On this final episode of Because Money Season Two, we thought we’d spice it up and talk about something we don’t necessarily agree on: advertising, brand partnerships, and advertorials on personal finance blogs, and – bonus – we’re joined by Season One co-host Robb Engen.

Here are the two resources that got the conversation started in the first place. So without further ado… 

How I Turned A Blog Into A Profitable Online Business – Robb Engen

How do you make money on the internet? – Chris Enns

Transcript

Jackson: Jackson Middleton

Kyle: Kyle Prevost

Sandi: Sandi Martin

Robb: Robb Engen

Kyle: And welcome back to another episode of the Because Money podcast. You may recognize that devilishly-handsome figure, since this is sort of his show that I’m just keeping his seat warm for. That’s obviously Robb Engen, from Boomer & Echo. And he’s joining myself, Jackson Middleton, and Sandi Martin today, to discuss what role—if any—advertising has in the financial media in general and on our blogs, specifically. So thanks for joining us again, Robb.

Robb: Thanks for having me back. I love what you’ve done with the place.

Kyle: [laughs] Yeah, you know, we’re still trying to bring that class up to previous levels, but maybe one day. So anyway, Robb, what are your thoughts? You gave a great presentation at a conference there in Toronto that we were at, and so what are your thoughts on advertising or any form of taking money in order to give something to financial institutions, when it comes to your blog?

Robb: Oh, that sounds like a loaded question.

Kyle: In any context. Take that however you want.

Robb: [laughs] I think first of all, you’ve got to back up and say why did you start your blog in the first place. So one of the main reasons why I did start my blog was to potentially earn a side income. So I started reading a couple of the flagship blogs that started before mine Million Dollar Journey and Preet Banerjee’s Where Does All My Money Go.

You know, you start to see, okay, well that’s AdSense or that’s a display ad, or they have some sponsored section. So you start to kind of figure out that obviously companies are willing to pay to get some exposure on these blogs, and so certainly, yes, I started the blog because I thought it had something to say and so did my mom, about personal finance. And we want to help people with their finances and get better at saving and investing and whatnot. But at the same time, it is a side business as well. So I come at it from kind of both angles and it’s a really tricky line to balance, but well here we are.

Kyle: Yeah, I can honestly say, because I sort of took a similar path for Justin and I, in creating our two blogs. I can honestly say I have never promoted a product that I would not use. I can honestly say that. Have you ever felt, looking back, have you ever felt sort of uneasy about anything that you’ve allowed on your blog, or not really?

Robb: I don’t think so. I think the Canadian finance blogs have evolved over the years, and so back when I started—and I touched on this in my presentation in Toronto—it was all about AdSense. And anyone who contacted you looking for say a sponsored post was kind of these spammy United Kingdom payday loan-type you didn’t really want. So I never really went down that path. So looking back, I don’t have to say I wish I didn’t put all those sponsored posts up, like a lot of financial blogs did, because we just didn’t choose that path. And so I think I always took the path of if I’m going to publish, what we’re talking about is a partnership. We talk about advertising, but it’s a partnership.

So I think if the company is Canadian, and of course that’s going to resonate because it’s a Canadian personal finance blog. Obviously, if the product is somewhat useful or unique in some way, then it’s certainly something to talk about, and something I might talk about regardless of whether it’s a sponsored post or a brand partnership or not. I kind of look at that and I’m looking for a partner if I put myself in the advertiser’s shoes, if they’re looking for kind of a blogger outreach campaign, then I’ll say well here’s what I can do for you and I can write this myself, not someone you paid on Fiverr to crunch together 400 words. I’ll write it myself, I’ll use some of the things I’ve learned from writing for the Toronto Star, to make this story somewhat relevant and interesting to readers.

Yes, I’m talking about the product or the service, or whatever, but at the end of the day it’s not me saying go and buy this. It’s me saying here’s a solution or here’s a potential option. So, you know, I think readers can kind of digest that and some will say “this is an advertorial and I don’t like it”, and some will say “thanks for the info”.

So, you know what? I guess I would say if you don’t like that aspect of blogging, well, come back tomorrow and I’ll have another great article for you.

Kyle: For free.

Robb: Absolutely.

Kyle: That you won’t have to pay for. That’s the key word there. Before the show here, I was kind of doing my usual rant on “Listen, I don’t do anything the Globe and Mail doesn’t do”, and the example I came up with is, I think it was about a year ago or maybe a year-and-a-half ago now, the Globe and Mail allowed a high-end—I forget what the person’s position was, but they are a high-end employee of a mutual fund. I think they might have been even the CEO—to write an article essentially trashing index funds and passive investing and arguing in favour of his relatively high-fee mutual funds.

And I, of course, just went off the chain. I began typing like a crazy rant blog response that this was ridiculous and where is the ethics of the Globe and Mail? Because they didn’t say it was an ad. They just put down at the very bottom in italics that the author was an employee of a mutual fund company. But it said nowhere it was an ad. It was presented the exact same way all their other work was. And there are such a backlash from crazy people with nothing to do—like myself—that Preet Banerjee actually wrote a sort of backtracking article. He may be wouldn’t use that term, but he presented an alternate view that was much more fact-based and agreed-upon.

So, to me, if the Globe and Mail is doing that, and they’re charging for their product and they’re still giving you that, then my shame is relatively small in comparison, if you would call it shame at all. You’re getting a free product. If you don’t want to view the advertising, scroll down. That’s just me. [laughs]

Jackson: How do you feel about that, Sandi, or do you want me to jump in?

Sandi: I’ll preface this by saying something that you three all know, but I’m not sure that the rest of the world knows. I am, I think you could say, very sensitive, and probably you could say “overly” sensitive to any potential conflict. Forgive me, but that’s already the kind of the bias that I’m coming from.

And when I think of advertising, when I think of saying, well the Globe and Mail does it and they do it really worse than I do, I think maybe the Globe shouldn’t do it either. And maybe the reason the Globe is charging people is because it’s a dying industry, [laughs] and a model of getting people to pay for the written word, in an era where we’re all conditioned to believe things are free, because that’s the way the internet sort of evolved, on the back of advertising. Maybe that’s dying and maybe instead of assuming. I got into this business—oh my goodness. I should stop talking right now–I’m going to do it anyway.

Kyle: No, please. Rock ‘n’ roll.

Sandi: I mean, if the premise is that I have expertise or interest in this topic, and I’m going to write about it, and the model of the Internet is I’m going to write about it and I’m going to get paid by a third party, other than the people who are reading my stuff. That’s obviously not what the Globe and Mail does completely, but it is what they do too. There’s no way that $0.99 per subscriber, for the three-month period is actually what’s paying the salary of all the people there. The third party is going to pay for all these people to get this free information from experts. I’m not sure that that model—even though it exists—should. [laughs] I want to stop right there and let somebody else talk for a little bit.

Kyle: In Sandi’s defense, from what I understand—I didn’t go to journalism school, but the old-school way of presenting journalism was that there was a very strict line down the middle of an office, and the one side was advertising and the other side was content. And over the last 10 years, I believe those lines have become very, very blurred. Well, I know it’s not great, frankly, because there is no way to completely eliminate that conflict of interest.

Robb: Well, I’ll give you guys an example. So when the Star introduced their Moneyville blog, I think they wanted to take that and expand their reach beyond, say Toronto, and become this national kind of blogging platform newssource. And so, I wrote there for a couple of years and Krystal Yee from Give Me Back My Five Bucks wrote there as well. So we’re writing from this blogger conversational tone that we were used to, and a lot of that if you look back, it’s bank-bashing. So you go to bank bashing and mutual funds fee bashing, and then you look at who’s advertising on the Star and on Moneyville, and it’s the banks and the investment companies, and they don’t like that very much.

And so they come after the editor or they come after the paper and say look I’m advertising on your site, but then you have these bloggers running their mouths about that they shouldn’t be investing in these funds or they should switch out of their high fee bank account and into a low-fee option or no-fee option, and we don’t like that.

I mean, yes Sandi, you’re right. It is a dying industry and those advertisers, they’re trying to dictate the content. [laughs] And really, when you think, when you’re bleeding revenue like some of these newspapers are, it’s is probably pretty tough to turn that down. And I’m not a journalist. I’m not going to say I’m a rebel media or whatever, and say I’m not a journalist. [laughs] But I put my blogging hat back on, and I’m sorry, but I have to wear both the advertising hat and the editorial hat, and make those decisions on my own. That’s how the blogging business will carry on. If I couldn’t do it as a side business and it wasn’t somewhat profitable, I think—I can’t remember who says it. I think it’s Allen from Big Cajun Man and writing for slave wages.

Unless you’re writing and you just have—and I think he’s been blogging for ten years—and unless you have that much to say about something and there’s not any kind of tangible benefit out of it, you’re not going to last. So, Boomer & Echo would go away. I don’t know who would be worse off for that, but we have quite a following now, and I think people enjoy our content. So that’s kind of what keeps it alive.

Sandi: Yeah. This is why I was really glad to do this, because it’s so easy to argue from an ivory tower position about the ethics of whatever and the bias of you and a dying industry. But I’m talking to real people. I can’t say, “Oh Robb, you should close up shop tomorrow.” So it’s a good way to temper my sort of extreme sensitivity with real-life people.

Kyle: And really what the debate boils down to is how much do people value real legitimate content that is not biased in any way, and the bottom line is people don’t. And I can tell you that from firsthand experience, because here’s a comparison. I never miss an opportunity to throw my own book forward, so Justin and I wrote More Money for Beer and Textbooks, which you guys had on this show to promote. I think we did pretty well. We got in book stores from coast-to-coast in Canada. We sold several thousand copies of the book. In total profit on that book we made less than—and I use this credit card, so I have no problem telling other people to use it. My wife and I use it. I know Robb’s promoted it on his site. I won’t promote it here. But it is a really good credit card. It’s a market leader in Canada. I wrote one email to my subscriber list, and we made more money off of that one credit card, off people signing up for that credit card that I use, than we did off the book in three years.

Sandi: Okay, let me just stop you for one second though. No impugning the quality of the book, but I think it’s possible that there is so much financial writing and advice out there, available for free, and I think actually that people are not as able as we are or as we believe we are, to discern between what is quality and therefore worth buying and what is not quality, and therefore probably shouldn’t exist. Is that fair or is that extreme?

Kyle: I don’t know. What do you guys think? What do you guys think—Jackson, Robb—what is the average consumer of information in Canada. Where do you put them?

Robb: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head with a comment you made previously about people follow kind of what they believe in, or what they want to hear. So, if we’ve built up our readership, it’s because they kind of trust our voice. And that’s why I’m very careful about these types of what they call “partnerships”. If there’s an ad campaign and I’m going to talk about something, it better damn well be a decent product that if someone actually signs up and says, “Yeah, I like that. I like that 3% interest rate,” or whatever the case is, you don’t want to steer them wrong.

So when you get comments going, “Oh geez Robb, you know, you recommended this savings account and it’s a total disaster.” The guys went out of business or nobody returned my call, or whatever. I’ll obviously take that to heart. So you want those partnerships to be something that you believe in. And you talked about that with the credit card as this is a credit that I use and here’s how much cash back I earned because of it. Here’s why I think it’s the best in Canada, because of XY and Z, and here you go.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with promoting that or promoting brands that you think are beneficial to readers. And here’s the thing—I use this facetiously—but when I learned I became “blogger famous” was when a bank’s PR firm said, “Hey, would you come out? We’re doing this product. Not even a product launch, but we’re doing this demo for a bunch of writers and it’s about our whole suite of products and would you come out and see it?”

And I’m like, “I live in Lethbridge and you’re in Toronto”.

“Yeah, no problem.”

So I get on a plane, come to the presentation, get back on the plane and come back to Lethbridge. And I mean that in itself probably cost them $2,500-3,000 for the whole thing. So I’m thinking okay why are they doing it? And so there was no obligation. I mean, the underlying message, was that, “Gee, I hope you write about these,” but there was no “sign this contract and this exclusivity, and do it”. That’s what I kind of got to thinking about all these PR firms, who have been pitching me and I’m sure they do to you as well, and every blogger out there; here’s a story idea for my client. So then I got to thinking, well how can we partner and you can use a blogger outreach program, if you want to call it that, and we can get this content out there, if I think it’s interesting. I get 10, 12, 15 pitches a day that aren’t interesting.

There’s one that could be, and one that I could tell a good story about, and one that would connect with my readers, then that one could be worth talking about.

Sandi: So check me then. Because again, as I said, over-sensitive. If I, as a consumer, as somebody who’s looking for information about a particular thing—let’s say it’s shoes. Let’s take it right out of the realm of finance. If I was reading a review—not on a retail site, but on somebody’s own personal free blog that doesn’t run any advertising or anything. Obviously some amateur, but who really loves these shoes and says, “You should buy these shoes” and says this is why; this, this, and this. The credibility of this person that I’ve never met, have never followed because I think I like their opinion about shoes. There’s something about that freely-offered opinion, with no hope of any kind of remuneration or relationship, that to me just seems more worth listening to. Maybe that person hasn’t even worn shoes in their life, so maybe I’m wrong about this.

Then, to me, I would listen to that before, or I would add more weight to that opinion then the opinion of a person who Zappos has called them and said, “Hey, we have this new kind of shoe. Would you mind writing about it?” And they wore it and they loved it and they wrote a post about it, and they knew a lot about shoes. As I say it aloud, it makes me sound insane, but I still think I would still prefer to hear from somebody who just was motivated by nothing other than the real enthusiasm for that product, than a person who knows a lot. I said it already and I’m going to repeat myself.

Robb: Put yourself in the blogger’s shoes of I Write About Shoes. And you know Zappos is coming out X. You know this is happening. And you contact Zappos or the PR firm, and you say, “Hey, I have this blog. I’d write about that pair that I really want myself anyway, but I’m really hoping you’ll send me a free pair. And then I’ll write about it.”

So the blogger took that leap to say I know they want me to write about this, but maybe they don’t the mechanism to reach me. I’ll reach out to them and I’ll pitch them and say I’ll write about these. I know I really want them anyway, so they’ll send me a free pair. I’ll put them on and I’ll write about them and write about my experience. What’s the difference there?

Sandi: That is the real crux of the issue, isn’t it? I could not articulate that difference if you paid me to monetize my my blog. [laughs]

Kyle: I think the difference is are you going to give equal airtime to the other, the magical shoes at Zappos doesn’t, I guess. Even though I think Zappos has every shoe.

Sandi: The unicorn shoe.

Kyle: The non-Zappos shoe, are you going to give equal time to that shoe? I guess that’s the difference, and honestly, you don’t; or I don’t. I have a discount brokerage that I prefer. I think it’s the best for investors like me, and I don’t give much airtime to any other discount brokerage. I also do take commissions from my favourite discount brokerage.

So, the difference is not that perhaps your biased doesn’t creep into the article, but are you giving equal air time or are you giving a totally fair comparison by default?

Sandi: I was just going to say, though I can see the flip side of that argument, which is how could you any one person, uncompensated, just for the love of the product, dive in as deeply to every potential product? So there you go, devil’s advocate. Go ahead, Robb.

Robb: I was going to say, I think some of the companies, in Canada anyways, have done a good job of building—so Kyle’s talking about a certain discount brokerage, and it’s the only discount brokerage that will actually give you a commission, like as an affiliate program. Now is it bad of the bloggers to write about that, or is it smart of this brokerage to say we’ve got something here. We’ve got this low-cost, nobody can beat us on the fees, and I’m going to turn that into a program so that people talk about it. And I think ING/Tangerine has done that very well over the last 10 years, with their Orange Key. How many blogs have “use my Orange Key”? You get 25, I get 25.

So I think the good companies are the companies that have done a good job with that; they have a good product. If the product was shitty, nobody would talk about it. So in Kyle’s defense, he thinks it’s the best. It’s the best for a certain investor or for a certain reason, and if it wasn’t, nobody would talk about it.

Kyle: And I do post negative comments. I don’t shy away from hitting Enter on any comments on my reviews. I will often defend what I’ve said, but unless there’s vulgarity involved of course, but I don’t shy away from publishing people’s comments. If they want to trash the product, the advertiser has to know that that’s part of the deal when they look at my blog.

Robb: Did you guys read in the Globe and Mail this week about John Oliver? So he’s got the Last Week Tonight on HBO. He left the Daily Show. Stephen Colbert did the Colbert Report and now is Late Night. And they talked about the difference there.

And HBO is subscription-based and no commercials, and so therefore no product placement, So they were talking about the way John Oliver can treat Budweiser. I think he called it, “If a nickel could piss, it would taste like Budweiser.” And you can’t say that on Comedy Central, or of course, on CBS. Whereas, Colbert was told explicitly, “You need to do some light product placement throughout your show, and you have to be okay with that.”

And I just thought it was interesting the way John Oliver was probably more of the opinion like Sandi, where I don’t want to have to talk up something that just because they’re paying the bills. So I’d much prefer this art form, HBO. There may be less eyeballs on me, even though I’m perfectly capable of doing the Late Show, I’d rather do this so that I have more freedom to share my opinion.

Kyle: Here’s a quick question for you guys. Robb was talking about partnerships and where he or I have made a conscious choice to partner with a brand or with a product, say what we think, review it, possibly promoted it in various capacities.

Now, it’s interesting because I tend to hear a few more complaints about that than if I just put an AdSense block up on my website. And I find that kind of crazy because I have no control over that AdSense block. So often times, in articles where I am complaining about excessive mutual fund fees or complaining about terrible credit cards, or credit cards you should stay away from, or credit card habits you should stay away from, the search terms will pop up and on my website I’ll get screenshots of people sending me ads for terrible credit cards and terrible mutual funds. And to me, that’s worst. That’s the worst thing, because I’ve given up control of the ad process on my blog, and yet, for some reason people are okay with that because they see it everywhere. I don’t know what the deal is there.

Jackson: I’m going to jump in and say something, because yeah, I haven’t said much, but it’s been an interesting conversation. Robb, I like where you said, you started your blog as a side business and you were looking to monetize the blog. That makes all the world of difference, because for me—and this is just personal opinion—and I think I’ve learned over the years that my hardline stance, “This is the only way it is,” doesn’t necessarily work because everyone consumes differently. I have my personal bias, and I’ve got no problem sharing it, but just because I’m biased that way, doesn’t mean that other people don’t consume differently. Personally, I hate ads. I hate AdSense. I hate Google Ads. I hate Facebook Ads. I don’t use ad blockers, which is odd because I like hating ads. I like looking at them and saying, “That is so terrible”.

Kyle: It’s like me watching Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl, Jackson. I totally get it.

Jackson: You love to be outraged by the things that outrage you. We need that in our life. I personally go to a blog, and if the whole side is full of ads, it’s like [explosion sounds] “no creditability here,” but I still go there and I still read, and it is what it is.

My background, of course being I was a mortgage broker and I mortgage brokered for 7 years and I built content. So I did more building up of my own personal brand on my own network, and I used content marketing. So, writing content and putting out content in order to prop myself up as an authority on a certain subject, and it worked. So I shared stuff socially, “What is the difference? The government just changed this. What does this mean?” And I would do use videos, and I’d do Twitter. I’d do social FAQ and kind of turn my content into building up my personal brand.

So the idea of putting an ad on my blog is like, “No way! No.” But that wasn’t my product, so I really like how you said, the purpose of this blog was and it continues to be and it is. But for bloggers who are trying to make money, ads aren’t the only way to do it. If you’ve got a service that you’re offering or if you’ve got something that you are into, content marketing and blogging, and blogging for advertising revenue are two completely different things. But as a content marketer, I look at ads and go, “Well that’s disgusting!” I mean, the quality of people.

And of course, even how I would use ads to get people to contact me for a mortgage product, the quality of someone who comes through that ad is very, very low compared to the quality of somebody who’s been referred to you. So I’ve built up this whole mindset of ads are terrible. But the truth is, is when I read one of these posts and you’re selling me on something that you use, for example Tangerine. You’ve got a Tangerine account and you introduce me, and it’s like, “I’ve never heard of them. This looks great.”

I’d go and I’d do independent research and I see it. I will actually go back to your site and use your Orange Key because you’re the person who introduced me to the product. I don’t find that dirty at all. I think the key to everything that we’re talking is disclosure. I think that if you’re going to be embedding stuff into your blog, it has to be disclosed. Because if you disclose it, it allows me to make up my choice on whether or not I want to follow through, and I want you to be rewarded.

It’s when somebody says, “Hey, I read a great book,” you click on the link to go to the book and it sends you to a page, it redirects, the line redirects. You know it’s just tracking. And then you end up on Amazon to buy the book for more than you can buy it in the store. Come on! Give me a break! I hate that crap.

But again, I’m sensitive to it and love raging on things like this. Anyway, I probably talked too long, but I made up for the fact that I didn’t talk for the first 25 minutes, so “Pow!”

Kyle: I feel like it’s when the doctor tells you like a glass of wine a day is okay, and then you’ve got that guy that like saves it up for two weeks and just goes wild, like downs several magnums of wine.

Sandi: That’s not how you do it?

Kyle: [laughs]

Jackson: I thought that was how we all did it.

Sandi: [laughs] One glass is good. A bottle is better then, right? [laughs]

Robb: Moderation, all things in moderation.

Sandi: [laughs]

Kyle: Did you have thoughts, Robb, in relation to that?

Robb: No, it makes sense. I mean, certainly for someone like Sandi or Jackson, you are the product. It doesn’t make sense to do this kind of advertising and/or any kind of advertising that doesn’t direct them back to contact yourself.

So yes, they are very different ways, as a blogger, or there’s a lot of different ways to make money or to monetize it. A lot of it is kind of the service that you provide as mortgage broker, or financial planner, or whatever. And then the other is on the content side. Brand partnerships—there’s a number of ways to skin the cat, and I think you have to look at what are trying to accomplish with your blog.

You know, certain advertising absolutely will turn off readers, just like you said, Jackson. You have to be willing to either live with that, and maybe we’d have more subscribers if we were completely ad-free.

So maybe instead of 5,000, we have 10,000 subscribers. So what would that mean? What’s the trade-off of losing 5,000 people? Well, we can make a consistent income so that I can put food on the table.

Jackson: Sounds reasonable. Yeah.

Robb: [laughs] So we have to say, I mean, what does sound reasonable? And if I actually promoted or wrote about, or allow other people to, or companies to write about all of the content and all the pitches that are ever sent to me, everyone would leave. So you have to be very careful and it is that fine line of advertising, or the business side versus editorial. Choosing the best partners that you can, finding the hook for the readers. So okay, well why does a reader of Boomer & Echo care that you’re writing about this? Well, not only is it worth talking about, but because you’re a Boomer & Echo reader, you get a discount off of it or you get a little bonus.

So, find a way to make it work for the reader as well.

Kyle: On a lighter note here, to sort of wrap things up, I thought I’d throw it out. I don’t know if Sandi and Jackson have ever gotten funny advertising, or maybe insulting advertising pitches before. The best one I’ve done, and I actually did this, was I got a person from Walmart who was being paid to promote their new Dyson vacuum, and it was some discount model that they were aiming Millennials, and they were like, “Would you be interested in reviewing this?” And I’m like, “Who the hell comes to my site to learn about vacuums?” I do most of the vacuuming in the house, but other than that, the expertise is—who has expertise in vacuuming? Like, “Oh I tried it on different surfaces and in different homes and with cats or dogs,” I don’t know. So I’m like, “Yeah, sure”.

We’re having a contest, so I will obviously need to review copy and I want to give one away to my readers. So I got it and it’s good, from what I understand. My mom was like, it was the most excited thing. My mom has no idea, really, what I do online, but she knows I got a Dyson vacuum from it, and she thinks that’s just incredible.

Robb: The coolest thing, yeah.

Kyle: And so she assures me that Dyson is excellent quality and has been for generations. So I write this review, and I’m like, “Yeah, it picks up stuff really well, I assume, better than other”. I don’t know. Here’s what some people on Amazon had to say about it a Dyson vacuum. And they thought this was the greatest thing, and we gave one away, and to this day we’re using a Dyson vacuum, I assume, given my mom’s comments, it will last 20 years. I have never no idea if that’s ethical. [laughs] I can’t say I’ve ever used a vacuum I wasn’t satisfied with.

Robb: I think you chose right. Dyson’s fantastic.

Kyle: [laughs] So there we go. A personal finance blog giving away a Dyson vacuum in a contest. Anyway, that was my craziest ad story.

Robb: I don’t know if I could top that one. I do get a lot of pitches for books that sound terrible, and I don’t want let onto them that they want to send you a copy of the book and review it. I get a lot of these.

Kyle: Here’s the eighth book on how to budget, today.

Robb: Yeah, sounds great. And I get a lot of American pitches that obviously haven’t read that we’re Canadian or whatever. Because it’s Boomer & Echo, I get one pitch that starts out, “Hi Robb, blah, blah, blah. Would you be interested in looking at this?” And then two seconds later I get another one that says, “Hi Marie”.

Robb: So, not realizing that it’s the exact same email address.

Sandi: I actually very, very recently had an email from one of the robo-advisors. An external PR firm that said, “Do you know, I see that you…” and they referenced the post that I had written about the robo-advisors, “You know, I see that you’ve written about his, but I think that your readers would definitely benefit from a one-on-one. Just focus on one of them, and I can connect you with…” and they named the founder of the company, who I speak to fairly regularly. Normally, I just delete anything that’s not like a client email. I’m like, well I could probably get in touch with him myself, like tomorrow. Pat myself on the back. I’m so important. I felt very important that happened. [laughs]

Kyle: I have the exact same email.

Robb: But you know, the pitch that he wrote is actually pretty interesting. I mean, connecting it to how Millennials are: the Ubers and all the disruptors and everything. It’s an interesting story.

Sandi: Yeah, it wasn’t canned.

Robb: To your point, it’s why would I single out this one, rather than saying “the robos”? Do you know what I mean? I couldn’t make that connection either.

Robb: I did get funny one for Valentine’s Day. I don’t know if this will show up here, but it says, “I want to want to grow old and accrue interest with you”.

Kyle: That is awesome.

Sandi: [laughs] That is so romantic.

Robb: “Your friends at PC Financial.” Isn’t that nice.

Kyle: Wow, you’re their Valentine, Robb.

Robb: Fantastic.

Sandi: The one and only. [laughs]

Kyle: And on that note, we’re going sign off here on the Because Money show. Thank you once again Robb Engen. And we hope to see you back in your seat, running the show soon.

Robb: Co-host maybe?

Kyle: Yeah. [laughs] Okay guys, thanks a bunch and we’ll see you next season

Jackson: Good-bye.

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