Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early



Today I’m speaking with Glen James, a multiple award-winning financial advisor who is the creator and host of the very popular podcast, My Millennial Money.

Glen’s a self-proclaimed ‘spender’ but was able to develop a process and system to manage his own money at an early age that ultimately lead him to financial success. He then went into helping others achieve their financial goals starting and selling multiple businesses along the way. Glen highlights some really interesting points about the FIRE movement as well as the importance of giving back as you build your wealth. 

Some of the topics in today’s pod include:

  • Glen’s relationship with Money and the systems and processes he has built (00:04:44)
  • Super asset allocations (00:14:01)
  • Glen’s investing philosophy (00:15:40)
  • Why the FIRE movement needs to ditch the RE (00:21:32)
  • Being charitable whilst building wealth (00:32:25)
  • My Millennial Money Podcast (00:39:27)

Show Notes



Heads up grammar Nazis, the following transcription is half human half machine and not 100% perfect so expect a few typos and errors…


Aussie Firebug: Welcome to the Aussie Firebug podcast, the financial independence podcast for Australia. Hey guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Aussie Firebug podcast. The financial independence podcast for Australians, where I interview clever people who’ve already reached or on their way to financial independence.

Today, I’m speaking to Glen James, a multi award-winning financial advisor. Who is the creator and host of the very popular podcast? My millennial money in today’s episode, we cover a whole bunch of things. We go over Glen’s relationship with money and the systems and processes that he has built. Glenn super asset allocation.

Glen’s investing philosophy, why the fire movement needs to ditch the Ari, the retire early part of the acronym. Very interesting conversation that line. And lastly, we go into a bit about how Glenn has actually been a ghost writer and has written lyrics for a chart topping song, all that and more in the pod, but first a word from our sponsor.

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Hey guys. Welcome back to another episode of the  podcast. Today. I’m chatting to Glen James, a multi award-winning financial advisor, who is the creator and host of the very popular podcast. My millennial money. Welcome to the show. Hey

Glen: Matt. Thanks for having me. And it’s a great to be on the podcast. I’m a big fan of the Facebook group.

I love getting in there and being encouraged myself.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. It’s a pleasure having you mate. And, uh, I do actually have, I have a question about the Facebook group coming up, but we’ll get into that a little bit later. Now slightly new. Why we start things off this year? Just a random icebreaker question for you.

So, Glenn, if you had to delete all but three apps from your smartphone, which ones would you, I

Glen: would keep internet movie database. Cause I love just like when I watch shows and movies, you know, seeing who’s in it and all that stuff, I would keep AFR because I use that a fair bit and probably Spotify.

Only because that will cover music and podcasts because I listen to podcasts through the Apple one. So if I had to only have three apps, they would be the three I would have, I guess. Interesting.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. You’re not a Joe Rogan listener.

Glen: I am. That’s the only podcast I listened to on Spotify.

Aussie Firebug: I was going to say he’s exclusive now.

Isn’t it a lot on the social medias mate. You know what I mean? Well, I

Glen: am, but I’m currently having a break. From instar. And I don’t know when this episode is going up, but I did a February fast from Instagram and Facebook on my phone. And I only use Facebook at a computer now for my, my millennial money Facebook group.

Aussie Firebug: Do you know, on the exact same? I’m actually off my personal profile is off Facebook now deleted it. And I deleted my instant a while ago because I found I was just scrolling through like NBA plays, fades, and I was hardly even interacting with people I knew in real life. And I was like eight hours of like just celebrities and stuff and like sports people.

And I was like, this, isn’t how they show me. So I just got rid of it and I haven’t haven’t missed, well,

Glen: for me, it was like, you know, you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do pick up your phone and you’re scrolling and it’s like, I’m scrolling for half an hour on Instagram and Facebook. It’s like, I could have been exercising for that half an hour that I’m in bed.

So it’s been really good in terms of my personal productivity to ditch Instagram and Facebook, the apps from my

Aussie Firebug: phone. Yes. I agree. And I don’t know if you watched that documentary last year, so yeah, they mine all your data. It was like the. Uh,

Glen: yeah, I did watch it. I forget. Yeah. Yeah.

Aussie Firebug: It was like, it was Facebook and Google and everything.

And that all is that really, you know, all, I work in data professionally and I sorta know that they’re doing that stuff, but when it’s, when you have a documentary like that, well put together, it’s just at the front of your mind. And you’re like, yeah, I, I spend way too much time on it.

Glen: That was the same.

It’s yeah. If you’ve got an app on your phone, they’re not there to, um, particularly if it’s an, a free app, they’re not there to. Oh, they’re there to sell you ads and to get your data

Aussie Firebug: precisely. Now, before we chat about my millennial money and everything you’re doing in the podcast scene, which is very inspiring, I must say, as a fellow podcaster, I firstly want to chat a bit about yourself, mate, and your relationship with money.

Where did your passion for investing and personal finance come from? Was this something that you had as a kid or was it discovered later on in life?

Glen: Yeah, I think from an early teen, I was always interested in personal finance. And even like, I used to watch the show money on channel nine and Paul Clithrow was on there.

And before Kashi was on sunrise, he used to do stuff on channel seven and I was just always interested in personal finance. And I remember I went to a. I was like 14 or 15 years old. And I went to a community college lesson or day about investing in shares on a Saturday. And it was like all these retirees there.

And then there’s this like 14 year old kid. They’re just wanting to learn about shares and investing. So it’s just always been a passion of mine. And then as you grow older and you work out what you want to do for a career, I fell into financial advice and. Yeah. It’s just the amount of people that I would help in a real and tangible way.

That was just amazing for me to be doing what I love doing. And that’s just helping people and doing personal finance and yeah. So I don’t know if there’s a, um, a right answer to that, but it was just always an interest of mine.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. Right. Were your parents investors, Glen?

Glen: No. No, no. I mean they, a working class family, not.

A trade or not a uni qualified and they purchased an investment property, but that was pretty much the extent of their investing other than superannuation. And I’m actually in the process of helping mum and dad with their money while we’re going to go to a financial advisor to hopefully get them to retire.

And it’s a real good case study about living on less than you earn for the longterm, not having consumer debt for the longterm. And just seeing how much your mass in a tax-free shelter being superannuation, they’re going to have a very, very comfortable retirement and they didn’t do anything sexy. Like they didn’t get on to gold when it was, you know, humming along or whatever, you know, our equivalent Bitcoin or anything crazy like that.

So, yeah, I just watching them not being in credit card debt, not having car loans. That’s certainly

Aussie Firebug: helped. Yeah. Just the fundamentals. Right. And everyone thinks that you do need that. That secret that the millionaires have that you don’t have, but actually given enough time. Yeah. You can accumulate a, um, a crazy amount of wealth.

It’s just sorta being smart about it. Isn’t it? Totally. Now I’ve read that you were a self-proclaimed spender. And it was something that you needed to address early in life. This is interesting because nearly all the guests that come on to this podcast have been saving an absurd amount of money their whole life.

But it’s definitely not the norm for the majority of Australians. Can you talk a bit about your personal struggle of being a spender early on in life and what are the most common mistakes that you have seen in this area with your experience as a financial planner?

Glen: Yeah. And I’ll, I’ll just say I’m actually now a retired financial advisor, so I need to say that loud and clear.

I’m not. Uh, I’m no longer on the register of financial advisors as an active advisor. Yeah. When I first left school, I got a job, like as much as mum and dad didn’t, you know, didn’t really tell me that much about money or in investments or anything like that. They didn’t really show us how to manage money on a week by week basis.

And I certainly believe most people have a proclivity to be a spender or saver by nature. And yeah, sure. There might be 5% of people that land somewhere in the middle, but I was certainly a spender and I’m a very generous person. And I think I, I did pick that up from my mum and every cent that I got. It just grew legs and whether it was buying fun staff or just not having a system or a plan in place and it walking out the door, uh, I was very good at spending and I was really crap at saving.

And over the years I’ve now become, I I’m still not a great saver, but I’m an even better and great. Investor. And I had to change my philosophy about what saving is and whatnot. So at 24, I kind of developed my own spending plan, which I’ve kind of worked on and built on over the years. And now that forms the basis of the Glen James spending plan, which is an online course that lots of my listeners jump on.

And it’s not the system. It’s a system. And my hope for anyone who might not have a money system in place is to use that foundation. Of quarantining your money, setting different amounts of money aside each week and build on that. So I believe once I had a really good system starting to fall into place, it actually allowed me to save and invest more money than, you know, not having system and just one bank account.

Like many people still have. And you just go to and fro from your savings, you know, back out to car red, Joe, and then, you know, you might build up savings again, and then you pull it back out and it’s just this round and round and round. So. Yeah, I think that’s the main thing. That’s kind of what helped me be a reformed spender.

And like it’s still there and I have little checks and balances in my life. So I’ve got a rule in my own life that if there is an item that is over 1% of my net take home income on a yearly basis. So if someone out there listening earns 80 grand and they take home 60 grand, that $600 for them. Net annual.

If I go to buy an item item and it’s over that 1%, I’ve got to sleep on it. So I’ve had to put my own checks and balances in place. I don’t have more than a certain amount in my account. That’s on my phone. Uh, at any time I don’t have the majority of my savings and mortgage and offset accounts and whatnot on my phone.

That’s with another bank separated. So it’s just basically keeping the alcohol away from the alcoholic. And it’s not as if I can’t ever drink, quote unquote, but I’m only having a glass of week and there’s systems and processes in

Aussie Firebug: place. Yeah. And that’s, um, almost segwaying into the next question I was going to ask, because I do like your philosophy of creating those good financial habits.

I’ve read, um, a Novi you’ve come across the atomic habits by James clear, which is an extremely popular health and wellness book. And it really. Oh, you got it. You got it right behind you. There you go. For, for people who are listening, obviously. Um, I don’t have any video in, in the podcast or on the YouTube, but I can see Glen’s got the book behind him where he’s sitting.

Yeah. That’s, that’s a really popular health and wellness book and I love it because it goes into the power of like sending something up and not doing something for a set amount of time, but rather building into a realistic, sustainable habit that you can do for a long period, if not forever. And I was going to ask you what are the best habits that you’ve had, but I guess you’ve already.

Answered it with those separating, you know, money into the pots and everything. Is there anything else you want to add in that, for that? Yeah,

Glen: I think an overarching habit in my life is not getting distracted by new investment platforms and new investment products. And just to really keep my investing simple.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. And that’s hard to do for these new investors, isn’t it? That are coming onto the scene. In 2021, like I’m not too sure. Are you an eighties baby as well? Yes. Yes. Same. I am as well, 89. It is harder than ever to not be distracted into if you’re fresh out of uni or you’re just on your full-time job and you’re trying to figure it out.

How to invest your money, like is a lot to, there’s a lot of stuff out there at the moment. It’s, it’s a bit overwhelming

Glen: for me just at the start of this year. If there’s any more millennial money listeners listening, I share with my audience, you know, I’m pretty candid and open like you are. I don’t share my net worth because that’s none of anyone’s business as far as I’m concerned.

But I shared the fact that I hadn’t been drawing a salary from the podcast because we’re in investment mode and I employ three people and. Two contractors and all that, but it started this year. I started drawing a salary and all that, you know, there’s a 9.5 super element to that. But what I started as a habit probably five years ago was to put a monthly amount into my super every month regardless.

And just letting that money build in a tax-free environment. And sure. If you’re saving to buy your first home or you’re saving to buy an investment property, or you’re just wanting to. Pump an equity portfolio outside of super, super might not be for you. But for me, a lot of people used to say, Oh, you’re so young.

Why are you capping out your super every year of 25 grand? I’m like, well, number one, if I’ve got access to it, I might spend it. And number two, I like building wealth for the long-term in a tax-free environment. So if so for me, it was a win-win and sure. I was probably in a fortunate enough position to have quote unquote left over money.

Yeah. To invest outside of

Aussie Firebug: super speaking of super can I ask who you’re with? I’m actually with the Sunsuper. Okay. And is there a, I’m not too sure. I’m not familiar with sun super’s investment options, but are you in like the most aggressive option that they have?

Glen: Cause I, you know, with mixed portfolios, a lot of the time, you know, an 80, 20 or 70 30, you’ll just get a smoother return than a hundred percent.

And I’m with their socially conscious balanced fund, which I think is a 70, 30 in its own. Right. And then I haven’t opened it for a while, but I think there’s 30% in the international shares indexed fund unhedged yup.

Aussie Firebug: Is ethical investing something that’s important to you? Oh,

Glen: I like to think so. I mean, if I’m investing in an like IVF, for example, I’ve got no control over that.

So I, I really liked the Sunsuper ethical, balanced fund. They were a sponsor of my millennial money. Uh, last year. They’re not anymore. But I, I think their products stands up in its own. Right? Uh, they’re very transparent. You can go on their website and actually see everything they hold in that investment option, which I think transparency is so good and it’s needed.

But yeah, if I had the choice, I’m more ethical than not. But the problem is there’s 50 shades of green and what’s ethical to one person isn’t ethical to the other person. Yes, I did an episode the other day talking about, say, after paying zip pay shares, I believe that’s not an ethical investment in my lens because I don’t believe after paying zippay.

Are actually good for the consumer and small business. Long-term

Aussie Firebug: what is your overall investing philosophy?

Glen: Uh, it is to shovel money into investments for the long-term first and foremost in a tax effective manner. So I, I also have investment property, but my philosophy is tax effective. Number one, it is a simple number two.

Number three, it’s not held in my personal name if I can keep it that way. So I’m assuming. Yeah. So I’ve got a, a discretionary family trust that holds a self-worth account, but basically what I do, I care about my super first. So that’s kind of set and forget, and I’m probably will end up getting self-managed Superfund later in this, uh, in this year.

Aussie Firebug: Can I ask why. I’m just curious to be honest, cause I I’m I’ve looked into it, but I didn’t,  different. And I guess the, um, people in the fire community, there’s always a raging debate about super, you know, building up your snowball outside and inside. And there’s so many things that go onto it. And you know, usually the, the younger you are that you start and if you’re realistically on track too, Retiring your thirties or forties, you know, it’s, there’s less of an argument to start putting it away.

Glen: Yeah. So I think I’ll answer the self-managed super fund thing second, but firstly, I cap out my super 25 grand. Then I’ve got an investment bond that I’ve I think I’ve got just Vanguard diversified high growth in there. And I put no money in that each month. And then I’ve also got my investment account, which is a model portfolio with a financial advisor through BT Panorama.

And then I’ve also got an investment account with self-worth through the family. Trust that. Has just some small kind of, of interest holdings for me, but my investment philosophy, it is, uh, generally indexed. It is generally less than I don’t hold more than 10% of my total allocation indirect stock. I’ve only held two direct shares and it’s just out of interest more than anything, like a bit of a satellite.

Yeah. But yeah, satellites so smaller. It’s like, yeah, like two direct shares. It’s not a huge amount of money. So yeah, for me, Again, I’m acknowledged and I’m fortunate enough to have a decent income. It is starting with super tax effective. Long-term cap that out, then move down to my investment bond, which might be more for it’s kind of my second super, if you will, like, cause I can obviously attack that after the 10 years.

As my first super if needed and then thirdly in my truck. Right.

Aussie Firebug: And you’ve also got investment properties. Is that right? Yes. Yep. Yep. And the interesting one there for me just listening to that is the investment bond, because I I’ve got an investment bond set up for my nephew. And the reason I set it up was because I thought the estate planning workflow was excellent.

It was, I think the easiest way to invest for. You know, your nieces and nephews out there that all I could

Glen: say. Yeah. One H for my two nephews and niece as well. Yes.

Aussie Firebug: But from the research that I didn’t have, I have since read since investing eight foot foot, my circumstances, it wouldn’t make sense from a tax point of view.

And I’m curious, what made you go with the investment bond? Is there something. Because you are such a high income earner that it’s

Glen: beneficial ones that are really good for high-income owners. And for me, it was just another layer of I’ve got to lock that away for at least 10 years. So, I mean, I don’t have, I don’t put that much into it, but it’s just there and it’s just ticking along.

So yeah, I dunno. I don’t want it too confusing. And I don’t know, like I don’t, the only things I own directly is my own personal home and investment properties. But technically in terms of estate planning, there is a bit of a mortgage against those. Anyway. So that’s also good estate planning as well, you know, for possible asset protection.

Uh, but yeah, the super thing, you know, generally speaking, I would, and I do tell people there’s only a couple of instances where you would have a self managed, super fund and all of these, I believe underpin this you’ve really got to have over 200 K in your super to make it the phase beneficial ish. So number one, you want to buy direct property.

With your super, so that could be commercial property or residential property. Number two, you’ve got a significant amount of wealth. So when you do the numbers, it’s actually cheaper rather than paying a membership fee with a platform or number three, you’ve got a, a complex estate plan might have a blended family or something like that.

So yeah, self managed super fund. It’s not, it’s not for everybody. And. Sure. If you want to buy a property in your super fund, obviously got to have a self managed fund, but you really just need, I think, over 150 200 grand to make it worthwhile. Yep.

Aussie Firebug: And are you going to be looking after the regulatory requirements or are you going to be paying someone

Glen: to do that?

Yeah, I’ll get an accountant and auditor

Aussie Firebug: to do that. Yep. How am I curious? How much roughly is that per

Glen: year an audit for 1200 bucks or less? I would imagine accounting fees might be a grant. And that’s what I mean, like if you’ve spent two and a half grand a year on fees and you had a hundred grand in there, that’s 2.5% just to rock up.

Yup. So it’s a good point. That’s why you really want to have over that one 5,200 to make the fees. And then on top of that, like if you invested in a, an index fund or a actively managed fund or whatever, there’s going to be your investment fee to that

Aussie Firebug: as well. Yeah. Right? Yeah. So you got to crunch the numbers, you got to figure it out.

It’s worth it for you. I did look into it one once upon a time, but I think I just thought it’s, it’s a little bit too complicated for me. And plus we, we plan to reach financial independence and Sada super. So I just didn’t really. Give it much thought, but it could have merit for some people where

Glen: I’m saying.

So this is the thing, right? Most people who I’ve met and I’ve met a lot of people in the States that have achieved fire. Okay. And they’re young and they’re 40 years old. For example, they’re still generating an income. So my thought is, you know, point, if you achieve fire and you’re living off money outside super, there’s still probably a discussion to any income that you do generate to invest back into super.

So I think a lot of people. And if I’m crapping on about super it’s because the tax savings over the years, it’s so crazy, but you’ve got to get to age 60 before you can access it. And I guess I’m saying most people that I know who have achieved fire still end up doing stuff and they make an income.

Yeah. It’s

Aussie Firebug: everyone on earth that has

Glen: said, then it goes back to me. Well, I don’t really believe in fire, quote, unquote, I believe in what I call lute. L O T just life on your own terms. Yeah. This

Aussie Firebug: segues very nicely Glen into my next question, because it wasn’t too long ago. I think last year. That there was a bit of chatter in the Aussie fire discussion group on Facebook, which you are a part of.

And it was talking about one of your podcast episodes that caused a bit of a stir. You know, if you can remember this one and please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you were being eight. A tiny bit critical of the fire movement back then

Glen: that wasn’t my podcast. It

Aussie Firebug: was someone else’s will, you know, I thought that I

Glen: swear there was while I was in the thread, it was, um, uh, Phil’s podcast.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. I know. I actually went on Phil’s podcast after that, but actually, yeah,

Glen: maybe, maybe I did say something and some people were, yeah, no, no, you right. And I went and had a listen to it and I’m like, no, I was pretty balanced. Like. I mean, I don’t know, but anyway,

Aussie Firebug: well, I was gonna ask you, Glenn, why do you hate the fire?

Um, I’m just joking. Um, but is there any pet peeves that you have about the fire movement that you don’t think is spoken about it?

Glen: Yeah, the fire movement. One, I don’t hate the fire movement. Like I’m in the groups. I want to invest in do all that stuff. Like the next person, like if I’m in your group, it’s not Glen James as the host of my millennial money.

It’s Glen James, as a guy who wants to be encouraged with his money, you know what I mean? The fire movement and actually had Paula pant on my podcast recently. Who’s pretty big in the U S money scene. Yeah. I love

Aussie Firebug: that episode, by the way.

Glen: I’m like the fire movement has to ditch the RA because most people.

Retire from the workforce, not from generating an income. I

Aussie Firebug: spoken about this actually on my last episode that I just released the bug Friday episode. And we’re recording this at the moment on the 1st of March in case it gets released a little bit later on, but I agree with you that the word retire doesn’t represent what.

99.9% of people that who are in the fire community want to do, but I think it is it’s here to stay and the acronym is, is stuck. And I actually think that if it wasn’t for the word retire and I’ve spoken a little bit about this. If there was another word

Glen: honeypot.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. You know where I’m going with? Yeah, it would not that I don’t think yeah.

Movement would be a 10th as big as it is at the moment. If it wasn’t for the word retire and I can speak to myself when I first read Mr. Money mustache, and it was, he retired. He didn’t. Live life on his own terms. He didn’t do this or that he retired at 30 and it was legitimate. And all these really smart people like, yeah, the math checks out like these go, I actually did this.

And then once you dig a bit further, he reached financial independence, but then he started to carpentry business, which is what his passion was. And this ties back to what you were saying that I, and I completely agree. I’ve not met one single person. That has been on the fly journey, reached the financial independence, and hasn’t gone on to flip a buck, but the key differences, and I guess this is to me, the five movement and the retire early part to me is retiring from the rat race and retiring from a job that you predominantly do for money.

And then you go into a career. Of doing something that you love or your passion, and more often than not 99 times out of a hundred, it’s going to make some sort of income. So I feel like I, um, I think we’re on the same page that the word retire, it’s almost morphing into another meaning in the fire.

Glen: Yeah.

I retired from the workforce when I was 25. And it was actually the 10th of March. I started my own business and I have not felt like I’ve worked a day since.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. We’ll all that’s to me, everyone’s got their own interpretation of what fire means to them, but, you know, I would say you’re well and truly in the fire movement.


Glen: Like I, and I think this whole thing, Matt is we’ve got to get to the point. Where we don’t have a direct trade for our time for a dollar. And that’s everything I’m doing with my millennial money into it, because my millennial money is a small business. Right. But employees, people, we sell online courses.

I do like webinars. I do the odd paid type of stuff that different brands want me to do. I don’t want to use the I word because I’m not in that vibe, but, um, but I basically no longer trade. My time for money.

Aussie Firebug: I completely I’m on the same page as you mate with, uh, not trading your time for money. I think that if you do, if you’re fortunate to be on this journey and you do reach financial independence, or even if you close, because you don’t even have to reach the, the angle.

And this is what I’m finding this year with me, we are towards the later stage of the journey. But, you know, we spoke a little bit about what we were doing before we started recording. And I’ve recently started my own business. In something that I really liked doing. And then there was a, there was an opportunity when I come back to Australia to go back to a job that I used to do that paid, you know, pretty good money where I’m from.

And it was a safer job. It was something that I was comfortable with and, or, you know, all that jazz, but I wasn’t passionate about it. And the thought of doing it, I did make me feel a bit like I don’t want to go back to doing that sort of operational admin type of work, even though there’s a part of that, that I like to eat.

I want to start my own thing and I’m sure, and I’m sure you can, um, echo might send them in here as well, that there’s always going to be parts of your job, even if it is a passion that is going to suck and you, you don’t want to do, but when you’re doing something because you want to do it, not because you’re forced to do it, there’s a world of difference between the two.

Glen: Absolutely. And you know, I just think whatever you do, like if you want to retire at 40, go for it. Do it like you might be of that, you know, Headspace that I can literally sit around and do hobbies and not generate an income. Lucky if that is you, I would go for it. But my personality is, I’m a builder and I want to build stuff.

Like I built my first business and sold it like, cause I was done. So you’ve got to play to your own personality and that’s why for me. As much as I love fire, I’ll never be able to amass wealth and just stop working because I’d get bored. So that’s why I live a more of a balanced life. Okay. I have a good life.

I’ve got lots of nice things. If you call me frugal, you’re getting mixed up with the wrong person. I liked the finer things in life, but the income’s there and the money’s there and it’s been working fine for me. And probably if I. Realistically had to sell everything and could not ever work ever again.

I could probably still have a bloody okay. Income. Yeah.

Aussie Firebug: I think everyone that is part of the fire community would agree with me. When I say work is it’s a staple of a human. I don’t think you can be a happy person if you’re not doing meaningful work. But I guess that is the key distinction between being able to choose something that you want to do.

And brings you meaning if you want to create, or even if you, even, if you are one of those people, the 1% I spoke about that do reach financial independence and never flip a bark. Never have any other income from working ever again, extremely rare, but I’m sure there are people out there that okay.

Glen: Yeah. I know of somebody who does that,

Aussie Firebug: but yeah.

And, um, I’m guessing that they volunteer a lot of their time. They might have a veggie garden, they grow a lot of their own food, something like that. There are definitely some people that that appeals to, but I think meaningful work is where it’s at. Cause I’m a bit like yourself as well. I like to create things and I like to challenge myself and I like to, you know, stress my limits.

I don’t think you can grow as a person unless you’re in like the, you know, if you’re in the comfort zone too much, it, you know, it gets to me so meaningful work is the key differentiator for me. I

Glen: think two other things that I don’t love about the fire community, Fremont and like. I am in the fire community.

I get all these shade and it’s like, no, because I just call out stuff that I don’t like. And I don’t care what anyone  their own money, it’s their money. But maybe two other things is just the dogma. You know, it’s the bad side of the cult is annoying. And then secondly, within that, This race to the bottom, where we need the cheapest investment fee or the cheapest brokerage, or we need this.

And the reason I say that is the most you’ll get out of your money, particularly when you’re starting, is not getting, you know, a one basis point cheaper, bloody investment. It’s going to be the transfer of your human capital into wealth. Lighten. If you’ve got less than a hundred grand in your investment portfolio, it’s seriously, you’ve got to get a bigger shovel and earn more money or do something to build that up.

Like you’re not going to get there from investment returns. It’s going to be a transfer of your human capital. Can you expand

Aussie Firebug: on that, Glen? Because I could not agree with you anymore. You’re talking about investing in yourself. If I’m

Glen: following correctly. Totally. The best thing that you can do. Is get out there, become like invest in yourself.

Get more trained on what you’re doing. Learn more, try and get a pay rise. Start your own thing and shovel money into your investments. Shovel more money. I don’t think side hustles are good. I would only do a side hustle for three reasons. Number one, you’re paying off debt in the short term. Number two, you’ve got a short term goal or number three.

You want to use it as a stepping stone? To a new career or something. So you do it on the side to start with, I think it can be dangerous if you are side hustling, just for general revenue to put money back into your bank account, to pay for groceries. Maybe you might want a side hustle to just put the money into your investment account, but I would caution you that, um, around personal burnout.

And that’s why I think short term, side hustle and, you know, 1520 years ago, we used to call it a second job. That’s what it is. It’s a second job. So, so yeah, that’s, that’s what I would caution with the side hustle. And just the fire thing is probably a third. One is sometimes people are generous at all to charitable organizations and I believe we are so blessed to live where we are in the income that we’ve got.

I certainly would rather slow my wealth amassing down. To be able to give to other organizations and help others along the way. Because if you start just amassing wealth for yourself, I believe it can be dangerous and you can start to have money and wealth as this idol in your life. And that’s dangerous as well.

So on the human capital thing, or did I expand on it?

Aussie Firebug: I don’t know. He did. And just before we move on to that, the, I agree with most of the points, the only one I’ll push back on is the fire community, I think is one of, if not the best communities that I know of that give back and do charitable donations.

And also as some of the most socially conscious environmentally conscious. Communities financial communities out there that I’ve ever seen. I’m honestly not just saying that because this is a community near and dear to my heart, but you, if

Glen: you, yeah, totally. But I just see so many, like, and it might just be these financial influencers that are popping up and they share their income spread and their expenses, um, thing.

It’s rare in those scenarios that I actually see charitable giving, but also you don’t have to give to charity. I just think you’ll be a better person to be

Aussie Firebug: generous. Absolutely. I think it’s a, yeah know, I’m all about that. And I, I post my, you know, what I spend money on and how much we make and everything too.

Who do you give to? Uh, I, I usually donate to, um, when my friends are doing Movember’s or something, or like they do a charitable, like a run for, you know, a family member that has had cancer or something had a group of friends two years ago, do base camp at Mount Everest because I had a friend that, um, lost his mom and everything like that.

So I just, every time I say it on Facebook, I’ll usually Chuck them a 50 or a hundred dollars. Hmm. I, it’s probably something that I, as we continue this journey, I need to look at what organizations doing great work and something that, you know, I can really get involved with. But at the moment it’s usually just friends and family.

Yeah. And

Glen: that’s kind of, I’m talking about like systematic, monthly giving. Not sporadic as like a core foundation in your financial life. That’s kind of where I’m getting at because I, I had Peter singer on my podcast resell last 12 months and you can save a life for $2 in Africa. From mosquito net. So, I mean, it’s a fascinating episode to listen to, but he really, and he’s got a book called the life you can save, and I would encourage anyone to read that and it just changes your mindset.

And so for me, absolutely, I’ll flick $50 to Movember and all that. But in my financial life, I have systematic, automated, monthly

Aussie Firebug: giving. What, what some of the charities that you are, you don’t donate to

Glen: two eight 21, which is a charity that they, their focus is to stop a human trafficking. And there I advertise them on our podcast.

At the end of every episode, I also give to the life, you can save all charities fund. And what they do, they’ve kind of reviewed all the charities and it’s like Beth bang for buck. So like the against malaria foundation. And, uh, there’s a heap of charities. I would keep to that as well. I also have a sponsored child and I give to the sponsored child or the sponsor company’s main emergency fund or whatever it is.

So, yeah, I, but that’s just, again, that’s just me. And I would personally knowing my personality. Would rather slow down my wealth amassing or whatever you call it to be generous because I’ve got everything that I need. And for me, it’s a big part of my life and yeah, you’ll never be worse off from being generous.


Aussie Firebug: absolutely. And I think there’s a lot that can be done as well with where we spend our money. Yeah, how we vote for companies going forward. And I I’ve always said this, like I’m a passive index ETF sort of go out, invest, uh, and you know, it comes up in the Facebook group every now and then about ethical investing and that whole debate.

And I won’t go into it in detail now, but I really believe if you’re voting for a company, if you spend your money somewhere, that is worth so much more than if you happen to. Swap our initiative of a company that is, you know, potentially doing unethical things in someone’s mind. It’s I think that they’re not even comparable

Glen: is full of conflicts and you know, I’m a hypocrite, you’re a hypocrite.

Everyone who opens their mouth ever is a hypocrite just because of human nature. But I think it is just going back to being intentional with your life and your money. And I had Qatar airways approach. You know, my agents the other day, and they wanted to do an advertising campaign on my podcast. And I pretty much said, get stuffed you violate human rights.

I don’t want 1 cent of your money. Yeah. I was just like, no, I don’t want your money. You violate human basic human rights. So I think it’s just that being active. And I’ll always encourage people to be generous with their money, uh, be conscious with their spending. I will pay I’ll happily pay more for Australia made if I’m at the supermarket.

I mean, it’s a luxury that I can do that. And you’ve just got to be active and intentional. Yeah,

Aussie Firebug: absolutely. Like the thing that grinds my gears is how much waste there is. And like, I know we’re a bit, we’re like the freak optimize optimizers in the fire community, but there’s so many things. That, uh, uh, wasteful and unnecessary in this, um, you know, 21st century consumer lifestyle that most people live that you don’t even have to change a lot.

You just have to be like a little bit more conscious about where your money’s going and, and maybe just yet find, find happiness in, in the simple things in life. And you can save so much environmental impact and. And also with, with, you know, you talk about Qatar with a human rights issue with them. Like the clothing industry is a, is a great example with like the supply chain.

And if you go back far enough with everything that can go on in som brands, uh, supply chain. So just little things like that. I think, you know, there’s a plethora of things that you could. Uh, we can try to be out of about all the socially conscious and environmentally conscious actions that you can do.

Glen: I think just in bookend, in that generosity thing, I just want people to understand that.

Yeah, my view of it’s not everybody in the fire community and, you know, because I’m in the fire community and I’m not one of these people, but. Like I have seen stuff where people will share their spreadsheet or share this stuff, and there’s just been no allocation to generosity. Yeah. And I, yeah, I I’m sure that they are socially conscious investors.

And that was like with the Sunsuper fund, I actually had. The guy who heads up that portfolio on my podcast last year, and I’d already invested in the fund and I got to sit down and interview him and I just thought, yeah, well, you know, I might pay a little bit more for the screening, but it’s, it’s a good little thing.

So fair enough,

Aussie Firebug: mate. Let’s talk about M M three, where did the idea of starting a financial podcast for millennials come from? I had a

Glen: podcast that I started in 2016 called sort your money out. And it kind of, it didn’t really go anywhere. It was my first podcast to kind of suck. Yeah. And I was mainly just interviewing people.

And at the time I thought, Oh, everyone’s just got an interview podcast. So I, I went to the States in 2017 to fin con and got really encouraged. And at the time, even when I started my podcast in 2016, I don’t know if there was any Australian. Personal finance podcasts by Australians. I don’t think there was that there may have been, but I just thought, Oh, there’s a real opportunity here to do personal finance for Aussies buying Ozzy.

So then that was kind of the front of my mind. And then in the background I’d been in my financial planning business, like nine years built that up. That was going really well. And what I sell now is the Glen James spending plan, which is the budgeting tool and framework. You know, I’d have people coming to my office and like, Oh, we need to.

We need financial advice. I’m like, no, you don’t, you just need a budget. You need to get out of debt. Like that was the basic thing. And I’m like, well, you can pay a couple of grand and I can help you one-on-one or you can pay 70 bucks and do it self taught. So I was kind of already doing that. And then I used to do local seminars in my community and used to be called like sort your money out and you’d come along and I would sell tickets and you might get 30, 40 people come along and I’ll just teach them basic.

Fundamentals about personal finance and then kind of, so all that was happening and I was getting sick of doing one-on-one financial advice, and I just wanted to help more people. And also like friends of friends would approach me and they’re like, Oh, Glenn, can you help us with our money? And I was actually, cause I’m a bit of an introvert.

I was getting sick of sitting down with someone and then just pouring out for like an hour. Right. And that’s why I don’t do many public speaking things and media stuff because I actually don’t drains me a lot. So, yeah, I just like, okay, well, I, I need to do something different. I think there’s an opportunity for podcasts.

And then I went to fin con in the States, a big money conference for financial bloggers and podcasts, and YouTube is who do personal finance content. And then I called, uh, a colleague of mine, John pigeon. I’m like, Hey, we need to start a podcast. Like, and my whole thing was, I need to do more content. So then we started a weekly podcast and went for a year straight and then reviewed.

And there was a clear trend of going up. So after that year, I pretty much, by the time sold my financial planning business. And then just went totally in, on the podcast stuff and awesome

Aussie Firebug: stuff. And what can someone expect when they download an episode of my millennial money? What’s a show about,

Glen: we just cover every topic.

Cause with personal finance, I like to set the scene that I’m not your guru. I’m not above any of this stuff. We basically just. Chat about any topics like investing in shares, paying off debt. Someone might have hex payment. We’ve just done an episode on being an ex-pat and you know what you need to do with your money when you go overseas and you residency.

And I want it to be a weekly encouragement. I’ve just completed episodes with Pat Flynn in America. Who’s like huge in the States, you know, with passive income. That was an awesome podcast. So I just want to be that weekly encouragement. So like, if you’re listening to the. Oh, fire bug. You’re clearly dialed in with your money and you want to be intentional with your money, right?

It’s like my listeners, you clearly want to be dialed in and intention with your money, but then you go to a barbecue or you go out to the Powerball cafe with your other friends. They’re not really dialed in. They’re like, Oh, why don’t you just buy that lunch? And you’re like, well, no, I ate at home and I’m just having a coffee out.

Cause I want to save money. I wanted my millennial money to be that community where no, we get you and we’re on your side and it’s the weekly encouragement. Yeah, so we have a lot of fun. We’ve also got a dedicated property podcast. My cohost John pigeon hosts that with Emily Wallace. So it’s a weekly thing about property.

I do one called my millennial business, which I just talk about small business stuff. Cause I love small business. I do an express one, which is like under 10 minutes called my millennial money express,

Aussie Firebug: know the ones you branch in adding to on the, uh, on the chat of elicits all it’s all the modern millennial ones.

You build an imply

Glen: mate. Yeah, we’ve got my millennial, Korea and shell, and em, they’re like dialed in and, you know, they’re top of their game in terms of Korea, like shells in HR for a company with a few hundred employees, Emily’s a recruiter and we’ve just launched the start of this. She, my millennial health.

So it’s all about just living your best life when it comes to your health. And we’ve got two dietitians who run that and they’re in like the elite. Sports area, but it’s not just all about diet. They’ve done episodes on sleeve, gut, health, psychology, mental health, all that stuff. So lots going on. We’ve got gen ed money, which is for under 20 fours.

And I’m actually working on, I’ve just registered the trademarks for my millennial news, which I hope it to be a weekly money news rep. So what’s happened in the news this week and what it means to you. And I’m just trying to find a journalist for that at the moment.

Aussie Firebug: Now I’ll put a link in the show notes to your website, mate.

But if anyone out there wants to find your content, your podcasts and everything, what is the best spot to

Glen: listen to this podcast? Yeah. Excellent. And that’s the whole thing it’s like, I’m not creating a podcast. I’m creating an online business.

Aussie Firebug: I love that, but that I

Glen: love, like, I love encouraging people and I love talking about personal finances.


Aussie Firebug: no, I’m all about that. Uh, to crazy world. We live in that you can generate money. From the internet. Like it’s an insane bit of technology.

Glen: It’s like, I just, Matt can’t stress enough to, I am not above this stuff. I’m just facilitating conversation. Sure. I’ve done well financially myself, but it doesn’t mean I’m the guru.

Like it’s just, I get encouraged to listening to some of your episodes. I appreciate

Aussie Firebug: that, mate. They do, you know what you had to go. And he’s in that one of the most important steps, like how many people probably. And it happened to me as well. When I first started making this podcast, you’re like this, this is crap.

And, you know, sometimes if I listened to an early episode, I’m like, yeah, the recording quality. Wasn’t the best, but it’s amazing what can happen if you put yourself out there and actually just have it

Glen: go totally. You’ve just got to do it. And like before I started my online business, like I, you know, I had the first podcast and that sucked and I’ve taken that down and I wanted to do an online business.

And then in 2012 and 2011, I started creating apps for kids. And probably spent 25, 30 grand trying to do that and it didn’t work. So I like to just, I think, got to give it a shake. The worst thing that happened is you spend a bit of money, but what do you do? Right. I’d rather seriously with the mind millennial podcast stuff I’ve said to the team.

I’m like, I’m throwing everything I’ve got at this. And if I have to go down with the ship, I will, but I’m not going to go down with the ship and think, Oh, I should have just tried this. Like, we are trying everything. And some things we do suck, like I’ll tell you one thing that we did that sucked and it probably cost us a lot of listeners last year in September, I did what we called super September.

So every episode for two, like the two episodes a week in September, it was on superannuation in my mind. Yeah. That’s awesome. But not everyone loves super. So if we do super September, again, it will be super September this month, check your super, and then we just, you know what I mean? So it won’t be these deep dive episodes on super.

Yeah. So, I mean, you still learn stuff and yeah, we’re having a lot of fun. And do

Aussie Firebug: you know what this is? Like the power that money can grant people. Is to be in a position to have a go, not everyone is built. I know I’m not, I’m more of a conservative type operator. And I don’t think I would ever have tried to start my own business.

Like I’m going into now without a decent amount behind me and that I can fall back on and be like, look, even if it makes no money and I have to find a new job in 12, 24 months time, we’ve still got the portfolio. Still pumping out those dividends, it’s worse in a financially secure position. And that is like what financial freedom is all about.

And you don’t even have to reach full financial freedom to get some of that. Um, uh, the confidence to go out and do something like that. And then there’s other people that have a go at the start when they got hardly any money and it can sometimes work out everyone’s different, but. I love that about financial independence, that it can grant those opportunities.


Glen: I would encourage anyone to have a go at anything. And if you’re a on smack sung, if you’re a diesel mechanic and you’re listening and you’re like, well, what can I do? I’m like, seriously, get a camera, do content while you’re fixing your trucks or whatever. Like YouTube is where it’s like, there is some, but you’ve just got to start small.

Like when we first started, I think the first episode we did got 200 listens and it’s a slight. Oh, God, like if we had an episode with 200 listens, now I’d give up, but you don’t start at the slight mountain. You start at the bottom. Yeah.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. People always see what you’ve built, but they don’t see how many years of perfecting your craft that took, they might enter the podcast game and be like, Oh, well, you know, if I’m not doing this and this it’s not worth it, but it’s like, hold on.

These people that got to that level. They didn’t start at that level. They didn’t start as good as interviewers as they are now. It took them many episodes, many, you know, trying and failing and trying different things to get it to work and that’s with anything in life.

Glen: Yeah. So I think it’s a great time to be alive.

Just being encouraged that if you, even if you’re doing a job at the moment that you don’t like it doesn’t have to be forever. You might’ve started a uni degree and you’re a year into it and you don’t like it. Hey, just, I didn’t interview before yours this afternoon, Matt and I interviewed Emma, a friend of mine she’s early forties and she’s just finished her psychology degree where she’s like, no, I wanted to do it later in life.

And I did. I had the kids and all that, and now she’s getting her life back. So it doesn’t have to be this linear thing. There’s no rules in life. And I always say to my listeners, if you don’t get someone pregnant, unplanned, if you don’t get pregnant, unplanned, if you ended up in jail or on drugs, those four things you’re can have a good shot at doing anything.

And it all comes back to living

Aussie Firebug: intentionally Colonel Sanders from KFC started that in his sixties. Just throwing it out there. KFC the fast food chain. He kicked it off in his

Glen: sixties. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. There you go. Yeah. Like you can do

Aussie Firebug: whatever you want. He started this, this brand. Any sixties, man. Oh, I love

Glen: that finger licking.

Good. You have the Kern

Aussie Firebug: Glenn. I can’t let you go. I’ve got two questions for you before I let you go, mate. Yeah, they are probing questions. You may or may not be able to answer it, but I’ll have to ask. I have read. That you’ve written ghost lyrics for a chart topping artist confirm or deny. Confirm. Can you tell me what the song was called or what the genre is or did it crack the billboards?

Top 200.

Glen: It was number of the song was number one in New Zealand when they released it. I dunno what it was in Australia. I was in a studio in Nashville with some friends and this. Okay. So this is talk about like living your life on your own terms and not being a slave to the rat race. Like my friends though, amuse those in a band, they were going to the States for like a six week tour and I dropped them at the airport and like, I will be in Nashville in like three weeks.

Why don’t you come over? I’m like, ah, so I looked, I was at the airport, they check in while they’re checking in and I had all these guitars, I looked at my diary. I’m like, Oh, I could probably move that here. I’ll meet you in Nashville in two weeks, and then just went up to Nashville and ended a bit of the tool with them total spontaneous.

And then, you know, you end up in a studio and I met a guy there who won a Grammy, and I wrote some lyrics and my friend who was a songwriter, he put them in a song that he was writing for this band in New Zealand. And yeah, I said, don’t even worry about. Putting my name on it. I’ll give that to you. So he still gets royalty checks from it, actually.

Aussie Firebug: And what was it like hearing that line for the first

Glen: time? No, it’s really weird. It was really weird. Like, um, think that, you know, they toured and did this song and all that, so

Aussie Firebug: yeah. Well, I’m going to leave it out to the people on the internet to try to hunt down that song. Um, so. And the second question I had for you is I believe that you spoke on an award winning money show to an audience of over 12 million people.

What was the show and how nervous were you?

Glen: Yeah, I just went on the Dave Ramsey show when I was in Nashville. Oh, what was that like? Yeah, it was pretty cool. Had a good chat with him and, uh, cause he’s huge

Aussie Firebug: over there. Isn’t it? He’s a U S. He’s

Glen: the financial biggest podcast in the world.

Aussie Firebug: They go, Holy moly.

What year was this?

Glen: I think I was in, that was in 2018. I think they’ve got close to 20 million listens now on his radio show. So yeah, he’s the third biggest revenue producer podcast in the world and probably top three or four radio hosts in America. And actually last year at the start of 2020, he was in Australia and I got him on my millennial money.


Aussie Firebug: hunt that down and I’ll put that show in, uh, in the show

Glen: notes. And that was like an oddly listen to the Dave Ramsey show for years. And then he didn’t do any other podcasts in Australia cause he was on a holiday and I knew somebody who was kind of connected in and all that stuff. And uh, we hooked it up and I went down to Sydney and we did an episode with Dave Ramsey and that was so that was a career kind of highlight for me to have the, like probably the biggest money dude in America and the, probably the third biggest podcast in the world.

On my show here. That’s

Aussie Firebug: insane. That’s that’s unbelievable, man. Well, Glenn we’ve reached the end of the podcast, mate. It was an absolute pleasure having you on that. Really enjoyed this pod. Thank you so much for making

Glen: the time. My pleasure. We’ll have to have you over on a M three at some stage. I would love to join you right when I’m in Melbourne next driving into town and we’ll just do it for you.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. It’s always better face to face.

Glen: Isn’t that? Totally. Yeah. Cause I’ve got a Melbourne trip organized soon and I always take my gear and so yeah, you can go for a drive.

Aussie Firebug: Do you know what? I might actually be coming to Sydney? In a few weeks. Oh yeah. Let me know. Maybe I’ll I’ll I’ll I’ll definitely let you know if it eventuates, but we’ll sort it out.

All right. Yeah. I love it. All

Glen: right. Thanks Pat. And thanks for all your listeners for having a listen. No worries.

Aussie Firebug: See ya. Bye. Well, there you have it guys. That was Glen James from my millennial money. Shout out to Glenn. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast and making the time. If you guys enjoyed that podcast and want me to make more best thing you can do is leave me a review on iTunes.

And if you’re not an Apple user, you can feel free to Chuck us a like on Facebook. That’s it for today, guys, enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks guys for listening to another episode of the Aussie Firebug podcast for links to all of the resources, plus an entire transcript of this episode, head over to

Make sure you never miss out on another episode by subscribing now on iTunes or SoundCloud. Nothing in this episode should be taken as financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions.


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