A Foolish Interview with joelwilliams Add to My Favorite Fools Add to My Penalty Box

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The Fool: What's your favorite movie, and why?
joelwilliams: Now we're getting some good questions!

- Citizen Kane...it's the best, and it's true when they say you see something new each time you watch it
- Repo Man, Caddyshack, Stripes, Austin Powers...this is the kind of quirky oddball humor I love
- My Life as a Dog (foreign)...simply the best 'coming of age' movie ever made
- Cinema Paradiso (foreign)...a movie for movie lovers
- Terms of Endearment...break out the Kleenex, cause this is the best tear jerker
The Fool: What's the most overrated idea, person, or event in our culture?
joelwilliams: Overrated ideas:
- People that live in big houses and drive flashy cars are wealthy. (please read 'The Millionaire Next Door' to get a good definition of 'wealthy')

Overrated events:
- Hands Across America...what was that all about?
- Circumnavigation of the world in a hot air balloon.
- Y2K...please, sell all your stocks and invest in gold, that will enable me to buy more stock when the prices go down
The Fool: Share with us your best money-saving secret -- cutting coupons, sneaking candy into the movies, shopping on Wednesday and pretending you're over 65?
joelwilliams: Investing all the 'free money' my wife and I get. This includes cash birthday gifts, cash Christmas gifts, tax refunds, business expense refunds, change out of the change bucket, etc. This usually amounts to our annual IRA contributions each year. Also, haven't had too much luck hanging out in swanky restaurant restrooms and pretending to be restroom attendant. Also, the 'take a penny, leave a penny' cups at the restaurants that I DO regularly frequent are suspiciously empty these days...too many damn Fools out there robbing me of pure profit!
The Fool: Speak to the dead. You must have something to say. They may be listening.
joelwilliams: Mom, I miss you very much.
The Fool: Describe the worst Internet experience you've ever had.
joelwilliams: I think that it is just around the corner...I recently signed up for a web-based discount broker. After reading horror story after horror story on the discount broker board here at TMF, my excitement has ebbed. Oh well, as someone who used to take support calls I understand that you rarely here people speak up when service is good...'cause that's what they expect.
The Fool: What, in your opinion, are some of life's big mysteries?
joelwilliams: - Why are the things that taste the best the worst for you?
- Is there an all powerfull, all knowing God?
- What's under that skirt? (stolen from 'Life in Hell' by Matt Greoning)
The Fool: If you could be the CEO of any public company, which one and why?
joelwilliams: The Home Depot...then I could get great discounts on power tools!
The Fool: Which celebrity or public figure (past or present) do you most look like?
joelwilliams: Alot of people used to say that I look like the narrator character in the 'Frosty the Snowman' TV special which comes on every year. Sort of Dick VanDyke 'ish. People also used to say I looked like 'Screech' from the TV show 'Saved by the Bell.'
The Fool: How'd you find out about the Fool? (Make your answer as colorful and truthful as possible.)
joelwilliams: Knowing that I needed to get in the stock market, I went to the local Barnes & Noble to buy some books on how to invest. Most of them looked really dry, but one caught my eye, it was larger than the others and had a picture of these two guys wearing these goofy hats. I figured, if these two guys were going to make investing fun, then I'll buy their book (Motley Fool Investing Workbook.) Later that day, I couldn't put the book down. The writing was very witty, and I loved the fact that they were 'sticking it to the man.' From then on, I think I've single handedly kept TMF in business, buying book after book, merchandise from their online store, etc.
The Fool: What's your biggest pet peeve?
joelwilliams: People that don't get to the point directly. People that don't try...they want the answer handed to them on a silver platter. People that are part of the problem and not part of the solution.
The Fool: Describe your fitness program.
joelwilliams: Monday/Wednesday/Friday, wake up at 4:45am, at the club at 5:00am. 30 minutes of cardio (treadmill or stationary bike), then 30 minutes of free weights. Saturday and Sunday, in the recliner watching sports (or catching up on Foolish message boards) feeding my face with some high fat, high carb goop.
The Fool: What's the best advice you've ever received?
joelwilliams: Here are a few (and their sources):
- Change is inevitable, it's direction that counts. (YMCA letterhead)
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (fortune cookie)
- It's not hard to make alot of money...if all you want to do is make alot of money. (Citizen Kane)
The Fool: What's your favorite Fool message board?
joelwilliams: My worst investment (I think that's what it's called). I think that there is alot that can be learned from your own mistakes, and apparently, alot that can be learned from the mistakes of others!
The Fool: Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?
joelwilliams: No.
The Fool: What's your greatest athletic achievement? Little League champ? Ran a marathon? Did 4 consecutive sit-ups?
joelwilliams: A few years ago I was the official 'team scorer' for our company's co-ed softball team. Not wishing to make a complete fool of myself, I figured that scoring the game and posting results at work the next day would be the 'IS' thing to do. One game we were short one player and the team convinced me to bat and play field one inning until the late guy arrived. My one at bat, I got a hit! And luckily, no fly balls came my way in right field. Never batted again that season, so I bragged all season about batting 1.000!
The Fool: Briefly explain how you select stocks.
joelwilliams: I really like the RP4 and Rule Maker ideas. I like to invest in companies that I love doing business with, like Home Depot. I love going to the local Home Depot and dreaming about new home improvement projects...and I think lots of other people do this too.
The Fool: If you could go back in time and witness one event in history, what would you go back and see?
joelwilliams: Great question...maybe to be in the crowd at Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. That seems to be a pivotal time in the history of our nation.
The Fool: What's one of your special talents?
joelwilliams: My willingness to help people discover new and exciting things about computers and the internet. Things that make their lives easier. I'm still trying to convince my dad to use Quicken or Money, but he prefers Excel to do his finances.
The Fool: Given a second chance, what financial decision would you like to do over?
joelwilliams: Investing in a Merrill Lynch Growth Fund (sold to me by a Merrill Lynch rep, of course.) I can't be too negative about ML, they know how to make money. Oh well, I only lost $400, a quick and (fairly) painless lesson.
The Fool: Tell us about your greatest personal success, not necessarily finance related.
joelwilliams: Meeting and marrying my wife.
The Fool: What's been your best investment to date and how did you discover it?
joelwilliams: I would have to say my best investments so far have been the books I have purchased (and some checked out from the library) about smart investing. Especially the 'Foolish Series' ('You Have More Than You Think', 'The Motley Fool Investing Guide' and 'Rule Breakers, Rule Makers')
The Fool: Do you have a favorite company or stock which the worldwide Foolish community should know about -- and why?
joelwilliams: Definately DELL. Although I'm sure most Fools know about this one! I ordered a computer from them last winter, the order was placed at 7am and the computer was shipped that same day at 9pm. Absolutely no problems with the box and it's a screamer...one of the best investments I've made in the last couple of years, it's enabled my wife and I to get control of our finances.
The Fool: List some of your favorite websites, with running commentary where appropriate. (Please provide the URLs, too.)
joelwilliams: Definately amazon.com, it's just so easy to order stuff from their site. I also like alot of stuff that Microsoft offers on off their home.msn.com site. They have quite a cool portfolio tracker off their investment site (investor.msn.com, I think.)
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