What country are you based in?
US of A.
Do you feel your location has an effect on your domain investing?
Yeah. A lot of tech businesses start in the US. I think I’ve got an advantage in understanding American English and how terms might be used in business and branding. I don’t invest in Chinese-oriented names and numbers since I’m at a distinct disadvantage without local cultural awareness.
How long have you been involved in domains?
I started buying domains as an investment about 2006 or 2007.
Are you a full time domainer?
Not really. I own several companies and I’m an active angel investor so I wear many hats. I probably spend more time domain investing than anything else.
How did you find out about domain investing?
In 2004 I started a digital marketing company. It has since evolved into leadgen for lawyers but back when we built websites for attorneys. We’d just register domains and give them to our clients. After a while we had extra domains so I decided I’d look for a way to monetize them. That’s when I discovered the aftermarket. I went to a domain conference and was immediately smitten. I started buying and selling lawyer domains, attending more domain conferences, speaking on panels, moderating shows, etc. Eventually I decided there was more opportunity in the “premium” domain market so I switched from legal names to one-word (mostly) .com. I still have a couple thousand legal names but my focus is on my premium portfolio.
How many domains do you currently hold?
About 2500 but I’m working on making my portfolio smaller, not bigger, by focusing on top-tier names.
What's your favourite non .com tld/nTLD/gTLD?
I’ve always been a fan of .net but .io gets more action.
What's the best advice you've been given by another domain investor, either directly or through something they've said on twitter or in an interview?
I’ve taken advice from so many investors over the years. And I’m still picking up nuggets from new investors. Everyone has something to teach because we all have a different perspective. I can’t think of just one person to acknowledge so instead I’ll give a shout-out to everyone that puts in the time to share with our industry.
What kind of goals do you set yourself?
I just try to move the ball forward each day. Make more money this year than the last, all while enjoying life 🙂
Who are your top 3 domain investors?
There are investors that have been in the business for many years that have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of names. Most people don’t know them because they’re not public about their strategies. They’re just quietly doing their thing year after year – and crushing it. These are the folks that impress me.
What's the toughest part of domain investing?
It’s so capital intensive. I can’t buy everything I want, even if the price is right.
How do you structure the domaining part of your day?
Domain investing is interwoven throughout my day. Whether it’s answering inquiries, researching domains on the market, talking to brokers, reviewing auctions and bids, reading the blogs, there’s always something to work on.
How do you manage your portfolio?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a full-time portfolio manager and assistant for over ten years. Ally does all the heavy lifting so I can focus on looking for deals. She manages all my domains using Google Sheets.
Do you also have any NFTs or Crypto in your portfolio?
Oh yeah! I fell down that rabbithole a while ago. And it’s a pretty deep hole!
What's the most you've ever spent on one domain?
The most I’ve spent on one name was $400k but I’ve spent $1mil on a small handful of names in one transaction. Many of my domain purchases nowadays are in the 6-figures.
Have you ever done outbound? If so, were/are you successful?
I’ve done a little outbounding and had some success but I rarely do it anymore. I’ve got brokers who handle some of my names.
You're given $10k to spend on domains, how do you spend it?
I’d buy a solid one-word .net or .io. If I was to give advice to a new investor, I’d suggest buying a $5k domain and a handful of $500-$2k domains worth 10-20x.
Outside of domains, what other business/wealth/personal growth figures do you look up to?
I follow the usual suspects: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, etc
What do you do when you're not domaining?
I’ve got other businesses I need to spend time on and I like to exercise 1-2x per day. When my wife and I are not in LA or Lake Tahoe, we like to travel and see the world.
What advice would you give to people just starting out in domains?
DON’T START BUYING DOMAINS! The mistake that nearly everyone makes when they’re first starting out is registering a bunch of domains that have no value. Just like anything else, you need to first LEARN. The single best resource is DNacademy.com. Go through that course. Do a couple academy workshops. Learn domain values and what businesses are using. After you have a handle on these important lessons, only then should you slowly start investing. Patience is key.
My foster son, Daniel, wanted to learn domain investing. I agreed to teach him the industry if he agreed to not buy any names until he learned the industry. We spent a lot of time going over how to buy and sell and what domain investing is all about. He then took the DNacademy course along with a workshop. After a couple of years of studying the industry, he’s now a broker for Kate Buckly at Buckley Media. He had the patience to learn the space and get on the right path. That’s how you start out in the domain industry.