I never take it for granted how fortunate I am to have my job. Let’s be honest, it’s not really a job when you’re doing what you love. And that’s what I get to do as a journalist covering personal finance and economics.
With the “job” comes the opportunity to meet many smart, interesting and influential people, some of whom are legit heavyweights within their specific industries and in the world at large. Today’s Better Off guest, the esteemed Dr. Mohamed El-Erian, falls into that category. Of all of the economists and financial services executives that I have been privileged to interview, Mohamed is one of the few who can distill and communicate complicated ideas in a way that all of us can understand. That’s why we’re keeping him around for two episodes…there’s just too much knowledge in his brain to squeeze into one show.
While you may have seen or read Dr. El-Erian before—as a guest on CNBC, a LinkedIn Influencer, a columnist for “Bloomberg View,” a contributing editor to the “Financial Times,” and the chief economic advisor for Allianz—our conversations on “Better Off” are rare opportunities where he can delve into a myriad of big picture economic topics for more than the three minutes usually allotted to his appearances.
Mohamed’s bestselling book, “The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse,” will be released in paperback next month. I encourage everyone to read it, because it was one of my top picks for economics/business books last year.
In part one of the interview Mohamed touches on the three things he believes every investor needs to be a successful:
- An understanding of fundamentals
- An understanding of mathematics and discounted cash flows
- A solid gut instinct
If you only possess one of these attributes—gut instinct—don’t worry! We also discuss passive investing as an alternative to stock picking.
As the new administration and Congress roll out various fiscal policies, it was a treat to hear what’s on Mohamed’s wish list. There are measures that the government can take to foster a more inclusive U.S. economy, help boost wage growth and improve the current tax system. And of course, we wouldn’t let him go before getting this UK-educated economist’s view of Brexit!
“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.
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"Better Off" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.