The Financial Samurai Podcast Episode 1: Genesis

Financial Samurai Podcast

Dear Readers,

Welcome to The Financial Samurai Podcast! It is the best personal finance podcast today.

I decided to start a podcast to try and connect with readers in a new way. I've been writing online since 2009 and I feel very comfortable whipping out any sort of writing fairly easily.

I thought it would be fun to mix things up and good practice since I hardly ever speak in a public setting. Things will probably be a little rough at first, but I'm sure the podcasts will get better through practice over time.

The initial goals of the Financial Samurai podcast are to:

1) Provide a new medium of communication for those who prefer listening, rather than reading.

2) Provide a new way to convey ideas that aren't as easily captured in my writing.

3) Improve as a speaker.

4) Be a friendly voice when you're feeling confused, lost or down.

5) To go on a new adventure. It feels great to do new things.

Podcast EPISODE 1 Outline

The first episode is 36 minutes long and will include the following notes below.

1) The Financial Samurai value proposition e.g. why bother listening and reading. 

* Readership. There are over 500,000 visitors a month who visit Financial Samurai from all over the world.

* Experience. I worked in the financial services industry for 13 years and have an MBA.

* Focus on building wealth not just saving money.

* Joy of writing. By the time I started my site at age 32 I had already built a reasonable net worth by 30. I write because I love to write and connect with others. Making money online is tertiary. I will give you my unabashed opinion of why I think the way I do.

2) A brief background on my career and why I started Financial Samurai. 

* I grew up in developing countries like Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Zambia in the 70s and 80s. I also lived in Osaka, Kobe as well and went to China and India for school and business since 1997. I really got to witness the dichotomy between the rich and poor. My parents were middle class foreign service officers who were always frugal.

* Wall St. was an ass-kicking. I got in at 5:30am and worked until at least 7:30pm every evening. I gained weight, got sick, and was stressed out. No weekends off. Life was terrible, but it was a great boot camp that prepared me for the future.

* I knew after the first year I couldn't last for the long term, so I started saving like crazy.

* Moving to SF allowed me to survive for much longer than I had expected… 10 years longer in fact.

* Financial armageddon really beat me down. Financial Samurai was born from pain. I lost 35%-40% of my net worth in 6 months that took 10 years to accumulate.

* You the readers, and now listeners are my biggest motivation.

3) A discussion on the transition from working a day job to doing something new and more risky. 

  • There was a moment in Santorini, Greece that made me realize there was potentially life after Wall St.
  • I had to figure out how to negotiate a severance package and amicably walk away.
  •  Never quit, get laid… get laid off. If you quit.. you don't get severance, a reference, unemployment, Cobra and job assistance training.

Subscribe To Financial Samurai On Apple

I've created a Financial Samurai Apple channel to subscribe to. This way, if you prefer listening, you can always get the latest audio version delivered directly to your iPhone. As of now, the channel can only carry the latest five podcasts.

Further, I've created a Financial Samurai Podcast Page that has every single podcast I've published, including the links to the respective posts. Bookmark it or search for it in my search box. I'll be updating this page once a week.

For more nuanced personal finance content, join 60,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter and posts via e-mail. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. 

89 thoughts on “The Financial Samurai Podcast Episode 1: Genesis”

    1. I tried for three episodes, and decided it was too much work. The Blubrry plugin was messing up my feed, so I canned it for now. Need to find a new solution.

      But here are some podcasts I’ve recently been on:

      1. Kimberly George

        Hello there Sam. I discovered your blog via Google on the post that you created about the importance of maximizing your 401k contributions.

        I have been putting 11% of my earnings into my 401k, but after reading your post, I think I am going to start maxing it out. Anywho, please keep up the great work.

        P.S. Wishing I had found your site sooner…

  1. Great job on the podcast. This is an “exceeds expectations” podcast for a 1st one, and my expectations would be high in the first place for FS :)

    Your voice lends itself to podcasting, which is fortunate. Beyond that though, delivery and pitch were excellent. You shared good stories and transitioned smoothly from topic to topic. Looking forward to your next one.

  2. Great podcast. I never listen to these things, but was curious about yours. You hit it out of the park. Great content and great voice!

    Your voice certainly lends itself to something like this. I agree with you on trying to develop an NPR-style as they are the creme de la creme of radio personalities.

    1. Appreciate the feedback Tom! Im kind of conflicted, because the folks who know me well find it odd when I don’t laugh as much or say silly things. But I just love the NPR style… so soothing and calm, no matter what the subject is. Might be a demographic thing.

      But, I’ve been listening to a lot of comedy stations on Pandora recently, and they are a riot!

  3. Thanks mate. I’m definitely going to continue working on my voice and transitions over the next 12 months. Feels like going back to school for a master’s in radio journalism or something haha. It’s pretty hard work.

    Maybe I’ll just invite a friend over to rap with me. Sound quality really deteriorates over Skype I’ve found.

  4. Sam,

    I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I thought this was fantastic. Was awesome to hear your voice – it really adds another dimension to your ‘online’ personality, and feels like I know you much better now (and similar to a couple of other readers, I was suprised by your voice! It’s perfect for podcasting and I really enjoyed listening, but for some reason I think I imagined it being less deep, and a little more fast-paced and enthusiastic? It’s a bit like when I speak with people on the phone and picture what they look like – whenever I meet them in person I’m always a million miles off what they actually look like!).

    The stories were a great part of this too, especially when you sounded like you were starting to relax and tell them as if sitting in a bar with a buddy over a drink.

    I personally thought the length was perfect, literally to the second – I pressed play after hopping on the train last night to head home from work, and I pulled my keys out to open my front door just as you were saying ‘thanks for listening!’. :)

    Great stuff Sam, good to see you trying something new and different with your site! Best of luck with this!



    1. Thanks for the feedback Jason. I think my pace will pick up as I get more comfortable podcasting. I’m still finding myself thinking before speaking instead of just speaking. But also want to develop an NPR-style deep, rich, and methodical style which I like to listen to.

      I recorded this podcast length just for your train ride. Glad I got it down to within 10 seconds! I’m going to try a length 1/3rd the length to see what happens next.


  5. Wow, you sound different than I imagined. Love the podcast. I listen to 3-4 pod casts a day when I run. I look forward to adding this to my queue. Only 1 a month? Content is one of the greatest assets of your site, Sam. Any chance to get to 1 a week? You have a lot to teach/contribute to society. I think this forum would give you a chance to dig deeper into some of your more involved topics.

      1. The first few seconds I heard your voice, I thought you hired someone to introduce you. And you said not to worry so….It reminded me of the time I was at the Worlds fair and I went to the exhibit for Japan. There was a Japanese guy with a microphone so I keyed my attention on him. I was expecting a Japanese accent at the very least. Then he spoke. I was amused as his voice did not match his look…at all. He had the deepest, richest, polished ‘white’ voice I have ever heard. It was awesome. I always get a kick when my pre judged expectations are proven to be out of whack. You have a great voice for podcasts.

        1. LOL, nice.

          I always enjoy imagining one thing and seeing another too. We have to pre-judge and pre-expect, otherwise it would be much more difficult to process information. Now you might be formulating what I look like in person. And I’m sure what you imagine will be different from reality again. Funny isn’t it?

  6. Can you please provide a transcript for your podcast since I am deaf. I do want to stay current with your postings.

  7. Good luck with the Podcast! Keep at it. I don’t think Podcast is the right platform for me, but I would like to improve as a speaker.

  8. Loved the podcast, and it was interesting to finally hear your voice as you picture something different in your head when reading your articles. The only issue I had is that sometimes the microphone seemed a little scratchy, so maybe it’s worth investing in something a little better.

    Looking forward to more podcasts in the future!

    1. I think I was talking too close to the microphone, so I’ll try again a couple inches farther away. I’m also going to put a cover on the mic to minimize the “puff” sounds when I start a sentence sometimes. Thx.

  9. Great effort Sam!

    You have the right speed, clear voice, although at times i find it was a bit slow for me – maybe because the way i want to process information : just want to hear some facts and you went a bit long for me about the hair cut :) I like the quote !

    I really like the part you talked about staying in a job for 10 years and losing the confidence if you have the transferrable skills.

    I think having a postcard is a very creative way for your blog. Personally i like to listen rather than read, feel more connected to the blogger i guess.

    What i like to hear more is on asset allocation.

    Pls keep up the good work!

    Thank you Sam!


    1. Sounds good Anne. I’ve definitely got to work on tightening things up, and probably speaking more quickly. It’ll come w/ more practice. Some prefer longer, others prefer shorter. I’ll give ~25 minutes a go next time (10 min shorter). Thx

  10. Really inspiring story and thoughts. I think is really an excellent start for a podcast!
    – keep each episode below 30 minutes.
    – Address 1 topic for episode (eventually add more life anedocts, more storytelling and a conclusion/wrap up at the end).
    – Release 1-2 podcasts a week or, anyway, not less than 1 a week.

    I wish you a big success!

    1. Thanks Robert. I like the below 30 minutes either. It’s pretty difficult speaking longer. Thoughts on why I can’t go more than a week without releasing one? My guidance was for once a month. Momentum? I don’t want this to be so much that I burn out given I’ve got a lot of posts already.

      1. Sam,

        I said 2 times a week because I’d like to listen more often :)

        Apart of that, you want to rank in the top of your industry in iTunes. Once you are there you get a lot of exposure and new listeners from their platform.
        As far as I know, iTunes algorithm deal with variables such as: plays (download), plays in the last 24 hours, ratings, subscribers, subscribers in the last 24 hours, reviews, reviews in the last 24 hours, consistency in the release.

        Getting momentum is key to boost your new subscribers in the last 24 hours, your review in the last 24 hours and your ratings in the last 24 hours (these three are the things that, based on the information I have, matter the most for ranking).

        Maybe you can start with 2 podcasts a week for the first weeks and then scale down to one a week later when you have good subscribers base.



        1. Gotcha. So much pressure! Whoo hoo!

          I’m really just trying to practice speaking, and communicating with my existing audience. So much strategeria kinda bums me out, but what you say makes sense.

  11. Steve (NWOutlier)

    Hi Sam!

    Thanks for putting a voice to the site! Love it! stick with it! Relax, please don’t try to make it a professional production, enjoy it, put your personality into it like you do in your writing, we already love you and your content, just give us more of that.

    Best Regards,

    Lookin forward to more!


    1. Will do my best Steve. I do want to try and speak in as good a voice as possible just in case the time comes to speak on a larger stage. I view the next 12 months as “training.” Luck is when preparation meets opportunity right? What do you think about the length?

      1. Steve (NWOutlier)

        Hi Sam,

        Glad you asked about length, I was going to give my 2cents, but felt people spoke of this in previous comments.

        I like pod casts that are longer, 45-60… even 2h (ouch! that’s a lot of content!).

        I listen to them on the way to work, during workouts, on the drive home and even on the weekends from like 7:30AM till 10ish when the family gets up. I find myself listening on my PC, then as good points are brought up, I tend to stand up, pace and think the points through but applying them to my situation.

        Lastly, I like your forward thinking comment on “luck is when preperations meets opportunity” love that.. I’ll implement that in my day to day and let luck come to me. :)


        1. Wow, 2 hours! That’s a long time! I think I’ve got to start small in the beginning, work out the kinks, find my style, get some good feedback and then work my way up. I’m not very good at recording and producing podcasts yet, so perhaps after the 10th episode or so, I’ll really give them a long go.

          My original Genesis podcast was only 23 minutes, but after hearing a lot of feedback from other podcasters at a conference who said their readers wanted more, I decided to make mine longer.

          It will help once I upload all the podcasts in iTunes so folks can subscribe and have the podcasts keep rolling over. I’m careful not to make this new endeavor feel too much like work, or else I probably won’t continue for very long.


          1. Length. I listen to TONs of these things. 15-20 minutes is too short to get a decent idea fully developed. Going over an hour puts you in an area where there is a greater chance the listener does not finish the entire podcast in one sitting and then starts a new one during the next session. 40 minutes seems like a sweet spot for me. Of course this is all personal preference.

            1. OK, sounds good. You’ll not approve of my next podcast length at 12 minutes then as I experiment! But, in terms of length, if you are listening to a lot, can’t you just let them autoplay or rollover to a new one?

  12. Great podcast, absolutely great. I listened to it on my way to and from work. It reminded me of NPR or something like that. You didn’t speak fast either. It made me really focus and mull over what you were saying. I like it and I hope you do more (at least more than once a month).

    Finally, I like the longer format – 30-45 minute length. I think it gives more time to discuss issues in depth rather than a cursory subject. I’m sure a 20 minute podcast would be great, but I also think longer would be helpful too.

    I also like the idea of guest interviews.

    1. That is great to hear Ben! The only time I listen to podcasts is when I’m driving for more than 30 minutes somewhere. I just love them. I guess I’ll listen to a podcast if I take a long hot bath or am just lounging by myself in the living room.

      It’s a real balance between me having fun and providing some type of entertainment and insight to readers as well. I think I need to legitimize the podcast for at least 6 episodes first before inviting guests on.

      Thx Ben.

  13. Congrats on starting your podcast! Very cool. I enjoyed listening to your stories and the speed was natural and easy to listen to. Looking forward to more great things to come.

  14. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

    Great work Sam. I love your stories and the lessons that came out of them. I also thought speed, pitch, and tone were right on. Looking forward to more!

  15. Nice job Sam. I look forward to your next Podcast.

    You have a great radio voice-good tone, annunciation and genuine. My only constructive negative feedback is the Podcast was a little slow. I recommend speeding up just a bit.


  16. Great start, Sam! Sounded professional to me. Great tone and pacing too, I think you may be a natural at this. Seems like everyone and their brother is getting into podcasting now. Bubble market indications? Thanks for sharing a few stories. Looking forward to more technical topics like structured notes.

    1. Podcast bubble for sure! haha. I fear that if I go into the more technical topics, the podcast might really turn into a snooze fest. Is it just me? Or do I primarily read and listen to be entertained?

      1. Hmmm that could be true, the more technical topics might not be as popular as story time with Sam.

  17. Congrats on your first podcast. Next I imagine you’ll be adding some lead-in fusion music ending with the metallic sounds of two samurai swords sliding against each other (with the podcast ending the same way). :)

    1. I should definitely do some sword swooshing sounds as the intro. Just don’t know how to do it! lol. Gotta go hire someone I guess! Too lazy to figure it out right now. I’m just focusing on the content and getting started.

      1. Romeo Jeremiah

        Check out I’m sure you can find a sword swoosh podcast intro for only $5. haha

      1. I dont know, maybe a bit more “energetic”. From reading your blog I know you are a go-getter but your voice sounds a bit more subdued. Maybe that was a deliberate effort on your part, maybe not, but its all good. I’ll take it…advice that is… anyhow you decide to dish it out.

  18. Hey Sam,

    I’ve been reading your blog for the past 6 months and this is my first comment. I loved the podcast! Great new way to consume Financial Samurai, I’ll be tuning in!


    1. Good to hear Alex! The podcast will be a work in progress for the next 12 months as I find a comfortable mix and balance. I’ve also got to look into the right podcast gear. Cheers

    1. Kind words! Thanks Matt. If you can share some areas for improvement, I’d appreciate them too. I’m trying to figure out the right length and format. I’m going to be doing all monologues in the beginning I think and then go from there.

  19. Very cool to hear your voice! I liked the pace and tone of this podcast. Perhaps make it a goal to keep them to 30 minutes or less? So many possibilities with a podcast. . you can interview your readers, other bloggers, finance people and even some ultra rich tech celebrities. Looking forward to hearing more!

    1. Sounds good Marco. I like the 25-30 minute timeframe b/c it is a timeframe most of us are conditioned to already with sitcoms and dramas on TV. But I know some folks like an hour, and others like shorter, so I’m going to continuously test and play around until there’s something I think is a good balance.


  20. Listening to knowledgeable words have such a big impact on me. The FS site is a great resource so the podcast is just a natural progression of not only your site but of your growth. Great to hear your back story on how you evolved. I am a fan and wish you continued success!

    1. Thanks for listening Al. With the podcast, I feel like a brand new blogger again! I’m recapturing the excited I felt back in July 2009. It’s really the journey and the evolution that is a big thrill!

      I hope to improve as a speaker after at least 50 hours more of speaking podcast by this time next year. Who knows what the future holds!

  21. Romeo Jeremiah

    Congratulations, Sam. I can’t wait to listen.

    Was hoping to find it in the iTunes store. Gotta figure out the best way to listen to this while I’m driving. It’s the only way I’ll listen to a podcast–during my 20 minute commute to work.

    Does anyone know the best way to download the podcast to an iPhone?

    1. Hi Romeo – I better get cracking on producing 4 more podcasts then! I was told to produce around 5 podcasts and THEN upload them to iTunes and Stitcher so it can get some meat and review.

      The way I do it is I just press the play button in the post at the bottom before I start driving from the post and listen. Hope that works for you for now.

      1. Romeo Jeremiah

        Hi Sam,

        Turns out that the download worked fine. Listened to everything. Great story. Great monologue. I can’t wait until you upload your first 5 episodes on iTunes. I’ll be one of the first to rate em’!

    1. One ear bud in, one ear bud out? It’s cool you can listen at work as I couldn’t given I had to talk to clients in the past, or have to create content now at my consulting gig. Can’t concentrate other than listening to white noise or music w/ no lyrics.

  22. Wow! I thought it was great! I loved hearing your stories with your voice behind it. Even better than reading them. Good luck Sam!

    1. Thanks Jessica! One of the feedback I got from a conference I went to was to tell as many stories as possible, so that’s what I plan to do. Hopefully every single podcast over the next year will have a story.

      1. YES! As a podcast junkie, I love stories. Anecdotes and stories can really drive home your point.

  23. Nice start Sam. The sound quality was clear so I didn’t see any issues. Some thoughts on what I like to see in a podcast. Length = 30-45 min. I like a podcast that is a bit longer as I like to listen to a topic that you cover in a bit more depth or have an interesting guest. Guests – interview guests on specific topic expertise areas as those are always most interesting – listening to you interview a special guest speaker with specific expertise on a certain topic. You may want to get a co-host that you can discuss a topic during the podcast as it will enable the co-host to ask you questions about certain topics/discuss accordingly.

    1. OK, will take note on 30-45 minute lengths and more detail. I have in my mind currently about 30 minutes and having the podcast be more like a therapy session on whatever topic. A guest will make things easier in terms of producing content. It just makes things harder in terms of scheduling, coordinating, equipment, and making sure their side sounds decent as well.

      Maybe i’ll just have my friends come on the podcast and banter over the same microphone. I’ve noticed the quality of podcasts when there is a guest usually goes down or sounds like they are on speaker phone, unless they are in a studio of course.

      Please keep the feedback coming! Thanks

      1. Sam,
        Can you elaborate a bit more on what was the key driver for you losing 35-40% of your net worth during the 2008 downturn? It sounded like you were pretty well diversified. While we know that everything got hit hard, what were the specifics of your situation? Just trying to learn, in hindsight, whether you think you were too overweight in certain equities that caused the most damage or some other key reasons.


        1. Sure. Equities -40-60% during the down turn and SF Property -15% during the downturn. Lake Tahoe property was -50%. Given I was levered (didn’t pay cash for property), -15% on my home is like -40% on equity. Fun times!

          I wasn’t too overweight in equities at all. I was underweight and lightening up with only 30% of my NW in equities and 25% in CDs. It was property that got me. BUT, at least my rental property still cash flowed well (rent never went down, but went UP) and I just continued to live in my home and make my mortgage payment.

          I really believe in this post: Recommended Net Worth Allocation By Age Or Work Experience

      2. i’d go in the opposite direction 15-18 mins same lengh as a Planet podcast. Long enough to be interesting but not long enough for the listener to lose interest.

  24. Interesting!

    Some feedback:
    My only issue was with the audio quality. I think an investment in a mid-range ($80 – $150) microphone might be worth considering, if you haven’t gotten one already.

    I found this through Google:

    / Jonathan

    1. I might need to go into a sound room or something too. I ran the file through a sound mixer, and I can’t tell the difference. But I’m sure experienced listeners can tell between audio quality, so I’ll look into it. thx

  25. Hi there. Good job starting a podcast. I would definitely subscribe.
    Please make your podcast available in podcast apps. I mainly check financial samurai on phone and won’t be able to listen to it easily if you host the file yourself.

      1. I’m glad and thanks! The plugin either kicked off the podcast play button due to too many downloads at once, or perhaps it just didn’t save into the post when I scheduled it. Either way, I’m assured by my server guy that I can get 1 million downloads at once and it will still play fine.

        1. debs @ debtdebs

          It was great! Again, your voice is great for podcasting. Donkey ride… donkey ride… Love it!

  26. Alex Kramer

    Wow, great podcast! I will definitely subscribe. Your voice was made for this, you sound like a natural. I can’t wait to hear where this is going.

    BTW I’m not a suck-up, that was dumb to lease a car. Your podcast skills are excellent.

    I have significant savings and tired of my job even though it’s pretty pleasant, mainly because of the opportunity cost of my time spent there. The problem is with the increased confidence of money in the bank, I have gotten to where I say exactly what I’m thinking in meetings, long lunches, etc. Now I am perceived as some kind of technical genius and rock star at my company who can do no wrong! It’s like the movie office space. Haha so much for ever having the chance to be laid off or getting a severance package.

    1. Being seen as a technical genius and a rockstar is a good thing! Just ask for mo money then if they view you in such high esteem.

      But you are mistaken about ever having a chance to get laid off as a high performing employee. I cover this in my book :) Everybody is expendable!

  27. Awesome! Have been struggling to find new podcasts in this area as most tend to either be too commercialised or die out without a few released. Very much hoping you make this a continuing regular feature.

    Am off to listen now.

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