Ep596: Vijay Pravin Maharajan – Spend Time, Not Money Before You Invest

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Quick take

BIO: Vijay Pravin Maharajan is the Founder and CEO of bitsCrunch GmbH, a Blockchain Analytics company focused on securing the NFT ecosystem.

STORY: Vijay lost over 90% of his savings after investing blindly in cryptocurrency.

LEARNING: Do thorough due diligence before investing in anything. Don’t follow people blindly.


“Before you spend your money, take your time to research the investment.”

Vijay Pravin Maharajan


Guest profile

Vijay Pravin Maharajan is the Founder and CEO of bitsCrunch GmbH, a Blockchain Analytics company focused on securing the NFT ecosystem.

He has a masters in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from Technische Universität Munchen (TUM), Germany. Vijay is a 3x TEDx Speaker.

He’s also the first Indian to be invited for a TEDx talk in Germany below 30. He was nominated as ‘Top Men Leaders to look up to in 2021’ by Passion Vista magazine. He was also awarded as ‘Top 40 Data Scientists under 40’ in India. And finally, he was nominated as ‘20+ Inspiring Data Scientists to follow in 2020’ by AI (Artificial Intelligence) Time Journal from the United States.

He previously worked a Siemens Mobility, Volkswagen AG, and Telefónica GmbH in Germany.

Worst investment ever

After completing his master’s in Munich, Vijay’s friends pulled him into the crypto space. He took close to 80% of his savings and put them into crypto. Vijay ended up losing almost 90% of his investment. His biggest mistake was not doing any research. He just followed his friends blindly.

Lessons learned

  • Do thorough due diligence before investing in anything.
  • Don’t follow people blindly.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Never invest in something that somebody told you about.
  • Don’t get caught up in the emotion of new investments.

Actionable advice

Spend time, not money, before you invest. First, take your time to research the investment.

No.1 goal for the next 12 months

Vijay’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to go out there, educate more people about the NFT space, and be a good father.

Parting words


“Thanks, Andrew. You’re saving a lot of people from getting screwed up or getting lost.”

Vijay Pravin Maharajan


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 risks but to win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives and that mission has led me to create the Become a Better Investor Community. In the community, you get access to our global asset allocation strategies, and stock portfolios, our investment research weekly live sessions and the risk reduction lessons I've learned for more than 500 guests go to my worst investment ever.com right now to sign up. Fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz of ACE thoughts Academy, and today I am here with featured guests, Vijay Praveen Vijay, are you ready to join the mission?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 00:59
Absolutely, Andrew, I'm excited to be in one of the craziest podcast titles. So I'm really looking forward to interact with you on the

Andrew Stotz 01:10
next Vijay, you're one of the brave ones that says yes to the craziest podcast title out there my worst investment ever. So let me introduce you to the audience. So Vijay is founder and CEO of bit crunch, a blockchain analytics company focused on securing the NFT ecosystem. He has a master's in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. And he is a three times TEDx speaker. Vijay, take a minute and tell us about the unique value that you bring to this wonderful world.

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 01:48
Dennis, thanks, again, for the lovely introduction. So yeah, like you said, I hold a Master's Degree in Munich, living in Munich, the city of Oktoberfest, for the last decade, and I'm here for the last 10 years, adding a lot of value in terms of fraud, a bit strange, right from scratches, and now we've raised over $6 million, doing a lot of things in the blockchain space, particularly in the NFT space. And then beyond that, I love to inspire people to give a quick glimpse, and recognized as one of the top 20 Inspiring data professionals to be followed or bring them. So I like to always inspire people, and I wish I keep going the same as you do.

Andrew Stotz 02:37
Yeah. And why do you like LinkedIn as as a platform? It's interesting, because you know, some people may start a blog or something like that, but you've definitely made a lot out of LinkedIn.

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 02:50
Yes, absolutely. I mean, no, I'm being closely followed by 50,000 followers or something, I mean, close to that number. But yeah, I mean, I love that platform, just because it is highly professional. There are less room for scams or, or fake profiles in that. And it doesn't require any operations from my end, right, because I don't have to manage the Server Manager blog, update anything, whatever it is, image, thumbnail, or whatever it is, right, I just can keep spreading what I learned at my job, what I'm doing at my job, and what I will be doing at my job. Interesting that that helps me reach out to a lot of people and LinkedIn has a whole bunch of community, right? Because if I go with, let's say, Vijay, Praveen blog.com, or something, then I have to take care of a lot of operations costs.

Andrew Stotz 03:50
It's interesting, because I think many people don't see that value. You know, but the value of this LinkedIn is basically your personal blog with traffic.

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 04:00
Exactly. So it comes with free traffic, and I don't have to reinvent the whole wheel. So it basically gives me free marketing, free platform free operations and everything. And all I have to do is just share what I know. If I have done something, it worked, I share it. If it fails, I keep sharing it. So no matter what, what I do, I just keep sharing and people started loving it, right? I mean, come on, obviously, when you are being pulled by 50,000 people, you question yourself, are you doing it the right way? And I feel that I'm on the right track. But yeah, let's see how it pans out in the future.

Andrew Stotz 04:42
So let's talk briefly about what you're doing just so the audience understands more. And you know, you're you're working in the NFT space and I we know that it's been a tough time for cryptocurrency, let's say over the last four or five months as we've seen, prices fall and we've seen mean volumes dry up. How does that impact? Nf Ts?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 05:06
Yes. So non fungible tokens and New Age digital asset class is still far behind the general crypto space, right? I mean, I recently read a survey that says just around 5% of the world's population uses crypto. And I consider NFT as 1/5 of the crypto population. So that's basically 1% of the world's population. So when the market gets hit, obviously, an active traffic drops, and FTP volume gets hit. But we detect NFT scams in ft Tefft NFT. forgeries, so whereas it's more like an infrastructure project, right? So for us, external conditions doesn't really matter. So we don't really care if NFT volume goes down, or prices goes down. So we are an NFT analytics plus forensics entity that bring a lot of business insights to NFT businesses. And then come on Facebook has changed its name to matter. The company that has trillions of dollars in revenue, they're coming out and changing their name to matter, tells where we are heading towards. So that

Andrew Stotz 06:26
and what would you what advice would you give for someone that's a listener that hasn't gotten involved in NF T's they're interested, they don't want to lose money, and they don't want to get ripped off or anything like that. But they are interested, like, Where's the place to start? Or what's what's something to look out for? You know, what advice would you give being an expert in that area?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 06:48
I mean, obviously, people will say that dy, or do your own research, right. I mean, that is that is something that I would like to start with. But obviously, there is much more than that is out there. So the space is evolving. And it's more like how mobile phones evolved. I still remember the first mobile phone that got into our hands. Anyway, it was bulky, it was heavy. And it had numbers, you have to type and numbers several time to arrive at a certain letter, right? That is how we arrived at our early phones. And look at the progress. We used to G we use 3g. Now we are already starting at 5g. And then in some countries, there were already early tests going on for six G technology, right? And then look at the streaming quality look at the memory space. So we have to consider this space, like an evolution. So people expect everything on the first go. That is where people don't get this space. Because if you ask Apple iPhone 14, as a first phone, that's totally impossible. It needs evolution. So I advise people to look at it that way. It's it's more like a baby that crawls past and then walks stumbles upon gets up and then starts running. So that's how you should see this field. Great.

Andrew Stotz 08:16
Great. All right, 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 it then tell us your story.

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 08:30
So it's funny that My Worst Ever Investment was in crypto by itself, even though I work closely to NF TS which is predominantly a crypto space. So that was back when I graduated my master's, I had completed a master's in Munich, one of the famous universities. So there were a couple of friends who pulled me into this whole crypto space. And I literally built upon all my savings. I mean, I literally took close to 80% for first of my savings and other investments, and I got into crypto. If I would have done that on let's say coins or tokens like Bitcoin or Aetherium I probably wouldn't have even talk to him this podcast. Just kidding. Just kidding. But I made a mess. I made a total mess because people whenever something new comes up, people try the new things right? Because people consider that Bitcoin has already gone up to $70 Probably it was around $2,000 Even if I look at the pricing now it's currently clocking around 20,000 So I still would have got 10x of my investment. But at that time yeah 2000 investing on those and worth going is not smart. So I'll pay Big coins that were what sense? That is when I got everything wrong. So I never did any research. I just followed my friends, my acquaintances. That was one of the blunders, I would say. But from what I lost as money, it was more of a knowledge. Why? Why did I do that? I hold a Master's from one of the top 20 universities in the world. And I lost several $1,000 in crypto without even doing my own research. So I consider there's that as a loss, but it happens it happens everywhere, right? I mean, you purchase a property, you buy a land, something goes wrong, you buy an apartment, something goes wrong. So it can happen to anybody. Anytime. Can you

Andrew Stotz 10:50
explain like, what was it that caused you to do it?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 10:54
Yeah, so I mean, obviously, when people start getting into my head, obviously, I live in Germany. So people from India, they always see euro as a bigger potential currency. And that is when I started diving into this cryptocurrency and whenever I see lower prices, I jump into that I invest a few dollars into that. But if I look back, I was crazy. At that time. I was just investing $500 $1,000 to those and 10,000 5000. Here and there. I was not looking at what's going to happen or what's what am I going to get out of it? It's not about the money, forget about the money. But what are the sort of the projects that are investing? I never did any due diligence. So

Andrew Stotz 11:45
what happened to the money that you invested? Did you eventually take it out? Or is it still in there? Or Did it disappear or whatever?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 11:53
No, it's gone. Most of it is gone. I mean, close to 90% of it has gone, because I invested on the they call it ship coins, right ship coins. And I have in my bad I got into this Ico space, which also they call it a scam nowadays, that the initial coin offering because everybody launches a coin, everybody launches a token back in back those days, and they just open a window that everybody invest and no returns nothing. You don't really know where those people are. So that was one of the craziest point in time where I was, I kept on going. I mean, the moment if I see even a 5% return or 10% return, I was like, Okay, this is giving me substantial returns, I should keep putting in money. So, right.

Andrew Stotz 12:49
So how would you summarize the lessons that you learned from this experience?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 12:55
It is all about the due diligence. I mean, now I am a founder of a startup, which has taken a lot of money from investors. So I know the due diligence processes that I have to go through for every investments that I take. So I should have done that. So there was no proper due diligence from my end. It was not about the research, right? I never even looked at their names. They are Google searches. I never spent even a minute on who was the founder? Who is behind those projects. What was the brain behind that project? And what is the potential I didn't even see those things. And spending time you earn your hard earned money in in like studies, internships, or theses or whatever it is, and then you end up spending it without even any due diligence. So that is something that I would advise people not to. And those are lessons that I took it for my entrepreneurial journey, right, because I now am a founder of a crypto company to look at this crazy because I lost a lot of money. Anybody else would have been fed up with this space and would have ran away or went into Internet of Things or 5g technology or or any other technology, but I somehow had hope. Okay. The mistake was mine, not them. I didn't do any research. I didn't do any due diligence. I was never into it. I didn't research about the founders, the company, was it listed? Was it. Was it a legal entity? Do they have an entity? Of course I never did anything. And how can I blame a technology so that the fault was my and that is when I grabbed myself and I'm glad that I'm the founder of see founder and CEO of Bootstrap, which is which has already got 6 million over six mil Then in investments, and we are already talking revenue as well, which is good,

Andrew Stotz 15:05
fantastic. Maybe I'll share a couple of things I take away, you know, the first thing is, I just would like to talk about the concept of energy. And I read a book many years ago called your money, or your life. And basically, it talks about thinking about spending as energy. Don't think about, you know, so when I buy a TV, I don't think it's going to cost me $500, I'm going to think it's going to cost me, you know, 20 hours of energy. And it really makes a difference when you start to think is that really worth that much energy? So I think the first thing and, you know, you mentioned it about, you know, time that you spent and all that, but I just think energy is something that, you know, you have to be really careful about. So that's my first thing I was thinking about. The second thing is, you know, always be, I'm always skeptical, I have a little rule that people asked me when they say about investing, I say, Never invest in something that somebody told you about. Now, most people are like, well, how the hell am I supposed to figure out what to invest? Well, that's part of the point. You know, like, that's what real investing is, is you got to figure it out. And the second thing I would say is that it's when people are calling you, they're talking their own book, whether they're trying to make money from you, or whether they're trying to validate an opinion that they have and support that opinion, that may not be based upon research, either. Or maybe just doing research isn't enough to guarantee success, even, you know, in the crypto space. And then the other thing I wrote down was emotion. You know, it's so easy to get caught up. When it seems like, you know, this is the new thing and all that. And I'm, I'm, I'm a rock when it comes to that, you know, I don't get caught up in that emotion. So I think that those are kind of my lessons that I take away from, is there anything you would add to that?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 17:09
I mean, that is that is those are the absolute crunches of what I just shared. And emotionally being strongest is what I learned over the years, because at that time of investing, I was early 20s, probably mid 20s. And that is when you just go follow the line, right? Without even knowing what is happening on the other end of the line, you just simply follow the others. That is something that I learned over the years, which has made me emotionally much more stable, that I believe. And yes, so energy, that that's a good lesson for me. But guests, thanks, so.

Andrew Stotz 17:50
So based upon what you learned from this story, and what you continue to learn in your life, I want to think about a young man or woman who's wanting to invest in crypto, they're just about to pull the trigger. They don't know that much. They're in kind of the same situation you are we're in what's one action that you'd recommend for them to avoid suffering the same fate.

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 18:14
A Time Time, time spent time, not money, your money won't make 5x 6x rather, six hours that you spend will save you from a heavy loss, right? So if you're making thinking of making 6x on your investment, on somebody's advice are fun random blog post, or whatever thing it is, that is not going to be fruitful experience. Rather, I would say spend six hours to see if it can really be a success in some time. So give yourself time like, like I said, at the beginning, you have to compare it with a mobile phone or a baby, you consider yourself as a crawling, creation at the beginning. Then try to walk stumble upon it's fine, you lose 100 $200 That is fine. But the moment you lose big chunk, it also emotionally drained. Yep, that is when it's hard to get back to the feet and start working again. Yeah, so I want people to do their due diligence, do their own research, spend time, time is money here.

Andrew Stotz 19:29
Yep. It's not gonna hurt to take time to build those positions. So just start slowly. Alright, what is a resource that you'd recommend for our listeners?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 19:39
Obviously, my LinkedIn profile. Now I keep sharing a lot of things about blockchain cryptocurrency data, data analytics, and then the whole bunch of steps. And I'm being followed by close to 50,000 people. So I guess that gives you the validation

Andrew Stotz 19:56
and to go, you're saying something that's valuable.

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 20:00
Exactly, so just go and search for Vijay Praveen maharajan, it's my full name.

Andrew Stotz 20:07
Yep. I'll have a link to that in the show notes. So last question, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months.

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 20:16
I like to say we have the token launch plan. So we want to go out there, educate more people when it comes to an empty space, and to be a good father on the family side, because I have a new daughter. She's just 14 months old, trying to get out, start working and so on. So I am enjoying this phase where I feel like carrying two babies at the same point, one as my daughter, one as the startup which are equally of the same age. And I wish to do justice on both ends.

Andrew Stotz 20:55
Well, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. If you haven't yet joined the become a better investor community just go to MyWorstInvestmentEver.com. Right. Now, as we conclude, Vijay, 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?

Vijay Pravin Maharajan 21:25
I enjoyed talking and thanks a lot and what you're doing is really great for the community because use save a lot of people from getting screwed up or getting lost. I mean, there is something that we do for the NRP space and what you're doing is for the whole product space so our ideologies are aligned. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to come on to this podcast and thanks again for the invitation. I really enjoyed this conversation. I would love to be allowed to meet you in person sometime

Andrew Stotz 22:00
that's gonna happen that's gonna happen. Well, that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. Let's celebrate that today. We added one more person to our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. This is your worst podcast hose 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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