DIY Investor Interview

DIY Investor Interview #3: OthalaFehu

Welcome the the third interview of an interview series documenting the successes and failures of DIY Investing, straight from the investors’ perspective.

Over the years I have learned a tremendous amount from others.  Especially those with far more investing experience.  I hope this series provides perspective on how people got started investing and the positive and negative lessons learned.

Please contact me if you are interested in participating in this survey.

Without further ado, here is a success story.  This interview comes from OthalaFehu.  He has built up a sizable, diversified portfolio.  He also shares one holding particularly close to my heart, Disney.

DIY Investor Interview

Name: OthalaFehu

Age (or Age Range within 5 years): early 40’s

Location:  Midwest USA

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2 boys

Highest Education: Juris Doctorate

Occupation:  Attorney

Household Income Range today:

  • $100,000 – $250,000

Were you raised frugal or did you learn it?


If married, is your spouse frugal?

Yes, naturally low maintenance.

What was your investing turning point, when did you start investing for your future?

I was always pretty much making the right financial decisions. It was when I started trolling early retirement PF blogs that I really started to realize this could be an actual attainable goal.

What is the size of your investment portfolio?

  • $500,000 – $1,000,0000

How many individual stocks do you hold?


What is your largest individual stock holding?

$8,000 in AMAT

How many mutual funds or exchange traded funds do you hold?


Which fund is the largest?

Target retirement 2030 – $70k

Do you hold individual bonds, if so how many?  What is your portfolio allocation to bonds?

I buy bonds automatically through Treasury Direct, I hold about $25k in individual bonds and several bond funds, they are about 15% of my portfolio

Have you ever purchased options, futures, precious metals or sold a stock short?  Please explain.

I also buy and hold physical PM’s; gold, platinum, palladium, and silver. Would love to say 10%, but more like 2-3% of total portfolio.

What are your long-term goals for your investments?

To reach a passive income able to replace my paycheck income.

What was the biggest hurdle to overcome to start investing?

Just doing it. Even if the place you pick to stash your money is not optimum, just start.

How often do you contribute money to your investments?

Automatically every paycheck, and then additionally several times a year whenever I come into money from some non paycheck source.

What is your favorite investing story or lesson learned?

Dividend paying blue chips stocks.

What steps did you take to learn about investing?

Read several books, but mostly everything on the internet. Visited a financial advisor once, but was disappointed in that route.

When you started investing, did you have a known plan?

Not really, or at least not one I stuck with for very long before I upgraded

Do you read blogs or websites about investing, what is your favorite?

How much does it cost per year to research your investments, what are your favorite things to read?

I read a lot of CBSMarketwatch, TD Ameritrade, and Sharebuilder. Zero cost.

How much time do you spend on investments?

Couple of hours per week.

How frequently do you buy investments and how long do you typically hold?

I buy every 14 days, I hold forever.

What was the worst investing mistake you ever made?

Please see my post called The Art of Market Timing

What is or was your best performing stock(s) or investment?

Disney. Buying Star Wars was a Gold Mine.

What is or was your worst performing stock(s) or investment?

I thought TIVO was going to do way better than it did.

Describe your investment approach in a few words.

Stack chips while you can, let your money go out and make you more money.

Is possible for a Do-It-Yourself investor to beat the market consistently?

Don’t try to hard to beat the market, 4% will work out just fine.

What holds people back from investing?

Lack of knowledge and lack of confidence.

What is the best piece of investing advice you could give to individual investors?

Please see my post called The Art of Market Timing

Have you ever inherited money or is an inheritance part of your long-term plan?

I don’t recommend having loved ones die in order to invest, but yes I did inherit some money and it did help us to fast forward on many of our financial goals.

How do you factor in Social Security into your long-term plan?

I don’t really, if it happens it will be gravy.


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