SASM 013 – Better Financial Decisions and Building Mindfulness with Todd Tresidder

Smart and Simple Matters

I brought a bit of Nevada home with me after returning from New Media Expo in Las Vegas.

My guest for this Smart and Simple Matters episode is financial decision pro Todd Tresidder of Todd lives up the road from Vegas in Reno, NV and we met at New Media Expo.

I gotta tell you, his personality is magnetic. You know how, once in a while, you meet a person and can immediate cut past the small talk into meaningful conversation? Todd’s like that.

He’s deep, well-spoken, a wealth of experience (pun intended), and has lots of great stuff to share.

What kind of stuff?

You’ll have to listen to this episode to really get it. But one thing he said that instantly made its way into my “Sayings” spreadsheet was this:

If I associate my self-worth with my stuff, that’s just a dangerous road to take my brain down.

Some of what Todd deals with on Financial Mentor is advanced wealth building strategies. Yet, he has something for you, regardless of philosophy or level of personal finance knowledge.

Like, have you seen his eighty free financial calculators for pretty much everything under the sun? That’s just the start. He and I love quotes and you’ll find the man is a living quote playground. From his website to his computer monitor, there are powerful quotes and power words emanating from Todd.

Join us in this (dare I say?) profound and action-packed chat about…well, a bit of everything.

What You’ll Learn

We covered a ton of ground in this one and there are many highlights.

In this episode you’ll learn about:

  • What Todd’s “next step” is in personal finance and money independence.
  • How to motivate people to see money as boring, rational, and unsexy.
  • Why being a college kid with very little wealth can be super rewarding.
  • What steps you can take to generate extraordinary value at attractive price points.
  • How getting kicked in the butt builds mindfulness.
  • Why giving away value can be a great business model … and how to smartly do it.
  • What the ultimate insult is to people who create for a living.
  • How the human mind is tremendously feeble at financial decisions.
  • The insightful quotes at the bottom of Todd’s computer monitor.
  • How to create plans that don’t require unpredictable assumptions.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode Include:


  • [07:04] Thoughts about financial restraint and its origins
  • [15:00] The sparks for moving from hedge fund manager to meaningful, targeted work
  • [19:44] How one-on-one coaching isn’t necessarily a business model unto itself
  • [25:38] Preparing and experiencing “leveling up” your personal finance skills
  • [29:41] The motivation of kicking butt at managing your money and financial decisions
  • [36:05] How the human mind is tremendously feeble at decision-making

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18 Responses to SASM 013 – Better Financial Decisions and Building Mindfulness with Todd Tresidder

  1. Denise says:

    Great interview! I like what was said about “wanting more of nothing” – I feel that way, not only about material things, but busy-work or other things that distract my time. Personally, when I think of making money, I think of how money can help me have the freedom to spend more time creating and spending time with people I care about – neither of which are really “things”.

    • Denise, I keep coming back to the whole “all I want more of is nothing” stuff too. There is something so powerful and (for me) unstoppable about the pursuit of being happy with nothing and in nothingness. This is even more acute for me because I just got back home from a get-together with one of my best friends who’s all about wanting more of nothing. Actually, she’s going to come on the show in the next few months and we’re going to do an episode mostly about, well, nothing. But not in the way that Seinfeld was a show about nothing. This is the profound, meaningful side of nothing. I actually might need to do a solo show as well about the concept of nothing and what it means to me. It’s just so fundamental to who I am and what’s important to me. Would you like to talk about your version of nothing with me sometime too?

      Random thought: don’t you think that it’s the irony of the universe that in order for some people to pursue nothing, they must first accumulate an object that’s on the opposite side of nothing (money, that is)?

      • Denise says:

        Yes, so much irony… makes me wonder why money exists at all, to be honest.

        And yeah, talking about nothing would be interesting… (seriously, not be sarcastic :) I actually have a lot of thoughts on that – a lot of which I learned taking care of my dad for the year he was ill.

        When you’re watching someone that close to you dying.. all the stuff and distractions disappear REAL fast and you start to see things clearly.

        My dad was also very simple – like in his routine, habits, and what he focused on. He always knew how to get things done, reach his goals, and still have time to relax and just BE. I really admired that.

  2. Erin says:

    Whew, what a list of topics! It sounds like you and Todd had quite a bit to talk about, Joel. It also sounds like you touched on a lot of topics I find interesting. I’m a bit behind on my podcast listening at the moment (out of town company for the weekend!), but I’m looking forward to digging into this one.

    • If there’s one thing Todd and I are not, it’s a one-trick pony. I love chats like this that can be all over the board, yet still have a theme and a powerful message that comes back to some unifying threads. For better or for worse, people who have conversations with me normally get a diversity of thought and topics. Once you dig in, let me know how you like the diversity.

  3. Ethan says:

    I have a 9 hour flight tomorrow night, and this is going to be at the top of my playlist. Anyone who is a finance expert who espouses such a minimalist view (“When you can have anything you want…is the point you cease to want anything”) is OK in my book. Most finance guys are all about more money, more assets, more more more. That quote leads me to believe this will be more about attaining enough.

    • You are dead-on, Ethan. It is all about enoughness. That is the key to true wealth – not just monetary wealth.

    • Shanna Mann says:

      I hope I get to that point. I’ve noticed it from time to time when I come into a lot of cash. I make a big list of all the stuff I could spend it on, then I read a bunch of reviews and price everything out, and sometimes I even decide — Actually, it would bring me the most happiness to put it in the bank.

  4. Great discussion, guys. It really is amazing how much of finance depends on the mental approach. As with so many other personal areas of life, it’s not just a matter of handling the mundane from day to day; it’s a process of managing our desires in a way that we pursue what we *actually* want most.

    I wish I could say I have that completely mastered, but I’m not there yet.

    • I don’t think I have all my personal finance mastered either, Michael. So join the 99.99% of people who still have some work to do. At least you are actively working toward a state of financial well-being (in conjunction with more important types of well-being like emotional and mental).

  5. Gary Korisko says:

    Tell you what, Joel –

    For a topic that is SO far out of my knowledge base, I really enjoy these podcasts. I don’t often get a full 45 minutes to listen, but thanks to a Feedburner meltdown, I just listened to the whole thing :)

    I’m learning a lot from these. Thanks – good work!

  6. Sarah says:

    This totally bears repeating:

    “Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”

    Awesome interview – I really appreciate that Todd has made his own way in the field by sharing what he believes and going against the grain of some of the financial wisdom that’s out there. While personal finance generally puts me to sleep, Todd’s spirit and attitude towards his work kept me engaged throughout this one… Thanks for a really thought provoking episode!

    • I wasn’t joking when I said that Todd is a quote machine. I have a goal to remember and state awesome quotes like this in normal conversations, not just curate them and forget it. I guess I’ll have to ask Todd for his secrets next time.

      I’m glad he kept you engaged, Sarah. He’s a dynamic guy and even more engaging in person!

  7. Amit Amin says:

    I’m not so stuck up that I’d demand a transcript, but I’m patient, so I can wait :)

    I could also do it for you. I don’t have my usual pdf equipment (still in india), so I couldn’t do anything pretty, but I type SUPER fast, so I could pump it out quick. I was the de-facto note taker during my stint as a consultant. Often I had no idea what the big boys were talking about, so I learned to type as fast as they talked. That way, I could record everything. Just let me know – I can turnaround in 24 hours.

    • Thanks for the offer, Amit. My transcription guy is taking an indefinite break from work and I’m trying out a new person for the role on Odesk. Like pretty much everything you do, I’m sure you could do an awesome job creating a transcript of this episode or any other episode. But I’m thinking you’d charge a bit more than my budget can stand (and for good reason).

      If you’re really antsy, you can race my test transcription gal to read this episode before anyone else. But do it for you, not for me. 😉

  8. Another great discussion. I think all high school students should have a course on finances and include information like this. I started a Dave Ramsey desk calendar in January to remind me each day to align my habits with my desires (more freedom not things). Thanks.

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