Podcast | Phil Muscatello – Shares for Beginners

On board today is Phil Muscatello, the host and producer of the awesome podcast, Shares for Beginners as well as a few more! Phil has had an amazing career in commercial radio, loves music, loves technology and loves interviewing some finance greats through his podcasts! Phil was super interesting and taught me a few things too!

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Phil Muscatello

On board today is Phil Muscatello, the host and producer of the awesome podcasts, Shares for Beginners, Stocks for Beginners, ETFs for Beginners and Talking Companies.

Phil is not from a finance background, but he wants to learn more about becoming a better investor. So he hopes that his listeners come along for the ride and don’t make the same mistakes that he has.

Phil actually has degrees in Media Production and Literary Studies. He played in some awesome, psychedelic, heavy rock cabaret bands in Sydney during the 80s, before moving into a more stable career in radio, working at the ABC, and Triple J.

Phil describes himself as a seventies punk boomer, he loves playing guitar, ocean swimming, cycling, going to the gym, and anything to do with technology.

He grew up in Sydney, has always been interested in music, playing guitar, loves literature, arts and is an avid reader.

He went to UTS in Sydney and became a little bit of a political radical. After leaving university with a media degree, there was a recession and a lot of depair, as well as very limited jobs in media, so he ended up driving taxis for a few years before starting a career in radio, moving into commercial radio and then started his own recording studio.

He recorded one of the first podcasts in Australia, setting up his own server and fast forward to today, is still loving the podcasting!

Phil was incredibly interesting and had a thing or two to teach me too!

Phil Muscatello, Shares for Beginners

Episode 65: Phil Muscatello from Shares for Beginners

Show Notes

“Shares for Beginners aims to be a haven of quiet learning, designed with beginners in mind. Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or someone planning for retirement, this is Australian investment education designed to break down the barriers and make investing accessible to all.”



Episode 65: Phil Muscatello from Shares for Beginners

Phil Muscatello

Captain Fi: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.

G’day, and welcome to another episode of Captain Fire, the financial independence podcast, where I open the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember, nothing said here is financial advice, and you should always do your own independent research before making any financial choices.

With that being said, I hope you enjoy the episode and learn something new.[00:01:00]

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G’day, on board today is Phil Muscatello, the host and producer of the awesome podcasts, Shares for Beginners, Stocks for Beginners, ETFs for Beginners, and Talking Companies.

Wow, that’s gotta keep you busy. Now, Phil he’s not from a finance background, but he wants to learn more about becoming a better investor. So he hopes that his listeners come along for the ride and don’t make the same mistakes that he has. Wow, this is sounding very familiar. Now, Phil actually has degrees in Media Production and Literary Studies.

He played in some awesome, psychedelic, heavy rock cabaret bands in Sydney during the 80s, before moving into a more stable career in radio, working at the ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Triple J. He was a religious affairs producer at a classic rock station and has worked [00:03:00] extensively in corporate media production and voiceover recording.

And I think after chatting with Phil, I can definitely recognize some of his voiceover recordings. Phil loves playing guitar, ocean swimming, cycling, going to the gym, and like us all, potentially drinking a bit too much beer on Thursday night. Trivia. Phil, thanks so much for joining us today. How are you going?

Phil: I’m good, very well. Thank you very much for inviting me on. I’m a great admirer of your work and what you’re doing. And especially the number of words that you seem to be able to produce. You’re a one person content creation machine.

Captain Fi: Oh, thanks Phil. Yes. I have been told that I have the gift of the gab.

So, maybe I should think about starting some more podcasts.

Phil: I think so. I think there’s not enough there’s more words than airtime that you’re currently producing.

Captain Fi: Now, Phil, before we crack on today can you tell us a little bit about yourself? So, where you’re from and that kind of

Phil: stuff.

Oh, going right back. You want the origin story? Yeah. Give us the origin story.[00:04:00] Okay. Well, just to start off and I’ve been very quiet in the past about my age, but I’m proudly now announcing that I’m a boomer. Okay. And for those millennials who are used to a 10 year period of between 1985 and 1995, boomers are actually were born anywhere between 1945 and 1964.

So I’ll just , let you guess where I am. And I’m a bit of a tail ender, so I’m not like the hippie boomer of the sixties, but more of your seventies punk boomer. Anyway, getting that out of the way, I was born in Sydney and grew up in a wonderful, loving family. Always been interested in music, always been interested in playing guitar.

I started playing guitar when I was nine years old. Always loved literature, arts, an avid reader read so many books when I was young. And of course, which led me to go to a university, the University of Technology in Sydney. And That was a strange time, in that was when the , political radicalization was happening.

So, I ended up [00:05:00] becoming a little bit of a political radical. Then, after I left university, there was a recession. This is just something I just wanted to point out, , that I don’t think people understand about what recessions are really like, that Australia hasn’t been in one for about 30 years.

Now, in a recession, You just can’t believe the despair. So when I left university, for example, it’s not like now when you leave university and there’s plenty of jobs to go into, there was no jobs. And I ended up driving taxis for a few years because yeah, if you’ve got a media degree, there was only a limited number of TV stations or radio stations or newspapers.

The media landscape was tiny compared to what’s happened with the boom. in the internet. So yeah, I drove taxis, which was an interesting time because you’re learning about life in the raw. And especially at that time, it was much less safe a time than it is these days. And it was in the days when you could be 19 years old and drive a taxi.

Then there was the radio [00:06:00] career after that. Like I said, working at the ABC, Triple J in the mid eighties. Now that was a really interesting time and very much a defining time for me the mid eighties working in radio, because you’re kind of living at a very. What you could be seeing is an exciting level of life, being invited to all of the best parties, the best media parties.

You’d go and see any gig, I saw all of the major bands and recording artists of the time and you’d get invited and go there for free because when you worked in. Triple M or triple J. You had instant access to the VIP section and I’m putting air quotes around that. Then in the late eighties had a child and then I moved into.

Commercial radio followed by starting my own recording studio. And I had a voiceover recording studio and you alluded to my voiceovers. Now I’m not a voiceover person. I’m basically a recording engineer that has recorded a lot of voiceovers. And in that [00:07:00] time, I ended up doing a lot of work for what was called Mercantile Mutual, which has now been bought by the ING Bank and doing a lot of work with financial advisors, funnily enough.

And it was in the days when you’d record a program and it, first of all, it would go out onto cassette and be sent out to all the advisors and then CDs after that. Early 2000s, again, recording studios worked at a different bunch of recording studios. I went through a business collapse in the early 2000s because there was this new thing called streaming, which no one had ever heard of.

And… I think I might have recorded what was one of the first podcasts in Australia, but this was the days before RSS feeds and podcasting, but it was an on demand audio thing. And there was no new tubes, there was no platforms for posting audio. So we actually had to set up our own server in an internet service provider.

That people could click on a link and then download some audio and listen to it as an [00:08:00] audio on demand piece. And I remember one of our first clients was Renee Rivkin, who people might remember as a famous Sydney stockbroker, the Rivkin report. And we’ve got the audio recorded, produced, put it up on the server.

And the first time it went out, I think we got 70 downloads all at once. And the system crashed.

Captain Fi: Phil that’s incredible. First of all, I know you’re a boomer. You’re so tech savvy to set up your own server. And set a podcast up.

That’s bloody awesome, dude. We’re spoiled these days because it’s really straightforward. Anyone can just sign up to start a podcast, but to have the first podcast and to have to go through all those technical difficulties, right? Well, I can see how you are putting your tech and media degree to very good use there.

Phil: Well, , I love technology. I’ve just always loved technology. , like in a recording studio. That’s a technologist’s heaven, because you got, well, in the old days, you had so many buttons to push and knobs to turn, and you could just do so much [00:09:00] to, to fashion a video or an audio piece that was coming out.

And now, of course, with everything now being digital, it’s so much better. I mean, I look at… My recording engineering, because I still do a lot of recording engineering work. I’m not making enough money from the podcasts to survive. So I still do a lot of recording. And my skills as a recording engineer are so much better because the tools are available and you can play around with them.

And then of course, youcan learn so much from YouTube videos. And I’ve gone from being very heavy handed with all of the tools that are available to being very light touch. I’ve learned the art of restraint.

Captain Fi: I think I need to take a page out of that book because sometimes I feel like I’m guilty of overdoing stuff.

And I’ll just point out that. Phil is not just passionate. He’s very good at all things audio engineering because just from chatting before we started recording, he identified some issues with my setup and [00:10:00] I just, I don’t have my video on, but I just want to paint a picture. So here I am huddled over a microphone under a towel.

To try and reduce the echoes. So if this episode has better sound quality, please let me know and I’ll record all further podcasts under a towel.

Phil: Some people believe anything you tell them.

Captain Fi: Oh, I’m not joking. You know, I feel so awkward right now,

Phil: yeah. Get some padding up on the walls and the sound foam you see with the diamond shape pattern and you just put it all around you.

You don’t actually need to cover all of the walls. If you just put it around at the height of the microphone in a ring around you, you’ll find an incredible difference in the sound quality.

Captain Fi: There you go. So, well, clearly, you know, your stuff very well Phil now just taking out some points from your background.

So you’ve got experience with the financial industry. Run your own business and you’ve had multiple different careers multiple different jobs throughout your career. So [00:11:00] mate, you definitely a really cool guest and I can’t wait to ask you a lot of questions. So look the first one and look, I’ve got heaps more questions than I normally do.

And so, I’ll try and keep things moving along but there’s definitely a few I really want to get your opinion on especially like with your background. The first one is obviously you’ve seen the fire movement explode throughout your time in media and it’s the concept has different meanings to different people.

For example, not everyone’s really that hot on the retire early. But we all do need to reach financial independence. So I’m really keen to hear what does fire and financial independence mean to you specifically?

Phil: It means a lot of missed opportunities in my past and not getting my financial act together sooner.

Like I was saying off air, there’s a lot of friends of mine that are retiring. And. I think , what’s happened is if I’d stayed at the ABC and tootled along and just did my job and got that [00:12:00] huge superannuation, because there are on defined benefit schemes, people of my age, they could retire at 54 years and 11 months on 80 percent of their final salary.

Indexed. I mean, what a lurk is that doesn’t exist anymore. But financial independence for me and again, I’m a long way off financial independence, even though I’m at that age and I don’t feel bad about it in terms of, I really enjoy what I’m doing and I just can’t believe that I’ve had this second life as a podcaster, just.

thrown into my lap, but financial independence for me means starting a band. I’ve got so many friends who are great musicians and I would just love to be in a band again. It’s just so much fun.

Captain Fi: My mom was a, an amazing singer. She used to be in a band and before she passed, she gave me one of her guitars and I’m almost a little bit scared to play it cause I don’t want to Damage it.

But it’s something I can do it.

Phil: No, that’s your mother’s guitar. You’ve got [00:13:00] to honor her by playing it and learning how to play it. Well,

Captain Fi: yeah. And I think I can play a couple of chords and one or two songs, but it’s something that I’m really. wanting to get into it’s a lot of fun.

And you were saying it’s quite a big passion of yours.

Phil: It is. And for me, it’s so much part of my mental health in that it’s one of the few things, I can’t meditate, for example. I find it really hard to meditate, even though I know people say you should meditate and how good it is for you, however, I find I get that same.

thing out of doing laps, for one thing, because you get into that state where you’re breathing regularly and your mind has taken off whatever else you might be obsessed with at that particular moment. The same with guitar. You sit down with a piece of music and you have to do the repetition.

You have to put in the reps to become reasonable as a guitarist or as any kind of musician. And, I find that time when you’re sitting there and you’re going over maybe , four to eight bars or something where you’re going, Oh, this part’s really hard. I just need to [00:14:00] go over it and over it again because you got to get your fingers into the right position and it’s got to turn into muscle memory so that it becomes fluid when you’re actually playing something.

And I love finger picking guitar. I became obsessed with finger picking style. That way you use the right hand pick out a pattern that kind of interplays with what’s happening on the left hand. So you start ending up with two sides of your brain working together. And yeah, I would recommend it to anyone.

And anyone can play an instrument really. , I think it’s about the time that you spend doing it. So yeah, pick up your mom’s guitar.

Captain Fi: Yeah, I think I’ll do that when we put down this microphone, , I’m going to go and crack open the case and yeah, I’ve got a lot of really happy memories and I was fortunate to take quite a bit of video footage of mom playing before she passed and she loved it.

, I could. See, she was getting into these flow states when she used to play and yeah, she would just be so happy despite everything that was going on.

Phil: And I’ll just point out as well as that [00:15:00] I played and composed and produced the music, the theme music for all of my podcasts. And to me that’s been a big part of how I feel about the podcast because I spent a lot of time trying to construct the feel.

that I wanted. And being fortunate and having friends with studios and great players and, the great bass player who’s one of my best friends we were able to put together that theme. And for me, it just captures exactly the kind of mood I’m trying to create. And that’s another part of , having that creativity.

It’s just feeling right about it rather than, you hear so many podcasts with awful music. Yes, I think especially those corporate financial ones with those, heroic corporate themes.

Captain Fi: I’m probably guilty of that too. I have a very cheesy intro that I think I need to fix. Cheesy’s good.

Cheesy’s good.

Phil: We don’t mind

Captain Fi: cheesy. , maybe I need to contract you and your business to come in and help me fix it.

Phil: Yeah, Chris and I will come up with something for you. So

Captain Fi: Phil I was reading before [00:16:00] a little bit about your career and, as you mentioned corporate media content production, working for ABC, multiple radio stations, that’s pretty impressive.

And then. Big corporate clients like, Commonwealth Bank, ING Bank, and other large organizations like the Australian Defence Force recruiting. That’s really impressive. So could you tell us a little bit about, how you went from, you mentioned you were driving taxis.

And now , you’re running a business, you’re consulting for, billion dollar industries and now running your own podcast that’s pretty impressive. How did you make the change?

Phil: Oh, well, there were several changes in there, . Well, I was just driving taxis out of necessity, because as I said, it was a recession.

There was no jobs and it was very difficult to get a job in the media. I got my first job at the ABC by working in the stationary storeroom, in those days that was the career route to get into the ABC, where you would get a job in either the mailroom, stationary storeroom going around and looking at all of the ABC [00:17:00] equipment in what was called the assets department.

And then once you were in. , there was kind of a hierarchy that you were able to work your way up. And I started working in ABC radio and ended up at triple J because that’s exactly where I wanted to be, triple J, which was then double J and only a Sydney AM station started in my final year of high school.

And it was my passion. I just wanted to work at triple J. And funnily enough, after I’d worked there for a couple of years. And I was 27 years old and I felt I was too old for Triple J. Because a lot of my friends would make the transition from Triple J and then go to commercial radio.

So I followed them and got jobs in commercial radio as well. But it was when I started the studio that I got a lot more exposure to the corporate world. Because again, there was no internet in those days and everything was still being done on tape and I was cutting tape with razor blades. And what I’ve found is that most of the business that I’ve become involved with [00:18:00] and most of the clients that I had, I met through parties, funnily enough, because I’m a very social person and I think I’m good.

 My wife is exactly the opposite. She hates walking into a room. Where she knows nobody. And I’m exactly the opposite. To me, that’s my favourite space to be in. To walk into a room of people that I don’t know. And make conversation. I’ve just been very good at making conversation and dispensing with small talk.

Actually, another part of my career, which I didn’t mention was being a DJ as well. And I think that’s part of it as well. I spent 15 years on the side working on weekends, DJing at weddings and events as well. But anyway, that’s a whole other story. You’re asking about the corporate world. So yeah, I was at a voiceover party in the early nineties and I met the guy from Mercantile Mutual who was making those corporate.

audio recordings that would go out to financial advisors. And interestingly, this was one of my first [00:19:00] introductions to the world of financial advice and the people that were involved in it. And I guess looking back on it now, I realize how much the dice is weighted in their favor and especially in those days, because these financial advisors at the time were selling products where they would get a commission stream out of it. And this is something that’s changed so much over the last 10 years with the rise of the internet and education, ETFs and so forth, is the gravy train that financial advisors used to be on has been cut off. Fortunately I mean, at the time I’d met one of the financial advisors that was part of the interview and I ended up investing in one of their managed funds.

And it did nothing. And I just realized later, I was most probably paying two or 3 percent management fee on this with a trailing commission to the advisor with no regard for my goals and with no regard to . Basically ensuring that I had financial health out of that. It [00:20:00] was all about what can I, as an advisor, get out of that.

So that was a good lesson. And out of that as well, so people that were working at Mercantile Mutual at the time, then went off to work for other organizations which is where I got some of the Commonwealth Bank work. The defense force recruiting, that was really strange how that came about because I’ve worked with the Australian Defence Force in, in kind of different roles through different clients.

There was a guy who used to be in a punk band in the 80s who ended up working for this organization that was doing events.

And I ended up doing a lot of work alongside of him. In fact, this was really interesting as I, I also did the music production for the Millennial Fireworks in 2000. So, when they have the fireworks and the music track plays in the background. Yeah,

Captain Fi: I remember watching it. Yeah, that was really

Phil: cool.

 I mean, I don’t even think about that anymore, but that was an audio production that I worked on that was, Most probably listened to by billions of people, because of course, Australia, it was the new year, the year 2000, the millennial tick [00:21:00] over, Y2K bug.

Captain Fi: Yeah, I was going to say you weren’t worried all your tapes were going to melt when the clocks reset for the millennium bug.

Phil: Oh no, we were digital by that stage. So yeah, that was even more of a worry because we were all worried about what was going to happen, the year 2000 when everything ticked over and then nothing happened.

Captain Fi: I reckon it was around that year that I got my first. Cassette tape, which was the offspring.

 It was a cassette and I had a little Walkman and I must’ve played that thing until the tape broke or something. Cause I was so proud of that. And I’d saved up using my pocket money and. Yeah, I liked it cause it had some swear words in it. And I thought that was very cool being a kid.

Phil: And you were pretty fly for a white guy, were you?

Captain Fi: Well, unfortunately in the end, my parents figured that the tape and the the tape player in the offset, well, they got to keep them separated to it.

Phil: Oh my god, the old Offspring references. I actually took my daughter to her first rock and roll concert and a bunch of her friends from school [00:22:00] to go see the Offspring. And they were fantastic. They were hilarious. They were more of a comedy act, I think, than a band.

Captain Fi: Yeah. Oh, you’ve got a really interesting career.

The biggest thing that I’m taking away. From what you’re saying, Phil, is that networking and social capital is actually really important when you’re running your own business. It sounds like that was a huge, I don’t know, would that be deliberate? Was that more just serendipitous with your personality being a bit of a social butterfly?


Phil: Serendipitous with my personality, but what I realize now, and this is in terms of making podcasts or when you’re recording voiceovers, something I’ve realized, because when you’re a technologist and you love technology, you’re thinking about the buttons and the dials and settings and what to press.

And what I’ve realized now is when you’re in the studio, whether it’s recording a voiceover or recording a podcast, what it’s all about is reducing friction. You want whoever you’re speaking to, or whoever you’re recording, to feel comfortable, [00:23:00] unpressured, and that they’re not going to be , saying anything wrong.

And so much about it as human psychology, and I’ve never realised this. Another interesting thing, about human psychology, and this is something I’ve worked out lately, is that sometimes you have a guest on, and they do a great interview, and then you wonder, why aren’t they sharing it?

And you think it’s because they don’t like the interview, but often it’s because this is the first time they’ve heard themselves. Everyone hates the sound of their own voice. Believe me, everyone hates the sound of their own voice. And I’ve realized now that you actually have to gently cajole some people who’ve been guests on the podcast to share.

Because they don’t feel like that they’ve… Reached the standards that they believe that they should have as part of their public persona. And this is something that people need to shed as well that we’re all human beings. We’re all got that little voice inside of our heads telling us that we’re not good enough or we’re crap or, I could have said that better.

But yeah, that’s part of what I [00:24:00] feel like my role is to get people to not listen to that voice and to To feel that they are important and good enough in and of themselves. Yeah,

Captain Fi: It’s so important. I’ve definitely felt that imposter syndrome. And I think, it’s awesome to just go Hey let’s just cut down the expectations.

Let’s just give it a red hot crack. And, even if you stuff something up, you’re just going to learn from that experience, right? Like I remember one of my mentors telling me that fail. Just stands for first attempt in learning, and it would be a bit crazy to think that I could just go and open mom’s guitar case and pull it out and just hammering out an amazing guitar solo like that you could do.

Well, that’s just absurd, yeah, I’m going to go and try and learn to play smoke on the water and, a few smaller, easier songs and build my way up. And yeah,

Phil: Hang on. We draw the line at smoke on the water.

Captain Fi: Hey now look [00:25:00] I think it’s a really good segue into shares for beginners. Cause we’re really talking about, just getting started and, not over complicating things. you host a very popular podcast to shares for beginners and you’ve got a few more, but just on shares for beginners, can you tell us a little bit about, how you made the jump from running your recording studio to hosting one of the most popular podcasts about beginners investing?.

Phil: Well, because of my radio background, what else am I going to do? Podcasts present themselves as the obvious choice, but no, I seriously, I do love podcasts. I’ve been listening to podcasts for many years and I’ve also been investing poorly for many years, but I’ve been making podcasts now. Oh do you know Carl Kruszelnicki from

Captain Fi: Triple J?

Yeah. Wonderful. I love listening to his segments.

Phil: Yeah, well, I’ve worked on his podcasts over the years as an editor So that’s where I learned how the back end of podcasting works. And then I also started several podcasts, like I had one the [00:26:00] cliche was me and a few mates sitting around talking about music.

And which of course I think has had 2000 downloads. In the course of its history. But again, that gives you an idea about how it’s done and how to produce it and how to do remote recording like we’re doing now. And then worked on a leadership podcast with another friend. And then just one day I dunno, just the name shares for beginners came into my head.

, popped in there. And I thought, Oh, I’ll give it a go. And I had no idea about how to approach the financial services industry. And so the first guest I got he was a local financial advisor and I might sound like I’m down on financial advisors. I’m not, there’s some great financial advisors out there.

And this is a local guy and I got him onto the podcast, but apart from being a financial advisor he had a law degree, accounting degree, and he’d worked in the city of London. So he knew everything about it and investing. And I couldn’t have asked for a better first guest and he gave a great interview and we got that out there.

Then [00:27:00] I just started contacting people and I think I was just in that lucky space when all of these podcasts were first starting to explode. When equity mates was first starting and many of the other finance podcasts and I just invite them on and they’d come on and and. I think there was this real thirst to come on podcast because it just became one of those things that people wanted to do and became, as we say, trendy.

And then I guess the biggest thing that happened with the audience do you know the Your Wealth podcast with Gemma Dale? No, I haven’t heard that one. It’s a NAB Trade podcast, and she invited me onto the podcast. And I think that was one of the first podcasts which really bumped up the number of listeners.

And so, yeah, I just started building it up from there, but it really came about. The other thing about it is my whole idea behind the podcast was that I’d been investing poorly for many years. I wanted to learn how to do it. Why not? Talk to experts about it, and hopefully people could come along and share the journey about that, [00:28:00] which is really what I’ve been trying to do.

And I know I get comments sometimes from listeners that they want a series of actionable steps on to how to become a share market investor. And I can’t do that. I can’t really say that because it’s too complicated. There’s too many things to learn. I just hope that by listening, we’ll learn about so many facets.

Of the industry. And this is, I mean, even just the basics, it’s like being able to open up your super and understand what’s happening with your superannuation account, because, I think I spent a lot too much time on asset allocation and the different asset classes, but to me, it’s a fascinating subject and you need to know how your money in superannuation, because we’ve all got superannuation is being invested and understanding that even just those basics, you need to understand because.

You don’t just want to be in a situation where suddenly you do have to look at your money, take it very seriously, and have no idea on what’s going on with it. And if I can just backtrack a little about the mistakes that I [00:29:00] made, of which there have been many, and the main one has been that I was with a sharebroker for 10 years.

And I lost a lot of money investing while I was with him and I’m not blaming him, because he’s just doing his job. But just again, he’s making money out of people trading, his clients trading, and he was making money out of me trading. But he was not giving me any financial education and he had no reason to give me financial education, but these were in the days before you could, go online and find a YouTube video to learn about investing or podcasts about investing.

You have to actually do a little bit more serious research and there was not a lot of the financial independence. Micro investing, pushing the idea of the long term investing, dollar cost averaging, all of that stuff, which is what I should have been doing sensibly. And I’m ashamed to say at the end of that 10 years with that financial advisor, which coincided with starting shares for beginners, is that I didn’t even know what an ETF was.

And that’s to my eternal [00:30:00] shame that I didn’t find that out because, if I’d spent that 10 years, put my capital into an index hugging ETF, I would have been so much better off than, buggerising around with this guy. This is, again, one of the main lessons I want to impart to listeners is that you are the product of the financial services industry.

Okay, they want to make money out of you. Now, they’re very nice people, and some of the people are charging you less money than other people. But in the end, you are where. The money comes from that funds this enormous industry.

Captain Fi: Yeah. I think drawing like a big delineation between financial advice and financial education is super important.

And I think that’s what a lot of people do like yourself and me included is we’re really focusing on that financial education as opposed to the. Somewhat transactional financial advice industry and I totally agree with everything you’ve said there, Phil I think [00:31:00] myself included as well as a number of other really popular people in the financial education sector here which does include some financial advisor.

So I recently spoke to a financial advisor and she had. Done the exact same thing as in being put into a very expensive managed fund, really high brokerage costs, transactional costs and yeah, underperformed a basic index. I was the same she was the same. It sounds like you’re the same.

And I’m really hearing this story again and again about people that This is what drove them to educate themselves, and then now they’re giving back to the community, and I think it’s awesome. I think, as you said earlier, like the friction points are being removed and it’s making it so accessible for people to, be better now than they ever could have been with their money.

Which is bloody awesome. So you touched on index funds and ETFs. So now you also host a couple of other great podcasts. So stocks for beginners [00:32:00] which talk about individual companies and then ETFs for beginners, which is, primarily more about the index style of investing as well as a a couple of other pies you’ve got your fingers in.

So you’ve definitely got the podcasting bug. Phil, can you tell us a little bit about your other shows and I guess maybe what it’s like to run a business with multiple media channels?

Phil: That’s interesting. Okay. Well, Stocks for Beginners is very much like Shares for Beginners, except I’m just interviewing people in the United States and the major audience for 80 percent of the listeners are in the USA and Canada for that one.

The reason why I did that is because I realized one of the I’m giving away some SEO secrets or actually it’s PVO secrets. Was it podcast visibility optimization and just a little tip. If you’re going to name it podcast, name it exactly what it is, because the SEO in podcast land is very basic anyway.

So , I realized that if you put shares into your podcast player, Mine was the first [00:33:00] one that came up. So I thought, Oh, I wonder if I can do that with stocks for beginners and get an audience in the United States. And that’s exactly what’s happened. So I just feel so privileged. I just can’t believe it that now starting from here in Sydney out of this converted bedroom, that I’m now talking to hedge fund managers, people from the Wall Street Journal, people from Investopedia in the United States, basically because I’ve got this audience in stocks for beginners.

And that one’s been a bit of a roller coaster. I mean, when it first started, I was getting huge download numbers, absolutely enormous download numbers, and even charting on the Spotify business charts in the United States. The audience has dropped off since then, but I’ve got now a very good basic level of.

Engagement with an audience over there. And that’s actually going really well. In fact, I’ve only just started selling my first affiliate marketing products in the United States this week. And I’ve sold four, which I’m very excited about.

Captain Fi: That’s awesome. Yeah, I’d never really [00:34:00] considered that you would have to do SEO with podcasts, but I’m thinking of course PVO, sorry.

Yeah. Check out Voxelize. That’s really cool. So, I mean, how do you balance your time between it? Do you prioritize certain ones yes.

Phil: I have to prioritize ETFs for beginners is on hiatus at the moment because my co host Ana Kresina from Pearler has got another podcast now with Tash Invests.

Get rich slow. Yeah, get rich slow. Yep. . And I don’t know, we’ve got some episodes in the can ready for that one to release, but I just wanted to step back from ETFs for beginners because Ana’s got this new podcast and I just didn’t want to come across as trying to ride on the coattails, so to speak.

So that one’s just on a little bit of a hiatus at the moment, but balancing the time. It’s interesting because like I said, I’ve still got to do my recording engineering work. Which fortunately a lot of it I can do here from home. The US podcast, because of the time difference, I find recording at 6am syncs very well with the east coast of the United States.

So I’m recording those [00:35:00] interviews earlier in the morning, which works well. I’m doing all of my own editing. Again, it’s just using all the tools that are available at the moment to make your job faster and easier and structuring your production because I’m very good at structuring productions, like I turned around an episode yesterday, recorded at 6am and had the edit completed by 10am. Wow. That’s impressive. Uploaded to a transcription service. My wife then edits the transcription and it’s ready to release today. So yeah, it’s just about being very efficient with your time and your production techniques.

And like I said, having done this for so long, I have the systems in place.

Captain Fi: Yeah, well, it sounds like you’re you’re very switched on now. I’m interested to know then if you’re happy, , I’d love to ask you a bit more questions about your personal finance. If that’s okay.

Yeah. Awesome. So, we’ve kind of alluded to it before through, your education and you mentioned you had some bad experience with [00:36:00] managed funds, but fast forward to today, what do you primarily invest in and why?

Phil: Primarily it’s SFY ETF, which is a ASX top 50 fund ETF then VGB, which is a Australian bond fund, because, I’ve been told about the 6040 portfolio and you’ve got to have the strength of the bonds when, of course, this is coincided with a couple of the worst years for bonds ever when interest rates started going up a cash, AAA, which is a cash one, which is very dull, boring, with 4 percent return, you can’t scoff at that, especially, I just feel like I want to have some cash on the sidelines so that if there is a downturn, if there is a coming recession and markets.

Go through one of their downturns that I want to be able to take that opportunity in the future to get set at lower prices for good quality companies. So that’s the main part of it. Then there’s a smaller part of my [00:37:00] portfolio, which I trade using Tony Kynaston’s QAV investing podcast methodology.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of them. I’ve had a relationship. with them for a number of years. And if I can be so bold, and if I can mention a couple of affiliate links, if you go to QAV podcasting, use the promo code SFB or SFB light, you can get just significant discounts on their plans anyway.

So that’s a value investing quality at value. That’s what QAV stands for. And. So what that means is that you, and I’m using the light version, which means I’m not using the full blown spreadsheet where you do a lot of your own research. You just get recommendations when to buy and when to sell particular companies.

And I’ve been doing that since February. And the return it’s a negative return, but there’s a number of stocks in that, that are doing quite well at the moment. So basically, yeah, that’s my investing story at the moment. Okay, cool.

Captain Fi: So just to summarize, so you do a basically a core satellite [00:38:00] approach.

Yes. And you have the bulk of your investments in just a basic index tracking fund. Index

Phil: track and ASX 50 index tracker, VGB, which is Aussie bonds, Aussie government bonds, and AAA, which is cash, basically. Which is cash. Yeah, the short term

Captain Fi: cash rate. Yep. Interesting. Now I know a couple of people are probably interested to ask why you’ve preference towards, is that, would you call that a large cap index fund?

So just a top 50 index, as opposed to say, like a, an ASX 300 or a total market?

Phil: It’s a good question. Think you’ll find if you check out, , it does outperform the A S X 200 E T F and it’s done slightly better. And when you’re buying an ASS X 200 E T F, basically the top 50 companies would be, I dunno, 90% of it, I think, what is it?

BHP’s, 10% of the A S X 200 Commonwealth Bank is about 8%. Coles and Woolies is about a little bit under 2%. So the top companies. The top [00:39:00] 850 are basically going to be what the ASX 200 is, the smaller ones are not going to make any difference to that. So, yeah, performance and concentration, is the reason why I went with SFY.

Captain Fi: Yeah, it definitely, so it’s more the blue chip funds and yeah, it’s heavily weighted towards that on a a market cap weighted index fund. Yeah, pretty much the same thing. I mean, that’s the same logic that I used to go for the ASX 200 versus ASX 300 fund, I think.

Phil: Interestingly, I had Dave Gow on the podcast recently, and he’s got most of his money in an ETF I can’t remember which one it was, but it invests in the top 100 companies from around the world. And that’s a really interesting

Captain Fi: thing to look at.

Ah, is that the

Phil: NASDAQ? That’s not NASDAQ, I don’t think. No, that’s just, they’re companies like it’ll have companies in Europe, companies in the UK, companies in South America and companies in the S& P 500 and I think there’s a couple of companies from the ASX 200, but yeah, very basic.

 An interesting way to think about investing as well. [00:40:00]

Captain Fi: Yeah, I’m going to have to go and check out his blog. He’s got an awesome website. Great guy too. Yeah. . I remember having a chat today. He came on the podcast way back in the beginning when I was just starting off.

And yeah, he’s got this awesome book, Strong Money Australia, that he’s recently published. Yeah, which has been going great, hasn’t it? Yeah. Fantastic book. Yeah. Really enjoyed it. Definitely recommend everyone, have a read. You can get the ebook version. I think it’s a bit cheaper or if you prefer the paid one, you can buy that on Amazon as well.

So definitely check it out. Yeah, it’s really interesting how, even inside a basic index ETF approach, there’s still many different variations that you can pick. And I guess that’s why they call it personal finance. Everyone has their personal preferences.

Phil: I think it’s worthwhile doing as well and I know Sharesight are going to be providing , this look through functionality soon, which is like a look through at an ETF, where it’ll actually tell you what’s in the ETF.

Because I think so many people, they they’ll buy an ASX 200 ETF. Then outside of it, they’ll go and buy BHP and you got to [00:41:00] ask yourself, well, do you really want to concentrate your portfolio that much? So yeah, it’s just learning about these things, benchmarking, look through what’s in your ETF.

Again, these are simple things which are worthwhile understanding without having to go full blown into, picking your own companies and buying directly shares in the share market.

Captain Fi: Look, I I probably need to do some more reading on this area. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.

I just have a couple of basic index funds Australia, U S and sort of world minus U S and I should keep it very basic. Just on how you mentioned you were doing a little bit of stock picking now, I’ve personally had some bad experience with that, but , , now that I’ve got a bit more time on my hands, I’m actually doing a bit of reading in that area as well.

And I might look to. Start making some small investments in outside companies.

Phil: And it’s interesting doing the U. S. podcast as well, because then you get exposed to the international exchanges, especially the U. S. stock market. And, the opportunities that are available overseas are incredible compared to [00:42:00] Australia.

And I haven’t taken the step to start trying to buy any companies in the U. S. And, even if you do invest in an S& P 500. index fund in the United States. Again, the weighting there is like the top 10 tech companies, or NVIDIA is in there as well. But basically you’re so concentrated in your Googles and Meta and all of that. So again, I think it’s worthwhile. Understanding, again, what’s in an ETF and how much that weighting is. , but it’s also worthwhile understanding how many great companies there are all around the world, just outside of our own ASX 200.

Captain Fi: Yeah, definitely worth having a peek under the hood, so to speak.

Now, Phil so you mentioned you’re kind of working towards a goal and you’d love to get back into music and playing in a band. I think that’s a bloody awesome goal. So I guess having said that, like reverse engineering do you have a FI or fire number or a set of passive income that you’re aiming to work towards?

Phil: Simple answer, [00:43:00] no. I’m as they say, downhill, one ski, no poles. I’m making it up as I go along. I

Captain Fi: think a lot of us

Phil: are. Yeah.

Captain Fi: We will get back to the show in a moment, but for now, I wanna ask you a question. Do you have a side hustle? And if you do, is it scalable? My side hustle is building and running websites a form of digital real estate. Now, it might sound tricky to make money online, but really they’re just small online businesses that have low overheads, high margins, and which you can easily scale by outsourcing.

If you’ve ever read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, then you’re on the right track. What I love about websites is just like my investments, they’re working 24 7 to make me richer and I can put as much or as little effort into running them as I like. I can pay a writer to produce a piece of evergreen content, which is then edited and posted by virtual assistant.

Then it can be viewed potentially millions of times [00:44:00] and easily updated by my editors over the years to remain relevant. If you want to learn more about this lucrative side hustle and retraining for the Digital Workforce revolution, then check out my article about making money online and read my review of the E-Business Institute and their online self-paced courses.

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Captain FY listeners can register for free access to some of their resources by following the link in the E-Business Institute review article on captain fy.com. So what are you waiting for? Start learning how to build a portfolio of digital real estate and use websites to make money today.

Phil: I don’t have any [00:45:00] plans for financial independence. I think I’ve got a longer term plan for building up the passive income from the website and the podcasts. So I can keep on doing it. And if I can, Basically, I don’t want to go into the numbers here, but the revenues from the podcast are pretty low.

I mean, it’s not covering a full time job by any means, but if I can triple that. Then making passive income from affiliate marketing and sponsorship. I would be happy with that. And, it can survive for several more years.

Captain Fi: It’s a really interesting concept

Phil: What I love what I do.

I want to retire. I mean, I feel like I’ve been given this. Fantastic gift of the podcast, which has fallen into my lap. I’m meeting the most amazing people. People want to talk to me and hear my opinion, on finance, which blows my mind. But I still have access to all the technology. And as you can hear, I love technology.

And so anytime some new piece of software comes out or a software as a service, I’m trying it out and thinking, well, can this help me? Can it make my life more efficient? Can I save some time? [00:46:00] By utilizing this technology. And of course, AI has been great for that as well. Not that I’m copying and pasting anything in AI, but just to suddenly go, I just need some headlines here, or I just need a few words here that I mean, I did an episode the other day about tortured analogies, trying to come up with analogies to explain investing concepts, and I just.

Got this list of tortured analogies out of ChatGPT. And it was just great to be able to talk about them. Yeah,

Captain Fi: tech is definitely making job a bit easier, as the different tools come out it’s really awesome to hear that business is a core part of your quote unquote retirement strategy and it’s awesome when you love what you do and you’re able to do it, There’s really no incentive to stop.

I mean, I remember interviewing Matt and Liz Raad and they’re really big on, content websites. And they also , train people on how to set up their own content websites and different online businesses. And I said, okay, well, what’s your fire number? When is enough?

And [00:47:00] they just looked at me. Huh? They had no plans to retire at all. They absolutely loved what they did and what they do. And so, not everyone is, barreling towards this FI number so that they can have a complete pivot. So I think, yeah, we don’t really

Phil: talk about the challenge.

You have to have a challenge in life. That’s what makes you feel alive.

Captain Fi: Yeah, and that’s something I’ve experienced, like I’ve definitely sat around not doing much for a period of time. And yeah, you go, well, no, I need to be doing something, it’s not that you have to be contributing to society, but as you say, you want a challenge, you want.

A goal. It’s it’s exciting. It’s boring to just sit around and do nothing. So it’s awesome that you’ve already got that vision for what you want to do set out. Cause a lot of people don’t have that and it can be a bit of a rude shock when you quote unquote, fall off that retirement cliff.

Phil: That’s right. The only thing is, working out how to start the band and what the band’s going to be called.

Captain Fi: Well, I’ll tell you what, I’ll keep practicing guitar and maybe one day I’ll be good enough to try out.

Phil: Oh, I think so. Definitely. We want you on there.[00:48:00] So many great bands came from Adelaide.

Captain Fi: So Phil, one of the best things we can do on the journey to fire is basically look at what successful people are doing and copy them. And this is especially true when it comes to self education. So with that in mind, and knowing that you have interviewed.

Hundreds, not thousands, of awesome guests. Do you have any favorite resources that you’ve come across? So, books, blogs, podcasts, that kind of thing?

Phil: That’s an interesting question, because I tend to get all the information I want from the people that I interview. If I have a question, I just invite someone onto the podcast.

So, I’m in a very privileged position there’s a couple of books about technical analysis that while I wouldn’t follow the ideas of it just gives you really useful insights into the psychology of how markets work.

And one of them is Jesse Livermore’s. Confessions of a Stock Market Operator, I think it’s called, and it’s talking about the old days of stock markets when they were basically used to be run out [00:49:00] of barbershops, and how people were trading stocks, like almost like betting on horses.

And I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, I guess this financial education thing, but the podcasts your podcast and your website and Dave Gow investing wise, your wealth is fantastic. What the equity mates guys and what Owen at Rask are doing fantastic.


Captain Fi: fantastic.

Well, I’m going to put in the show notes links to Phil’s shows, the shares for beginners and the stocks for beginners and definitely go and have a listen. He’s got some bloody amazing interviews there. Now Phil, we were kind of chatting before and we just got I guess a few Questions, which I think are awesome.

They fit outside the usual sort of questions I might ask in a podcast, but given that you have such awesome knowledge on this from interviewing so many people, I thought , it’d be poor form , to omit them. So, I’d love to go through some of the questions that we were talking about.

So the first one is what are some of the common traps that new investors could fall into?

Phil: Oh, so many of them. First of all taking the advice of [00:50:00] people who are in the finance industry who don’t have your best interests at heart. I think part of it is the, and I get this all the time.

I go into the pub and meet mates in the pub and it’s Oh you’re, Phil, you’re into shares. What do you think about. this stock. And it’s yeah, what do they do? Oh, lithium. And yeah, that’s the whole lithium story. I’ve been hearing about it for the last couple of years. And I think what people need to understand is if you’ve just woken up one day and you’ve read a story and you realize, Oh, we’re going to have a lot of batteries in the future and they’re going to need lithium.

That is not a story. The finance industry knows about this already. Everyone knows about it. There’s all these experts in the industry who are forensically examining companies for which ones are going to be worth more money in the future. And not only that, things like lithium are a commodity.

Anyway, I could rave about that. I’ve got a new comeback to that now because I’ve heard about vanadium. Apparently vanadium is going to take over from lithium in the future. So that’s rule number one. The second one is to educate yourself. And I know[00:51:00] this is more by way of advice, but. You’re not going to be able to resist some of the traps that I talk about unless you know what’s going on and to have some basic knowledge about the finance industry and how it works is, it’s just going to save you money because you’re going to understand the way that people are going to be trying to get to you.

The other thing is that whole. Without educating yourself, you take your first step in the market because you’ve heard of a stock tip. You go and buy a particular company, it goes down in price and you sell it and you lose money and you go, ah that’s not for me. , then the other one is that you’ve bought that first company or stock in the market and it’s done really well.

And you think. Oh, this is easy. Anyone can do this. And that’s when you go and lose money because you get overconfidence. And it’s also about understanding your own psychology. Having seen this and having been through the [00:52:00] global financial crisis, myself, people who just couldn’t take it anymore because they’re looking at.

All that red on the screen, and when the market is down, they go, Oh, I can’t do this anymore. And they get out of it out of the market. These are the kind of mistakes, and again, it’s just by, listening to following someone’s advice for too long, that’s not working.

That’s the main trap that I fell into. And I don’t know, is there any others?

Captain Fi: Oh, definitely. I reckon, particularly just can talk to that last point about getting out when the market’s, red, so to speak and it, it could be indicative of, your investments might not be aligned to your risk tolerance and.

And that’s something actually I wanted to ask you is about compounding future values. And I guess if you’re in that position, why is it important to start looking about long term and compounding future

Phil: valuations? I would recommend anyone, as part of their meditation, is to go online and look at [00:53:00] a, they’re called compound interest calculators or final value or present value calculators.

And I think a lot, some places have this where you can put in an initial amount into this calculator and, Then, say, put in an amount that you’re going to put away regularly on a monthly or fortnightly basis, whatever, and plug in a number of the interest rate, which would be, say, let me just conservatively say 9%, if you’re going to be investing in the ASX200, and then just have a look at what it outputs over the next 10, 20, 30 years, And you’ll see how much money that can be just made.

And just to sit there and think about it and let it sink in. And I’ll just talk about another situation recently. I was talking to a young friend of mine and I’ve spoken about on the podcast, a couple of times, this particular story. He’s about 30 years old. He’s a tradie, makes good money, spends a lot of time surfing, loves his surf.

And he’s completely despondent that he’s never going to be able to buy a [00:54:00] property in Sydney, especially in the suburb that he grew up in, which is now a very desirable suburb. And I said to him, well, have you thought about just putting money away and investing in ETFs for the long term, just dollar cost averaging, putting money away?

And do you know what he said to me, he said, No one has ever had this conversation with me. At 30. , and it’s, and you can’t blame the parents as well because the parents of a generation where it was a lot easier to buy a property and property has done very well over the decades.

And a lot of people are just not interested in the share market and what value can be gained out of it. So, yeah, I think just. Think about what you can do, because when you’re 30 years old, you feel old. I remember, like I left Triple J when I was 27, because I was feeling old, if you can believe that.

And you don’t realize how quickly those years in between can go. And if you’re putting that money away, and you’re letting it compound, and you’re not touching it, after 30 years, it’s an [00:55:00] insane amount of money that it’s going to build up into.

Captain Fi: Yeah, look, I find, even myself In a position where I’m so grateful for the fortune that I found myself in and yeah, 32 years old.

And, having said that, I, I started working as a teenager and, living a fairly frugal lifestyle and, it was a high income earner just by saving and investing, I feel

Phil: like you’re so frugal. I saw your post the other day about how much you spend.

Captain Fi: Well, the thing is I am so happy with my lifestyle.

Like I just think I’m so privileged. Like , if I’m cold, I’ve got access to all these beautiful clothes, soft clothings, always clean clothes. I can wash them anytime I want. I can flick a switch and light. It comes on, I can push a button and air conditioning will heat the house. I’ve got an electric blanket on the bed.

I’ve got wonderful sheets. I’ve got a refrigerator that always runs and is full of wonderful food. And [00:56:00] if, if not, I can go, down the street and choose from any of these restaurants or supermarkets, markets drinking water, clean, treated drinking water coming out of the tap, it’s safe.

I’ve, all these public amenities, like I think we are just

Phil: so lucky, so fortunate. People just don’t realize that people get so screwed up in their own minds about how terrible things are.

Captain Fi: Yeah. And even just, , I’m not a like a pentathlete or, I’m not able to do everything perfectly,

so, I’m not going to change the timing belt on my car, but I can do an oil change. I can do your basics. And I find just by trying to be a little bit more self sufficient, . It makes me happy. And it’s satisfying,

Phil: isn’t it? It’s very

Captain Fi: satisfying. It’s so satisfying.

That’s not to say that I don’t outsource to experts when necessary. And yeah, I find that you don’t need to, I personally don’t need to be spending zillions of dollars to live a happy, fulfilling life. And I’ll caveat that is we don’t have kids yet [00:57:00] and I am wanting to buy a hobby farm, couple of acres.

And I know the expenses will go up. And so, I’m happy to, continue to make hay while the sun shines, so to speak. And if expenses come up they go up. Yeah, it’s just amazing what you can achieve

Phil: in. Yeah. Well, just in terms of, you know, just , keep pulling costs in.

I mean, I often go and record in another studio and it’s about seven kilometers from here. And the other day I was just going, well, I’ve made my own lunch. I ride my bike there and back and. I made my coffee before I left home, and I still think, well, I’ve just saved 20 bucks and it doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s 20 bucks that still remains in your pocket.

Captain Fi: Yeah, well, I mean, what’s that compounded over, a year and then over additional years? And, that’s not saying like. don’t spend your money. Absolutely spend your money on what you love, but just don’t spend money on shit that you don’t love. I think that, I could definitely waste a lot of money.

I could upgrade from a station wagon to a big four wheel [00:58:00] drive and I could, live in a bigger house and all that. And I don’t think it would really change my baseline level of happiness. So. Yeah. By all means, I mean, I have some wonderful things, I’ve got these RM William boots they’re like 600 bucks and they’re awesome.

I’ve had them for 15 years had them resold recently. I do buy expensive things but just things that I love and God , you don’t want to know how much money I’ve spent on airplanes over the years. Now interestingly, something that I’ve stumbled across. As well, and it sounds you kind of have as well , is having your own business and an online business and whether that’s a content website or a, a podcast, essentially we are producing a piece of content or a piece of information that is scalable in that it can be viewed billions and billions an infinite number of times and I think, whilst not everyone’s going to be able to achieve this, sometimes and we were talking about these get rich quick schemes on social media, you see a lot of this bullshit, I’ll create these YouTube videos or create these websites and, create unlimited [00:59:00] income,

Phil: Everyone wants to be an influencer, yeah,

Captain Fi: exactly.

And, . I’ll just point out not everyone’s going to be able to succeed in a business and a lot of businesses , I don’t know what the stats are, but it’s nine out of 10 businesses close in their first year or something. Yeah. So, I think having a side hustle that is scalable and outsourceable is really.

valuable if you do it right and if you stick with it. But if I could just

Phil: interrupt you for a moment on that, I’d recommend anyone who’s interested in starting a side hustle, this podcast called Side Hustle Nation by Nick Loper, which it’s so good. And when you, it’s so inspiring. When you hear what other people are doing and how they can start businesses and the tools that they use, the ideas that they use, the way they approach the business and each week it’s a different business, like last week was a car wash, and there was a laundromat and others this one guy I just listened to, he was talking about, basically selling ideas for improving things like, anything like a broom, a better broom, or a better [01:00:00] cup holder for a pram, all these kind of little ideas.

Whatever it is, my wife knows, because I go to the gym, and I put the earbuds in, and I listen to Side Hustle Nation, and she knows when I’ve been listening, because I come home straight away, and I’m onto the computer, looking at the tools that they recommended, and I can see that I can use in my own business.

Captain Fi: So how do you delineate then between, some of these dodgy get rich quick schemes and something that’s a legitimate side hustle?

Phil: Well, again, that podcast Side Hustle Nation, you understand what’s involved in so many different kinds of businesses that you can then, again, it’s like educating yourself in finance.

You can look at a get rich quick scheme and realize which ones are the bodgie ones and which ones might be worth following. And again, it’s that old thing, who benefits? Look at anything and ask the question, who benefits out of this? Show me the

Captain Fi: incentive. I’ll show you the outcome. One of my favourite quotes, Charlie Munger.

Phil: Yeah. I think even the ancient Romans had it, was it qui bono is the phrase they use, which is who [01:01:00] benefits? Ask that question. In any situation.

Captain Fi: Yeah, definitely important to, and I think I’ve probably taken it a bit too far. I’ve been very cynical and distrusting in the past. I think it’s just part of my education as an engineer and working as a pilot you tend to be very dubious of everything.

Just because it’s your job to kind of keep the wheels on the bus, so to speak. But yeah, education’s so important. Now, Phil, something that’s kind of entertaining that happened a while ago but it’s, I think it’s worth bringing up, the GameStop saga. And it’s something that you’ve talked about before.

I’d love to hear your take on it. So what was it and what happened??

Phil: Well, the whole story is that there was a Reddit, which you’ve most probably heard about. There was , this group on Reddit who realized that you could affect the price of a stock by ganging up together and buying that stock.

And I don’t want to go into the weeds too much about shorting, but there’s very easy ways to see which companies on share markets are [01:02:00] shorted. And what happens is if the price of a stock that’s overly shorted starts going up, it becomes like an accelerant that adds fuel to the fire.

And all of the short positions have to cover themselves and they have to buy the stock. To get out of their positions, which then , accelerates the upward momentum in the stock. And they got together and said, game stop. It’s very shorted. It’s a very old school company selling video games on the high street.

No one’s interested in it. There’s all these. hedge funds who are shorting it. If we start buying it, the price of it will go up, which is exactly what happened. And they saw it as a revolution. The Redditors saw it that this was a revolution against Wall Street. But what they didn’t realize, and I think one or two hedge funds, Did go down, but generally Wall Street ended up making shit loads of money out of this.

And the reason being is that Wall Street is very good at clipping the ticket as people buy and [01:03:00] sell or do any kinds of transactions within the industry. And I’ll preface this by saying that I found all this out from one of my interviewees, Spencer Jacob from the Wall Street Journal, who wrote a book about this and how it was the revolution that wasn’t, and his position was, is that there’s a lot of people who lost money, who thought that they were going to make money because, as you’re buying up and up, when it turns down, you lose money as it goes down.

And also that Wall Street still won because the increase in transactions just means that Wall Street wins in the end. Anyway, CU Cue bono. Yep. That’s right.

Captain Fi: Some might say that it’s rigged, but it was definitely very entertaining to watch. Yeah. And what was the other one? AMC. It’s AMC, right?

Phil: Yeah. The AMC was another one of those as well. And I think they’ve tried it with a couple of times since then interestingly, this is the kind of behavior that has been going on. On Wall Street for decades anyway, in the industry it just felt like that because of the power of the [01:04:00] internet and the power of social networking, that people being able to get together and do this felt that like they were taking power away from Wall Street, but it never happens in the end.

They always win in the end.

Captain Fi: Yes, the house always wins. I mean, isn’t that just a sort of fancy way of saying market manipulation?

Phil: Yes, of course it is. Yeah. But it was never, even though they had an investigation into it, the SEC had an investigation into it. They weren’t able to prove market manipulation in that case.

Captain Fi: Oh, there you go. Cause interesting. We were kind of talking about social media and get rich quick schemes before, and I see it all the time. You see people like trying to pump certain stocks and yeah, it’s really interesting, I guess I’m going to remember what you said that Q Bono and just think, or

why are people pumping something? Why are people trying to promote something? And if you can kind of understand what their motivations are and maybe what

Phil: their financial benefits. That’s it. It’s so important to understand other people’s motivations. It’s so important to understand that. Yeah. And just be, have confidence in yourself.

Again, it’s looking at yourself taking a [01:05:00] good, long, hard look at yourself. And Understanding what’s good for you, because, most people are nice people and we’re easily pushed around by especially fast talking salespeople or even just people who impose their own confidence on us.

And, like you said, we’re, most of us are Suffering from some kind of imposter syndrome. Really focus, especially when you’re young and you don’t understand what you need. You’ve got to have confidence in yourself and confidence in your own ideas. And confidence that you want to look after yourself and what’s best for you.

Captain Fi: Yeah, , my grandpa used to have a funny saying. Self o, best o, bugger all the rest o.

There’s a bit of a joke. He was, Scottish. He was a very frugal man self funded retiree left a legacy for his kids, which was awesome. Really smart man. But yeah, I guess he was just, what he was saying is, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so. Focus on, improving your financial wellbeing, then you can help

Phil: others.

Yeah, just focus on yourself. Have the confidence to [01:06:00] focus on yourself and have the confidence to, and it’s hard. You can’t impose confidence. You just can’t say, be confident. But, look at all the bullshit artists out there who have got so much confidence and nothing to back it up. There’s got to be a balance in between and you can’t just let yourself be steamrolled by those who’ve got more upfront confidence.

Captain Fi: I think if you go and do the self education, you start reading, you start listening just start small and that’s why I actually really liked the micro investing tools because you can really just start by dipping a toe. And I always thought that competence builds confidence.

So in aviation, a lot of us do fall for that , imposter syndrome and it can be. Quite frankly, terrifying to realize, Oh, I’m in charge of this multi million dollar aircraft. And

Phil: not to mention the lives

Captain Fi: aboard. Yeah, exactly. Your first time carrying passengers, it’s a big responsibility, but I guess you gradually, you build up, it’s like an iterative cycle.

You start small under , the guidance and mentorship of your [01:07:00] instructors and your career mentors, and you slowly build it up. So, I think it’s important to just start small, just get going with education and surround yourself with smart people who want to help you.

And yeah, I think, I like to usually finish up an interview. Phil by, by asking someone, for their top pieces of financial advice. But I think we’ve really just hit on it there.

Phil: Yeah, but again, I just wanted to reiterate that again, it’s looking back over. The vast number of years I’ve lived and talking to most probably people who are a bit younger than me is to surround yourself with good people and good friends.

Captain Fi: Phil, it’s been awesome chatting today. Really appreciate your time this morning. Before we finish up, is there anything you’d like to mention before that we’ve missed? And also where can listeners find out about your podcasts and contact you?

Phil: If you go into your podcast player and type in shares, , and then space, mine will be the first one that comes up, shares for beginners. I’ve also got a website, which I’m slowly trying to build up and turning into much [01:08:00] more of a resource and that’s sharesforbeginners. com. And in my episode notes, I’ve got a link tree as well, and I can provide you with a link tree as well to give you all of my.

Social links as well, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. I guess my favourite is Twitter. So that’s where you’ll find me most of the time. But I just wanted to say I mean, I feel honoured that you want to talk to me, and this is what’s been so good about. the change in my life that’s happened with making the podcasts, that I can talk to so many people and be the social guy that I am.

And especially talking about things in industries where I’ve never had expertise in the past. So don’t listen to a word I say, listen to my guests and hope you enjoy the podcast.

Captain Fi: Awesome, mate. Well, it’s been bloody awesome chatting to you. I think you’ve just got so much to you as well. Yeah. Yeah, man.

You’ve just got so much value to pass on. So, anyone wanna check out Phil’s shows? Jump onto the Captain FI website in the show notes. I have links to all of Phil’s podcast and social media and as [01:09:00] he said, Twitter is the best place to get in touch. Phil, been an absolute blast, mate. Have a cracking day.

We’ll chat again soon.

Phil: Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s been great chatting with you.

Captain Fi: Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain Fi Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcripts or check out the show notes, Head over to www. captainfire. com for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves.

You can reach me online through the Captain Fire contact form. Or, get in touch through the socials. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram, as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally, remember, the information presented on the show and the links provided are for general information purposes only.

They should not be taken as [01:10:00] constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance.

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