Stock Club EP#181: Navigating Market Crashes, Retail Investing and Market Trends with Chris Hill
In this episode, Mike sits down with Chris Hill, host of the “Motley Fool Money” and “MarketFoolery” podcasts and a writer for The Motley Fool. We discuss the landscape of stocks, the psychology behind market downturns, and unforgettable interactions with market shakers.
Oct. 26, 2023

Key Highlights:

Chris Hosting Horizon Live 2023

We’re delighted that Chris will be our host for this year’s Horizon Live 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. We’ve opened up ticket sales for our loyal listeners to come along and learn about the industries and companies that are exciting us for 2024:

Navigating Market Crashes With Chris Hill

Market downturns are as inevitable as they are unnerving. Chris Hill, having weathered multiple market storms, delves into the psychology and strategy behind navigating these turbulent times. Drawing from personal experience and observations, he discusses the behaviours of retail investors during crashes and highlights the importance of resilience and perspective.

Chris Hill's Most Memorable Interviews

Over the years, Chris has had the privilege of interviewing some of the brightest minds in the industry. Whether it's with renowned author Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Big Short) or CNBC anchors Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla, Chris's anecdotes offer a fascinating look into the minds of these industry powerhouses.

Behind the Scenes with Morgan Housel

Chris discusses being the voice of the audio version for his good friend Morgan Housel’s bestselling book, 'The Psychology of Money,' and provides an exclusive sneak preview into Morgan’s upcoming book, 'Same as Ever,' highlighting its differences from his previous work.


Chris Hill: 0:00

knowing what you know, knowing what you don't know, understanding the difference and feeling comfortable just saying alright, I'm comfortable with other people making money in this thing that I just don't understand. If you can remove your emotions from the equation of investing, I think it makes you a stronger investor. So once you buy shares of a company, you tend to pay attention to it, you tend to watch it a bit more closely, you tend to learn a bit more about it.

Emmet Savage: 1:15

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Mike O'Mahony: 2:22

Hello and welcome Chris Hill to Stock Club. Chris, you'd be forgiven for thinking you might have tuned into the wrong podcast, because Chris was the voice for many, many years of Motley Fool money. He also has a storied career in Motley Fool. I've given years full rundown in the intro before this. So, Chris, welcome to Stock Club. Thanks for coming on.

Chris Hill: 2:41

It is my pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

Mike O'Mahony: 2:44

And you're on for a very specific reason. Now we're going to talk about it a lot at the end of the show, but I just want to make sure people know that you'll be joining us in Dublin in a couple of weeks. Absolutely.

Chris Hill: 2:54

I can't wait.

Mike O'Mahony: 2:55

Yeah. So November 17th in the Westbury Hotel, we are hosting the Horizon annual members event and for the first time ever, we're opening up to the public. So if you are interested in buying a ticket and to hear Chris MCing with Emmett, with Bill Mann from the Motley Fool fame as well, I think you might even have to listen to me if I'm there. I'm not sure yet. You can check out the show notes for today's episode and, Chris, I think it's going to be a great show. From everything you've told us so far. I don't want to give away too much in this episode, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Chris Hill: 3:26

So am I, and we'll talk about this in a bit, mike. But there's, you know, we. For 15 years I was involved in events like this at the Motley Fool, and there's nothing like investors getting together in the same room. We'll talk more about it in a bit, but that's what my main headline thought about events like this. Like there is nothing better than getting together in a room full of investors.

Mike O'Mahony: 3:50

Absolutely so if you are one of those investors listening, let's check it out, and you don't have to be a member of Horizon. So just check out the show notes for tickets for today's show. Okay, Chris, we're going to get into it now. And I'm really interested in your career because you've been around this industry of retail investing for so long. I think it was 1997. You started at the Motley Fool, is that correct? That is correct. Yeah, and you recently just finished up there. That's true.

Chris Hill: 4:16

Yes, earlier this year.

Mike O'Mahony: 4:18

Yeah, so that's a pretty storied career. You've seen a lot and I know your expertise lies in the more media side of things. But I'm going to kind of put you on the spot and ask for a bit of a kind of insight into how retail investing in particular has developed over the course of that 20 plus years and what you've seen, especially kind of we'll say, on the front lines of it with the Motley Fool.

Chris Hill: 4:43

So it's interesting, Mike, because you know, in my early days at the Motley Fool, the late 1990s, the retail investor revolution was really just getting started, and I'm glad we are no longer at this point. But in the late 90s it was an open question. It was debated on a regular basis in the financial media Should individuals be investing in the stock market on their own? And you know, part of what we were trying to do with the Motley Fool was to bang the drum as loudly as possible and say, yes, actually individuals can, and you know, if they have the interest, if they want to. Not everybody wants to, but for those who want to, you absolutely have the skill set to invest in the stock market. That was, you know, ancient history. You know where we've come since then, mike. I think. In general, I think the retail investing landscape has gotten bigger. It's gotten much faster. The speed of information is so much faster than it was 10, 20 years ago, and part of that is social media, part of that is the you know, the hyperfrequency trading that we see from some of the institutions. But I think that while on the surface the speed of investing in information can be a little daunting for everyday investors like you and me. Hopefully, if you stick in there long enough, you realise it actually provides a great opportunity for investors who can be patient. If you can think in terms of decades, not in terms of days or weeks or months, it's a huge advantage for people like you and me.

Mike O'Mahony: 6:21

Absolutely, and I think almost ignoring that information is the advantage, we'll say, but one or possibly two things. You mentioned the access to information. I'll also throw in commission free trading on top of that as the two major kinds of inflection points from, say, when Charles Schwab first introduced it, and then we have Robin Hood coming in, and then there's a plethora of smaller brokers nowadays that give away commission free trading. They're all powered essentially by payment for order flow, but for individual investors it's great and it's this new level of access to the stock market. How much do you think that has affected how the industry works now, because it is a fairly recent phenomenon and probably is still playing out.

Chris Hill: 7:07

It is a fairly recent phenomenon, although the phenomenon of commission fees going lower on a steadily basis that's been going on for 25 years I mean that's part of the rise of the retail investor revolution in the late 1990s was fueled by online brokerages Schwab is probably the biggest one remaining, but you can throw out names like eTrade, ameritrade. Back in the day, there was ScottTrade, and these were businesses that were really undercutting the institutions on Wall Street, where it would cost hundreds of dollars just to make a single trade. So you had these upstart businesses coming in and saying actually you can, you know, we'll do trades for $20. And then they start bidding against each other and it's like well, actually it's $15. It's $10. It's, you know, it's $8.

Mike O'Mahony: 7:58

All that sort of thing.

Chris Hill: 7:59

It's that race to the bottom that so many middleman industries fall into almost Absolutely, and I think that you know how this is played out for the broader landscape is it actually has removed a barrier for some investors out there. You know, particularly younger investors, newer investors. If you know, if you don't have, you know, if you only have a few hundred, you know bucks that you're going to try and buy a stock in it matters, even if it's just a $10 commission fee to make that trade. You know, I think what we've seen over the last three years in particular is some newer investors really get caught up in the commission free trading and maybe they're doing a bit more trading than they should. You know, in early I would say mid 2020, into 2021, when the market was going up, I mean that that seemed like well, it seemed like a movie some people my age had seen before. You know, we've seen these, these manias before, where the market is on an amazing bull ride and you can just close your eyes and throw a dart at the board and hit a stop and it's probably going to go up. Of course, the flip side of that is what we saw last year in 2022, which was such a rough year for so many investors including myself where it doesn't matter how good the news is coming out of a given company, the, you know the stocks are going to be sold off. So I think, commission free trading, the greater access to, you know, free access to information. All of that has been a rising tide that has lifted the overall boat of retail investors.

Mike O'Mahony: 9:38

I think Ben Carlson talks about this a lot. He's a really interesting writer. He says that this new access to the stock market, this universal access to the stock market, may affect future returns in the sense that we're not going to see that. It's about 10% is kind of the historical average of the S&P 500. Give or take that that can't really be guaranteed in the future because so many people have access to the stock market now compared to if you're talking about the 40s and 50s when it was literally the top 1% or the top 0.1% that would have access to the stock market back then. Now I'm not sure if he's right. I hope he isn't but it carries a bit of weight. Like, what do you think in terms of that?

Chris Hill: 10:20

Well, it's an interesting point, I, you know. I think that, again, to go back to the example I just shared, you know there are people who started out investing and, unfortunately for them, they started investing at the wrong time. It was a rough market and so, you know, we've had, probably throughout time, and certainly in the last few years, a number of people who have started investing. It didn't go well for them and then they said that's it, I'm out. They washed their hands of it, they're no longer interested in investing in the stock market. So I think that provides one counter to Ben's argument, because it's not going to be a straight line up, and I don't, I think, for a variety of reasons, we're never going to have absolutely everywhere. You know, there's never going to be 100% participation in the stock market. The other thing is, I do wonder if, if we start to see a little bit of I don't want to say the pendulum swinging all the way back in the other direction in terms of the cost of trading and sort of what, what happens for individuals. But I remember four or five years ago talking with a financial planner. I was at a conference chatting with this guy and I asked him you know what's your biggest challenge as a financial planner? And he immediately answered that for him it was figuring out how to communicate with his different clients and prospective clients. There were some clients who very much wanted to talk over the phone. There were younger clients who did not want to talk on the phone at all. They just wanted to do everything by text, you know, at a website and a platform and that sort of thing, and so I think that that you know that's one other counter to Ben Carlson's argument. You know everybody's different. Everybody has different goals and different levels of comfort in terms of what they're interested in investing in. So I think that's always going to have an evening out effect on the market.

Mike O'Mahony: 12:16

Absolutely, and another one of Ben Carlson's favourite phases is we just don't know what's going to happen either. So there's no point glueing yourself to these kinds of predictions. Okay, you mentioned the manias there and the wrong times to invest, so I'm going to bring that up, because I think you've witnessed all three of the latest crashes over the last 22 years, we'll say between the dot com bubble, the great financial crisis and then the COVID crash, which was more like a flash crash, but it did feel very real at the time. Do you think retail investors' reactions to these kinds of rapid downturns have changed over the years, or does it follow a similar pattern?

Chris Hill: 12:58

Has it changed over the years? Yes and no. You know, when people start investing has a huge impact on how they approach it. And you know there are people who start right before a crash. Maybe they start at six to 12 months before a crash, whether it's the late 90s or 2008, 2009. And risk tolerance is something that we, as human beings, tend to overestimate when it comes to the stock market. We think we can handle a big drop, and then a big drop happens and then you find out like well, wait a minute. You know it's easy to say in theory oh yeah, if the market fell 30%, I would sleep just as well at night, but then the market, as we've seen several times, drops 30%. And then you find out what your risk tolerance is. You know, I think, for those who make it through, you know, as I mentioned, there are people who just they have a bad experience and they tap out and they say that's it, I'm never doing this again, I'm just going to stick my money in a basic savings account or, you know, buy real estate, or you find some other investment vehicle. That is not the stock market. But for those who make it through I'll just speak from my own experience. It does toughen you up. It really does, you know, steal you for whenever the next crashes. I want to be very clear, mike. It never feels good. I mean as experienced an investor as I am, and I've been investing for you know, I'm now in my fourth decade of investing. 2022 didn't feel good.

Mike O'Mahony: 14:26

No, I mean it just.

Chris Hill: 14:27

I mean, it felt really bad to see.

Mike O'Mahony: 14:30

We're two different poles here now. I think I'd invested for three months at the time 2022 came around, but it didn't feel good then either. Yeah.

Chris Hill: 14:38

I did, you know, and so it is one of those things that you have to always keep your eye on your own goals, your own time horizon. Understand that we, collectively, as investors, have been through this before. We will go through this again and again. If you've got the stomach to make it through those really rough times and you can invest for decades, then you will absolutely reap the rewards.

Mike O'Mahony: 15:07

Hmm, I like what you mentioned there about your own, the own game you're playing and your own timelines and everything else. And that's something, Morgan, how it always espouses that you don't compare yourself to others because they're playing different games to you. If you're looking at, I don't know, Stanley Drucken Miller has just published his open positions or Warren Buffin, or whoever else, and you're like, well, maybe I should be on their lines. Well they're. They're Producing very different results for very different people, whereas if you have your, say, investing for your retirement or whatever us, that's what it's for, it could be 40 years time, 30 years time, whatever us. So to make sure and remind yourself why you're investing is such an important exercise throughout these times, and especially the times when Everything is on fire and there's blood in the streets and CNBC has got big red banners on top and bottom saying everything is going to posh along those same lines, mike.

Chris Hill: 16:03

I would just add a Positive Development in my own investing life when I reached and this, this took me years to get there, but when I reached the point, when I was able to look at Certain areas of the market, certain investment, you know the hot new thing, look at that thing. And I was able to say I don't understand that well enough to invest in it. And there seem to be some people who are making a lot of money in it, but I don't understand it. So I'm fine, ignoring that part of the market. That was a positive development for me because, you know, there are always those hot trends. Some of them turn out to be Truly transformational, some of them turn out to be just passing fads and they crash and burn. But I think, knowing, knowing what you know, knowing what you don't know, understanding the difference and feeling comfortable, just saying alright, I'm just, I'm comfortable with other people making money in this thing, that I just don't understand.

Mike O'Mahony: 17:11

Absolutely. He's a very smart man who knows what he doesn't know. And okay, we mentioned that you're very much on the media side of things when you're at the Mali food. So it's time for a bit of name-dropping here. First, Chris, if you don't mind. So I assume you've done hundreds, if not thousands, of interviews between the podcast and then the live events and all they're asking you to pick out one of your favourites and why, and why it sticks out to you in your memory.

Chris Hill: 17:33

I Get asked this question a lot. It's a little like being the father of three children. It's a little bit like being asked you know who's your favourite child? Because I've been fortunate enough to have a Lot of really positive experiences interviewing people. I'll mention a couple that stand out, because these are people that I've had the opportunity to interview multiple times. What is Michael Lewis? No and for writing. You know the big short and moneyball and Liars poker.

Mike O'Mahony: 18:07

Very topical right now as well.

Chris Hill: 18:09

Yes, very much in the news with his latest book on Sandbank and freed. You know, one of the things that I Always take away from the conversations with Michael Lewis is how he focuses on incentives and Incentives being a through line through so many of his stories and how powerful they are. Um, you know, every now and then I get the chance to speak to University students and I always recommend reading the big short. I love the movie. I actually watched the movie again recently. I've seen it a number of times. I love the movie, the big short, but the book is so much more detailed and Really gets at the herd mentality on Wall Street. That was one of my big takeaways from that book was just how powerful that is and that ties into the incentives and so it's. It's one of those things that I always try to remember when I'm Seeing one narrative making its way through the financial media and just sort of how. You know how much that herd mentality continues to this day. Two other people that I'll mention are both Anchors on CNBC and that's Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla, and I've interviewed both of them. You know, probably a dozen times each and you know the thing I get from Becky and Carl. They are, first of all, just as someone who worked on the media side, I'm I'm so impressed by them as individuals as you know how smart they are, how hard they work, how thorough they are in their research but also because they are, first and foremost, journalists, which I am not, but they are journalists and so when I watch them, particularly when they're doing one-on-one interviews and they're both so good at that I Think they both do such an amazing job of taking their emotions out of the equation. They really try to be, you know, have that distance that a journalist should have, and I think that that's such a great lesson for all of us as investors. You know, to the extent possible, if you can remove your emotions, whether they're positive or negative, if you can remove your emotions from the equation of investing, I think it makes you a stronger investor.

Mike O'Mahony: 20:32

Absolutely. I find it very interesting that you picked out people that are kind of revolving in similar circles. You've a writer and then two interviewers coming up straight away. I don't think that's an accident. Definitely not yeah, that's cool. Okay, now I'm gonna flip it and can you remember and I'd say you probably can do one of the worst Interviews that you've done, for whatever reason? I?

Chris Hill: 20:55

Would say, many of the interviews I did early in the pocket, yeah, I think back to 2009, 2010, and I just wasn't that good at interviewing people. I was. I would write out my questions, I would be very focused on my questions. I wouldn't really be listening to whoever I was interviewing, I was just doing that thing where you wait for them to stop talking and then I would just move on. And you know that. You know I finally figured out like, no, I need to be better prepared, you know, and it really it really didn't for my work ethic. You know, I would say from 2010 on to, to make it my goal. Every time I went into the studio or anytime I was getting ready to interview someone, my goal was I want to be as prepared as possible. I want to do all the research and study necessary so that when we start the conversation, I can be 100% focused on listening to them. And so, yeah, there was, there was, there was never. There was never an interview where it's like that was a bad interview because the person I was interviewing was bad. No, they were bad because I was not good at my job.

Mike O'Mahony: 22:04

You have, no, you have no. Bill Mann, Elon Musk moment in your repertoire.

Chris Hill: 22:12

No, nothing like that. I was in the room for that and it was. It was sort of a breathtaking moment.

Mike O'Mahony: 22:18

For anyone who wants the full details of that story as well, Bill Mann is going to be at our Dublin event on the 17th of November, so you can get your tickets in the show notes. I was after a plug right there.

Chris Hill: 22:28


Mike O'Mahony: 22:29

Okay, one last question now on the interviews, and this is putting on the spot a small bit, but I want to know if you could go back and ask one guest and a question now, knowing what you know now. Could you come up with something like that? Go back to Michael Lewis and maybe tell him to maybe skip sandbag and free and go for someone else?

Chris Hill: 22:53

Yeah, yeah it's. You know, I think that when I think about the sort of interviews in that industry the most, I've interviewed CEOs from time to time and, you know, depending on the CEO, that can be a really fun conversation. But see, I don't begrudge CEOs this, but CEOs are part of their job is to be political. It's not their job to make news and to be as interesting as possible, which is why I'm more interested in it. I've always been more interested in talking with analysts and talking with people in the financial media because they're more free to share their opinions. I think if I could, you know, go back to the co-founder and former CEO of Costco and I think I would probably try and push him a bit more on. You know, I remember asking him about and, by the way, that's a tricky thing to ask because you're basically asking someone who's really good at their job and who's getting up there in years.

Mike O'Mahony: 24:14

Yeah, it's about to say. You're kind of pointing at your wrist clicking the watch.

Chris Hill: 24:22

So, but I sort of, you know, broached that topic with him because it had come up in the media and I felt like I was sort of on relatively solid ground there. And you know now, with the benefit of hindsight, and you know basically what Senegal said was we've you know be basically said, when the time comes, we're going to have the next CEO. Like, he didn't, like he wasn't going to name any names, he wasn't going to speculate. It was the only part of the conversation where he got just a little bit prickly and I don't blame him for that. But he basically said you know what, when the time comes, don't worry, we'll let you know, we'll take care of it. Well, now, with the benefit of hindsight, mike, we know that the person that he had in mind was Craig Jelonek, a longtime Costco employee, and if you're a Costco shareholder as highly as you regard Jim Senegal, the returns for Costco under Craig Jelonek as CEO have crushed the returns under Jim Senegal. And so I think if I went back in time, I would ask him maybe a follow up question of you know, what do you think success looks like for the next CEO? Does it look, you know, in terms of stock market returns. Does it look like what you've done? Because it really is incredible that that business, which is basically the same business it was when Senegal was running it, it's amazing how that stock has performed.

Mike O'Mahony: 25:54

There's some parallels there with Apple as well, where you have the founding CEO and the big personality and Tim Cook came in and his return. Since he's been involved, I know he bought back maybe a quarter of the company and share buybacks. But that efficiency, the efficiency and the non flashiness of Tim Cook came back in. He did a lot of very smart financial moves, he moved into services and all the rest. It's not sexy like Steve Jobs coming out with an iPad on stage and the black turtleneck, but it's actually more efficient for shareholders because they're building. They're building on top of such strong foundations as well.

Chris Hill: 26:29

It's a great point, Mike, and I would encourage anyone listening to don't take our word for it. Go back to look up online and look at what the business media coverage of the torch being passed to Tim Cook was like. It was essentially a boy. Does this guy have not just big shoes to fill? He has arguably the biggest shoes in the history of business to fill and no one no one was predicting the kind of returns for Apple under Tim Cook as CEO, particularly in the wake of the amazing returns that stock had under Steve Jobs.

Mike O'Mahony: 27:07

Yeah, absolutely Okay. I'm going to cut in here real quick just to plug our newsletter. So, if you like, listen to us. You're gonna love reading from us. We are delivering to your inbox one of the most unique products on the market and it's completely free. So that's completely free stock, which everywhere every week you'll have a read about 30 seconds flash, and we can almost guarantee most of these companies are going to be brand new to you, which is where you get an edge. So sign up now in the show notes for this episode. Okay, Chris, I'm going to give you a bit of a quiz now. Obviously, you've been at the Motley Fool, for you were at the Motley Fool for 25 years, maybe give or take not to get 2026. I'm like, I'm like you now ticking on, ticking on the watch here, but can you recall some of the best, most outrageous, best performing stock picks from back in the day and kind of the success that they brush? I suppose you know.

Chris Hill: 28:08

So, you know, in thinking about you know and for those who might be unfamiliar, motley Fool money is a podcast that we started at the Motley Fool in early 2009. It started as a weekly show. It is now a daily show and one of the longest running podcasts when it comes to business and investing and most of the time it is. It was me talking with Motley Fool analysts about what's happening in the news and sort of getting their take on it. And you know there's not a single call that comes to mind. What comes to mind, Mike, is over the years and I'm talking about you know, and for those who are familiar, these names will be familiar. People like Jason Moser, Bill Mann, Andy Cross, Matt Artisinger, Ron Gross, Bill Barker. There were all multiple occasions when we were in the studio and one of them would be talking about a stock. Sometimes it was a well known business, sometimes it was a business that was a little under the radar, but I think the common thread for these comments and analysis from these people was that it was essentially about valuation. There were so many times when these analysts were saying this business right here is trading at a low valuation. In some cases it's wow, I'm kind of surprised that this well-known business that is profitable is basically priced for zero growth and I think anyone listening might want to take a closer look at it. One specific example is in the early days of Motley Fool Money, Ron Gross talking about Domino's Pizza, which was at the time trading for single digits. It was, I'm pretty sure. It was less than $10 a share. And they were, you know, they had a new CEO. They were going through their whole PR campaign about admitting, our pizza is not very good, which I, you know, which was, you know, a masterstroke, I thought by Patrick Doyle who was the CEO at the time in his chain. And you know, Ron was the one saying boy, this is a I don't know. I get that the pizza isn't very good and I get that the business is struggling, but holy cow. Again. Going back to the valuation, holy cow, this looks like a really attractive offer, you know, and that's something that slowly, over time, I was able to pick up on in my own investing life and sort of. You know, because I'm not necessarily someone who looks at valuation first, but there have been times where I have looked at stocks and added them to my own portfolio because of that very reason, where it's like, wow, you're going to sell me this stock at that. You know, the most recent example and maybe my only bright spot of 2022 was last year, when Nike shares of Nike came out with an earnings report. I think in the middle of 2022, the stock fell 25%, but I did. You know, Nike was one of those stocks I'd had on my watch list for a bunch of years. I'd never and I just thought, boy, that really seems like an overreaction and it looks like this thing is on sale right now.

Mike O'Mahony: 31:27

Yeah, absolutely, I was going to mention it there. I've been looking at it. Similarly at Zoom. For a strange reason, I think it was priced at almost 11 times enterprise value to free cash flow or something like, something nuts like that for forward free cash flow and I was kind of like, oh, I don't know, is it a business in decline? Whatever else, you know, is it becoming commoditized? And then I just had a Google Meet yesterday and I've never been more motivated to buy shares than after being in a Google Meet for an hour. Oh, it was awful. We had echoes, we had, you know, and there's three people's faces on three, that three versions of one face on the screen and everything else. So yeah, it is interesting, especially when we talk about long-term investing valuation. It probably isn't the top of the list, but it plays such an important role at the same time.

Chris Hill: 32:17

Well, and something else that you know Jason Moser in particular, but you know the other people I mentioned have made this point as well is you know, one of the great things about being a stock investor is you don't have to start with a lot of money and you don't have to start a position with a lot of money. You can. You know Jason Moser talks all the time about buying in thirds. You know, so you can start out with a position in Zoom and just say all right, you know I have more money to put to work, but I'm just going to take a small chunk of it. I'm just going to say and you know this has been my experience, I'm sure it's been the experience of your listeners as well, mike that you know, once you buy shares of a company, you tend to pay attention to it, you tend to watch it a bit more closely, you tend to learn a bit more about it, particularly if you start out with a small position, you know there's only so much damage you can do.

Mike O'Mahony: 33:10

Absolutely. The skin in the game is very important. I think it is a Jason Moser phrase as well. I'm going to butcher it now if it doesn't work out, it was only a small loss, and if it does, that's it. You know, a small bit is all I need. Right, Exactly, yeah.

Chris Hill: 33:29


Mike O'Mahony: 33:31

Okay, so we're moving on to your acting career now, If we'll call it that. You voiced Morgan Housel's audio book Psychology and Money, which was an international best setter. I think it sold over a million copies, hasn't it?

Chris Hill: 33:47

The book in all, in all its formats, has sold over three million copies worldwide.

Mike O'Mahony: 33:53

There you go. So you, you are the voice of that, which I think is a great role to be in, and especially for a writer like Morgan, who what I love about him is he. He puts such complex thoughts and ideas into the most simplest examples, whether real life or analogies and all the rest. So I think it's great to be a part of that process, even if it is you know you're not doing the right thing and you're doing the reading out. But how, how did that come about? And what's been your experience like with the audio books?

Chris Hill: 34:27

So I was one of the people in Morgan Housel's life. I've known Morgan since 2008 and you know he's a great guy. We've been friends a long time and I was one of the people in his life encouraging him to write a book. And somewhere along the way which, by the way, that's easy for me to say I'm not writing the book, but you know, it's always easy to just, yeah, go ahead, sit down and write a book.

Mike O'Mahony: 34:53

Yeah, you should have invested. You say I'll buy a page of this book.

Chris Hill: 34:56

Yeah, exactly, but somewhere along the way I, you know, when he was sort of talking through the different challenges of writing a book and mentioned audio books, I just, you know, brushed that aside and said, well, I'll do it for you, Don't worry about that, I'll do the audio book for you. And then, in early 2020, he called me on the phone and said I've got the first, you know, draft copies of the book. What's your address? I need to drop one off so you can start prepping for the audio book. And I gave him my address. And then I went straight to my laptop and I opened up Google and, mike, I literally typed into Google how do you narrate an audiobook? Because I, you know, I've spent a lot of time in a studio, but it's a very different process to narrate an audiobook.

Mike O'Mahony: 35:46

Your first draft was in an English accent or something, so I, you know.

Chris Hill: 35:51

But ultimately I, just once I got the book and started reading it, then I then I started thinking, oh my gosh, this book is great, I can't let him down. This can't be a situation where people you know are writing on audible. Well, the book is great, but the narrator's terrible. So, you know, I can't recommend this. So I spent a lot of time reading it. They sent me a PDF. I spent it. I went through it line by line to sort of highlight different parts of it so that when I went in the studio I was as prepared as possible. Um, you know, so in general, you know, when someone asks what the process is, it's for me it's spending hours and hours and hours of time preparing before I go in the studio.

Mike O'Mahony: 36:37

Yeah, absolutely Same with interviews and the same with everything else we've been talking about. That preparation is the real saviour, you know.

Chris Hill: 36:44

Absolutely, and it's just. It's all about just. You know, the more comfortable you are in the studio, the better you're going to do, whether you're conducting an interview or narrating an audiobook or something else.

Mike O'Mahony: 36:55

Yeah, and it obviously went well, because you're narrating the follow-up, so that's coming out. It's coming out next month, isn't it?

Chris Hill: 37:01

November 7th. Uh yeah, Morgan's follow-up book, same as ever, comes out November 7th. And uh, yes, I, I did the, I did the audio book for this one as well. And, um, and fortunately I didn't have to Google how to narrate an audiobook, because I had had the experience once before.

Mike O'Mahony: 37:19

Have you, uh, have you ever heard the story about, uh, Francis Ford Coppola? Um, he wrote this. He didn't write the Godfather, he directed the Godfather. Who wrote the Godfather? I'm giving myself away now, Mario Puzo. Mario Puzo wrote the Godfather, sorry. And then he had to write the screenplay for the Godfather too, was it?

Chris Hill: 37:42

And he bought it.

Mike O'Mahony: 37:44

He bought a book on how to write a screenplay and it was just read the Godfather one screenplay. Yeah, exactly yeah. So I feel like that's going to be it. So I don't want to put you on the spot too much, but do you have any spoilers? For? Uh, same as ever.

Chris Hill: 38:00

I'll say a couple of things about the same as ever. Um, you know, a couple of people have asked me what you know, what's how? How is the same as ever different from the psychology of money? To me, the psychology of money was a book that says, among other things, being a good investor has a lot to do with behaviour. So let's talk about your behaviour. One thing that I think is the same as ever is a book that essentially says, now that we've talked about your behaviour, let's look at how we as human beings have behaved for hundreds of years, and it's really about the things that never change. You know, one of the quotes that Morgan has early in the book is from Jeff Bezos. You know Bezos talking about how often he is asked the question about, you know, what's going to change in the next 10 years? And, by the way, that's a perfectly reasonable question for us as human beings, for us as investors. We always want to know okay, this is interesting, this is good. What's next, what's the next version of this? But Bezos goes on to say I almost never get the question: what's not going to change in the next 10 years? And I actually think that's the more important question. So it's really a series of eye-opening lessons that I think you know, both for us as human beings just in our everyday lives, but in particular about our investing lives. I really think the same as ever is going to resonate with a lot of people.

Mike O'Mahony: 39:33

I'm really looking forward to it. I was going to say I'm really looking forward to reading it, but now I'm going to have to listen to it. I think, after this, right One last question now, and then we're going to get finished up here and that's around our live show on the November 17th in Dublin. So you've manned a fair amount of these in your time at the Motley Fool. How are you looking forward to your first Dublin show and what do you have in store for us, without giving too much away, not dissimilar to Morgan Housel's book? You know we gotta keep them on the line here.

Chris Hill: 40:02

Absolutely. I'm so looking forward to this event. As I said, I've done dozens of events like this in my time at the Motley Fool, and look, I love podcasts, I love reading. There are a lot of different ways to get information as an investor, but for my money, nothing compares to events like this, because you get that interaction that you cannot replace with texting on a phone or even over Zoom or something like that. There's nothing like investors getting together in the same room talking about stocks, because that's the thing about investing is, for as many people as there are investing and there are certainly a lot more than there were 25 years ago it is still a pretty solitary endeavour. You know, I don't know about you, Mike, but I don't have a lot of friends who are really into stock investing. I'm the only person in my immediate family who's really into stock investing, so getting the chance to meet up with like-minded investors is something I always jump at. So, in terms of a little bit of a preview, without giving too much away, one of the things we're going to be talking about is stock investing opportunities in 2024. We're going to be talking about industries that investors should be keeping an eye on. Probably 2023 has been a better year than 2022, but that's a pretty low bar to clear and I think that there are some industries that are poised to do even better in 2024 than they did this year. And we're going to be talking about stocks. We're going to be talking about individual companies, stocks that investors are going to want to keep their eyes on Again. You know, some will certainly fall into the category that we were talking about earlier in terms of valuation, that here's a strong business and the price of the stock does not reflect how strong the underlying business is.

Mike O'Mahony: 42:02

Absolutely so. If you are an investor and you find yourself in Dublin on Friday, November the 17th, please give us a call. We have the link in the show notes for all the full details. But it's going to be a great event for networking, to find stock picks, to just listen to Bill Manziel on most stories, whatever. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you there, chris. And yeah, it's going to be a great meetup and it's just going to be a great night. I think there's even free booths, so at the very least, you'll get fed and watered. Chris, has been a pleasure. Before we finish up actually saying sorry, I just have to give a shout out to our friends and sponsors at Vodafone Business. So Vodafone have recently launched their V-hub digital advisory service, offering Irish businesses of all sizes free one-to-one digital support and advice. You don't even have to be a Vodafone business customer to avail of this service. So search Vodafone V-hub to book a call with one of the V-hub digital experts and we will leave a link in the show notes as well. Chris, it's been a pleasure. Thank you very much for coming onto the show. As always, it's great to hear from you and your experience, and I can't wait to do it in person in a couple of weeks.

Chris Hill: 43:03

Mike, it was my pleasure and, like you, I can't wait to get together on the 17th.

Mike O'Mahony: 43:08

Okay, We'll see you then. All right, Remember folks. If you have any questions like answered or elevated pitches you'd like us to tackle, make sure to get in touch. You can find us on Twitter at my Wall Street HQ, on TikTok at my Wall Street. You can simply just email us a pod at, Leave us a review, send us on to your friends and we will talk to you next week.

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