A Look at Some Really Bad Investing Advice (That We Hear All the Time)
April 26, 2021
Whether you’re on social media or watching mainstream media, much of the investment advice you hear will be terrible. On Monday’s 7investing Now, Dan Kline and Maxx Chatsko talk about some of the worst investing advice that’s commonly given out. We’ll also talk whether psychedelics offer an investment opportunity and Anirban Mahanti will join the program to talk about how he invests his family’s money.
Sam Bailey 0:15
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 0:25
Good afternoon 7investors and welcome to the Monday edition of 7investing Now. Now if you wonder why I’m smiling, it’s because I had to have a repair done at the condo we’re selling. And it took no time and did not require parts and I thought it was going to cost hundreds of dollars. So I’m happier than usual. My name, of course, is Daniel Brooks Kline, I am the host of the program.
In the background laughing you can hear Maxx Chatsko. Maxx, when you’re selling a home, good news doesn’t come often. Usually you think everything is great and the buyer comes in and says, “Yeah, you need a new roof,” and you go “Well, yeah, it’s a third floor condo in a 15-story building and there is no roof,” and it doesn’t matter, you end up spending $15,000. So the fact that I’m getting out of an inspection, basically paying my handyman friend like, I don’t know, probably 50 bucks for his time that, to me, is absolutely delightful.
Maxx Chatsko 1:16
That’s excellent news. What was the repair that was, uh, helped you dodge the bullet?
Dan Kline 1:19
Yeah, we had a door. Like a very heavy sliding, like we had floor to ceiling windows and the slider door was behind our couch, there were two of them. We didn’t use the one behind the couch, the handle wasn’t on, and you could not open the door like it physically could not be opened. So I don’t know what he did and how he fixed it. But I guess it can now be opened. So I’m guessing no viewer cares about this so I appreciate your indulgence.
We’re going to talk about investing mistakes. You shared with us bad advice people regularly give, you know, that they accept as good advice. You shared a ton on Twitter, we’re going to talk about those. I’m not sure if Sam Bailey has made graphics out of those. So we might share them, we might not, then we’re going to talk about investing in psychedelics and our own Maxx Chatsko is going to, on air, take some psychic– No, he is not going to do that. We’re going to talk about investing in psychedelics, and then we’re going to talk to Anirban Mahanti about investing his family’s money. Investing is something that we don’t always talk about openly with our families but it’s something we should talk about more often.
But Maxx Chatsko, let’s start with your pick for what is the worst investing advice you hear given out regularly. And I’ll share mine quickly to give you time to think if you haven’t prepped this one. People always talk about taking money off the table, like you know, your winner doubles will take your original investment off, and we’re going to talk about this in depth more. But to me, that is the single dumbest thing you could do because you’re robbing yourself the ability to make more money. It’s all your money. It isn’t house money, that is not a thing. But, Maxx Chatsko, what is the worst common investing advice you hear that you would love to share with people that shouldn’t be following, of course.
Maxx Chatsko 3:01
It sounds counterintuitive, but I hate when — like this happens all the time, right, on social media? Someone will have like a 15 tweet thread about some stock that they’re interested in. And then at the end, as if it’s like, “Hey, don’t listen to me if this goes off the rails,” they say, “hey, as always do your own due diligence, like do your own research.” And like yeah, but the problem is most people don’t know how to do their own research. Or they think like following some guy on on social media, or Reddit or wherever it is like, you know, the guy at the barber shop, like, that’s not necessarily research, you need to do a lot more than that. So do your own diligence. I hate when people say that, because it’s like, “Hey, you know, I might be wrong, but, you know, don’t blame me. It’s just, it’s just too easy.”
Dan Kline 3:42
Yeah, and here’s the thing, be really careful whose advice you follow. So I see a lot of people on Twitter who may be good investors, sharing their portfolio sharing their picks. Now, if that’s someone who is well accredited in a space, like say, our mutual friend, Todd Campbell, you might want to use that as a jumping off point for your own research. But there’s a lot of people out there that might be investing – and over the past year, they might have done well. You know, who’s done well, the past year?Everyone, everyone has done well. And a lot of bad things have happened. My contractor friend who did my work at the house told me that a few years ago, he bought $7,500 worth of Dogecoin not knowing what it is, forgot about it, and then a few months ago, sold it for $80,000. But he fully understands that he did something dumb that happened to pay off. And now he’s being really diligent about what he does with that $80,000.
He’s going to buy a home and he doesn’t own a home so that’s a giant win for him. But again, we’ve talked about this analogy a lot. If you go to the casino, throw your money down on a roulette wheel and it happens to come up big – it’s not because you’re good at roulette, it’s because you got lucky. You’re not going to win again. And look, I don’t buy speculative things for the most part and when you go with what we talk about at 7Investing, you’re getting people whose credentials you could research. You can look up and find out, you know that I’ve spent eight years in this space doing my homework. You can see that Max has an advanced degree and has been in his space on all ends of it. You’ll find out that you know, from a retail point of view, I’ve run stores from a warehousing and logistics point of view. I delivered rental scaffolding and had to deal with all the logistics. I’ve bought commodities. My credentials matter.
And the reality is a lot of the people throwing advice out there, their’s don’t. We would love your questions. We would love your comments. Sam we’re going to share Andrew Connelly’s comments because at least one person enjoyed my opening comments. “Considering I bought a home September 1 I personally find it extremely relevant haha,” Yeah, we’ll do a show on buying a home. Maybe that’ll be a podcast at some point because I’ve bought and sold more homes than any person I know who isn’t like a home flipper. And here’s the reality you learn things every time. There’s things I now know like when I first bought a home, it never occurred to me to run all the sinks and flush all the toilets. And the first house we bought had massive plumbing problems and we actually sold it because eventually the plumbing was going to collapse. It didn’t have a basement. The plumbing was laminated cardboard tubes underground from the 50s that was eventually just going to go caput and to fix it they would have to dig up my living room. That was more hassle than I wanted.
Maxx Chatsko 6:27
Dan, my favorite story of yours is the the pipe the turn to dust when you touched it.
Dan Kline 6:31
Oh, that was amazing. We lived in Simsbury, Connecticut, in a house from the 1800s. It was a beautiful house, but it literally had exterior plumbing, like you could see the pipes. And one day I just touched a pipe and it just went poof. Now you can’t buy that level of copper pipe anymore. But thankfully, it was not particularly difficult because it was exterior to replace it. So that was not an expensive thing. And a piece of advice I’ll give everyone: find a contractor or handyman you like and become actual friends. My friend who did the work is a legitimate friend, someone I hang out with and have dinner with and it saves you a ton of money. Plus you have another friend, that’s always a good thing.
But we are going to talk things you shared with us on Twitter, we’re going to stay in the housing space. Sam, if you have these, you’re welcome to share them if you do not not a problem, because I don’t think I told you beforehand. Lumber trader guy says, “always have a house payment,” Sam Bailey way ahead of me, as always, “always have a house payment so you can deduct the interest on your taxes.” There’s a lot of flaws in this. I can explain some flaws. But Maxx, you don’t own a home. If you buy a home, would it be so you can deduct the interest on your taxes?
Maxx Chatsko 7:42
No, this reminds me of that saying, “You’re spending dollars and saving pennies,” kind of thing? I mean, what is it like I donate to a certain type of fund and I can write off that on my state taxes but like I have to donate, you know, $1,000 will save me $30 in taxes. So it’s like, well, you know, what’s the what’s the point of that?
Dan Kline 8:02
So when you buy a home, being able to deduct your your interest is a nice benefit. The rules have changed about that. I’m not sure it applies to everyone. I think there’s a $10,000 limit now I’m not even sure because you buy a home not as an investment. Now should you buy a home in an area you expect home prices to collapse? Of course not. You want to be careful to buy something that is likely to retain or gain value. But that’s not why you’re buying a home. You’re buying a home to live in.
And when you look at buying a home, you want to look at the delta of what renting what you would like to live in versus owning what you would like to live in costs. And right now, where Maxx is and where I am, renting the home I’m in right now cost me about $2500 a month, it cost me $2,495. So almost exactly $2,500 a month. If I wanted to buy this home in a very inflated market, my mortgage plus HOA would be not a lot more than that, it’ll probably be about like $3,200 a month, excuse me, that’s a pretty significant gap. Meaning, to make back the money I would gain by owning when I sell the value would have to climb by about $8,500 a year. That is not necessarily likely. Now you can also factor out that you get the benefit of living there. So if you really want to live someplace for a long time, you can still do that when the delta is a little bit negative. But you don’t want to do it when the numbers really, really don’t make sense. And right now, Maxx, you’ve been you’ve been looking a little the numbers don’t make sense, right?
Maxx Chatsko 9:32
Yeah. And Pittsburgh we’re one of the last major cities, if you want to call Pittsburgh a major city, that has a favorable real estate market. But I mean, a lot of places like here, it doesn’t make sense to just rent. I don’t know. I mean, you could still – it goes either way. But yeah, we’ve had a pretty big surge in home prices recently, in the last 12 months or so. So, I’m gonna keep renting Dan.
Dan Kline 9:54
Yeah, it’s been a very insane, you know, we’re looking to buy an investment property and the prices are up and they’re selling around asking price, a little over, sight unseen within 24 hours. So we’re under contract with a buyer who’s been approved for a mortgage, we’re going to close in a couple of weeks. And we can’t even make contingent offers, which normally a contingent offer with our situation will be considered a cash offer will be considered strong. Now, there are so many cash offers, there is no point in us making bids until we have cash in hand. So don’t look at your home as an investment unless you truly know real estate, or are handy in a way that you can add value to them. Sure, if you redo a home over three years while you live there, and then can sell it for more money, maybe you’ll end up living rent free and make a profit. That can be beneficial. But as someone who can’t change a light bulb or paint a wall, that is not going to work for me.
We would love your questions and comments, we see some we’re going to take them as we go. Eugene Ng shared a whole bunch of them, I’m just going to throw one of them out there. “Don’t buy as market is at all time highs.” Maxx, recent history has proven this one to be fully not true.
Maxx Chatsko 10:58
Yeah. And if you zoom out, I mean, you know, the markets kind of always at all time highs, right? Like, if you go back the last decades. We’ve talked about this with any specific stock, look at Apple stock, it goes up all the time, or you know, it’s had a very good run. So if you look at the historical stock chart, it’s hit a lot of all time highs, because every day, maybe it hits another all time high for a good time, you know?
Dan Kline 11:24
All time highs don’t matter. If you look at good companies, they’re going to hit their all time highs. And if you wait for a recession to buy, you don’t know how much you lost. Now, there might be volatility. So if you buy at an all time high, and then there’s some bad news and the market drops by 20%. That only matters if you’re a short term holder. Let’s take the question from Pascal shared live that sort of plays into this. Thank you for bringing that up, Sam. “Hi, guys. worst advice: This stock very cheap so there is no risk.”
I talked about this analogy a lot. “A day old bagel is a good deal.” You go you go to Einstein brothers or Panera, or whatever it is, they’re selling day old bagels, you got people coming over that afternoon, you’re going to put out bagels, no problem. Week old bagels don’t have the same value. Month old bagels don’t have any value. So sure, there are stocks, I could point out, Maxx, I’m sure you could find me some biotech stocks that have a really nice website, a pretty good brochure, maybe the CEO has some history or past or there’s like they’ve rented some white coats and have a really cool video, and the stock is trading at like eight cents. And I could buy, you know, 100,000 shares. Price doesn’t equal value. Is that fair to say?
Maxx Chatsko 12:35
Yeah, I see this a lot actually in biotech, you know, they might fail a clinical trial, and the stock gets whacked. And everyone’s like, “Wow, look, you know, it’s 50% off now. It’s trading at this much of cash.” And you’re like, yeah, it doesn’t have a pipeline anymore, or the next 10 years of clinical development are going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars this company doesn’t have. So it’s not cheap. And stock price, like you said, doesn’t really mean anything in terms of the long term potential.
Dan Kline 12:56
Yeah, and that doesn’t mean if there’s a company you really like, and something goes wrong, I’ll give the big example of Microsoft and Windows eight. If you fully believed in Microsoft and felt, yep, their stock is trading at depressed prices, because windows eight failed. And windows eight is the cornerstone of the Microsoft empire for the most part. But if you believe that they were going to recover, that might be a time to buy more Microsoft. It’s not like good companies don’t see major share reductions for viable reason. So if there is a biotech company that has, you know, four things in the pipeline, and one of them fails, and that gives it stock price a hit, that doesn’t mean you don’t buy, but don’t buy solely based on price, like, you know, again, just because something was worth that doesn’t mean it ever has to get back to that. We appreciate your questions and comments, feel free to keep them coming,
Maxx Chatsko 13:44
Yeah, and just sticking back with the original comment of ‘don’t buy at all time highs,’ because I think that’s a little more relevant in today’s market, right? You know, we’ve talked about this a lot, but most of the time, what I do is I buy positions over time. So I kind of accumulate positions. So, one month it might be 10% higher then it might be 25% higher then it might be 7% lower, and it doesn’t matter over time you’re trying to build and grow into positions so don’t be scared of a price that seems like it’s the highest it’s ever been. Now, you can overpay for growth. So I mean you have to kind of think about long term too, if prices make sense but I think overall people who are too concerned with pricing are going to miss out more from not being in the market at all.
Dan Kline 14:30
Here’s the thing, the market is a long ride we’re going to take last so not right now. We’re going to take Zulfiqar’s comment as the last one when we segue out but we’re gonna get to a few more before that. Bradley Smith says, “I hear people say they are ‘long’ on stocks…one small pullback…and they are out. So the misuse of LONG.” Yeah, we have this all the time. We are a buy and hold investing service we have not yet issued a sell. There are a couple of companies we’ve had long debates on what it might take to get us to sell. So it’s not something we don’t think about. But we don’t worry about short term volatility. I own five or six, maybe it’s up to seven of Maxx’s picks, I think it’s actually six. And I think they’re all underwater. I think every one of them isn’t making money yet. But here’s why. Because the reason Maxx told me to buy them hasn’t happened yet.
So it’s basically like if you’re betting on a baseball game, and the game hasn’t started yet, and you panic and sell your bet for less money to somebody else, that does not make sense. The volatility of a stock with a thesis hasn’t played out, doesn’t matter. So if Maxx is telling me to buy something because he believes they have three things in the pipeline, and if any of them hit, it will be a massive success, and my investment will be worth more, there is no reason to let short term news affect you. I understand it. People ask us, probably the thing we get asked most, “Why this is down X percent should I sell?”
I promised 7Investors, if you remember, and we truly believe it’s time to sell for good reasons or bad reasons. I gave my friend the example of GameStop. I knew people who before the crazy GameStop trading, owned GameStop, because they believed it was a fairly solid company with a good balance sheet that had the potential to double or triple over a few years, when it 80x’d because of speculators that played out their thesis they sold as fast as they possibly could, because they weren’t believing GameStop was going to become Apple or some magic company, they believed it had a path to retail viability and that made it a solid five year investment. When it played out that’s when you get out. That is a time we would issue a sell.
So let us talk. Wayne Forrest says, “”Dollar cost average” as your stock continues to plummet.” This is actually not cut and dry. So if your stock is plummeting, but you believe in the stock, I’m actually in favor of continuing to add to the stock Maxx, your thoughts there?
Maxx Chatsko 16:57
Yeah. And this goes back to the last question. You want to orient your thinking around the thesis. So if the stock price is going up, or the stock price is going down, if the thesis is intact, then it doesn’t matter, right? You still want to maybe buy or hold your position. You don’t want to sell and panic if it’s going down for no reason. Like, Dan said, I think half of my picks are up half are down. But the nearest term milestone for any of my picks is still this summer from any pick I’ve ever made. So even with the ones that are up, there’s really no reason they should be up, but it’s a market, right? Stocks go up, stocks go down. So I’m not even concerned. And it takes time to play out some of these, especially the earlier stage biotech companies that I tend to focus on.
Dan Kline 17:37
John wayne says, “Go big or go home.” Yes, that is terrible advice. So when I buy into a company, like Maxx, I build a position over time. When I buy Maxx’s stocks, I usually buy $100 worth, and I add to them, especially when he re-recommends them. But I don’t necessarily feel the need to put $10,000 in or $1,000. I basically make them a small part of my portfolio. And if for some reason, they come up with news, and they quickly changed, well, that’s great, I’ll have made some money.
But go big or go home is this idea that you want to have quick returns, so you find one thing. That’s a lot like betting on sports where if I make three or four bets on games, I think I’m going to win, I might hit on two of them and come out roughly even or hit on three and win some money. If I put all my money in on one game, that’s a bad idea. I’ve done that. Matt Franco and I have definitely made some big bets, you know, but big bets. I say like, we were gonna bet $300 for the night, we each put $300 into a pool bet $600 on something and I’d say in the long run, we’re probably slightly ahead. But that’s not a great strategy. It’s probably more fun from an entertainment point of view to have two or three games going on three or four games going on. That’s how I view the stock market. I want a lot of chances at a big price. Maxx, your thoughts here?
Maxx Chatsko 18:58
Yeah, absolutely. I mean I spread risk across my portfolio. And one of my recommendations, I was even like, Alright, I need to start having an anchor position to kind of offset some of the risks from my development stage companies. But yeah, I mean, you shouldn’t be all in on, we talked about this before, but allocation in your portfolio is important and just something you need to think about. What should your largest position be as a percentage of your portfolio? And that’s different for everybody, right? If you’re young, if you’re old if you’re near retirement. So just something that you have to think about as investor.
Dan Kline 19:26
We’re going to take two more comments from the twitterverse. Then we’re going to take Zulfiqar’s comments. When we get to the excellent interview with Anirban Mahanti. That one is taped. It’s really if you have kids, you should be watching it. If you’re thinking about kids, you probably should be watching it. Frankly, even if you’re married or in a long term, mixed finances relationship, you should be watching it but feel free while that’s playing to send us your questions whether we answer them now or save them for later. Or just send us your comments We always love when you are interactive with the program even just saying hello can be fabulous. But Irritable investor, that is a great name. Irritable investor says, “Always use stop loss orders.” Maxx, you know, this might be my most hated piece of common financial advice. Would you care to explain people what happens when you use stop loss orders?
Maxx Chatsko 20:16
It’s really bad I don’t use them at all, I actually don’t even really know what they’re use, I guess it’s to limit your losses or something, right?
Dan Kline 20:22
It’s to accidentally sell out of a good position because it went down 10% or whatever the number is.
Maxx Chatsko 20:29
Do you remember, there was like a flash crash and a lot of people got caught in that with stop loss orders? Like if some stock went down like 60% for no reason, or the whole market, maybe whatever that was?
Dan Kline 20:41
A stock can move 20 or 30%, for really dumb reasons. And it can recover very quickly. If you have a stoploss order on Apple, maybe its set at 10%. Apple goes down 10% multiple times a year most years. So you end up sold out of Apple, you realize it the next morning and you’re going to buy back in and maybe you end up paying a premium over what you sold at. Very likely you pay a premium over what you sold at. This is not a great strategy. If you own a company have the conviction to own that company. You know, it does not make sense to let computers make trades for you.
Anand Khatri says, “Buy some gold as insurance of your portfolio. It doesn’t work out in my investing journey.” No. Gold should be for jewelry and teeth. It should not. It may be really fancy burgers. I know that was a trend for a while. I am not a fan of hedging with gold. My hedges on my portfolio are my cash position. I always try to have a 12 month emergency fund. My other hedge is that I’ve talked about we’re buying a vacation property we right now own a very modest vacation property that we own fully. If my world went to hell, I could live there comfortably. I like it there and I own it fully. When we buy our resort property we’ll be trading up and I consider that my hedge against the end of the world where I own a nice place that I could live in if somehow I had to live there, that would be comfortable. I don’t believe in gold because gold is a market that makes no sense. It it doesn’t trace based on logic, you don’t know anything special about gold. You know, Maxx, I know you’re considering a gold grill. But aside from that, do you have any gold?
Maxx Chatsko 22:21
No, no I don’t have gold. You know, it’s one of the strangest investment arguments that is out there, right? People use it as like a hedge against inflation or this and that if you look at the long term, I mean, gold and precious metals are some of the worst performing assets you could possibly purchase. So like you said, I mean, use cash or you know what’s a great hedge against inflation? Stocks, like over the long run, right? I mean, that’s kind of how it works. So not not good advice. Don’t buy gold.
Dan Kline 22:50
Coming up soon we are going to break out our Grateful Dead shirts and talk investing in psychedelics. But before we do that, we’re going to take one last comment on bad investing advice from our friend Zulfiqar, a regular viewer of the program, we thank you for watching. “Initially, I used to get scared looking at CNBC interviews of economics or fund managers who say that the market is gonna collapse. Then I subscribed 7 investing.”
Yeah, just remember, here’s part of the reason I’m not regularly on CNBC. I’ve done some some CNBC Asia shots, but I’m not on CNBC because I’m not gonna go out there and make a short term ridiculous prediction. They don’t care if you’re right, they care that you’re good television because you know what they are at CNBC, they’re television. Now I would point out that I’m more interesting than most of their hosts without having to say anything crazy. But that being said, if I’m a fund manager or an analyst and I want to be regularly on CNBC, I have to predict market collapses or that the price of bitcoin is going to collapse or triple or whatever it is, because that’s what gets you on. That’s what gets you. It’s not based on a long term strategy. Part of the reason you join 7Investing, and we did this last so I could segue into a bit of a promo is you join 7Investing, because we’re giving you the 10,000 foot view of the market. We’re telling you, these are good companies to own for the long term and here’s why.
We would love you to join our service, especially with the first of the month coming because the first of the month, not only is it Mayday, it’s also when our new picks come out, and I’m really excited about my pick this month, I think I’m gonna get a lot of pushback on my pick this month, because it is absolutely going to be considered controversial. But if you join 7Investing for $17 a month or $170 a year, you get access to our new picks, you get access to all our old picks, you also get access to our scorecard, where you can look at every stock we’ve ever bought, and see how it’s doing. Now, we’re only 13 months old so that is going to mean more when we’re five years old. But you can see that we’ve had some massive winners, but you can also see the couple that haven’t done well and the fact that we haven’t issued a sell on the few that haven’t done well. We believe those are going to be winners in the long term. And as we said before, it’s just that their story has not played out.
This is an investing service where sometime viewer of this program, when he’s not working and oftentimes listener, one of my high school teachers, Len Kaplan, asked me a question. I think I’ve talked about this on air. He asked me a question personally in messenger that he had sent to email@example.com, and I answered him. And as I answered him, he apologizes and said “I shouldn’t take advantage of our personal relationship.” And I wrote back and said, “No, we do this all the time, like you asked a good investing question.” You didn’t ask me should I sell this stock because it changed by 3%? You asked me a fundamental question. You know, based on your age, you know hat your mindset should be. And as I was answering him, Steve Symington also sent him an answer. That doesn’t happen at bigger investing services, we can take the time now, we might take your question and do it on 7Investing Now and then direct you to it in a response email. We’re not necessarily gonna have a personal answer to every question. But you will get your question answered if it’s one we can answer.
Remember, we cannot give personal investing advice. We don’t know your situation. None of us are legally allowed to tell you should you buy x stock, but we can certainly help you with mindset and how you think about things. So once again, that is 7Investing.com/subscribe. If you sign up for a full year, it’s $170. If you join month to month, it is $17 you’d be crazy to not get the full year that is two months free.
But Maxx, we’re going to do what we’re watching. We’re going to do this kind of quickly because I think the interview we have recorded might be 20 plus minutes, and it is a great interview. Are psychedelics a good investment? We actually get asked this all the time. Whenever I mentioned cannabis, somebody then asked me about psychedelics. And I will point out, I am not a giant investor in cannabis. I just used to do a cannabis show with my good friend Emily Flippen. And Emily is an expert in cannabis. I cover a handful of companies in that space. And certainly it’s a space I know a lot about, but it’s not one I’m heavily invested in because I don’t believe any of the growers are good investments. Most of the good investments in cannabis are companies that are doing something differentiated. There’s only a few of those. And if you join 7Investing, you will see the one cannabis related pick we have made, which I believe is going to be a gigantic stock. I believe as much as anything that over the next five years that is going to be a 10 bagger because it is a fundamentally sound company. But Maxx, psychedelic medicine company MindMed, this is not one you made up, is listing on the NASDAQ this week, you want to give us some background there?
Maxx Chatsko 27:41
Yeah, so this is already a publicly traded company. So it’s not an IPO it’s just moving to the NASDAQ exchange from an OTC exchange. Now confusingly, it has like 9000 tickers Dan, it’s also on a tiny Stock Exchange in Canada. It’s traded in Germany. So it’s tough to keep track of but tomorrow it’s going to list on the NASDAQ with a ticker $MMED. Hope I got that. Yeah, okay, $MMED, it’s hard to keep track. But this is a company, go ahead.
Dan Kline 28:07
Yeah. What do they do? Like I don’t even really know what a psychedelic is.
Maxx Chatsko 28:11
Yeah, so this is a company that’s going through rigorous clinical trials to try to get some of these drugs approved to treat anxiety or depressive disorder. So it has a pretty substantial pipeline right now as far as these companies go, they’re very early stage, obviously. But it’s also acquired some clinical trials from hospitals that are already in progress. So it actually has a couple of trials that will soon be in phase two trials. So it’s working with psilocybins, LSD, MDMA, DMT, a couple others, to treat some of these disorders of the brain neuroscience indications. So it’s pretty interesting. And right now, I mean, I think on Friday, they announced that they’re moving to the NASDAQ on Tuesday. So on Friday, the stock was up like 65%. Today, it’s up like 30%. So obviously, there’s a lot of excitement and high expectations for this company.
Dan Kline 29:01
So Maxx, let me give the warning here. If you are afflicted by one of the issues that they’re working on curing, don’t self medicate. This is going to be very specific applications of these drugs, that they’re figuring out how to use. Don’t go out and take LSD, don’t go out and take MDMA. I’m teasing a little bit. But I do understand that these disorders can obviously be very debilitating. And the temptation to kind of jump the line is there. Massive damage could be done. This company is well founded Maxx points out that they had $160 million in the bank, they’ll obviously have more ability to raise money being traded on the NASDAQ. Maxx, is this a legit field of medicine? Or is this just kind of wishful thinking?
Maxx Chatsko 29:42
Yeah, so I actually think we have really solid science around psychedelics to treat anxiety and depressive disorders. But the thing to keep in mind is there’s a lot of companies in the space, there’s just only a couple that are actually publicly traded right now. But actually with Mind Medicine, MindMed, I’m actually fairly impressed. I mean, it’s founded, it has a very methodical approach to development and commercialization, as Dan pointed out $161 million in cash at the end of March so it’s well funded, it’s probably going to need more cash, of course, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it issue stock shortly after debuts on the NASDAQ to take advantage of its rising stock price.
But, you know, the thing to keep in mind too if this valuation gets a little crazy, which it’s certainly on pace to do in the last couple trading days, you have to think about what are the long term returns you’re gonna get, right? I mean, if this is valued at like $5 billion, you know, by the end of this month, or something stupid like that, you do have to consider that you might have to hold on to those shares for a pretty long time to see any return, you might not ever see a return. So although we have like good scientific evidence that these do work, collecting that data in well controlled clinical trials is a different animal, right? You have to optimize dosing, you have to manage side effects. But again the company has been going about it pretty methodically, but for the most part, the science is kind of out of the company’s hands. So it is exciting, it could represent a new way to treat a lot of these disorders. But, investors do have to kind of remain grounded if the valuation gets a little silly. Momentum in the stock market is not a durable advantage.
Dan Kline 31:14
Just because a business is a good idea or doing something that may pay dividends, and I don’t mean stock dividends, I mean may pay off, doesn’t mean it’s investable. And one of the problems you see in the cannabis space is that people love the product. So they kind of believe that it could do well here. People are really excited about this because for some reason, we’re more acceptable of psychedelics than we are maybe of traditional medicine, which sounds a little odd given all the negative LSD stories. Our friend Zulfiqar says, Dan, you should watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to get an idea. I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I am not a Hunter Thompson fan, though my my college advisor Professor Doug Brinkley, was a absolute big time read, did some of his collected works and things like that. I never really understood it.
That being said, that is not the blueprint for how we’re going to treat people with psychedelics. So just because something’s awesome. Doesn’t make it an awesome investment. Maxx, you’re going to go get a cup of coffee. We are going to play this amazing interview and Daniel Kern we will take your question after we come back. But I sat down with our very own Anirban Mahanti about how he manages his family’s finances So Sam Bailey, if you want to tee that up now. We would love for you to stick around and watch that and feel free to share your questions during it. With me once again is our very own Anirban Mahanti. Anirban, welcome back to 7Investing Now.
Anirban Mahanti 32:38
Welcome to you as well. You want to keep talking with me so that’s great.
Dan Kline 32:43
I have a hard time keeping track of what show we’re doing. To give people a peek behind the curtain we taped the the 7Investing podcast that aired, the one on Apple, that came out on Thursday. And we’re taping this ostensibly for what I assume is Friday’s show, depending how that goes so if you’re seeing this on Friday. But we’re going to talk about how you invest your family’s money. Before we do that, we should probably talk about the makeup of your family. Do you have six wives? I don’t know what the rules are in Australia.
Anirban Mahanti 33:17
So I have even a relatively small family. It’s just my wife, and we just have one daughter. And so we’re just investing for that. I mean, the other thing is we want to invest, not just for our daughter, it’s not like you know, we have to leave her X amount of money, it’s more that we want to be financially independent. And the reason for being financially independent, is not that I want to stop working. That’s not what it is. It’s to have the independence to do what I want to do and what my wife wants to do. You know, maybe it’s like, you know, going out and doing some non government NGO type work, you know, doing some social service helping the community. Those things are just stuff that you want to do without being beholden to working because you have to work so that’s sort of the context. Yes, we have a small family. Yeah, and we have some relatives that we want to help but our relatives are self sufficient mostly.
Dan Kline 34:18
Do you have any intermediate goals like paying for college or helping your child with a down payment on a house down the line? I mean, I know those are things I have a 17 year old so those are things I’ve thought about quite a bit.
Anirban Mahanti 34:32
Yeah, so my daughter is 12. We will pay for her college. It depends on where she lands up going that might cost from ‘a lot’ to ‘a lot lot.’ Because college these days are very expensive, right? It doesn’t matter where you are actually whether its in Australia or America or UK. I have a thing about giving the child exposure to an International Education. So, you know, I would like her to actually go somewhere for her education, like if she’s taking an undergraduate degree somewhere I’d like actually for it to be outside of Australia, largely get some exposure, learn some different things, be exposed to different colleges, different environments. So you know, those things would cost money. So there’s a bit of that. And I would actually really like her to start investing on her own, at some point fairly quickly.
Dan Kline 35:28
That was going to be my next question. Because I know in my family, I handle the finances. My wife and I both work. But I pay the bills, which are almost all automated at this point, there’s just one or two that aren’t. But I do the investing. And it’s sort of based on how we grew up. I grew up in a family that had some money she didn’t. So the fact that we have some money in the bank, and not full financial freedom, and that we could not work, but we’re not worried if the washing machine breaks. I often joke, when we first started living together, we had to ask the other person for permission to buy a CD or a book, because finances where she was a grad student, I was making like 28 grand a year, things were very tight.
And then we sort of got to the point where I bought our vacation home for cash without mentioning it. I mean, she knew I was buying a house, but I didn’t specifically show her the one I was buying. So as we’re working on buying a nicer vacation home, I have been sending her pictures, that is a mistake you don’t make but is your family involved? Are they aware of sort of what your finances look like?
Anirban Mahanti 36:32
Yes, so my wife is very busy. So my wife runs a business and she’s a doctor and has her own practice. So we managed that with it. So the way I look at our household finances, I say my wife is the CEO, and the CFO. So I would say that she’s aware, she knows what we have what are sort of at a higher level, just like the CEO would know this is how much cash we have. This is how much debt we have. This is what our investments look like. And this is what we are hoping to achieve without going into too much details. If I’m doing some investing, she’s you know, she will not so yeah, so I take the day to day, actions, if required, the management of cash, paying the bills, I do exactly the same thing, I pay all the bills, whatever it is not automated has to be paid, you know, I deal with everything else, actually the household I deal with.
But when it comes to taking major decisions, we tend to take them together. Just because I find my wife’s opinion actually extremely, extremely valuable, because, you know, smart women can come for different problems in very, very different ways. And I find that actually extremely, extremely useful. I actually ask even about investment decisions, like, I’ll just present the pieces and then say, what do you think? And that, that works really well actually,
Dan Kline 38:00
We certainly discuss big decisions. I mean, obviously, selling our main home, moving to a rental, and buying an investment property that in theory could be someplace we retire to with very low expenses, not that we intend to do that, but you never know with health or what could go wrong. So we did discuss that. But I will say we’re going to talk about how you, allocate your portfolio, sorry, stuck on the word there. We’re going to be a little bit over allocated in real estate for a little while, because we’re spending a significant sum of money.
But I don’t think my wife would have any idea what’s in our stock portfolio. And I will say, I know she doesn’t know where our stock portfolio is because I have a folder, I made a ‘Oh my god, what if something happened to Dan, where is everything?’ kind of document and even things like I was aware of the fact that our life insurance expires when our son turns 20 and I needed more anyway. She now makes more money so she needed more. So I sat her in front of a computer, brought up Lemonade, and said hey, time to add a life insurance policy please fill this out.
So we do have those discussions, but on an investing point of view, it’s just not something she’s interested in. I don’t think she’s ever watched a show I’ve done or read an article. So it’s one of those where she has a PhD, she is an expert in many, many things. But this is the one thing I’m, this and maybe following the NHL are the areas where we don’t, which is the National Hockey League if you’re not familiar in Australia. That’s generally the areas where she seeds to me, but how do you decide how much is in stocks? How much is in gold doubloons under the bed or whatever you might be keeping cash in or keeping your money in?
Anirban Mahanti 39:49
Now so before I answer that, I’m going to double down on one of the things that you think is really, really important is having that folder so we have a box folder, which you know what my wife and I have access to which has actually all the information that she would need if, for example something happened event, something can happen to someone all the time. That, having wills and life insurance is really, really — we should have income protection as well. Because again, you can get into an accident, and that can have an impact on your income. So I think those things are really, really important.
Okay, so housing in Australia – real estate in Australia is extremely expensive, right? in a place like Sydney, for example, your people are pushing probably something like 8x to 10x, maybe even more in terms of disposable income to debt loads. So a typical house, a median house price in Sydney is about a million plus. Right? So that’s a lot. So we don’t have real estate investment outside of one, which is we have got a commercial real estate investment. And commercial real estate is large, because we have an office that we we use for business, and therefore that office is an investment that we have made, because we need it for investment. Otherwise, outside of that our our real estate investment is this house, and the commercial real estate that we have got. And I do not actually intend to have more than that. That’s plenty.
Most of our funds are actually in stocks. Largely because again, I think housing right now is super expensive, because housing is a function of interest rates, interest rates extremely low there for housing has gone up, almost to me it looks like this is the peak of that cycle here and I don’t know about the market there. And therefore, interest rates are going to go up. Unless interest rates go negative, which it can, I don’t know how housing prices can increase, because there’s only so much people can borrow. So that’s my view on Australian housing. It’s not pretty, and so most of my money is invested in stocks, in stocks, too. And I guess you’re asking me a question there, I’ll pause.
Dan Kline 41:57
No, no. Okay. Absolutely. Just continue, like, so most of your money is in stocks. And that’s the case with me as well. Well, my actual cash portfolio is probably bigger than my stock portfolio, because I, I believe in having a very significant emergency fund. Because I sleep better at night. So at some point between our retirement and our regular investing account, there’s probably actually more in stock and other investments. But in our pure investing account, not counting our 401 K’s. And in my wife’s case, whenever the nonprofit version of that is because she works at nonprofits, I think it’s a 50-something-B our regular investing account is actually slightly smaller than our cash balance, because I want to have a year on hand and we’re both lucky enough to do reasonably well. So yeah, how do you approach that sort of what’s your risk tolerance when you’re looking at stocks?
Anirban Mahanti 42:56
I’m actually just like you Dan in terms of I invest in risky stocks, but I’m actually not a very risky person. By nature, I’m actually really risk averse in that sense. So in Australia, we have something called an offset account, which is very interesting concept. Because we don’t get to write off interest that you have, for example, on your home, we can’t write it off, but what we can do is we can have an account that sits adjacent to our mortgage account, and that any cash in that basically offsets the interest there. So suppose I have borrowed 500k, and I’ve got 300k in cash, the interest I would accrue would be only on the 200k. So I tend to carry a significant offset account.
And the reason I do that is very simple, because I have our overall asset largely in stocks. But stocks are volatile, I look at the cash balance as an opportunity, you know, it’s dry, it’s basically dry powder, that if the market is down 30% I can just take some cash from there and invest in I will not feel a pinch, because market is down because I am investing I like to feel like I’m in control of the market, you know, is going down because, you know, feeling in control is actually one of the things that gives you empowers you to actually make better investing decisions. So that’s how I control my emotions, you know, that that it doesn’t bother me when the investing account is down 30% because I can invest at that time.
So I carry much larger cash balance that I would normally say is wise because we know that the market goes up over time. So you want to actually be fully invested. But being fully invested means you have to deal with that volatility which you might not be able to deal with, you know, and cash. So yeah, keeping a TC us cash balance is is absolutely normal in our household as well.
Dan Kline 44:42
And fully invested means different things for different people. So I’m not against If I see a major opportunity, I’ll take cash from my emergency fund and put it into that opportunity. And then over the next few months or whatever it is replenish that fund. So I’m not against doing that, but it really has to be a big opportunity because we have time like I I’m the oldest person on the team, I think you’re next and and we still have 20 something years until we start to break down and maybe can’t work as much as we want to. And frankly with all the science we talked about on 7Investing Now, I’m fairly confident they’ll be able to prop us up and hold us together for longer than that. So let’s go rapid fire a little bit. How many stocks do you own? And are you more invested in the US markets or the rest of the world?
Anirban Mahanti 44:45
Okay, so probably I actually don’t know the exact count that should sound like a surprising answer coming from somebody who invests. So I think I’m somewhere between 35 and 38 stocks right now, most of my investments are actually outside Australia, I have less than about 1% of my total stock portfolio invested in on the ASX, about 99% is actually invested in the US markets. And I have a reason for that which I can explain if you’re interested.
Dan Kline 45:41
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Go ahead.
Anirban Mahanti 46:12
Yeah, so so one of the things that happens is most people that have huge home bias, right, this huge home bias, everybody invest in their home market. Now what that would do though, is just a couple of things, if I invested all my cash or 90% of my cash on the ASX, then I am actually going to ASX is going to hold a lot of those companies, the Australian stock market is going to hold on to those companies that are directly tied to the Australian economy. So if something local happens, not only is my housing value going to go down, so is my stock value going to go down and it’s just all correlated and I’m probably not going to have a job and things like that, right? So there’s a lot of correlation. So I break the correlation by investing internationally. This does not take take away globally correlated events, but if when you have a globally correlated event like the GFC or the coronavirus pandemic, that affects every market.
Dan Kline 47:02
Sure, the upcoming zombie invasion, like whatever it is,
Anirban Mahanti 47:04
Yeah, if there’s a zombie invasion, all the markets are going to struggle, so it doesn’t matter. So that’s the other thing. The final thing that’s very interesting for me is what happens is, the US dollar being the global currency. Often what happens is, you will notice that when some pandemic hits, the local currency is going to actually take a substantial hit because there is a flight for safety, which means flight to the US dollar, which means if I think of my asset value in Australian dollars, I’m actually not losing as much. So while my portfolio is down actually 30%. But in Australian dollar terms, it might actually be down only 10%. Because the rest of the difference is actually in currency I made up in currency. So it has weird ways in which it plays out.
But I think the biggest reason, in my mind is when I invest, so I have a thing that says, “invest like the best and invest in the best.” And if you want to find the best companies, they tend to be the global companies that ended up not necessarily don’t have to be US companies. You could have the best Indian companies likely to be listed in NASDAQ or NYSE the best Brazilian company, the top Australian software company, Atlassian is actually listed on NASDAQ right? So the best of the best companies want to access the biggest market, the biggest market happens to the US equity market in about 55% of global equities. So and most of the International stock markets would have ADRs, which is basically, American depository receipts. If there’s a big company listed in Hong Kong, they likely have an ADR in the US just a one stop shop for basically buying the best equity. So that’s what I do. I still have a small local exposure.
Final question. And it’s one we get asked all the time, when do you sell? And by extension, if a position gets to a certain point, do you trim it just for diversity sake?
Yeah, that’s a great question. So I tend to sell infrequently. And a lot largely for the reason that I would sell if a thesis is broken, so I have this thing I buy slowly. So it takes me a while to decide if I’m gonna buy that’s okay, I lose some upside on the way in, but when I buy that I tend to hold I guess I’d make it if I buy biotechs maybe biotechs have a higher chance of going bust than anything else, because there’s a lot of things about product pipeline that matters. So I make an exception for biotech, so I don’t invest that much in biotechs anyways so, I sell very, very infrequently.
Position sizing, this is a very personal thing. So my largest position is about 30% of or maybe 25 26% of my portfolio as Tesla. Most people would not have that much in Tesla. But that has done wonders for us as an investment over the long term. I have sold some you know, it can become like above 30% and reduce, actually, from when I sold the stock has gone up further. So it’s not that I can time exits I would say that anything that goes above 20% deserves a consideration whether or not you want to sell, maybe even 15%. For most people actually 10% is a pretty large holding. So you really have to decide whether or not you can take a 50% drop in the share price and how you would feel about it given the size because it’s not just percentage, right?
30% can mean different amounts of money for different people, right? If 30% means $5,000, for you, it probably means that you’re just building your portfolio, right? But if 30% means $2 million, and if 50% of that means $1 million is gone, then you might want to reconsider that. So it depends really on, there’s a lot of nuance here. But I think a general rule of thumb, I’d say is that, you know, I tend to be very, very selective in terms of trimming, I’m all for letting your winners run, I solved this by never adding to a position that has become big. Yeah, I would add to something else,
Dan Kline 51:04
I do the same thing. If something’s over 10% of my portfolio, I don’t add to it unless there’s a spectacular reason to do so. And I will say one of the things I’ve learned as a 7Investing lead advisor, and I’ve never really thought about this. I generally just bought stock when I had money in my account. And unless something I wanted to buy was abnormally up for a reason i thought was stupid, I would generally just buy it. But because we release our picks to members on the first and we don’t buy until the next day, if we’re going to add to our position or create a position in a stock. Sometimes the point where I pick a stock, and the point where I’m able to buy it or add to my position, you might see 15% up 10% down because we track on a scorecard. The second we lock in a pick, we’re all go and boy, I hope that stock goes down, because then we get in at a at a more favorable position.
But as I’ve been here six months, as I look at the scorecard, you start to realize how little that matters. If you believe a company is going to exponentially grow who cares if you got it at 105 or 102, or 106? It just doesn’t matter. And obviously I build like most people do, I’m not buying my whole position in a company all at once so I might buy a share or two and then a month later buy another couple shares or whatever it is obviously depends on what the stock price is whether I’m buying 100 shares or two shares Anirban, any last advice on families and investing?
Anirban Mahanti 52:33
The number one advice I would give to people is invest. The sooner you get started, the better you are off, right? I mean if you’re investing is first five years, it seems like if you’re consistently at it first five years seems like nothing is happening. Right? Between the year five and year ten, you start seeing a difference. It’s only your 10 onwards that you start to, oh, this thing really works because compounding is just like that it takes you know, your 10 to 15 is going to be meaningfully different than 15 to 20 is going to be substantially meaningful because of the effect of compounding. So I’d say you know make time on your side. That’s number one.
Number two is exactly what you said. Just go slow right? Brokerages around $0 today, how good is that? I mean, you can slowly build your position, you don’t have to worry about commissions. You know, there’s so much information, I do exactly that. I buy a few shares now that I start a position. And I slowly add over time. So yeah, I think that’s that’s the way to go.
Dan Kline 53:30
And that is advice I share with my son all the time, he’s 17 and will probably get his first job at some point soon. And I’ve already told him he can spend half the money, half of what he makes is getting invested. And I’m going to hopefully teach him the long term play of if you start investing at 17 or 18, or wherever it is he starts working. What that can mean when you’re not even 50. Like when you’re 30 and are ready to buy that big, expensive house. They’re not quite as expensive here as they are in Australia. But they are expensive. And there’s obviously a lot of big lifetime things that come up. And if you’re invested early, you have the cash or frankly, you have the asset to back alone if that’s what you need to do. Anirban Mahanti, thank you for doing this. We will see you again next week on 7Investing Now.
And we are back Maxx Chatsko. Thank you Anirban that was a great interview. We will break that out as a standalone piece from this show. So if you look at 7investing.com under research under articles, we take a lot of the segments from this show and breakout just that segment. The video will start from there, that transcript will be just of that so it’s a really easy way to share some of this with your friends and along the lines of sharing 7Investing with your friends danielkern79 had a great comment if you want to share it, Sam. “Do you guys have any seven investing gear? I would rock it.” I’m wearing a 7Investing shirt. I have a 7Investing mug but I printed these myself. So we don’t but it’s not to say we won’t. The logistics of having it are really difficult. We mailed out about 30 excess mugs we had, we gave them to members who asked. And like, I don’t know, maybe 10% of them broke in transit, buying a special mug box and using packing material. So when we figure out the logistics, we would probably do it I don’t know if we do it for profit if we do it for charity, haven’t decided any of that. Maxx Chatsko doesn’t even have a 7Investing mug. And I know Maxx is mad about it before.
Maxx Chatsko 55:31
Yeah, you’re supposed to send me one I actually donated mine to members. But Dan, we actually are working on swag. And actually, I’m supposed to be the one at 7Investing working on swag so you can blame me guys. But maybe by the end of this year, we’ll have actually a place online, you can go and order t shirts and mugs and bumper stickers. I don’t know whatever the heck you want. But so stay tuned for that we will probably have swag in the eventual future.
Dan Kline 55:54
And we appreciate you spreading the word Maxx when you are here in February. I have four mugs, one of them can be yours. I will make sure you take a mug. But of course you’ll have to hand carry on the plane because mugs are very, very fragile. Or perhaps you’re driving here. I’m not even sure if you’ve even thought of those logistics yet.
But Sam Bailey, we are running out of time it is time to hit our finisher. This is a question that surprised me. “Consumer prices are rising on goods like diapers, soda, paper towels and peanut butter. Are you concerned?” About 45% of you said yes, 29% said no, 26.5% fell into the camp where I fall and that’s I haven’t noticed. Maxx. This is one where if you’re buying diapers, which are expensive in the first place, and you obviously can’t go without like if I get to the store and Coca Cola feels expensive to me, I can just be like, I’ll drink water this month. I know you’ve never had a baby, but going without diapers would be a really, really bad choice. So consumer prices are going to rise. But I actually think this is going to have selective impact. I think it’s much like the paper towel shortage, that there will be certain things where it really is noticeable. And it’s high. But I don’t think it’s mostly going to be noticeable. I’ll give you the last word here.
Maxx Chatsko 57:07
Yeah, I mean, I guess it depends. We can expect some inflation like immediately right during the recovery? Is it sustainable, does it last? Does it maybe take a breather later at the end of the year? I don’t know. I mean, I’ve been wondering too, like we talked about, is there a bubble, right? In the stock market or this or that? I actually wonder, you know, there is a lot of liquidity out there. Maybe that’s the bubble. How much liquidity there is. That’s driving up prices in the stock market or real estate, consumer prices, diapers, right? Who knows? Maybe it’s the liquidity that’s the issue, Dan?
Dan Kline 57:34
Yeah, there’s gonna be weird shortages. If you’re going to buy a gas grill, I’d buy it now. Because people are gonna be having friends over. If you’re going to buy that hat that you put two beer cans in, there might be a shortage of those because we’re going to be in a celebratory party mood, you know, big bags of pretzels. Like, who knows, like there are going to be weird shortages. But I don’t think there’s going to be some fundamental change where like, all of a sudden for the long term milk costs 80% more.
Now, again, our there’s going to be short term demand, there’s going to be changes there is a massive, pent up demand to do fun things. So when it’s okay to have your friends over to do stuff when everybody you know is vaccinated, I think all of us on the 7Investing team, I might be wrong. And I haven’t asked everyone. So this is my supposition. I think we’ve all had at least the first shot of the vaccine and not everyone talks about that publicly. So I’m not entirely sure. But that being said that makes it more likely we could get together and we get together there williBut we thank you for watching this episode of 7investing Now. If you’d like to get a hold of us, it is very easy. You could send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can message us on Twitter. We are very active on Twitter. That is @7Investing. We appreciate you watching. We hope you tell your friends about the only free live show on television ish on the internet on wherever we air downloadable as a podcast that focuses on long term investing. We are going to give you what you need to know to not do dumb things and there are a lot of dumb things you could do in the market. Sam Bailey, behind the glass, thank you, Maxx Chatsko, thank you. All of you watching, we appreciate it. Tell your friends. I am Dan Kline. I’ll be back on Wednesday. Thank you!
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