Allow Me to (Re)Introduce Myself
And Why My Firm is Called Mindset Capital
It occurred to me as the subscriber count for this newsletter blasted past 1,100 subscribers that I hadn’t taken the time to introduce myself. So, please let me take a moment to share with you some of my history and how I find myself where I am today.
I began reading the Wall Street Journal when I was nine or ten. I remember seeing the newspaper open on the kitchen table and asking my dad what the numbers and stock tables were. From that moment, I was hooked. I invested in my first stock at 14, buying 50 shares of Unocal and using up my whole month of free stock quotes that you got from punching buttons on the phone that corresponded to the stock symbols (I know I’m dating myself).
Fast forward several years and probably because all I ever did was talk about stocks; I was given the opportunity to start managing a friend’s portfolio in 1998 after his company was bought. My grand start at investing money professionally started above my parents’ garage and somehow, I grew that to a $20 million small cap value fund (the Sabre Value Fund) that outperformed the market for 11 years by 800 basis points.
In 2011, I wound that fund down, because I realized there was an incredible opportunity to buy foreclosed homes, fix them up and rent them out. I had started the endeavor as a side investment buying 16 rental homes in March of 2009 and then grew that to 2,500 single family-rental homes with full property management. I sold that company in 2015 to a publicly traded real estate investment trust.
After the sale I started doing a variety of investments including some venture investments. I invested in a friend’s startup that was creating an automatic water shutoff device for homes that could detect leaks as small as a drop a minute and that you could control from your phone. In 2018, my friend asked me to join Flo Technologies, which I did as Chief Strategy Officer. We launched in Home Depot and eventually sold it to Fortune Brands at the end of last year.
This year, I went back to my first love and started a friends and family investment partnership to invest in the stock market again. It was good timing; it has been a good year and I’ve been thrilled with the move back to investing.
On paper the above sounds like a wonderful success story. But as with every story, there are nuances and challenges; curves in the road that got me to the place I currently am.
Did I forget to mention that I almost bankrupted my single-family rental company and was weeks away from missing payroll because we bought too many homes and could not ramp up operations quickly enough?
What about the time my fund was down 42% in 2008?
The list of mistakes I’ve made, the number of missed opportunities and problems I’ve encountered are both humbling and heartbreaking.
From 2015 to 2018, I spent three years writing a book called The Hard Break: The Case for a 24/7 Lifestyle. The book makes the business case for taking one day off a week. Why did I feel compelled to write a book? Because mistakes and setbacks in life and in business are common and to be expected, but how we deal with and process them can make or break a situation. The beginning of the book starts with me at rock bottom, crying in the shower in 2003 from self-induced stress overload. My book was a culmination of the steps I took to build a stronger, more balanced foundation to my life.
I formed Mindset Capital in 2015 with a new idea in mind. After reading the wonderful book Mindset, by Carol Dweck, my ongoing goal is one of continuous growth and learning. I want to grow from all of my experiences and become stronger for it. My new investment partnership is called the Mindset Value Fund with this in mind as well.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned what my strengths and weaknesses are. I’ve realized that I love learning about a variety of companies and investments, and I find it exciting to research opportunities no one has discovered or considered. I also love writing and engaging with people. And thanks to this newsletter, I now have a vehicle to share all of that with others.
My hope is that what I have learned over the past 25 years from mistakes to successes can help others and can deliver value to you the reader by challenging your thinking or exposing you to opportunities you may never have heard of. I also have stories and conversations to share from people I’ve met such as Jim Rogers, Dan Loeb, Charlie Munger and I’d also like to introduce you to investors, entrepreneurs and CEOs you may never have heard of, but are worth knowing about.
There is a lot to share and I’m fired up to share it. Buckle up because this newsletter is just getting started.