New Money, Part 2: So Money

Podcasters Flipping the Script on Personal Finance + Entrepreneurship

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Welcome to our New Money series, where we spotlight the podcasts that flip the script on the business/finance genre and challenge how we talk about an often sensitive topic — money. Seasoned experts in their own right, each of these podcasters bring something different to the table. From earning more than your partner to how much you really need to save before age 30, they’re not afraid to get real about the personal finance issues that seriously matter to their audience.

It’s a familiar story for millennials: fresh out of college, saddled with student loans, and scraping by with a modest paycheck. That was once Farnoosh Torabi at 22, and despite living in New York City, she buckled down and pulled herself out of debt. But in the process, she realized there was something missing when it came to financial education. Young professionals had little access to knowledge that was easy to understand, empowering, and fun. By living the experience, Farnoosh has been able to grow with her audience as they embark on their financial journeys. Now her ever-growing resume includes three best-selling books, appearances on the Today Show, a column in O! Magazine, speaker creds for countless events, and a podcast,
So Money, which she produces three times a week.

Since launching in 2015, So Money boasts over 800 episodes, 8 million downloads, and a guest list packed with heavy hitters. Her candid conversations with the likes of Jillian Michaels, Arianna Huffington, Margaret Cho, and Barbara Corcoran keeps her audience energized and inspired. While her #ASKFARNOOSH episodes every Friday stays true to her original mission — deliver real financial advice in a way that’s relatable, and very approachable.

So Money has entered its fourth year — congrats! Has your approach to podcasting evolved over the years and what do you hope to achieve moving forward?

Farnoosh Torabi: Thank you! The show continues to evolve. My approach is to really take cues from our loyal listeners. We started as a 7-day per week show and, while that definitely helped the podcast stand apart, it was just way too much content. Listeners said they had a hard time catching up. So we gradually dialed it back to 3 shows per week. Another thing is that, since the election, So Money started to attract more female listeners to where now close to 75% of the audience is female. I like to think that more women are realizing they need to dedicate more time to thinking about and managing their money. Money is the THING. Without it, it’s very difficult to make progress in your life. And so, the topics we tackle on the show definitely keep in mind the largely female audience and our goals to achieve more financial independence.

What surprised you the most about podcasting when you first started out?

FT: I think I underestimated how long it would take to build a strong audience. I believed I could just put the show out there and it would instantly attract all these listeners. My first few guests were huge, household names: Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Robert Kiyosaki…I had high expectations. And the show did just okay that first month. Patience and persistence is everything in this space.

How do you define financial freedom? And how have you used your platform to inspire listeners to achieve it?

FT: Financial freedom means different things to different people. For me, it means that you can afford to live your life on your terms and in a way that brings you great joy and fulfillment…that you have a financial plan, savings, investments, and are more or less free of debt and all the worries that go along with it. By bringing on guests from all walks of life and different perspectives on money, I hope that my show gives everyone the inspiration they need to go out there and pursue their version of financial freedom.

Which guest or listener story stuck with you the most?

FT: This is the toughest question! Personally, I loved interviewing Barbara Corcoran. She’s someone I admire so much and had been trying to book since the first day. She finally came on the show in 2018 and, even though I’d studied her work and had interviewed her for CNBC, there was something about the two of us just talking voice-to-voice for 30 minutes that really allowed me to experience a new side of her and hear some stories for the first time.

Later, she stayed on the phone and asked me for my advice about podcasting because she had just launched her podcast and wanted feedback. I was honored to be able to lend her any wisdom since she is someone I consider to be such a role model.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self about money or entrepreneurship?

FT: I wish I had known from an earlier age that the world is incredibly abundant and that your income does not have to depend on the ‘title’ of your job. I almost didn’t pursue being a journalist because many people — including journalists — warned me I wouldn’t make any money. But that’s not true at all. How much you earn is in direct correlation to the ways that you expand and grow in your field. I learned later that by applying entrepreneurship to my field — or any field — allows me to have more directional control of my career and to earn more along the way.

Your show has attracted a young, millennial female audience. What are some of the biggest obstacles they face today? And how do you approach those challenges?

FT: The thing I sense most from my female audience is this lack of confidence to invest her money. We’re afraid of making mistakes and that can really hurt us from just getting started.

I remember how one female listener explained that she wanted to invest but wasn’t sure the best way to go about it. She was torn between investing in a Roth or a Traditional IRA. She had done all the homework, read about her options, but was at a standstill. She just wanted someone like me, I guess, to tell her just take the plunge. Sure, there are differences in these two types of IRAs, but the most important thing is to just start. She can’t really go wrong.

Her lack of confidence was costing her, too. Her savings have been sitting in a box in her closet for several months, she revealed. To me, this is symptomatic of someone who is smart, capable, resourceful and ambitious…but lacks the added confidence to make money moves. We second-guess ourselves a lot…If only we knew that women are better investors than men 🙂

How important is it for women to talk openly about money?

FT: This is the most crucial step. Men and women need to talk openly about money with each other, in fact. It’s how we combat systemic gender wage discrimination. It’s how we start to understand why we think about money the way we do. It’s how we find strategies and solutions. It’s how we stop making money a taboo topic.

Thanks for reading! You can listen to So Money here, on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. And make sure to follow team cabana while you’re waiting for part 3.

Check out PART 1.

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