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Short questions with Dana Perino for David L. Bahnsen

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For a number of months now, I’ve enjoyed checking in with some of your favorite Fox personalities to learn more about who they are behind the scenes. 

But as you may recall, I did promise to throw in some surprise appearances here and there!

This week I wanted to share my conversation with David L. Bahnsen, author of the new book “Full-Time: Work and the Meaning of Life.”

He is the founder, managing partner and chief investment officer of The Bahnsen Group, a national private wealth management firm with offices in Newport Beach, New York City, Minneapolis, Oregon, Austin, and Nashville, managing over $4.25 billion in client assets.

Prior to launching The Bahnsen Group, he spent eight years as a managing director at Morgan Stanley and six years as a vice president at UBS. He’s consistently been named one of the top financial advisers in America by Barron’s, Forbes, and the Financial Times.

P.S. We have so much more in store for you. Stay tuned each week for new editions of “Short Questions with Dana Perino” — and if there’s a question you want answers to or a suggestion for the person I should interview next, leave a note in the comments section below. 

Dana Perino and David L. Bahnsen

Chief investment officer David L. Bahnsen of The Bahnsen Group tells Dana Perino, “I care deeply that I am the best I am capable of being,” citing his deep faith. He also reveals how he defines success and what he would tell his younger self if he could.  (Fox News Digital/David Bahnsen)

Q: What question do you think every manager should ask in a job interview?

DB: “Why are you looking for this job?” 

The reason I say that is if the person’s answer is ‘I just want a job,’ that’s OK. Put it on the table. Everyone needs a paycheck. 

But give people a chance to come into the interview and say, “Oh, because I saw what you did in this venture” or “I read this story about you.” If they’ve done a lot of homework, it’s a great discovery question!

Q: How do you approach or advise people? Because I think you’ve already done this very well. But the balance of investing and saving for the future versus, say — and not just paying your bills but enjoying the present.

DB: Financially, you have to save off the top. The only way the government gets paid is they tax you off the top. The only way you get paid is if you save off the top [of your income]. 

So it’s funny how these 401K things caused retirement balances to skyrocket higher. 

Live off percentages and put the mechanisms in place to make yourself do it. 

Some people live paycheck to paycheck — but where there is excess, get debt free and then be able to save 10% or 20%. 

Q: Do you have advice for young people on renting versus owning shelter?

DB: Right now it feels almost impossible for them to own shelter because of the high cost of entry. And so I recommend that they tell their governor and local city council to allow more houses to get built.

One of the most shameful things economically in our country is the lack of supply of housing, which has made housing unaffordable for otherwise gainfully employed people.

I realize most young people cannot impact policy that much, but this really is a supply-constraint problem.  Young people need to tell their parents to quit opposing new growth – it is causing this affordability crisis!  

“When people start spending 50% of their income on housing, it is just untenable.”

But when one is in a position to buy a home and it will be a place they will be happy, make sure they are putting no less than 20% down (more is better), and that the total cost of ownership (monthly amortized mortgage payment with HOA and property taxes) is 35% of their net cash flow or less.  

When people start spending 50% of their income on housing, it is just untenable.

Q: Is there any advice that you would give your younger self or something that you wish someone had told you back then?

DB: It’s such a good question. And there are so many things. 

I think that, in different moments, I wish I had worked even harder than I did, and in other moments I wish I had unplugged more, been more present. 

I don’t regret the time I’ve spent working, but I regret some of the quality of time that I spent with family. 

There were moments I was present, but I was still distracted. 

I wish I had been more consistent in being focused and mentally present with my wife and children all the time.

Q: How do you define success and has that evolved throughout your life?

DB: It definitely has. I turn 50 next month, and I’m thinking about it even more these days. 

Aristotle talked about the good life. There’s the biblical idea of shalom. I use the term human flourishing and I believe it is both a material and spiritual, a physical and immaterial, component where we have joy, peace and harmony. 

“I am here to fight the good fight.”

Success for me was never merely professional, but professional goals were (and are) a vital part of it. 

Yet in the totality of my life, I care deeply that I am the best I am capable of being – that I produce all I can produce to the glory of my God – and that when I die He will say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

I am here to fight the good fight – I put that in my high school yearbook and it is still true today even as a middle-aged man. 

David Bahnsen’s new book can be found at Amazon and other places where books are sold. 

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To read all of Dana Perino’s earlier “Short Questions” interviews for Fox News Digital, check out this (long) list!

For her interview with Dagen McDowell, click here

For her interview with Lydia Hu, click here. 

For her interview with Brian Brenberg, click here. 

For her interview with Jackie DeAngelis, click here. 

For her interview with Claudia Cowan, click here. 

For her interview with Max Gorden, click here

For her interview with Jared Cohen, click here

For her interview with William La Jeunesse, click here.

For her interview with Matt Finn, click here.

For her interview with Rich Edson, click here.

For her interview with Gov. Chris Sununu, click here

For her interview with Ross Rayburn, click here

For her interview with Mark Meredith, click here.

For her interview with Emily Compagno, click here.

For her interview with Chad Pergram, click here.

For her interview with Mike Emanuel, click here. 

For her interview with Gillian Turner, click here

For her interview with Madison Alworth, click here

For her interview with Nate Foy, click here.

For her interview with Laura Ingraham, click here. 

For her interview with five New York FOX reporters, click here

For her interview with Katie Pavlich, click here.

For her interview with Guy Benson, click here

For her interview with Pete Hegseth, click here

For her interview with Sandra Smith, click here

For her interview with Nicolas Yannicelli, click here.

For her interview with Abby Hornacek, click here. 

For her interview with Elise Bitter, click here

For her interview with Brian Kilmeade, click here.

For her interview with Kennedy, click here.

For her interview with John Roberts, click here

For her interview with Janice Dean, click here

For her interview with Charles Payne, click here.

For her interview with Trey Gowdy, click here.

For her interview with Johnny “Joey” Jones, click here. 

For her interview with Bill Melugin, click here

For her interview with Jimmy Failla, click here

For her interview with Tyrus, click here

For her interview with Ainsley Earhardt, click here.

For her interview with Lawrence Jones, click here

For her interview with Dr. Arash Akhavan, click here

For her interview with Martha MacCallum, click here.

For her interview with Bret Baier, click here. 

For her interview with Kayleigh McEnany, click here.

For her interview with Harold Ford Jr., click here

For her interview with Shannon Bream, click here.

For her interview with Jessica Tarlov, click here.

For her interview with Leo Terrell, click here.

For her interview with Geraldo Rivera, click here.

For her interview with Clay Travis, click here

For her interview with Bill Hemmer, click here

For her interview with Greg Gutfeld, click here.

For her interview with Benjamin Hall, click here.

For her interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, click here.

For her interview with Jesse Watters, click here.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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