Danielle Town is a New York Times bestselling author and corporate attorney who was afraid of stock markets until she realized she had been abdicating the power of her money and could create impactful generational wealth with an investing practice. She now invests and writes her newsletter, The Invested Practice, from Zurich, Switzerland. She wrote her book, Invested, with her investor father, Phil Town, with whom she also banters about value investing and life on their podcast, InvestED.
Five Good Questions:
- What kept you from learning about investing until you were in your mid-30s, despite having a dad who is a value investor? How did “voting with your money” draw you into learning about investing and help you overcome your fears?
- I’ve long been fascinated by the “intangibles” of the investment process, like time management, mental and physical preparation, and environmental design. How did you curate your investment environment for success?
- As a corporate attorney, you got a firsthand view of the asymmetry of information between what gets reported and what’s really happening in the messy world of business. How do you reconcile that in your analysis of a public company where that same asymmetry may exist?
- Charlie Munger recently said, “If you have trouble finding good investments, join the club… my advice to the seeker of high compound interest is to reduce your expectations. Things are likely to be tough for a while.” My impression was that your dad might have piqued your interest in investing by showing you the magic of compounding returns. Do you think the returns of the last 20-30 years be available to us over the next 20-30 years?
- How has your background in meditation helped you in investing?
Five Good Questions: Danielle Town - Invested
All right welcome back to the show everybody.
My guest today is Daniel town and she is the author of investors how Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger taught me to master my mind my emotions and my money. So Daniel thanks for coming on the show.
Thank you. And I have to add Jake with a little help from my dad on the subtitle and he's very very important so I have to throw him the shadow out.
Well yeah that's good. We're definitely going to get into that part of it for sure. So I was I was hoping to tease it a little bit. But yeah let's the first thing I did want to say was that you know I really enjoyed how warm your book was and I appreciated your your authenticity and your vulnerability in telling your story.
Thank you. That's really kind. I think it's it was my goal to write an investing book that anybody could enjoy and that you could read on the beach and truly even if you never look at a stock ever afterwards you just enjoyed reading the book. And now people send me pictures of themselves reading the book on the beach and it's like the best compliment in the whole world.
So I think that's great. And I also had some of my own biases creeping in there with my you know my my book. I took I used a fictional structure of a of a kind of a guru who teaches a younger person about not specifically about investing in the stock market but more about how does a business decide what to invest in. And so you actually got to live that out in real life with your with your dad being the guru.
That's true. Yeah we did not set out for it to be like that. I will tell you I adore my dad and I also wasn't quite sure what he was going to try to convince me to get into.
I mean he's been an investor my whole life and I avoided it my whole life.
So when I finally sat down with him and we started talking about what value investing is I really didn't have a clue what he was going to tell me which sounds weird because I was like 30 to 33 something like that. And I had never had these talks with my own father.
But you know he had tried a few times and I wasn't interested. I'm not a numbers person and it just it just kind of never got around to it. And so when we finally sat down and he said I'm going to play you Charlie Munger I was like who. Yeah.
Literally I didn't. I had never heard of him. So that's a perfect segue to start off with. Question number one which is what kept you from learning about investing until you were in your mid 30s even though your dad was a pretty well-known value investor.
Yeah I mean it was. First of all like I said I'm completely numbers phobic. I would say even to this day now that I am I have learned a lot about investing. I do my own investing. Numbers are always going to be hard for me and that's ok. I've come to terms with that. So first of all it was like complete avoidance of the numbers stuff and financial stuff. Secondly I didn't want anything to do with the scary world of the stock market. I mean I grew up in the dotcom bubble and then in the Great Recession and I was very familiar with the scary stock market thing that I didn't understand destroying my job prospects every time I left high school or college grad school. And and I have no interest in sort of the talking heads on CNBC as I think many don't. And so it was those things but then I realized as I got into it that it was actually something much deeper that had been keeping me from talking to my dad about investing because here I had this guru as you said this person in my own family who could teach me about it and I realized it was because my parents got divorced when I was a kid. And when they got divorced it was as many divorces are a huge financial war and my dad left and he took the money with him. And I mean he didn't mean to do that to his children that it was just kind of the lawyers got involved and it was just it was a total mess. And when he figured it out he came back and he made sure we were fine. And my parents ended up ditching the lawyers and had a mediator and are now friends so it's all turned out OK. But that experience in my memory as a kid I was 11 or 12 when that happened was of my parents splitting and nothing to do with the money and it wasn't until I started actually engaging with my money and learning investing from my dad that I thought God I don't know why I don't trust this guy who is trusted by many with money. And I connected it finally and I remembered finally that pain around the money in the divorce of.