Ep544: Brent Kochuba – Know Who You’re Dealing With

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Quick take

BIO: Brent Kochuba is the Founder of SpotGamma, a financial insights company that applies its proprietary methodology toward modeling index and equity options and then provides unique content to its subscribers.

STORY: Brent joined a former client as a trader in his fund. Five days after he started working at the fund, the market opened a limit down and halted trading. The fund lost so much money, and the only way out was to liquidate and shut down.

LEARNING: Know whom you’re dealing with. Speak up and ask for clarification when things don’t make sense.


“If you’re in a position that is going to make you a lot of money, the risk is likely to be high too.”

Brent Kochuba


Guest profile

Brent Kochuba is the Founder of SpotGamma, a financial insights company, which applies its proprietary methodology toward modeling index and equity options and then provides unique content to its subscribers. SpotGamma has thousands of members and has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Markets.

Worst investment ever

Brent had been in the institutional broker space for about 15 years when one of his clients—whom he knew reasonably well—decided to start his own fund. Brent chose to leave his then employer to work for this gentleman at this fund. This was in August of 2015. At the time, the gentleman ran a small account. He would short put options—insurance contracts that people often buy to protect themselves if the market declines.

Brent was a trader, and the gentleman was the portfolio manager. Brent had been on the trading desk with the gentleman for five days, and on the third Friday of August, massive trades suddenly started to go off right at the close of trading. Two days later, the market opened a limit down and halted trading. The fund was losing money because the market was dropping. Frantically, they tried to hedge their portfolio but couldn’t and were forced to liquidate and shut down.

Lessons learned

  • Know whom you’re dealing with.
  • Speak up and ask for clarification when things don’t make sense.
  • The more money you stand to make from a position, the higher the risk.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Banks will always take away the umbrella just when it starts raining.

Actionable advice

Understand what it is you’re involved in. Instead of looking for the shortcut, go with the tried and true ways of succeeding.

No.1 goal for the next 12 months

Brent’s company is part of a documentary coming out on MSNBC and Peacock. His goal for the next 12 months is to use this platform to educate people on the power of options and investing in the market.


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 when in investing you must take risk but to win big, you got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen arm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives to reduce risk in your life go to my worst investment ever.com today and take the risk reduction assessment I created from the lessons I've learned from more than 500 guests fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast hosts Andrew Stotz from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guest, Brent, Kuba. Brent, are you ready to join the mission?

Brent Kochuba 00:47
Absolutely. I'm happy to be here.

Andrew Stotz 00:49
Yeah. Well, I'm happy to have you Well, let me introduce you to the, to the audience. Brent is the founder of spot gamma, a financial insights company, which applies its proprietary methodology towards modeling index and equity options, and then provides unique content to its subscribers, Spot gamma has 1000s of members, it has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, and bloom Berg, markets. Brent, take a minute and tell us a little bit about the value that you bring to this beautiful world.

Brent Kochuba 01:22
Yeah, absolutely. So our entire business, all of our analysis, is looking at how options trades here in the United States. And we look at the hedging flows associated with those options positions. And from there, we can forecast how stocks in the market as a whole will move. So basically, we have all these options dealers that provide liquidity, right. They allow traders to buy and sell options all day, they need to hedge their risk. And it's the hedging of that risk that can often move markets. And so we spend our time analyzing that and sending out our analysis to our members.

Andrew Stotz 01:57
So maybe we can simplify this just by talking about the institutions that are hedging their risk. What risk are they hedging, they're hedging the risk that the s&p 500 is going to crash. That's

Brent Kochuba 02:09
right. So for the largest flows come from pension funds, and index annuity type investors and things like that, and, and they obviously have clients, many of them much like you and me. And when these pension funds want to hedge their risk, they buy what are called put options. And put options are essentially contracts which make money if the market was to drop. So they're essentially insurance policies. So what happens is when the pension funds need to buy these put options, or to hedge themselves, they'll call a bank like say, JP Morgan, or Goldman Sachs and say, hey, look, I want to buy 1000 put options to protect my portfolio. And JP Morgan says great, and they'll sell them JP Morgan will sell them those puts. Well, obviously, if the pension fund is now hedged, or protected, if the market drops, that means JP Morgan is going to have exposure, right, they have risk if the market drops, because JP Morgan sold the put option, they sold the insurance to the pension. So in turn, what JP Morgan has to do is constantly hedge their portfolio, they need to hedge themselves. And so the way they do that is they actually sell stocks or the short stocks against those put options. And the flow of this of JP Morgan hedging his portfolio can have a massive impact on the way the market moves. One of the other times that was really fascinating, which a lot of your listeners may be familiar with is if you remember the Gamestop mania of early 2021, where everybody on this popular in a forum called Wall Street bets started to buy call options, and call options or bets that the stock is gonna go up. So if all these people on Wall Street bets and on tick tock and whatever else are buying call options and making a bet that the markets gonna go up, while all the market makers who call them who sold those call options are at risk if the stock goes higher, right. So the way that those market makers would hedge themselves would be to actual buy shares of GameStop. So in other words, by these Wall Street bets, people betting that the stock stock is going to go higher through call options, it forces dealers and market makers to buy stock to protect themselves in kind and that can, as you know, that Gamestop stock went up three or 400%.

Andrew Stotz 04:18
So you're looking at these flows. Let's just look at an example as an example. I guess it does, when I think about insurance from like a pension fund or a large institution perspective, they probably have some insurance, they're always keeping in their portfolio for maybe a long tail risk that okay, you know, we just don't want to be blown out if the whole market crashes by 50%. And then I suspect that there's at times when they say, We think the market is at a higher risk of potentially falling and therefore we're going to increase that position and try to protect or insure against that downside in the market. And I suspect that what you're doing then is when you're seeing the institution like JP Morgan or whatever, getting more active in one day action or the other, you're seeing that either the institutions are putting on that trade and saying, We want to protect against this risk to the markets falling, or they're taking it off saying, we're comfortable now at this point. And you're trying to understand those flows and then say, how can we as an individual, or as an institution, trade on the information that's being provided by those flows?

Brent Kochuba 05:23
That's exactly right. So there's right now most people follow two classifications of market analysis, there'll be sort of a fundamental analyst, they'll say, what is the P E ratio of Netflix or, you know, what, what our sales numbers for Apple this year and forecasts their their opinion on the stock that the second was technical, right? Oh, look, it's a 200 day moving average of the use of Bollinger band or something like that, right. And what we do is what I like to call a third classification, which is positional analysis. So what options do dealers and banks hold? Right? Do they own a bunch of call options? Or a bunch of put options? And how are they going to hedge those flows, right, the way that you hedge options typically is by buying and selling shares of stock around these options, positions. And so as these shares of stock are trading, they can impact the market in different ways. And that's what we're seeking to analyze. And what you mentioned before, you have a pension fund that will systematically hedge their portfolios. So what that means is, they'll say, Look, we're going to dedicate, let's say, 1% of our portfolio assets this year to buying put options to protect ourselves. And so every quarter, that's every three months, they'll roll new protection out, right. So that those positions, for example, just expired this past March, and at the end of March, they buy positions that will expire in June, and they'll just keep rolling them forward as just straight protection that they would do. And then there's other times they feel like the markets a little shaky here, maybe because I think it's just interest rates are gonna go up. So we want to buy some extra protection. And we'll see that come into the market. And we'll analyze how, say Goldman or JP Morgan is going to hedge that and how they will maintain their hedging flow kind of throughout the duration of that. Portfolio protection. So put options in the options that we monitor that we monitor, have expiration dates, and those explorations are every month typically, in the biggest funds will hedge on expirations that are every quarter. So every quarter there, you'll see these positions roll. And if I could give you one example of the impact of these, are you familiar with what day was the low in March of 2020? That was kind of the during the COVID crash in the big pandemic? Was that just kind of off the top? But yeah, so it was March 20 was March? Yeah, so it was March 16 was the Friday of options expiration in the world, millions of put options expiring that day. You can see there's articles in The Wall Street Journal, where Bridgewater, which is the biggest hedge fund in the world had bought 100,000 put options, for example, and this was in late November of 2019. And they say, Look, we don't think anything's gonna happen. This is just our normal method of protecting ourselves. We'll fast forward to the March that following March, there was an epic crash in the market. The third Friday of March is options expiration day, that's when all these put options expire, and they're no longer in the market. The low of the market was the following Monday, and from there, we saw what turns out to be one of the largest bounces in all time, of all time. And that is because these put options that expire, when those expire the the dealers and market makers, they no longer have the hedging obligation, right, they no longer need to short shares of stock to protect themselves. And further when these options expire, they can cover right short cover all of the protection that they did have. And so that options expiration, the data that options expiration is also the low of 2018, December of 2018. There's a famous incident of Christmas Eve low right where Minuchin called banks and said, Hey, look, the government is here to protect you. What do you guys need. And it turns out, that was the day after a big options expiration. This past January is another great example, this past March, just a few weeks ago here, again, massive put options expired in the end of March, and so what you end up seeing is these massive stock moves that occur at the time all these big put insurance contracts expire.

Andrew Stotz 09:18
So I'm going to share my screen just to show what I was presenting last night to my clients. And it shows us a little bit of what you're talking about this screen for the listeners out there that can't see it. It shows my collection of the worst days the 10 worst days in there all most recently it's since I've launched this particular strategy. The worst days have been in March mainly. And we can see March 12 was down the now I track a 6040 60% equity 40% bond, and that portfolio was down worst on the 16th of March, which you're saying was the Friday Today.

Brent Kochuba 10:02
Yeah, so I'll look, I'll quickly make sure I get my days, right because

Andrew Stotz 10:06
now I'm testing now, this is 6040. So it may not exactly coincide with the pure market. But the point is, is that

Brent Kochuba 10:14
it was March 20 Is the was the Friday expiration, it was the 23rd. That was the low so the intraday low came on March 23. Okay,

Andrew Stotz 10:22
and here, I've got March 23. On That's right. So you can see

Brent Kochuba 10:25
your worst return there was? Yeah, right. So the march 23. And that is the, that's the day. So on that day, all these hedging flows can be unwound. And if you look at actual chart of the markers pop up regular chart, you'll see that that's where the bottom was where we shot a good 25% higher for the remainder of the year. And again, the same thing in December of 2018. That was the 24th. It was Christmas Eve was the low. And we saw, you know, similar movements. This is kind of another interesting thing I was just looking at is there was a massive expiration on January of this year, and the VIX high, which a lot of you know VIX is kind of the fear gauge for the market. The VIX high came the day after that expiration. And what was fascinating to me about that is that after that expiration, we had sort of the onset of higher rates, like the feds, we were talking about this before that the Federal Reserve was threatening to raise rates even higher, and then we had the onset of the Russian invasion into Ukraine and, and all that, you know, the put aside the the unfortunate sort of human toll there, but that brought a lot of risk to the credit markets, obviously, right. And the VIX is still not made a new high after that January expiration, which I thought is kind of interesting, because that geopolitical risk is quite elevated. You know, since January,

Andrew Stotz 11:45
I want to ask one, one last question about just to wrap up the explanation. We talked about the institution that just as having a constant small level of insurance against the market crash, and then they increase that at some point in time, which sends a signal that on an aggregate these institutions are starting to worry about a market crash, whether that signal is valuable or not, is a question. But then they send that signal, of course, they execute their signal through the banks. And then, I guess, in theory, the behavior of the banks is a more powerful signal, because maybe they're a more sophisticated player. And my question is, are you looking at how the banks react to the decisions of those institutions? In other words, or do the banks just automatically pass that risk? On to their other clients that want to take that risk? Are the banks bringing on some of that risk? And just maybe you could just help me understand that?

Brent Kochuba 12:54
No, it's a great question. And I think the way that the different we call them liquidity providers, right, be it a big bank, or everyone are many of you may be familiar with institutions, Citadel, for example, who's a market maker. And the way that they sort of hedged their risk depends on a couple of different variables. But in general, they're in the business of what's called Making a market, right, they want to collect a little bit of what's called spread, they want to make a little bit of money on every single trade. Generally, they're not there to say, hey, you know, Andrew wants to buy Netflix, and I think Netflix is gonna go down. So I'm happy just take the other side of that trade, their business is to hedge out the risk or isolate the directional risk. Hopefully, they make, you know, a couple of bucks on each trade that they do. Maybe they'll take the tray that Andrew did. And they'll find another person that they can lay off the other side, right. And so what they're trying to do is, again, just collect small pennies and do a lot of transactions in general, right. And oftentimes, they can't lay off that risk. And so just to give you an example of a trade, if Andrew, you thought the market was going to go down, you would call me and you'd say, hey, look, I'm going to, I'm going to buy a put option from you, Brent, and I'm the I'm the market maker, I say great, so I sell you that put option. So you now own the put, if the market goes down, you're going to make money, I'm shorter put, which means that I will lose money if the market goes down. So there's a famous model called the Black Scholes model, which most people use that model or variation that basically determines that model. If you just plug in a couple parameters, it says, okay, Brent, to hedge your risk, you will use this function called delta and I don't want to get too in the weeds on this, but basically, it tells me Look, I need to sell 50 shares of stock to hedge my risk here. So what will happen is immediately when we trade I sell you a put option, and then I also sell 50 shares of stock. So that way, if the market goes down, the stock that I sold is going to generate some income for me right that made money which will hopefully offset the loss that I had on that put option. And so as the stock moves around over time, this Black Scholes model tells me exactly how many shares of stock I need to buy out to maintain that hedge and protect myself. And so, using that Black Scholes model, we can forecast exactly how many shares of stock need to be bought or sold, and how that changes over time. And that's really the foundation of what we do in the foundation of what the banks are doing to with a lot of the regulatory, regulatory changes after the great financial crisis, you know, the dealers, I think, in general, banks are kind of tied up in terms of the risks they can take, right. And at the end of the day, a dealer or a market maker is like any other hedge fund, or even individual trader, you have a margin, right, you have a max risk. A market maker dealer can't just take an excessive amount of risk, they'll get a tap on the shoulder from their margin or risk officer at the end of the day saying, Look, man, you have way too much risk. And they a trader can lose their job for that just just as our accounts can blow up as individuals,

Andrew Stotz 15:51
right. So to wrap up this discussion, and move on to the big question of the day, the question I have is, who is the type of person that should subscribe to your service? And number two, what would they get from that subscription? And number three, how would they find you? Where should they go?

Brent Kochuba 16:12
Source? I'll take the last question. First, that spot game a.com. And what we do is rewrite a two times daily analysis. And we take all this sort of complicated logics and terms. And what we do is we look at the options complex. So where are all the put and call options positioned in the s&p 500 in the NASDAQ, as well as some of the individual stocks. And we say, based on all these options, positions, here are the hedging flows. And here's how these hedging flows might impact the market. So we have a lot of people that are options traders. But we also have a lot of people who trade simply trade stock, we have people that are longer term investors that want to be aware of the options market. And its impact, particularly on times now, where you have the VIX is very high, and there's a lot of risk in the market. People want to know, how are institutions hedging? And what are the impact of those flows. And so that is really the core of what we do, we do offer a seven day trial. So you can pop on to Spock m&r Calm, you can see I've written analysis for a week for free and see if it's something that helps out your investment process.

Andrew Stotz 17:12
Fantastic. And I'll have links to all that in the show notes, ladies and gentlemen. So if that's something that's interesting, you check it out. Well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to and then tell us your story.

Brent Kochuba 17:27
Sure, so I have a background working for various banks, Bank of America and Credit Suisse. And I worked for an options market maker for a while. So I was in the institutional broker space for about 15 years and one of my clients who I knew fairly well wanted to start his own fund. And so my worst investment ever starts with making the decision to leave to work for this gentleman at this fund. And this was in August of 2015. So my final, my final job or my final day, as a broker was in early August of 2015. And at the time, the gentleman I left to work for ran a portfolio, a small account that we were setting about track record. So for those of you who are not familiar with that, generally when you want to start a hedge fund or something like that, you have to have at least six months, typically more like a year of of a track record of a performance schedule to get some investors right to to prove that you know what you're doing. So, so we started in mid middle of August 2015, is when we finally got started. And the general strategy was to sell what are called counter spreads in the s&p 500. So basically, what you would do is you would short put options, which are these insurance contracts that people often buy, to protect themselves if the market declines. And so I was what was called a trader. So the gentleman I work for is what we call the portfolio manager, he's making the investments decisions, I want to buy this and I want to sell that. And I'll say great, and I would take his orders, and I would actually trade them right, I'd pick up the phone and call a broker and I would execute. So I was on the trading desk with him for five days. And this is actually an interesting story because it applies to this third Friday of the month thing. And I don't know if you remember in August 2015, there was one of the biggest crashes at the time that had ever taken place in the markets. And it was for a few different reasons. But primarily, this was around issues with the credit market in China. And it was a Friday night, the third Friday of August, and all of a sudden at the close of trading. All these massive trade started to go off right before the close of trading, the type of trades that you typically don't see and they're clearly large institutions making these trades because there are 10s of 1000s of humongous put options that are trading in the market. And my boss at the time calls me up and he goes, This doesn't look good, I don't think we're gonna make it through next week, he goes, something is up. So for that week, and I'm really like kind of sweating in and I'm nervous about the market. And, and I hadn't at the time had a lot of what we call hedge fund exposure, like I had been, I had done a lot of trading for people. But as far as modeling options and things like that, this was all a bit new to me, in sort of understanding the true risk, or just getting a real understanding of what was at stake, I obviously knew if the market went down, it would hurt our position, but I didn't quite understand. I didn't have that first class seat, so to speak. So what happened is the following Monday, this two days later, the market opened what's called limit down. And what that means is that the market goes down by so much that the exchange is halt trading. And they do

Andrew Stotz 20:48
that what is the level that's that? That that's

Brent Kochuba 20:51
seven, at the time, I believe was 7%.

Andrew Stotz 20:54
Okay, so overall market, not just any particular one, this is

Brent Kochuba 20:57
the s&p 500. Right. So the s&p 500 is considered the sort of the largest stock index in the world. And it comprises of 500 of the largest US companies. And so what generally happens to is that there's a as you can imagine, things just break right, when the market opens down 7%. And so, obviously, we had had, we had had a lot of problems with our portfolio there, because we were short, these insurance contracts, basically, that make money if the market drops, so because we're short, or we had sold those, we're losing a lot of money because the market is dropping. And our prime broker at the time was a large bank. And what was interesting to me is that as you know, if you have a brokerage account, there's a margin, and they tell you, Okay, for your position, you need to have, say, $30,000 a margin, or in our case, it was a $2 million of margin or whatever it may be. And so what happens is, when you get that kind of a market drop, you're frantically trying to figure out how can I hedge my portfolio? So an option that we had sold for maybe say, $20, was suddenly against us, you know, 567 10 times that much, right? We had obviously had a portfolio of different options, contracts, so change, but all those positions had gone against us by 567, you know, maybe 10 times and certain circumstances. So we're, we're pretty much deep in the hole. And we're trying to figure out how to get our way out of this, because at that point is basically about survival. And so what was interesting to me is we basically hedged our risk out in a way that it looked like, Okay, we could survive this event, because typically what happens when you get such major drops in the market, and things break, that it exceeds or stretches too far, right? Usually, we'll get a bounce back or some recovery in the market. Because often when things break, you know, people are forced to sell people like us were forced to sell. And the markets will often recover sometimes that they call that capitulation, right, it's, it's the final flush in the market. So we're just trying to basically survive. And what was fascinating in this instance, and one of my most sort of valuable lessons from this is that you're, you have one margin, right, you have your personal trading margin, but your counterparty, the bank that you're trading with, hat also has a margin for all of their customers, right. And so when you have one of these events, it puts the bank that you're trading with at risk as well. And so just as you need to try to find ways to hedge yourself and monitor your risk, the bank is doing the same thing. And this is something that a lot of Robinhood investors found out in 2021. even remember what the Gamestop saga, it was Robin Hood, that stopped a lot of trades, right? They turned the buy button off for a lot of people and they basically got a margin call themselves and a lot of people don't realize that, like you have your own margin call. But those margin rates change. And not only that there is you're sort of at the whimsy, so to speak of what the banks want. And so what was fascinating to me is that even though we were able to sort of hedge out, the risk in this portfolio is clear that the bank just didn't want our type of trades on anymore, their risk was too high. And they set a new margin rate that was, you know, many magnitudes above what our capital is at the time. And so we were basically forced to liquidate and shut down there. And so, you know, that was my worst or the worst investment I was ever involved with. I mean, that was a that was a quite an experience. I learned a lot about how options work. I learned a lot about what we call convexity. And what happens when markets break. And so this was my worst investment ever. But it turned out to be when I'm sitting there and suddenly I had been trading for a week with this guy and the fund was gone. And I had just quit my job and all that sort of stuff. It was kind of a life changing experience. In the end, it actually became a beautiful moment for me because it led me to understand options markets in a way that I probably would never have understood otherwise. Right? And understand the way that the auction function that the Market functions in times of real distress. And I think that is that has become a really valuable tool. And the way that the option market functions is that the core visor will do for work now in Spa game in our analysis that, you know, you had a ringside seat to a really disastrous situation and no fortune was able to take away. I learned a lot from that,

Andrew Stotz 25:25
how would you summarize the lessons that you learned?

Brent Kochuba 25:28
Number one is know who you're dealing with, right? There are oftentimes people who speak with authority, or that you sort of put a lot of trust in write particularly in terms of investments. And you don't know if they've been tested in the right ways. And that's something I think is really important. Now, I mean, I think a lot of people are, they don't want to question authority in some ways, they don't want to do sanity check certain, in certain ways on things. And to speak up a little bit when things don't make sense, right. If you're short, a lot of positions that will lose money, if the market tanks, you should ask about that, right, you should understand who it is that you're dealing with. And the other thing is that with excessive reward, you know, if you're in a position that is going to make you a lot of money, that probably all shows that there's a lot of risk, the fund that I went to work for had an incredible return into the start of 2015. And until it didn't, that's exactly right. And I think that that is a lesson that is hard to learn for a lot of investors over this past year where any stock you bought went up, just lightning quick, right? 20% returns 10% returns in a day, or something that were commonplace over the last year and bam, just like that, a lot of these we call them meme stocks, right? Like GameStop, and MC, they dropped 50%. And then they don't bounce back again. And so you know, those kinds of lessons sort of just sanity checking what it is that you're doing both from an individual trade perspective, but just what the way that you're operating in life, I think, you know, it was a real kind of eye opener for me, right? I always wanted this opportunity to shift to the buy side right into work for a hotshot hedge fund manager. And I probably, you know, look past a few red flags in some ways. So

Andrew Stotz 27:18
right off the bat, you went into out of the frying pan and into the fire, as we say, yeah,

Brent Kochuba 27:23
it was literally four days.

Andrew Stotz 27:25
Luckily, that happened early on, and that switch, maybe that gave you a lot of stuff that you could carry into your own business. Yeah, a few things definitely do. Yeah, there's a few things that I took away. I mean, the first thing is never ever, ever go against this concept that we've learned about banks is that they will always take away the umbrella, just when it starts raining.

Brent Kochuba 27:49
Yeah, and there's a popular strategy that exists and it still exists, where people do what's called short volatility. And that is a lot of people like to sell these put options that are insurance contracts. And the reason is because nine times out of 10, those put that insurance contract or that put insurance contract expires worthless. And so if you sell it, or you short it, you pocket all that money, right? But there is that one time in 10, where things just go very, very wrong. And we call this a negative skewed return . That one time that you lose, you lose horribly right and it ends up being a very painful trade this this short volatility trade is very popular in 2017. And in early January of 2018. If you remember, there's a famous incident called vol mageddon where people use these they're called ETFs or etps, that would short VIX, right? And those all blew up spectacularly after having great returns overnight, many of these, because these ETFs basically blew up, they went from a value of say, 50 or $60, a share down to zero instantaneously. And so it's these little things, you pick up pennies in front of a steamroller. And inevitably, that does not pay off very well.

Andrew Stotz 29:02
Yep. So one last thing I would take away is that it's being like being on a boat, right? And you're looking and you're sitting in a really secure spot. And, you know, all of a sudden, there's a beautiful sunset, and you realize that everybody on this boat is going to go to the other side and tip the boat over. And it's that moment that you're saying, Don't know, don't don't everybody go. And they're warning everybody don't go. But ladies and gentlemen, they will go and it's not, you know, it's so what ends up hitting you is a secondary effect. It's not your own thinking that was very solid and all that. There's a secondary effect. It's like how an earthquake caused a tsunami in Phuket, Thailand here. It wasn't something that happened in Thailand. It was something that happened very far away, but had a secondary effect. So I think that is a big lesson out of this. Watch for the secondary effects. And the only way you really know secondary effects is having been in the market for a long time. It's So,

Brent Kochuba 30:01
yeah, and understanding, you know, what it is that you're involved with? I think there are people who, who understood the risks of, you know, the risks of the strategy. Certainly, you know, if I, if I could be myself, if I had my current knowledge, you know, from back in August 2015, I hopefully we'd have a much better outcome there, right. And you can actually oftentimes profit from times of dislocations in the market like that. But understanding what it is you're doing. I mean, I think that, that nowadays, there are so many flashy investments in crypto and all these other things where, you know, people are chasing fast returns, right, and they're looking for a fast way, sort of, to make a bunch of money a get rich, quick scheme, right? Turns that off the highway to hell, it turns out to be, you know, a brutal thing, nine times out of 10. And a lot of times, you only hear about the one person that succeeded, right? I think this is something that you see with like, with, you know, like the Ark fund, for example, and how amazing the performance was there. And a lot of that is simply because, you know, out of all the funds that would happen to be doing the best. And it wasn't necessarily that it had a particularly good investment strategy, right? It's just kind of right time, right place, and people will chase those returns, and oftentimes it ends up not doing too well. So understanding what it is you're involved with, not looking for the shortcut, you know, these are sort of people will oftentimes roll your eyes when were their eyes when you hear these kinds of things. But those are the tried and true ways of succeeding, I think.

Andrew Stotz 31:34
Yep. Last question. What is your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Brent Kochuba 31:40
We so we're very fortunate that we're going to be in part of a documentary that's coming out on MSNBC and peacock about the Gamestop saga. We were part of this analysis that took place when labs when Gamestop when crazy name seeing some of these other stocks. And so we're really focused on over the next 12 months of using that platform to do a lot of what you're doing here that's educating the public and educating people on the power of, of options and investing in the market. But doing so, you know, with an institutional lens doing so without that get rich quick scheme, right, of understanding the way that markets work. And that and that's really what our mission is in our goal is. And we're excited to hopefully, you know, grow a lot with with our subscriber base and in helping people much like you, empower them, right, and teach them to fish, so to

Andrew Stotz 32:33
speak. Fantastic. Well, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. If you haven't yet taken the risk reduction assessment, I challenge you to go to my worst investment ever.com Right now, and start building wealth the easy way by reducing risk. As we conclude, Brent, I want to thank you again for joining our mission 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?

Brent Kochuba 33:02
I don't appreciate everyone's time tonight and look forward to hearing from everybody in the future.

Andrew Stotz 33:06
Fantastic. And 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 saying thank you for joining our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. 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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