Ep52: Michael Batnick – Be Prepared with a Written Plan

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Guest profile

Michael Batnick is the Director of Research at Ritholtz Wealth Management where he reads research publications and stays on top the latest trends in the industry. He is a member of the investment committee and heads up the company’s internal research efforts. He spends most of his time developing and implementing risk management and portfolio strategies for the firm’s clients.

His career began with a sales position at a life insurance company. In May 2018, he published his book, Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments. Michael holds a bachelor degree in Economics from the Queens College. He enjoys reading books and spending time with his family in his spare time.

In this episode, Michael shares his golden nuggets of wisdom in investing.  Listen as he reveals why keeping a journal and writing down notes helped him change the way he thinks and apply them in his investments. For our new and inexperienced listeners in the stock market, take away those note-worthy tips as well.  Get educated and be inspired by his story.


“If you write a journal and you’re writing your logic down, you’ll find very quickly that the biases (you have) are just as susceptible as anybody else’s.”

Michael Batnick


Topics Covered:

01:08 – Brief background of our featured guest

03:08 – Michael recounted when he bought Apple stocks in 2013 and why he considers this as his biggest loss

05:36 – Why keeping a diary and writing down notes (journaling) helped him managed his risks

09:34 – Summary of the learnings from his book

12:26 – Sharing what he learned about clients and having financial plans

17:20 – Andrew stresses the value of pre-planning for the worst case

17:49 – Great advice to listeners who are new to the stock market

21:23 – Invitation to read Michael’s book

Main Takeaways:

Lesson 1: “I think one of the reasons that, I smelled the roses fairly early on, was because I was keeping a diary and I think a lot of people don’t even have a sense of what their performance is.”– Michael Batnick

Lesson 2: “I think that the difference between successful investors, like super successful investors, done the rest of us is that they can move past it.”– Michael Batnick

Lesson 3: “I’m a big believer in having rules when you’re investing, whether that is just a simple checklist of the type of stocks you buy or some risk management system.”– Michael Batnick

Lesson 4: “Just get started, but be careful. Don’t risk too much money, lose money because that’s the only way that you’re going to learn them. And believe me, you will lose money, but keep it reasonable. Keep it small. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re overextending yourself, but I don’t think that anybody could tell you how to invest. Nobody could say, don’t buy active mutual funds. Don’t buy index funds. They’re boring. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. You have to figure it out on your own. And some people never get there.”– Michael Batnick

Lesson 5: “The only way to learn what style of investing matches your personality is to invest. And nobody could tell you what it feels like to lose money. So, you have to experience that on your own.”– Michael Batnick


Connect with Michael Batnick:

Andrew’s books

Andrew’s online programs

Connect with Andrew Stotz:

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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