Radical Personal Finance is dedicated to giving you both the information and the actionable inspiration you need to significantly improve your life and lifestyle. I provide the tools you need to bridge the gap between your vision of your ideal lifestyle and the practical reality of where you stand today. Having a vision is great. But having the practical steps and tools to transform the vision into reality is even better.
I will never talk down to you or insult your intelligence. You are a smart, capable, free individual.
100% of the responsibility for your financial future is on your shoulders.
And you’re up to the task! You can learn all of the skills you need to be successful!
I promise not to be another angry, yelling talk-show host telling you what to do. It’s your money and you can do whatever you want with it!
I will be here walking the journey with you and serving you with the information and inspiration you need to measurably improve your results.
Embrace your responsibility for your life and for your financial future! It’s exciting! And let’s work together to create your ideal future.
Learning with you,
Joshua J. Sheats, MSFS
Joshua J Sheats, MSFS is the world’s leading authority on integrating lifestyle goals and money goals without conflict. He teaches normal people how to seamlessly connect the science of financial planning with the joy of goal achievement.Joshua is dedicated to helping normal people achieve financial freedom by merging the creative (and crazy) ideas from the world of personal finance with the academic integrity of formal financial planning. He simplifies the complex topics of money and makes the boring financial mumbo-jumbo less boring.Joshua is an expert financial planner with a lifelong focus on advanced education. His professional degrees and designations include:
I’ve always been interested in money and personal finance.
I’m not quite sure why…I guess I just wanted to be rich! After all, who doesn’t?
From an early age, I spent a lot of time reading about personal finance. I probably should have spent more time outside playing sports but I didn’t. I was a bookworm and spent my time inside reading about personal finance.
I took action on what I read, too.
On my 18th birthday, I specifically remember sitting at my kitchen table opening my first Roth IRA and applying for my first credit card to build my credit score.
I dutifully saved 10% or so of my income into the Roth IRA whenever I could. (College tuition bills got in the way for a few years.) I just knew I would be a multi-millionaire at 65 because I was applying the compound interest charts to my own situation.
And, I carefully focused on raising my credit score and my credit limits. In college, I remember having almost $100,000 of credit line available to me on about 4 credit cards. My thought process was that I wanted to be ready in case I needed to purchase an investment house on my credit cards. #YouthfulFoolishness
I paid my way through college with a combination of academic scholarships, part-time job income, and student loans. While I was in college, my brother gave me Dave Ramsey’s book “Total Money Makeover.” I read it three times and decided to get out of debt.
During my senior year I worked 40 hours per week, took 19 hours of class to finish my degree “on time,” cash-flowed my senior-year tuition, paid off my credit cards, and sent a check to Sallie Mae two weeks before I graduated to pay off the balance of my student loans.
I was tired! But it felt really good.
I understood the power of focus and a great plan. I learned to carefully budget my money, my time, and my energy and apply those things toward a specific goal. It worked!
After college I spent one more year working in corporate America for a marketing and brand-management consulting firm.
Although I enjoyed the insights and exposure to some of the world’s leading consumer brands, I soon knew that the corporate world wasn’t a good fit for me.
Fortunately, I was laid off from that job in a group layoff in the summer of 2008, six months before I had planned to leave.
Looking back, I’m thankful for the push out the door. Knowing what was happening with the financial crisis in January of 2009, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to leave of my own accord!
Thankfully, good financial planning helped me to make a smooth transition out of that job. I had no debt, low living expenses, and six months of expenses saved in the bank. I had time to make an intelligent transition to a new opportunity.
While I was working the corporate job that I wasn’t enjoying, I had made careful notes of what I wanted in a job or business.
I had a list of hundreds of ideas of different jobs and businesses that sounded fun to me. Most importantly, I had five clear criteria for what I wanted in my next job:
After showing that list to a mentor of mine, he recommended I consider going into the financial services business. His son had done an internship at Northwestern Mutual, so he referred me to his son’s manager.
I never intended to go into the financial services business. Due to all of my reading of personal finance books, I had a very negative opinion of the industry. As far as I was concerned, financial advisors were expensive scam artists and I could do better on my own. I was a committed Do-It-Yourselfer.
But, I had such a great initial interview with the advisor at Northwestern Mutual and learned so much that I simply didn’t know that I decided to investigate the opportunity.
I interviewed with various firms but ultimately decided to join Northwestern Mutual, the first company with which I interviewed.
I didn’t know if I was going to stick with the business for the long term, but I knew I wanted to learn and develop my sales skills (I had a goal of developing highly compensated skills and sales ability is an almost-guaranteed winner) and I decided this would be a good way to build them.
I joined Northwestern Mutual in the fall of 2008 and began building my practice.
Since I had no formal educational background in financial topics, I focused primarily on insurance sales for my first three years while building my knowledge and expertise with investment topics.
I became an expert on life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance.
I built my business the old-fashioned way with what is known in the industry as “referred-lead prospecting.” Essentially, I asked all of my friends, acquaintances, and clients to introduce me to other people they thought I might be helpful to and over time I build a client base.
Meanwhile, I studied and built my knowledge and expertise in investment topics and in formal financial planning.
In addition to my state-sponsored 2-15 life/health/annuities insurance license, I completed the:
I studied and gained my formal financial planning credentials in this order:
I also completed a formal Master’s Degree in Financial Planning from The American College of Financial Planning in Pennsylvania.
Building a successful financial services practice is incredibly difficult. Industry-wide, only about 10% of those who set out to do so succeed for the long term. The vast majority of advisors decide it’s not for them and quit to do other things.
It’s only toward the middle and back end of your career that your income more than compensates you for the early hard work.
I made it as a financial advisor. I succeeded and got through the most difficult first five years.
I was never the firm’s highest producer, but I did well and built a healthy practice that was providing the lifestyle freedom I desired for myself and my family.
Most importantly I had full control over my time, my schedule, who I worked with, and when and how much I worked. I worked hard but I also took generous amounts of time off. I was focused on building my lifestyle business.
But, I grew increasingly frustrated with financial education available to the general public. The more I learned from the formal side of financial planning, the more I felt I had been tricked, lied-to, and mis-educated by mainstream personal financial educators.
The deeper I dug, the more I realized the answers were never as simple as the pundits claimed they were.
I felt like someone should do a better job of educating people and I searched in vain for someone who was doing it.
I couldn’t find what I wanted.
The problem is:
As I watched the development of podcasting technology, I realized that the future of media communications is not over terrestrial radio waves but over the Internet connection.
After record 10 episodes of my own show as an initial test, I discovered that I love recording audio education and that I wasn’t terrible at it.
I had already worked hard to build some effective public speaking skills. I had spent several years involved in Toastmaster’s International, working hard to build my skills as a speaker.
I already knew I loved consuming audio educational products. I had spent years listening to 30 to 50 hours of audio education per week and had spent thousands of dollars on educational products to hone my skills.
Why not go and create the financial education for others that I longed so desperately to have?
In 2014 I made the difficult decision to close my financial planning practice so that I could create better financial media.
On July 1, 2014 I launched Radical Personal Finance as a 5-day per week podcast.
Essentially, my vision is simply to create the kind of show I wish had existed when I was 15 years old and desperately trying to learn everything I could about money and finance. It’s that simple.
I have a Master’s degree in financial planning. My goal is to create a body of work that can lead someone from a place of zero knowledge of personal money management and finance to all of the knowledge equivalent to a Master’s degree in personal finance.
I’m learning as I go and working hard to develop and perfect my skills as a teacher, host, broadcaster, and entrepreneur.
Thank you for listening and for supporting me in my efforts.
I’m glad to have you here on this journey with me!
I value each and every one of you who gives me the honor of your time and attention. It means the world to me that you trust me.
I promise you that I will never betray that trust.