Casting call

These financial podcasts can turn your iPod into a money-making device



From the December/January 2009 issue of the magazine.


The Index Investing Show (
This weekly hour-long podcast is devoted to an investment strategy well known to MoneySense readers. Host Ron DeLegge doesn’t use the term Couch Potato, but he’s a tuber at heart, advocating a portfolio based on low-cost index funds. His show goes beyond the standard spuds, however, discussing not only funds that track stock market indexes, but also those based on real estate and commodities.

OUR TAKE: DeLegge covers well-trodden ground, but his archives include excellent interviews, including chats with Vanguard’s John Bogle, who invented index investing, and Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal.

Sound Investing (
This weekly radio show is funded by Merriman Berkman Next, a fee-based money manager in Seattle. Not surprisingly, recent episodes have focused on how to protect your investments as markets take a pounding, usually advising listeners to remember that this isn’t the first crash in our lifetime.

OUR TAKE: Sound Investing has its vested interests, but unlike many corporately produced programs it keeps the focus on consumer education. Plus, it’s a refreshing antidote to the doomsayers out there.

The Dave Ramsey Show(

The tagline to Ramsey’s popular talk radio show is “where debt is dumb and cash is king.” In his Tennessee drawl, he counsels his callers on deferred gratification: “Sell yer truck, and don’t even think about that vacation until y’all have an emergency fund.” The free daily podcast on iTunes is a 40-minute abridgment of Ramsey’s three-hour radio show.

OUR TAKE: It’s hard to resist the voyeuristic thrill of listening to the financial lives of his callers, and Ramsay usually offers eminently sensible advice on getting out of debt and investing wisely. But every now and again he launches into right-wing tirades that are downright scary.

Wallstrip (

The name is a teaser: this video podcast is not the financial world’s answer to Naked News. It does, however, have a fetching, if fully clothed host named Julie Alexandria. In two-minute spots, she offers a satirical take on financial trends and publicly traded companies, with irreverent scripts and clever visuals, replete with pop culture references. The iTunes version lets you skip the commercials.

OUR TAKE: The financial news could use a little of Wallstrip’s humor these days. If nothing else, it’s way sexier than Bloomberg on the Economy.

EconTalk ( ).

Produced by a non-political educational foundation, EconTalk is an erudite, in-depth podcast on economics hosted by Russ Roberts. His guests have included luminaries of the dismal science such as Robert Shiller, as well as popular authors like William Bernstein. Some refreshing surprises also crop up, such as a recent interview about how wildlife management in Africa affects poverty.

OUR TAKE: With podcasts sometimes exceeding an hour and a half, EconTalk is a break from the world of sound bites. Roberts is curious and engaging, and when he uses jargon, he’s careful to explain it for us non-economists.

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