Shana Sissel – Take Action on Your Good Ideas


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By Andrew Stotz. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

As the CIO of Spotlight Asset Group, Shana Sissel oversees all aspects of the investment platform ranging from overall strategy, implementation, and communication to clients and prospects. Shana has nearly two decades of industry experience at leading investment firms, primarily in Boston and Chicago. She previously served as Director of Investment Due Diligence & a Senior Portfolio Manager with Orion Advisor Solutions.

Shana is a sought-after speaker & media contributor, frequently appearing at industry events and major financial news outlets like CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business News.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from the UMass-Amherst and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Bentley University’s McCallum School of Business. Shana is a proud holder of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.

“If you have an idea, the knowledge, and you’ve done the work, then don’t be afraid to go out and talk about it or have a differentiated viewpoint.”

Shana Sissel

Worst investment ever

Late 2006 or early 2007, Shana was interviewing for an equity research analyst position at a major global asset manager. Part of the interview process was to pitch a stock that you believed in and do the work and have enough conviction. A stock that you would put your own money in.

Banking on Apple

Shana did a write up on Apple. She believed that this was it. It was an excellent choice. Shana’s pitch was based on the fact that Apple was just about to launch the very first iPhone. At the time, the stock was probably trading at $3 a share. She had done her research well and believed that the iPhone was going to be a complete game-changer.

Trying to sell a newcomer

Apple, at the time, had no market share. Blackberry ruled the world when it came to smartphones. Shana’s selling point was that it would develop this ecosystem because Apple had such a brand commitment from the people who used it. A generation of students was coming up that would prefer Apple to the larger brands at the time.

Laughed out of the room

So Shana went in and pitched the iPhone as a game-changer. She projected the stock would grow to $150. She got laughed out of the room and was told to pick a different career.

Shana was unable to convince the portfolio manager that she was interviewing with to purchase Apple.

Losing confidence in her idea

When Shana got laughed at, her confidence completely left her. Shana stopped trusting her instincts, and in all the work she had put into her pitch. She believed the portfolio manager who told her that she was wrong simply because he was in a position of power and had more experience than her.

Failing to invest in her idea

The worst part of it all was not that nobody believed her, but that Shana didn’t believe in herself enough to invest in Apple. This missed opportunity went down to be her worst investment ever because the iPhone went on to be a game-changer just as she had predicted, and she missed out on the returns it has made over the years.

Lessons learned

It’s ok to think differently

It’s ok to have different views from other people. Just because others disagree with you doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Thinking differently is a positive thing. When it comes to investing, that’s how you win. Following the crowd is never how you win. You win by being different, thinking different, and seeing things differently.

Do your homework

If you have an investment opportunity, but you don’t trust your judgment, do your research so that you can be sure it’s worth investing in. You can’t convince somebody else if you can’t convince yourself. As long as you’re making good, thoughtful investments and doing the work, and you are confident in your investment, even if it turns out you were wrong, you win because it’s always about learning something new.

Andrew’s takeaways

Beware of shortfall risk

Putting your retirement savings in a bank and waiting for retirement day is a bad idea. That money will never grow. Invest it and let it make you good returns.

Be confident in your ideas

If you have an idea and have a strong conviction that it’s a good idea and have all the facts to back it up, don’t let anyone tell you it’s a bad idea. Be confident in your opinion and push for it.

Don’t be afraid of investing

If you find a stock or company or product that you like, do some research on it. Then if you think it’s good, invest in it. However, go in slow. Don’t invest all your money in it; instead, add to a diversified portfolio.

Take action

One way to take action on your idea is to start small. Just start small but do it.

Actionable advice

Take action. If you have an idea or a belief that you think strongly of, and you’ve done the work, then put it into action instead of being paralyzed in the fear that you might be wrong.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Shana’s number one goal for the next 12 months is just to continue fighting the good fight. And if she has a differentiated view, she won’t be afraid to articulate it.


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