This is me in Costa Rica. “Benign neglect, bordering on sloth, remains the hallmark of our investment process.” — Warren Buffett

How I Learned to Invest (part 2)

Next step: focused investing

Duncan Riach
8 min readSep 20, 2021

This is a follow-on to part one, from last week, in which I covered my path into, and through, index investing. This week, I’ll explain how I became a more capable and sophisticated investor.

After my return from a ten-year vacation, I started earning again and saving money, particularly after I began using YNAB (you need a budget), which enabled me to effortlessly have visibility and control of my money flow. I was able to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle (every dollar we spend now came in many months ago), and to develop a sense of financial security, creating the psychological space that enabled me to start calmly considering long-term investing outside of my retirement account. I recently wrote about how I finally got control of my money using YNAB. You can get a free month of YNAB using my referral link (I’ll also get a free month). YNAB makes money allocation conscious.

When the stock market had a relatively brief mini-crash starting in February 2020 (it only really got back on its feet in November of that year), like many others, my interest in investing was renewed. After buying a few stocks, including Zoom (ticker: ZM) in April, before its price rose by five times (+400%) in seven months, I realized that I didn’t really know what I was doing and I started looking for resources to learn more.

Luckily, and very quickly, I came across the InvestEd podcast by Phil Town and Danielle Town. This podcast, which is now on its 334th episode, follows the process of Danielle Town, an attorney, learning from her dad, Phil, a hedge fund manager, about how to invest her money with both high return and low risk. Apart from the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that flows from Phil, the podcast is particularly heartwarming because it follows the process of a father teaching his child about money and investing, all whilst demonstrating unusual amounts of patience. Not only has the process been healing for their relationship, but it’s nourished me as well. In some ways, it has given me aspects of parenting that I missed; I have few memories of my father, partly because he died when I was eight.

I started listening to the InvestED podcast every day, starting with the most recent episode and working backwards. So far, I have…



Duncan Riach

Top Writer. Self-Revealing. Mental Health. Success. Fulfillment. Flow. MS Engineering/Technology. PhD Psychology.