Most people know him as Dr. McSteamy on Grey’s Anatomy, but Eric Dane has a Hollywood career that’s spanned well over two decades, including his most recent series’, Euphoria and Last Ship. He also claims himself to be a “fledgling investor” still trying to learn the ins and outs of Wall Street. This week, he joined the ETF Think Tank to talk about acting, his investing approach and life lessons.
Dane says that he got more into investing in the same way that many did during the COVID pandemic, by opening a small day trading account in order to fill the shutdown time. Once he started, he soon realized how much he didn’t know about the stock market, cryptocurrencies or just how to be a successful investor in general. Among the more important lessons he learned are that patience and presence are invaluable assets and that buy-and-learn can be just as important as buy-and-hold.
His investing style today is to mix a few home run swings with steady growers, but he mostly focuses on the long term. Dane is a big fan of fine art and likens his investing approach to the way he approaches art. He says, “I buy art that I like and I buy art that I’m never going to sell.” He notes that this speaks to the discipline aspect of investing and doesn’t try to overthink entry points and price targets. He simply targets investment ideas that he likes and is willing to hang on to indefinitely. “Sometimes, you need to let the ship sail and hopefully you catch the trade winds.”
In terms of film and movies, Dane says that he was just like a lot of people during the COVID pandemic and was forced to take time off from his career. There’s a misconception that actors on TV are all rich and can afford to take time off, but the opposite is true in most cases. Like many, he wanted and needed to get back to work. He says that during this time he focused on what he could control, which was his professionalism, his attitude, and the idea of being of service to the greater whole.
When asked if he was also a confident person growing up, Dane says that, like many, he was just an awkward kid searching for his voice but worked hard on remaining confident in himself and his chosen path. He notes that many people believe that confidence is the result of success, but, in reality, you need confidence before you can achieve success. Success, however, can be a double-edged sword. It can make you forget what got you there and can feed a sense of overconfidence, something he says he tries to manage in both his personal life and with his investing approach.
With the pervasiveness of social media today, Dane says he just tries to be genuine and is careful not to portray a lifestyle that he doesn’t live. His belief is that you’ve got to mix some realism with business and suggests letting people peek behind the curtain to see what you’re like. He doesn’t want to be an “influencer” though and believes the real influencers should be people, such as parents, school teachers and trusted caretakers.
When asked what life advice he would give to his 18-year old self, he says, “Be patient. It doesn’t have to happen tonight. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If life is a series of choices, I just want to be a really good chooser. If you wait around for the perfect circumstances, you’ll wait forever. Make mistakes, but don’t repeat them.”
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