Ep445: Johnny Widodo – Everything Great in Life Follows a Process

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Quick take

BIO: Johnny Widodo is CEO in an automotive startup space with over 16 years of experience across multiple industries and geographies.

STORY: Johnny saw a colleague who was making crazy money trading stocks daily. Johnny decided to do what his colleague was doing and ended up losing about $30,000.

LEARNING: Learn and do your research to understand the investment first before you sign off on it. The game of investing is about how much you have at the end of the game.


“There is no instant thing in life. Everything follows a process.”

Johnny Widodo


Guest profile

Johnny Widodo is CEO in an automotive startup space with over 16 years of experience across multiple industries and geographies. He is active as a global speaker, advisory board member, and mentor in various organizations. He is co-author of 2 books and has published his biography. In his free time, he is passionate about weightlifting and hosts the J-Talk Podcast.

Worst investment ever

When Johhny just started working, he had this former schoolmate and colleague who sat beside him at work. The colleague would just play his stocks, and Johnny could literally see him making hundreds, even $1,000 every day. This all seemed too easy, and obviously, he was interested in making such amounts of money so quickly.

Johnny started to pump all the money he made into the same stocks as his colleague. As soon as he began trading, the market collapsed, and he lost 95% of his investment, a total of about $30,000.

Lessons learned

  • There is no instant thing in life. Everything follows a process.
  • When it comes to investing, it’s not about monkey see monkey do. Learn and do your research so that you understand the investment first before you sign off on it.
  • Things happen. You can dwell over it, but not too long. Move on, take the lessons learned, and make sure you don’t fall into the same trap again.
  • Make as many mistakes as possible when you’re young. This is when you can afford to lose everything.
  • Investing in stocks is beyond your control because a lot of things are being impacted by the markets and speculations.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • When you see someone winning in the stock market, keep in mind that people only talk about their winners, not their losses.
  • The game of investing is about how much you have at the end of the game. It’s not how much you have this year or next year. It’s the money you have at the end of the game that makes your investment a success.

Actionable advice

If you have some money that you can afford to lose, put it out and play. But before you play, you have to do a lot of research on what you are going to invest in to balance your risks.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Johnny’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to build the largest automotive ecosystem in Indonesia. He is also trying to deadlift six plates of like 260 kg. He’s currently doing 230 kg.

Parting words


“Be responsible for your life. It’s okay to make mistakes, to make your worst investment but just make sure you learn and move on and win the game.”

Johnny Widodo


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community. We know that to win in investing, you must take risk, but to win big, you've got to reduce it. To join our community go to my worst investment ever.com and receive the following five free benefits. First, you get the risk reduction checklist I've created from the lessons I've learned from all of my guests. Second, you get my weekly email to help you increase your investment return. Third, you get a 25% discount on all a Stotz Academy courses. Fourth, you get access to our Facebook community to get to know guests and fellow listeners. And finally you get my curated list of my favorite top 10 episodes. Fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast hose Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests, Johnny Widodo. Johnny, are you ready to rock? I'm very ready. And I see that you got some guests in your room. We I want you to tell us who are the guests in your arms and in your rooms for the for the listener? They can't see it for the viewers. They can.

Johnny Widodo 01:11
Yeah, so I have my dogs. This is Mimi on my arms. And then there's another one Mickey. Just below me actually sitting slipping actually.

Andrew Stotz 01:22
Yeah. And for the listeners out there, what kind of dogs are these?

Johnny Widodo 01:25
toy poodle? toy poodle. I have two more downstairs, actually. But they're still in the cage. So.

Andrew Stotz 01:35
Got it. Alright, well, so ladies and gentlemen, don't be surprised if we hear a little bark along the way. All right, let me introduce you to the audience. Johnny Widodo is CEO in an automotive startup space with over 16 years of experience across multiple industries and geographies. It is active as a global speaker, advisory board member and mentor to various organizations. He has co authored two books and has published his biography. In his free time. He is passionate about weightlifting. And he hosts the J talk podcast Johnny take a minute and filling further tidbits about your life.

Johnny Widodo 02:16
Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Andrew. So I'm Jody Actually, I'm currently sitting in Indonesia, Jakarta. I was starting out fighting as engineers in my career started in Singapore, and then hardcore engineers. So if you know those old timers, like having all that smoke, so that's my daily job as a r&d engineers, and then pivoted into consultant and then move on in Indonesia, actually, as a consultant, and then move to different various different industries. So from consultancy into shrimp business, in the digital payment, and now into the automotive. And then I think, recently, I've been contributing back a lot to my university. So I serve as the president of the nta alumni, and then the Nanyang Business School advisory board, and also their counsel. So just trying to get back to the community, including running the Jetta.

Andrew Stotz 03:27
And what university is that? Man young Technological University? Got it? And what's the bot? What's the size of number of students? Roughly? I mean, is this a small, large, massive What

Johnny Widodo 03:41
is? Uh, I? I don't know now, but I think back then, during my time, I think every time they graduated, probably like, easily 2000 3000 people, right? got even more. Yeah. It's great. A big, quite a big university for a young one, I guess.

Andrew Stotz 04:03
Yeah. And it's great to be able to give back. I mean, I know, I've taught at university now for nearly 30 years, you know, in my, in my free time, and I'm actually a faculty member at a university here in Thailand. And, yeah, the passion of young people, you know, just never, never, ever disappoints. When you come in contact with young people. I just gave a speech to about 700 young people in the Philippines. And you know, really try to bring them a lot of energy and also try to show them and this is my message for a lot of young people is that you can find a career that makes you feel great and you can feel happy and you can feel, you know, good about what you do. But you got to search, you got to work hard and you got to bring some skills to the table. But when it all comes together, you can build a life that's built around the things that you like to do and so I like to bring that message. That is

Johnny Widodo 04:59
the To record, that's why I also like to do sharing, speaking, both nationally and also in the regions, but now it's harder in the regions.

Andrew Stotz 05:12
Yeah. Alright, well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to then tell us your story.

Johnny Widodo 05:25
Sure. So I guess is what it was much in my earlier days. So just a little bit of a context, when I went to study in Singapore, it all under load, right, so I don't have any savings, I don't have any money actually. So this, by the time I graduated, with my bachelor degree, I was under having 40,000. Singapore dollars, right. So graduate that but full of learning. And then I continued my masters. And then I get some stipends and all that. But again, by the time I graduated my master's degree and, and started working, that loan stays that right. So I still I still have that big, big chunk of loan behind me, right, actually. And then as a young youngsters, I used that to work and all that. And then you start to make friends, with your seniors and all. You try to make instant money. Now you start to think like, Oh, that's easy to make money. And the guys, actually, it's my mike, my senior colleague, Ray, who also came from the same school, who sits beside me, and while working everyday, he's just playing his stocks. And literally, I'm seeing him making hundreds, even $1,000 every day. Literally, I was like, What the heck is going right? Like, how could you make that kind of money? So easy. Now that right? So? And, and, you know, you know what's next, right? Basically, whatever that I start to have, whatever I start to say, I basically start to pump all the money in right? Because I literally see that he is making that amount of money, right? And you know that I guess you are a professor in finance, you are selling the investment. So the moment you start to do that kaboom. Right? The market collapse. Basically, I lost 90 95% of my own investment, I will say on paper, right? And then I keep on saying telling myself, right? It's on paper. It's on paper. It's okay. It's on paper one day, we'll come back one day. Well, guess what? Right? That was in 2014. Today's 2031 right. I'm still having my money stuck there, man. I've rigging 17 years. Right? So I think in total, I probably lost back then in that timeframe, right? A total of about, I will say $40,000. Singapore dollars? Well, it may some not that big, right for people when you're a young guy. But when you are like 2425 years old, fresh graduates with loads behind you, you're like, hell, why would I put it there instead of paying my loan? Right. So yeah. So that's, that's, that's, that's probably one of the worst moment or investment that I have ever had. And, and to the point that, you know, at that time, I was working shift. So I work Tuesday to Saturday. And why the reason is because if you come to work in the weekend, you got extra money. You just got extra money, right? And, and my boss at that time was saying like, Oh, I need you to be I want to see you on Monday to Friday. That's why he wants to put me back into the normal shift right? I was telling him like, Boss cannot was I really need the money right? Because I didn't value I lost all my money but I say like I

Andrew Stotz 09:30
that's and so tell me what are the lessons that you learned from this?

Johnny Widodo 09:35
I guess number one I've been fast forward right now like 17 years later and all that I learned one thing right there is no instant thing in life. Everything that process right I mean, you may see different I mean recently was like cryptocurrency and all that. I know that a lot of people probably make a lot of money, but I know a lot of people that more people that probably lose money out of that, right? So I think number one that's the rule, right? So certain things could happen instantly for some people, but majority, generally it takes process, right? And then, again, whenever you want to do any investment and all that, don't don't do like a monkey see monkey do, right? So at least you, you, you, you, you, you learn first, you understand first, what's the situation you really try to you, you have to trust yourself, right? And you need to learn, right? So you need to do the understanding, do the research and all that. Number three, I think it's really like good the moment things happen. Yeah, you can cry over it, you can curse over it, you can really dwell over it, but not too long. That's it, right? I mean, things have happened, full stop, move on, and just take the lessons learn. Make sure you don't fall into the same traps again, right. So so so and, and when you're still young, I think when you're still in your 20s, or you're in your 30s, right, make as many mistakes as possible. So that's where you can afford to lose everything. Like, literally everything is like, and I think I really, you know, at that moment, I really until to the point that I really have to save money that, Emma when I eat, I only like order one rice with one dish, right? Because you really have to save. Yeah, but I think, yeah, that's probably the couple of things that I can share with the audience.

Andrew Stotz 11:45
And maybe I'll share some takeaways that I got. One question is, so that friend of yours, it was trading as he like a multi billionaire now, because of all of his trading success. Not really, you're still working man. That's an important lesson to the listeners out there. When you see someone winning in the stock market. Keep in mind, people only talk about their winners. So you think the person is winning. But in fact, if you track their portfolio, now you may even say they're going to show you their portfolio even and say, Look, I made good money over the life, or I bought this Lamborghini, right? Okay, first of all, people lie. But also people manipulate, they can't even really, they can't even tell the truth, because they don't even know the truth in some cases. But even if they're winning for a couple of years, they're doing really well remember, the game of investing is how much you have, at the end of the game. It's not how much you have this year, or next year, if you want to retire when you're 50, or 60, you've got to have that it's the money you have at the end of the game that really shows and you know, Warren Buffett is a great example of that. So I think that's the first lesson is that, you know, keep in mind that people talk about their winners. They don't talk about they're losers. And that's part of what this show is all about is we do talk about our mistakes so that we understand that it's not all, you know, beautiful out there.

Johnny Widodo 13:13
So Andrew, I'm just sharing a little bit, right. So that's something that the share is really interesting that people always talk about the winning big People always talk about the beautiful thing that they do. But one thing that I also realized that investing in the stocks is something that is beyond your control, right? A lot of things are being impacted by the markets and also speculations. So I mean, if you were to ask me now, how would you think differently now that probably I would rather invest on something that is within my control, right? So like, for example, of your own startup, you run your business, you know, if you fail, it's in your hand, right? You are partially responsible for the failure, you are making the decisions as well. So yeah,

Andrew Stotz 13:59
but you know, also a second lesson that I would highlight to the listeners that if this never happened to you, you may not feel that way. See, when we get burnt, when we get burned in the stock market, the first time many people walk away, so I'm never touching that, again, I'm going to do things I can control, I'm going to, I'm going to keep cash in the bank, I'm not going to take risk. And what ends up happening is that people get burned, and they never really are able to take advantage of the stock market. Now if a young person came to me today, you know, I even have a course that I teach. And I put online, which is how to start building your wealth investing in the stock market, I would say there's instruments now available in every country where you can own every stock in the world. You don't need to play around buying this one in that one just on everyone and let it grow over time. So there are ways to do that nowadays that weren't when I started, you know, many, many years ago. So the thing is, is that even if you did lose it all, you know, it just means that probably the way you did it was wrong. And there's A way to get back into it. So that's the second thing that I would say is make sure if you get burned in something, you know, you didn't get burned because you got burnt because you went into it without really wearing a seatbelt. It's like wearing you know what not wearing a seatbelt and having a car accident and saying I got hurt cars are dangerous. Well, yeah, you could have reduced that by wearing a seatbelt. So that's the second thing that I took away. Now, the third one, I just want to tell you a story, Johnny in my own life. Um, a while ago, I was walking down the street and I saw this dental clinic it was full of people. So I walked in, and I mean, people, you know, they got pains and all that. And I was able to talk to the dentist. And I basically asked the dentist, you know, this is an amazing job, you know, where you can help people with their teeth and all of that. And she's like, yeah, this is a great job. And I was like, you know, I think I would love to do this job and help people who have the problem with their teeth. She said, you know, it's a great job. And I said, Well, what, what do you think if I come back today into your dental clinic? And maybe I could just pull someone's tooth, you know, today? And, you know, see if I really liked this job or not. And she said, Whoa, you can't do that. I said, Well, why? Anyway, you got to study, you got to go to university. I was like, Well, come on, this isn't that difficult? And she's like, No, no, you have to do that. And then she said, and I said, Okay, so how long do I have to study? She's like, it's gonna be like, eight years. Right? That's crazy. And I said, she said, and then you can't even just go out and do it, you got to get licensed, you got to get practice, you got to practice, maybe another, you know, you're talking, you know, let's say, eight to 10 years before you're doing what I'm doing. And then I just walked out, I said, That's too much work. Now, of course. Now, of course, that's not a true story, I just made it up. But the point is, that's the way people come into the world of finance and investing. They're like, Oh, I'm an investor in the stock market. The difference is, when you come in contact with a finance person, at the bank, at the broker at the mutual fund, they say, oh, welcome. I'll make it as easy as possible for you to come in. And people come in all the time without doing their research. And I think that's part of what you're saying is that, you know, you got to do your research on what you're doing before you do it. So I just want to highlight to everybody that Johnny's story helps us remind us that you can invest in the stock market, but you can't just walk in, except being lucky. And you know, make money out of it. So let me ask you, based upon what you learn from this story, and what you continue to learn, what one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate and think about it, it's happening all over the place? someone's looking at their friend online and go, Oh, my God, he's making tons of money and trading forex trading the market, you know, Bitcoin, all of these things. It's happening for a lot of young people right now, what's one action that you recommend they take?

Johnny Widodo 17:58
I think you need to understand your risks. So if let's say, you lose everything, and you know that you still can slip over it. And you say, like the war, I'll wake up without thinking about it. Put that money out and play. But of course, again, before you play, you have to do a lot of research on what are you going in? Do? You need to balance your risks?

Andrew Stotz 18:27
That's great advice, ladies and gentlemen, cured clear from Johnny. And that is, if you're going to start investing, just take a portion that you could lose. And it does reduce some of the burden of how much you have to learn, right? If you're taking only 10% of your money, and you're playing with it, you know, you don't have to be an absolute expert. But if you think you're going to take 100% of your money and put it in, you better know what you're doing before you do that. That's exactly what I did. Well, I think it's a great, it's a lesson I'm telling you, you are not alone. And for the listeners out there, I'm telling you right now, all of this people that you're seeing on the internet talking about investing, they are only talking about their winners, and most of them are not winning, even in a year, and many of them are definitely not winning over the long run. So keep this in mind. Anyways, last question. What is your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Johnny Widodo 19:25
I would say that, well, there's two goals, which is on the professional and personal life, right. So I think on a professional life, definitely I'm trying to build the largest automotive ecosystem in Indonesia now. So I think enough talk months, hopefully we can make that happen. On my professional goal on my personal goal, actually, I'm actually trying to deadlift six plate men. Now I'm doing 230 kg already. So hopefully in the next one year, I could go to like Six plates to like 260 kg.

Andrew Stotz 20:02
So 260 kilos, and how much you weigh? I'm weighing 100 now. Wow. So that's pretty amazing. And how often are you working out to get there?

Johnny Widodo 20:16
I'm working out every day now. So but then I probably like have one day break after a week or two something like that. Mm hmm.

Andrew Stotz 20:25
Fantastic. Well, we're gonna check in with you in 12 months. We're gonna hold you accountable to that. I have my

Johnny Widodo 20:33
pledge maybe already more than six plates, which just doesn't have to be lifted up.

Andrew Stotz 20:41
Love it. All right, well, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you my listeners to increase risk and increase return and reduce risk in your life. To achieve this, I've created our community at my worst investment ever.com. And I look forward to seeing you there. As we conclude, Johnny, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Johnny Widodo 21:17
Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for inviting me here. Andrew, so I guess I think for people who listen today, I know that there are like 400 500 episodes really of this. I will say that. Just learn as much as you can. And at the end of the day, you are writing your own chapter. Be responsible of your life and just just, it's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to make your worst investment but just make sure you learn and move on and win the game.

Andrew Stotz 21:55
beautiful Well, that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

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.

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