Chapter 1: The Story of Fernando and Gordita 1 THE STORY OF FERNANDO AND GORDITA INCREDIBLE!
I thought. My brother-in-law, Fernando, has got the Midas touch… In reverse! Every investment he touches—every stock, every option, every coin, every token, every bloody NFT—every last one of them turns completely to shit!
It was a little after 9 p.m., and I was sitting in the dining room of Fernando’s posh Buenos Aires apartment, going through his brokerage statements, when that sad realization came bubbling up into my brain.
Simply put, his portfolio was a disaster
Through a series of bad trades and ill-timed investments, Fernando had lost 97 percent of his equity over the last two months, leaving his current account balance at a paltry $3,000. The rest of his money, just over $97,000, had simply vanished into the air, like a fart in the wind.
Even worse, the losses had occurred during a time of relative peace and stability in the stock and
cryptocurrency markets, which were the two main places where the investments had been made. The implications of this were undeniable and obvious:
My brother-in-law had no one to blame but himself.
After all, it would have been one thing if the markets Fernando had invested in had crashed
or had at least gone down substantially right after he’d invested in them.
That would have accounted for at least some
of his losses.
In fact, there’s an old adage popular on Wall Street about this very scenario: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
In other words, when the stock market is rising, the price of any stock within
the market will tend to rise along with it, and when the stock market is falling
, the price of any stock within
the market will tend to fall along with it. Of course, the same holds true with every other market as well—the bond market, the commodities market, the cryptocurrency market, the real estate market, the art market, the insurance market, just to name a few.
The bottom line is, when any particular market is heavily on the rise, you can basically throw a dart
at it and expect to make money. No innate genius, keen sixth sense, or specialized training is required. The market does 99 percent of the work for
It’s a simple premise, right?
The only problem is that as simple as this might seem in ordinary times, things get far more complicated during a prolonged bull market. It is at these moments of irrational exuberance—as the market is booming, the chat rooms are chattering, the pundits are pumping, and Twitter is tweeting how there’s no end in sight—that human nature takes hold.
Suddenly, amateur traders, who know as much about common stock as they do about livestock, start thinking they’re experts and start buying and selling at a ferocious clip. Buoyed by the unshakable belief that their newfound success is a result of their own innate brilliance, their confidence grows stronger with each passing day.
Their trading strategies are almost entirely short-term.
When they bet right, they quickly book a profit, and get a nice hit of dopamine to reinforce their behavior. (The fact that the stock kept trading higher is of no consequence to them. “A profit is a profit,” they say, “and no one ever went broke taking a profit!”) And when they bet wrong, they simply average down—or “buy the dip,” as the phrase goes—and let the rising tide bail them out. And why shouldn’t they? That’s what the mob on Twitter is telling them to do! Besides, it’s always worked for them in the past, hasn’t it? The market always
comes back. Hmmm…
In reality, markets rise and markets fall, and when they do fall
—and I mean, really
fall, like when the dot-com bubble burst in 1999, or when the housing bubble burst in 2008—they fall far quicker and far more violently than they do when they rise. Just ask any professional investor with more than a few years’ experience, and they will undoubtedly tell you that very thing.
But for now, let’s get back to the story of Fernando, who could not blame the market for his battered investment portfolio, at least not on the surface.
Let’s go through the specifics:
Over the sixty-day period in which the losses occurred—February 8, 2022, to April 8, 2022—the two markets Fernando had invested in had basically been flat, which in Wall Street parlance means they hadn’t moved up or
down in a materially significant way.
Specifically, the S&P 500, which serves as the benchmark for the broader US stock market, was 4,521.54 on February 8 and 4,488.28
on April 8, for a modest decrease
of only 0.7 percent, and Bitcoin, which serves as the benchmark for the broader cryptocurrency market, was $44,340 on February 8 and $42,715
on April 8, for a still-modest decrease of only 3.7 percent, especially when compared to Fernando’s 97 percent loss.
However, to be fair to my brother-in-law, looking solely at day 1 and day 60 can be very misleading. I mean, if Fernando had stuck to a long-term, buy-and-hold strategy (where he held each of his purchases until at least day 60), then yes, those two numbers would have told the entire story.
But that was clearly not the case.
At even a quick glance, I could see dozens of sell orders littering the account statements, while a buy-and-hold strategy entails holding on to a position for an extended period of time, regardless of price fluctuations, in an effort to capitalize on the long-term growth potential of a well-chosen investment.
So, to get a more accurate picture of what really went down, you couldn’t look just at days 1 and 60; you also
had to look at what happened in between.
After all, the cryptocurrency market is far more volatile than the US stock market—the US stock market also has its moments, especially during times of great fear and uncertainty, or in the face of a black swan event1
—so depending on how
aggressively Fernando was trading, his losses could
have been the result of severe daily price swings combined with really bad timing.
In other words, instead of following the age-old trading axiom of “buying low and selling high,” my temporally challenged brother-in-law had been buying high and selling low, and he kept on doing that again and again, until almost all of his money was gone.
So, with that in mind, let’s take another look at the two benchmarks, except this time through the lens of daily volatility. Perhaps that
can explain Fernando’s massive losses, in the face of what otherwise appeared
to be a stable time period.
Below is a visual representation of the daily volatility of each benchmark, starting on February 8, 2022, and ending on April 8, 2022.
Based on the above chart, Bitcoin hit a low of $37,023 on March 16 and a high of $47,078 on March 30, a variance of 21 percent between the high and the low during the sixty-day period. And the S&P, which is typically far less volatile, had a low of 4,170 on March 8 and a high of 4,631 on March 30, for a variance of only 9 percent between the high and the low.
So, given this new data, here was the $97,000 question:
Did including daily volatility, as one must in the overall equation, reveal a circumstance that the appearance of a stable market, on day 1 and day 60, had otherwise camouflaged: that Fernando was an innocent victim of a rapidly falling tide, which had sunk every portfolio in the harbor, including his?
It was an interesting possibility.
But, intuitively, I thought not.
I mean, for that to be true, Fernando would’ve had to have been “betting the farm” on every trade and have the worst sense of timing since Napoléon invaded Russia in the dead of winter.
Whatever the case, as I scanned through the account statements looking for clues, I felt like a homicide detective going through a crime scene. The only difference was that, instead of wading through a sea of blood and guts, I was wading through a sea of red ink and despair.
In fact, with the exception of a handful of winning trades over the first seven days—he bought Bitcoin at $41,000 and sold it four days later at $45,000; he bought Ethereum at $2,900 and sold it one week later at $3,350; he bought Tesla stock and
Tesla options and sold both of them a few days later for a combined profit of over $20,000—just about everything he touched had turned immediately to shit. Even worse, his trading activity had increased each day, to the point where by the end of week three, he seemed to be fancying himself a day trader.2
In typical fashion, Fernando’s early success had swelled his confidence, emboldening him to make larger bets with increased frequency. And just like that
, the bloodbath ensued.
By the middle of week two, there wasn’t a winner in sight.
All I could see was losing trade after losing trade, and the losses were mounting up.
By the start of week three, his reverse Midas touch had worked its evil magic, and the handwriting was on the wall. As his equity dipped below $50,000, I could see
his desperation in the form of oversized bets on speculative penny stocks and worthless shitcoins (the crypto world’s equivalent of penny stocks).
By the end of week six, it was over; he hadn’t made a winning trade in over a full month, and the balance in the account was under $10,000, on its way to $3,000.
How could one person be so consistently wrong? I wondered.
It was a good question, I thought, especially when you considered what kind of guy Fernando is otherwise—namely: a picture of success and financial empowerment. In his early forties, he is bright, hardworking, college-educated, socially connected, a successful entrepreneur, and a very sharp dresser, to boot. His business is metal fabrication, and he owns a large manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Recently married, he, his young wife, Gordita, and their outlandishly cute two-year-old son, Vittorio, reside in an immaculately decorated three-bedroom apartment that occupies the entire thirty-third floor of a mirrored glass tower that rises up forty-six stories above one of Buenos Aires’s finest and most secure neighborhoods.
That night, Gordita was sitting to my left, wearing a white-linen halter top and a troubled expression. Poor Gordita!
She just couldn’t wrap her head around her husband’s battered investment portfolio. I truly felt
for her. Yet even then, at this tense moment, I still found it difficult to look her in the eye, say her name, and not start laughing. After all, Gordita, which literally translates into “little fat girl” in English, is actually five-foot-five, a hundred pounds dripping wet, blonde, and absolutely gorgeous.
Just why everyone calls her Gordita is still a mystery to me, although I’ve been told that Argentineans consider “little fat girl” a term of endearment. Of course, there are some obvious uses that quickly come to mind—“Hey, Gordita! What’s up, besides your weight? Enter any hot-dog-eating competitions lately?”—although there’s apparently an unspoken rule to not use Gordita if the girl actually is a… gordita
Whatever the case, the end result is that my sister-in-law is basically a walking, talking contradiction in terms. She has a legal first name—Ornella
—that no one ever uses and a nonsensical nickname that everyone uses, including Gordita’s older sister, Cristina, who happens to be my fourth wife (but, hey, who’s counting?) and who bears an uncanny resemblance to her.
At this particular moment, Gordita was leaning forward in her seat, a picture of consternation. She had her head in her hands and her elbows on the table and her torso hunched over at a forty-five-degree angle, and she was slowly shaking her head back and forth, as if to say, “When the hell is this nightmare going to end?”
That was appropriate, I thought.
After all, Gordita had been only marginally involved in Fernando’s trading activities, with her input always coming after
the fact, in the form of supportive wifely guidance. It was the sort of supportive guidance that a married man can expect from his wife when he’s in the process of zeroing out their joint brokerage account. Guidance like “What the fuck is wrong with you, Fernando? Have you lost your damn mind? Why don’t you stick to what you know and close the damn Robinhood account and go back to your stupid metal factory? At least we won’t end up in the poorhouse that way!” Complicating matters further for Fernando was the fact that Gordita is one of those crackerjack-assistant types, the kind who is so overorganized and pays such
close attention to detail that she’s taken it upon herself to memorize the expiration dates of the driver’s license and passport number of every member of the family, including mine and Cristina’s. In short, she’s nobody’s fool.
That night, however, the tables were turned.
It was one of those rare instances where Gordita would be relying on Cristina for support—specifically, as a translator. To that end, Cristina had positioned herself directly across from Fernando and Gordita, and to the right of me. But Cristina was facing one major hurdle with that night’s translation, namely: how ridiculously fast Gordita speaks. In fact, when she opens her mouth to speak, it’s like being fired at by a Spanish-made Gatling gun that shoots words instead of bullets—and that’s how she speaks when she’s calm. Right then, I knew, she was anything but.
” snapped Gordita. “Como perdio nuestro dinero tan rapido? Es una locura!
” (“I don’t understand! How did he lose our money so fast? It’s too much!”) “El mercado de valores ni siquiera bajo! Lo volvi a revisar esta mañana! Mira!
” (“The stock market hasn’t even gone down! I checked again this morning. Look!”)—Gordita gestured to her iPhone screen, which was opened to a stock market app—“Lo tengo aqui. Mira! De hecho esta mas alto desde que el empezó! Y no nos queda nada! Como es possible? No puede ser! No debería pasar!
” (“Look! It’s higher than when he started. Fact! And we have nothing left! How is that even possible? It shouldn’t be. It can’t be. It’s not!”)
Despite being reasonably proficient in Spanish, I was able to make out only Gordita’s first few words, which translated to “I don’t understand.” Everything else blew past me, like a gust of wind. I turned to Cristina, threw my palms up in the air, and raised my eyebrows as if to say, “You see what I mean? No one understands your sister! It’s ridiculous.”
Cristina shrugged. “She said she’s frustrated.”
much I got. I heard the word ‘impossible’ in there, somewhere
.” I looked over at Gordita and said in carefully spoken English: “You… say… the… word… ‘impossible,’ Gordita?”
“Yes, impossible,” she answered, in heavily accented English. “But Fernando does this.”
My brother-in-law was sitting to Gordita’s left and looking down at a set of duplicate account statements and shaking his head slowly. He wore a crisp polo shirt and the hint of a wry smile that said, “Yeah, I definitely fucked up here, but I’m still rich, so it’s not the end of the world, now is it?” It was the sort of smile that every husband in this situation desperately tries to suppress, because he knows it will result in his wife saying, “What the fuck are you
so happy about? You know how many Chanel pocketbooks I could have bought with the money you lost?”
I looked back at Cristina and said, “What else did she say?”
“She doesn’t understand how they lost their money so fast. It doesn’t make sense to her. She downloaded an app on her phone, and the app says that they should be making
money, not losing money, because the stock market is up. She doesn’t see how it’s possible.” Then she turned back to Fernando and Gordita and repeated what she had just said in Spanish.
” exclaimed Gordita. “This not have sense!”
“What no have sense?” snapped Fernando. “Many persons lose money in stock market! Now I am one of those. This is not end of world!”
Slowly, without moving her torso so much as a single inch, Gordita rotated her head towards Fernando and fixed him with an icy stare. No words were necessary.
“What? What did I say wrong?” Fernando replied innocently. Then he looked at me and added, in his best English: “I am no wrong here! Everyone lose money in stock market, yes? I no mean you. I speak of normal people. Understand?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “I totally
understand. The words ‘normal’ and ‘me’ don’t often collide in the same sentence, so you’re right on point.”
“He didn’t mean it that way,” offered the translator. “Fernando loves you.”
,” I replied warmly. “I’m just kidding. Anyway, just translate as I go, okay? It’s too complicated to stop and start like this.”
“It’s fine, go
!” ordered Cristina. “I’m ready for you.”
With that, I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, so… what you’re saying is true, Fernando. Most people do
lose money in the market, and a lot of them end up getting wiped out
, the way you
—and this is a very big but
, guys—not everyone loses money in the market; there’re a lot of people who make
money in the market, and I’m not just talking about professionals; I’m talking about amateur investors too.
“What I can promise you, though, is they’re not trading the way that you
did, like a wild banshee. It’s lit—”
“A wild what
?” asked my almost-fluent translator, cutting me off.
“A wild banshee
“What’s a wild banshee?”
“It’s like a… a wild Indian. You know, screaming, yelling, shooting arrows. Anyway, it’s just an expression. My point is that it’s literally impossible for an amateur investor to make money when they’re trading in and out all the time. Eventually, they’re gonna get wiped out; it’s just a matter of time. And that goes for both the stock market and the crypto market, although they’ll usually get wiped out even quicker with crypto, because the cost of trading is so high, and there are also a ton of scams out there. So, unless you know exactly what you’re doing in that world, you’re gonna end up stepping on a land mine, sooner or later, and blowing yourself up. It’s a mathematical certainty.” I paused for a moment to check in.
Cristina nodded and continued translating.
Meantime, I began thumbing through the account statements again, looking for more clues. I still felt like there was something missing, something hidden in plain sight, that would more fully explain how Fernando managed to lose almost his entire investment during a sixty-day period of relatively stable market conditions.
Of course, the most obvious explanation was the one I had already come up with: that Fernando was a novice investor whose early success had stimulated flames of greed—in the glare of which his normally sound decision-making process seemed quaint and outdated, compared to the huge sums of money to be made with a more aggressive trading mentality.
But was there more, a smoking gun perhaps?
Just then, Cristina looked at me and said, “They understand everything, and they want to start over again, the right
way. They want to know what you think they should buy. Should they invest in stocks? Or crypto?” Then, as an afterthought, she added, “And which ones? Gordita wants specific recommendations.”
“Well, to answer their first question, at their age, they should definitely be investing the vast majority of their money in the stock market, because that’s where, over the long term, people historically get the consistently best returns, and there is also an amazing hack for doing it that makes it almost foolproof. But since you guys lost the bulk of your money in crypto, let’s start there, as I think it will help you understand what went wrong.”
I turned back to my translator. “So, in the world of crypto, there are basically two ways that new investors, like them, who are just getting started can make a ton of money without taking any huge risks.
“The first way is to simply buy Bitcoin and hold it, and when I say, ‘hold it,’ I mean really
hold it, regardless of whether the price goes up or down in the short term. They need to completely ignore all that, because it’s nothing more than background noise, okay?
“I want them to buy and hold for at least five years; that is the absolute minimum; and seven years is even better; and ten years is better than that.
“If they simply do that—if they follow that simple advice—they have a chance of making money in crypto, especially as they get to the five-to-seven-year mark, at which point they have a very good chance of making money, although the operative word there is “chance.” It’s definitely not
guaranteed; there are no guarantees in any
market, and that goes for stocks and crypto.
“However, with that being said, when it comes to crypto, I believe that buying and holding Bitcoin for the long term is definitely the best bet.” I motioned in the direction of Gordita’s iPhone. “Tell Gordita to write that down.”
“Got it,” replied Cristina, and she continued translating.
“And also, tell her no short-term trading! That’s a definite no-no. It’s all buy and hold.”
A few seconds later, Gordita picked up her iPhone and began typing with both thumbs at the speed of a jackrabbit. When she finished typing, she flashed me an appreciative smile and said, “Gracias, Jordie. Continuar, por favor
,” I replied and turned to Cristina. “Now, in terms of how much
Bitcoin they should buy, let’s table that discussion until I’ve gone through the different strategies I want to show them, especially one in particular, for the stock market, which, at the end of the day, is where the vast majority of their portfolio should actually be. Crypto, on the other hand, should make up only 5 percent of their total portfolio, at most. I’d strongly advise against anything more than that.
“Anyway, they can decide later on how much total money they should invest, and then we’ll go through the best way to split those funds up into a few different asset classes in order to maximize their returns and minimize their risk.
“But for now, let’s stick with buying and holding Bitcoin for the long term, and the key takeaway here is that the reason I’m relatively confident that they’re gonna make money with this strategy is because it’s for the long term. That’s where all the power lies.
“Now, on the flip side, if you were to ask me where I think Bitcoin is going over the next few weeks or the next twelve months, I would be completely lying if I told them that I knew. I don’t. Nobody
does, at least not with any degree of certainty, and anyone who tells you differently is completely full of shit.
“But over the long term—and I mean over the very long term—I do have a belief that Bitcoin is going higher. And there’s a reason for that.
“You see, in the short term, there are all these random occurrences that can impact the price of Bitcoin, and I frankly have no way of predicting any of them. I’m talking about things like Elon Musk waking up on the wrong side of the bed one day and hating Bitcoin, or President Xi of China deciding to suspend trading in Bitcoin because it no longer suits his political agenda, or a bunch of whales dumping their Bitcoin to drive the price down and then buying it back a few days later to make a killing, or the Federal Reserve raising interest rates or tightening the money supply to try to combat inflation, which has already started kicking up, by the way.
“I mean, I know you guys are used to double-digit inflation in Argentina, but in the United States, there is absolutely no way that the Federal Reserve can let that stand. They’ll have to do something to rein it in, and that will not be good for Bitcoin or the stock market, at least in the short term.
“Anyway, my point here is that, while these types of random events can have a huge impact on Bitcoin over the short term, they have virtually no impact on the price of Bitcoin over the long term, and since I have no way of predicting any of these short-term events, it makes trading Bitcoin over the short term a total crapshoot.
“On the flip side, though, investing in Bitcoin for the long term is an entirely different story, because now the fundamentals come into play. You can take a close look at all the things that make Bitcoin potentially valuable—like how scarce it is, the problems it solves, and how quickly new people are starting to use it—and then make an informed decision as to what you think it’s actually worth, compared to its current market price.
“Then you ask yourself, is it undervalued or is it overvalued? If you think it’s undervalued, then you’re gonna want to buy it—right?—because you’ll be getting it at a relative bargain. And if you think it’s overvalued, then you’ll probably want to run the other way, because why would you overpay for something? [I’ll be digging into the subject of “valuation” in the following chapters of the book, so stay tuned.]
“Now, maybe I’m crazy, but to me, that seems like a far more intelligent way to go about investing your hard-earned money than trying to time the market in the short term and having to deal with what kind of mood Elon Musk is in, or what President Xi had for breakfast. You get it? The first way is investing; the second way is speculating, or gambling.
“So, with that in mind, if I were to ask Fernando why he thinks I own Bitcoin right now, he should be able to easily give me the answer, which is: I think it’s undervalued compared to its current price and, hence, destined to go higher over the very long term.
“And if you were to ask Gordita when she thinks I’m gonna sell my Bitcoin, she should be able to give you that answer just as quickly, which is: I’m not selling anytime soon. I’m a long-term holder, for at least five years, and probably longer than that.
“Now, can Bitcoin go substantially lower in the next twelve months? Absolutely. In fact, if past history is any indication, at some point it probably will. Bitcoin goes through sharp declines during so-called Bitcoin or crypto ‘winters.’ But I am totally unconcerned with that. It’s all just noise to me. I bought it as a very long-term hold, and I’m sticking to that strategy.
“Does all of that make sense to you?” I asked Cristina. “Can you explain it to them?”
“Absolutely! It makes perfect sense.”
And just like that, Cristina was off, fluidly, elegantly—and with remarkable ease considering that she hadn’t spoken a word of English only two years prior—translating my first piece of investment advice to Fernando and Gordita. It was advice that was sound and logical and followed proven investment principles, unlike the kamikaze course they had been on.
But this was only the beginning.
All we had spoken about so far was one basic strategy for investing in Bitcoin; we hadn’t even touched on the stock market yet, which was where the bulk of their investment portfolio belonged. To that end, I had one strategy in particular that was so powerful and so easy to learn that, with one
quick run-through, Fernando and Gordita would have all the information they needed to be able to consistently beat 95 percent of the top-performing money managers in the world.
To them, that would be life-changing.
So it was that, over the course of the evening, I would provide Fernando and Gordita with a step-by-step formula for building a world-class investment portfolio that would maximize their returns, minimize their risk, and shield their savings from Argentina’s two-headed monster of runaway inflation and rampant currency devaluations.
I would touch on everything—from how to quickly identify the very best stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and the tech-heavy NASDAQ, to how to effortlessly mold them into a world-class portfolio that would automatically update itself when a company went bad.
It was an insider’s perspective unlike anything they had ever seen or heard or read about before. In short, not only did I show them how the pros on Wall Street do it, but also how to easily avoid the huge commissions, hefty management fees, and obscenely large performance bonuses that investors who are not privy to the insider’s playbook get tricked into paying, and which end up cannibalizing their returns and ultimately robbing them of their wealth.
In fact, as the night went on, I started to feel like a retired magician who was breaking my former industry’s most important of all rules: to never reveal the secrets to our most valuable tricks. But that was precisely what I was doing.
I was pulling back the curtain on the entire financial services industry and exposing the secret to their greatest magic trick of all, namely: how they use the power of misdirection to cloak the ugly yet undeniable truth that the most effective investment strategies of all are so easy to learn and so simple to implement that Wall Street’s presence and, for that matter, the presence of their fees, commissions, and ludicrous performance bonuses are simply not required.
All you need is a decoded version of their insider’s playbook.
WHAT I OFFER YOU NOW in the following pages is precisely that:
A decoded version of the insider’s playbook that Wall Street has been holding over the heads of investors on Main Street for the last sixty years. It’s a playbook that I’ve been privy to for almost my entire adult life, and that I badly misused in my early years on Wall Street. I used it then to make vast sums of money for myself, while separating other people from theirs, something that I am not proud of and that I’ve spent many years making up for. I’ve now helped tens of millions of people from all over the world live happier, wealthier, and more financially empowered lives by teaching them the art of sales and persuasion and how to be more effective entrepreneurs.
But this book takes things to a whole new level.
You see, not only does it serve as a turnkey solution to building your own financial kingdom, but I’m also handing you the keys on a silver platter. What I’m referring to here is the fact that it has taken me over three years to write a book whose strategies I know so well, and so innately, that I should’ve been able to finish it in a week. The only problem was that the subject matter in question tends to put people to sleep, so I had to get around all the inherent boredom and tediousness by writing this in a way that would keep you turning the pages all the way to the end. Otherwise, I knew, I would be doing a serious disservice to you.
So began the painstaking process of decoding Wall Street’s insider’s playbook in a way that would be fun to read, easy to follow, even easier to implement, and that, every once in a while
, would make you laugh out loud and say to yourself, “I can’t believe he just said that!”
For those of you who are amateur investors, or if you’re thinking about getting started, this book will be a total game-changer for you. It will show you how to deploy your hard-earned money in a safe, secure, and highly deliberate way that will allow you to quickly build a world-class stock portfolio that will consistently beat 95 percent of the top-performing hedge fund managers and mutual fund managers in the world.
And for those of you who are seasoned investors with a solid track record of proven success, this book will still be equally valuable. Not only will it show you precisely why your current investment strategies have been successful, but it will also serve as a powerful reminder to stay the course and not get baited by the latest stock tip you hear from an old friend, or from a world-class carnival barker on CNBC, or from a clueless coworker at the office water cooler, or from one of the thousands of self-serving charlatans on TikTok or Instagram.
In addition, despite your past success in the market, depending on who’s been advising you, there’s an excellent chance that a significant portion of your annual returns are being unnecessarily cannibalized by fees, commissions, and pumped-up annual performance bonuses. This book will show you how to eliminate the vast majority of them, ensuring that your annual returns go into your
pocket instead of Wall Street’s.
Lastly, if you’re one of those ultraconservative people who doesn’t invest in the market (perhaps because you despise Wall Street and the greedy bastards who work there), then this book will still be very valuable to you. For starters, it is specifically designed to teach you how to beat Wall Street at their own game by extracting your fair share of the value that they do
create, without allowing them to steal most of it back from you in the end.
You see, Wall Street does, in fact, serve a vital and necessary interest to the proper functioning of the world’s economy and creates massive value in the process. The only problem is that they’ve also quietly placed a giant, bloodsucking monster atop the entire global financial system—extracting excess fees and commissions and creating general financial mayhem.
The term that I’ve coined to describe this giant, bloodsucking monster is the Wall Street Fee Machine Complex, and I’ll be diving into this in much greater detail in the following chapters and showing you a simple and highly effective way to safely navigate around it.
But for now, the one crucial takeaway here is that it doesn’t matter where you live, how old you are, how much money you earn, what you do for a living, or how much money you currently have in the bank or tucked away under your mattress. One of the most integral parts of living a financially empowering life is to take the money you’ve saved, through a combination of hard work and thriftiness, and safely put it to work in a way that at least shields you from the effects of inflation and currency devaluation, while also carefully allowing it to grow.
This book will set you on the road to building the type of well-balanced portfolio that will allow you to retire one day with pride and dignity, and the financial freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want, as much as you want.
That is truly my wish for you.
- 1 A black swan event is a rare and unexpected event that has a devastating impact on the stock market and the underlying economy. Since these events cannot be anticipated, they catch everyone by surprise: banks, brokers, investors, politicians, and the media.
- 2 A day trader is someone who executes a very large volume of trades to try to capitalize on intraday price swings. Typically, all open positions are closed by the end of the day to eliminate overnight risk from a sharp decline in the market or a black swan event.