How to be Thankful in Life & Investing

As many of you know, I attribute a great amount of my success to the fact that I regularly practice gratitude in all things in my life. Around the holidays I like to encourage everyone to show appreciation for all of the wonderful gifts that we have in life. I’m thankful for my wonderful wife Melissa, my family, all of the investors who have taught me what I know, my horses, and of course all of you. Without you, Rule #1 Investing wouldn’t be possible.

Years ago, I spent some time in Japan with a good friend of mine named Wahei Takeda. He’s known as the Warren Buffett of Japan, who made his entire fortune from scratch in post WWII Japan. Let me share with you what he told me about being thankful…

Wahei told me that the most important thing that you can do every day, the thing that was responsible for him making billions of dollars, is:

“Be thankful 1,000 times a day.”

I loved hearing this. I felt like I’ve been doing it my whole life, but I’ve never heard anyone put it into a formula for making money and using it as a guide to investing. Wahei calls it, “Maro Up.” “Maro” means, being thankful.

When Wahei buys a company, he goes to the CEO and tells them that he wants them to learn the technique of being thankful.

This idea of being thankful must be really basic and fundamental to some kind of law of nature. It rises up to support you. That’s what I’ve seen in my life.

What are You Thankful For?

I want you guys to think about practicing this, because it’s so simple. All you have to do is be aware to be thankful, and do it as much as you can.

Be thankful for the blue sky. Be thankful for your wife making you breakfast. Just be thankful for being alive and breathing the air.

That’s all it is. Put yourself in that psychological position of thankfulness. Find the things to be grateful for every day. I’ll tell you there’s something about it that’s so powerful. It turned Wahei, who was poor, struggling in a country that had been devastated, into a billionaire.

If it worked for him, we should try it too.

Be really thankful. Do it 1,000 times a day. Use that in your Rule #1 Investing to guide you as a way to feel about everything you are doing. I think you’ll start making better decisions, and I think that you’ll start getting support from nature in ways that you never imagined.

Now go play.

Learn to invest in companies that you love and believe in. Invest in a business that you think is out there to change the world. That’s how you make the world a better place. If you haven’t taken the next step and signed up for my free webinar, take a minute and sign up for next weeks Transformational Investing Webinar where I can show you how to invest with passion.



Phil Town is an investment advisor, hedge fund manager, 2x NY Times best-selling author, ex-Grand Canyon river guide and a former Lieutenant in the US Army Special Forces. He and his wife, Melissa, share a passion for horses, polo, and eventing. Phil’s goal is to help you learn how to invest and achieve financial independence. You can follow him on google+, facebook, and twitter.

  • Rulov72

    Just a quick line from one of your regular UK listeners to thank you for the podcasts. Yes, they’re obviously US-centric but of equal application wherever your home market. Very enjoyable and easily accessible whatever your level of experience.

  • Claudia M.

    I just wanted to let you two know how grateful I am for this podcast. I really admire and like Phil and his approach to investing. But having Danielle do this podcast with him is truly helpful. I feel she, as a beginner investor, is the voice that represents all of us and makes some of the obvious questions that we all would like to ask. Keep going! We will keep listening 🙂

  • Ramchandra Nadar

    Phil, I consider myself fortunate to get the opportunity to attend your 3 day seminar from June 23 to June 25 2017 at GA. You are the Earl Nightingale and Zig Ziglar of Investment. I want to Thank You and Your Family, ( Melissa, Michelle, Danielle, Jeff and the Rule Coaches) for all that you are doing for educating people about investment.
    I had heard the phrase Attitude of Gratitude from my friend’s Dad who was a Priest but “being grateful and thankful 1000 times a day” was new and extremely important information . Just saying Thanking You couple of times makes one feel like a millionaire when we start noticing the blessings,counting them and being grateful each day. We learn about investing and we aso learnt about how to make a Life. Thank You and I will pass this message to All Friends and Family.

  • T&A Valdez

    “Thank You 1,000 Times” to Team Phil and all they have done to educate and encourage me to invest! T.

  • Pamela Youell

    WOW! So it’s been week since I watched this short clip and thank you for sharing. By the way, this is my second thank you of the day. I have 998 more but, whose really counting when it comes to something this simple but yet profound.

    After watching this short clip I wanted to know more about Wahei Takeda. I googled “Maro Up” and came across this nice little gem of a book called “Maro Up! The Secret to Success Begins with Arigato: Wisdom From the Warren Buffet of Japan”. It was $.99 on a kindle download. They say the $1.00 has very little value today. Well, this little gem proved that wrong. “The practice of maro-up is the practice of bringing the true self back into the spotlight. It’s the process of handing the reigns of control from the ego to the maro”. This is straight from the book. This little book takes about 45 minutes to read and I wish I had read this 6 years ago. I might have changed the direction I took sooner when I found myself no longer loving what I was doing. However, my ego had the reigns and it definitely took over my maro (maro means true heart or sincere heart in Japanese) and led me down a very unhappy and unhealthy road. Forget the Mojo…I’m getting my Maro back.

    Phil Town, after reading this little gem of a book, I don’t know anyone I’ve been fortunate to meet or followed in teaching that doesn’t practice the “Maro-Up” better than you. Your true heart, your sincere heart, shows in your teaching, in every video you post, every blog you’ve sent out and every podcast I’ve listened to. I say this with true maro…Thank You for being you….sincere and true. Not that I have the power but if I did, your Japanese Indian name (haha… “Japanese Indian”) is Chief Magokoro. Haha.

    Got to go but on a final note…I love your podcast book club. I just finished up “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis and I have started reading “Misbehaving” by Richard H. Thaler. I’m not sure why this app isn’t giving me page numbers but I’m 7% into the book and I am enjoying it thus far. I would have left this note on your Podcast site but I haven’t figured out how to do this yet.

    • jtaylor

      Pamela, I’m new to this site and Rule #1. I’m trying to find the best resources to learn how to invest in the stock maeket. I have read your comment because it is a recent post on a site I feel is very dated. It took me a while to find a comment that wasn’t several months old or several years old. Even this video I watched appears to be dated to me. By the way, I think you made an error in your posting in paragraph 3 when yiu stated “I dont know anyone I’ve been fortunate to meet or followed in teaching that DOESN’T practice Maro Up better than you. This implies “everyone does it better.” ☺. I knew what you really meant as I finished reading your comment and you consider Phil Town to be true and sincere. Sorry, just a bit of a perfectionist and I found it humorous. I hope I didnt offend you.
      Pamela, I find it exhilarating you wanted to learn more about the reference Phil Town spoke of in the video and Wahei Takeda. Not too many people do this. Based on your comment, I too downloaded the book “Maro Up…” and enjoyed reading it as well. You mentioned 2 other books you have read or are reading thay I will buy and read as well. To me you appear to be honest, open and unafraid of expressing strengths and weaknesses. I find you passionate about obtaining knowledge and understanding and fall for smoke and mirrors. So, I’m asking for your help. I find Phil Town to be old school. He references Benjamin Graham style of investing and that”s extremely old school, abacus old. Based on this technique a person can’t enter the market to invest in stock. His style may have you waiting 50 years so you can attempt to buy a stoxk a half price; if there is suxh a thing. I feel Phil Town is a lot of smoke and mirrors. So whay am I missing about Phil Town and Rule #1? Why do you follow? It cant just be because you find Phil Town has a true and sincere heart. If thay was the case you wouls hae replied like rhe others. Instead, you had to know more and did some research. I feel you probably did your research on Phil Town and Rule #1. I want to understand why Phil Town and Rule #1 and is this old school technique working for you? Also, have you read “Invest Like a Guru, by Charlie Tian? If so, I would like your opinion on this book. Thank you Pamela… JTaylor.

    • jtaylor

      I think i found you on Linkedin. I sent you an email and request to connect. I hope you will connect. After my reply to your comment i received an email from Disqus claiming to be you. I have a wife and small child and looking at a good way to invest in the market. I think you should help clear up some questions I have in Phil Town and Rule # 1 investing. Please connect or respond. I’m very interested in talking about investing.

  • Brian Kuipers

    Hi Phil,

    As circumstance would have it, my flight home to Toronto Canada was cancelled yesterday due to a snow storm in the north east. This event however, afforded me some quiet time to begin reading your second book “Payback Time” . . . “YAY!”

    While reading the first page of the introduction, I could hear the inflection in your voice emphasizing each italicized word as though you were saying the words out loud as I read. As my eyes wandered from the page, I couldn’t help but smile as I reflected on what a privilege it has been to spend the past three days learning directly from you. I wish to express my gratitude to you and Melissa for being such gracious hosts. Thank you for sharing a piece of your personal lives with everyone. You are wonderful !

    I also wish to express my gratitude to you for sharing so much of your knowledge, wisdom, content and tools with me. You are a mentor and leader of great integrity with utmost sincerity.

    While you taught us to reflect on our values and select companies that have meaning for our personal portfolio, I want you to know that You, Melissa, your staff, and all the volunteer coaches exemplify the highest values that have deep meaning for me when selecting people with whom I wish to engage. This weekend was transformational for me and has inspired me to live up to my personal promise.

    I look forward to continued learning while being disciplined to apply myself to achieve that promise. Cheers!

  • Matej
  • Amie Fulks

    Phil, I am thankful for you and Melissa and the whole team you have assembled to give back by teaching those of us who may never get exposure to the ideas and education of successful people. Sometimes we become limited by the beliefs held by our environment, i.e. our family and friends we grew up with. Having opportunities to listen to and consider how ‘other people’ think can radically change the trajectory of a person’s life. It may take time, old habits can be hard to break – but THANK YOU for your persistence and willingness to repeat these lessons! I for one need a daily dose of it to help keep me encouraged! I am a perfectionist and that can really compete with an attitude of gratitude! You remind me to count my blessings even while I am still striving to be better! Again, Thank you!

  • Moraima Caceres De Centeno

    Dear Phil, you make us believe that we can do it, and we are actually in our path of financial freedom already. We are really and deeply grateful for your support and guidances

  • li xazo

    Hello Phil,

    There has been lot of talks considering your statement

    >>Phil started out with just $1,000 and grew it to $1.45 million in only 5 years

    I hope you will understand if I am being little bit paranoid plus so many self proclaimed “experts” , can you back up your claim with some evidence.

    Just wanna make sure you are the real deal not just some excuse giving hack, snake oil saleman

  • BruceB

    I’ve adapted the 1000 times/day suggestion. Initially it was more difficult than it is now. Now the process is very easy and rewarding. Thanks for so many things Phil!


    Phil, I’m listening to you do this live here in Atlanta, and my mind is blown. You are awesome, and a blessing to me.

    • li xazo

      Excellent and good to hear from Phil’s users. Have you personally seen Phils annual returns or his claims?

      >>Phil started out with just $1,000 and grew it to $1.45 million in only 5 years

  • Stanislav Yurkevich

    Thank you Phil! This is awesome strategy 🙂 God Bless you!

  • hugh keeffe

    The world looks better through thankful eyes!

  • Octavio Mejía

    Thank you for sharing, this isn’t the first time I hear that you need a thankful attitude and focus on the things that you already have if you want to succeed in any area of your life.

    Granted many of us want to make our first million and therefore we feel like we are lacking money and wealth.

    However we can be thankful that we have running water, hot water to take a shower, a delicious meal, and plans to make our future much better taking action today.

  • Princefaqx

    Thanks for sharing

  • Julia

    Thank you so much for sharing on gratitude this morning. As my gratitude increases, so does everything else. I got up thinking/thanking all I am grateful for this morning. Melissa, you & Rule 1 family are in my thoughts & a part of my daily gratitude- Appreciate the email.

  • Mike Mac

    Interesting report “BP shares on the move as traders talk of bid from Shell”

    • Erick Lindley

      cool.. bought my first position on monday 🙂

  • Garrett

    Hi Martin, Joe R, Mike Mac, Erik and fellow Rulers,

    A few things I’ve learned over the years – and what Guy Spier’s mentions in his book – is that analyst aren’t very good at their jobs!

    I’ve googled different articles to try to understand where oil might stay. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t know.

    One thing that seems very clear to me is that oil much less than $70 becomes problematic for further exploration and development. And if it stays there for long, it’s not hard to figure out who is going to go out of business first. But even if the media isn’t saying it, I’d contend that we’re in an Oil War much like we’re in a Currency War.

    I have to go and won’t be back on the blog till at least late tomorrow or even later. But I’d like to hear what you guys are digging up on BP too.

    And thanks for sharing some comments about The Education of a Value Investor along with the other links/interviews. I will definitely be checking them out. It seems that Guy is modeling Monish Pabrai and trying to share his knowledge and the hard lessons learned.

    Gotta go!

    To Your Wealth!

    • Mike Mac

      On the topic of currency wars – This is what I was watching last night from Rickards:
      “Low oil prices are just another form of currency wars. You export deflation to the other guy.” My new interview:

      • Mike Mac

        Rickards’ other quote was: “Looking at $2T+ of corp debt write-offs w/ $69 oil. So #Fed will have to reflate or let markets burn. #Gold can just go along for the ride.” This is also why the fed can’t raise interest rates…markets will burn and the US Gov’t won’t be able to pay its debt.

  • beau

    Hello, I apologize for breaking the topic on the oil stock prospects, but I have been looking for the opportunity to learn more about Jeff Towns class on how to properly utilize options. Garret has recently mentioned this class in other blog posts. Could somebody post some more information on the class or even recommend other classes available that follow the rule one strategy. After attending Phil’s class in Atlanta and paper trading with options, I am now simply looking for some guidance (hand holding) as I enter the actual market with options in an effort to not break Rule #1. Thank You Very Much.

    • Moncho

      Hi Beau,

      You can email Michelle @ to further inquire about Jeff’s classes. I do not know the official name of the class any longer but I believe it is called, Transformational Investing Course.

      I was in this course and Jeff does a wonderful job of “hand-holding” you through the explanation of Rule#1 and Options.

      Great Days,

  • Martin

    Garrett mentioned this book:

    I started reading in and it has been interesting so far. I also watched an interview with the author Guy Speir here that was good:

    and a print interview in a newsletter from Columbia that seems like a good newsletter to read:

    What was interesting along the lines of the theme of giving thanks 1000 times a day is that he started writing an incredible amount of thank you cards to people and he gives that a lot of credit of his success. I also like his insight into understanding your personal view of money and how it influences how he thinks about investing.

    • Erick Lindley

      That columbia article on Guy Pierce was a really good read.. thanks for posting MIke

      • Erick Lindley

        Speir sorry don’t know where I got Pierce :p

  • Erick

    Garrett BP under $40 again due to oil prices dropping.. Thinking very hard on beginning a position.. Wish I could do options on it but my 401k doesn’t allow it and I don’t hv an outside brokerage account. Any how I think today’s prices are an excellent starting point.. Any thoughts

  • Joe R

    Happy thanksgiving to all so much to be thankful for.
    Phil. garret and crew. What do u think about BP at these levels? I started a position in low 40s but with OPEC not cutting production, I am a little worried about where it goes from here. It’s not a good feeling to have a stock so correlated to a commodity.
    Another oil play I have gotten involved with is NOV. Greatly run company with a solid buy back. Still affected by price per barrel but not as much.
    Thanks for all ur writing.

    • Mike Mac

      I still like and own BP. einhorn is in at about $48. BP has a great 5.7% yield which is safe in my opinion. So it’s paying you to wait. I also own SLB instead of NOV, but both are great companies.

      • Joe R

        Very true dividends are great.
        Why SLB (at a PE of 17) over NOB and HAL with PE of closer to 11 and similar growth numbers ?

        • Mike Mac

          I just feel that SLB is the strongest and best company in that market and that they can withstand lower oil prices better than any competitor. And they will rebound sooner and stronger than others IMO.

        • Sue L.H.

          the next 5 year earning growth rate of SLB is higher than that of NOV, so SLB’s PE is always higher too.

  • Keith

    Happy Thanksgiving, all.