The X’s & O’s

One point that we reiterate on the podcast is the importance of being an informed investor and not a day trader. One way to eliminate some of the guesswork is by investing in an index fund. This investment tool is meant to mimic a financial market index such as the S&P 500. In other words, you will have a better idea on your expected rate of return and the amount of risk you are subjected to. Brent, Matthew, and Joshua talk about where you can get an index fund and why this investment is a great fit for many financial plans out there.

The Hosts:

Brent Pasqua, Matthew Theal and Joshua Winterswyk


Brent Pasqua: Welcome to Retirement Plan Playbook, a much anticipated show about index funds. I’m your host Brent Pasqua, and founder of RPA Wealth Management. I’m here with the Certified Financial Planner, Matthew Theal, and also Certified Financial Planner, Joshua Winterswyk. Gosh, it feels good to be in here. It felt a little normal this week and I don’t know if you guys felt the same way. But after March Madness took a year off last year, because that’s right when COVID hit, basketball tournaments started back up again. Did you guys do a bracket this year?

Matthew Theal: Yeah, I did. And I do agree with you. I do think it was feeling a little bit more normal seeing the tournament tip off a few weeks ago. I did a bracket. It’s already toast. It went down the first weekend, I think Saturday or Sunday. I picked Illinois to go all the way and hoist the trophy, and they got upset on round two. So yeah, my bracket’s toast.

Brent Pasqua: So for everyone who doesn’t know, March Madness Bracket, it’s the college basketball tournament that normally happens in March, which is why they call it March Madness. I forgot how much I enjoy it because it didn’t happen last year. And when I was watching it last couple of days, even my wife was into it, because it felt normal. I did make a bracket this year, so I was glad I did that. So we’re following my bracket. And I haven’t lost any of my final four teams yet, which is positive. But I’m rooting for UCLA, so go Bruins.

Brent Pasqua: I don’t know what got lost sort of in that chaos, but I didn’t even realize that college basketball was even playing. And then when I went to go do my bracket… Because we can’t go through March Madness without doing a bracket. And I went to go do my bracket, I saw that there was hardly any powerhouse teams. So I don’t know what happened this college basketball season, but none of the big boys are up there this year.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah, like Duke, Kentucky. Right, Matt? What were the other ones we were talking about earlier?

Matthew Theal: Michigan State. None of the traditional powers are good though, like… Who was it? Villanova’s usually good. UConn’s usually good.

Joshua Winterswyk: North Carolina.

Matthew Theal: Yeah. They all kind of flamed out.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah.

Brent Pasqua: It’s interesting. But it’s nice to have it back on and it doesn’t feel like COVID’s around. I mean, they’re doing a really good job, it seems like, with it.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah, yeah. I think they’ve only had one game that was kind of compromised through all of the games so far, but really nice to see it back. And I’m enjoying it more than I thought I was going to before it even starts. So I missed it a lot more than I thought.

Brent Pasqua: And there’s nothing to hype up the tournament more than having a good bracket, right?

Matthew Theal: Yeah, yeah. Filling out your own bracket and rooting for it. And then, I mean, obviously everyone has to like the upsets. There’s been a lot of upsets too. So different year.

Brent Pasqua: Should be a great tournament this season.

Matthew Theal: Yeah, absolutely.

Newspaper Boy: Extra, extra. Read all about it.

Announcer: Let’s hear the latest hot takes on some recent news items.

Brent Pasqua: All right. Let’s get into the hot take headlines. The American rescue plan of 2021 at 1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus plan was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. The main features of the bill, $1,400 stimulus check per individual for those who are eligible, expanded child tax credit from $2000 to $3000 and extensions for unemployment claims. Curious what your guys’ thoughts are on this. What does this even mean? And what do you think about this?

Matthew Theal: I’m not sure it’s needed. I kind of think at this point, the economy is really starting to take off and in a way it’s kind of like throwing gasoline on the fire, but then the flip side is you can make the argument that this was needed, right? Because it’s throwing the gas on the fire, it’s getting that economy hot. It’s getting things moving. And the economy is doing really well right now. So I was in Downtown Pasadena over the weekend, just walking around and I noticed on all the restaurants, they have help wanted signs for servers. And I don’t know if the two of you have tried to eat at a restaurant or order delivery from a restaurant since indoor dining was back in California and I’ve had some really poor pickup and delivery experiences.

Matthew Theal: Since it got started, I called a Sushi restaurant four o’clock a week ago and they told me my food would be ready by 7:00. I was hoping I would get it at 5:00. I was like, “Ah, no, that’s all right. Thanks though.” So all these restaurants are really struggling. So hopefully these checks help and get the economy going. But the other thing too is why didn’t they tie this to getting your vaccination, right? How cool would it have been if you got your vaccination then after you get your second shot, they print you out your check right on the spot.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. And I feel like that was talked about for months that they’d pay people for their vaccinations, but that really hasn’t came about. But then they could have tied this check to that and you take care of two things at once.

Matthew Theal: Yeah. I’m for that as well. Get the checks, get the vaccine, let’s move on. But it seems like some of this bill, in my opinion, that they’re throwing money at things we’re already kind of even past like testing, but also they decrease the threshold for income for the stimulus checks. They like fell off a cliff for anyone or you wouldn’t receive it if you earned over $75,000, individually, and then $150,000 for married filing jointly. And then I thought it was also interesting that they expanded the dependent age. So I think it’s up to like 24 years old. If you still work claiming independent in college, then you got an extra bonus in the stimulus checks. I thought that was interesting. That was different than the first two.

Brent Pasqua: If people savings are really at all times high and debts are going down, why do people need this extra money then?

Matthew Theal: I mean, I think there is a certain part of the economy that is still struggling, that is out of work, but-

Brent Pasqua: But then why didn’t they just build a bill for those people?

Matthew Theal: I just think it’s too hard. Like you can’t make it too general. You kind of have to make it broad. I mean, they did cut out a lot of Americans who have been working and making good money through the crisis. Most likely they’re not getting a check or helped out by this bill at all.

Joshua Winterswyk: And lowering that income bracket. But I agree with you. I mean, focusing more money on more of the people who actually needed it.

Brent Pasqua: Right, because you could see like what you were just talking about with Sushi restaurants, where this problem is going to be because if they don’t open up they’re not going to have servers and once they do open up, then maybe they can get some help and then you got takeout help. So you need… It seems like it would create a tremendous amount of challenge and not everyone wants to work in a restaurant and not make enough money on tips. So it seems like it’s going to be hard to restaff these restaurants properly.

Matthew Theal: Yeah. And then the other thing too is, they boosted the unemployment, right? So then for some people it’s actually better to sit home and be unemployed than it is to go to work. So what they possibly should have done is offer like a $5,000 bonus stimulus if you go get a job and you keep the job for like a month or something like that. That would’ve been a cool way to get the economy going.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah, because if you’re going back to work part-time especially in like a restaurant setting, then you might not be making, like you said, as much as you would just on unemployment. So where is that incentive?

Brent Pasqua: Yeah, I agree. It seems like it’s still a challenge, but hopefully we’re taking the right steps and at least they’re doing something than not doing anything at all. The IRS has pushed back tax day by a month this year to May 17th. One interesting fact is not only can you delay filing your taxes, but you can also delay your IRS tax payment to May 17th, if you… Oh, what are your thoughts on this movement?

Matthew Theal: Well, I think it was a big rumor for a while. It came true a month. Doesn’t really make sense that much of a difference for me. I mean, if you’re ready to get your taxes, get your taxes done. One thing though for those of you who do the IRA contributions is it’s also on May 17th. So it gives you a little extra time to save for your payment or save for your IRA contribution, which is nice.

Brent Pasqua: Why did they wait so long to delay this?

Joshua Winterswyk: I don’t know. The writing was on the wall back in like January, February when they delayed the start of filing season. Why wouldn’t they just extend it then? So everyone knew and wasn’t so curious about if it was going to be extended. But I think it is a little bit of a relief too for people who are trying to figure out their tax situation or typically owe as well, right? Because your payment’s now delayed. I think there’s a little bit of a relief there for those filers. But I’m not sure why they waited so long, I think that they would have been a lot better served for the public to know that they were going to have this extension back in January or February.

Brent Pasqua: Speaking of vaccines, why aren’t tax preparers in the essential group?

Matthew Theal: It’s weird I was just thinking the exact same thing as we’re sitting here that a lot of people who get their taxes done want to actually sit right in front of their preparer and go over all the details. It would seem very essential for them to be vaccinated.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. You would think they’d be in group one or group two. I mean, I don’t know how it is in other States, but here in California, they’re not included at all. So it’s really strange, actually.

Brent Pasqua: It seems like a lot of the IRS is still working remotely from my understanding.

Joshua Winterswyk: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brent Pasqua: Interesting. It seems like they would probably need to get vaccinated as well.

Announcer: Now that we warmed up with some hot takes, let’s go to the retirement planning corner and see what’s on the docket for today.

Brent Pasqua: All right. Let’s head into the retirement planning corner. On today’s retirement planning corner, we’re really going to discuss why every retiree needs to have a low fee index fund in their retirement account. Now, we can’t say every client, right? That’s probably against some sort of compliance. So I don’t know who typed these notes, but let’s get into a little bit of information about the index funds. Matt, what is an index fund?

Matthew Theal: So an index fund is probably the greatest invention to ever come to the individual investor. And you’ve heard of the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones.

Brent Pasqua: Dow Jones, NASDAQ, another index.

Matthew Theal: Yeah. So those are all stock indexes. And what an index fund does is, it is designed to track those indexes near perfectly with minimal tracking error. And so what happens is a fund company or manager will go out and buy every stock in that index. Therefore, their fund will be mimicking that index. So when you’re watching the evening news, CNN, Fox News, ABC, Fox 11, whatever it is, and you see the S&P 500 is up 2%. If you own an index fund that invest in the S&P 500, that means your S&P 500 index fund was up 2% that day.

Brent Pasqua: Now, is that a position that everyone should just buy in their portfolio and have it sitting there. Does that solve the whole portfolio issue or is an index fund a more broad position that’s held throughout your portfolio?

Matthew Theal: I think it’s perfect for 99% of all people who are out there trying to invest their money. Why wouldn’t you want to get the market return? I mean, you could try and a little better, but studies have shown that that’s pretty hard to do.

Brent Pasqua: Josh, what are some key characteristics that make an index fund different than a traditional stock fund?

Joshua Winterswyk: Well, I think to just explain, who is on the other side of an index fund, right? We’ve talked about active management or stock picking before. So buying the index is the opposite of that. It’s the opposite of forecasting and guessing, which is going to be the winner just like Matt had mentioned, you’re buying the whole index. So you’re buying, let’s say, the top 500 companies in the US market if you’re buying the S&P 500.

Joshua Winterswyk: And the main difference is that exactly. So instead of buying a share of Apple, you’re actually buying all of the stocks in that index. So you’re not having just exposure to that one company or a few companies. So you still get the benefit and the appreciation of the stock market. It’s just on that more general diversified base instead of having all of the focus in a one or few, or even an actively managed fund, which would mean you’re trying to guess the winners internally with the fund, so.

Brent Pasqua: So basically a mutual fund is a basket full of stocks, right? And then if it’s actively managed, then a manager’s pulling stocks in and out of that basket and his goal is to beat the rate of return of what the actual index is, right? He’s trying to beat the market. He’s trying to outperform the market. And rather than trying to do that, you’re just buying the actual index and you’re following actual market returns of the index that you’re purchasing.

Matthew Theal: Correct. Yes. It’s a passive strategy, right? There’s passive versus active and buying an index fund is a passive strategy. What you’re describing is an active strategy where you’re actively trying to beat the market.

Brent Pasqua: So why should somebody go index versus active?

Matthew Theal: Predictability, probability, fees. Passive is all better, right? Like if you buy a passive fund, you have a pretty good idea of what your returns are going to be over the long run. So historically, the soft market, the S&P 500 average is nine to 10% a year. Well, if you know you’re in a tracking fund that tracks the S&P 500, then you have a pretty good idea you’re going to do nine to 10% per year. If you’re in a active fund with a star active manager, the top one right now that everyone’s really in love with is Kathy Wood, one year you might do 35%, the next year you might do negative 25%. The year after that, you might do 2%. You just don’t know what you’re going to do, it’s a toss up.

Joshua Winterswyk: What I think it kind of goes back down to it. And I think it sort of, at least makes sense to me. Just like, if you go to Vegas and you’re sitting at the Blackjack table, or if you’re setting up a Blackjack table, an index fund is kind of like you being a dealer, you’re buying the house and the active managers are the players around the table trying to beat the house.

Matthew Theal: That’s a great analogy.

Brent Pasqua: And how often do you actually beat the house? You might beat in the house once, you might beat the house twice, but over a long haul, you’re not going to beat the house because the house always wins. And so I think that’s a big difference between active management and then index funds.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. And I think their split right now is less than 20% of actively managed funds outperform the indexes or the benchmarks. So pretty low probability when you’re looking to win. And I also just I think that, like Matt said, with the unpredictability, your maintenance is just easier. So you’re like making your investment experience just a lot more enjoyable by having less maintenance and taking out all of the guesswork. We’re buying the whole market. So we’re okay with what it gives us, right? We’re invested for the long run. So I think that, that’s one other key factor to these index funds is just the ease and the low maintenance and the low cost are all benefits to the underlying investor.

Matthew Theal: Here’s the thing about doing index funds too is, you could pretty much guarantee almost with certainty that if you bought an index fund today in 30, 40, 50 years, that index one will still be there, right? The S&P 500 has been around since the 1950s, I believe. And they had indexes before that in the 1920s. You can’t say that same certainty with Apple or Tesla. We don’t know if they’re going to be here. And everybody always says, “Oh, no, those are great companies. They’ll be around forever.” Really? What about General Electric? What about Ford? How many times did those companies almost go bankrupt? What about all those banks in 2008? So instead though you’re doing the S&P 500, you’re buying America, you’re buying capitalism.

Brent Pasqua: That’s a great point.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. It really takes the risk out of it. And you know what your returns are going to be. Because I mean, if you’re comparing that to active management, how do you pick the manager? And then how do you even know if that manager is going to be managing that fund you’re buying in two years from now? And you know your risk, right? I mean, you can better understand your risk because you are buying that overall index. When you’re buying individual stocks or you’re buying an actively managed fund, how do you really know how to measure your risk? Are you even measuring your risk? But I think it’s just a lot easier to measure that risk when you’re using an index fund.

Matthew Theal: And then not just the performance issue, but then there’s also that cost issue that begins to come out about it.

Brent Pasqua: Matt, what’s the difference between a mutual fund and an ETF? And I think this is something maybe challenging for people to understand. So let’s break it down.

Matthew Theal: Yeah. Great question. So let’s take a mutual fund first. A mutual fund is essentially an investment that invest in various securities, stocks, bonds, whatever you have it. The biggest difference with that and an ETF is a mutual fund actually trades at the end of the day. So it actually doesn’t trade when the market’s open, you place your trade order when the market’s open. So you say, “I’m going to buy or sell this mutual fund,” but they actually don’t take the cash from your account until after the market closes. And then you’ll see the fund in your account the next day.

Brent Pasqua: When are you getting prices while you place a trader at the close?

Matthew Theal: You get prices based on the end of the day closing. So a mutual fund, what they do is they’ll take, say it owns 500 stocks, at the end of the day it’ll come up with the prices for all those stocks and do their little performance calculation, and then tell you if your fund’s up or down. That’s why when you look in your account, you usually see your mutual funds up or down around 2:00 or 3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Matthew Theal: Now, an ETF is exchange traded. So it could buy and sell stocks or securities just like a mutual fund would, but it trades via the exchange via like call at the NYC, right? Everyone knows that. And it trades daily. So you could go anytime the market’s open and you could sell your S&P 500 ETF and you’ll get the money in your account. It’s trades more like a stock.

Brent Pasqua: So is there one that’s better than the other or what does it come down to?

Matthew Theal: I actually kind of like mutual funds better. And the reason I do is because when the market’s open, it’s really easy if it’s dropping by three, 4%, when we’ve had those crashes to press sell on your ETS. But a lot of those times, that’s the wrong behavior. And on a mutual fund even if you press sell at 11:00 AM on a Tuesday, you know you’re not going to have your transaction completed till the next day. I think it’s more of a challenge to press that sell button.

Brent Pasqua: So how does this actually relate to retirees and why are they good for retirees?

Matthew Theal: Well, like we’ve said, the number one thing for me is predictability, right? When you’re a retiree, you want to know what your portfolio is going to do on a year. You don’t want unpredictability in your retirement plan.

Joshua Winterswyk: I always think of it like this too once you even get to retirement. And you’re like, if you have a defined strategy, that’s better for predictability. But then when you get to retirement, portfolio volatility creates income volatility. So when you’re retired and living on a fixed income, do you want income volatility? Probably not. I mean, I know I wouldn’t. But I think that that’s a big thing for retirees is not only are you solidifying your philosophy, it favors you in accumulation phase, but then it’s also going to favor you in having less volatility with your income once you actually hit retirement.

Brent Pasqua: Now isn’t the Vanguard philosophy created based off an index based method?

Matthew Theal: Yeah. Vanguard is an investment company. John Bogle created the index fund in the 70s. He was a researcher in Chicago with a lot of other famous finance people and he came up with this idea for the index fund. He started a company that I don’t remember what the name was that it actually then morphed into Vanguard. And so, yeah. Vanguard is the leader in index funds though I will say most other companies have caught up and pretty much everybody does offer an index fund now. If you kind of want index fund 2.0, you could go the dimensional fund advisors route, that’s DFA. They do a lot of stuff with the kind of factoring and laying on and kind of making that index fund plus making it a little better than just a standard index fund.

Brent Pasqua: And wasn’t Vanguard’s philosophy though, just to also bring down costs and keep returns as close to market performance as possible?

Matthew Theal: Yeah, exactly. And that’s the whole thing when we say index fund is we’re really talking about low fee index funds where you’re not paying somebody, one, 2% to manage the money for you. It’s much lower of a cost. We’re talking pennies on the dollar here.

Brent Pasqua: So how can a retiree invest in an index fund?

Matthew Theal: Well, a retiree can invest in an index fund mutual fund, not only in their 401K, they’re available in lots of 401Ks, are becoming so much more popular. So you can do your research within your 401Ks, but now on all of the big brokerages too. So if you have your IRA or your brokerage account, you can also buy index funds in those accounts as well. They are available.

Matthew Theal: You’re just doing your research and make sure you are looking at the cost of the index funds. Typically, they’re low cost and that’s very important, especially as you’re going to retirement, because as you’re getting more conservative of going into a retirement phase, you want to be even more cost conscious because you want to keep on the more of your return, but you can definitely buy them in most of your investment accounts now and just got to do your research. And like you guys had mentioned Vanguard and DFA are a good place to start.

Matthew Theal: I mean, a decade ago, you didn’t really have that many index fund options in your 401K plan, but now it’s become more standardized at every 401K company and plan is offering these index options.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. It has become more standardized. If you’re with a big company, chances are you probably have an index fund option in your 401k or your whole plan is actually index-based, right? Not only the S&P 500, but you have international indexes, bond indexes, a lot of the larger, call it, top 100 corporations in the US are offering plans like that. If you’re a smaller company and maybe you’re on, I don’t want to mention any names, but a popular payroll service is doing your 401K, there’s a chance you might not have index funds. And in that case, you probably should meet with an advisor to help you out and kind of see what your best options are there.

Brent Pasqua: I’m actually kind of surprised though. I mean, we do review a lot of 401k plans. It is becoming a lot more popular, which is just good for the investor and if you are a retiree. But there are still a lot of actively managed funds within those plans. So do your research, because I am still shocked that some of these plans lack good index funds, even at this point.

Matthew Theal: Absolutely. I completely agree. I mean, when I look at most plans still they’ll have 25 actively managed or 15 actively managed funds, and then they’ll have five indexes or it’s just still a smaller percentage compared to the active management funds.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. And they’ll even have overlapping actively managed funds. So meaning, they have three different international stock actively managed funds, but only one index.

Matthew Theal: Correct.

Joshua Winterswyk: Fund comparatively, so I just… There still aren’t that many great 401k plans out there with great options, so definitely just do your research.

Matthew Theal: There’s a company out here based in Los Angeles, a very famous, I think their office is off of the 405 Freeway and they’re called American Funds. And they are just famous for high fee, actively managed funds overlap like you’ve mentioned Josh. They essentially do what an index does or a little worse.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. I think one way that you can identify an index fund… I think there’s two, when you’re looking at your list of options within your 401k plan. You can look and see if it says the index on there. It’s sometimes identified by the index, or they’ll just say S&P 500 fund, but also look at the expense ratio because that’s a really good indicator sometimes. If you see a 1% fee for it, that mutual fund, probably it’s not an index fund unless they’re jacking the price on it because that’s what the 401k plan does.

Matthew Theal: Yeah, exactly. It’s like sort by price first. That’s your first tip.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. And I think what has to be clear here though is, an index fund, buying one index fund or putting all your money in your 401k into an eight index fund doesn’t solve your portfolio issue, right? That doesn’t solve it. It’s like making a cake, you have to have all the ingredients and then you have to have a measurement of each one of those ingredients that makes the cake actually come out nice. But buying one ingredient and just saying one index fund, isn’t going to solve that because it’s not buying everything.

Matthew Theal: Perfect analogy again, Brent. You blew it away. Think of an S&P 500 index fund is kind of like your first pillar, but then you got to build out from there with other index bonds, bond index, international emerging market, you need all these different ingredients to come together to create that cake or that portfolio for you.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. That’s a great summary. And I think more of the index fund when we say that as more of the philosophy, not the solution, right?

Matthew Theal: Sure.

Brent Pasqua: It’s not the product, it’s more of the philosophy, but great job on those analogies.

Matthew Theal: So I think the first step is, identify what your portfolio is in if you’re a retiree. Whether your 401k plan or IRA or just your money. See what you have in terms of actively management. Just know there’s probably a better option that could save a lot of money.

Joshua Winterswyk: Then if you don’t want to do the research yourself, call a financial advisor, ask for a portfolio review. It’s pretty simple. Someone will probably charge you by the hour, it won’t be that much money and you’ll have a better understanding of your portfolio.

Brent Pasqua: I mean, what do you do when people ask you for a portfolio review?

Joshua Winterswyk: I’ll tell them my hourly rate. And then if they say, yes, I do the portfolio review.

Brent Pasqua: And then how do you do that? I mean, do you build it in software?

Joshua Winterswyk: That’s a great question, Brent. Yeah. So what we do is we would ask them to send over their portfolios, their investment statements. And then if it’s a 401k, we would ask them to send over all the fund options in the 401k. We’d run some analysis, some back testing on their current set up and the funds they have and look at all the fees and what the different investments are invested in. And then we would put together a nice little presentation and go through it with them and offer some suggestions on ways to make the portfolio better.

Brent Pasqua: I think one of the important part of that analysis is the cost analysis since you’re going to have a really good understanding of how much you’re paying. There’s just a lot to be learned and I think it’s really informative if you don’t know what’s in your portfolios to do something like that.

Matthew Theal: Investments is like the one industry where you don’t really know what you’re paying, right? So it’s like, you know what you pay your gardener, right? $100 a month, $200 a month. You know what your dry cleaning bill is, but most people don’t know what they’re paying for their investments, for their portfolios, for their 401k.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. It’s a great point. Yeah. And my dry cleaning bill’s a lot less through this COVID period, but you make a great point.

Matthew Theal: Same here.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. And the higher that inner lining cost is inside of that portfolio the less returns you’re getting. And let me tell you, if you’re paying a monthly check for that, you’d probably not want to write that check every month because it’s just taking away from money in your pocket.

Matthew Theal: Yeah, absolutely. They just take it because the investment managers kind of pull the fee without you seeing it.

Brent Pasqua: But isn’t software so amazing nowadays that you could take someone’s existing portfolio, run it through a software, put all the information from the portfolio into software and it tell you everything you need to know about the interlining workings of that portfolio?

Matthew Theal: Yeah. It’s incredible. It’s amazing how far we’ve gotten. And we used to have to do it by hand. It’s not a joke.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. And it’s just so much more efficient. And then it’s also just giving us even more better data to make better decisions becoming even better investors.

Brent Pasqua: I agree. And you want to know what you’re investing into. I mean, it’s your future.

Joshua Winterswyk: Absolutely. And your hard-earned money.

Announcer: It’s time for RPA recommends.

Brent Pasqua: All right. Well, let’s get into the RPA recommends. Matt, you’re ready?

Matthew Theal: I don’t have a good one today, but I am ready. Let me tell you where I’m at right now, pizza ovens.

Brent Pasqua: I’ve been seeing these online and I’m curious.

Matthew Theal: I don’t own one. My brother-in-law and my sister-in-law came over to our house on Saturday and they brought the pizza oven, we made it and it’s a lot of fun. All the kids were there. It’s a fun little activity to do. My brother-in-law, he had a very nice pizza oven and now I am entering the pizza oven game. And what I mean is I got to start doing my research and figuring out if the pizza oven is going to be a good investment.

Brent Pasqua: So do you have the brand, do you mind sharing that? Just so the listener and myself know like generally what you would recommend.

Matthew Theal: It started with a “U” I think. Let me look it up.

Brent Pasqua: So is it like wood-burning? Is it gas power?

Matthew Theal: Oh yeah, it’s wood. Here’s the thing. I see a bunch of people on Instagram making pizzas in their oven. If you are not making your pizza on a wood-powered pizza oven, you are not making pizza.

Brent Pasqua: Wow. That’s a pretty bold statement.

Matthew Theal: It is.

Brent Pasqua: I take it the pizza was good.

Matthew Theal: Oh, the pizza was incredible. I mean, they’re actually really good. And my sister-in-law makes a homemade sauce. They got their dough, they’re spinning-

Brent Pasqua: Did they make the dough homemade too?

Matthew Theal: I think they use Trader Joe’s, but I mean, that’s step 2.0. I’m sure next time I see them they’ll have a dough recipe.

Brent Pasqua: That’s awesome, that’s cool. Are they the Ooni ones, the O-O-N-Is?

Matthew Theal: Yeah. Yeah, that’s the one.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. I’ve seen these. I’ve been seeing these a lot lately. They look pretty cool and I’ve seen people actually produce pizzas from them and it looked like a legitimate-

Joshua Winterswyk: Oh, I just looked it up.

Brent Pasqua: This is really nice made pizza.

Matthew Theal: Yeah, it was incredible. My big thing though is like, I don’t want to buy too much stuff and store it. I already got a barbecue and I’m also in the smoking meat market as well. So I might want to get a Traeger or one of those eggs.

Brent Pasqua: That’s the hard part, just accumulating so many kitchen gadgets, like Instant Pot, we’ve talked about all of those things. So where do you draw the line or you’d stop on all of the, add on kitchen gadgets?

Matthew Theal: Yeah. So it might be something we do with them, with our kids and everything while they’re playing, we make pizzas and it’s fun. But yeah, really cool. I am searching for the right one right now.

Brent Pasqua: Well, I always thought like one of the coolest things to do when you have people over is do an open bar pizza party where you can make your own pizzas and throw them in those ovens. I’ve always thought that that’s such a fun thing to do with family. So I mean, I can, if you can find a space for it, we come in good use.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. No, that is always fun. We’ve done that a few times and done like the Trader Joe’s. They have everything in the Trader Joe’s to do your own pizzas and we have like a pizza, what are they called? Stone that we’ve used, but we just threw them in the oven. But this is game-changing.

Matthew Theal: You know what actually is interesting too I just thought about. So they brought the pizza oven to our house, which you’d think is kind of hard, right?

Brent Pasqua: Right.

Matthew Theal: But it’s actually fairly portable.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah.

Matthew Theal: So this is like a perfect thing for when you’re tailgating at a game or something.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah, absolutely.

Matthew Theal: So much better than firing up a barbecue.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. You can produce pizzas and well done too.

Matthew Theal: Yeah. Can you imagine Josh, how much we could make if we had a pizza oven outside of LASC just handing out personal pizzas?

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah, okay.

Matthew Theal: have our game paid for.

Joshua Winterswyk: A business adventure. MJ or JM pizza is in the parking lot.

Brent Pasqua: What do you have for us?

Joshua Winterswyk: I was thinking about my recommends and one fun thing that me and my wife I like to do at this time is look at the Oscar best picture nominations. And we like to try to watch as many movies from when it’s released. If we haven’t already seen some of them from when the Oscar nomination list is released to the Oscars date. And then we watched the Oscars together. So we’re just barely starting. This is the first year, I think we didn’t watch any of the Oscar films before they’re actually… Like the nomination list then.

Joshua Winterswyk: So we had just started, we haven’t finished it yet, but it’s the trial of the Chicago Seven was the first one we started with that’s on Netflix. So that’s just kind of a recommendation. Something fun to do at home is to watch all of the best pictures. We have a lot of fun with it. And typically, that day of the Oscars, we do a little kind of pick the winners contest. So just kicking off our Oscars season.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah, I always do. Do you know if the Oscars is going to be on Zoom or they’re going to go in-person? Have you heard anything about that?

Joshua Winterswyk: I haven’t heard about that yet. I’m not sure.

Matthew Theal: I’m actually just looking at the list right now. I’m really behind on this. I haven’t seen any of these movies.

Brent Pasqua: When is the Oscars?

Joshua Winterswyk: This is like the first year I hadn’t seen any of them. I think it’s in a few weeks, right?

Matthew Theal: Yeah. Oh, they have a lot of nominees this year. I got to catch up. There’s eight movies I need to see.

Joshua Winterswyk: Let’s take a look.

Brent Pasqua: Do you try to watch the movies before the Oscars?

Matthew Theal: Absolutely, I try to. Some of them that I don’t… I watch the trailers, if the trailer definitely doesn’t appeal to me, then I won’t watch it. There’s been a few movies, but for the most part, I’ve kind of started to enjoy good movies. And most of… If it’s getting nominated for a best picture, it’s a really good movie.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. That’s how we feel too. On April 25th. So we have some time.

Brent Pasqua: Nice. So interesting to see your results of your picking. See how well you’ll do.

Matthew Theal: Have you watched, is this called Minari?

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. That’s with the actor from the Walking Dead, right?

Matthew Theal: It’s about the Korean family.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. I have not seen that.

Matthew Theal: That one looks like the best one.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah.

Matthew Theal: I’m excited to watch that one.

Joshua Winterswyk: We had just started the Trial of Chicago Seven though, but it’s really… So far so good. So I’ll let you guys know how it finishes, but…

Brent Pasqua: All right. Well, I have two for us today, as I think COVID is kind of pushing through a little bit, a little things are opening up a little bit more, sports seasons are starting for kids. So if you’re a soccer parent, or if you’re a grandparent or you’re a baseball parent, and you want to be comfortable out there watching the game, whether it could be climates different in all areas, but there’s a GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker chair. And it’s just a portable chair that you bring out there, but it also is able to rock.

Brent Pasqua: And it’s nice to be able to sit and watch the kid’s baseball game and to be in a chair that’s actually comfortable. So you’re in a comfortable position. You’re not sitting on a bench or you’re not sitting somewhere that’s uncomfortable. You actually have a nice chair where you can sit back and watch the game.

Brent Pasqua: To go along with that, there’s a Mumu Sugar outdoor picnic blanket. And what the blanket does is you could put it on, let’s say you have your kids in the grass or you’re watching the game and you want to sit on the grass, if the grass is wet, you can put the blanket down, it has an insulation in it. So the whole blanket doesn’t get wet. So it just now provides another layer of insulation if it’s cold outside that you could still enjoy watching the game.

Matthew Theal: These are two really cool recommendations, Brent. You are our youth sports dad now. That’s for certain. I mean, coming out with these rocking chairs and blankets that don’t get wet, I love it.

Joshua Winterswyk: I’m looking both of them up. Yeah. Both look cool. Even like just the blanket if you go on picnics, that’s cool.

Brent Pasqua: Yes, absolutely. Multi-use.

Matthew Theal: Mumu Sugar, you said?

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. M-U-M-U Sugar.

Matthew Theal: That’s awesome. I’m excited to get that blanket.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. And you want your family to be comfortable while they’re watching your kid’s game, right? So it provides a good experience.

Matthew Theal: This chair looks like a cool chair too if you’re doing like outdoor Summer movies as well, something like that or you could put a recliner, is that… I don’t know.

Brent Pasqua: Absolutely. Or if you do a lot of picnics or camping or things like that, I think being comfortable makes the experience better.

Matthew Theal: Yeah, for sure.

Brent Pasqua: All right. As advisors, we love helping people. I mean, honestly, that’s why we do what we do. That’s why we do this show. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with any of us, please go to and schedule a complimentary consultation. You can also download information about us or our ebook from our website. If you’d like the show notes, please go to the As always, we appreciate you listening.

Joshua Winterswyk: Thank you.

Matthew Theal: Thank you.

Announcer: RPA Wealth Management is a state registered investment advisor located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. RPA Wealth Management may only transact business in those States and jurisdictions in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. A copy of RPA Wealth Management’s current disclosure statement form ADV part 1, containing RPA Wealth Management business operations, services and fees is available by accessing the SECs investment advisor public disclosure website.

Announcer: RPA Wealth Management will provide form ADV part 2A firm brochure, and 2B brochure supplement to interested parties upon request. Information provided on this podcast should not be construed as a solicitation or offer or recommendation to acquire or dispose of any investment or engage in any other transaction. RPA Wealth Management does not render or offer to render personal investment advice or financial planning advice through its podcast. RPA Wealth Management podcasts are intended for information and educational purposes only.