By Christina Lavingia, Editor
Podcasts are the perfect medium for digesting news and information, as many Americans are fast discovering. According to an Edison Research study, the percentage of total podcast users grew 163 percent between 2006 and 2012; in 2014, there was a 25 percent uptick in Americans age 12 and up who had listened to a podcast in the last month, totaling 39 million Americans.
Edison Research also estimates that half of Americans (124 million) listen to online radio each month. Listeners now turn to digital sources for content like online radio and podcasts -- many of them, exclusively -- to inform them on everything from national and world news to personal finance. So, can you get all the personal finance information you need from radio?
We talked to the hosts of 14 of our favorite financial podcasts and radio shows -- programs that cover everything from getting out of debt and investing to parenting, entrepreneurship and more, and that have large, devoted followings. They told us why their shows are must-listens for getting all your information on finance, business and your money.
Which financial radio show or podcast do you listen to?
The "BiggerPockets Podcast" is a great pick for anyone interested in real estate investing, boasting the highest rating of all real estate podcasts on iTunes. Hosts Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner have you covered on the ins and outs of real estate, offering listeners advice on everything from what to do if you get sued to how to build a long-distance real estate empire.
So what makes this show so enjoyable and informative for listeners? "Our show grew quickly in popularity because of our commitment to quality," said Turner, a real estate investor. "From the microphones we use to the guests we bring on, everything is done with professional standards." As an added bonus, you can get even more out of the "BiggerPockets Podcast" through its social network dedicated to real estate investing. Signup is free and the service boasts more than 263,000 members. Those who sign up can interact with other investors, participate in forums, conduct business and advertise their specific needs to the community.
The Clark Howard Show
Geared toward helping consumers stretch their valuable dollars, experienced radio host and financial expert Clark Howard helps his listeners avoid rip-offs everywhere, from the car dealership to the grocery store.
Howard had this to say of his success: "I'm privileged that in a world where there is so much cynicism, people seem to trust the advice and information they get from me." Howard's advice isn't confined to his radio show. With 10 books in total to help you live larger, regardless of your budget, the information you can get from this seasoned radio host and financial expert is virtually limitless.
The Dave Ramsey Show
Personal finance expert and best-selling author Dave Ramsey hosts a radio show that attracts millions of listeners on a weekly basis. A champion of debt management, Ramsey's show helps callers through financial issues regarding bankruptcy, parenting, entrepreneurship, retirement and more.
Listening to this podcast can help you apply Ramsey's advice to your own circumstances. "The success of our show is directly related to the lives we've helped, a host that has the heart for his listeners and hard work over a long period of time," the show's senior executive producer Blake Thompson said. "If you give people true hope and a proven plan, you can't go wrong. There's no other way to describe how we've become the third largest nationally syndicated talk show in America, the largest independently-owned talk show in America, have more than 550 affiliates and over 8.5 million listeners weekly."
Keep reading: Dave Ramsey Has Just Four Words for You in 2015
The Disciplined Investor
Investing can be intimidating, which is why "The Disciplined Investor" is such an appealing show for investors at any level. Rather than approaching the market blind, which is never a good idea, listeners and readers of the show's blog can become educated in making the right investment decisions from the get-go.
"We talk with the audience about the most relevant financial items that they need to know," said author, CFP and "The Disciplined Investor" host Andrew Horowitz. "Guests discuss topics in a casual manner and we cover all aspects of financial markets from domestic equities to global economics. One of the main reasons why listeners say they enjoy the show is that they feel a part of it, as if they are there talking with us each episode."
Listeners who want more info can follow The Disciplined Investor blog.
Like a Mother with Emma Johnson
Women face unique questions, stressors and needs when it comes to their finances. To offer financial advice targeted to women's issues, Emma Johnson covers family, career and parenting topics, among others, in the podcast built off her popular blog, WealthySingleMommy.com.
"There are tons of shows that talk about saving and budgeting and paying down debt," Johnson said. "I'm grateful those messages are out there because someone needs to preach that. But what people really like to talk about -- and think about all the time -- is the messy, complicated parts of money. Why are smart women dumb with their money? Why don't women want to marry men who earn less than they do? Why does everyone claim to be middle class, even the rich and the poor?"
If those types of messy, intriguing questions appeal to you, "Like a Mother with Emma Johnson" will satisfy your need for practical and applicable money advice. "You can't live your best life unless your finances are in order, and my show helps women figure that out," Johnson said.
Entrepreneur On Fire
It's one thing to read up on entrepreneurship for advice; it's entirely different to hear first-hand accounts from successful entrepreneurs that'll keep you motivated and help you with your own small business venture.
This daily podcast interviews entrepreneurs who've failed and come back from it. Show founder and host John Lee Dumas weighed in on what "Entrepreneur On Fire" uniquely delivers: "So many podcasts focus on the current successes of the guest and 'what is working right now,'" Dumas said.
"'Entrepreneur On Fire' does that, but first focuses on the journey of the guest. Diving deep into the 'worst entrepreneurial moment' the guest ever experienced, and what their major lesson learned from that failure was. Then we move to a major 'aha!' moment, and the steps the guest took to turn that moment into success. This helps the listener connect with the guests in a meaningful way and unpacks what the journey of an entrepreneur really looks like. Then we do move into the current success and the reasons why the guest is currently so successful, and we end with a bang. The lightning round is six questions that extract priceless nuggets of gold from the successful entrepreneur."
Epic Real Estate Investing
Described as an alternative to Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Jim Cramer and the Motley Fool, "Epic Real Estate Investing" combines entrepreneurship with a mix of unique and conventional real estate investing approaches. If you're a fan of Robert Kiyosaki and Gary Keller, this show by real estate investor Matt Theriault can be another resource to broaden your knowledge.
In regard to the show's success, Theriault had the following to say: "No one else is focused on offering an alternative to the antiquated advice that has 95 percent of today's 65-year-olds unprepared to retire," Theriault said. "Saving money doesn't work anymore, and it hasn't for a very long time. The financial gurus must stop teaching this as a solution to what woes people financially. Further, they must stop placing so much emphasis on saving a nickel and instead advise on how to create a buck."
With best-selling books, lectures, blogs, videos and its radio show, no matter how you like your finance content served, the popular "Freakonomics" brand co-created by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner has you covered. Providing more than stuffy finance information, the "Freakonomics Radio" podcast tells stories and uncovers "the hidden side of everything" -- providing a nice balance of education and entertainment.
But when asked about why "Freakonomics" is so successful, Dubner said, "Well, I'm not sure it is -- and, frankly, we're not really a financial show at all," Dubner said. "When I first started writing about economics, I assumed it was essentially about money. But I discovered that it's much more valuable than that: it's a worldview, and a set of tools, that can be applied to just about any riddle you're trying to solve, any situation you're trying to measure."
Your finances touch on more than how much cash is in your wallet; credit, retirement, insurance and long-term planning are just a handful of important personal finance topics that need to be addressed, not shoved under the rug.
This is where "Money Girl" comes in. Provided in the form of "quick and dirty tips," Laura Adam's show makes tackling big financial topics a bit easier.
"I think the 'Money Girl' podcast has been successful because it packs a lot of information in a short amount of time," said Adams, a personal finance expert. "Each show covers one important financial topic in less than 15 minutes. My goal is to make each episode a mini-training that gives listeners actionable tips they can use right away."
Motley Fool Money
With an investment service, successful blog, books and radio show to boot, you can rest assured you're receiving sound advice from "Motley Fool Money" when navigating the rough investing landscape.
This recognizable brand is popular among listeners looking for innovative stock and money tips "Investors have so much information available at their fingertips, sometimes it's hard to cut through all the noise," said Chris Hill, a Motley Fool analyst and host of "Motley Fool Money." "Each week on our show we're aiming to help people make sense of business news so they can make better investing decisions. Our audience includes everyone from high school students to Wall Street professionals, so I think we're on the right track."
Rich Dad Radio Show
An entrepreneur who has built a name and brand for himself, Robert Kiyosaki wrote best-seller "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and launched a multimedia franchise. From his "Rich Dad Radio Show" to workshops and coaching, Kiyosaki shares his take on money and entrepreneurship to a wide audience. Podcasts release each week and are free to download off iTunes and RichDad.com.
- I make the complex simple. Money and finance can be complex and confusing subjects. Many financial experts use jargon, industry terminology, and complex concepts not used in everyday conversation.
- I educate rather than sell. I do not [push] investments or investment products. Many financial programs sell their product or service. If they do any educating at all it is most often geared to why the listener or reader should trust them and buy from them.
- I want to disturb the listener or reader because I want to get them out of complacency and into action. In many ways I am a 'shock jock,' like Howard Stern."
Smart Passive Income Podcast
Think you're not making enough at your day job? Listening to Pat Flynn's "Smart Passive Income" podcast will inspire you to look at your budget and available income differently.
This online businessman supports his family strictly on passive income generated on the web. His show is at least as successful as his income strategy: He boasts over 11 million podcast downloads.
"I tell real-life success stories, from my own experience and the lives of other entrepreneurs who have all taken control of their own life and finances by building a successful online business," Flynn said. "It's not just about learning from the wins though, it's about the mistakes and failures along the way and the lessons learned during the journey."
So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
The perfect podcast for your morning commute, journalist and personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi speaks with guests about their biggest financial tips and sources of inspiration in their own lives. Gathering influencers from different industries, the "So Money with Farnoosh Torabi" podcast helps apply sound financial wisdom to varying careers and financial circumstances.
Her weekend podcast addresses listeners' biggest money questions. "Money remains a taboo topic in our culture," Torabi said. "We're far from financially fluent and many still resist having conversations about money with friends and family -- more than politics, religion or death. Talking about money is too emotional. Too inappropriate. Too difficult. My podcast 'So Money' breaks all of those barriers and creates a comfortable environment -- on a daily basis -- where guests openly and intimately share candid stories about their financial journeys: their successes with money, failures and habits. 'So Money' deals with the personal in personal finance more than anything else."
The Truth About Money With Ric Edelman
Hosted by the chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, Ric Edelman's radio show provides listeners with hour-long segments each week covering a breadth of personal finance topics, from college planning to retirement, mortgages and IRAs.
Those needing a solid education in long-term saving and planning can get a lot out of listening to "The Truth About Money With Ric Edelman" each Friday.
Of his show's success, Edelman shared the following: "Audience surveys have found that people really enjoy the fact that I make the subject of personal finance fun and entertaining, as well as informative. I explain everything in plain English, using common sense to make everything very practical, with lots of humor and funny audio clips from music and movies. And I treat my audience with respect. Instead of regarding them as unable to grasp complex concepts, or as marks that can be suckered into buying some high-commission investment or insurance product (which is how many other talk-show hosts behave), I talk to people as though they are intelligent, interested and engaged -- because they are."