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

Take me back to where I was.
Click here to edit your Interview.
Find another Fool's Interview:
The Fool: Make a confession.
TMFSpiffyPop: I have high cholesterol. I have 26 speeding tickets. I sometimes randomize my decisionmaking, and sometimes it even works!
The Fool: Your greatest fear? Any neurotic ones (agoraphobia, triskaidekaphobia, etc.)?
TMFSpiffyPop: Insects.
The Fool: Tell us about Your Dumbest Investment... and the lesson you learned from it.
TMFSpiffyPop: Styles on Video, detailed in "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" on pp. 156-8. "Accounts receivable are not sales, stupid." :)
The Fool: Tell us about your greatest personal success, not necessarily finance related.
TMFSpiffyPop: Helping to create and to run The Motley Fool. Starting something that helps other people on a mass scale is far more than I'd ever expected; I speak for our organization at large when I say that we're playing for the history books.
The Fool: What's the most overrated idea, person, or event in our culture?
TMFSpiffyPop: The NFL quarterback is very near to being, if isn't actually, the most overrated concept in American culture. Rather trivial, I grant you, in the grander scheme of things. I think Howard Stern is overrated as well -- though he's certainly good at what he does. It's not so much being good at what you do, though -- it's more the effects of what you do that should concern us all. (That's one of the underrated notions in our culture.) Sometimes I wonder whether the attention we pay to something in pop culture directly correlates with its triviality.
The Fool: What's your biggest pet peeve?
TMFSpiffyPop: Speed limits, pessimists, government spending and regulation, market predictions, those who overrate the role of quarterbacks. And of course anyone who lacks a sense of humor!
The Fool: What's your favorite movie, and why?
TMFSpiffyPop: My favorite movies include more recently "The Lord of the Rings" and "Up," and going back a bit -- "Schindler's List," "Glory," "Chariots of Fire," and the "Star Wars" trilogy (particularly "The Empire Strikes Back"). Each of these is essentially about heroism, in one form or another, and encourages the viewer to aim higher. This fulfills Aristotle's teaching about poetics, showing "men as they should be." Excelsior!
The Fool: Does 'ethics' or 'socially responsible investing' have a place in your investment approach? How or why?
TMFSpiffyPop: Yes, I do exclude some companies from consideration as investments due to their products or business practices. Examples include Philip Morris and the "gaming" (er, gambling) companies. When you support a company's share price with your investment dollars, you are de facto endorsing that company's mission. There are some companies whose missions I just don't believe in. In our book "You Have More Than You Think," Tom and I contend that you should "buy what you are." It makes sense for your investment dollars to follow your consumer-spent dollars. The other side of the coin is that you should exclude from buying what you are not... what is antithetical to you.
The Fool: Write a poem for us about something financial (no Nantucket references):
TMFSpiffyPop: Why buy a stock/If it's not a lock?/Why pay that price?/If you're just tossin' dice?/Why take such risk?/Tsk tsk tsk./These are the rules/By which the game is won, Fools.
The Fool: What technology do you wish the world had but doesn't yet?
TMFSpiffyPop: Jet packs to wear on our backs and zoom around in. Can't wait for those! I want to fly.
The Fool: Do you have a favorite non-financial website? If so, which one? (TYPE the URL)
TMFSpiffyPop: www.boardgamegeek.com
The Fool: Tell us what your best investment has been so far and how you discovered it.
TMFSpiffyPop: America Online is still unquestionably my best investment, even after the dramatic post-Time-Warner-merger fall from grace. I discovered the company around 1990, as a customer. When it went public in 1992, I didn't buy shares, and kicked myself for two years as it quadrupled. Finally, I knuckled under in 1994 on the premise that the past doesn't matter -- the future's what counts in the public markets. The rest is history -- lots of it -- a 200-bagger, followed by an amazingly steep decline, post-merger with Time Warner. I don't have many shares left anymore, having sold off shares and given away a bunch too.
The Fool: When you aren't working or sitting in front of the computer, what occupies your time?
TMFSpiffyPop: My family. Boardgames. Videogames.
Go to TMFSpiffyPop's Profile
Stock Folders: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z