5 Steps to Financial Freedom
July 2, 2021
It’s the 4th of July weekend and we’re celebrating with a special edition of “7investing Now.” On this episode, Anirban Mahanti joins Dan Kline to break down how anyone can take control of their finances and begin their investing journey. They’ll discuss what you have to do before you can start investing and then they’ll lay out the steps you need to take to build long-term wealth.
Samantha Bailey 0:13
Welcome to 7investing Now, a show that teaches you how to take a long term view on investing by better understanding what’s happening in the market now.
Dan Kline 0:24
Good afternoon 7investors and welcome to a special July 2nd, Fourth of July weekend edition of 7investing. Now my name, of course, is Daniel Brooks Klein, I’m the host of the program, but not so much today. Anirban Mahanti is going to join me. And he’s going to sort of sit in the hosting rule role. We’re doing something a little special here, we’re doing five steps to financial independence. Why are we doing this on an investing show? Because if you’re in debt, at least certain kinds of debt, you shouldn’t be investing. If you have, you know, high interest rate, credit card debt, probably shouldn’t be spending a lot of money on stocks, because your best rate of return is going to be paying down that debt. But there’s some subtleties to this. We’re going to talk about all that. Before we get to it, Anirban, obviously, you don’t celebrate Fourth of July in Australia, but I assume there is a comparable an Australian Independence Day?
Anirban Mahanti 1:15
Well, there’s a there’s an Australia Day, I wouldn’t call it an independence day as such this, there’s some I guess, conflict about what the day means, you know, for the Aboriginal Australians and Australians who came from other places and things like that. But that’s the 26th of January, is celebrated as Australia day. That would be the closest equivalent of the Fourth of July.
Dan Kline 1:39
Assuming all goes well this week, I will be spending Fourth of July in the Bahamas, watching fireworks from a cruise ship deck. That is that is highly the hope here I am not until I’m actually moving on board, going to actually believe this is going to happen because it has been as you know, more than us living where you live. It has been a year of disappointments of almost of Oh, hey, I’ve got this plan, whoa, it didn’t happen. But we’re going to try to focus on the positive here. And I want to turn it over to you, so Anirban is going to introduce each topic, I’m going to talk a little and this is because I have a background in writing about personal finance. And he’s done some of it, he’s lived some of these things. So he’s absolutely going to weigh in when appropriate. But I’m going to sort of lead the discussion. So as of now he’s gonna take over the hosting duties.
Anirban Mahanti 2:27
Thank you, Dan, thank you for letting me host. This is a new thing for me to do. So. How does it feel being on the other side?
Dan Kline 2:36
I was on the other side. So for four years, I was a podcast guest at our former employer. And admittedly, I talked more than most guests. But they didn’t let me host until there was a live video channel. So I have actually way more experience as a guest than I do as a host though, I think I’ve hosted something like in the 1000s of shows over the past 15 months. So I gain that experience pretty quickly. And obviously, I came up in high school and college as a host. But even like when both of my books came out, I did hundreds of radio interviews. So lots of experience being a guest. And frankly, sometimes I enjoy being a guest more because you don’t have to worry about things all that much. But let’s kick off the show here.
Anirban Mahanti 3:18
Okay, let’s do it. Okay, so the first topic I want to ask you about is what we sometimes would tell people that, you know, we should know where we stand, right? Basically, we should know what our, I guess household budget or a personal budget looks like a personal balance sheet looks like I do want to talk about that first.
Dan Kline 3:39
Yeah, it, it’s really important when you start this journey to do the basics. And that’s make a simple budget. So what’s a budget, a budget is how much money is coming in, versus how much money is going out. And some of those things you have to guess because you know, not every cost is fixed. I live in a place where it goes from very hot to really, really hot. And my electric bill goes up accordingly. But when you make a budget, I always make negative assumption budgets. So you should assume some amount of money each month for like car repairs, even though you’re not going to have car repairs every month. But the big number is what’s coming in. That’s important. And for most people that doesn’t fluctuate all that much. It can fluctuate with pay schedules, you know, my wife gets paid on the first and 15th. So her check is not always the same, because there’s not always the same amount of days in between those periods. You know, I pay myself on that schedule as well. But I pay a fixed amount each time. So we know more or less how much money is coming in. So that’s number one.
Then you need to look at the big ticket, what’s going out. The biggest one for the vast majority of people is going to be your rent or your mortgage. After that. It’s probably a car payment. It could be a student loan or something like that. It could be some other form of debt. And then realistically you have your bills that you can sort of figure out roughly what you pay. What’s your electric what Your cable, what’s your, your streaming services, then you have to be really honest with yourself about your your grocery budget, your entertainment budget, I know when my wife goes to the grocery store most weeks, it’s somewhere between $160 and $220, depending on whether like, I need her to get me artificial tears or whatever, you know, thing that might drive the cost up, you know, but if you’re buying a couple of bottles of wine a week, you got to put that down. If you’re going to dinner a couple of nights a week, you have to be very realistic. And I say negative assumption, because you always want to assume that you’re spending a little more than you are. Because at the end of this, what happens is you have excess money, well, that’s fine, that can go in your investing account. So if you’re in a situation where you have more money coming in, then it’s going out, then you’re in a good position.
Now you also want to understand your debt. So let’s pretend you have a few thousand dollars in credit card debt at 22% interest, well, you’re not going to get an average 22% return in the market, unless you’re very, very lucky. You might have this year, but normally you wouldn’t. So pay off that debt. Now your student loan, which might be 2%, 4%, 5%, you don’t have to pay that off. Your mortgage, which is that, you know, somewhere between 2.5% and 4%. If you’ve done it like the last five years, well, that’s a good kind of debt to carry. So there are things that you don’t have to pay off your car loan, which could be anywhere from zero to much higher than that there’s no benefit to paying a car loan off faster, you still pay all the interest. So that’s one way there’s an exception.
But if you’re in a position where you have more money coming in than going out, the first thing you want to do is build an emergency fund. What’s an emergency fund? It’s somewhere between four and eight months, or maybe even 12. If you’re in a field where work can vary of all your expenses. Now, can you adjust down if you’re going to spend less money if you’re not working? Yes, absolutely. But it’s a mid case scenario. If no money is coming in, or only half the money is coming in, if you’re in a two income household, how can I get by? I know I keep our emergency fund closer to 12 months, because it’s a peace of mind thing. I’ve always worked in industries, not so much now. But when I was a newspaper journalist, you can get let go at any minute, you know, I was always in a position, I didn’t make that much money in those days. So it was certainly easier to replace that income. Whereas now in the past few years, I’m doing financially better. I am very, very cautious. So the number one thing is to know where you stand. Anirban, how much money is in your bank account right now? No, just kidding. That was a joke.
Anirban Mahanti 7:37
That was a good question. Actually this buffer of 12 months is really important to me as well. I like the fact of how it just is this peace of mind. Peace of mind, you know, it might seem like a drag on you. You’re not spending it, you’re not using it. You’re not investing it. But I love that it’s just peace of mind really means a lot. Okay, so let’s assume that, you know, we have someone who has lots of bills to pay. And it’s making it hard for them to figure out how they can reduce their expenses, right? Because you in some way you need to make some cuts somewhere, right? So I guess the next question would be, if you want to fix your budget, and your budget, or your balance sheet is in trouble, then what do you do? How, what changes? What are some easy changes people can make?
Dan Kline 8:29
So the first thing I do is make the easy cuts first, and you’ve probably heard me go on a rant. I hate when people who do the well, if you cut out your morning latte, you’re gonna save x amount – that’s true. But what if your morning latte is the joy of your day, and your afternoon lunch that cost you $18 is absolutely something you don’t care about. So if you’re at that line where you’re at about even, or you’re a little deficit every month, you’re adding some credit card debt, make the soft cut, so maybe you’re subscribing to something that you barely watch, or maybe you have four or five services, and you go okay, if I rotate these services, and I get Netflix for a month and I watch everything I want to watch on Netflix, then I cancel it. And I get Hulu for a month and I watch – like whatever it is, do the easy ones first.
So if you’re reflexively going out after work on a Friday and having two or 315 dollar drinks, when you’d be just as happy having a cup of water or having a single drink, will cut $30-$45 out of your budget. I know these things sounds small, but they add up quickly. But for a lot of people, those small cuts don’t get them there. They might get them to even, they might get them to closer to even. If they don’t get you to even then you have to make big cuts and it’s not that easy to say change your house payments. But could you do something like rent out a spare room if you had one? That’s very extreme, but it is something you could do. Could you plan long range and say okay, I can’t get out of this in six months, but in a year I won’t have a car payment anymore, and my car is in good shape. So I’m not going to take a new car, and I’m going to have two, four whatever the number is depends on your car, I’m gonna have a few extra hundred a month.
Or, hey, this is really painful, we always take this trip, we always go home to see the family wherever the family happens to be, you know what, we can’t do that this year, we have to save that money and put it toward the bottom line. So it is very important even before you start investing, that on a month by month basis, you’re not running at a deficit. Now, credit cards can smooth out cash flow. So it’s totally fine if your rents due on the first but more of your income comes in the 15th. You know that that can happen to me sometimes, because our rent is due on the 15th. And we have a bunch of expenses that come due there. So I’m totally fine with if I then put my groceries, not that I need to from a cash basis, but I put my groceries on a credit card. And I pay that credit card off a few days later when when more money moves into the account.
I tend to think monthly even if there’s a good amount of cash sitting in the account, but you don’t want to use credit cards to finance things. You don’t want to add to that debt. Because you need to think of the opportunity cost if you’re using a credit card to get rewards points of paying it off. That’s awesome. If you’re using a credit card because your dishwasher broke and you need a dishwasher. Well, that’s a fact of life, you have to deal with it. If you’re using a credit card to go on your your fabulous vacation, and it’s going to take you two years to pay it off. That is a terrible idea. Don’t do that. So you need to make the changes as you see them. But you do need to make them
Anirban Mahanti 11:34
Excellent. I love those. You know, it just depends on place to place. But you know, for us here in Australia, one of the things that I suggest to people is shop around for utilities. Shop around because there’s competition and utilities, competition for your gas, electricity, internet mobile service, you can actually get a good deal. The one thing I was going to add is, you know, this bogs my mind down sometimes. But I think that we have a propensity as human beings for new stuff, right? Big, shiny new things. And one of the things that actually people don’t realize that cost a lot of money is a new car. Right? And given the vehicle reliability is so good these days, like you can buy pretty much any brand, I don’t care what brand is we buy a brand, you should be able to use it for like 8-10 years pretty much without any problem, right? So if you change frequently, then I think you you know you just making extra payments that you potentially need to do. So that’s something to think about.
Dan Kline 12:34
Yeah, so I’ll jump in. I’ve never bought a new car. Never. I recently bought the oldest car I ever owned, I traded in my 2016 Nissan Versa for a 2014 Prius. Now Toyota’s have an incredible track record of longevity. And I read an article in consumer reports about how long the batteries last on the Prius. And basically, it’s 20 years, nothing I have to worry about. And why did I do it? Because the savings and gas to me was meaningful and really exciting. So it used to be and this is very anecdotal. But if I went to our house in Orlando, I would have to fill up the tank in the Versa, which is only a 10 gallon tank. So it’s a small tank, I’d have to fill it up pretty much right away the next morning or like right at dinner when I got there. Now with the Prius, I can actually drive there and home if I didn’t do a ton of driving while I was there. I get gas like once a month, if I’m not doing that trip, if that, and I’m probably saving $100 a month.
And I know that sounds small, but it was time to get a new car. My car was was was, I don’t wanna say wearing out. But getting to the point where the the delta of trading in wasn’t going to make sense anymore. And capitalizing on something that saves you money. But you’re absolutely right. There are things you could shop for. You know, if you take one of the not major cell phone providers, you can get much cheaper service. Now you’re trading off and customer service, you’re trading off and having the latest phone. But in most cases, you know, I’m not a great example here with with the car.
I’m a great example with gadgets, I get a new iPhone every year. I say it’s for work, but I get a I get a new Mac every 18 months to two years. So there are areas where I am not a great example. We’ve talked about this, you mentioned using your Nespresso this morning, I own at least three Nespressos and none of them are plugged in at the moment. I don’t drink hot coffee and I keep buying hot coffee makers. So I’m not always a good example. But I am lucky that I’m at the point that wasting 100 or $200 a month on gadgets is generally not a fatal flaw. There are certainly points in my life. That buying a paperback book that I wasn’t going to read would have been a would have been a big mistake, but it is really important to control and understand your finances when I buy something dumb. I know I’m buying something dumb.
Anirban Mahanti 14:55
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great point. I love that. We’ll move on to the next point. you’ve, you’ve talked about this already. So you’ve talked about, you know, basically credit card debt and credit card debt can range from 22%, I think, you know, as high as 28%, I’ve seen some credit cards that go at 30%. So, talk talk a little bit about, you know, paying off some of these high interest debt instruments.
Dan Kline 15:19
So this is almost always the best return, you can get on your money. But there are some really smart ways to do this. I am not a big fan of people have credit card debt, adding to their number of credit cards. But the reality is, if you could go to your bank, or you could go to some of these financial institutions that will either offer you a 0% interest credit card, or somebody like SoFi that would offer you a personal loan. Now, this is dangerous, because people sometimes take those loans, pay off the debt, owe the loan, and then run the debt up again.
So you do have to understand your personal discipline. But if you can get a credit card, let’s say you have $20,000 in credit card debt, and you could get a credit card that offers you 18 months with a $10,000 limit. And you could pay half your debt off in that that 18 months at 0% interest that is a very meaningful savings. So yeah, that is something you need to look into. It is absolutely an area where you might want to meet with a professional, you know, and the qualifications are different, your bank can point you in the direction. A lot of times if you’re a member of a credit union here in the US, sitting down with them and saying, but don’t encumber your house, don’t encumber your assets, don’t take a second mortgage or a home equity loan, which can have very fluctuating interest to pay off debt.
But you do want to do it, you need a plan. And if you have 10,000 in debt, and you only have $200 a month, you could throw at it. Well, maybe you need a side hustle, maybe you need to do one of the things we talked about before, maybe you need a better job. And I know those things are difficult. But we are at a really good time for most U.S. workers where there is wage competition. There are look, Taco Bell is offering 5 to 15 hundred bonuses here in Florida to sign on. I’m sure you don’t get that all at once. But it also means making sacrifices. Like if you have that much debt, it’s awful to say but maybe you can’t afford to go out to dinner at all, maybe you need to really think about what you’re buying at the grocery store. And look, you can cook a really healthy meal that’s tasty for not a lot of money, it’s really easy to eat unhealthy for not a lot of money, you know, you can buy your ramen noodles and your Kraft macaroni and cheese.
But it is not that hard to make a nice fresh meal Look, I made a salmon dinner last night and the salmon was maybe $14. And the other ingredients were I don’t know not five put together, I’m not sure you can get all that much in a restaurant. Like two people can’t eat at Chipotle a for $20 all that well. So you’re gonna need to make the card step but you’re going to think about what the reward is. At the end of this is that weight off your shoulder? Is that oh, wow like I have a cushion. Like I remember when I made you know, less than 30 grand a year as a newspaper, whatever. And if something went wrong with our refrigerator, or our roof needed a repair, that was really scary. And now those things aren’t fun, I’ve replaced a roof and an air conditioner at our at our other home within the last few years. And you know, and had other significant to hurricane related expenses there. And it wasn’t fun. Nobody wants to spend that money. But I had the money, so it wasn’t that big a deal. So get out of that debt, build up that savings, and then you are really close to financial independence.
Anirban Mahanti 18:44
Love that. And I was gonna add here quickly. You know, if you have a credit card debt, one of the things to think about is to not have a credit card debt for which you’re paying a fee. So you know, try to get at least a $0 fee, credit card, if you can. Interest free in many cards give you that, you know, opportunity to rollover. So that’s important if you get a $0 fee. with six months interest free definitely works. A hot tip on food. We’ve been trying this and this really works really well. So you know, we all want to have restaurant quality food. But restaurant quality food cost a lot. One of the things we’re discovering are these companies that deliver prepackaged food material like you know, HelloFresh and Marley spoon and a few others. They actually give you good instruction since you can get like an instruction for 20 minutes and you can actually cook your food and tastes pretty much like restaurant food and it’s hot and you made it, you know what ingredients went into it, actually, in terms of cost actually worked out better.
Dan Kline 19:39
So I’ll jump in here. I think those services are great for people who don’t know how to cook as a way to get you know, an idea or recipe to sort of learn how things go together. Once you sort of sense that, it’s easiest to just go to the grocery store. Like I don’t need someone to send me pre portioned whatever and like I’m making dinner tonight. I’m making tortellini and shrimp, and I have sort of a sense of the sauce I’m gonna make, but I don’t entirely know because I was gonna do it in in Whole Foods vodka sauce, but my my delivery order from Whole Foods vodka sauce sent me red pepper hummus instead. And the two containers look the same. But I shared this on our Slack, they look the same, but one says red pepper hummus and the other says vodka sauce. So my theory is my delivery person couldn’t read.
But in general, I try to cook three or four nights a week, my wife usually cooks Sunday night. And then we’ll go out now that that’s a thing again, and we’ll get delivery one night. I don’t always hold to that, because obviously we have it. And it’s it’s also pretty lazy and expensive that I had my affordable grocery items delivered yesterday, because I was so busy from a work point of view that I just didn’t have time to go to Whole Foods. So you know, that being said, even with the delivery charges, I still spent significantly less than even if I’d ordered from a very moderate restaurant. And, you know, the meal I created was definitely more healthy than ordering from like Chili’s or whatever it might be. So yeah, learning how to cook is a good thing. And it’s daunting for a lot of people. It’s not that hard, you know, learning how to season – it’s not. I’m lucky I grew up my mom, you know, cooked a lot. I was around it a lot. But a lot of it is -and I get it wrong sometimes. I’ve had a few nights where we’ve had to throw away dinner and an order takeout. But that’s a few nights out of 1000s. So we are getting really close here to actually investing money towards financial independence.
Anirban Mahanti 21:31
Yes, so we’ve talked about paying off debt, we’ve talked about making a plan, we’ve talked basically making a budget, we’ve talked about essentially saving and once you have saved, I guess you could take the next step towards financial independence, which is to essentially make a plan for investing. So tell us about that.
Dan Kline 21:47
Yeah, so you want to budget a regular amount to invest invest, what I do is I have an auto transfer twice a month, and maybe it’s every other week, but that goes into my investing account. And then unless there’s a reason I can’t buy it, like the stock I want to buy is about to be a pic. And we let members have access to that before we add to our positions. I just go buy the stock, I bought one share of something today because there was money sitting sitting in my account that and the price of that share had come down enough that I I just bought I added one share to it to a position. But no matter what it is, that amount can be small. If you’re 22. I don’t care if you’re adding $25 a week to an account. And just once a month, you sit down with $100 and you buy fractional shares, not every brokerage in the US offers fractional shares, and most outside the US don’t. So that that can be a problem.
But I’d argue it’s probably coming in most of the world, it’s certainly coming to more U.S. brokers. Don’t buy shares based on price, meaning if there’s you can only invest $25 a month, you know, a week, don’t buy only shares that cost less than $100. You might have to wait. If you’re if you’re someplace where you don’t have access to fractional shares. And it does mean you won’t be able to buy certain companies, if you don’t have that because it’ll look it’s really hard. if you’re putting $100 a month into an account to buy a share of something trading it you know, $1800 or whatever it is, but make it regular, make it a habit.
And you need to decide who you are as an investor. This is something we talk a lot about with members. All seven of us here at 7investing have different styles, I don’t want to say I’m risk averse, because there are definitely some risky options, some picks I’ve made, but most of my portfolio is pretty solid. It’s a company that even if things go badly, it’s not going to go to zero, like it’s not a high flying tech company that could fall apart or be disrupted. My picks are mostly not biotechs that could not get approved and never come to market. So you need to know who you are. If you’re young, you might be comfortable with a lot of risk and understanding that yep, if I have two home runs out of 10, I’m probably going to be doing better than a five by eight, you know, really, really, you know, safe stocks. So you’ve got to know that you also need to know what your time horizon is.
Are you 20 but your part of your portfolio is to put a down payment on a house in five years? Well, that’s important to know is all your money going towards retirement is some of it going to put a kid through college, you don’t need to know exactly what you need for those milestones. But you need to know Okay, seven years from now, I’m going to need to start divesting some of this because eight years from now I’m going to do this major life thing. You also need to know sort of your mental makeup. What do I mean by that? There are some people that if a stock is 10% of their portfolio and it goes down 5% in a day, they’re going to be nervous about it, they’re going to be sweating bullets, they’re going to be worried. So those people might be better off owning 40 or 50 stocks and not having anything be more than a few percentage points of their portfolio.
Other people and I think you and I both fall into this. If something grows to a large position in their portfolio. I’m not going to trim it if I still believe in the company. I may not add new money, but I’m generally not going to cut. But that’s entirely up to you. So you really need to understand it, you also need to do the basics, get a brokerage account, that’s incredibly easy here in the US, you know, I would recommend going with like a Schwab or a TD Ameritrade and not a Robinhood, simply for customer service, and that, you know, they’re going to be there. And many of your big banks are also now offering it, I’m a big fan of separating your checking account from your investing account, I, I don’t think that’s a great, it’s too tempting if a good buy comes up.
If the two are linked, I think you want to have that, it takes time to transfer money, but that is a personal choice. So you really just to make a plan, you have to do it regularly, you have to know what you’re investing for. And that can be very broad, I have no idea what retirement looks like, I can’t imagine there’s a time I won’t ever work. But I know there’s going to be a time where I want to put my feet up more and I want to not make as much money. So that’s kind of my long term horizon investing goal. Now, I don’t think I will take any of the money out of my portfolio for anything other than what I do in my 60s or 70s, or whatever it is. Because you know, we’re lucky. We have some cash, we’ll we own an investment property, we have a source of a downpayment, if we decide to buy back into the real estate market, but you really need to understand because it’s different for everyone.
And it’s also, and this can be tough, you’re married, I’m married, you actually need to make sure your goals align with your spouse’s or if they don’t, that you can understand how to bring them together. Now I’m in this space, and my wife isn’t and I don’t think she cares or knows, she just did. She has a the nonprofit version of a 401k at work, it’s well funded, it’ll be a nice source of income, you know, 30 years from now. But for the most part, if I try to talk about our portfolio, her eyes roll. So I will tell her things like, yes, we regularly invest X amount every month. Yes, our holdings are this amount up. And yes, my 401k, which is sort of self funded, you know, is growing and in a good position and I and I hadn’t had one for all that many years, because I haven’t worked a traditional job and in a very long time, so there is that transparency, and to a point, I discuss it with my son, because college might be an issue and you know, where we live and what why we do and don’t do certain things. And we’ve talked about this in other shows, but like, I might sit down and say okay, like we can renew our Disney World tickets. But that means we can’t go to California this year, those discussions have to happen, and they could be very uncomfortable. And then we get to the fun part number five, this one’s short, when I was not going to take a lot of time. In fact, you introduce it, I’m gonna say a little thing. And then you can explain in more detail.
Anirban Mahanti 27:54
Buy stocks, how do you buy stocks?
Dan Kline 27:58
It’s you. So you have a plan. Now you buy stocks. And once you buy stocks, the missing ingredient is time. You have to wait. It is not buy stocks, see that my stock has gone up 20% in six months and sell and try to find the next thing. That’s exhausting. We are buy and hold investors. What does that mean? It means that most of the companies we buy, we have a thesis for buying them. So if you’re a 7investing member, you get access to our picks. And in our recommendation, we tell you this is why we’re buying it. And we periodically as professional investors, we will check and say hey, this company I follow and I own piece a piece of, are they still doing the things that made me like them? And if they’re not well then we might adjust and in theory personally or we could tell our members to sell that’s never happened.
And I’m not saying it’s never happened in my investing history. But in general, most companies do stay the course. Now, earlier stage companies and you know, tech stocks that are high flying have a lot more bumps than the type of retail and entertainment company I tend to follow. But this is a game of getting rich slowly and the thing I hear the most often and Jim Cramer I know you’re watching. No Jim Cramer is not watching. He says it take your profits off the table you’re playing with house money. All that does is cost you money when you trim your winners while they’re winning. That makes no sense. Now, if you look at your portfolio and you see I have money here. And I really feel like some of that money would be better invested here. Well, sell some and move to another place. But the reality is, you should not be taking profits off the table unless you fundamentally believe that that company has stopped growing. And historically, it’s wrong.
Like how many people sold companies you know, I don’t know where Netflix trades now or Apple but sold them at 2% there current value because they can’t possibly be worth anymore? And then and then they’ve seen them, you know, 10 bag in two years like, winners win. And that’s something it’s very hard to deal with. I put new money into new things. I don’t generally, and again, we’ve talked about this was retail, if I say this chain can get to 2000 stores, and then they would need to do something else to continue growing, and they get to 2000 stores, and they’re going to focus more on being a business than being a growth company. Well, then at that point, maybe my thesis played out. But I’d never had that happen to me, I’ve never seen a good company not find a new area to invest in or to expand.
And yeah, even your biggest companies, your Apple’s, when you could look and say, wow, like like Apple TV or headphones or whatever would be really big divisions of other companies. And for Apple, even like the the Apple Watch is like, essentially a rounding error in their business. But over time, they’re piling a bunch of this stuff together, and they figure out how to move the needle and grow. So as an investor, you have to actually buy stocks. And that can be a difficult trigger. Because we all know, no matter how bearish or bullish you are in a company, you can always find the bear case and use that as a reason to not buy. I am very guilty of this. There are some really good companies, some picks I’ve made here at 7investing that because when I wasn’t a professional stock picker when I was more of a writer, analyst and host – as a host, you have to really give both sides and you have to sort of play up the bear angle along with the bull angle. And yes, just because you understand the bear angle, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in the bull angle. Anirban, I’ll give you the last word on this one.
Anirban Mahanti 31:40
Okay, so here a couple of things, I’d say you’ve already talked about this the bear angle in the bull angle, one of the things that happens quite often it’s very easy to sound smart with bearish comments, right? So and then our mind gets very used to it gets, you know, adapts to this bearish angles, okay, well, this is, you know, going to happen if I need to probably, you know, get out of the stock. So, I think what you said, you know, buying long term is really important. And another analogy I think about it is, you want to get into a company, buy it. And then you want to reduce what I call forced errors, right? So we’re trying to figure out when to sell, that’s an additional decision that you have to make and if you can avoid it, actually, you’re better off because you’re not not having to make the decision.
So putting your money into something else is actually a much better idea. If you’re not comfortable, but getting out because you think you can figure it out, this is a good time to get out. I mean, again, there are many times when you know, the Netflix stock probably went down for some reason, because they’re not gonna have any subscriber growth or because Disney+ is gonna kill them. Those things don’t happen, right? I mean, if you’ve got a good company, and you said the winners keep winning. So I think I think it’s important. Knowing yourself is really, really important. I actually what we talked about today, a big thing is knowing yourself, right? If you know yourself, then you can figure out, you know what changes you need to make. And then once you decide what changes you can make, you can make a positive impact on yourself. That’s really, I think the key. So should I hand it back to you, Dan.
Dan Kline 33:10
Let’s hand it back to me. So this was a very special show. Happy Fourth of July. We’re not going to do a finisher today. The goal was to make this sort of something different. If you’d like to get in touch with us. That is firstname.lastname@example.org, I don’t have the graphics to put up, we’re taping this in a totally different format than we even really do. If you want to talk to us on social media, we are @7investing. We’re all going to be out of pocket for a couple of days that were pretty online. I’m sure even on a cruise ship. I will be checking slack and my email and Twitter and those sorts of things. But for Anirban Mahanti, for Sam Bailey who’s going to be running this live and putting it all together. Thank you Sam. I appreciate this. The first live show I won’t actually be here for and then we will see you not on Monday because Monday is the fourth of July holiday even though it’s actually July 5. We will see you on Wednesday. Thanks for watching.
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