General Information

John Maxfield
Fool Since:
July 5 2011
Where I Live:
Portland, OR
Where I Grew Up:
Torrington, WY

Investing Basics

Investing Experience:
Medium High
Risk Tolerance:
Investing Style:
Long-Term Buy to Hold
Portfolio Size:
Medium (4-12 Stocks)

Investing Favorites

Banking, Finance, Retail/Consumer Goods
Where Are the Customers' Yachts?; Mistakes Were Made; The Behavior Gap; The Robber Barons; Built to Last; Thinking Fast and Slow; The Power of Habit; Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist; Sam Walton: Made in America; Bull!; The Black Swan; Money of the Mind; The Checklist Manifesto; The Intelligent Investor; The Innovator's Dilemma; Outliers; Manics, Panics, and Crashes; Liar's Poker; Den of Thieves; The Smartest Guys in the Room; Barbarians at the Gate; Swoosh; Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire; The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger; Steve Jobs
Farnam Street; Calculated Risk; The Reformed Broker; Noahpinion; Dealbreaker; Alison Frankel (Reuters); Buttonwood's Notebook (Economist); Paul Krugman
Warren Buffett, Howard Marks, Robert Wilmers, Morgan Housel, John Stumpf, Joseph Ficalora, Richard Davis, Malcolm Gladwell, Benjamin Franklin, Jim Sinegal, Howard Schultz, among others...

Investing Expertise

My Area of Expertise:
Banking, mREITs, general market
Greatest Investment:
BAC (bought in 2011)
Worst Investment:
Bought HOV calls only to discover that I needed liquidity soon thereafter.
Money I Manage:
My own (which, of course, is also my wife's)

Education And Work Information

School(s) Attended
Lewis & Clark College (BA), Southern Methodist University (JD), University of Denver (halfway to LLM in Tax until I nearly died from boredom)
Job Title
Writer (am also a licensed attorney)
Company / Organization
The Motley Fool


My Interests:
Raising principled children (we have twin boys), reading, working, travel, the Denver Broncos, not making my wife mad, not doing anything stupid, etc.
Person(s) I'd Like To Meet:
Sam Walton, Jeff Bezos, Malcolm Gladwell, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Ho Chi Minh, Warren Buffett, Mao, Henry Paulson, my Mom's mom, and my great grandparents.
Favorite Restaurants or Foods:
Daylight Donuts in Torrington, Wyoming (circa 1990)
Favorite Vacation Spots:
Paris, London, Switzerland, anywhere in Italy
Favorite Sports or Teams:
Denver Broncos
Favorite Movies:
The Fog of War (this is an extraordinary documentary about Robert McNamara), The Lives of Others (if you haven't seen this, you should immediately stop what you're doing and go get it).
Favorite Board Games:
Backgammon and, while this isn't a board game, a specific version of Gin Rummy that was common to where I grew up.
Favorite Music or Musicians:
Band of Horses, Joe Bonamassa, The National, The Killers, Eminem, My Morning Jacket
Great Books Read Recently:
Made in America by Sam Walton; Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz; The Everything Store (the story of;
Book Currently Reading:
A.P. Giannini: Giant in the West

An Interview with JohnMaxfield37

Last updated: 1/25/2014
The Fool:
What, in your opinion, are some of life's big mysteries?
The biggest mystery of all is where matter came from. Also, I personally wonder at times how I convinced my wife to marry me.
The Fool:
Describe the most embarrassing personal moment you'll admit to!
There are two. First, I was invited to play the national anthem on my trumpet at a playoff football game in high school. My mind went blank and I just stood there in silence. It was very awkward. And second, I co-wrote testimony for a Congressional hearing on the JOBS Act. I then proceeded to sit behind the presenter (my colleague) trying to be serious, but ultimately came across on camera as a disgruntled lunatic -- I thank God everyday that it was only on CSPAN.
The Fool:
What's been your best investment to date, and how did you discover it?
A private bank in Nebraska that has returned at a compound annual rate of 14% since 1998. It was a family deal.
[Read the full Interview]

My Story

My story is uninteresting and uninspiring, but I'll share it anyway. I grew up in a small town in Wyoming, the son of a successful cattle feeder. I subsequently went to college in Portland, OR where I, most significantly, met my wife -- who I proceeded to pester for a dozen years until she agreed to marry me. After college, I attended law school in Dallas, TX; clerked for a federal judge after graduation; and then went back to school to avoid starting a career. Halfway through an LLM in taxation, however, I quit after nearly dying from boredom. I then used the proceeds from a fortuitous investment in a fast growing private bank to move to Washington, DC and work in a bookstore -- I love to read. While I had no intention of doing so, as I was only there for a discount on books, I went from shelving books to store manager in two years. Not long after, I began writing for The Motley Fool, which is where I am today and hope to remain for some time to come.

How I Invest

It's my opinion that staying in the market for decades is the only way to achieve truly phenomenal returns. As a general rule, I prefer broad index funds. I do buy and own individual stocks, but I do so only once or twice a year, and only if a great opportunity presents itself. My most recent purchase along these lines was AAPL at $420 -- though, I had dollar-cost averaged down, and my aggregate basis in it is $470.