Nick Maggiulli is the Chief Operating Officer and Data Scientist at Ritholtz Wealth Management, where he oversees operations across the firm and provides insights on business intelligence. He is also the author of, a blog focused on the intersection of data and personal finance. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and The Los Angeles Times. Mr. Maggiulli graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Economics and currently resides in New York City.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • “As Aristotle once said, “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
  • What’s the Matthew Effect? The Matthew effect explains how two people can start in nearly the same place and end up worlds apart. In these kinds of systems, initial conditions matter. And as time goes on, they matter more and more.
  • Instead of saving a fixed percentage of your income, save more when you earn more and less when you make less.
  • The best way to save more is to earn more, not cut expenses to the point of being miserable.
  • The real question money forces us to answer is what’s important to us in life.
  • You should save what you can, when you can. Relying on a fixed, prescribed savings rate is nonsense.
    • The Dolly Varden trout, an Alaskan fish species, puzzled biologists for decades. Despite only having a brief window of plentiful food each year — when salmon laid eggs in their waters — the fish continued to thrive year-round. How did they do it? Eventually, scientists discovered that the fish shrink and grow their digestive organs depending on food availability. When the salmon show up, they speed up their metabolism so they can take in more calories. Then, when the other fish leave, they slow down digestion. This way, they get by with much less food throughout the remainder of the year.
  • Great Things Take Time – Focusing on the long term is more important than ever. The story of the “Dashrath Manjhi Breakthrough” – He carved a path through a mountain. He moved a little bit of rock each day for 20 years.
  • Nick committed to writing one blog per week in 2017. And it changed his life. He learned that storytelling is what captures a reader’s attention. And the way to develop good stories is to read a lot, from a wide variety of sources. We all can do this.
  • One decision can change everything. NASA decided that Voyager 2 would slingshot around planets has made it the farthest man-made object from Earth. And it’s still producing information for us.
  • The Constant Reminder – How the Right Decisions and Compounding Can Lead to Huge Results. How have the decisions made by NASA 40 years ago had a profound effect on the Voyager missions and success to this day? Once a successful process is implemented, the results can be surprising. The point is to show you that making the right choices and letting things run their course can lead to incredible results. This is what makes consistent actions and the power of compounding so amazing. “When I think about creating a new habit in my life, I like to imagine all of the future benefits from that habit discounted back to the moment when the habit is formed.”
  • “Jeremy Siegel, the famed financial author, summarized it best when he wrote: “Fear has a greater grasp on human action than does the impressive weight of historical evidence.”
  • “To build wealth it didn’t matter when you bought U.S. stocks, just that you bought them and kept buying them. It didn’t matter if valuations were high or low. It didn’t matter if you were in a bull market or a bear market. All that mattered was that you kept buying.”
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Time Stamps

00:25 – Writing Consistently

03:10 – Advice From Morgan Housel

10:58 – Writing is the Ultimate Tool for Clarity

15:20 – Winners Keep Winning, Why?

20:53 – You Have to Love The Process

24:03 – The Story of the Mountain Man

32:52 – Saving is For the Poor, Investing is For the Rich

37:33 – Investing Advice For Beginners

43:45 – Thoughts on Investor Fees

47:54 – Commonalities on Sustaining Excellence

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership