This interview originally appeared on the Inside Value website in January 2007.
We always try to end our interviews with a little fun.
For your entertainment
David Meier: We always want to learn a bit more about the people we interview. So the first thing I'll need from both of you is the title of a good book you have read recently.
David Carr: For me, I guess it wouldn't be too surprising. I read it every so often, and I have returned to it again recently with Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.
Atlas Shrugged has had quite an effect on me and my philosophy, particularly on my philosophy. I don't agree with everything Ayn Rand wrote, but I believe completely in being individual and being rational. And I believe in value given for value received. There are some hard edges to the Ayn Rand philosophy, and I like to shave a little off the hard edges, but in the general belief of I like to deal with people who are honest and ethical and rational, and I like a system that rewards good people.
Larry Coats: A lighter book that I am reading right now is written by a gentleman named Michael LeGault, and it is called Think!, and it is actually a counterargument to Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink. Gladwell basically made the argument that first impressions and snap judgments have greater value than people give them credit for. LeGault says, let's think about this a little bit and not put too much merit in those gut reactions. So it is an interesting debate.
DM: Very interesting. Sticking with media but shifting forms, what band or song are you guys listening to in your CD player or your iPod?
DC: I have a very eclectic genre, so one of the things I am excited about is that HD radio will have a blues channel. I like the blues a lot. My wife finally bought me an iPod. I kept waiting for the price to come down, and she finally decided it was time.
DM: Once a value guy, always a value guy.
DC: On my iPod right now is "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. That is one of my favorites.
LC: David, you don't know us very well, but if you got to know us better, it wouldn't surprise you that I am so cheap that I still don't own an iPod, and evidently my wife doesn't think enough of me to get me one yet, but I am not sure ...
DC: Maybe my wife will.
LC: But in the CD changer in the car would probably be some combination of country music and B.B. King and Eric Clapton. There is a collection of songs that those guys did together that is an interesting group.
DM: If it's any consolation, I am right there with you on the cheapness. This is the first year since my daughter has been born -- and she's 9 now -- that we have ever had cable, and the only reason we got it is because we were able to bundle it together with some other services and pay a decent price. So I am right there with you.
DC and LC: Good.
DM: Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and your experience and for giving us the opportunity to help our readers.
DM: You get one final parting shot here. If people want to become better investors, what do you think is the first thing they should focus on?
DC: I think the service that you all provide and the effort that you make is important in trying to educate people, because there are so many people saying you must do something now and time is going away quickly, and I think the ability to be able to think long term and to understand is a nice perspective. So I would say, maintain perspective.
LC: There is a quote by Ben Graham where he says, "Investing is most intelligent when it is businesslike." And so, have the same perspective when you look at investing in businesses, even though you are only buying a hundred shares or a thousand shares or a million shares, or whatever you are buying. Recognize that you are buying a piece of a business, and pursue it with the same diligence and thought process and analysis that you would if you were going to buy the entire business.
DM: And on those Foolish words, I think we are done.
The Motley Fool would like to thank David Carr and Larry Coats for taking the time to share their knowledge to help our readers grow as investors.
Retail editor and Inside Value team member David Meier does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He's ranked 7,979 out of 30,725 rated investors in CAPS. You can view his TMF profile here. The Fool takes its disclosure policy very seriously.