My guest today is Scott Phillips – a Sydney based investor with over 20 years experience. Scott holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma of Accounting but is most famous for his role as Chief Investment Officer of The Motley Fool Australia. This is a monster episode where we dive deep into many different areas of investing.
Some of the topics we cover are:
- Where does it all begin with Scott Phillips and finance? (00:05:10)
- How and when did Scott start investing? (00:14:31)
- What does Scott invest in these days and what is his investing style/philosophy? (00:16:30)
- Is there a significant difference between getting income from dividends or selling down shares? (00:26:48)
- How do you identify a good company and what methods do you use? (00:31:43)
- Structuring investments for children. (00:35:57)
- Was financial independence ever a goal for Scott? (0038:51)
- What does Scott make of this low-interest-rate world we are currently living in? (00:51:02)
- Does Scott think Australia is in a housing bubble? (00:54:20)
- What are Scott’s thoughts on Cryptocurrency and NFT’s? (01:06:34)
Was absolutely fantastic to listen to Scott and yourself on this podcast. Scott’s perspective on things was great to listen too.
I thought I had the pod playing on double speed because Scott speaks so fast haha! Great pod as always 👍🏻
Thanks Nick. And just think of how much extra great content we packed into that time 😉
Brilliant podcast ep mate – really enjoyed it. The part I enjoyed most was actually the last bit where Scott did a bit of hand wringing about the marketing strategy. I accept that what he said was probably factually correct but I still find it odd that a company would be willing to accept the reputational hit of being widely thought of as spammers and shonks to ultimately sell their products to more people. It seems un-Australian TBH and I’ve often said they have imported a US marketing model without allowing for cultural differences.
I’ve been a member of a couple of their services for five years and know they do quality research which translated into a good, long term track record of out-performance but the customer relations frustrates the hell out of me. If you think the click baity stuff you see in targeted ads is bad, you should see the email campaigns that go out to existing members about new services. They are literally a dozen or more successive spammy, FOMO geared walls of text full of emotive appeals and deadline warnings.
I came to a similar conclusion. From my research, they seem to honestly be trying to help investors but the marketing is wack!
Thanks Steve. Kind of you to say. Part of me wants to believe there is a better way, but the other part of me knows that, as I said, we’ve tried most of ’em, to modest success, relative to our current approach. I don’t know the answer, but I’m also grateful that I work for a company that lets me answer those questions honestly rather than being told to spin them! Thanks for the feedback, too — I’ll pass it on.
Great ep AFB! Really enjoyed Scott’s perspective and learning a bit more about Motley Fool too. I’ve always thought of them along the spammy FOMO lines too!
Thanks James. You’re not alone, unfortunately, but thanks for the kind words.
Hi AFB, I’m an Australian Dad (49yrs old) with wife and 3 kids under 10 living overseas. Love what you do and wish I found you years ago. Really enjoyed your pod cast with Scott Phillips. His thoughts around investing in general but for his kids also, has cemented what I need to do. Invest in my name for the kids, change ownership at 18 plus, but pay the tax until then. Also, another positive plug for Pearler. Your discussion about Crypto though and Scott’s comments did frustrate me. I thought he was seriously uninformed. There has been no deep dive into the area whatsoever. He should’ve just said ‘I don’’t know, I have no idea’. Scott’s beliefs echoed old Charlie Munger and he should’ve just repeated, ‘rat poison squared’. I cannot even spell IT, CRYPTO or, MATH, but have at least looked into this investable asset class which may or may not be valued at multiple trillions of dollars.
With the greatest respect and for your own knowledge, could Scott and yourself please read the first page of chapter 3 called The Evolution Of Money from the book, The Bullish Case For Bitcoin. That four point explanation of money completely changed my thinking of money quite dramatically. I am a total btc and BTC believer. My kids own it have no idea about it, but will be thankful for it later in life. Again, love what you share with the world, keep on keeping on.
Apologies for the length of my comment.
Thanks for the comment Jud,
I have actually read that book and I even had Vijay (the author) on the podcast a few episodes ago!
I’m more open to Bitcoin than most but I always like to hear other peoples thoughts and opinions on the matter. It’s all just a light-hearted chat at the end of the day and I don’t think Scott would ever say he’s an expert.
G’day Jud. I hear all that. And, as AFB said separately, I don’t claim absolute expertise. The problem is that it’s impossible to know how relevant bitcoin will be in X years’ time *and* how much they’ll be changing hands for. And because there’s no profit/dividend/income stream, we can’t use that, either.
We’re left with ‘maybe people will love the hell out of it and pay lots more or maybe they won’t’.
That makes it speculative, rather than investment-grade in my book. Which is fine, and you (and anyone else) are welcome to speculate, but if I don’t have a probabalistic basis for valuation, I can’t call it an investment.
Maybe your worldview becomes the dominant one. Maybe not. Remember, I’m not a hater — I just can’t with any confidence assign probabilities to the range of outcomes, so I can’t recommend it as an investment.
That probably sums it up for lots of us… there’s no income stream from BTC and no reliable way to price it other than greater fool theory. Someone will be right and someone will be wrong. Till we know which is which, I’m happy to sit on the sidelines. Whether you get rich slowly or quickly, the destination is still the same.
I used to subscribe (no longer as went with Managed funds and LICs)…but the click bait really annoyed me
Thanks for giving us a go, David. Sorry it wasn’t for you (and for the emails!) but thanks for listening to the episode.
Great Pod, I really enjoyed listening to you and Scott, he has a wealth of knowledge. Keep up the good work guys.
Thanks Marco. A great interviewer helps! Thanks for listening.
What a great interview. I really enjoyed this. I am so put off the Fool due to their marketing style, but really enjoyed listening to Scott’s views that I would normally not have an opportunity to hear. I was previously a member of fool many years ago… Thanks for making this happen.
Thanks Greg — I appreciate it! Sorry it’s not for you, but glad you enjoyed the episode!
One of the best Podcasts..thanks for taking him to task on the clickbait advertising but his response was pretty impressive. Gotto respect him.
Says what he thinks and not some pre-prepared corporate PR mumbo jumbo. That’s what I like about Scott!
Oof… taking me to task? 😉
Thanks for the kind words. Appreciate you listening and taking the time to post. I’m fortunate to work for a company that lets me give straight answers, too, for what it’s worth.
Scott, I appreciate the reply to myself and everyone else – kudos. I respect your position. Maybe it was the red wine or my eternal optimism, maybe both but for some reason I have become quite passionate about this topic. You are absolutely correct though, it is highly speculative. But, I believe (obviously) that everyone should at least go through the process and buy $100 worth, just find out what it is and experience a new form of money which has never happened in our life times. Also as an aside, the network itself may become more important than the coin some day.
BTW, my brother is a massive fan and has been with the Motley Fool for quite a number of years. Suffice to say we squared off over the phone as well.
Anyway, thanks again for your reply. Unexpected but appreciated, I will pipe down now.
Thanks for a super informative podcast. Have been binging on past episodes and this is my favourite so far. Great questions and Scott’s answers were magnificent. I get frustrated with people that speak slowly so loved the volume of info covered.
That was awesome to hear my two favourite Aussie pod-casters in the same podcast! It was like two superheros from different studios appearing in the same movie (too much?).
By the way I’ve been a happy Motley Fool subscriber for about 10 years and always felt that the marketing devalued their great offering so it was great to hear Scott’s response (and also his follow up response on his own pod cast too).
Well done to both.