Money management has traditionally been focused on securing returns for clients. That’s still important. But, says investment advisor Max Osbon, in recent years that approach has evolved to include stellar customer service, at least for those advisory firms seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition.
In his work with a select group of families, Max says the most important factor in finding solid investments and keeping clients happy is being flexible. Startups… crypto-currency… private companies… and more – it’s all worth research and a closer look.
It’s an approach larger, traditional firms would never be allowed to try. We talk about what that allows Max to do for his clients, as well as…
- The fundamental mistakes he sees individual investors making
- Balancing the right level of risk with lifestyle
- Details on a rational way to charge for investment advisory services
- The right way to react to the economy – and the market – with your investments
- A look at how Max established his firm as a uniquely-valued agency with staying power among a plethora of investment firms
Mentioned in this episode:
Jay Sparks: Hello, this is Jay Sparks, your host of Finding Unique Value, where I interview business leaders who have found unique value in their business or industry that others have not yet seen or explored. Today, I’m excited to be joined by Max Osbon, owner of Osbon Capital Management, a registered investment advisory firm with over $100 million and assets focused on managing the wealth of a select group of families.
Now, Max’s firm has a unique approach and structure in this cookie-cutter world of financial services. I’m looking forward to learning from him how he’s able to stand out and provide value in this competitive market. So Max, welcome to the podcast. Great to be speaking with you today.
Max Osbon: Thank you for having me, Jay.
Jay: Right. Well, could you take a minute because I didn’t go into any detail at all really, in your background, I know you have done some interesting things and created a very unique firm. And I’d love to hear, kind of your take on the context that’s brought you to the point that you are now.
How Max Became an Investment Professional
Max: Well thank you, I’ll jump off with that the, so Osbon Capital Management, we are an RIA, like you said, we manage money for families. So families really are the focus and the center point of the business. It all, you know starts and ends there. When you’re looking at any of the investment decisions, our investment decisions, how we work with families, we really have to focus in on that.
So that means that if you look at the way that money management has traditionally been done, it’s all about returns.It’s all about knowing the market and being the smartest person. That’s still very important, still very much a function, we just have had to evolve over the last 20 years into an industry that’s more focused on the customer service.
And now what we end up with is getting to know the families that we work with very well and then tailoring all the investments towards their goals. And also that has to do with uncovering things that they might not be saying or might not be comfortable talking about at the beginning. Things that might be fearful or hopeful or might get in the way of their decisions. So it really starts and ends with the family. And that’s really been why we’ve been able to grow plus 100 million. We’re at about 140 million now.
Jay: No, that’s incredible. I don’t know if I know of another firm and it’s probably I don’t know, round number, probably 5000 registered investment advisors for advisory firms in the country now. Typically, if a firm is focused on a family it’s focused on, you know, one or two or three in a family office type situation, which is a very different structure.
So how would you describe the difference between the way you focus on the family versus just focusing on maybe one member of the family is your client? Which is I guess, in a typical firm that’s a structure and they know of the other members. But sounds like you are. whether they’re a direct investor, for lack of a better word, you’re focusing on them too. Am I getting that correct?
Max: Yeah, that’s right. So I’m inspired by the family office industry, but there is no really, you know, standard family office. So really, when people talk about family office, they talk about people with an incredible amount of wealth, and really just one client and then you know, investment professionals that surround and support that client, or their family. Now, the thing that I like about them that I’m inspired about is really what I call being nimble.
So from my perspective, where are the people in my industry who said that they RIA level, or were managing assets for lots of different families? What can they learn from the family offices? And it’s really about flexibility. It’s, you know, this is a new idea that the client brings, or this is a new opportunity that we haven’t seen before. Let’s see some examples. I mean, cryptocurrency is not something that we do actively, but we have conversations about it. It’s not something that would fit into the purview of any of the Merrill Lynchs, Morgan Stanleys or whatnot.
Even if we don’t end up investing in it, we can still evaluate it, we can still research it. And that’s what I call being nimble. Now, on the more practical side, there are startups that our families will invest in. And sometimes those the families that we work with end up being really great deal source, you know, leads for us. And we’ve ended up investing in some private companies because we’ve met, either met them through our network met them through the families that we work with. And that’s what I call being nimble. It’s just not something that you would ever be allowed to do in any of the big firms. And that’s a limiting factor for them.
Jay: Sure, sure. So the other thing that separates you. It doesn’t sound like you exclusively use packaged products, like mutual funds, ETFs, and strict, you know, asset allocation, where you have a couple asset allocation models, and you put all of your clients into, you know, four different models. So how does, how do you view, kind of the portfolio process? It sounds like you have a very customized approach.
Osbon Capital Management’s Portfolio Process
Max: It’s definitely customized. I think the operative word that you said there is strictly. We don’t really strictly do anything because we can make the decisions because we’re, you know, the owners, the operators. We can have an open ear. So, you know, the models, they don’t last very long. If you set a model, you got maybe like three or five years out of it before the underlying economics really start to change.
You know, fixed income being the huge question mark right now. It was only about 18 months ago that you couldn’t even get, you know, 50 basis points on a treasury. And now, you know, we were fluctuating around two and a half percent at the beginning of the year. And now it’s down to like, you know, high single or 1.8 1.9. That’s just, that changes your model. You have to be able to update these things on the fly, which means you have to take a custom approach.
Jay: Sure, sure. So it doesn’t sound like you would use, you know, algorithms or that type of testing either for the same reason.
Max: So I love talking about the algorithms in the industry, too, because the quantum investors and people who use algorithms to their full potential, we’re just not like that. We’re not high-frequency trading, and we can’t get that far. So then at the other level, like the, I would say, the lower level of the market, where you’re using algorithms, that asset allocation.
They’re in the beginning, they’re you know, they’re designed by people, and those people set those rules in. And so you really have to understand they’re not doing some magic behind the scenes with some artificial intelligence, giving you some answer that has never been discovered before. They’re really expressing the views of the people who programmed them.
Jay: Yep. And then, because they’re usually, you know, backwards-looking, right? They’re using data in the past, it’s at some point that those assumptions change, right? And it’s always pretty dramatic, and you don’t know about it ahead of time. So you’re using the same information from the 70s. Obviously, you’re not making good decisions right now, because the rules and boundaries have changed. But let me ask you this, this is something that I noticed just in looking at your website, we spoke about a little bit before we started here.
But I think one of the unusual things about your firm is that your father is involved, but you the sun are the head of the firm. And I think that says you know a lot about your father and a lot about you because typically that doesn’t happen, right? The father will run the business until he decides to retire, you know, the day before he retires. And then the sun has to kind of scramble to catch up. And there’s lots of reasons for that.
And obviously, that’s not the case here. You’re obviously very capable and took right over and have been growing the business and it sounds like your father still involved heavily to which is really unique. So how did that come about? And what was the, you know, kind of was that the plan all along? Or did it just happen because of, you know, sequence of events over a period of time?
Max: Yeah, that’s a great question. It’s a question that I end up talking with people a lot, whether they asked it directly, or they’re sort of curious. I, let’s see, Osbon Capital, so, John, my father had a 20-year career at Morgan Stanley, and he opened the Boston office for the high net worth, Morgan Stanley group in 2000. And then, once he got through enough iterations of politics in the C suite level, or in the executive level, he was just, he wanted to get back down to the ground floor and work directly with clients again.
So he founded the firm in 2005 when I was just about graduating high school, I was a junior in high school, about a senior. And so over the next, you know, four or five years, senior high school and through college, I had, I was able to take what I was learning in school and bounce it off of the family business or bounce it off of what he was doing. So in my, I got a math degree and a finance degree. And a lot of the math, you know, was getting into portfolio math, the derivative math, you know, all the investment activities that you do, and I just, I had a nice, applied practical application.
But I was pretty, I didn’t want to be so predictable and go directly to working for him. So I went to work for Bloomberg, in New York, and I had a great time there for two and a half years. I worked closely with the Goldman relationship and got to learn the entire industry top to bottom, you know, in a way that I wouldn’t have if I just worked for him, right? And they provide me with a lot of education and training. And then, you know, I, the first couple years of career, you get such a great trajectory.
You get, you can skip ahead so many levels and get promotions every, you know, eight or nine months if you’re active. And then you sort of hit the middle pool. And that’s what happened to me at Bloomberg. And so I was starting to look for other opportunities. And most of them were on the startup side, or on the smaller side. I had about four of them lined up. And when I looked at, I took some time off while I was evaluating this.
And the clear one was basically that if you work in the family business, you don’t have to fight over getting options and equity and you have control. And that seemed the most attractive to me. Because there were other companies that were saying, well, you get four year vesting, you know, 5% of the company in options or something. And, you know, it just seems like if I had an offer on the table that was 100% of the equity at some point in the future possible if I could run the business, then I took that.
Jay: Yeah. Wow. That’s fantastic. So what was it that you had to do to convince your father that you could do this, right? Because that’s one reason why this particular sequence doesn’t happen, right? The father, the son is ready. And clearly, that’s not the case here. And it was a, based on where you are now is a good decision. So what was that journey like for you to become not only, you know, in the industry, but also being in a position of leadership? Not everybody makes that transition smoothly or at all, right?
Max: Yeah. Well, I had been doing projects for him throughout college and while I was working at Bloomberg, and I already knew a good amount about the business. The real question was, really, there are three components to the RIA business. It’s operating a firm, so it’s just management and operations, just like you would any other company. Raising capital or, you know, client relationships. And then investment acumen. And, you know, I feel that the ladder to the raising capital client relations and the investment acumen, they’re really an apprenticeship-style industry, right?
They’re the kind of thing that you need to learn by doing and by watching other people. And I just said, I was very fortunate to be in a position where I could do a real traditional apprenticeship-style business, and I didn’t really start pressing investment buttons until two or three years into the whole thing. I mean, I would do analysis, but it’s very different when it becomes live.
And, you know, from there, you know, I think one of my values in this is just to forge ahead with courage, right? So you have to take steps. You can’t just read about golf and tennis, and then decide you’re going to play it. You actually have to step on the court or on the field and, or on the greens. And then so, you know, I just six years in, it just worked. I mean, I’m lucky that it did. And it worked out.
Jay; Great. That’s great. So now that you’re, you know, six years in, you’re a professional investor managing, you know, 10s of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars, what mistakes do you see individual investors making that you’re much less likely to make?
Not that you’re perfect, of course, but you know, certainly with, you’ve been able to take a step back and having all the training, both personal training and through, you know, other people you know, you’re obviously in a, you know, in a much different place. You have a much different viewpoint, but what advice would you give to, you know, an investor that may be listening and wondering what they should be thinking or how they should be thinking about risk or returns?
Common Mistakes Individual Investors Make
Max: So, I would say that patience is really the hardest one. You can really feel the time creep on. And you can really feel the discomfort building when you’ve had a bad market, or a bad run or a bad couple months. And just having the confidence to stick it out and silence the critics either inside your head or the ones that are outside. If I can go down that route, so I would say patience first but then there’s a whole I think art to silencing the critic. Ray Dalio talks about it.
He’s like, does he basically asked does this person have credibility? And if the critic is someone who’s doesn’t have credibility, they’re really just trying to bring you down or just express their own discomfort. You have to recognize that. And so I would say, you know, when the market goes down, headline-wise, right? We get these Bloomberg alerts on our phone that we get the market down 500 points, it really means nothing.
But they love to jump on it and jump on the drama. So I watched, you know, something like the read market last year, just getting pummeled down like 20%, you know, and a lot of fear in that area and just the markets are not reacting the way that we would expect them to or hope, you know, hope for them to do. We have to be prepared for it to come back at any point. And it really took its time. And this year, it’s one of the best-performing markets year to date. So the read market’s up, you know, 27%, this year.
It was just in the red all year, last year, and it was really kind of painful to sit through it. And some people who, on the client-side who understand the method, understand the patience that were comfortable. Some people were starting to get a little uncomfortable. You know, they’re getting rewarded now.
Jay: Yeah. Yep. And we saw that, you know, when I was at Fidelity Investments, you know, people were always adding money when the funds are up, and they were taking money out when the funds are down, right? Because they didn’t have, you know, Max to talk to. They’re doing it themselves. And as you know, you know, the average returns are, let’s say, you know, 8% of the fund in the fund world, but the investors are making a point or two less because of the same fact. You know, they’re making emotional decisions.
And we have a whole industry, both the media and the investment industry that’s pushing them to do those things, right? They just want to do something or keep reading, and so you have to have that emotional message out there. So it sounds like when you’re, you know, because you know, these families so well, are you able to take that into account too? Because maybe, you know, one of them has an account. But you know the other ones are probably nervous too, even if they don’t have large accounts with you. Do you have a process to include them? Because that would be unusual? I haven’t, I don’t know of anything
Max: Yeah, well, you know, that’s a great question. That’s exactly what I was thinking is, the next thing to say was, there’s no amount of talking or coaching or discussions that are, that can help get someone over that discomfort. They have to find it on their own. So we really have to read whether or not the person is going to be comfortable in that area.
But it’s funny because it all comes from the same place. It comes from this, you know, general discomfort of theirs, in some terms is my life is too expensive to afford, you know, big dips in my net worth, right? I don’t have enough capital to cover that. I need to take my risk level down. And there’s so many different ways to say that or express it. No one ever tells you outright.
But if they’re saying, you know, hey, this actually doesn’t feel so good, this is uncomfortable, maybe you are overcapitalized or over and invested and maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing to take some cash off the table, not necessarily as an investment decision, but as a personal decision. And that usually has a very positive psychological effect. I mean, when people feel a large amount of abundance, and that’s a personal thing, then they can afford to take a lot more risk, and they end up generally getting better results.
Jay: No, that’s interesting, because that’s another issue with the current economic cycle right? It’s probably the worst time you will ever see for anyone to be conservatively invested, right? It you know, with cash yielding so little, and I don’t see that necessarily changing right away, you need to either be ready for a downturn, and you have to cut your expenses if you’re on some sort of fixed, you know, income, or fixed amount of money, you know, you’re not in a place where you’re still accumulating wealth.
Or you need to be comfortable taking a little more risk. Right? And I don’t think most people they’re sitting in your chair are having that conversation like you are. So you’re, you know, by having it now when the bullets aren’t flying, it’s a much easier conversation later on when it actually happens because you already have something in place that helps them feel comfortable. So that’s smart.
Max: Yeah, yeah, it’s funny people discount the amount of, you know, the importance of just how much they spend, and how much that affects the investing. You know, it’s nice to be an investor in Boston, because people are not flashy here. And status is not as coveted of a, you know, a trait I guess. So you have people riding bikes, you know, like CEOs in Cambridge riding bikes to work and spending, like, you know, spending almost nothing right? And they can afford to take an incredible amount of risk.
Jay: Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s different. So switching topics slightly, I know, you know, one of the things that isn’t thought about, or at least not talked about a lot in this industry, is that it kind of piggybacks on your point there on expenses, that expenses compound just like returns compound, right? You make an extra one to 3% a year, over many years, there’s going to be a change dramatically when you have in the account.
But if you’re being charged, an extra percent or two, that can be incredibly expensive, and really cut into your returns to the point that, you know, more than half of your future returns are actually going the person you’re paying the money, right? And I don’t think a lot of people really think about that. And it sounds like you also have a very common-sense way of looking at how you charge for your services. What’s your philosophy on that, and how does that look?
Max: Yeah. Well, firstly it’s really dictated by the market. I’m not going to be able to influence the price all that much from where the market dictates it. So and the market really is, what the clients want to pay, and what they feel they deserve, or what they feel they can get. And, you know, there’s they talked about the compression in the industry, I really think that the better term is margin compression. Really, you have to deliver more to the clients for either the same amount that you were getting paid five years ago, you know, or if you’re not going to deliver more, you’d have to cut your fee.
And it all comes down to the perception. I mean, if people are extremely busy, they can’t wrap their heads around all of the moving parts. You know, if you’re talking about a family with considerable net worth and a lot of moving parts a full-time job, and three kids or four kids, and a home to manage. There’s an operations component to this. And there’s an advisory component to this, and there is some kind of fee that should go along with that. The other thing is we have fees for talent in Boston.
I mean, Boston is a perfect famous example of you know, where the fees go in terms of talent, because Harvard just keeps gutting itself in terms of how they compensate their investment professionals, you know, with their $30 billion or $40 billion, you know, endowment, that’s attached to it. People get very uncomfortable about paying high fees, but it’s really just dictated by the market.
Jay: Sure, sure. So, again, switching topics just a little bit, because you have grown this firm over the last couple years quite substantially. And many firms, similar-sized firms have not grown. So obviously, you’re doing something right, and you have probably some things in place. So I don’t know if you want to speak about your firm or just business in general. Like why have you been successful when, you know, everybody knows kind of the statistics?
You know, most firms aren’t around after a year, and then, you know, only a portion around after five years, and the ones are still there in five years, a whole bunch of them are gone in ten. It looks like that’s not the trajectory that, you know, that your firm is on. So you must have some things in place to make sure that that is much less likely. So how do you think about that?
What Gives Osbon Capital Management Its Staying Power?
Max: Yeah. Let’s see, I’m naturally open and curious in learning about, you know, tactics from other fields, or how businesses are successful get run. So I read a lot, and I listen to the various podcasts that talk about this stuff. And really, you know, tenacity is a big one. We just got to dig through the uncomfortable periods. And you have to keep your personal, you know, your personal life out of it. There’s, that’s a huge part of, a huge problem in owning a business and operating a business, let alone like one that shares my same name. It was like, it took me a long time to figure out that I was not the business and the business is not me.
And then it allowed me to be a lot more dispassionate in the way I run it, or in how the numbers shake up. And then it just doesn’t, it’s not a negative feeling when something goes bad, you know, it’s just business, right? Just, and I think that’s how clients and other people want it to be, you know? They’re working with me, I happen to be the person and then there’s a business component. So I think people need to separate themselves from the business, not have the ego and also know what you’re solving for. So, you know, do you want to be well known? Do you want fame? Or do you want business returns?
You know, do you want income growth, you know, money to run your own life, and I didn’t figure out, you know, that I don’t want to necessarily have any fame in any of this. I don’t really want to be known because it’s a whole different side of this. I think it’s a really good career move, I’m just not that good at it. And I don’t really enjoy it. So you know, if you are really good at Twitter, and really good at marketing yourself, and connecting with everyone else on social media, and are kind of like the reality TV star, that’s like a whole career outside of whatever you’re doing for business. Really, what I’m doing is I’m running just a traditional business, just like anyone.
I think business really should be some of the more boring concepts that we talked about. Just profitability costs, labor, you know, technology. The technology is an enormous part of you mentioned why firms have not been doing well, or will close expectations on the client-side went way up on, you know, for what technology, there were people that they were working with were using, and you know, it was there. And people didn’t want to take it sometimes. And I would meet people on this and like, you know, it seems like these people are doing the trades via paper ticket, which was happening five years ago.
And so, you know, we invested heavily in technology. The cool thing about it, though, is that technology experiences a lot of, you know, kind of decay quickly. So whatever you’re paying in the first year, unless they are coming out with new features right away, you should be able to lower your bill almost immediately. And we’ve been able to do that just keep our costs low, be very efficient, use good technology. It’s really a management question.
Jay: Interesting. So, you know, looking forward, you know, what are your plans for your firm? Are you looking to find more families to serve? Are you looking to do other things in addition to the investment advisory business? Or what are you looking to do?
A Look Ahead For Osbon Capital Management
Max: Well, let’s see. I’m open to a lot of things. I’m not sure exactly. This is really more in the fantasy stage right now than the reality just because I think, you know, unless I firmly take a step in any one of these directions it really all is just like the fantasy talk. But I will, that I do enjoy the investing process. And I would like to explore how Osbon Capital can provide more unique investment opportunities, right? And that comes with size. At 140 million, you can do quite a bit. But at half a billion you can really open up the creativity and start doing some really interesting direct deals, some real estate deals, some private equity deals, some startup deals.
You just have more capital to work with. You can also afford, you know, more talent or support that can help you, you know, do your due diligence, do your sourcing run from the firm. So, you know, I have a great thing going on right now. So I don’t need to push it into a territory where it gets, you know, risky or uncomfortable for me. But the next thing I would like to do is just continue doing what I Osbon Capital does, just at a more complex higher level. And then it just, I’m okay with it taking time, right? It’ll take one year or it will take five years, somewhere in between there.
Jay: Yeah. Like you said, you’re following your own advice about patience, right? you just gotta, you know, focus on the process and you’ll eventually get there. I think that many people are always focused on the results, and that’s why I think right now, a lot of people are really unhappy in this country, right? Because we see these other things that they want, and they’re not doing the things they need to do to get there, right? So they’re constantly wanting this stuff, but they’re not getting closer to actually being there. And it sounds like you’re taking all the right steps. It’s just a question of which door you want to open.
Max: Well, you nailed it with process over results. That’s really what it’s all about. You can’t control no matter how smart or confident or anything that you think you are, you can’t control the results. And so I actually have a little reminder on my desk. I have this little, like two little Lego pieces that my wife gave me. I just got married two weeks ago.
Jay: Congratulations. That’s great.
Max: Thank you, thank you. She gave those to me because she was like just a reminder to focus on the process. We talked about it all the time. And not the results. And that’s really because it’s the only thing you can input into the system. If you think about it as a system, you know, you design a process, you put your input in, and then whatever spits out is a result.
And it’s just data. And if it’s good data, then your machine is working. If it’s bad data, that means you have to go back to the process. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. People don’t like you, you’re failing, you’re a loser. And it’s really just an input. And it’s a reminder to go back and tweak something.
Jay: No, that’s smart. Well, that’s a, that reminds me too, because I noticed that you list your staff on your website, and they’re in different places, right? Which is also I think unusual because typically, the old model is to bring everybody in one place and, you know, buy a building or take over a floor.
If you’re renting the space you just kind of, you know, get bigger and bigger. And you know, there’s certainly advantages to that. But there’s also lots of limitations too unless you have a really enormous organization, it doesn’t necessarily you don’t really need to be in one place. So what were your thought processes around growing your business? Not really virtually, but almost right? And everyone’s not in one geographical location all the time, it looks like.
Max: Well, let’s see, there’s, I think we wrote about this, two or three months ago, it’s just so the future of work, and what effect that might have on the economy as a whole. And that was, we wrote that article partly because it was being written about at that time. But it’s also good for our business and for other businesses to take advantage of some of the things that have come out in terms of looking at how people function best in their work life. And they talk about, you know, if you only work Monday through Thursday, you actually have a higher output than the Monday through Friday.
You’re talking about it like a salaried employee. And so, you know, there’s a testing phase on this. So we test and we learn, and we develop our own takeaways to make sure that, you know, our hypothesis is correct or not. And what it’s turned out is, we’ve been able to find that it takes a lot of work. And it’s not something you could launch in like six months, or three months or whatever. And but a lot of conversations, we know, we’ve been able to find people who are in a position where they want to, where they have experience and they can contribute meaningfully to our business. But they can do it in small chunks or small periods of time.
And they can sort of do it on demand from wherever. I mean, we have our editor for you know, for the articles. We write the articles ourselves, but he added on, you know, he goes back and forth between Texas and New York and on the road, and he has his laptop. He theoretically any of these jobs can be done from anywhere. We just, I think what are the key things? You need to find someone who’s the right fit, who’s talented and who works. And you figure out pretty quickly. I mean, doesn’t take more than like two weeks of working with someone to realize, you know, they’re not a good fit.
Jay: Now, these are all, like independent contractors? Or do you have a different type of structure?
Max: They’re all independent. Well, you know what, it’s a good question. Because it’s kind of like, I was like this, one of the first interns that worked for me, he said, ambitious young guy is here working in Boston now for another firm, he says, You know, I don’t want to be your intern, I want you to be my first client, which I thought was really funny.
And it’s kind of similar to how this works. Now, where, you know, in some of these cases, I’m these people’s clients. Like the editors, I think were more his client than he is our editor. And I don’t really care which way it goes, I think it ends up being like a contractor relationship. Or they end up running their own, you know, support business.
Jay: Sure, sure. No, that’s great. That’s smart. And that’s, again, requires some patience. So that’s really a seems to be a recurring theme. And you know, you need to have the process in place. So it can be repeatable because that’s the other thing too is, you know, you have, you know, let’s say 10 years experience, not one year repeated 10 times, right? You see that a lot in corporate America. People come in, they learn their job, and then they just stop growing.
So you know, a couple years later, they’re asked to do something else, or worse, they’re laid off, they don’t really have any other skills or any other options. And plus, they don’t continually do a better job. So you found a way to keep your firm innovating, which is in this industry, isn’t that easy to do. These jobs aren’t all that exciting. But if they know that they can do it under their own terms, I mean, who wants to commute two hours each way each day, right?
Based on where some of these people live, they want to be next to you. That’s what they’d have to do, right? That would, I can’t imagine they’d be too much fun to have around the office every day, right? After a short amount of time. So I think the flexibility is, I think Bill Gates wrote about this too, you know, it’s going to be a real important piece for employers going forward. If they can’t do what you’ve done, which is, you know, not easy, it took a lot of work for you to kind of nail down a process that works for you.
You know, just because you’ve done that hard work, now, you’re going to have an advantage over everybody several years from now. So that is, again, you’re ahead of the curve on that for sure. You know, some people may hear this, you make me get some phone calls just on what your process is so they can try to imitate it. Which is good.
Max: I’m happy to say that I always think that this is more about execution than it is about ideas. That’s the other thing I found is, you know, you can have all these ideas, you really have to get out there and execute on them. And I’ve been doing that, you know, day in and day out. So and I know how hard it is. So anyone’s you know, welcome. I’ll talk about all this. You’ll know all my secret sauce.
Jay: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s great. It’s kind of like, you know, Mark Cuban does the same thing. So yeah, you can anyone can have my idea. There’s no secrets because you’re gonna have to do them better than me. You have to work harder than me, you know, and that’s not necessarily an easy thing. So I think you put a lot of effort into this too, which is great. Well, is there any parting words you have any either questions? Do you think that people should be asking that they don’t of people kind of doing what you’re doing? Or is there any other thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
Max: Yeah, I guess, you know, I follow, I was just gonna say there are some of the people who are following the industry who I think are exceptional. And, you know, Twitter is probably a great way to do that, as a consumer, you know, just read what they’re doing on a regular basis. So people like Jeff Dunlap, you know, tweet some really interesting kind of thought-provoking, quick things. I think Ray Dalio is doing a great job, Matt Levine, the Bloomberg columnist, he writes the Money Stuff column.
He’s like one of the best writers in the industry. He just goes, you have to be interested in this stuff in the first place. Whether you’re an investor yourself or a professional, because he just goes on and on and on in extreme detail, but it’s really funny if you care about this stuff. And then Dan Rasmus in here in Boston, he started a small cap fund for that. I just think he’s a thoughtful, you know, person approaching this and his industry. He’s doing a fund. But he also tweets out his thought.
And that’s, I guess, I like this because I also blog and write my own articles. Non-conversational format on Twitter, but just posting it out there. And I think if you are, it’s hard to do it, but it’s good to get your own statements out there. So I just wanted to show some of those ideas that some of those people out there as people to follow.
Jay: That’s great. That’s great. Yeah, I think all of them are really giants too, so it’s always good to have that reminder because we have so much noise out there. It’s good to know what the good ones are, particularly from someone like yourself who’s very successful, so you’re able to be that filter for the rest of us. So thank you for that. So if somebody is, there’s an investor that really likes you’re famil- focused and the fact that you’re nimble, and you’re flexible. So it’s not a, you know, an incredibly rigid approach. And they do like what they’ve heard today, what’s the best way for them to reach out to you or contact you?
Max: So all my contact information is right on my website. I would add that, you know, for any of these people, everything that gets discussed is very specific and tailored to them. So there’s no real general advice out there. And I would be skeptical of anything that’s just general advice. So they can get in contact with me through my email, through my phone, you know, which is also listed on there. And I think that would be the way to go.
Jay: Okay, great. Great. Well, Max, thank you. Again, this was really a fascinating conversation. I learned a lot. I really think that you’re doing onto a very unique process and anyone that you’re working with is very, very lucky to have found you. And thank you again for sharing some of the experts that you watch too. I think that’s also very valuable. For the rest of us. It’s hard to discern who is actually good and who just sounds good at the first time you look at them. So and thank you everyone for listening to Finding Unique Value. We look forward to sharing our next guest with you soon, and bye for now.