AOA 047: The Key to Investing: Be Boring – With Guest Chris Browning

“Just be okay with the fact that this part of [y]our life does not need to be exciting.”

– Chris Browning

Do you consider investing to be inherently complicated?

Chris Browning just might change your mind with his “boring is better” approach. He is the host of the award-winning, short-form podcast Popcorn Finance and the call-in, money-advice show This Is Awkward. Chris was one of the first finance podcasters on the scene when he began producing content in 2017. His creation, Popcorn Finance, addresses financial topics in about the time it takes to make a bag of popcorn. Chris can be seen weekly on NBCLX’s Current as a personal finance expert contributor or heard on KFI AM 640 providing insights on the latest finance news. I first appeared on his show, and now he’s returning the favor by joining me for a not-so-boring conversation.

Links (From the Show)

Show Notes (Find what’s most interesting to you!)

  • Chris explains the format for Popcorn Finance and what inspired him to take the unique approach that he does. [3:48]
  • Investing doesn’t have to be complicated. Chris reveals that boring might be better. [7:11]
  • The importance of patience in investing [12:11]
  • Chris shares a useful filter to encourage interest in the boring approach: “This part of [y]our life does not need to be exciting.” [13:30]
  • Why would a great investor like Warren Buffett suggest the boring approach for which Chris advocates? [16:56]
  • John Bogle of Vanguard, the birth of the index fund and the opportunity cost of not taking the boring approach [18:03]
  • What the heck is an index fund? Chris’ analogy takes the cake! [20:40]
  • Let your kids explore their interests in individual stocks by using moderation. [24:23]
  • Automation can save us thousands of dollars by avoiding “user error.” [28:16]
  • What’s better to do first — pay off student debt or invest? [30:19]
  • The individuals who have most influenced Chris’ thinking about money [32:13]
  • How Chris’ mom tricked him into going into finance [33:44]
  • Choices, freedom and flexibility: Chris’ perspective on the FIRE movement [36:05]
  • What does the term “money-empowered” mean to Chris? [38:35]
  • The importance of diving in and answering questions [39:18]
  • The most surprising money advice Chris ever received [41:21]
  • Chris’ billboard message advice: “Give yourself a break.” [42:29]
  • Chris’ money-smart resource recommendations (And no, I didn’t bribe him!) [44:03]
  • Why being average isn’t all that bad [46:34]
  • Finding Popcorn Finance on the web [48:38]
  • An invitation from Chris [49:07]

If you liked this episode …

Are your kids ready to begin an investing journey? Evan Wilson and Todd Yuzuriha, collectively known as The Money JAR Guys, offer tips to get started during their appearance on The Art of Allowance Podcast. Be sure to tune in when they discuss calculating “the right relationship with risk,” which occurs at 33:11.

Want to empower your children with money via investing? Mom and Moolah U founder Gayle Reaume outlines the “saving to invest” mentality that helped her daughter use money to make money. Listen in at 9:57 for all the details.

Still can’t get over Chris’ cake analogy for index funds? Father of five and FamZoo founder Bill Dwight chats with me about investing and the importance of repetition during his time on the show. He even includes a nod to John Bogle in this post on setting up a competition for your kids between a stock of their choosing and a “boring” index.

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You might also want to check out The Art of Allowance Project, our reimagined program to get your children excited about money smarts at any age. Until next time, I wish you and your family well as you journey forth.

Thanks for listening.