DAVID SCOLLON | MISSION: PO$$IBLE
DAVID SCOLLON | MISSION: PO$$IBLE
My guest today believes that the tools and levers to enable personal finance have never been better, simpler, cheaper or more accessible, particularly here in Australia. David Scollon joined me for this episode to speak his book Mission Po$$ible, a little about his day job, some anecdotes and more about the four steps to achieving financial independence.
DAVID SCOLLON has spent twenty-five years in the financial industry and recognises the complexities and challenges people face with personal finances. In Mission: Possible, he demystifies the topic to help people manage their money.
He holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Foundation Diploma in Financial Planning, and a Master of Business Administration.
"From a finance perspective we forget that when we start out, we leave home and we feel like we're at our poorest and we forget that we have the biggest asset, the ability to earn an income and it's pretty powerful and it's worth millions. And the book goes through why it's worth millions and it's just important to be utilizing, kicking off, earning a good income. Initially sometimes you just gotta take whatever jobs that are coming to start kickstart that earning ability."
David works as a Senior Consultant at JANA Investment Advisers. JANA helps organisations (including super funds, charities, universities, endowments, large adviser businesses) navigate the complexity of investing, so that we, as individuals, don’t have to.
He has pursued various endeavours outside his career, including sports, extensive travel, and volunteering in Africa, India and First Nations communities.
David lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.
"We know Isaac Newton as being pretty smart guy. I think he's rated as I thinks top five smartest of all time. But he excelled in the field of physics where there's reliable rules. Then when you switch into investing, there's not fully reliable rules. It's a chaotic system because humans are involved and when humans are involved there's emotion...
There's this great story about the South Sea company in the early 17 hundreds where it received so much attention, it wasn't earning any revenue, but there was a real mania about it because of the opportunity down the track and he invested in it and he got out and he made a hundred percent profit.
And then he watched it continue to go up higher and higher and he had this massive dose of FOMO. So he got back in at the peak, and it just collapsed and he lost all his original money or profits and it absolutely, totally upset him. Apparently no one could mention South Sea Company in his presence. His supposed quote was that he can calculate the, the movements of heavenly bodies of stars, but he can't calculate the madness of people."
TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS AFTER THIS BRIEF MESSAGE
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Shares for Beginners.
And I tell the story of, there was a professor 3000 kilometers away in Colorado who was particularly shocked because it was a guy called Professor Steven Greenspan, who had just published a book on avoiding scams. And what shocked him when was the fact that he was actually invested in, in Bernie Madoff scheme. And so with, with great humor, he, he wrote a, an article later saying, How I got Scammed by Bernie Madoff. So it's, and I, I throw that story in because it just shows that as humans, we, we are vulnerable to these things, even the people that are experts on it.
Gday and welcome back to Shares for Beginners. I'm Phil Muscatello. My guest today believes that the tools and levers to enable personal finance have never been better, simpler, cheaper, or more accessible, which we cover a lot here on the podcast. And we just wanted to hammer that point home, particularly here in Australia. G'day, David. Welcome to the podcast
David (1m 3s):
Phil. Good to be here.
Phil (1m 4s):
So David Scollan has spent 25 years in the finance industry and recognizes the challenges people face with personal money management. He's just published his book Mission Possible Four Steps to Financial Independence on Any Income. But we also just wanted to focus a little bit about your day job because like all of us, we've got a day job as well. And you're an asset consultant with Jana. Jana, is that how it's pronounced? That's right. Jana Investment Advisors. So tell us what's an asset consultant do?
David (1m 33s):
An asset consultant basically helps the big institutions that are investing money on behalf of millions of people. So like insurance companies, Super Superfund's, Charities, endowments. Yeah. And we help them with everything to do with the investing side. So just like a financial planner helps an individual, or mums and dads, asset consultants help the big institutions that are investing money and across lots of different things. So regarding different asset classes where to be investing the money within the asset classes, different managers and also thematics like sustainability and, and regulation. So yeah, so it's, it's interesting. So I I that's I, interesting.
David (2m 13s):
I've been in both the institutional world now, but have also been in the retail world initially as a financial planner, which has really helped form the book.
Phil (2m 23s):
So, So this is like a financial planner for big institutions, Is that kind of how it works?
David (2m 28s):
Yeah, exactly. In a way, yeah. Except with the focus on the investing side,
Phil (2m 31s):
When I think of asset consulting, I kind of think, well, it seems to imply in my mind that it's asset allocation and also definition of, of those assets. Although I'm assuming you don't need to define those, the assets to the big institutions, but is it like allocation where, where which yeah. Part of the funds are gonna be allocated where,
David (2m 51s):
Yeah. Yeah. So that's, that's a big element. So we call it like, one acronym is strategic asset allocation. So SAA and that's where, you know, across all the different asset classes, like, you know, equity, so global and Australian equities, property, infrastructure, fixed income, private equity currency. So we help the institutions look at their SAA and, and different allocations over time and how to be adjusting
Phil (3m 20s):
On behalf of people who are most probably listening to this podcast as well.
David (3m 23s):
Yeah, that's right. So the end, the end beneficiaries of our clients are just everyday people in the street.
Phil (3m 29s):
So tell us about the book and how it's going. You've had some good feedback, I believe.
David (3m 33s):
Yeah. You know, the book's been great. It's a really interesting process to go through writing a book and someone who had never thought of writing one. But, you know, I, I spoke to my boss a couple years ago and just said how I would like to have a shot at it. Just knowing the challenges regarding personal finance and having been, both retail and the institutional side. And you learn from both sides. And I guess being really, I guess, frustrated in some cases and sad some in some cases, seeing, you know, people being pushed down the wrong direction through bad information or some people being scammed. And I thought, well, rather than sort of just whinge about it or, or and complain, do something about it.
David (4m 15s):
And I thought book's the right medium in terms of being a nice balance. It's a few hours read for a lifelong topic, important topic and a good balance between, you know, a 30 second TikTok video and, and years of formal study. So, so that's why I wrote the book. Yeah.
Phil (4m 32s):
So look, I didn't actually put this in the questions, but I, I forgot to ask and I wanna ask you about your running career and especially altitude running and what you did in the Sydney Olympics. Just quick, just quickly go through that for us please. That's cuz that's a great story.
David (4m 45s):
Yeah, yeah, sure. I mean the book kicks off a 2,400 meters altitude in the Rift Valley and talks about the, the Kalenjin people in the Rift Valley in Kenya where you have arguably the most concentrated sources source of elite athletes in the world, in this case middle distance running. And I tell the story because it's a, it's a good lesson in terms of, you know, realizing that things like, well sport comes down to balancing a few factors rather than trying to find the secret to one, you know, one secret. And likewise with, when it comes to personal finance and financial independence, rather than relying on one secret thing, like just being a investment guru or just earning a big income or saving everything you've got.
David (5m 30s):
It's actually a balance of lots of things now. And that's, and that's where the, your question about my sporting career, and I'll use that word carefully, but I got there because I was, had this sort of, I gave this challenge to myself to try and get to the Olympics and I had, I wanna be super clear, I actually didn't get there, but I remember being in Circular Quay when Sydney Olympics was announced and I thought it was seven, so it was 1993 and I thought, I'm gonna go for, you know, I've got seven years to train for it. I'd catch a bus out to the, to the final if I get there. And, and I went on this challenge and it fell short. I I went to the trials four weeks before the Olympics started, but it was an amazing journey and included getting to the Rift Valley and training at the national training camp with the Kenyans.
Phil (6m 12s):
Yeah, there's plenty of sporting analogies in this business, isn't it? Yeah. So let's go through the four steps. Take us through the four steps of the
David (6m 19s):
Book. Yeah, so I mean the subtitle of the book is, you know, Four Steps to Financial Independence. So the four steps are earn more than you spend and then invest the rest Well over
Phil (6m 29s):
Time. It's not Spend Less than You Earn.
David (6m 31s):
Phil (6m 32s):
I know that's a, that's a subtle difference, isn't it? Yeah,
David (6m 34s):
Yeah. I, I, I wanted, cause I wanna be, you know, it's more positive in terms just if you, if you really wanna spend, just make sure earning more than than what you're spending.
Phil (6m 42s):
Sorry, I derailed you there.
David (6m 43s):
Yeah, no, no problem. And then step three is plan for property, which, you know, I wish it wasn't there, but in Australia, just the nature of the property market here and the cost of it that we do need to plan for it. And then step four is cover risks, which sounds a bit boring, but you can do all the best things in the world, but if something unexpected happens it can bring your whole work and effort undone. So that's why I cover that and you know, I call it the world's shortest and simplest, financial plan, you know, cause it's so short 16 words and happy to, you know, happy to go through the steps or you know, as you see
Phil (7m 17s):
Fit. Yeah, let's go through the steps one by one.
David (7m 19s):
Yeah, yeah, sure. So earn more than you spend. Well you gotta include earning cause that's our, our ability to earn is our biggest asset, our biggest lifetime asset is our ability to earn
Phil (7m 29s):
Income. Because in the book you actually describe how much you are worth as an asset and most people don't think of them themselves as an asset class really. Do they? Yeah,
David (7m 36s):
I mean it's a little bit corny way look at things, but you know, from a finance perspective we forget that, you know, when we start out and you know, we leave home and we starting out and we feel like we're at our poorest and we forget that we have the biggest asset, the ability to earn an income and it's, it's pretty powerful and it's worth millions. And the book goes through why it's worth millions and it's just important to be utilizing. So, you know, kicking off, earning a good income. I'll talk about, you know, I, I like the ideal of, you know, doing something we love and you never work a day of your life, but initially sometimes you just gotta take, you know, whatever jobs that are coming to start kickstart that, that earning ability.
David (8m 16s):
And then step one part of it is, you know, earn more than you spend. And that's important because you need to be, while we can earn, now that comes as a, we call it human capital or sweat capital, our ability to earn. But the reality is that at some stage we can no longer sweat. Meaning that people don't want our sweat cuz we're not adding value that people want later on in life. We may not want to sweat our sweat, no may no longer be valuable. And so we just need to diversify away from our reliance on earning and that's why the, we need to be saving a little bit. So spending less than we earn. And then the second step is funneling that savings into investments and there's a distinction there cause it's invest well and the book goes through investing well as opposed to just investing.
David (9m 2s):
And then the other important element is over time, because you know, investing well over a month is, is fantastic, but it's a little consequence we just need to string you know, year after year after year, which is doable, absolutely doable. But we need to do that over time cuz that's when the big advantages kick in. Step three you know, I mention it, I wish it wasn't there planning for property, but in Australia we do need to plan for it. And there's a lot of, there's actually some good tools out there in terms of to help us, you know, there's lots of different government initiatives. Even in the last budget there was some, you know, a lot of focus on, you know, making affordable housing, which they, the government realized they needed to put a lot more effort into that.
David (9m 43s):
And then step four, as I mentioned, covering risk. So there's two elements of that, the covering risk, there's a short smaller risk that can happen, like when we least expect it could be broken down car or a, we're gonna replace computers or fridges and stuff like that and we need to be ready for those through emergency funds. And then there's the bigger risks that can have long-term impact, like, you know, not being able to work earlier while we've still got career in us. And that can be really devastating. So, and then also ensuring big assets as well because big expenses can absolutely throw your, your financial planning out and hence, hence the chapter on that. And then the book wraps up with the fifth section, which just brings it all together and talks a little bit more about sort of, I guess the mindset as well around money.
Phil (10m 28s):
So this is the kind of thing that someone going to a financial planner would be discussing or hopefully would be discussing with a financial planner. But do you believe that they're actually getting this kind of good distilled wisdom or they just looking for an answer and say, Okay, well I just hand everything over to you, look after us.
David (10m 45s):
Yeah, great question. I do, you know, there's, well there's, there's a few things in that firstly, you know, advice is great and, but it's, it's gonna be harder to come by because a lot of advisors have left the industry for all different reasons.
Phil (10m 56s):
I can't believe it's, I think it's less than 15,000 advisors for the whole of Australia
David (10m 60s):
At this point in, in time. Yeah, yeah. I mean I know a lot of advisors and, and you know, they've got waiting lists and they just can't see everyone. So the book in a way prepares people for later in life when they need, you know, things are more complicated and they want to go and see a planner. In some ways the book sets them up so that when they see a planner, that the planner doesn't have to go and deal with the more fundamental things, you know, that you're aware of what you're spending, you know, you're aware of what your, where your super is. And I liken it to a Sherpa, like, you know, if you're climbing to Everest and you're starting from, from sea level initially, you don't need a Sherpa. I mean you just do the work yourself. You do, you know, you read the book and you, you do the work yourself and at some stage things become more complicated or difficult and you need a guide in an advisor, but you don't necessarily need it the whole way.
Phil (11m 48s):
You had to get permission from friends of the podcast Warren and Charlie, we know who we're talking about there for Is that for quotes in the book, was that why you had to get in touch or what was the story?
David (11m 59s):
Yeah, do you know I was total novice to writing a book, but the, the rules in Australia, the copyright rules are, are really strict relative to some other countries. Yeah. And so you need to write out to every person get permission and in certain format to get permission. And I got was about over 20 to write out to Gloria Steinem, Jim Carey, the producer Kenny and also Warren and Charlie. I could get through everyone through either social media or get their email address, but you can't get Warren and Charlie's, in fact if everyone, if any of your audience wanna go and check out Berkshire Hathaway's website, it's something like something from the nineties and I just couldn't find an email address. So I found the address in Omaha, Nebraska.
David (12m 41s):
And so I had to go and get a stamp, an old school, you know, snail mail and write out and I, it was during covid and I didn't know if I'm gonna hear back from them, but I got an email from Warren's assistant who was lovely and we sorted Warren out, but I was told that I need to write a personal letter to Charlie who's in California. So, and I said, Listen, can you gimme an email address otherwise this is gonna take months going back and forth. And finally
Phil (13m 3s):
You should have had some copy paper in between and since when you were typing it out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you could have two copies at once, you know, Oh my old the old copy and paste. Yeah.
David (13m 11s):
My old typewriter. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. But so finally got, got permissions and Joe and I, the person I couldn't get was Jim Carey couldn't track him down and I'd love to and I'm still in the hunt, so, So watch out Jim.
Phil (13m 29s):
So you focus on some of the mistaken beliefs that hold people back. What are the three common investing fallacies?
David (13m 35s):
Yeah, so I include, there's a whole chapter on Invest 101 which deals with the fallacies and I threw them in because I've mentioned that investing is such an important element. And so the three and, and I wanted to ensure that anyone that didn't feel comfortable wasn't investing to, to get over some of the typical misunderstandings. And it's, the first one is investing is easy. And I used Charlie Munger's quote, he's got a great quote, he's in his late nineties now and, and you know, Warren Buffet's partner and he's a pretty blunt sort of person and he said the quote is, you know, anyone that thinks investing is easy is stupid. And I put that out there because it's arguably the most competitive field in the world and maybe your audience can write in and you know, test that and suggest other competitive fields.
David (14m 21s):
But you know, from what I, and I get to see these smarts that come and visit in our office cuz investing attracts the smarts. You know, money attracts smarts. It's a real challenge and, and intellectual challenge. And so it attracts lots of smart people and I wanted to, I guess put that in there in, I use the analogy, it's like trying to getting on a horse thinking it's a, a Shetland docile Shetland pony, but you're getting on a wild brumbie. And while Brumbies can be great, they can take you long distances. It can be be hell of a ride, but if you're thinking you're getting on a Shetland pony, you're gonna be thrown off straight away and it could be a lifelong injury and you'll never get back on. So I wanted to deal with that fallacy.
David (15m 1s):
The second is that investing is not for me. And I throw in lots of different excuses that people have. Like I don't have the background, I don't have the smarts. It's too complicated, it's too confusing, it's too boring.
Phil (15m 11s):
It's only for rich people.
David (15m 12s):
It's only for rich people. And I tried to, I think I tried to think of everything because we happen to live in a time when the excuse is no longer irrelevant and we can throw out a lot of the complexity. So it doesn't matter about your background, you can invest in fact people are investing through their super. And then the third one is that investing is too hard. And I wanted to deal with that because to my earlier point that we live in a time where you can throw away a lot of the complexity and so investing is more accessible. And I think you're opening line, you know, that I mentioned is more accessible, never been cheaper, more accessible, easier and more effective.
Phil (15m 49s):
So someone coming to markets for the first time or coming to investing for the first time, where would you suggest they start? Especially if they haven't got a lot of money.
David (15m 56s):
Yeah. Well and I wanna, it's interesting what you said coming to investments for the first time. One thing I wanna point out, because I spoke to a lot of young people who had read the book and a lot of 'em said, Oh, we're not investors. I said, Well, are you in superannuation? And they were, and I said, well you're an investor. And, and I make that point clearly because people can spend, you know, years thinking I'm not investor when they are. It's interesting that we're in a situation because of the Australian super system that teenagers who are working and starting to earn super often accessing a far more sophisticated investor than often than their parents or even so-called sophisticated investors, like the formal definition of a sophisticated investor.
David (16m 40s):
And the amazing thing is that neither the, the teenager, the parents or the sophisticated investors actually know this. And so just wanted to throw that out there. No, no,
Phil (16m 49s):
It's, it's a good, it's actually a good point because that's a thing is we are all investors and it's good to, to look at super that way because I, I think it just changes your mindset when you realize, well, okay, maybe I am an investor and that's what a lot of people just need to have that little switch thrown.
David (17m 5s):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, you know, people go, Oh, I'm not invested in property. Well actually you are through super, I'm not invested in blockchain technology while you are through super. Cuz a lot of the big organizations are taking on this, using this technology. Some are invested in some form of private equity that we as individuals could never access, we're invested in infras infrastructure projects that none of us could access, even the wealthiest individuals in Australia couldn't access. And so,
Phil (17m 31s):
And I think it's also valuable for, for them to understand that these are what are called asset classes and what these asset classes mean and Yeah. You know, hopefully they will move not in tandem with each other Yes. During market ups and downs.
David (17m 43s):
Yeah. And that's the, the job of the portfolio managers and the chief investment officers to be working all that complexity out on our behalf. And I meet these people and they're super
Phil (17m 52s):
Smart. And you're consulting with them as
David (17m 54s):
Well. Yeah, I am. And, and you know, we get to see the smarts, which is real advantage, you know, to, to have comfort of how that is being invested, doing, accessing stuff that I can't as an individual access. But there's also a chapter investing outside of super, you know, these days we've gotta be careful in terms of pushing people in certain product directions. Yeah. But I I, I go through the different main investment classes and talk about ETFs in terms of, you asked about the starting point, you know, ETFs is a innovation that people from a few generations ago couldn't even even imagined. And it's allowing us to access thousands of different investments and not having to do any of the research or the complexity is taken care of by the provider and we access it for a few cents, every hundred dollars.
David (18m 42s):
And you may have spoken on podcasts about the, the core satellite concept where, you know, you have a core investment and then outside of that, if you want to, you don't have to, you have little investments. So going back to your question, a core outside of super ETFs, you know, everyone would advocate anyone with, you know, good knowledge advocates it, Warren Buffet, you know, he says,
Phil (19m 6s):
Well, certain types of ETFs, let's say, be clear about this.
David (19m 10s):
Yeah, thanks Phil. So I'm talking about index ETS as a core, so index ets, which, and the reason why I say that is there's transparency, you know, what you're investing in and they're well known providers that are reliable and so Yeah, yeah, good, good distinction. But you know, Warren Buffet talks about it, you know, if you, if you're not interested, unless you're super interested in, in Berkshire Hathaway, he keeps saying index ETFs.
Phil (19m 35s):
So I love the part about Isaac Newton, I'm a big fan of physics and you know, he was the inventor, I guess the, he defined classical physics and he revolutionized optics and, but he was, he was a good investor. He was also a, you know, he was a tax collector as
David (19m 51s):
Well. Didn't know that I
Phil (19m 52s):
Should. Yeah, apparently if you look into Isaac Newton, he loved collecting taxes. I mean, and he was an alchemist as well. So
David (19m 59s):
Yeah, I I mean an interesting character.
Phil (20m 1s):
An interesting character. But he was a good investor and then he wasn't a good investor. Tell us that story.
David (20m 5s):
Yeah, yeah, I threw that in there because, you know, we know him as being pretty smart guy. I think he's rated as I thinks top five smartest of all time. But he, he excelled in the field of physics where, you know, there's reliable rules in physics and then when you switch into investing, there's not fully reliable rules cuz it's a chaotic system because humans are involved and when humans are involved as emotion. And so while he had his iq, you know, very high iq, he wasn't prepared on the emotional side. I think with the investing, I didn't get to interview him on it, but, but he, you know, there's this great story about the South Sea company. So in 17, in the early 17 hundreds where it, it received so much attention, it wasn't earning any revenue, but there was a real mania about it because of the, the, the opportunity down the track.
David (20m 53s):
And he invested in it and he saw that people were just pushing the price up and he got out and he made a hundred percent profit, so millions apparently in today's dollars. And then he watched it continue to go up higher and higher and he had this massive dose of, of fomo of missing out. And so he got back in and he got back in at the peak and then it just collapsed and he lost all his original money or profits and it absolutely, totally upset him. Apparently no one could mention South Sea Company in his, in his presence. And it's where I think the phrase or his supposed quote was that, you know, he can calculate the, the movements of heavenly bodies of stars, but he can't calculate the madness of people.
David (21m 32s):
And so it scarred him for the rest of his life that, that one investment.
Phil (21m 36s):
So this kind of leads into compounding really, because you describe it as the most powerful force in the, in the universe or others have called it the most powerful force in the universe. So tell us about compounding.
David (21m 47s):
Yeah, yeah. So I, again, I throw that in as well because it is such an important element to investing. And the interesting thing about compounding is that it's just not intuitive. Like for the, even the smartest of people, it's not intuitive because it's power. And when we talk about compounding, we're referring to on a finance sense, the earning of, on your principle, on your original investment earnings on that plus earnings on the principle and the earnings and the earnings year after year after year, which compounds and becomes, you know, the most powerful force in the universe. And you know, I tell a story about a king and a servant and a chess board and a grain of wheat. And it tells a story about how the servant saved the king's son's only son's life.
David (22m 30s):
And the king was eternally grateful and said, you know, you can have whatever reward you want for saving my son's life. And this servant pretty cluey guy, he thought he was suspicious about the king's ability to actually back up on and agree to a request. So he said, Listen, all I want is a chess board and some rice, sorry, wheat to fill the, the chess board with wheat. And the king thought, well, you know what a what a foolish servant, I've got no wonder I'm king and he's a servant. And he said, Absolutely, I'll, I'll deliver on your, your request. So he handed it over and the servant said, No, I, I want you to, to fill it out. All I want you to do is put a grain of wheat on the first square and double every subsequent squares over the 64 squares.
David (23m 14s):
And the king said, Sure, you got another servant to do, dish it out. And the king was thinking, you know, again, how foolish my servant. But then at some stage into the fourth row or the fifth row, he started to realize actually this is gonna be a lot of weight. And then he realized there's not enough wheat in his whole kingdom to deliver on this request. And the figures are, so it's the total grains of wheat is 16 and a half thousand quadrillion grains of wheat. So a 20 digit figure. And it just exemplify, it's a, it's a story that exemplifies that it's not obvious. And I related the 64 squares to our long-term investing and that if you've been investing for the first row for the first eight years, it's not gonna feel significant.
David (23m 60s):
It's guaranteed not to feel significant even in the next eight years, even the next. And so just be patient with it, put the money in and let it do its work. And to really try and dissuade people from getting frustrated and starting off refresh on square one, just let it do its work and, and, and the magic kicks in.
Phil (24m 19s):
So have you got any stories? The books full of lots of great stories and anecdotes. Share a couple of your favorite ones.
David (24m 25s):
Yeah, I mean I threw lots just to, you know, personal finance can be sometimes dull, but actually there's, there's heaps of, there's amazing stories when it comes to money and we're actually seeing a lot of them pop up in, you know, in documentaries and series on Netflix. You know, you've got the Tinder Swindler, the Fire Festival that never happened, Anna Sorokin of Inventing Ana fame. So there's lots of great stories and, and I threw some of them in the book. One of the interesting ones was I speak about scams and how to, you know, try and avoid them. And I talk about the original Charles Ponzi, but also the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time, which concerned Bernie Madoff. It's an amazing story because Bernie Madoff was, you know, hugely respected in the, in the finance industry and people were stumbling over to give him money.
David (25m 11s):
But it was, as we all know now, it was a big, the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time. So, you know, he is taking money from new people and giving it back to existing investors to keep the scheme going. He told his sons who didn't even know about it, they worked in the business, they didn't know about it and they were obliged to actually tell on him. So the FBI picked him up and the whole, the New York and and the finance industry were totally shocked that this guy was, was scheming. And I told the story of, there was a professor 3000 kilometers away in Colorado who was particularly shocked because it was a guy called Professor Steven Greenspan, who had just published a book on avoiding scams.
David (25m 52s):
And what shocked him when was the fact that he was actually invested in, in Bernie Madoff, his scheme. And so with, with great humor, he, he wrote a a an article later saying How I got scammed by Bernie Madoff. So it's, and I I throw that story in because it just shows that, you know, as humans we, we are vulnerable to these things, even the people that are experts on it. And so I just, you know, really try and get people to exercise caution and have a bit of a framework around how to do that.
Phil (26m 23s):
So you've got some pretty heavy weight testimonials for, for the book. And how did you get Howard Marks, Morgan Housel and William Bernstein who are like, what Giov Feder and Nadal recommending a tennis player. So how did you go about getting those sort of testimonials?
David (26m 40s):
They are, yeah, there's some, in, in the financing world, they're not necessarily well known household figures, but in the financing writing world, you know, they're, they're, they're big figures in the US and yeah, I I I just reached out to them through social media Yeah. Or for, sorry, for, for Morgan Houseland William Bernstein and I, I just sent them the first 500 words and they must have enough inquisitive minds where they read it and they thought this is interesting. And they were happy to, to look at it and wrote some lovely words. And, and Howard Marks did a personal video as well and, and he wrote some long feedback. It was really touching cuz you know, as you say, it's like getting Feder and Nadal Djokovic to have a look at your, your poor tennis form.
David (27m 24s):
And, and so it was nice.
Phil (27m 25s):
Yeah. So what did they say? Just, just tell us one of the nice things.
David (27m 29s):
Yeah, I mean, I think, I mean on the front of the book is from Howard Marks, you know, everyone can benefit from reading this book. It's
Phil (27m 37s):
Great, great testimonial.
David (27m 38s):
Yeah, yeah, that's right. It's on the front. I mean, I knew, it's funny, there's another Howard Marks who's who, Mr. Nice. So some people were familiar with
Phil (27m 45s):
Oh yeah, I read the book. I remember reading the book years ago.
David (27m 48s):
Yeah, yeah, he's sadly he's no longer with us, so I couldn't get his testimonial. Yeah. But
Phil (27m 53s):
It's not quite the business we all wanna be and
David (27m 55s):
No, no. People can search that one up, but, but not everyone knows about Howard. But, you know, he's, he actually, Warren Buffet's written only two testimonials for people, Jack Bogle and, and Howard Marks for their books. So I, it had to go to the front.
Phil (28m 9s):
So how can listeners find out more about you and about the book and I guess it's available in all good bookstores.
David (28m 15s):
Yeah, yeah. So yeah, so you can access it on normal, you know, Amazon and Booktopia and, and the like, There's also, you can access it if you wanna sign copy through the, the actual books website. So missionpossiblebook.com.au if you wanna stay in touch, there's a newsletter. I only do it once a month. I just think there's so much noise out there. I'll try and keep it short and just once a month for those that wanna follow. And you know, I can leave a a discount code for, for listens if they want a discount on, on a signed copy.
Phil (28m 43s):
Oh, okay. Can you tell us that now? The discount code? Or do you need to work it
David (28m 47s):
Out? No. Yeah, so for anyone that wants to access a signed copy of the book, they can go to the website missionpossiblebook.com.au. And if they'd like the a discount, you can put in the discount code earlydiscount one word.
Phil (29m 5s):
Yep. And we'll put all those links in the episode notes and the blog post as well, so you can find them a lot easier. David Scollon, thank you very much for joining me
David (29m 13s):
Today. Thanks, Phil. It's been really great to speak to you.
Phil (29m 15s):
If you found this podcast helpful, please tell a friend, especially if it's someone who needs to start thinking about investing for their future, you'll be helping them and helping me to keep this show on the road
Chloe (29m 26s):
Shares for beginners is for information and educational purposes only. It isn't financial advice and you shouldn't buy or sell any investments based on what you've heard here. Any opinion or commentary is the view of the speaker only not shares for beginners. This podcast doesn't replace professional advice regarding your personal financial needs, circumstances, or current situation.
Phil (29m 45s):
And thank you for listening to my podcast.
Shares for Beginners is for information and educational purposes only. It isn’t financial advice, and you shouldn’t buy or sell any investments based on what you’ve heard here. Any opinion or commentary is the view of the speaker only not Shares for Beginners. This podcast doesn’t replace professional advice regarding your personal financial needs, circumstances or current situation