Fifty years ago, if you needed to learn more about money, you’d probably pick up a personal finance book. Twenty years ago, you might have switched on a TV show about money instead. But today, the handiest way to improve your financial literacy is to listen to a podcast.
Podcasts are the perfect medium for our busy modern world. You can listen to them while you’re doing something else — in the car, in the shower, at the gym, doing chores around the house — so it’s like getting twice as much use from the same block of time. And since many money podcasts can both entertain and educate you, they’re a three-fer.
Whether you want to get out of debt, improve your career prospects, choose investments, or plan your way to an early retirement, there’s a podcast out there that can help you reach your financial goals.
Best Personal Finance Podcasts
Many Americans today don’t know the first thing about personal finance. According to a 2018 study by the FINRA Foundation, only one in three Americans can correctly answer four out of five simple questions about money, such as how inflation affects your buying power or whether it’s safer to buy mutual funds than individual stocks.
If you’re one of the 66% of Americans who have little experience with personal financial matters, these podcasts can help you learn the basics. They offer a good all-around introduction to money matters, exploring the subject from lots of different angles.
1. The Dave Ramsey Show
Dave Ramsey is an icon in the world of personal finance. He was a millionaire by age 26, but that fortune was all built on debt, and eventually, it collapsed. After fighting his way out of the hole, he made a new career out of advising others on how to do the same.
His call-in radio program, “The Dave Ramsey Show,” debuted on a single radio station in 1992; today, it’s the third-largest nationally syndicated talk radio show with over 16 million listeners.
Because this is a call-in show, it covers a wide array of money-related issues, including investing, homebuying, retirement, insurance, and dealing with money in marriage. However, there’s a consistent focus on getting out of debt and building a solid financial foundation.
Ramsey’s slogan, which he repeats at the start of every hour, is “Debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.”
Each episode of Ramsey’s actual radio show is close to three hours long, including messages from sponsors. However, the podcast breaks those long episodes up into 40-minute chunks featuring either Ramsey or one of his co-hosts talking with callers.
Ramsey’s tone is folksy and mostly good-natured, but he can also be harsh or dismissive toward people and practices he considers irresponsible. For instance, in an episode where he talks to “everyday millionaires,” he uses their success to mock people who feel like the deck of the capitalist system is stacked in favor of the rich and that it’s too hard for ordinary Americans to get ahead.
Ramsey also has a distinctly Christian perspective, as well as many Christian organizations as sponsors. For instance, when a teenager calls in for advice, Ramsey wants to know if he’s part of “a good church.” When another caller asks about giving some money to his daughter, one of Ramsey’s first questions is “How’s her character?” For nonbelievers, this focus could be off-putting, but the references to faith are refreshing for some listeners.
How to Listen
You can subscribe to the podcast version of Dave Ramsey’s show through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. You can also listen on your smart speaker. Full episodes are available on Ramsey’s website, YouTube, Pandora, IHeartRadio, SiriusXM, or an app for Android or iOS. New episodes come out every weekday.
2. So Money
Pretty much every list of the top financial podcasts includes “So Money.” This show received a Plutus Award in 2016 for Best Personal Finance Podcast. It’s also been named as a top female-hosted podcast in Entrepreneur and a top podcast for growing your business in Inc.
The slogan of the “So Money” podcast is “Candid conversations for a richer, happier life.” A typical episode runs about half an hour and involves host Farnoosh Torabi interviewing someone with an interesting story to tell about money.
She’s spoken with authors, bloggers, financial professionals, entrepreneurs, and cultural icons including media mogul Arianna Huffington, investment guru Tim Ferris, fitness expert Jillian Michaels, comedian Margaret Cho, and fashion expert Tim Gunn. On Fridays, Torabi breaks from this routine and runs an “Ask Farnoosh” episode in which she answers listener questions, often with a co-host.
The success of this podcast hinges on Torabi’s skill as an interviewer. She picks interesting people to talk with, then prompts them with questions that showcase what’s so interesting about them.
For example, when she interviews Mark Lichtenfeld, author of “Get Rich With Dividends,” the conversation covers such topics as his career path, his investing strategy, how he learned about money as a kid, what lessons he learned the hard way, what financial advice he wishes he’d known earlier, his most important personal finance habit, and why he lives in Florida. Lichtenfeld does most of the talking; Torabi simply asks questions to draw him out.
How to Listen
You can stream episodes of “So Money” on Torabi’s website or subscribe through iTunes, IHeartRadio, Stitcher, or an RSS feed. Transcripts of each show are also available on the site. New episodes air two to three times per week.
3. How to Money
This podcast offers money advice by millennials, for millennials. In each episode of “How to Money,” best buds Joel Larsgaard and Matt Altmix chat together, usually over a beer, about subjects important to younger folks just getting started handling their own money. Their slogan, “Rich living on less money,” reflects their focus on getting the most of your money even when you aren’t making much of it yet.
The format of the show varies from episode to episode. Sometimes Joel and Matt do a deep dive into one topic, such as reasons to avoid debt. Sometimes they interview a guest. Sometimes they answer questions from listeners. On Fridays, they typically do a “Friday Flight,” in which they address an assortment of small topics like high food delivery fees or how to file taxes for free — similar to sampling an assortment of different beers.
Episodes of “How to Money” run between 30 and 60 minutes. The conversation between the hosts feels light and casual, never stuffy or jargon-laden. And they always make a point of letting you know what they’re drinking as they chat.
How to Listen
“How to Money” is part of the iHeartPodcast network. You can listen to it on iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts, as well as directly on its website. New episodes air every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
4. Planet Money
The “Planet Money” podcast from National Public Radio (NPR) is all about the economy: what affects it and how it, in turn, can affect your life. The show tackles complex financial ideas — rent control, the wealth tax, Bitcoin — on a level that ordinary people can understand.
NPR describes the premise of the show like this: “Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.’ Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.”
“Planet Money” is shorter and snappier than many other money podcasts. Episodes, which come out every Wednesday and Friday, are typically around 20 minutes long. Yet within this short time frame, the show’s various hosts —who trade off from episode to episode — manage to cover a surprising amount of ground.
For instance, one episode deals with the problem of homelessness and a novel strategy New York City has adopted to combat it: housing the homeless in hotels. Over the course of 22 minutes, the hosts talk to a homeless man in New York, a professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania, and a worker at a nonprofit that helps the homeless — all interspersed with music clips and commentary from the hosts.
The episode delves into the history of how the U.S. has dealt with homelessness over the years, who is most likely to be chronically homeless, and the difficulty of physically counting the homeless to figure out how many people are in need of help and what kind of help they need.
NPR also offers a “sister” podcast called “The Indicator” that’s even more bite-sized, with roughly 10-minute episodes appearing Tuesday through Friday. It provides quick-and-dirty coverage of topics such as the federal budget deficit, the minimum wage, the pros and cons of buying a home, and the economy of “A Game of Thrones.”
How to Listen
You can stream episodes of both “Planet Money” and “The Indicator” on the NPR website or subscribe to either podcast via NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotify, or RSS link. “The Indicator” is also available for the Amazon Alexa smart speaker.
Best Business Podcasts
If you own a business or are hoping to start a business, there are many podcasts to help you make it a success. These shows cover all kinds of topics related to building a business, including financing, marketing, productivity, and work-life balance. Here are a few that are worth a listen.
5. Smart Passive Income
Although he’s only in his 30s, Pat Flynn has already developed online businesses that earn him millions every year without needing his full-time attention. His “Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn” aims to help you do the same. It’s one of the top business podcasts on iTunes, with over 60,000 downloads from listeners who either have or want to have an online business or side hustle.
Flynn consistently stresses that earning passive income isn’t the same as getting rich with no work. You have to put in a lot of effort upfront to create a business that can keep generating money month after month.
But he also emphasizes the advantages of having an online business that isn’t a full-time job, freeing you to spend more time on the things that matter most. He starts off each episode of his podcast with the slogan “It’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later.”
Episodes of “Smart Passive Income” range from 30 minutes to an hour in length. Most of them feature interviews with other successful online business owners, such as Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, and Chalene Johnson. Flynn talks to them about how their businesses got started, what their sources of income are, and any particular areas of expertise they can share with listeners.
Recent episodes have delved into such topics as building a brand, turning a side hustle into a full-time business, and running a business while raising a family.
Flynn also has a separate weekly podcast, “AskPat 2.0,” in which he tackles listeners’ questions. Instead of just reading a question and offering his thoughts, he has a “coaching call” with the listener on the air, delving in detail into questions like how to turn a hobby into a business. These episodes typically run about half an hour.
How to Listen
You can play episodes of “Smart Passive Income” directly from the site and view show notes for each episode, including a summary and full transcript. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, or Overcast. New episodes come out every Wednesday.
6. The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss is one of the most successful investors in the world today. He was an early investor in many successful technology companies, including Uber, Facebook, Shopify, and Alibaba. He went on to write five No. 1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, most notably “The 4-Hour Workweek.”
His podcast, “The Tim Ferriss Show,” is a three-time “Best Of” award winner on Apple Podcasts, with over 600 million downloads, and readers of Fortune Magazine’s Term Sheet named it as the top business podcast for 2019.
Unlike most business podcasts, “The Tim Ferriss Show” doesn’t focus specifically on how to build a business. Instead, Ferriss talks to top performers in many different fields to learn the secrets of their success and, in his words, “extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.” His guests have included actor and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, basketball star LeBron James, author Malcolm Gladwell, and musician Amanda Palmer.
Ferriss is a skillful speaker — smooth, to the point, and just the slightest bit snarky. However, he doesn’t carry the show on his own; he selects fascinating guests and gets them to talk about themselves at length. Episodes of this show can be up to two hours long, with conversations sprawling across a huge variety of topics.
For instance, an interview with special-effects artist and TV personality Adam Savage touches on Japanese anime, cosplay, the art of public speaking, politics, Noam Chomsky, model building as a learning exercise, how to cook perfect scrambled eggs, and why failure is always an option.
How to Listen
You can listen to individual episodes of “The Tim Ferriss Show” on Ferriss’s website. The site also provides links to listen to the program on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Overcast, Google Podcasts, and Castbox. New episodes don’t appear on a regular schedule but typically pop up once or twice per week.
7. Stacking Benjamins
Unlike the polished presentation of Tim Ferriss, “Stacking Benjamins” deliberately presents itself as goofy and amateurish. Hosts Joe Saul-Sehy and Josh Bannerman, otherwise known as “OG” for “Other Guy,” introduce every show as broadcasting “live from Joe’s mom’s basement” and frequently joke that you won’t learn anything on Stacking Benjamins.
Of course, they’re only teasing. In reality, this is an intelligent, thoughtful show that has earned recommendations from Fast Company, Kiplinger, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc. The show’s humor and playfulness serve a serious purpose: to help listeners understand all aspects of money and finance.
Episodes of “Stacking Benjamins” run between an hour and 90 minutes. They follow a magazine-style format, with a series of segments each around 10 or 15 minutes long. Segments include money-related headlines from the news, a main story featuring a guest from the world of business or finance, a money-related trivia game, and money questions from listeners. On Fridays, there’s also a segment on either financial technology or human resources.
These multiple segments allow one show to span a wide variety of financial topics. Recent episodes have looked at the high cost of higher education, asking for a raise at work, delaying gratification, and coping with stress. It makes the show appropriate and enjoyable for both financial newbies and accomplished investors.
The tone of the show is casual, friendly, and entertaining. Saul-Sehy, OG, and a cast of supporting characters like podcaster Paula Pant (discussed below) exchange humorous banter as they review the headlines, and “Joe’s Mom’s Neighbor Doug” runs a regular trivia game segment. Chelsea Brennan of Forbes describes it as “laugh-out-loud funny.” According to the show’s website, its philosophy is “Fun and play beats preaching any day.”
How to Listen
You can listen to episodes on the show’s website or through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Google Podcasts, or Stitcher. New episodes air every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The show is organized into “seasons,” with eight weeks of new episodes followed by a week of “rewind” episodes featuring some of the podcast’s greatest hits.
8. Brown Ambition
The “Brown Ambition” podcast features two friends who are also financial experts having a serious, yet fun conversation about money issues. The hosts, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche of NextAdvisor and Mandi Woodruff of Lending Tree, shed light on a wide array of money issues, from student loan debt to buying a car.
However, their main focus is career and business advice. And because they’re both young women of color, they approach these subjects from a perspective that many financial podcasts don’t.
Each hour-long episode of “Brown Ambition” has several segments. It starts with Aliche and Woodruff just chatting about current events and how they could affect listeners’ finances. This segment often delves into politics, viewed from a strongly left-leaning perspective, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
After about half an hour, the hosts switch to addressing questions from listeners. Recent questions focus on ways to make extra money online, finding a virtual assistant for a business, when to quit a job you hate, and whether to take time off after having a baby. They wrap up the episode with a “boost or break” segment in which each host discusses something she either likes or dislikes.
The vibe of “Brown Ambition” is casual and youthful, aimed particularly at millennials. It’s not the best place to go for rigorous analysis of economic issues. It’s best for those who want to learn about money and business in a way that feels less like a lesson and more like a conversation with a friend.
How to Listen
You can listen to “Brown Ambition” through its website or sign up through SoundCloud, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher.
Best Investing Podcasts
Some podcasts focus on mastering the skills and strategies needed for a particular type of investment, while others look at the subject of investing as a whole. Depending on what you most want to learn about investing, one of these podcasts could be helpful for you.
9. BiggerPockets Money Podcast
For newbies to the world of investing, “BiggerPockets Money Podcast” provides a good introduction. Co-hosts Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench explore all aspects of investing and personal finance, from paying off debt to retiring early, in language anyone can understand.
This podcast is longer than most, typically running between 80 and 90 minutes. On Mondays, the hosts typically interview financial experts, such as the Mad Fientist (discussed below) and Ramit Sethi of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.” On “Finance Fridays,” they advise real people on how to get their finances under control. And once in a while, they go solo to explore a particular financial issue, as in their recent episode on the importance of regular “money dates” for couples.
Jensen and Trench take a conversational tone with guests and with listeners. They explain investing in simple and concrete terms anyone can understand. Their goal, in Jensen’s words, is to help you get money out of the way so you can live your best life.
How to Listen
You can find all past episodes of “BiggerPockets Money Podcast” on the show’s website. You can also subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, or Google Podcasts. New episodes come out twice per week.
10. BiggerPockets Podcast
Before “BiggerPockets Money Podcast,” there was the original “BiggerPockets Podcast,” which focuses specifically on real estate investing — in particular, owning rental properties. Hosts Brandon Turner and David Greene interview successful real estate investors with a variety of backgrounds, market niches, and levels of experience. Over the course of 60 to 90 minutes, they invite guests to share their failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.
According to the show’s website, the hosts aim to make the podcast feel like a casual chat over a beer with a friend. For instance, in one episode the hosts talk with a single mom from Detroit who was able to acquire and rehab 10 properties on her earnings as a waitress.
Their conversation covers her experiences growing up, how she bought her first property with a tax refund, how she chooses the best neighborhoods to invest in, why she always fixes up her rentals to top quality even in low-income areas, and her thoughts on being a good landlord and giving back to her tenants.
There are also some interviews with guests who aren’t involved directly in real estate but have expertise that can be useful for building a real estate business. Turner and Greene talk to a bestselling author with two books on what sets successful people in any business apart from the crowd, a podcaster who specializes in networking, and a group of investors who achieved financial independence by building passive income streams.
How to Listen
New episodes of “BiggerPockets Podcast” come out every Thursday. Like “BiggerPockets Money,” it’s available on the BiggerPockets website or through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Overcast, Castbox, or Google Podcasts.
11. Money For the Rest of Us
David Stein is an investing professional who has managed billions of dollars for institutional clients and shared control of a large investment team. However, he’s given all that up and now devotes himself to helping individual investors control their portfolios with confidence.
Part of this effort is “Money For the Rest of Us,” which Stein describes as “a podcast about money, how it works, how to invest it, and how to live without worrying about it.”
A typical episode of “Money For the Rest of Us” is just Stein talking into the microphone for 20 to 30 minutes. His style is less conversational and more like a lecturer presenting a lesson, with stress on specific words and repeated pauses for emphasis.
He explores a range of topics related to money and investing, including socially responsible investing, the FIRE movement (short for Financial Independence, Retire Early), how to avoid investment fraud, and whether a college degree is worth the money.
Each episode covers a single topic from several angles. For example, in Episode 252 titled “How to Become Wealthy,” Stein starts by discussing the results of two recent surveys about wealth and investing. This leads into the topic of how Americans define wealth and how their real finances stack up against their ideas of what it means to be rich.
Then, Stein proceeds to outline the three steps he thinks are crucial to acquiring wealth: increasing your income, maximizing your savings rate, and getting the best return on your investments. He concludes by talking about ways to live a rich life regardless of your actual net worth.
How to Listen
You can stream individual episodes of “Money for the Rest of Us” on Stein’s website. You can also sign up through Apple Podcasts, IHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Amazon Music, or RSS feed. New episodes air most Wednesdays at 12pm Eastern time.
12. Women & Money
Suze Orman is the “Matriarch of Money” — a financial advisor with over 35 years of experience. In “Women & Money,” she delivers financial advice in her inimitable no-nonsense style. The show often focuses on retirement, a finance topic of special importance to women, who both live longer and earn less during their working years than men. However, Orman’s advice on the subject is just as relevant for “the men smart enough to listen,” as she says.
A typical episode of “Women & Money” runs about 30 minutes. Some feature Orman and her assistant “KT” reading and answering questions from listeners. Others address current events and how they could affect your finances. Sometimes Orman does a deep dive into a specific financial topic, such as the stock market. She also talks about the psychological aspects of money, such as the excuses we make for financial failure.
Orman’s style isn’t for everyone. Her tough-love approach to listeners in financial trouble can come across as hectoring, and her nitty-gritty analysis of some complex topics can be a bit heavy at times. But for those who appreciate straight talk and plenty of detail, this podcast provides exactly that.
How to Listen
Past episodes of “Women & Money” are available on Orman’s website. You can also subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or TuneIn. New episodes pop up on Sundays and Thursdays.
Best FIRE Podcasts
For many investors, the ultimate dream is financial independence: having enough money to live on for the rest of your life without needing to work. Most people expect, or at least hope, to reach this goal by the time they reach retirement age.
However, a subset of investors is aiming to get there much sooner. They want to retire — or, at least, no longer need to work for money — in their 50s, 40s, or even 30s.
These investors form the base of the FIRE movement. Now some of them are sharing their dreams, plans, and strategies through podcasts. If you’re interested in achieving financial freedom, these money podcasts that can help light your FIRE.
Investors Jonathan Mendonsa and Brad Barrett bill their “ChooseFI” podcast as “a finance podcast by the FIRE community and for the FIRE community.” It has what Forbes calls a “cult-like following,” with more than 20,000 members in its Facebook group.
Episodes are around an hour long and come out twice per week, on Sundays and Thursdays. Typically, the Sunday episode is an interview with a member of the FIRE community, such as a blogger, author, or personal friend of the hosts.
These guests talk about their lives, how they got into FIRE, and their thoughts and strategies on all types of financial issues. Topics include tackling debt, cutting expenses, investing, building passive income, and estate planning.
The Thursday episode is generally more of a roundup. Mendonsa and Barrett discuss their takeaways from the week’s interview, answer listener questions, share stories from the community, and chat about whatever is going on in their lives and finances.
For instance, in one episode, they devote about 10 minutes to Mendonsa’s experiments with online grocery shopping and his conclusions about how much value different services offer for the money. Listening to these episodes is like overhearing a casual chat between two friends who just happen to talk a lot about money.
How to Listen
“ChooseFI” is available on Apple Podcasts, Podbean, and Spotify. You can also stream episodes one at a time on the show’s website. The “Essential Listening” section lists specific episodes that are useful for different groups of listeners or for learning about specific topics.
14. Afford Anything
Paula Pant is a real estate investor, blogger, and author of the e-book “Escape,” which is about ways to break free from the 9-to-5 routine. Her podcast, “Afford Anything,” takes its name from her slogan: “You can afford anything, but not everything.”
The show, which has over 60,000 followers, centers around her philosophy that living the good life is all about figuring out what matters most to you. Then you can devote your limited resources — your money, time, and energy — to that.
Episodes of “Afford Anything” run anywhere from 60 to 80 minutes. In about half the episodes, Pant interviews experts in fields such as investing, psychology, and behavioral economics. She has spoken with Emmy-nominated CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, author David Bach of the “Finish Rich” series, and a couple identified only as “Mike and Lauren” who achieved financial independence by age 30 after running about a dozen different businesses.
In other episodes, Pant — by herself or with a cohost — answers questions from listeners on all things money-related. For instance, she advises them on how to invest in real estate, earn extra income, catch up on retirement savings, and talk to skeptical friends about FIRE. And on “PSA Thursdays,” Pant addresses current events and how they can affect your work, money, and life.
Some episodes are mostly just Pant talking solo, interspersed with recordings of listener questions and punctuated with occasional sound effects. However, thanks to Pant’s delightful speaking voice and bubbly personality, listening to her never grows tiresome.
How to Listen
You can stream episodes of “Afford Anything” from Pant’s website or subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. New episodes of the show show up once or twice a week.
15. Financial Independence Podcast by Mad Fientist
The Mad Fientist is one of the leading lights of the FIRE movement. After retiring at the age of 34, he developed a website loaded with tips and tools, such as spreadsheets and calculators, to help others do the same. His “Financial Independence Podcast” supplements those resources with ideas gleaned from other “fientists.”
Episodes of “Financial Independence Podcast” typically run between 30 and 60 minutes and start with a casual “Hey, what’s up, everybody?” In most episodes, Mad Fientist interviews top FIRE bloggers such as Mr. Money Mustache, J.D. Roth of “Get Rich Slowly,” and the Frugalwoods to learn their techniques and strategies for achieving financial independence.
Their conversations range over all kinds of topics related to FIRE, including investment strategies, career choices, and work-life balance. Occasionally he goes solo to offer lessons from his own experience, such as new discoveries or challenges in his financially independent life.
One downside of this podcast: new episodes don’t show up very often. In the past year, Mad Fientist has added only five new episodes.
How to Listen
“Financial Independence Podcast” isn’t available on as many platforms as most financial podcasts. Your only choices are to subscribe through Apple Podcasts, where it has a 4.8-star rating from 1,500 reviewers, or stream or download it on the Mad Fientist website. Transcripts of old episodes are available on the site as well.
These are the most recommended podcasts on personal finance, but they’re only a dozen out of hundreds of shows on the subject. Search for “money” or “finance” on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher, and you’ll find podcasts on every possible financial topic. There are investing podcasts, career podcasts, and FIRE podcasts. There are podcasts devoted to earning, spending, saving, investing, and understanding your relationship with money.
So if the particular financial topic that interests you wasn’t included in this list, that doesn’t mean it isn’t out there. No matter what you want to learn about money, with a little digging, you should be able to find a podcast that covers it.