After his starring role on The Bachelor in 2017 and subsequent hosting gigs on The Living Room, Luxury Escapes and Studio 10, Matty ‘J’ Johnson has recently pivoted his career into a completely different direction: finance.
The 34-year-old media personality has just launched his brand new podcast, The Penny Drops, supported by Commbank, where he aims to educate himself in the big wide world of finance and help listeners along the way.
“I think a lot of people must be like, ‘Is Matty J trying to be the next Kochie? What’s happening here?’,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle with a laugh.
While fans have enjoyed his occasional appearances on his partner Laura Byrne’s podcast Life Uncut, Australia's fifth most-downloaded podcast of 2021 which she shares with fellow Bachelor alum Brittany Hockley, The Penny Drops is Matt's first solo venture in the audio medium.
“Laura’s been like, ‘What are you doing stepping on my turf? Podcasting is my thing’. So I'm kind of sheepishly tiptoeing into the podcast world,” he says.
“I actually wanted to do a podcast for a while and I was like, ‘What do I do it on?’. I can't do love and relationships because Laura's doing that, and I was going to do parenting because obviously that makes a lot of sense. And then I was looking at finance because I knew that it was something in my life that I needed to work at.”
The father-of-two explains that he found other finance podcasts to be “really informative”, but he felt like there was a major gap in the market for something both educational and entertaining.
“I thought there was an opportunity to do a finance podcast with someone at the helm who doesn't know what they're talking about,” he describes. “Sometimes it can be hard to digest the information when it's coming from someone who talks about the subject every single day.”
‘It was kind of daunting’
Each week on The Penny Drops sees Matt speaking with experts about a variety of topics, including money personalities, budgeting and investing, and he’s found it to be an incredibly “rewarding” experience that’s had a strong impact on his day to day life.
“I never thought I'd be saying the words ‘the episode on superannuation is my favourite', but I love it,” he says.
“It pains me to say this, but I am guilty of never giving any thought to retirement. It's so important for young people to work on their super now when they've got so much time to try and give themselves an opportunity to retire comfortably and not just rely on the pension.”
Speaking about his hesitations heading into the new project, Matt admits that he was nervous to face the experts because he used to live by the motto “ignorance is bliss” when it came to his own finances.
“I think the judgement from the experts was probably what I was fearing the most,” he says. “It was kind of daunting talking about financial goals and I didn't want them to look at me and think, ‘How has this dad of two kids in his mid-30s not done anything at all with his finances?’.”
Since embarking on his self-proclaimed “quest to figure out my finances”, however, Matt has gained so much knowledge that he now finds himself sharing words of wisdom with his friends and family.
“If I was Kochie, I’d be very nervous,” he jokes about his career in finance.
You can listen to The Penny Drops wherever you get your podcasts.
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