Cal Newport – Deep Work, Digital Minimalism, and the Key to a Happy Retirement
Play episode · 49 min

On today’s episode of the Financial Independence Podcast, I’m very excited to introduce author Cal Newport!

I’ve been a huge fan of Cal’s writing for many years so it was a treat to get to talk to him.

We explore many important issues related to early retirement that aren’t often talked about so if you’re thinking about retiring early (or if you already have and are struggling to build the life that you envisioned before leaving work), today’s episode is a must-listen!


  • Why pursuing your passion is overrated
  • How to love your job
  • What is “Focused FIRE” and why it’s likely the best option
  • How to get good at something valuable
  • Why you should replace relaxation with difficult, meaningful activity
  • The importance (and increasing rarity) of deep work
  • Why skillful management of attention is the key to a good life
  • How to perform a digital declutter
  • The importance of high-quality leisure activities
  • Why technology could be ruining your personal life and how to stop it
The Unstuck Network
262 | How to Decide | Annie Duke
* Annie Duke is a world champion poker player and author of Thinking in Bets, a book which makes the case for embracing uncertainty in our decision-making framework. In Annie's latest book, How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices, she answers the question, what does a good decision-making process look like and how to incorporate that into your own life. * The only way we can become better at making decisions is from our own experience, and our experience is going to be the outcomes of past decisions we've made. We need to understand the way in which knowing how something turned out can mess with our ability to figure out why. * In a thought experiment concerning the 2015 Super Bowl between the Seahawks and the Patriots, Annie reviews a play called by Pete Carroll in the last seconds of the game. Though widely panned as the worst play called in Super Bowl history, Annie states that it's hard to evaluate the quality of the play called when we already know the outcome. * Had the outcome of Pete Carroll's play been a touchdown, the reaction would have been the opposite. This phenomenon is called Resulting, where the quality of the result is attributed the quality of the decision. * Reviewing the actual odds of the result of that specific play, Annie determines that Pete Carroll's decision was far from the worst play called of all time as there was only a 25 likelihood of that specific result. * Annie applies what she's learned playing poker, specifically realizing that what you see happen doesn't change the decision that you make, to other aspects of life. * The paradox of experience is that while we know we need all of these experiences to learn, we see how things unfold and we take our lessons for individual experiences, not in the aggregate. * Poker has some surprising similarities to real life in that your outcome is a combination of luck and the quality of your decisions. * The definition of luck is what you don't have control over. You cannot control your own luck. You can control the quality of the decisions you make and reduce the chance that luck has an influence that will turn out poorly for you. While we are all under the influence of luck, we are also very much under the influence of our own decisions. * In our decision making, we should see the luck clearly and make the decisions that are more likely to advance our goals. Brad ties that to ChooseFI's philosophy of the aggravation of marginal gains and striving to do 1% better. * We have a lot of cognitive bias that delude us into believing things are much more stable than they really are. COVID has torn that away from us. We are also feeling the effect of imperfect information. COVID is not a special case, it's just something we can't hide from the uncertainty. * COVID does give us an opportunity to think about how to navigate uncertainty which will improve all decisions we make. * A pro and con list has no dimensions to it, specifically missing are the magnitude of the payoff or how much will it advance or take away from your goal, and what is the probability of each con. These lists also amply biases you already have and can be gamed to reach a predetermined decision. * With inside view thinking, our personal models create cognitive trenches. When new information comes in, we mold it into a model we already have rather than be objective. * An outside view is what is true of the world. * To try and avoid inside view thinking, we need to expose ourselves to different perspectives of corrective information. * The foundation we base our decisions on is flimsy and full of inaccuracies. We should increase the probability that we collide with perspectives and information we don't know. * It's okay to say you don't know very much and decide to get more information to become a better decision-maker. * Making a good decision with one stock doesn't necessarily make you a good investor, you would have to look at all the decisions made with your portfolio. * When getting to your outside view, it helps to get yourself into the future because it helps us look back on ourselves. We also need to realize that we tend to believe we are more likely to be successful than we actually are. It's helpful to think about all the ways in which you might fail. * A pre-mortem is the idea that time travel and negative thinking will result in an outside view and lead to better decision making. * A backcast is the opposite of a pre-mortem where you look at the luck and skills that lead to a positive outcome. * To find groups of people to get the best opinions from, find people who are interested in finding what is true in the world, but by putting the framework in place, you can turn anybody into an amazing true-seeking pod. * When seeking other's opinions, it's best not to divulge your own opinion beforehand. It results in one of three ways: it might show the other person's opinion is right, the truth may lie in the middle somewhere, or it may show your opinion is right and help you to understand it better. * Annie believes that mostly we should be making decisions faster than we do. The decision-making process is a skill and it takes time to understand which we should be taking our time we should take our time with and which could be faster. * The speed of our decisions should be made by the impact of the decision and optionality available. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY'S CONVERSATION * Earn $1,000 in cashback with ChooseFI's 3-card credit card strategy * Switch to Mint Mobile and save with free shipping * Get our #1 recommended travel rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and earn 80,000 points * Get started on the path to financial independence at IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT CHOOSEFI: * Earn $1,000 in cashback with ChooseFI's 3-card credit card strategy.  * Share FI by sending a friend ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence.
1 hr 7 min
BiggerPockets Money Podcast
BiggerPockets Money Podcast
147: Pursuing Financial Independence on Her Own Terms with Cathleen Hutchins
Cathleen Hutchins grew up in Hawaii. She come over to the mainland for college, but Hawaii kept calling her name, so she moved back home. Hawaii is an expensive place to live, and Cathleen knew she'd need a plan in order to reach financial independence if she was going to live there for the rest of her life. So she saved. She invested. She made smart decisions about her money and is continuously looking for ways to generate passive income to help fund her retirement. She has also sacrificed some comforts and norms to get to where she is today. She and her husband lived apart for a while, both living where there was a job for each of them, not always in the same state! But her sacrificing and saving has allowed her to move home to Hawaii, buy a house, and continue to pursue financial independence in a high cost of living area. Cathleen is well on her way to Financial Independence and her story is just another example of how following the proven path, you can get money out of the way so you can lead your best life. Links from the Show * BiggerPockets Money Facebook Group * BiggerPockets Forums * BiggerPockets Money Podcast 35 with Craig Curelop * BiggerPockets Money Podcast 95 with Craig Curelop * BiggerPockets Money Podcast 120 with Michael Kitces * BiggerPockets Money Podcast 144 with Kirk Chisholm * Mr. Money Mustache Books: * Set For Life by Scott Trench * The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss * The Simple Path to Wealth by J L Collins * Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence by Carol Pittner and Doug Nordman * Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki Connect with Cathleen: * Cathleen's Website
1 hr 23 min
Sound Investing
Sound Investing
Paul Merriman
Q&A Follow-up: "Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” Part 2
This is the second of three Q&A sessions with Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen, Director of Research, and Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics with The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. It is a follow-up to Paul's webinar, “Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” sponsored by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) on Sept. 23, 2020.  At the end of that presentation, Paul was joined by Chris and Daryl to address questions for 30 minutes. As there were many more questions than time permitted answering, this podcast — also available as a video — continues to address those audience questions. In this Q&A session, the three “conflict-free teachers” dive into these big topics: • Equity asset class selection • Comparing returns • Dollar-cost averaging • Sequence returns and risks in accumulation and distribution stages Questions addressed include: - Why don’t you include small and large growth in your recommendations? - Gold and commodities: why not? - What’s the value of adding international funds? - Does it matter whether you use Vanguard or Fidelity Funds? - Do you use Portfolio Visualizer to understand the factor weighing of your portfolio? - How do your “Best in Class” ETFs, that duplicate DFA’s, compete with Vanguard? - Which strategies are better when you consider tax implications of rebalancing? Paul answers this last question briefly, citing from and recommending DIYers read “Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement” by Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan. Click here to download the pdf presentation, with enormous thanks to Daryl Bahls, our Director of Analytics, for his insightful Tables. Find links to the various tables and strategies mentioned at:
1 hr 4 min
So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
Farnoosh Torabi
1110: Sally Taylor: Vice President and General Manager, FICO
This episode is part of a two-episode series in partnership with FICO. Our initial episode tackled all of your top credit score-related questions. FICO's Joanne Gaskin joined to co-host. You can listen to the full episode here. Today we welcome Sally Taylor, Vice President and General Manager of B2B Scores at FICO. As a product executive in the predictive analytics and decision management space, Sally has many years’ experience shaping, managing and delivering products that help businesses improve their operations and generate high ROI. She's been part of amazing transformations – such as leading the FICO Scores adoption to revolutionize the mortgage industry, to initial business uses of mathematical optimization in the credit industry – to currently making analytics accessible and consumable via the FICO Analytic Cloud Marketplace. In her current role, Sally manages a team of 60 professionals responsible for business development and partner relations, product strategy and management, marketing, analytic and software development, analytic delivery and project management for global business-to-business FICO score products. Learn more about Sally: FICO Blog: FICO Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the FICO Score Spotlighting global financial inclusion innovation at 2019 FICO World VIDEO – Fox Business: What is a FICO Score? Forbes byline: Top Three Data Trends Helping To Transform Lending Thrive Global: FICO VP Sally Taylor: “As with any social movement, walls come down when people respect and understand each other.” Yahoo Finance: 10 Powerful Women in Finance Share Their Ideas on Achieving on Gender Parity
25 min
InvestED: The Rule #1 Investing Podcast
InvestED: The Rule #1 Investing Podcast
Phil Town & Danielle Town
287- Investing Q&A: Stock Splits and Company Valuations
A stock split is when a company decides to exchange more shares at a lower price for stockholders' existing shares. They happen from time to time, so it's important for us as investors to understand what that means. Stock splits make stocks more accessible to individual shareholders, make selling put options cheaper, and typically tends to increase share prices in the short run. So does a stock split impact your investment if you already own the stock? It shouldn’t, because your investment should be the value of the entire business no matter how many pieces it is split into.    There's another kind of stock split which is called a reverse stock split, where you end up with less shares than you previously started with. For instance, let's say you had 100 shares and they reverse split it 10 to 1, you suddenly have 10 shares. Does it increase the value or decrease the value? Not at all.    Rule #1 investors look at the company not per share. They look at it as a whole company the way an owner does. This is why the company evaluation process is a critical step in investing—if not the most important.    The company evaluation process includes confirming that the business has a margin of safety. Margin of Safety is the discount rate you can buy a wonderful business, which is generally 50% off the Sticker Price. Because the Margin of Safety is just 50% of the Sticker Price, it allows you the ability to purchase into the business with lower risk. Setting this limitation on the price of a business before you buy it helps protect you by providing an extra 50% cushion off the value of the company. Since you must do a lot of research before buying a business, it should always be something you’re confident in purchasing. However, anything can happen in the stock market, and it makes sense to allot yourself an extra measure of protection. Buying at 50% off does just that. Another way to evaluate a company is by evaluating the business’s moat. Moat is the durable competitive advantage that a company has that protects it from being attacked by competitors. Moat is what makes a company predictable and allows us to put a value on the business. Charlie Munger said that “Coca-Cola is the perfect business because it has this gigantic durable competitive advantage, or moat, which gives it predictable cash flow.” This allows us to figure out what the future cash flow will be and value the company today, so we know whether we can buy it on sale or not. Today, Phil answers fan questions regarding stock splits, company valuation, and explains why it’s important to do your research and due diligence before committing to any companies on your watchlist.  If you want to learn more about how to find excellent companies at attractive prices, download Phil’s Four Ms for Successful Investing Checklist: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
31 min
More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu