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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Feb 3, 2022

One of our favorite things to do on this show is talk with the amazing authors of new books related to sensible investing. Today we do just that, welcoming back Andrew Hallam to the podcast to talk about his new book, Balance. In it, Andrew tackles the relationship between our finances and happiness, looking at the areas of life that need the most attention, and how we sometimes overlook important aspects of our wellbeing. This is Andrew's third book, and we previously hosted him on the show in Episode 99, so make sure to go back and catch up on that if you have not already listened to it. We have a fascinating chat with Andrew again today, getting to grips with some of the main findings in the book, with our guest unpacking his arguments about material purchases, spending on experiences, gratitude, and financial literacy. We also get to hear from him about the importance of staying light-hearted, and how he defines success and failure. Balance is such an eye-opening and illuminating piece of work, which we highly recommend our listeners check out, so tune in today to get a taste of what it's all about.


Key Points From This Episode:


  • Andrew's explanation of his definition of a successful life. [0:02:53]
  • The questions to ask when prioritizing aspects of one's life. [0:04:35]
  • Worthwhile material purchases and when spending money can truly have a positive impact. [0:06:12]
  • Confusion about real estate and investments; Andrew clarifies the idea of buying property. [0:08:59]
  • Andrew's 'desert island litmus test' for evaluating purchases. [0:12:18]
  • The relationship between social media and our spending habits [0:14:03]
  • Times that more liberal spending might be a good decision; Andrew's emphasis on experiences. [0:17:39]
  • Thoughts on reaching a level of maturity regarding material wealth and satisfaction. [0:24:05]
  • Andrew's reflections on his experiences of cancer in 2009. [0:27:28]
  • The role of gratitude in a good life and increasing its presence in our practices. [0:31:37]
  • How our network and social circles support and enrich our lives. [0:36:39]
  • Index funds and financial literacy; Andrew weighs in on what these allow you to do. [0:37:26]
  • Questions to ask when hiring an advisor; recommended products, financial stories, and more. [0:40:55]
  • Andrew speaks about whether it is smart to have 100% equity. [0:45:59]
  • The ghost story that Andrew uses to illustrate a point about risk assessment. [0:47:48]
  • Deciding between simplified and complicated portfolios. [0:50:11]
  • How parents can approach educating their children on saving and spending. [0:51:39]
  • Andrew weighs in on retirement, career, purpose, and the last phase of life. [0:52:38]
  • Personal finance and good humour; why Andrew embraces the inner child. [0:55:57]
  • Andrew's definition of failure and why it is so important to understand the finite nature of life on a behavioural level. [0:57:04]
  • A round of Talking Cents cards with Andrew. [0:57:38]