DAVID MAURICE SHARP & DIANE CIESLA | The Dancer and the Actress
DAVID MAURICE SHARP & DIANE CIESLA | The Dancer and the Actress
You may remember David from episode number 114 where David joined me to talk about his investment workshops at HB Studio, an acting conservatory in New York City, where he teaches performers about their finances. Diane Ciesler is one of his best students. David has christened Diane, "The Mogul". She began her career in her hometown of Chicago working at the Goodman Illinois Theater Center, Marriott Theater and Pheasant Run. She's appeared in films including Five Flights Up with Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, the Cookbook and Homebody and on TV in Law and Order the Path and Lipstick Jungle.
People in the arts and other kinds of freelancers don't fit into any of the formulas that the ordinary people fit into. This formula that they can use because they work nine to five, they invest in a 401k, yada yada, they retire at 62. None of of us fit into that scenario. Diane keeps talking about fear. I think one of the biggest problems that artists face is we're not provided a pathway into this world of investing and figuring out how it can help to support the work that we do. And even though artists, I believe firmly are very adept at it, once they understand it, there isn't that pathway available to them coming in.
Diane Ciesla began her career in her hometown of Chicago working at the Goodman, Illinois Theater Center, Marriott Theatre and Pheasant Run. Study with Stella Adler and Robert Lewis brought her to NYC, and much to everyone’s surprise this die-hard Chicagoan stayed.
Film: 5 Flights Up (Morgan Freeman & Diane Keaton), Fits And Starts (Wyatt Cenac), The Untimely Gift (Best Supporting Actress Nominee), Another Earth (Brit Marling), Off Track Betty (Award-winning short), The Foxy Merkins (2014 Sundance Finalist).
TV: Hulu’s "The Path", “K & A” (Jonathan Katz), "Law & Order", "Search Party", “Difficult People”, “Royal Pains”, “Lipstick Jungle”, “All My Children” and “Guiding Light”.
Diane is proud to have collaborated in the development of new American and foreign plays at Hartford Stage, McCarter Theatre, Soho Rep, New Georges, Bushwick Starr, Billie Holiday Theatre, The Lark, La MaMa, New Dramatists and Cape Cod Theatre Project.
Select theatre credits include Frank McGuinness’s Gates of Gold, (59E59), The Bird Sanctuary (Pittsburgh Public & Alabama Shakespeare), String of Pearls (PlayMakers), Mount Allegro (GeVa Theatre), Lost in Yonkers (Tour/Emanuel Azenberg, Producer), and a list of wonderful characters (Lady Bracknell, Mrs. Mannerly, Mrs. Warren, and Sister Aloysius) to name a few.
Outside of acting Diane gets great satisfaction from helping young actors and has taught at NYU and is on faculty at AMDA.
RECENT CREDITS : include Law and Order, and the films The Cookbook and Homebod
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And also I want to, for people who are listening, it's fun, it isn't drudgery it, it can be fun, find stocks that you are interested in. And one of them is chocolate, because I think chocolate is a vitamin. There was one stock that was about new energy and how energy is going to a different kind of energy is going to help us.
Hi, and welcome back to Stocks for Beginners. I'm Phil Muscatello. Is it ever too late to start investing? Why should a passion for the creative arts condemn you to starving in a Garrett? Joining me today to talk about this are David Maurice Sharp and actor Diane Ciesler. Hello.
Hi. Hi there. How are you?
Oh good. Oh, you're so subdued. Now when don't we go onto tape. You should have heard them before. Listeners, you may remember David from episode number 114 where David joined me to talk about his investment workshops at HB Studio, an acting conservatory in New York City, where he teaches performers about their finances. Diane Ciesler began her career in her hometown of Chicago working at the Goodman, Illinois Theater Center, Marriott Theater and Pheasant Run. She's appeared in films including Five Flights Up with Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, the Cookbook and Homebody and on TV in Law and Order the Path and Lipstick Jungle only chose that out of the list because of such a great name.
Phil (1m 40s):
Diane is one of David's more successful students, so much so that he refers to her as the Mogul. What impressed you, David, so much about Diane?
David (1m 51s):
Yeah, I would say when Diane first came to meet with me, we did it in person cuz it was pre Covid and it was very clear that she had really reached the point of saying, I want to get my finances in order. I want to take advantage of investing and, and finding ways for this to support the lifestyle that I've been living. She had also done a lot of the pre-work before she got to me, meaning that she had sort of figured out her cash flow, her debt situation, her monthly not, and she knew coming in, this is how much I have to start investing, I'm ready to do this.
David (2m 31s):
So she had, it was very clear to me that she was gonna be determined and was gonna really get it done. And in fact, what I do is after I meet with people, I, I send them a hit list of action items that they can work on. And inevitably within a day or two or a week at most, after we would meet, she would, I would hear from her and she'd say, yeah, I've got everything ticked off, or nearly everything ticked off. So she, she really, I think she had reached a point where she really made the decision and that I think, think came through very clearly to me
Phil (3m 0s):
And Diane what it was like. What was it like first meeting David?
Diane (3m 4s):
I think David's being modest. I I had made the decision years before and I planned to be a, an adult and live in the real world years before. And I really had a muster up courage to see David, but somebody that David and I both know recommended him and afterwards meeting David, I think I told David, I think I told you too, Phil, I walked out of the interview and onto the street and was emotional after I met him because I felt that it was possible that I wasn't an idiot, that I waited, but it wasn't hopeless and I felt it was going to be kind of fun.
Phil (3m 51s):
So what was, what was it about your financial situation that you felt you needed help with?
Diane (3m 55s):
Well, I felt that I needed to go into the real world. Eventually I was going to pop off the planet earth and I wanted to put things in order that way and I didn't think that I would work till the day I died. So I, and to tell you the truth, those ideas didn't really occur to me till about 10 or 15 years ago. But, you know, just getting older and, but like I said, I had wanted to do this earlier and I guess I was frightened to do it because I had known that people in the real world, and you'll have to explain that to them, Philip later on, but had done it years before and I felt kind of foolish and maybe a little stupid, you know.
Phil (4m 53s):
I think it's also the thing where people see someone on television or in a film and they immediately think that they're rolling in squillions of dollars, but it's not really that way, is it?
Diane (5m 4s):
No, no, because I you, you said, why do I call myself a workaday actor? Well, I'm not a star, I'm not a name. I just managed to get enough work to keep afloat and to keep me going. And I think that's the way it is for many actors, not all, but many.
Phil (5m 25s):
And David is Diane's situation, is it kind of like a common scenario that comes through your door?
David (5m 34s):
There's a lot of things about it that are, yes. I think one of the things that I have found is that people in the arts and other kinds of freelancers don't fit into any of the formulas that the ordinary people fit into. Right? There's this, this formula that they can use because they work nine to five, they collective, they invest in a 401k, yada yada, they retire at 62. None of of us fit into that scenario. Diane keeps talking about fear. I think one of the biggest problems that artists face is we're not provided a pathway into this world of investing and figuring out how it can help to support the work that we do. And even though artists, I believe firmly are very adept at it, once they understand it, there isn't that pathway available to them coming in.
David (6m 22s):
Many artists wait until later in life to start to get their finances in order because they say, oops, we have to start doing this now. So that's not terribly uncommon. And I think there is often a lot of shame associated with that too, of why did I wait until this, this long in my life? Why didn't I do it when I was younger? But when you're younger, you have so many other things on your mind, you're trying to get your career started, you have a million things. So I always say, look, you're ready now. You're starting now. Look at what's going forward. Don't, don't dwell on the past and worry about what you didn't do before because you can't, unless you figure out that time travel thing, you're not gonna be able to go back and change it. So let's figure out where we are now and make it work and move forward.
Phil (6m 60s):
And we've discussed this before, but I think that the way work is moving these days is becoming much more about a gig economy and much more about side hustles and setting yourself up in business. And it's very similar to what it would've been like for someone in the creative arts in the past. So I, I think you're both trailblazers in that area and these kind of lessons will apply much more widely in the future.
David (7m 26s):
I agree. I agree. And I think, you know, pri that the artists are leading the way again, but we are gonna, we are absolutely blazing the trail and, and the others are gonna have to catch up with us. And, and also to the point of, I always like to dispel this notion because that artists don't understand it and that we're, we're not educated about it, which is true, but it's, we're not alone in that. Like, I, as you know, I, I consult a few days in the Wall Street world with restructurings. You would be shocked at how little those people who are dealing with high finance actually understand about personal investing. It's shocking to me. I mean, so there, there really is, is an educational gap across the boards that I think is important for artists to realize too, because then it makes us feel a little less self-conscious about what we don't know.
Phil (8m 17s):
Diane, you actually, when you were younger, worked at the Chicago Board of Trade. I, I believe, I think everyone in Chicago must have worked there from the way I've been when I've been talking to people from Chicago. What was that like? Obviously it didn't stick as a career path choice.
Diane (8m 32s):
No, no, no, no. I started out in the cloak room and then a wonderful friend of mine, Bunny Donovan pulled me out of the cloak room and I started to work for, I believe it was Be Halsey Stewart as a runner. And it was so long ago, I believe a scanner. They even talked to me about possibly being a broker. And I told them that I couldn't even entertain that thought because I was going to be leaving for about $168 job somewhere. But I thought it was theater. I thought it was exciting. I remember walking into the Chicago Board of Trade, the corn pit and soybeans, and I just thought it was insane and exciting and theater.
Phil (9m 21s):
Was there anything that you learned at that time that you've been able to, that stayed with you until now to help your investing?
Diane (9m 29s):
Obviously not, obviously not, you know, no, I took away this, but I always knew this, that people have specialties and people have specialties about money, people have specialties about art, people have specialties. So I, maybe I put that idea in the back of my head when I went to try to get my finances in order. You go to the people who know, I mean, I'm sure people can do it themselves, but I think you make a lot less mistakes if you go to the people, you know, and I, I saw them really day in and day out doing finance,
Phil (10m 19s):
And it was important to you that he didn't make you feel like an idiot. You referred to that before, but
Diane (10m 24s):
I, I really became emotional. I was outside in the Village, west Village and I was on the street and I just, first I felt like very emotional and then I felt like an albatross had been lift off my neck because I felt that I was going to do this. After all, I'm the mogul.
David (10m 49s):
I was just going to say. And then the monster called the Mogul was created when
Diane (10m 57s):
Don't believe that there's a bridge I wanna sell you.
David (11m 1s):
Well, I'm gonna tell Phil the genesis of the mogul story. So of how that even came to be. So when we looked at what Diane, some, some things that Diane already had in place decided on some action that she could take to sort of, you know, what she was doing, get better returns, you know, move some things over, which was a burden unto itself, moving some of her investments to other places to make it worthwhile, et cetera, et cetera. But generally, especially when people were first starting out, I encourage them to have sort of a core portfolio of mutual funds and or sometimes ETFs because that gives them diversification. They're easy to get into, you can sort of set it and forget it, and it, it's a really good, you know, sort of inroad into the investment world a as well as forming like sort of a core stable.
David (11m 50s):
But, you know, let's face it a little bit boring. It's not that interesting to own, you know, a mutual fund to talk about to your friends. Anyway, a couple meetings in, Diane became interested in individual stocks and said, you know, I wouldn't mind sort of looking at a few individual stocks. And I was like, well, you know, that's not a bad thing to do because we have this core already built. We've done some other things. So, so we talked about some places that she could get ideas for, you know, other stocks to buy, like maybe the, the dividend aristocrats because we're always with people that are, that have sort of fluctuating income. I always sort of emphasize income producing investments because they could provide a source of income in future, which is, is never a bad thing for people in the arts.
David (12m 32s):
So looking at that, and then we kind of went on to Yahoo Finance to sort of discuss some of the criteria that you can look at and the data, like, you know, PE ratio, what that is all about, et cetera, et cetera. And not, you know, a few days later I get an email saying, oh my gosh, I just spent almost the entire day researching stocks today. And I was like, all right, I've created a monster. You're gonna be, you know, you do have to do your, your auditions and your other things that you're supposed to be doing. And that is kind of, as I recall, Diane maybe has more color on it, but that's how I recall. We suddenly started going, okay, you're the mogul, you're cornering the market on all these companies. Leave a little bit for the rest of us and, and have at it. But she clearly enjoyed it and she was clearly had an aptitude for it.
David (13m 15s):
Diane (13m 16s):
And, and also I'll piggyback off of what David said. When I first started working with David, I was scared to do a lot of things. And then after a while I, when we got together, I took the lead, I said, I know how to do that, don't worry about that.
David (13m 37s):
Diane (13m 38s):
And he just created a monster because he made it fun. He, he really did make it fun and possible and you know, and I think actors are smart. I think they just need to be given the possibility and told what to do and then they can do it, you know,
Phil (13m 58s):
Because actors and creative people are very resourceful people. Sorry David, what were going to say.
David (14m 2s):
Yeah, absolutely. And creative and, and I, I was just gonna comment on this sense of security and comfort that you have Diane going forward that you didn't have right before, right? Because you understand what's going on. You have things in place where if an unexpected expense comes up, you're like, oh, I've got that covered. You know, I know what I can do with that. Or I've, and I know what I've got supporting me. Which gives artists a freedom to then focus that energy on the art that they want to create instead of worrying about, okay, how am I gonna pay this, this, you know, bill when I don't have everything in order.
Phil (14m 42s):
So what were the kind of stocks that you were researching, Diane?
Diane (14m 45s):
Well, David again made it interesting. He said, find stocks that you are interested in. And one of them is chocolate, because I think chocolate is a vitamin, you know, stocks that you're interested in. And one, there was one stock, not to name certain stocks, but that was about new energy and how energy is going to help a different kind of energy is going to help us. And just the usual suspects I guess. But stocks that, like he said that I liked, a couple of the stocks were from Chicago because I thought I should help Chicago in, you know, and that's really the way I, I did it and David suggested a couple and I then took the lead.
Diane (15m 41s):
David (15m 42s):
We also found a way to, you know, cause it used to be that in order to buy stocks, she had to buy a big chunk
Diane (15m 48s):
Of that. And I was gonna mention that, David. Yeah, go
David (15m 51s):
On. Yeah. And that because there was commissions on it. So the, the more shares you bought, the, the more the commission got diluted amongst the shares. But now, because most brokers have waived the commission, a, you can buy, you know, even one share at a time. But even more importantly, the broker that we had Diane work with would allow you to buy dollar amounts of share. So you could buy fractional pieces of share so she could actually test the water. And again, this is outside of her core, boring, for lack of a better word, mutual fund portfolio and everything else outside of that, she could invest, you know, small amounts of money in a lot of different kinds of stock to buy fractional pieces of it, you know, and each month she could go in and, which I think she does well, she's only supposed to do it once a month, but whether she, you know, I don't know how rampant she's with this, but the, we set it up that, okay, at the beginning of every month you go in and you buy $10 worth of, you know, some of the shares that you're interested in.
David (16m 50s):
And as you can imagine, I'm sure that's gone
Diane (16m 53s):
David (16m 54s):
Diane (16m 55s):
Yeah. My little cigar there, you know? Yeah.
Phil (16m 59s):
Now that Diane, sorry, I was just gonna say now that Diane's like Gomez Adams with his ticket tape machine checking his stock prices every day. Sorry, Diane, I, I interrupted
David (17m 8s):
You. Exactly. You can hear her phone alerts going off every five seconds.
Diane (17m 12s):
No, but he made it fun too, that we did $5 and $10 and you sold those $5 and $10 grow and it, now I want to do shares, corporation.
Phil (17m 28s):
And how would, how would you describe your, your kind of research, Diane? I mean, are you, are you actually looking at the numbers or are you just sort of going No,
Diane (17m 35s):
No, no, no. I would, he taught me how to look at a company and where to look and he, he gave me David, I, you can probably help me a little bit on it was at an Yahoo Finance or something like that, about the different kind of, if if it's good to buy or to sell and the
David (17m 57s):
Diane (17m 58s):
Yeah, the recommendations of that and how to, you know, do research on a company
David (18m 4s):
And the dividend yields.
Diane (18m 6s):
Dividend yields, yeah. Things like that. Yeah. And so I would do that. You know, I I, I usually wake up my brain in the morning, really early in the morning. And that's how I woke up my brain by looking and reading at things like that, you know, and it became fun. It, it gave me the kind of excitement that I first experienced when I walked on the Chicago Board of Trade. You know, just the electricity in the air and things like that. You know, it was fun.
David (18m 34s):
And think about Diane 20 years ago, would you have said, yeah, when I'm waking up, the thing I do to wake up and relax in the morning is look at stock figures?
Diane (18m 43s):
Phil (18m 45s):
And how do you track your investments? I mean, you are obviously very interested in what's, how they're performing. Do you have a way of tracking them and basically seeing how everything's going as a whole, you know, between the, the mutual funds and ETFs and, and your own invi individual stocks.
Diane (19m 3s):
I meet David like once every quarter and in the meantime I go onto the websites and I go, in the very beginning I said, go get bigger, get bigger, hurry up, get bigger, bigger. But I, I watched them and during I think Covid and all the kind of stuff that happened last year, and still now they don't grow as much, but David and I knew that too, that there's ups and downs, so you have to ride it out. But I watch them. Yep. And I give them some pep talks, come on, you're gonna be a goner if you don't get up there.
David (19m 41s):
I also encourage everybody to, you know, once a quarter to do what I call an assets and liabilities chart. Which, which is you just list, you know? And, and I do it, I'm an Excel person, so I have it, I usually send people an Excel sheet because you wanna keep track of them. And a lot of times when you put little pieces of money in, in a lot of different places, until you really add them all up together, you don't realize how much your portfolio is growing in amount. Right. And you know, the great thing is Diane has, I don't think I've ever seen Diane have anything on the liability side, which is awesome. She's very good at not taking on debt and you don't have to do it really one more than once a quarter to really sort of systematically go through and say, this is what the value of all of these assets are.
David (20m 24s):
So generally, like she said, we meet once a quarter and she does that right before we meet so that we can then have it to look at and reference and say, oh look, this one's, this one is now, you know, become, you know, a bigger part of your portfolio and, you know, we wanna maybe wanna tweak around a little bit and, and look at where we're directing things and, and
Diane (20m 43s):
You can see the good work you've done too. Although he's chastised me for not looking at reports together, you know, the reports. He said, those are important, Diane. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
David (20m 55s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. Yeah. Well, and the other thing we just recently started doing was looking at, because this is something that most people in general overlooked, but because with artists we're, we're sort of organizing portfolios in a, in an income producing way as well, is I've been making her record the income that her different investments are generating. And that's also very surprising cuz if you don't pay attention to that, like you could see the stock market, you know, values going down, but the amount of money that they're generating is staying the same or going up. And that gives you a very different perspective on what you have. And so we've added that kind of to the mix of things that we're paying attention to is how much income it's generating, because that could be in future a very viable source of income.
Phil (21m 42s):
Have you noticed that Diane has that, has there been sort of a new income stream been revealed to you this way?
Diane (21m 49s):
Yeah, it's paperwork. Nobody likes to do paperwork and I usually, before I meet David, I wake up a crack of dawn and start doing my paperwork, you know, but it really gives you satisfaction. It's almost like doing taxes. You hate to do it, but you do have a gauge of what your year's been like and, and so it really helps a great deal. It gives you satisfaction and you kind of know where you're at and where you want to go. So I do all that paperwork for David before I meet him.
Phil (22m 23s):
And, and does it feel good to have that in that extra income stream?
Diane (22m 26s):
Oh yeah. I, I'm not using it yet, but someday I will. I I never thought I would, but yeah, needless to say, I probably won't work till the day I die. And it'll be nice to have some money floating around and coming in
Phil (22m 43s):
floating around like that. Hey, if I can just put in a plug for my friends at share site at this point, if you go to share site.com/stocks for beginners and you can get four months free on an annual premium plan or you can sign up for a free trial and all this sort of stuff is automated and you can even plug in your brokerage accounts and it'll track everything, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks and so forth. So I'd highly recommend having a look at that. Okay. The best thing as well is it, it gives you benchmarking and it's just really important to see how your whole portfolio is performing as opposed to a benchmark like an s and p 500 fund, for example.
Phil (23m 23s):
So I I I'm through with the, the plugs here. What, what I just wanted to ask you was a couple of lessons that I just wanted to go back to in that came up in the course of our discussion, one of which is starting small. And David, you believe that you can really start with that small amount of money. We can start with $5 here, $10 there and the importance of that.
David (23m 46s):
Absolutely. And there's a lot of benefits to it. Number one, you're not putting so much at risk because there's nothing more terrifying to an artist than to have to put $3,000 into a fund and you see it drop to $2,500 the next day. That's terrifying. But putting five $10 in gives you the comfort of going in while at the same time giving you the experience of seeing how it works. You know, I always, I I like to give the example of I'm one of those people who takes like an hour to get into a swimming pool. I have to like start and work my, cuz I hate to be cold. So I like start at the shallow end and very gladly and everybody, all my friends are always like, oh my gosh, we just get in the deep water.
David (24m 30s):
I'm like, I have to take my time. But there are some people that can jump right in. There's value in investing. If you're one of those people who's very afraid of it in taking your time and waiting in from the shallow end, are you gonna become independently wealthy by putting $10 a month in? No, you're gonna need to have more going for you. But that's going to give you the impetus. And I think Diane can attest to this. Once you see how it's working, then you're more eager to say, well you know what, I can up this to $20 or $50 or you know, and I'll let Diane kind of weigh in. Cuz she actually has experienced that. You
Diane (25m 5s):
Know, David said it all, it gave you the confidence to invest a little bit more. And also I want to, for people who are listening, it's fun. It's, it, it isn't drudgery. It, it can be fun and, and if I can do it, anybody can do it and it's never too late and that's about it. That would be my advice if I can do it, anybody can do it. And it's a lot of fun.
Phil (25m 31s):
I like quoting some of my other guests. One, one guest said, you can't teach passion. And another guest actually pointed out that the, the people that he sees doing well, and again, he's a teacher of financial advice and he says the people that do the best are the ones that are having fun doing it. Not, not the ones that are just doing it to say, you know, desperately trying to make money. And it's a big part of it, isn't it? You've gotta enjoy it.
Diane (25m 56s):
But Phil, I think that David made it fun and you make it fun by releasing that kind of, I don't know what you call it, fear, embarrassment, that you started late. And once that is out of the way, then you can ha start having fun. You know? I mean, you can do what you need to do, you know,
David (26m 17s):
And I think with artists too, artists are very curious people, right? And finding ways in this sort of world that seems scary to them to follow their curiosity and let that lead them in the path that they need to go to makes it fun. And it does become a really fun thing to do. Then there's more chance because they're appeasing their curiosity and they're following the fun that they are gonna gonna stick to it and, and do well with it.
Phil (26m 45s):
So would you describe Diane's portfolio as being like a barbell, you know, that concept where you have the solid strength of the ETFs and the mutual funds and then at either end of the barbell is the, is where the play money is going into individual stocks? Is that a fair assessment?
David (27m 2s):
Yeah, I kind of look at it, I tend to look at it more as a pyramid than where the cash being on the bottom and that's kind of your, the ballast of your ship, your emergency cash dash, and then bonds and stock are kind of the next upper levels of the pyramid. And the individual stocks are sort of the peripheral things spinning around the pyramid. Often when people start out the, it, it is very much like a pyramid shape because cash is probably gonna be the bigger part of your portfolio, but as you go on it starts squaring off, right? Because you reach a limit of how much cash you need to have and you can be beefing up your bonds and your stocks. So I would say, you know, Diane's is, is, you know, she's, she's somewhere in between the, the, the basic pyramid and a little bit more of the squaring off because she's, she's, she's definitely investing and then she's got a lot of things whirling around that pyramid.
David (27m 53s):
Cause she likes to, she likes to explore different st and almost every time we talk she's like, oh, oh yeah, I added a couple more companies my portfolio. And I'm like, okay, let's look and see what these are now. But again, it's, she's not adding these peripheral, what I call peripheral. They're, you know, these, these individual shares of stock to the detriment of the pyramid. She's still, we, we've automated the growth of the pyramid so that that's constantly happening monthly. And the rest of this is just kind of the fun parts.
Diane (28m 27s):
I, I know what I forgot to say. One of the fun things that David did is that I, and it sounds I guess so easy and so obvious, but that I put money into certain things at certain times a month and it goes automatically and I don't even know about it anymore, do you? And so that it, no, it, it just grows, you know? And so once all that's set into place, it really takes, it takes off.
David (28m 58s):
Yeah. And we kind of tweaked with what we were, what we were building as this core portfolio. We also had a, a early on you had some retirement investments that, that one of the, unfortunately, I think one of the mistakes it a mistake is kind of too harsh a word, but one of the, one of the things that I come across that happens to a lot of artists is when they put money into retirement vehicles like an IRA or something like that, they're encouraged for whatever reason to put it into a cash investment, which is not over time going to do anything for you. So that was one of the very big hurdles that Diana had to work herself over was we, we realized that she had some retirement accounts that were in certificates of deposit.
David (29m 49s):
And I was like, you're really not getting anything, any bang for your, you're probably losing money over the long term with that because cash just doesn't keep up with inflation. So trying to get that organized was no small fee, which I'll let Diane get into in more detail. But you know, those are, those are, that's not an uncommon thing that I've come across because people feel that that's safe, but it's, by being safe, especially in a retirement account, you're actually harming yourself. So, but yeah, Diane, that was a heavy lift.
Diane (30m 23s):
It was, it was during Covid and it wasn't easy to do. That's all I'll say. I can't say anymore, but I'm sure that they tried to do their best the bank, but it wasn't an easy proposition. You would think it would be, but it wasn't. Anyway, that's done and now they're where the money is where it's supposed to be, but it was in the middle of Covid, so, so you know, I'll give them that
David (30m 49s):
And we've seen by moving it how much better it's doing for her than, and you, you know, you realize quickly, oh boy, you know, it shouldn't have, it didn't need to be sitting in cash any longer than it absolutely had to be. You know.
Phil (31m 2s):
Is there a temptation amongst actors and creative people to invest in entertainment companies? Say like Disney for example?
David (31m 9s):
I actually haven't found that.
Phil (31m 12s):
I'm not interested. It's kind of they've seen it, they've seen it from the inside, have they?
David (31m 17s):
Yeah, no. I mean sometimes, yeah, I do hear people, you know, want it like the big one, but I, you know, some of the smaller independent companies, like one without, and again, I'm not making a recommendation by naming this company Lionsgate Film. A lot of actors are surprised to learn that that is a publicly traded company and people that really like the films that are produced by something like Lionsgate that I see people gravitating a little bit more towards. I see. Because when you own individual stocks, as you know, as you both know, you have a say in voting when things come up for a vote, that's where I see artists being really intrigued the most.
David (32m 2s):
So first they like a company, but then suddenly when the company is, they're being asked to vote, should the company do disclose their, their political contributions to us? Yes. Should they invest in green energy? Yes. You know, the things that that really sort of speak to us as artists who are concerned about the world that I find tends to overrule, oh, well I should support the entertainment industry sort of mentality, you know?
Phil (32m 31s):
So Diane, where can listeners see you on the, on the silver screen?
Diane (32m 36s):
No, silver screen. I just recently played a judge on law and order a wonderful series. It's the Old Law and Order Judge Evelyn Boyle, a Boyd. And I did a short film that's, I think it's going to be, do well in the festivals called The Cookbook. And then who knows what's going to be down the pike. I'll never know, you know, no one ever knows. But I've been lucky that way.
Phil (33m 3s):
And and your passion is teaching young actors in theater as well?
Diane (33m 7s):
Yes. I also teach at a school called amda in New York City. I teach scene study and it, I feel it's a way of giving back, you know, so shine's a good deed in a naughty world. You know, it's a, it's a way of making your mark on young artists and helping them not make the same mistake that maybe you have made. I'm hopping the mogul is hopping.
Phil (33m 35s):
I know, I was just gonna say, are you going put the mogul on your I M D B profile?
Diane (33m 40s):
Dunno, but I know, I, I just, I'm,
Phil (33m 43s):
Yeah. I can see a movie coming out of this. Or at least a Netflix series.
Diane (33m 50s):
David (33m 51s):
Exactly. David Thriving Artist Take Over the World. Yes, that's right.
Phil (33m 55s):
The Thriving Artist. So David, just tell us a little bit more, again, we've, we've discussed this in the previous episode and we'll put links in as well, but if people want to get in touch with you as well.Yeah. The best bet is to go to my website, which is davidmauricesharp.com and that lists any upcoming upcoming teaching engagements that I have going, as you mentioned, I teach at HB Studios here in Manhattan. I also teach regularly for the Entertainment Community Fund, which is the former actress fund. They've just renamed it. And I also have a book out called The Thriving Artist, which is available through throughout the world on AM Amazon or whatever your local bookstore might be. And it's basically a primer of, you know, in very basic, understandable terms of what, how to get started investing and saving and, and, and helping build a portfolio that's gonna be supportive of the work that you're doing as an owner.
Phil (34m 50s):
David and Diane, thank you so much for joining me. It's been a real pleasure speaking with you. Thank
David (34m 54s):
You, Phil. Thank you Phil.
Diane (34m 55s):
See you David. Bye.
Chloe (34m 59s):
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