Meet NFL Linebacker and New Kiplinger Contributor Brandon Copeland

Man seated on chair tossing a football in the air
NFL Linebacker Brandon Copeland (New England Patriots)

What’s a linebacker got to teach you about personal finance? You’re going to find out over the next year as Kiplinger joins forces with Brandon Copeland: an NFL veteran and graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Our collaboration with Cope kicks off with his appearance on this episode, in which we’ll also talk about a number that’s really, really important to Social Security. All coming up on Your Money’s Worth stick around.

— Episode Length: 00:40:19
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David Muhlbaum: Welcome to Your Money’s Worth. I’m senior editor David Muhlbaum, joined as always by senior editor, Sandy Block. Sandy, how are you?

Sandy Block: I’m doing good David.

David Muhlbaum: Great. This week I had a little flashback to a job that we both had. So here’s a bit of biographical background for you all. Some time ago, perhaps maybe a long time ago, Sandy and I each worked for Dow Jones> Not at the same time, but we held down the same role. And a big part of that was writing, very quickly, these short stories, that went out on what was then called the ticker.

Sandy Block: That was pre-internet. Yes.

David Muhlbaum: Pre-internet. These were about economic numbers, stock registrations and the like. I mean, I’d barely call it writing, but these numbers matter to investors and others. And so the reason I had a flashback is because this week again, I was dealing with a number. The number this week was the 2021 cost-of-living adjustment. And this number matters a lot to anyone receiving Social Security or similar government benefits, because it lets you know how much more — or if you’ll be getting more — next year. So I banged out a story quickly on that and mashed down on “send.” It felt like the old days. The number is 1.3%. 1.3%

Sandy Block: That’s right. You never wanted to get that number wrong or you could be responsible for a stock market crash. So it was very important. And this number, 1.3%, isn’t much, particularly if you’re a senior living on Social Security? Because that’s about how much of a raise you’re going to get and the average increase in Social Security checks next year works out to about $20 a month. And that’s not enough to keep up with what a lot of people are paying for their healthcare. But it could have been worse as in zero, no pay raise. Because earlier this year when the pandemic hit, prices went a bit crazy. Ryan and I talked about how oil prices even briefly went negative, which was a really weird thing.

David Muhlbaum: Right.

Sandy Block: And in April consumer prices fell almost 1%.

David Muhlbaum: We had deflation for a moment there.

Sandy Block: Right. And there have been periods in recent years where the COLA has been flat. So I guess, seniors aren’t celebrating this 1.3% increase. But I guess, as you said, it could have been worse.

David Muhlbaum: There was no increase in 2016 and none in 2011, 2010– Great Recession times. But what are the ways it could be worse? We can have deflation, but you can’t have a negative COLA. The COLA will be zero.

Sandy Block: Right. Your benefits won’t go down. But the other thing that’s important about this, this isn’t just an issue to people who get Social Security. It’s one of the values that private companies look to when they’re considering giving out raises because the cost-of-living is supposedly a measure of how much you’re paying. So if you’re figuring out raises that are supposed to keep up with inflation, that’s what the raise is going to be if you get one at all.

David Muhlbaum: Am I getting a raise?

Sandy Block: You’re a journalist, David. So don’t spend that money. I’d give you one. I think you’re worth it. But it’s complicated because some companies give raises based on merit, but we’re also in the middle of a pandemic. So this will certainly be an excuse for modest raises next year.

David Muhlbaum: I’ll put in for a 15% bump for you.

Sandy Block: Oh, okay.

David Muhlbaum: I think we should come back to raises in the next few weeks or so.

Sandy Block: Yeah, I think it’s something important to talk about because we are in a period of widespread unemployment, but there’s also certain sectors of the economy where there’s a great demand. So it’d be interesting to look and see what companies are going to be doing.

David Muhlbaum: Next, we’ll introduce you to our newest contributing editor. I promise you that’s more exciting than it sounds.

David Muhlbaum: We’re honored to have joining us now someone with whom Kiplinger is planning to do big things this year. Brandon Copeland is an outside linebacker for the New England Patriots. At age 29, he’s now in his eighth season in the league. That’s the football side of things. He’s also taught financial literacy at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania and operates several real-estate ventures. To quote his Instagram feed, “I got six jobs. I don’t get tired.” His latest title is contributing editor for Kiplinger. Welcome, Brandon.

Brandon Copeland: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

David Muhlbaum: So what’s the main thing you hope to accomplish through our collaboration?

Brandon Copeland: I think one, when you have an opportunity to collaborate with a premier leader in terms of personal finance information… one, it allows a different audience to hear it in a different way than ever before. Hear my, I guess, spiels and information in a way than they’ve ever heard it before. But then two, for me, it’s just about providing access to information and opportunity and education. And so to be able to partner with you all, who’ve had such a long-standing track record of success added, this selfishly, is an opportunity for me to learn, but then two is also an opportunity for me to execute my passion and share as much as I can while I have not only this platform, but while I’m walking this earth. So it’s just another opportunity to share.

David Muhlbaum: Okay. I know Sandy wants to ask a question, but let me say a few more things about the how of our collaboration. We’re looking to create videos to introduce audiences new and old, to fresh perspectives, Brandon’s doing them, on valuable personal finance topics that people can act on. For example, our first feature coming up in November, we’ll introduce service members and their military families to special personal finance benefits they may not be taking advantage of.

Sandy Block: And Brandon, I was listening to a recording or an interview you did earlier, and you were involved in a lot of projects, particularly in your hometown of Baltimore. But I’m curious why financial literacy? Of all the worthy goals and projects, why’d you pick this one?

Brandon Copeland: I think like the old adage says, “If you catch a fish for someone, they eat for a day, but if you teach them how to fish and they eat for a lifetime.” And so my wife and I we cofounded our nonprofit organization, Beyond The Basics Inc., which is aimed at helping youth realize their full potential and exposing them to different opportunities and people that they otherwise would not have had. But that only goes so but far. And when I can help teach their parents or themselves how to be stronger financially, that has ultimately a ripple effect long beyond the days that I am there and able to physically speak to them or provide them some holiday-shopping spree, cleats, et cetera.

Brandon Copeland: So for me, financial literacy is just helping people feel more confident in their makeup. I think when you look at a lot of the issues going on in our lives and a lot of those stress-related issues, or the mental-health related issues, not all, but some of them do stem from not being where you want to be financially. And so it’s not that we all need to have mansions and be millionaires. Some of these things are just literally having a plan and just understanding where your money is, where the hole, the leak in your boat is, all of those types of things. So that to me is what got me involved and that’s why I continue to push so hard to help shine light on this.

David Muhlbaum: I want to ask a question though, maybe you can give us a little bit more about how you got to where you are and what you’re doing. And one of those is, playing in the NFL is of course the dream of plenty of young athletes and not many make it. You did. And as you moved forward in your high school, then college career, how are you making choices to hedge your bets in case football didn’t work out?

Brandon Copeland: I think for me, one, I had the fortune of seeing my grandfather, Roy Hilton. He played for 11 years in the NFL. So I had the opportunity of seeing his life after football. And I also just had an understanding of… Personally I did not want to ever be completely devastated and thrown off track if football did not work out for me. And for a lot of us, football not only falls short in a lot of players lives– not just because you’re not good enough– sometimes it’s because your ankle gives out on you. I mean, they’re praying for Dak Prescott right now, but he could not have planned for his ankle to do what it did in that game. And so those are the types of things where me personally, I never wanted to be completely lost, completely heartbroken.

Brandon Copeland: And so for me, it was always about finding, and really not just finding, but executing on the other passions and hobbies and interests that I had. And by using my platform, it would help speed up my learning curve and, giving me access to mentors and role models and people who otherwise, they wouldn’t answer my e-mail, right? Or they wouldn’t answer my phone calls. So just trying to be a bit proactive in terms of building towards the dreams and the empire that I’ve always wanted to create for myself and my family.

Sandy Block: So kind of a follow-up question to that, Brandon, when you’re talking to kids like high schoolers, some of them are going to be looking at you thinking, “Yeah, NFL, that’s the path to big money.” How do you help them make sure that they have a backup without crushing their dreams?

Brandon Copeland: So one of the things I do when we were able to have my football camp in person, we had to do it virtually this year. But one of the best examples I can give to them, so I’d say, I’d back up and I say with anyone, it’s tougher trying to get your point across when you tell them blanketly, “Hey, this is my point, do this, right?” For most of us, when our parents told us to do something, we wanted to do the opposite of all of those things.

Brandon Copeland: So what I try to do is give them organic messages. And one of the things we do, literally, I went to Walmart, not sure if I can say that or not, but I went to Walmart —

Sandy Block: For sure.

Brandon Copeland: –and got a big, brown piece of paper, long piece of paper– think 20, 30 feet long. And so literally at the start of my camp, we have 400 kids, it’s a free football camp. And as they start, I make them do community service at the beginning of the camp. So they’re packing up book bags and toiletry kits to hand out to the homeless and other young students in the area of Baltimore who can’t afford a book bag and school supplies for the year. While they’re doing that, I’m spray painting on this brown piece of paper dash marks from one to 79 1/2. I then spray paint a completely black section from 21 to 24 1/2. In the middle of the camp, of course, I give away a prize. You got to incentivize kids nowadays.

Brandon Copeland: But in the middle of the camp, I have two kids hold that up and I’ll have them start to guess what that is. And so one kid, they’re a few guesses, finally gets it, “Oh, 79 1/2. That’s the average human lifespan.” “Okay, cool. And what is this black space marked out from 21 to 24 1/2?” So they see this big brown piece of paper and they just see this little bit of black space in it. And after a few guesses, they finally guess, “Oh, that’s the average NFL career.” And so simply put, I could tell them, “Listen. One of the things that coach said to me is, ‘What you do in this time can help determine the rest of that brown paper after those years.'” But regardless of that, my message to you all is, regardless of what football is able to build for you financially, please don’t tell me that the only thing you’re interested in for those 79 1/2 years, on average, is football. Like you’re not interested in painting, in music, in finance, in writing and reading. What else are you interested in? Because to be done with something, on average, in three and a half years at 24 1/2, and to live the rest of those years without no other interest or hobby, that’s a pretty boring life.

Brandon Copeland: So I try to make sure that I encourage them to understand that it’s okay to love other things. It’s okay to be passionate about other things. And that you can’t just be excited to wake up with football because at some point it’s going to be done.

David Muhlbaum: That’s interesting, because that actually, I mean, that’s a really vivid example of teaching. I know teaching is something that you’ve also done at Wharton, at your alma mater. And so, it made me think , you know, personal finance and financial literacy are not NFL football. I mean, these are dry topics. Around here we sometimes call it the broccoli. When you’re translating these subjects to the students, to your students — and maybe tell us a little bit about how that worked, how the class is structured — how do you go about engaging with them and making the topic more appealing?

Brandon Copeland: So first and foremost, we make it a conversation. I try to make my class as conversational as possible, very interactive. Again, things have had to change a bit because of the virtual space, but we still just do our best to get people to first breakdown the barriers of talking about money, of talking about finance, of talking about your bank account. I think us athletes, we get a little more used to talking about it because unfortunately what we make, our salaries, is public information. Right? But, literally, so when you come into my classroom…and I think taking a step backwards as well… is because a lot of people talk about the financial literacy aspect of it, but it’s also about building self-confident individuals.

Brandon Copeland: And so one of the things we do as the New England Patriots, for example, is we practice a lot of situational football. Because we understand that when we’re in these tough situations — fourth quarter 50 seconds left and we need the score, or fourth quarter 20 seconds left when we have to stop them — these are the moments that win games and lose games. It’s the same thing in life, right? There are certain situations that we know we will all be put in at a certain time, yet we don’t practice them enough. And so whether that is sitting in an interview, and the interviewer saying, “Hey, this other person has a higher GPA than you. Why should we take you here?” Right? Or, you want a higher salary? How are you going to have that conversation with your boss? A lot of us, we never practice those conversations.

Brandon Copeland: So we practice those, literally, on a daily basis in our class. We then move those conversations and we can see how in the first class, there’s a lot of ums. There’s a lot of stutters. There’s a lot of, “I’m not sure if I deserve this type of salary.” And then by the middle of the semester, people are a lot more confident. And by the end of the semester, people are telling you, “Hey, this is why I deserve this and blah, blah, blah. And if you look at my past work…” And they’re just strong and confident in who they are. We also make them talk about their weaknesses. We make them talk about their strengths and make them talk about their own past relationships with money.

Brandon Copeland: So again, I highlight that point just to highlight the fact that part of the money makeup is also just being confident in who you are. And then as we do that, we also prime them for their conversations with money. And so again, we try to keep things very, very conversational. I try to also make the classroom a place where people are comfortable asking questions. At a school like the University of Pennsylvania, I know, me personally, I was afraid to ask the stupid questions. And now if anyone has come across me, they understand, I am not afraid to ask a stupid question because I’m always trying to learn something, right? But I want my students to feel comfortable asking, “Hey, what is a 529 plan?” “Hey, a 401(k). I kind of get it, but professor Cope, can you run that back for me one more time cause it really didn’t hit or sink in the first time.” Right?

Brandon Copeland: I want my students to feel comfortable asking those questions as opposed to feeling they’re the only ones in the room that don’t know the answer, so they need to keep their hand down. We want them have these conversations and continue to build this knowledge together. So again, it’s just about creating a conversational class, creating practical exercises. And then the final thing is — sorry to give you an extremely long-winded answer, but you guys will see I’m long winded — the final thing is the way, obviously being an athlete, I am not actually a fan of tests. I’m a fan of tests on the field and in competition, but when it comes to the classroom, I’m not the biggest fan of test taking. So I’m also not the biggest fan of grading other people’s work.

Brandon Copeland: So what I wanted to do was implement a different type of final exam. And so what we have our students do is we have a bunch of high school students come into my college class, get a college tour of the University of Pennsylvania. And then my high school students, I mean, excuse me, my college students have to teach these random high school students from Philly — most minority students — teach them a particular financial literacy subject or financial subject. So whether it’s budgeting, whether it’s their credit, whether it’s how to rent, or the questions they should ask as a renter or how to buy a house, all of those types of things, investing. So now in the short amount of time, I have my college students, who’ve been split up into groups, working to teach these to kids on a high school level and also test those kids briefly.

Brandon Copeland: And so for me, that is the biggest affirmation that you understand this information. If you can teach this information at a high school level and have kids leaving, retaining some of this info and also excited about investing, excited about their credit, then that is a huge win to me as a professor. One, because I don’t have to grade your papers. Two, most importantly, now we’ve just had a ripple effect beyond my classroom. It’s not just the students that I’ve affected by teaching this course, it’s also those 90 high school students who came and who are now going home excited to talk about Apple stock with their parents. Finally, my college students, if you feel comfortable teaching it to a high school student, what would scare you to teach this to your mother, or to your cousin or to your neighbor?

Brandon Copeland: The point I’m trying to do is encourage other people to share this information as well. Because, then again it’s not that I want to take the pressure off me, I want you to continue, I want this information to spread. This stuff isn’t novel, it’s just about people being comfortable having the conversation.

David Muhlbaum: It’s not just a teaching a man to fish, you taught them to teach.

Brandon Copeland: Exactly, exactly. And again, it’s not that I need everyone to become a professor, I didn’t expect to become a professor myself. But it’s more about, I just want to encourage, like you said, I want to encourage them to teach someone else so that now, again, I’m sitting down right now and one of my students may be talking to their brother, or their cousin about something that they learned in our class. And that is a ripple effect that I can’t even quantify.

David Muhlbaum: So a question about audience. A lot of your efforts are, as we just discussed, with folks on teaching financial literacy to people who don’t have much of it. There’s a good chunk of our listeners and Kiplinger readers, who, frankly, think they have the basics down. So what do we have for them?

Brandon Copeland: I think that’s where we can really have — I don’t want to detract from the audience that doesn’t have the basics down — but that’s when we can have deeper conversations and it’s when it really gets fun. I think in my classroom, for example, there’s always a few “aha”moments where a student says, “Well, okay, if I’m making X amount of dollars this year, and you’re saying my 401(k) is tax deductible and I’m right on that borderline, well, I might as well put some money into my 401(k) and then I’ve just saved X percent in taxes for the year, right?”

Brandon Copeland: That’s what I encourage. And what I encourage in my classroom is, listen, I will not be able to give you every single answer that you will ever face. What I am encouraging is critical thinking. I’m trying to arm you like Batman with the utility belt. So that now you have a few tools at your disposal and then, “Oh, okay. I’m in this situation in my life. Well, I remember this in class. I know how to go and research… do a bit more research. And now I know to pull this weapon.” Right? Or, “I’m buying my first house and I remember we mentioned something about PMI [private mortgage insurance] and let me check this out a little bit. Okay. Now I know to throw this weapon.”

Brandon Copeland: The biggest thing is, you know, now we can have deeper conversations and get a bit more critical because I think that there’s always something to learn when it comes to money. And I’m sure there’s a few people out there who think that they have nothing to learn at all, which is great. But ultimately when policies are changing, things are always in flux, there’s always something that you can learn and you can always improve your craft. And again, maybe that’s just the football player in me.

David Muhlbaum: I’m thinking people might also want some insights into football. And I was thinking where you studied management at Wharton, and I’m wondering does it give you a different perspective on your coaches like Bill Belichick? What can you tell us about him as a manager?

Brandon Copeland: It’s funny ’cause my teammates now know me as, I’d say, a pretty attentive and intelligent person, player, et cetera. So and they also understand me as a businessman. But in my tablet, I take notes on the tablet so that I can access them from my phone and I can basically access notes all the time, but I literally have a page dedicated to Bill Belichick and how he runs the organization. So I don’t know if he’d be happy to hear that or not, but I think…

David Muhlbaum: All good things.

Sandy Block: I think he is flattered.

Brandon Copeland: I mean, I think when you’ve had the success that he’s had in the league, in the NFL, but a league that is known for to create an even playing field, right. You all get the same amount of draft picks. We get the same amount of time. And when you’ve had that sustained success, I personally am extremely excited to figure out how and why. And there’s no secret to the amount of hard work in the time and effort and energy that not only him, but his entire staff, this entire staff put in to be successful. But there’s also something to the standard and the culture that he’s set and built over the past 20 years as the head coach here. So again, I am literally taking notes on a daily basis of how he’s handling everything from all of the details from top to bottom.

Brandon Copeland: And I mean also, I mean, we all globally are in unprecedented times, but I’m also taking notes on how he’s managing something that he’s seen for the first time in his life because I’m sure there will always be things that I will face as an entrepreneur, as a manager, as a COO. I mean, excuse me as a CEO, that will be new. And so how will I manage it and what can I learn from coach Belichick who’s done so well with managing people over 20 years, well more than 20 years, 46. I mean, he’s been coaching for 46 years at this point.

Sandy Block: So Brandon, in your initial conversations with Kiplinger editors, you talked about the racial wealth gap. How do you see that affecting folks in their everyday lives and how can we work together to close it?

Brandon Copeland: 100%. I think one of the things that we do in our class, so I have a co-professor Dr. Brian Peterson. Dr. Peterson has helped highlight the different systemic issues that have helped create, sustain and ultimately continue to expand the racial wealth gap. One of the proudest moments I had in my class is during the second class of the first year that we did this thing. And when we started talking about payday loans and why there’s only check-cashing spots in certain areas, and then I see some students who come from wealthy backgrounds to put it, frankly, asking questions and really empathizing with the situations that they were hearing. That’s when I realized that this might be the most important part of our class.

Brandon Copeland: And I say that fully admitting and fully aware that initially when we started the class, I was afraid to have this as a piece of our class, because I thought that it would scare people away from it, and people would think, “Oh, this is a ‘Woe is me’ class. This is a class just for minorities. I’m going to feel uncomfortable.” But literally it was the proudest moment because what I realized is not only are we helping first-generation students… If you look at my class, it’s one of the most diverse classes at Penn, you have business students, you have non-business students, you have all shapes, colors, creeds, socioeconomic backgrounds.

Brandon Copeland: But too, now as you’re arming these students to be more confident financially and hopefully be better off, now they won’t look down on people that aren’t. They won’t say, “Oh, well, you know, you just pick yourself up and work hard like I did,” because now they will have a better understanding of there are systems in place. There are people who are literally starting yards and yards and yards behind the starting line. And so I think that that has been something, just shining light on that, is one something that we can all do, just so that people have a better understanding. But then too, it’s about also teaching those people and bringing those people along with you. As you said earlier, some people it’s about teaching them the basics and being comfortable and confident and making time to teach them the basics.

Brandon Copeland: And then for some people, it’s about having those higher conversations or those more those deeper conversations. But eventually you have to understand that once you teach someone the basics, they can get excited about these things and can not only change their lives, but change their family’s lives. And then eventually you’ll have the chance to have those deeper conversations. These aren’t things that take years and years and years and years to establish, right? And I think that that’s sometimes what people think, is that you have to be studying this for 20 years to start to have those deeper conversations. No. I’ve had conversations with players and literally weeks later now they’re diving a bit deeper into something that they have a particular interest in, right?

Brandon Copeland: You don’t have to be a master of everything. You just have to understand what, one, you need to do for yourself, but then two, where you need to go and ask for help. And I think that those are some of the things that we can do to help shrink this wealth gap and hopefully over time eliminate it. I know it sounds like some Disney fairytale, but at the end of the day, what are we here for if we’re not trying to help pull other people along with us? And the last thing I’ll say on that, sorry, again, I promise you guys I will be very long winded all the time.

Brandon Copeland: The last thing I was saying on that is, sometimes people look at it as a completely overwhelming task when literally some of these things are just opening up and having a conversation. I had a revelation this off season, and I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it, as well. But when I grew up, I remember comedians talking about, Dave Chappelle actually spoke about there being taboo around politics. And then, since having my class, I’ve always used the phrase that there’s taboo around talking about money.

Sandy Block: Oh, yeah.

Brandon Copeland: And look at those two things. I’m seeing all the different equality protests and the different things going on besides the pandemic, this off season, it made me think, “Well, why is there a taboo around politics and talking about politics and why is there a taboo around talking about your money?” Well ultimately, these things lead to power, right? And so if the people in power keep the taboo around it and they don’t allow people to learn so that they have more control over not only their communities in terms of the votes at the local level, state level and federal level, but also understanding their money better so they can eventually have that capital power, then we’ll always be in the same place and this wealth gap will continue to just expand.

David Muhlbaum: Wow. I’m not sure where we stand on your six jobs, but I think we’ve covered a lot of them. To cover the foundation, we’ve covered teaching, we’ve covered football, can you tell us a little bit more about what you’re actually doing in real estate, what your businesses are?

Brandon Copeland: So initially, so in 2017, I tore my pec playing in my first preseason game for the Detroit Lions.

Sandy Block: Go the Lions. Yes sir. Go Lions

Brandon Copeland: So I tore my pec and the year prior I’ve been very, very interested in real estate. And basically long story short, I’ve realized sometimes with the stock market swings that I had no control at all, right? And so for me, it was about trying to take a bit more control and ownership of the outcome of my investments. And so I tore my pec first preseason game and that’s when I dove into real estate head first. I’ve literally bought six properties, some at auctions, some sight unseen, flipped them all. We turned a six figure profit that year. And for me personally, that was the one attest to myself of what can I do post football, right? Can I provide a salary, or can I put food on the table?

David Muhlbaum: An income.

Brandon Copeland: Yeah. An income for myself post football. But two, it was also just an opportunity to learn and to grow. And so since then, we still are in love with flipping properties. We actually are selling our final property in Detroit. While we have an offer to sell our final property in Detroit, we sold one last week as well. It closed last week, excuse me. We have a couple of rentals, a couple of rent to own, and this summer actually bought into a development company and a construction company. So my development company, we are in the process of securing the lending to build a 37-unit building in downtown Newark, New Jersey. We also have a minority development contract on a 70-unit affordable housing building in downtown Newark, New Jersey.

Brandon Copeland: So started with flips, definitely interested in rentals, however, I’ve really loved the flips. To be frank I like designing kitchens. I like picking out carpets, picking out floor styles, and I enjoy going into a new project and looking at it creatively and figuring out what value I can pull out of this project? Where we can add a recess light? Where we can put down a wall and open up space, and all of those types of things. So I enjoy that process. And then now I’m somewhat graduating to the bigger projects, the mixed-use projects, the multi-unit projects, and I’m excited. I’m growing, I’m learning. It’s not that it’ll always be perfect. It definitely comes with its own sort of stress. But what carries me through those times is, hey no matter what you do in life, there’s going to be stress. So whether you’re doing it for yourself or doing it for somebody else you might as well put your head down and get through it and hope you come out on the other side with a smile.

David Muhlbaum: Does that kind of thing, the businesses that you’re looking at, do your fellow players kind of look to you for, “Well, what should I do, or should I try that? Or what should I be doing or thinking about?”

Brandon Copeland: Yeah. I think, you know we have those conversations all the time now, which is very, very cool. I think guys are interested to hear my opinion and ultimately I always encourage them to make sure that they follow-up with their own financial team, their own advisors, to make sure it is the right decision for them. Because what a lot of people don’t see, or a lot of guys don’t see, I am working my tail off, right? Last night, I’m up till 12:45 a.m., in the morning, on a game week working on a project that I have coming up. And so I’m a little different when it comes to that.

Brandon Copeland: So it’s not just that I am, what is it called, pushing and let go, right? I’m not just pushing the boat in the water and just letting the ripples or the waves take it. It’s I’m very active in the things that I do. And so it’s not for everyone, but people are definitely having those conversations. There’s a lot of guys who are into some very interesting investments and things themselves. So it’s good to have these conversations. It’s good to make sure that we avoid pitfalls, we avoid those traps. But also it allows us all to eventually have the opportunity to collaborate together as well, if the opportunity arises.

David Muhlbaum: Well, I’m going to say that we’re going load up this podcast show notes with some links, not just to what we’re going to be working on here with Brandon, but also stuff about your career broadly, and then your efforts across the board with your foundation and your businesses-

Brandon Copeland: Thank you.

David Muhlbaum: -and let people get to know you.

Sandy Block: Welcome to the team.

David Muhlbaum: That is important.

Brandon Copeland: Thank you so much. Like I said, I’m excited to-

Sandy Block: I’m excited too.

Brandon Copeland: -be on the team. Man, hopefully my jersey’s in the mail. I haven’t found it yet, but hopefully my goodies in the mail. Hopefully it’s not too tight. I got a little gut. But no, I’m extremely excited and not only to help you all with the things that you all have built in the past, but also to learn myself. And again, I think when people understand that you’re attacking this with a humble heart, and you’re not trying to proclaim expert status and all of those things, we’re learning together. And that’s the cool thing about my approach. And so, again, I appreciate you all welcoming me into your home, welcome me onto the team. And again, I just hope that the shorts aren’t too short, and the jersey is just right.

David Muhlbaum: Awesome. Thank you again.

Sandy Block: Thanks Brandon.

Brandon Copeland: Thank you.

David Muhlbaum: Well, we’re wrapping up what was a bit of an unusual podcast for us with a long segment with our new contributing editor, Brandon Copeland. But you know what, also, this episode is, it’s our 100th. I haven’t been doing that many of these, but Sandy sure has.

Sandy Block: Yes, I have. Although I can’t claim to have done 100 because you filled in for me a couple of times. But this is the 100th anniversary or 100th episode of Your Money’s Worth. And it has been, I have to say a real blast. I’ve learned a lot. We’ve heard from some really interesting listeners and answer their questions and I hope we’ll continue to do that. And I’m looking forward to the next 100.

David Muhlbaum: Yeah, the next 100. Well, that’s not years, but episodes. Looking forward to seeing you all next week. Thanks Sandy.

Sandy Block: Thank you, bye-bye.

David Muhlbaum: And that will just about do it for this episode of Your Money’s Worth. I hope you enjoyed it. For show notes and more great Kiplinger content on the topics we discussed on today’s show, visit You can stay connected with us on Twitter, Facebook or by emailing us at If you liked the show, please subscribe to Your Money’s Worth wherever you get your podcasts. And please give us a rating when you do. Thanks for listening.


(Article written by Kiplinger)