820 episodes

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

To find more stories like this, previous episodes, and resources to help you reduce your risk, visit https://myworstinvestmentever.com/

My Worst Investment Ever Podcast Andrew Stotz

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 60 Ratings

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

To find more stories like this, previous episodes, and resources to help you reduce your risk, visit https://myworstinvestmentever.com/

    August Biniaz - Be a Specialist Not a Jack of All Trades

    August Biniaz - Be a Specialist Not a Jack of All Trades

    BIO: August Biniaz is the Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of CPI Capital. CPI Capital is a real estate private equity firm with the mandate to acquire multifamily assets while partnering with passive investors as limited partners.
    STORY: Upon looking back and reflecting on the worst investment decision August has ever made, he says it’s his time, shiny object syndrome, getting excited about new investment ideas, and then putting a lot of time into learning about those ideas and losing that time.
    LEARNING: Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Focus on your primary business. Stay in your lane.
     
    “Being focused is probably the greatest asset anyone could have when it comes to success in business or otherwise.”August Biniaz 
    Guest profileAugust Biniaz is the Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of CPI Capital. CPI Capital is a real estate private equity firm with the mandate to acquire multifamily assets while partnering with passive investors as limited partners. August was instrumental in the closing of over $208 million of multifamily assets since inception.
    August educates real estate investors through webinars, YouTube shows, weekly newsletters, and one-on-one coaching. He is the host of Real Estate Investing Demystified PodCast.
    Worst investment everUpon looking back and reflecting on the worst investment decision August has ever made, he says it’s his time, shiny object syndrome, getting excited about new investment ideas, and then putting a lot of time into learning about those ideas and losing that time.
    In one incident, when crypto came around, August got involved in the crypto world, trying to connect with investors, creating businesses within the crypto world, and putting his brainpower and time into learning about this new asset class. However, August went down a rabbit hole that took him away from his main focus.
    In another incident, an asset class came across his desk. This was the build-to-rent single-family rentals or BTRSFR. After the great financial crisis in 2008, single-family homes in the US were selling for pennies on the dollar. Wall Street got involved, knowing that the market would eventually turn around, and started buying portfolios of single-family homes. However, as they managed these properties, they realized they were handled similarly to multifamily ones. So, they created this new asset class: build to rent single-family rentals.
    August brought this idea to investors in his database and invested in a development project. It was a former purchase contract in which August partnered with a developer. This deal created some difficulties for his investors, partners, and himself. He never closed on that deal. This deal diverted August’s focus from his main business, and he lost opportunities there.
    Lessons learnedBeing a specialist is very important if you’re dealing with investors and have partners. Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none.Focus on your primary business.Stay in your lane.Have tunnel vision in the business that you’re part ofUnderstand what’s happening in macro, economic, and political situations.
    Andrew’s takeawaysWhen things aren’t working well, it’s apparent that you may need to find something else or double down on your efforts to fix them.
    Actionable adviceIf you’re in

    • 23 min
    William Browder - Don’t Go to Russia

    William Browder - Don’t Go to Russia

    BIO: William Browder is the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, Head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign, and author of Red Notice and Freezing Order.
    STORY: Bill moved to Moscow at the age of 31 and was the only Westerner there with any Wall Street skills. That led him to become the largest foreign investor in the country. His decision to go to Russia was the worst investment of his life. Although Bill made a fortune for his clients and a smaller portion for himself, he wishes he never moved to Russia because a lot of people have died, and a lot of lives have been ruined.
    LEARNING: Don’t go to Russia.
     
    “My friend Vladimir is the second most important political prisoner in Russia, and I’m desperately trying to get them out. Hopefully, I’ll succeed.”William Browder 
    Guest profileWilliam Browder is the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, Head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign, and author of Red Notice and Freezing Order. 
    Bill was once Russia’s largest foreign portfolio investor until being declared “a threat to national security” in 2005 for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies.
    In 2008, Mr. Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, uncovered a massive fraud committed by Russian government officials stealing US$230 million of state taxes and was subsequently arrested, imprisoned without trial, and systematically tortured.
    Sergei Magnitsky died in prison on November 16, 2009. Ever since, Bill Browder has led the Global Magnitsky Campaign for governments around the world to impose targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials, introducing the passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Accountability Act in 2012, & the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act 2016. Which has since been adopted by 11 countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, and New Zealand.
    Worst investment everDuring his teenage rebellion, Bill faced a unique challenge, how to rebel from a family of communists. Undeterred, he hatched a daring plan to don a suit and tie and embrace capitalism. His graduation from Stanford Business School in 1989 coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall, a moment that sparked a profound realization. With his grandfather’s communist legacy and the Berlin Wall’s collapse, Bill set his sights on an audacious goal to become the leading capitalist in Eastern Europe.
    Bill aimed to become the largest investor in that part of the world. He eventually achieved that goal at the very young age of 25. Bill discovered the Russian privatization program, which basically gave everything away for free.
    Bill moved to Moscow at the age of 31 in 1986, and he was the only Westerner there with any Wall Street skills. That led him to become the largest foreign investor in the country.
    While initially lucrative, Bill’s decision to move to Russia proved to be a double-edged sword. He made a fortune for his clients and a smaller portion for himself, but the cost was high. Lives were lost, and many were left in ruins. Bill reflects on this, considering it the worst investment of his life.
    Lessons learnedThere are two choices for people who want to rebuild Russia: You can either go back and become part of the criminal enterprise or don’t go back. If you go back and try to fix it, you’ll become an enemy of the regime and go to jail. So, you can either become imprisoned or become a...

    • 35 min
    ISMS 41: Larry Swedroe – Focus on Managing Risk Not Returns

    ISMS 41: Larry Swedroe – Focus on Managing Risk Not Returns

    In this episode of Investment Strategy Made Simple (ISMS), Andrew gets into part two of his discussion with Larry Swedroe: Ignorance is Bliss. Today, they discuss three chapters of Larry’s book Investment Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make and How to Avoid Them. In this series, they discuss mistake number 32: Are You Subject to the Money Illusion? Mistake 33: Do You Believe Demographics Are Destiny? And mistake 34: Do You Follow a Prudent Process When Choosing a Financial Advisory Firm?
    LEARNING: Understand how the money illusion works to avoid making financial mistakes. Focus on managing risk and not trying to manage returns. Past performance is meaningless for active managers.
     
    “What amazes me is that I can’t think of anybody who has ever asked the advisor to show them how they invest personally. That’s an absolute necessity because if they’re not putting their money where their mouth is and eating their own cooking, why should you?”Larry Swedroe 
    In this episode of Investment Strategy Made Simple (ISMS), Andrew gets into part two of his discussion with Larry Swedroe: Ignorance is Bliss. Larry is the head of financial and economic research at Buckingham Wealth Partners. You can learn more about Larry’s Worst Investment Ever story on Ep645: Beware of Idiosyncratic Risks.
    Larry deeply understands the world of academic research and investing, especially risk. Today, Andrew and Larry discuss three chapters of Larry’s book Investment Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make and How to Avoid Them. In this series, they discuss mistake number 32: Are You Subject to the Money Illusion? Mistake 33: Do You Believe Demographics Are Destiny? And mistake 34: Do You Follow a Prudent Process When Choosing a Financial Advisory Firm?
    Mistake number 32: Are You Subject to the Money Illusion?According to Larry, one of the illusions with great potential for creating investment mistakes is the money illusion. Money illusion occurs when people confuse inflation returns, nominal or real returns, and how the economy is impacted differently. It has great potential for creating mistakes because it relates to one of the most popular indicators used by investors to determine if the market is undervalued or overvalued, known as the Fed Model.
    The problem with the Fed Model, leading to a false conclusion, is that it fails to consider that inflation has a different impact on corporate earnings than it does on the return on fixed-income instruments. Over the long term, the nominal growth rate of corporate earnings has been in line with the economy’s nominal growth rate, and the real growth rate of corporate earnings has been in line with the economy’s real growth. Thus, the real growth rate of earnings is not impacted by inflation in the long term. On the other hand, the yield to maturity on a 10-year bond is a nominal return, and, therefore, the real return on the bond will be negatively impacted by inflation. The error of comparing a number that is not impacted by inflation to one that is leads to the “money illusion.”
    Larry says the empirical evidence and logic are pretty simple: Corporate earnings grow in line with the GDP. If they grew much faster, they would dominate the whole economy, and there’d be nothing left for wages.
    While gaining knowledge of how a magical illusion works has the negative effect of ruining the illusion, understanding the “magic” of financial illusions is beneficial to investors as it should help...

    • 34 min
    Chris Ball - If They’re Not 100% Right, Don’t Hire Them

    Chris Ball - If They’re Not 100% Right, Don’t Hire Them

    BIO: Chris Ball started his career in 2004 as a tax adviser with KPMG LLP. He then transitioned and founded Hoxton Capital Management in 2018. The group’s sole emphasis is helping HNW and UHNW clients with borderless global financial advice. Chris’ specialty is assisting individuals with their retirement planning needs.
    STORY: When Chris started his career young and fresh, he got into spread betting. That didn’t go so well, and he lost 10,000 pounds, which was a lot of money in 2008. In terms of business, he wasted over $750,000 on bad hiring decisions.
    LEARNING: Don’t enter markets that you don’t understand. If someone is not 100% right, don’t hire them.
     
    “Hire and fire fast. If they’re not right, and you spot it, don’t keep giving people chance after chance or trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, which doesn’t work.”Chris Ball 
    Guest profileChris Ball started his career in 2004 as a tax adviser with KPMG LLP. After seven years with KPMG, Chris moved to the Middle East to join the deVere Group, where he continued his work as an IFA. He started in their Abu Dhabi offices and eventually headed up the Qatar operations for the group, which dealt with HNW and UHNW individuals.
    Chris then transitioned and founded Hoxton Capital Management in 2018. The group’s sole emphasis is helping HNW and UHNW clients with borderless global financial advice. Chris’ specialty is assisting individuals with their retirement planning needs.
    Chris has three children with his wife.
    Worst investment everWhen Chris started his career young and fresh, he got into spread betting. That didn’t go so well, and he lost 10,000 pounds, which was a lot of money in 2008. In terms of business, he wasted over $750,000 on bad hiring decisions.
    Lessons learnedDon’t enter markets that you don’t understand.If someone is not 100% right, don’t hire them.Playing at things never produces good results. You have to be 100% dedicated and focused on your work.
    Actionable adviceHire and fire quickly. If someone is not suitable and you spot it, fire immediately. Don’t keep giving people a chance after chance.
    Chris’s recommendationsChris recommends using his recently launched Hoxton Wealth App, available on iTunes, Apple App Store, Google Store, and the company’s website. It’s completely free. The app enables people with accounts in different countries to live link those accounts and view them in a currency of their choice. It also has cash flow modeling, which enables people to see if they have enough money saved for various goals.
    No.1 goal for the next 12 monthsChris’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to launch a wealth app and attract 100,000 users.
    Parting words 
    “Thank you very much for having me on. I really enjoyed it, and I wish you all the best.”Chris Ball 
    [spp-transcript]
     Connect with Chris BallLinkedInFacebooka href="https://hoxtoncapital.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 16 min
    Vivek Raina - Nobody Can Beat You at What You’re Good At

    Vivek Raina - Nobody Can Beat You at What You’re Good At

    BIO: Vivek Raina is a seasoned veteran with over two decades of experience in the broadband industry. As the CEO and Co-Founder of Excitel, he leads the mission to connect BHARAT, propelling the company to the top three ISPs in India—a remarkable feat in just eight years.
    STORY: Vivek spent 10 years finding an investor to fund his business idea. He wishes he had spent these years advancing his corporate career.
    LEARNING: Working for somebody is fragile. Every failure teaches you something and makes you a better version of yourself. Do something you’re passionate about.
     
    “In entrepreneurship, every failure teaches you something. It makes you stronger and better in doing what you’re doing.”Vivek Raina 
    Guest profileVivek Raina is a seasoned veteran with over two decades of experience in the broadband industry. As the CEO and Co-Founder of Excitel, he leads the mission to connect BHARAT, propelling the company to the top three ISPs in India—a remarkable feat in just eight years. With a million subscribers spanning 55+ cities, Vivek’s leadership has revolutionized lives through pioneering unlimited internet broadband.
    Vivek hails from Kashmir and is now based in Delhi. His journey includes impactful roles at Hathway, Reliance, and Pacenet, highlighting his exceptional leadership skills.
    Worst investment everWithin two years of employment, Vivek had decided he would not stay employed—he would do something independently. Vivek started showing his ideas to people, hoping that someone would be interested in funding him. Some of the ideas were really bad, while others were good. Vivek didn’t manage to get an investor. Most people would offer him a salary or some incentives to work with him. It took Vivek 10 years to convince somebody to invest money in his idea. It took another three years to convince them to start a company, and in 2014, he got his first investment.
    Vivek considers the 10 years he spent making this foundation his worst investment ever because if he had concentrated on a corporate job instead, he would be a millionaire by now. It’s also his best investment because if he had not gone through the grind and learned what he learned, he wouldn’t have been the successful entrepreneur he is today.
    Lessons learnedWorking for somebody is fragile.Every failure teaches you something and makes you a better version of yourself.Do something you’re passionate about—nobody can beat you at what you’re good at.
    Andrew’s takeawaysDon’t be too harsh on yourself when you fail. Remember, you did your best with what you knew at the time.
    Actionable adviceTo succeed, you need to be where the action is. Secondly, decide what to do because this is a once-in-a-lifetime shot. If you get it wrong, you lose many years. So choose carefully, and pick the stuff you’re naturally good at.
    Vivek’s recommendationsIf you’re interested in startups and want to be successful in business, Vivek recommends reading Nicholas Taleb’s Taleb’s books. They will change your perspective.
    If you need to be aware of your own biases and how your mind plays with you, read Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, and The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to...

    • 24 min
    William Cohan - Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of An American Icon

    William Cohan - Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of An American Icon

    BIO: William D. Cohan, a former senior Wall Street M&A investment banker for 17 years at Lazard Frères & Co., Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase, is the New York Times bestselling author of seven nonfiction narratives, including his most recent book, Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of An American Icon.
    STORY: William discusses lessons from his most recent book, which is a story of General Electric (GE), a former global company with facilities worldwide. In his book, William focuses on former GE CEO Jack Welch, who took over the company in 1981 and increased its market value from $12 billion to $650 billion. This company became one of the world’s most valuable and respected companies, and then it all fell apart.
    LEARNING: Leadership matters. You are not always right. Achieve the numbers in an ethical manner.
     
    “I try to write books that I like to read, with great characters and great stories. And, yes, it’s a long book, but I think it’s a great story and worth your time.”William Cohan 
    Guest profileWilliam D. Cohan, a former senior Wall Street M&A investment banker for 17 years at Lazard Frères & Co., Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase, is the New York Times bestselling author of seven nonfiction narratives, including his most recent book, Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of An American Icon.
    William is a former guest on the show on episode 739: Get the Numbers Right Before You Invest. Today, he’s back to discuss lessons from his most recent book, which is a story of General Electric (GE), a former global company with facilities worldwide. In his book, William focuses on former GE CEO Jack Welch, who took over the company in 1981 and increased its market value from $12 billion to $650 billion. This company became one of the most valuable and respected companies in the world, and then it kind of all fell apart.
    Leadership mattersThe ability of a company to adapt and flexibly evolve in response to market changes is crucial for sustained success. This is vividly illustrated through the leadership tenures of Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt at General Electric (GE), where Welch’s strategic boldness and Immelt’s subsequent decisions markedly impacted the company’s fortunes. The two leaders demonstrate the importance of getting the right man on the right job.
    Welch was among five candidates vying to become CEO in 1981. He was picked as the CEO because he was potentially the most disruptive—he was going to be this change agent, there was no doubt about it. Welch had pledged to disrupt things to change how GE was run, and he was frankly a fantastic leader. People loved working for him, and he got more out of people than they thought possible. Welch was beloved, feared, respected, and delivered.
    When choosing a successor, Welch gravitated towards Immelt because he went to Dartmouth and Harvard Business School, got his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, and was generally intelligent. However, Immelt didn’t understand GE Capital. He didn’t understand finance well or know the dangers of borrowing short and lending long.
    Borrowing in the commercial paper market is like a 30-day liability, and lending out 7-10 years means that if something happens and dries up your source of capital, you’re toast. This saw him make wrong decisions, which significantly impacted the company.
    In comparison, when Jack Welch made...

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
60 Ratings

60 Ratings

M Edgington ,

Well worth Subscribing

Highly recommend Andrew Stotz’s podcast “My Worst Investment Ever”. Andrew is a generous and considerate host. He allows his guests to share their stories and leads them into excellent conversations. Great job Andrew.
I highly recommend “My Worst Investment Ever”.

My Core Intentions ,

As a guest on My Worst Investment Ever

Andrew, thanks for having me on your podcast. It was an awesome evernt. I hope the sharing was of value to your listeners. I am confident you will continue to have great guests on and offer unmatched advice for your listeners. Thanks again

J Nischwitz ,

Worst Investment … Best Lessons

Love Andrew’s approach and mindset — digging into our worst investments and pulling out the lessons and then the even deeper lessons. No scratching the surface with Andrew and Worst Investment. It’s all about learning and growing through the challenging times created by our investments, whether financial, people or other types of investments. This is a must listen for anyone committed to growth and learning.

Top Podcasts In Business

Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin
Money News Network
REAL AF with Andy Frisella
Andy Frisella #100to0
The Ramsey Show
Ramsey Network
Habits and Hustle
Jen Cohen and Habit Nest
Planet Money
NPR
Prof G Markets
Vox Media Podcast Network

You Might Also Like

Excess Returns
Jack Forehand and Justin Carbonneau
The Meb Faber Show
Meb Faber
Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
bogleheads
The Rational Reminder Podcast
Benjamin Felix & Cameron Passmore
Sound Investing
Paul Merriman
Epsilon Theory Podcast
Ben Hunt