Watching Trees Grow

3 Steps to Take When Building Your First Budget

Oct. 17, 2022

Join Troutwood CEO Gene Natali for a quick episode on how to build a budget and build it well - in 3 steps! Wondering how to get started on this easy 3-step budget? Listen to this episode of the Watching Trees Grow podcast t…

How to Save for College: With Virginia529 CEO

April 11, 2022

What is a 529 plan and why do you need one? On this week's episode, Mary Morris, CEO of the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan, joins Gene to discuss the in’s and out’s of the plan and why everyone can, and should, have one! …

Speaker Series: Greg McBride, Chief Financial Advisor at

March 29, 2022

In this Speaker Series episode, Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst for, joins the podcast. Greg is an advocate for financial literacy and education and has made it his life work to help bring resources and fi…

Emergency Preparedness: Understanding Liquidity

March 23, 2022

Gene continues last week’s conversation on the importance of emergency preparedness. Rachel joins Gene on the podcast to talk more in depth about accessing your assets in an emergency. When does liquidity and easy access to …

Mailbag Series: Emergency Preparedness for your Finances

March 16, 2022

What is Emergency preparedness? Maybe you’re prepared for an environmental emergency, but what about a health emergency or job loss? Gene and Jeff were inspired by the student questions while teaching a course at Grove City …

The ABCs of Investment Consulting with Kweku Obed

March 10, 2022

Gene and Kweku discuss the ABC’s of investment Consulting, and share lessons that individual investors can learn from investment consultants. Marquette Associates is an investment consultant based in Chicago, Illinois. The c…

Why We Built an Investment Simulation Game

March 8, 2022

Becoming a life-long investor doesn't happen over night. We know that. That's why we made a simulation for you to practice! In this episode, Gene and Jeff talk about the inspiration behind Buy Sell Hold and how you can use i…

Students Owning Their Financial Future

March 1, 2022

What are the right financial questions to ask as you start your first job? How do you start to file your own taxes for the very first time? And more importantly, to whom do you ask these questions? In this episode, Gene tack…

Mailbag Series: Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Feb. 15, 2022

Only 15% of high school seniors will graduate with a financial plan, but 100% will make personal financial decisions. Are your debt decisions helping or hurting your long-term financial goals? Gene talks about the importance…

Mailbag Series: How Interest Rates Impact YOU

Feb. 8, 2022

Interest rates have been in the news recently. How does a change in the federal interest rate affect me? From students to homeowners, everyone can feel an impact. Gene covers the basics in this short episode about interest r…

Post-Graduate Student Loans Financial Aid Loan Repayment

Mailbag Series: A Post-Grad Perspective on Student Loans

Feb. 1, 2022

You took out the student loans. Got the degree. What now?  Gene and Rachel discuss graduate school loans, planning for after graduation, and understanding repayment plans.

Student Loans Financial Aid College College Student Finance

Mailbag Series: Getting Real About Student Loans

Jan. 25, 2022

What types of student loans are there? How do you know what's best for you? Gene and Rachel discuss the thought process of applying for and taking out student loans for college.

College Student Charitable Giving Philanthropy

Mailbag Series: Behind the Scenes of Charitable Giving with Goodwill

Jan. 19, 2022

Gene meets with Andrew, VP of Retail at Goodwill to discuss charitable giving, volunteering, and working for a non-profit!

College Student Finance Financial Plan

The Story of My First Financial Plan

Jan. 11, 2022

How do you write a financial plan? Why do you need one? Find out why you're more likely to accomplish your goals once you write them down.

Student Loans Financial Aid Loan Repayment College Student Finance Financial Plan

Exploring Panthers Forward

Jan. 4, 2022

Are you nervous about student loans? Unsure what questions to ask, where to ask them, and who to ask? In this episode, Gene chats with Sarah from Pitt's Panthers Forward who helps students just like you understand their pers…

College Student Charitable Giving Financial Plan Taxes

Mailbag Series: Taxes & Charitable Giving?

Dec. 14, 2021

Simone Quinerly, Troutwood CFO, joins the podcast to talk charitable giving and taxes with Gene.

College Student Charitable Giving Philanthropy

Mailbag Series: Giving Time vs. Money

Dec. 7, 2021

As a student or young professional, how can you best support the organizations and social causes you care most about?

College Student Financial Plan Credit Cards Debt

Mailbag Series - Credit Card Pt 5: How NOT to use a Credit Card

Nov. 30, 2021

What are the long-term affects of using your credit card the WRONG way? How do bad decisions affect your credit score long-term?

College Student Credit Cards Debt Credit Credit Score

Mailbag Series - Credit Cards Pt. 4: What happens after applying?

Nov. 23, 2021

Have you ever considered what happens AFTER you apply for a credit card? What is the difference between a hard and soft credit inquiry?

College Student Credit Cards Debt Credit Score

Mailbag Series - Credit Card Pt. 3: Nervous about applying for your first Credit Card?

Nov. 16, 2021

We left off with Maggie & Aruj applying for their first Credit Card.  Listen in as both share the results from their recent Credit applications.

College Student Financial Plan Credit Cards Debt Credit Score

Mailbag Series - Credit Card Pt 2: Applying for Your First Credit Card

Nov. 9, 2021

Aruj Bhargava and Maggie Mayer join the podcast in a continuation of a multi-part series on credit cards.  Neither Maggie nor Aruj have a credit card, but both are pondering the possibility of applying for one.

College Finance Financial Plan Debt Opportunity Cost

Mailbox Series: Ep 1. Opportunity Cost - Buying a Car

Oct. 26, 2021

For an 18-year old high school senior, what is the opportunity cost of buying a $13,000 car instead of a $10,000 car?

The Importance of Investing for Life

July 20, 2021

In this episode of Watching Trees Grow, Gene sits down with Mr. Craig Slaughter, CFA, CIMC, and  Executive Director of the WVIMB, a fund with over $24 billion in assets under management, to discuss Craig's distinguished care…