In this episode of Market Foolery, host Chris Hill looks back and forward.
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This video was recorded on April 20, 2021.
Chris Hill: It’s Tuesday, April 20th. Welcome to the 2000th episode of Market Foolery. I’m Chris Hill. It’s just me today. I got a couple of thoughts about investing and the unlikely journey that started in January 2011 when I told someone at the office, “We’re going to try a daily podcast for a few weeks and if it doesn’t work, we’re just going to shut it down.” It never occurred to me back then that we’d be doing it for this long. I went for a run this morning because that helps me think, and there were two things I landed on. There were others but I thought about what happened between January 2011 and now.
The major events that stood out were the obvious ones: three presidential elections, a global pandemic, financial scandals here and there. But the first thing I kept coming back to was, how did we get here? How did we get to 2,000 episodes? There are a bunch of reasons, I’m sure, but I think No. 1 on that list is persistence — mine and yours. Because remember the question was, how do we get here? I think persistence had a lot to do with it. Years and years ago, I listened to an interview that Erik Rydholm did. Erik is a friend; he’s the third co-founder of The Motley Fool, and for the past 20 years, he’s been the executive producer at Pardon the Interruption on ESPN and around the horn, and he’s one of the best programming minds when it comes to unscripted television. Erik is an investor too, so he understands business. In the interview, he was talking about how he thinks about programming. I don’t remember the exact question but at one point he said:
All anyone is trying to do in business is reward people for their investment. There are a lot of businesses where they ask for your money; in this business, we’re asking for people’s time. I think of our audience members as each one of them has a wallet full of time, and when they spend some time on our show, we want to reward them for that investment because we want them to come back tomorrow and spend more time with us.
I heard Erik say that, and it immediately resonated with me. I thought that’s it. I typed it into a Word doc, I printed it out, and I taped it to the studio door at Fool headquarters so that every time I walked in the studio, I would see it, and anyone else who walked into the studio would see it too.
Speaking of anyone else, I don’t have the time to mention every analyst at The Motley Fool who has ever been on this show. I think the number is somewhere north of 40 or 50, but I can’t thank them enough for sharing their investing and analytical acumen. Because if they didn’t, there’s no show. There is no pathway to 2,000 episodes without the Motley Fool analyst. That’s our persistence. Let me say a quick word about yours. I know some of you just started listening in the last few months or the past year; some of you’ve been listening since 2018, 2015, even all the way back to 2011. But you’re all here now, and simply put, you don’t have to be here. There are other shows you could be listening to instead, or you could just skip individual stock investing altogether. Plenty of people do that; they just methodically put money into an index fund. You could do that. But you decided not to do that. Let’s be clear: What you’re doing takes effort. You’ve got a life, you’ve got family and friends, maybe you’re in school or grad school, you’ve got a full-time job, you volunteer in your community, you’re busy. Yet here you are. You persist in being a stock investor despite the fact that there are plenty of people you know, who aren’t.
There are also, by the way, plenty of people you don’t know who are marketing to you about how and why you should not be investing in stocks. How did we get to 2,000 episodes? You kept listening. You kept dipping into your wallet full of time and spending a little bit of it on this podcast and then taking what you’ve been hearing and learning and putting it to work in your own investing life. That’s how we got here — persistence. I said at the beginning when I went for my run this morning, there were two things I landed on. Persistence was one.
Here’s the other: the all-time highs over the past 2,000 episodes. We’ve had presidential elections, a pandemic, we’ve had big headlines that everyone knows about. But you know what we’ve had many more of? All-time highs. All-time highs for the S&P 500, all-time highs for so many stocks over and over and over. That is the payoff for your persistence as an investor. Think about your portfolio. The longer you’ve been investing, the longer you’ve been listening to this show, I’d be willing to bet the more all-time highs you’ve had. When I think about my own portfolio, how many times in the past 2,000 episodes has Starbucks hit an all-time high? I don’t know. Amazon? No idea. PayPal? Same, no clue. Under Armour? Oh, wait. No, that’s a bad example. I’m still waiting for Under Armour to get back to even. But look, that’s why we diversify. That’s why we are net buyers of stocks. They’re always going to be some Under Armours out there. It’s just one more sign of persistence for us as investors.
Where do we go from here? That’s easy. Investing is all about the future. Where do we go from here? Onward together. As always, people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don’t buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. That’s going to do it for this brief edition of Market Foolery. The show is mixed by the immortal Dan Boyd. I’m Chris Hill. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll see you tomorrow.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.