’s been around for a long time and I would say the main reason it’s around it all is because at the end of the day, this business is [00:25:00] about this part of the business is about marketing.
And so. You know, you have these thematic funds that are so sector funds, I would say are, um, are like the there’s nine or 10 major sectors in, in all of the stock market, right? There’s energy, healthcare, financial services, like broad, broad kind of sectors. And I kind of feel like those are mostly fine, but then within that, there’s just a, a slew of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of funds and ETFs that.
Um, anything you can think of they’ve been created and marketed and launched, you know, robotics and AI, nano tech, cyber security. There’s an aging population fund, which presumably has companies in it that are gonna benefit from the demographic trends or whatever. There’s weed stocks. There’s you. solar, there’s gaming since sin, they call ’em [00:26:00] sin funds, which are like tobacco and, and gambling.
None of this is new. Um, and I really think that it’s a terrible idea to invest in these things, um, because people forget there’s a huge, huge difference between an innovation that is a great benefit and, and a business or an industry that. Um, that proliferates and has success and a great investment. Um, I always use the, the example of since like 1940 something, the airline industry, the entire airline industry has lost a cumulatively $32 billion.
Right. And if you think about the progress that’s been made and the success that’s happened and the growth of that industry from nothing with the Wright brothers till now, Military commercial, like it’s staggering and you would’ve maybe thought like, wow, if I could have been an early investor in the air in the [00:27:00] aviation industry, you know, home run.
No. And the reason is simple. It’s like the weed stocks are all, you know, down 40, 50, 60, 70% since they launched. Why? Because it’s competitive. And because anything that’s innovative is gonna attract competition and most companies lose. Most of ’em are losers. The big winner. are the big winners, but there’s so much competition that if you go and throw out a thematic ETF out there, like, Hey, the robotics and AI, uh, fund, this is Jones.
You should buy this cuz this is the future, you know? And how, think about how easy they are to sell. Yeah. That’s why they’re launched and marketed because advisors and brokers can easily sell the shit out of that stuff. Um, by talking about the story of the day, whether it’s, and today it’s ESG and I. Get you my points of view on the SGA, but I’ll, I’ll turn it over to you guys cuz I just rambled for a bit.
Well, I have
Jeff Mastronardo: a question. So like were internet [00:28:00] stocks, a thematic fund? Like yes. 20 years ago. Yeah. Okay.
Mike Traynor: So the MUN net fund, and guess what happened to that? It went out of business because it owned companies like pet.com and globe dot, like all the companies that were at the forefront there. But they were losers.
They went outta business. They did not survive,
Jeff Mastronardo: but the companies that did survive, they just, if it’s an innovation and, and if it’s world changing and it’s PR and it’s profitable, it’s going to end up being in the S and P 500, for lack of, not necessarily, but I mean, I just it’ll that that sector will be a large part of the economy.
Mike Traynor: Great businesses do not equal great investments. No, but I’m saying
Jeff Mastronardo: the internet industry yeah. Turned out to be profitable and, and, and world changing. Yeah. And it’s now part
Mike Traynor: it’s really technology’s. I mean, it’s not just an internet thing. Yeah, I
Jeff Mastronardo: know. But I’m, I’m [00:29:00] using that as, as a dumb term. So there is a tech portion of the market and it’s Microsoft is a huge company.
Amazon is a huge, like, these are big, big companies. You didn’t invest. A thematic fund you and tho those, those companies now became the market. Am I saying that right? Probably not.
Meghan Tait: You’re saying that it starts, they all start somewhere. right. And like, ultimately you could probably put most companies into some sort of theme.
You could categorize them in some way. And like, we always talk about like, not every company’s a winner, but don’t only, you
Jeff Mastronardo: don’t have to buy the theme because the winners are gonna be in the market. If you just own the market, right. You own the S and P you own mid. Large small. You’re gonna own the winners that make it, that eventually get there is my point.
Like just, I agree with that. Yeah. Rather than by the theme, just own the markets. Yes. Because the winners of the themes are gonna eventually be the, be [00:30:00]
Mike Traynor: the themes just seem so obvious, right? Like, isn’t that the whole point of investing, identifying trends before they become big own the companies that are gonna be the winners.
Yeah. But no,
Jeff Mastronardo: like most of the themes that most of the companies in the theme funds are gonna die, aren’t they? Yes, yes. Yeah. Like most of them aren’t going to make it. And if you own a fund that has a hundred companies and 87 of them go out of business, you’re probably gonna lose your money.
Meghan Tait: Correct? I think that, and beyond the marketing, I completely agree with everything you’ve said it’s it’s human nature.
I think, to want to control a little bit what you’re investing in, or at least feel like you are, you know, you really don’t have the control, but you can say, like, I feel really strongly about this particular theme. I want my money. Allocated in that way and be damned if it’s smart, if it’s, you know, if, if they’re gonna get somewhere else eventually, but this is a way for me to take control over what I’m [00:31:00] investing in.
And I think that in addition to marking the shit out of these things, it makes for the perfect storm.
Mike Traynor: So I think the other, the ESG part of this has, has been more of a recent theme that. Probably dominates all of the themes right now. Yes. G is what environmental, social and governance is what it stands for.
Okay. So, um, and obviously it’s become very political, um, because the whole, and, and I’ll, and I’ll, I’ll criticize the black rocks and the Vanguards and all the big fun sponsors for, in my view, just my personal view, jumping on that bandwagon. because they saw it as a marketing opportunity, not a real investment opportunity, not, not a, not a thoughtful investment, um, strategy.
So for example, they will screen out or they say they will screen out companies that are polluting the environment. So, you know, [00:32:00] oil companies or companies that don’t have diverse boards or diverse management teams, um, or companies that are, um, doing something that is contrary to. Social justice warriors to use that phrase.
Um, and of course, in, in today’s environment it’s become, mm-hmm, very, very popular, right. Polarized right. What’s interesting is that when, now that the S E C and other regulators have gone in and looked at what they’re actually, what the, what are in these funds, they’re seeing no difference whatsoever between like an S and P 500 fund and an ESG.
And the ESG fund has ExxonMobil and all these other. And so they’re getting dinged for this and it’s actually backfiring. And a lot of, a lot of people are calling bullshit on ESG in general, because it’s just marketing. And I would say, I might be one of them and it’s really not a legitimate investing strategy.
It’s a way [00:33:00] for you to, you know, feel good about yourself, feel better. Cause what you, what you own, um, aligns with maybe your, your political views or. Social concerns or what have you. Um, but I get back to the whole reason for launching this an ESG product. If you’re a fund company, look to make money and raise assets, it’s, you’ve found a willing audience ready to pour their dollars into your funds.
And I feel like that’s all it is now. I, I know a lot of people disagree with that, but that’s my view.
Jeff Mastronardo: I, I don’t mind the idea of like the social, um, what was it called? What was the old. Socially responsible investing. Like I get it. Yeah. It used to be Sri. Like, I don’t want to invest in companies that invest in gambling, tobacco, um, guns.
Okay. I mean, that’s like to each zone mm-hmm and if it affects your returns and you’re okay with that, I don’t think they’ve proven that it affects your returns, but, um, I’m, I’m okay with that.[00:34:00]
but the fact that these companies are marketing ESG and the funds they’re actually selling are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. That’s kind of lame.
Mike Traynor: Well, I think it’s even like more problematic. If you’re a company that’s feeling pressure to be included in an ESG fund that that may buy shares in your company in order to qualify you.
Change your business strategy, change your hiring practices, change a lot of things so that you can get the, the, the grades to qualify to be in that, to be in that category. And I, I, I think that’s, I just think that’s wrong. Yeah. I don’t think that’s the mission of a company is to care first and foremost about ESG.
And secondly, about like the products that you make in the business that, I mean, obviously is a balance like you can’t. You know, dump, waste water into the, you know sure. And like, I’m not [00:35:00] saying that at all. I just, I just think it’s over.
Meghan Tait: I do think some of those, some of the, the criteria, right. That, you know, to, to be an ESG fund or to be in a particular fund, um, require of you are noble ventures.
They’re just not things that can happen overnight or that let, to your point, Mike can like, you can’t completely blow up the way that you do business to adhere to them. Do I think. It’s reasonable for those to be goals, to, to make progress towards more diverse boards, more environmentally sustainable practices.
Of course, like all of that basically is yes, that’s all good stuff. It’s just the way it’s being fed to consumers, I think right now is in kind of an unfair way. Like they, again, they feel like they have some control to invest in. missions that, that are important to them. But then in fact, they’re not like that’s bullshit.
Mike Traynor: Yeah. And I think that the [00:36:00] fund industry is just disgraceful. Not everyone, not all of ’em, but just you look at the list of the stuff that’s being launched. I mean, there’s a mega ETF. Mm-hmm, appealing obviously solely to the very, um, passionate group. would be investors that would put their money into that.
And from an investment perspective, it’s ridiculous. Crazy. Um, and I, I mean, I would even say, you know, some of the, some of the other, you know, wind energy and solar and stuff, I just put that in the same category as all other technologies that will evolve. And mm-hmm, certainly be a, a thing, but. Try to capitalize on the story is, is just a shame and people just have to see through that, I think.
Meghan Tait: And it’s just rather difficult with the way that they’re positioned and marketed. Yeah. Agreed. well, good on that. [00:37:00] I wanna talk about Monte Tao.
Mike Traynor: Yeah. Jeff, you
Jeff Mastronardo: just, you
Meghan Tait: just saw it. Huh? The untold documentary, the girlfriend who didn’t exist. Jeff, you wanna give us a summary? Yeah.
Jeff Mastronardo: I mean, it was two hours long, right?
Yeah. I mean, it’s difficult for me cuz I, I, I didn’t pay attention to this at all. I mean, when this was happening, I had zero interest. I mean, I have zero. . I mean, somebody got catfished, like, okay. It was, it was bigger than that.
Meghan Tait: I get that. Well, not only that, he was like, he was the catfish that started all the cat fishing, like, right.
This is how we like, learned about the catfish has started all the cat fishing. I’m sorry. Yeah, they were.
Mike Traynor: Um, do you want to define catfish for anyone? Who’s not aware?
Jeff Mastronardo: I, I can’t, no. I’ll let you guys it’s like impersonating someone. and like misleading them or something like that,
Meghan Tait: right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, and it’s typically [00:38:00] done on, on, on virtual
Jeff Mastronardo: channels.
Yeah. So I am like the eternal, like, all I do is watch something for pure entertainment purposes. And like in this documentary, I just, as I’m watching, I just assume what they’re telling me is true. Right? Like they obviously want you to feel bad for EO.
Meghan Tait: really felt like it was more, they wanted you to, to kind of feel bad for Renia.
Oh, no. I’m
Mike Traynor: with Jeff on that one, I think. No.
Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah. And I think, I think that that person, is that what his name? Rani, their name Rena. Yeah. I mean, I thought REI looked like a complete psychopath.
Meghan Tait: Oh, don’t disagree whatsoever psychopath. But the fact that they even gave them. the platform. And even the opportunity to explain themselves to me, I was like, we know that the, [00:39:00] that the people who do these things have a little bit of a screw loose.
We gave a whole Netflix half of a Netflix documentary to them like
Jeff Mastronardo: Rena. Like I get it. You’re transgender in a time when this is not accept. And you’re you’re in, you’re growing up in a family where it’s really not acceptable your way out was to create a profile of a female. I’m okay with that too. And then you engage with people.
I’m okay. With all
Mike Traynor: that, taking the random picture down though
Jeff Mastronardo: off the, whatever I’m okay with it. I’m not okay with you calling the dude Tao as her brother. and then talking to the parents, like now you’ve become a psychopath. when you start doing that and then you go and meet ’em at a game with the little girl mm-hmm like [00:40:00] whole, the person’s crazy mm-hmm
But, um, to my earlier point, like I watch it and you’re supposed to feel bad for like EO and I, but do like, are we, were we supposed to feel bad for him? Or like, were you supposed. Be watching it and go, is this guy that stupid? Like how could he have been that stupid? You never met the girl, but you’re calling her your girlfriend.
Like you never physically met her, but you’re calling her your girlfriend. How is she your girlfriend? You’ve never even bought her an ice cream cone.
Meghan Tait: Do you know what I mean? Like I, I do. And that’s kind of why I was like, I didn’t, I didn’t feel bad for him. Did
Jeff Mastronardo: either of you feel like that, like that he had an angle?
Meghan Tait: No, I didn’t, but I also didn’t feel like the, the purpose of this documentary was for me to give him any more sympathy. It was just like, he was an idiot in this situation. He was high profile and like, this is how we exist as a society. They sh the, this stuff [00:41:00] happens.
Mike Traynor: So this whole thing was close to a decade ago, maybe.
Yeah. Yeah. So what I took out of this was that, um, and I don’t really re at the time it was happening, I may barely have been aware of it cause I just didn’t care. But so when the story broke that the girlfriend died, this is the, the catfish girlfriend. Yep. Linne along with like the same day as grandmother died, whatever that.
because he was a high profile college football player at the time it was national. It was ESPN late night talk shows. Mm-hmm Ellen. Actually, that was, that was a little bit later. Let me back up for a second. To me, the, the, the interesting thing was that dead spin broke this story and dead spins kind of a sleazy.
Jeff Mastronardo: Outfit. It was my favorite part of
Mike Traynor: the whole document. So, and, and they were very clear about that. They wanted to expose mm-hmm the national media for how pathetic they are at their jobs, cuz not one of ’em [00:42:00] lifted a finger to try to fact check anything or try to identify who this girl was and get any details whatsoever about her.
They just reported and then they all piled on and they jumped on the same story and it was everywhere and debt’s been broke. And was like, you guys are pathetic. And I think that was the most interesting part about it. Mm-hmm because to me, it’s like that time’s a thousand today, right? Yeah. The media does the same thing, but way worse.
Mm-hmm there’s no fact checking. It is just a rush to make up stories and say anything.
Jeff Mastronardo: Oh, what’s his name was on Kobe’s helicopter. Rick Fox. No, he wasn’t. Right. But they
Mike Traynor: reported it. Right, right. Mm-hmm . So to me that was like the beginning of, and certainly wasn’t the beginning, but it was kind of. I just drew the parallel between how the media treated that story and what happens today.
And it’s like gasoline on the fire times a, you know, million. So I
Jeff Mastronardo: felt bad for the guy because I, [00:43:00] I, I mean, it was 10 years ago and engaging with someone online, a, a college football player, like you don’t have a lot of time. So it was probably in his mind, like the perfect relationship, right. She’s in California.
So it’s, it’s unlikely. I’m gonna get out to see her anyway, but we create this relationship with my football career and Notre Dame is over. Maybe like it can get, so I can under understand where he was coming from. What I found laughable with the documentary is how they tried to play that a Lineback. On a football team was the determining factor.
Why they got blown out a national championship? Yeah, that’s a good point. Where was the quarterback? Why didn’t they put more points on the board? Like give me a break. Oh, because he missed a few tackles. He was way off his game. You could tell, like, that was
Meghan Tait: a joke, dude. I watched it with Stephen and I was like, what was.
Outcome of this game. I, I [00:44:00] knew Notre Dame didn’t win, but who did they play? And he is like, they got smoked by Alabama. And he said the same thing. He’s like, why are they making that man?
Jeff Mastronardo: He missed tackles. Cause Alabama’s better than all the other people they played in their, in they’re like,
Meghan Tait: and then the scenes where they’re just.
Touchdown man, tails, touchdown, man tail. Like
Jeff Mastronardo: it was it. I mean, as someone who didn’t like, maybe if I paid more attention to that thing, when it was happening, I would, I would’ve found less value in the, in the document, but I thought it was super entertaining.
Meghan Tait: All right. One, our top five. Let’s do it. Top five foods.
You. Hate, but others love, or that are
Mike Traynor: widely, that are widely enjoyed. I’ll say.
Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah, maybe.
Meghan Tait: Yeah. That’s a better way to put it. Who wants to go first? I’ll go first. Do it. white claws, alcoholic, seltzers, not a big fan. Okay. I feel like they’re pretty popular. They are super popular. Yeah. [00:45:00] And I, if you’ve ever seen me drink one, pretend I didn’t.
I can, I can agree with you. Um, I’m not a big peanut butter and jelly fan. Hmm. Interesting. Yeah. Never did it as a kid. Enjoy it now. Love of people, olives. I don’t know if it’s, like I
Mike Traynor: thought about the, I didn’t, I don’t know how
Jeff Mastronardo: popular. Are. Yeah, I love all our student all kinds, but I’m
Meghan Tait: with you on the, I feel like anytime I, I say I don’t like them, there’s somebody who’s like, how could you not like, oh, calamata green.
Yeah. Not a big fan. Um, Sauerkraut and I’m, I’m only saying this because I’m Irish. So one day dude, corn, beef and cabbage is like, it, it it’s, it’s a thing. It’s a thing. So pretty good. What corn, beef and cabbage is pretty good. Well, cabbage is sour CRO that’s sauerkraut. Yeah, it’s the same treatment. And then cereal.
Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah. Cereal is Jeff loves cereal, such a versatile food. It’s so
Meghan Tait: great. I think it’s more the [00:46:00] milk than the cereal, but the combination, the sogginess. Oh, excuse me.
Jeff Mastronardo: Disagree. all right.
Mike Traynor: All right. I’ll go ask. Cause I think Jeff, Jeff feels strong about his. Not, not so much. I’m gonna go with, uh,
Jeff Mastronardo: mushrooms.
Meghan Tait: Oh my God. I love mushrooms.
Mike Traynor: A lot of people like mushrooms. I’m not sure why it’s on my list. My next one is kind of a broad category. Mexican food, Mexican. You don’t
Jeff Mastronardo: like Mexican food. Wow.
Mike Traynor: been to a taco bell in my life. Not gonna happen. I’ll have chips and salsa. Sure. Mm-hmm but I mean, You can have everything else.
Jeff Mastronardo: Mexican food is so good, dude. Mm-hmm
Meghan Tait: I have to be in the mood for it, but when I’m in the mood for it. Yeah, too. I do enjoy it. Yeah.
Mike Traynor: Uh, I’m gonna say virtually all cakes and pies. Jesus.
Jeff Mastronardo: like [00:47:00] a pumpkin pie. You don’t like a pumpkin pie. No.
Mike Traynor: No. And cakes cake, like a birthday cake, Ugh. Or, or like a cheesecake, Ugh, or, um, I mean, all really all cakes, all
Jeff Mastronardo: cakes, carrot cake.
I’m just gonna keep naming cakes. Yeah. Like ice cream
Mike Traynor: cake. That’s okay. But that’s not, that’s not really a cake. So all cakes next. I’m gonna. Brussel sprouts that are like, you know how they’re all the rages they’re done with the, yeah. You know, all this stuff. , they’re still brussel sprouts.
Jeff Mastronardo: They’re so good.
They’re still good. Brussel sprouts,
Mike Traynor: right? Yeah. Would you eat a brussel sprout if it was just like boiled in water without any seasoning, but I mean,
Meghan Tait: like what would I eat like that? Yeah.
Jeff Mastronardo: you wouldn’t boil chicken and eat it. Stop it.
Mike Traynor: All right. And then my last one is you guys are probably gonna not like this.
I can’t understand hummus. [00:48:00] Mm. So good
Jeff Mastronardo: hummus is cardboard. You
Meghan Tait: just named like Jeff’s favorite foods. Yeah.
Mike Traynor: hummus. What is so great about hummus? It’s
Meghan Tait: it’s so good. Talk about a versatile food. I mean, my God. Yeah. The possibilities are endless. No
Jeff Mastronardo: taste. That’s right. We were doing foods that you don’t like.
Yeah. Cause I thought, I thought deviled eggs for a minute was gonna be on your list, but that’s something you like.
Mike Traynor: Yeah. Yeah. I mean lot, but I like ’em. But I don’t think, I don’t think most people like devil eggs. No, they don’t.
Jeff Mastronardo: They don’t. But like you love devil eggs. No, no. Mike, you would order them at a restaurant.
I have. Yeah. Yeah. No one else would do that. Well, no one .
Meghan Tait: Why are they on the menu? Why are they on a menu then? Of course people do. What are the cigarette? Our unilateral, all everyone. And no one
Jeff Mastronardo: there’s no overlap in this group. No, there’s no overlap. So I don’t like a baked potato or like a loaded potato.
Oh my God. Yeah. I don’t like ’em. Yeah, I think they’re stupid. [00:49:00] stupid. Yeah. I don’t like sushi. That’s crazy. I feel sushi is widely accepted. Yes. Yeah,
Meghan Tait: it is. It would be my last meal, like death row sushi.
Jeff Mastronardo: I, I cannot St I can’t believe people like cream chip. I don’t even,
Meghan Tait: yeah. I’m okay. It’s
Jeff Mastronardo: it’s fairly wildly accepted.
Yeah. Like a lot of people are like, oh, it’s so it’s off. Like they make a frozen variety of. like you take it outta the box and put it in the microwave and it’s cream chip
Meghan Tait: beef. It’s that’s like the gravy that people do breakfast. Right. Just feel like it like gravy. It’s like a, it’s like a it’s gross, like a big, like a thick cream based sauce.
It feels like it’s just like, it’s just a bunch of salt clogging your arteries. Like with every I’m literally
Jeff Mastronardo: it’s just so gross, dude. Um, number four for me is, is peppers. I just don’t like pepper. I’m kind of with you,
Meghan Tait: like
Jeff Mastronardo: across the board, across the board. Mm-hmm, all peppers all across the board. And especially like, [00:50:00] I mean,
Mike Traynor: cracked pepper like that, you sprint that you no, no
Jeff Mastronardo: pepper peppers, peppers, like I’m with you.
My, my, my best friend’s kids like that, he slices up a red, she slices up a red pepper and like the kids just eat it. Like it’s a carrot. Yeah. Yeah. It’s disgust. Peppers. That’s
Meghan Tait: right. Jeff’s correct. Peppers are like one of the best hummus accompaniment. It’s terrible.
Jeff Mastronardo: and my number one are hot dogs. I do not like hot dogs and everyone in the world freaking loves.
That’s a good one. Yeah, that is a good one. This is strange. I like and will eat one a year, maybe two, a chili. but just a hot dog. Disgustingly. disgusting. You’ll never see me eat a hot dog ever.
Meghan Tait: Not even on dollar dog night. No. Hey, on dollar dog night, they’re like gray.
Jeff Mastronardo: If I’m like starving and there’s not, I, I still won’t eat it.
No’s gross. All right’s a roll.
Meghan Tait: Do you wanna sign? Austins we always say the other. Yeah. Well, Hey, thanks for
Jeff Mastronardo: listening guys. This was [00:51:00] really a great episode. Appreciate you tuning in. See ya. Bye.