How this ‘reluctant investor’ overcame her fear and discovered the power of investing

Personal finance

Author and investor Danielle Town used to be afraid of the stock market.

Financial statements, numbers and spreadsheets all made her eyes glaze over.

“I was such a reluctant investor,” said Town, co-host of the podcast “InvestED. “

“Yet, we can find a way to make this stuff become actually a joyful part of our lives, which I know sounds completely insane but can happen.”

It happened for Town — but not until she became burned out in her law career.

Danielle Town and her father, Phil Town

Source: Danielle Town

That’s when Town, 38, turned to her father, noted investor and author Phil Town. She had zero interest in learning from him when she was younger, but this time she started to listen.

“To me, the market was super scary; this sort of, like, swirling fog that I couldn’t see through,” said Town, who has since written a book about her path to investing, “Invested: How Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Taught Me to Master My Mind, My Emotions, and My Money (with a Little Help from My Dad). “

She decided to find a way to make it work for her that was fun and interesting, and also involved learning about specific companies.

“If it was boring or painful, I knew that I would quit.”

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So, Town started to treat it like a practice — similar to a yoga or running regimen — that was about growing and learning and not about a goal or an end. It focuses on companies that reflect her values.

“So my practice looks like, in real life, me waking up in the morning,” she explained. “I grab my phone, I scroll through the news.

“I read whatever is going on with businesses that I’m interested in, general news, market news, just really whatever I find interesting and catches my eye,” she added. “I do that for maybe 15 or 20 minutes; if nothing grabs me really, then that’s it — I’m done.”

Danielle Town and her father, Phil Town

Source: Danielle Town

Other times, she may find something that peaks her interest. If so, she’ll make a note and go back to it when she has time to dig more deeply into specific companies or industries.

She also walks around with what she calls “4-D” glasses, where she sees products and services being created by companies she could potentially invest in.

“It makes investing practice become so much more than just putting money into something and forgetting about it,” she said.

“It’s about becoming engaged with our money personally but so much more so with what’s going on in our world around us.”

CHECK OUT: Learning 4 life skills can save you hundreds of dollars via Grow with Acorns+CNBC.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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