BIO: Nick Maggiulli is the Chief Operating Officer and Data Scientist at Ritholtz Wealth Management, where he oversees operations across the firm and provides insights on business intelligence.
STORY: Nick invested in a stock he wasn’t familiar with just because his friends were doing it. He suffered a 78% loss.
LEARNING: Don’t buy individual stocks. Trust your gut.
“If you’re going to gamble, just wager less.”
Nick Maggiulli is the Chief Operating Officer and Data Scientist at Ritholtz Wealth Management, where he oversees operations across the firm and provides insights on business intelligence. He is also the author of OfDollarsAndData.com, a blog focused on the intersection of data and personal finance. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and The Los Angeles Times. Nick graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Economics and currently resides in New York City.
Worst investment ever
It was the summer of 2021, and Nick was having a great night with some friends. One of his buddies, who’s pretty good at stock picking, told the group about this new exciting stock called Matterport (MTTR). Matterport is a virtual reality software that allows you to do 3D imaging of a room.
Up until this point, Nick had primarily been a passive investor. The friend convinced the group to invest in Matterport, saying it would be big. Nick put in about 1% of his net worth. The group didn’t do much research. They just discussed the stock in a group chat for a day or two. They didn’t pay attention to it anymore.
Over the next few months, the stock starts going up. Nick got excited about the surprising stock performance. He happened to attend an art show in New York. Coincidentally, the gallery was using Matterport to give a tour of their art venues. This was so wild and got Nick even more excited.
The stock kept going up, and by November 2021, it had doubled. Nick bought it for $15, and now it was $30. At this point, everyone in the friends’ group doubled their investment.
The peak was in November, and then the price started to decrease slightly. Nick figured it was no big deal, as every great winning stock has a decline. So he held onto the stock. The price kept going down. Nick sold his stock in October 2022 at $3.30 a share, making a 78% loss.
- Don’t buy individual stocks.
- Trust your gut.
- When you get invested in something, you’ll find every possible reason to justify it.
- There are a lot of times that we know stuff that we’re not supposed to do, yet we somehow end up in it.
If you’re going to gamble, make sure you know exactly how much you’re willing to lose.
If you want to learn about individual stocks, Nick recommends reading Scale: The Universal Laws of Life, Growth, and Death in Organisms, Cities, and Companies. The book talks about the growth of cities, companies, and that type of stuff. To understand asset allocation, Nick recommends books by William Bernstein. He also recommends reading his book Just Keep Buying: Proven ways to save money and build your wealth if you want to learn the risks of investing in individual stocks.
No.1 goal for the next 12 months
Nick’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to expand his blog’s SEO traffic.
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've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives to join me go to my worst investment ever.com and sign up for our free weekly become a better investor newsletter where I share how to reduce risk and create grow and protect your wealth. Fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz from a stance Academy, and I'm here with featured guests, Nick Maggiulli. Nick, are you ready to join the mission?
Nick Maggiulli 00:45
Oh, yes, I'm here. I'm ready. Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew Stotz 00:48
I'm looking forward to hearing more of your story. But let me introduce you to the audience. Nick is the Chief Operating Officer and data scientists at RITHOLTZ wealth management, where he oversees operations across the firm and provides insights on business intelligence. He's also the author of, of dollars and data.com, a blog focused on the intersection of data and personal finance. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Los Angeles Times, Nick graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics and currently resides in New York City. Nick, take a minute and tell us about the unique value that you are bringing to this wonderful world.
Nick Maggiulli 01:36
Yeah, as you said, like, you know, when I'm writing online, I'm talking about, you know, the intersection of data and personal finance slash investing. So I think that's my unique value proposition is just, you know, trying to help, you know, the typical retail investor, like navigate the investment markets. And I do that using data and trying to show as much evidence as possible. So I use a lot of charts, a lot of visuals for that type of stuff. And so, it's not that other people haven't done that. But you know, I have a background, a little bit of programming data science, so I've been able to take that skill and marry it with, you know, my love for finance and investing. So I think that's the thing where I'm basically, you know, things we've heard for a long time buy and hold this and that, should you buy the dip all these questions, I basically go through and try and, you know, prove, you know, with evidence with data on what you should be doing, right. And so I don't, and I don't want to try and give you exactly like a prescription, you need to do this, you need to do that. Like Because investing is a very dynamic process in one period, it might be good to own us or NASA in another environment, it may not. And so it's a very dynamic process is more of an art than a science at times. But I'm really just trying to help you know, the typical retail investor and like what works for them. And so that's, that's been my goal. And I don't try to like have opinions on things, I try to say, like, Hey, this is either my experience, or I have a lot of data to show something, right. And I've been in the investment industry for, you know, not even five years now. And I'm still like going out there and trying to talk about this stuff. So I am based on that. I'm like very inexperienced in that sense. However, I think because I'm using data, it actually validates my arguments. And it's because I'm an outsider that actually have that unique edge. I'm not someone who's like, been investing for 50 years. And you know, that's not the point here. The point is, like, look at the data, look at what the evidence says that's true, regardless of not some, you know, not some guru that's trying to say, This is my my opinion. And it's right, I'm trying to say, what is the evidence actually saying why we should follow that?
Andrew Stotz 03:19
You know, I think for the young people out there that are listening, you're also a really good example of kind of like how to find a job that you really like, doing the things that you'd like to do. But also, you know, write a blog, have a written book, you've written your book, just keep buying as an example, and how those things, you know, they link in to the job that you have, but you also have the freedom within the job to be able to do these different things. And I think that's what a lot of people are looking for in careers, you know, whereas let's say when I started as an analyst back in 1993, here, I was a sell side analyst and tireless, like, that's all you do. There was not any opportunity to do anything else. I mean, I guess I could have written a book. But you know, it just didn't come to my mind. And I'm just curious if you could discuss that briefly. Because I know a lot of young people, they want to have a bigger broader experience in their work life.
Nick Maggiulli 04:16
Yeah, so in my case, it just took like a lot of time and effort to get there because like, I was blogging for a year over a year before I even started talking with the firm that I ended up at RITHOLTZ and it was like I started talking to him after about a year of blogging. So doing let's say it takes about 10 hours a week to write a blog post is taking me less now for a host of reasons. I've gotten obviously a little bit better at it, I hope at least. And so let's imagine 10 hours a week over the course of a year that's 500 hours I put in before I had any real return from yes people some people were trying to read it I try to get a little bit of traction here and there but like even after a whole year, like I only had 5000 Twitter followers, which like for some people that might seem like a lot but like conditional now and we having so many more like it was a very slow process, right. And so I think Are those things that keep in mind is like, there's a very long tail, you have to just go through a long, long time of possibly, you know, keeping at it before you find some of these roles. And for me, it's like I knew, I was like, Hey, I would love to work with these guys. But I don't know if I can, I don't know if there's even a role for me, like, they were much smaller firm than they weren't even a billion dollars. You know, when I joined another, we have over $3 billion in assets. And so, you know, when I was coming in, I'm like, you know, can I do data science stuff. And like, sure, like most most registered investment advisors, most wealth management firms don't have data scientists, maybe some of the really big ones do, but a lot of the smaller ones don't. So for them, they saw it as a big risk. But I was like, hey, there's a lot of technical skills I can bring in, we can do a lot more. And so I eventually take, you know, took over operations in a way. And so that's been, you know, really interesting, but it's one of those things where, like, you can keep you have to keep at it for a long time. And the thing is, like, it's really like, there's tons of barriers there to be like, who really wants it, you know, Are you really willing to put in the work. And so, unfortunately, like, there's no simple solution to this, but if you're like, hey, I wish I could marry my love for this thing with my love for this thing. You know, that's, that's usually in that Venn diagram, there's what you want to try and find and maximise on and so it can take time, too. So just don't, don't get discouraged and just spend time on it. I started when I was 27. And I, it took me until I was like 20 and a half moved into new industry, and I you know, the book thing that came out, you know, I was 32. So it's like, everything's been changing a lot. And so it takes a long time where I was writing for five years before I even had the book deal. And things went from there.
Andrew Stotz 06:25
Yeah, it's great. You know, when I talk to young people, and I'd say, you know, ultimately find your space, are you do you like to write? Do you like to do video? Do you like to draw pictures, you know, like, there's a space for you, you know, wherever you are. And, for me, I wasn't necessarily a writer. But I was kind of forced to write as an analyst every single day. And so I was writing and so but I never turned that into a blog, because I kind of felt like, in my free time, I didn't feel like writing. But I like video. And I like that type of stuff. So the first thing I always tell people is, you know, find the thing that you really like to do. And then the second thing is what I hear from you is and then do it consistently. And then opportunities will come. But you may not get that payoff right away. It can take a long time. And I guess most people just quit after a short amount of time. But if you really like it, and you're enjoying it, then you know, it's probably the way to go. I'm just curious, thinking about that. And kind of thinking about people that are listening to this. If you had to, if you started over again today, knowing what you know now, about the industry, about blogging, about writing about all that different stuff. And let's just take a 27 year old listening to this podcast right now. And they say, you know, I want to get started and I've got some good qualifications. What advice would you give them?
Nick Maggiulli 07:49
I mean, it's really tough. So like, I think you have to prepare yourself mentally for like I almost gave up at nine months. The first year is the hardest. Like, it's absolutely the hardest, like, No, it's not even close, like the first year was harder than every single thing I've done since like not even close even like writing the book, no writing book was comparatively easy relative to that first year, when you're just like, publishing pieces, or putting out content and sending into the void. Like no one's reading it you're not seeing it's like, oh, I got 100 views on the last week. So it's like, that is the thing you have to prepare for. And so trust me, I made every mistake in the book, I've had probably the slowest growth you can get, you know, I've heard about people, you know, oh, I got my email list for you know, to, you know, 30,000 readers within like a year or two years, or even less than that, right? I'm at 25,000 subs, and it's been like seven years, I didn't even have an email list. When I started, I didn't have an email list for like, two years. Basically, I had like a medium list. Like, I don't want to get into all that right now. But like I made every mistake possible. But regardless of that, I think whatever endeavor you're going to do, mentally prepare yourself because at times, you're going to feel like this is absolutely pointless. Now, of course, you should listen to the market a little bit. If no one's ever reading, if you're not seeing any growth ever for a very long time, then maybe you need to change up how you're doing your content. I was still seeing growth, it was just very slow. And it was just like, it was like, you know, very tough, but you know, eventually it took off a little bit more. And now I'm very happy with the results so far. And you've got to keep at it. I did it every single week. I've published a blog post for 330 Something I think now we're 340 Maybe I think we were 340. So three to 40 weeks in a row have not missed a single week. So
Andrew Stotz 09:20
yeah, and it reminds me of the podcast when I started you know, after about a year of my business partner here in Thailand just said drop it Stop it, you know you're not going to get you know what it's wasting time and you know, money and all that and I just there was just something in my heart that just said just just keep going. I've dropped a lot of things in my life. But I think for the listeners out there, pick that thing that you really think you know, you can make a difference and just keep going. All right. Well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever and since no one goes into their worst investment thinking and will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to and then tell us your story.
Nick Maggiulli 10:03
Yes, so it was the summer of 2021. I was out with some friends we were out. You know, I think we were at a French restaurant in New York City. I think the booboo Sheree passed by I can't remember which restaurant French restaurant but we're getting wine reading appetize Having a great night. And one of our buddies he's like pretty good at stock picking is called a couple of them before and I notoriously I'm mostly a passive investor, I don't really pick stocks, I had done it twice. Before that point in time I had done I bought two individual stocks, both of those cases, I basically sold them at cost, I lost money on like opportunity cost basis, because I probably should have invested in the s&p 500 where I would have made more, but generally, I haven't really lost money in any real investment just temporarily, but it never really sold for a loss. So I'm like okay, whatever, no big deal. But you know, my friends were all drinking having a good time. And my friends, like, Guys, I got this stock, it's I'm telling you, it's gonna be big. I'll tell you guys where the stock is. I generally don't try to discuss individual stocks for compliance reasons. But the stock was called Matterport MTTR. Matterport is like a virtual reality type of like, it's like a software that allows you to, you know, like, do 3d imaging of a room. So I don't know if you guys remember this early on, when they were trying to do like 3d, let's say you wanted to take like a virtual apartment, or they would have to bring in this special equipment, like with a special camera to do like the 3d imaging. So you could walk through space, right? Matterport figured out a way to do that just using your phone. So anyone with an iPhone or you know, Android could just take pictures, you upload them into their system, and then they create a 3d space. So remember, it's summer 2021 Crypto is going crazy Metaverse, everything, these are the hottest things out there. And my friends, like I'm telling you guys this thing's going it's going up it just IPO like it's gonna go somewhere. And so like, let's all just put in a little bit of money. So I was okay, so I put in like roughly 1% of my net worth. So it's not a it's not a vast amount of money that I'm putting in. But I'm like, Okay, I'm going to do this. I'm in on this thing, right? I'm crazy enough. You know, we're all having a good time we start like a group chat. We're chatting about it for a day or two, then it kind of dies off whatever, we're not really paying attention anymore. Then slowly I like you know, I'm not even really I don't really watch it. I'm not even really watching it cuz I'm like, if I started watching everyone get obsessed. And like, who cares? Just 1% of my net worth not a big deal. So over the course, like the next few months, like it starts to go up. It's like now it's like September October, like wow, it's like gone up quite a bit. I'm like what's going on? Like, I'm like, oh, man, this thing's working out. And then I was at like this art show thing in New York. And I was like, you know, talking to people in the in the like, the venue. And okay, you can go to our website here and check this out. So I go to their website, and on their website they were using they've used Matterport like to like, you know, to give a tour of their space of their art venues like you could like, virtually look at their RV. I'm like, Oh my gosh, what's the chance that I'm here like this thing? It was like kind of crazy. There's no way like, this is so wild, you know. So anyways, then it keeps going up by November 2021. It had doubled. So I went from I bought it at $15, by the way, in double to about 30 I think at that point, and the friend that invested the stock said, Hey guys, I'm selling out my cost basis, I'm just gonna let the gains right at this point. So at this point, he's like, I don't know what's going to happen. This is kind of crazy. I don't usually see stocks doubling three months. So that's all I'm gonna say. So at that point, we all doubled our money. Everyone was happy. We're like, oh, and I was looking at it, like my mental state was like, so at the time when I bought it, like the company was worth like $3.5 billion. That was the market cap of the entire company. You have to realize at this time, like Apple's worth a trillion, like think Google was worth a trillion or near it, like all these companies like Microsoft was worth a trillion, like, all these companies were worth a trillion dollars and I'm like 3 billion and this thing's gonna like you know, disrupt you know, Facebook, which is worth you know, I don't know how you can remember how much Facebook was half a trillion a trillion, whatever it was, which is a ton of money, right? So at the time, I'm like, What is $3 billion, it's nothing like even like this thing will easily go to 30 billion but this is my logic at the time like this will easily go to 30 billion right? So it went from 3.3 point five to 7 billion in two months. I'm like oh my gosh, this thing's gonna go to 30 and I'll just sell then I'll sell at 10 But I'm gonna hold it you know because they say let your winners ride you know you've heard these these things so many times when I'm gonna let this thing ride you know? Funny enough so the peak was in November and then price started come down a little bit a little bit of a crash my hey no big deal you know this you're gonna see this. This is what happens every great winning stock has a decline right? You know this this is what it's like you know, no big deal. Funnily enough, I was single at the time and early 2022 So stuff had already sort of crashed a little bit but like the price hadn't come down to too much yet it you know, come down a bit but I was out you know, single the time and I went to like this like crypto happy hour thing and I like met this woman. I was talking to her she's like, Oh, I kind of work in like virtual reality stuff. Like Like, what do you mean she's like, like, we do like a long story short, she works at Matterport like no way like I own the stock where I'm trying to get insight info from her like, is there something like is it going to hell is you guys coming out with anything that's going to help us I don't mean insight into like to trade I'm not buying anymore, right? Buy something like I'm like, trying to be hopeful. Like, is the stock going to come back like, oh, yeah, it's so buzzing, everything's going great. Long story short, she was not right there. You know, we didn't go on a date or anything, but it's just funny that I met her. And she was not right about that the price kept going down, down and Matterport Are I sold? Remember, I bought it at $15 erode all the way up to 30. And I sold it in October 2022 at $3.30 a share for a 78% loss. So that was like the, that's the whole round trip, you saw it double in two months, then the slow then I'm like seeing it in places I'm seeing it in my life, like, just by chance, like what the heck this thing is gonna go to yeah, this thing's easily go into, you know, if I went to 30 bucks, it's gonna go up, you know, five times more from here, like it's gonna go to 100 bucks a share easily. And then from there, it did not obviously the market crash, everything went bad. And so I sold it for a 78% loss. So wasn't a huge loss of money in terms of like absolute dollars. But in terms of you know, and even in terms of percentage of my net worth, but still, you know, I lost basically a percent of my net worth.
Andrew Stotz 15:46
And did going, go bust. What was the
Nick Maggiulli 15:49
company's still around right there around, right. I think they're trading at like 270 a share or something right now. So you can look them up there. They were 330. So even from where I sold, like it went down a little bit more so you know, but yeah, that was it. And it's so funny, because our group chat just got more and more like, over time as like the price was going down. We were just getting more and more pessimistic and stuff. And then I finally said, Guys, I'm out. I can't keep doing it. I'm at this point, like, Okay, let's take my tax loss, whatever. And so I booked a nice tax loss from that, thankfully. So that was the one upside to this. But for the most part, yeah, it was just, it was all the way down. So
Andrew Stotz 16:23
interesting. How would you describe the lessons that you learned?
Nick Maggiulli 16:27
The lesson? It's funny because I already knew the lesson like I you know, I wrote a book, just keep buying one of the chapters is called why you shouldn't buy individual stocks. I wrote an entire chapter on this. The book had not been published when I bought this, but when I bought Matterport, but at the time, I was like, you know, it's something fun with my friends a small amount, so I kind of justified it. But the lesson for me is like, just listen, you know, what's the right thing to do? And you're not doing it right. And I think there's this great I think it was Druckenmiller. I think Druckenmiller had this quote where he said, like, if you lost all this money in the.com bubble, and he was like, what was the lesson you learned? He said, I learned nothing. I already knew I wasn't supposed to do that. And that's the exact lesson I will say here. I knew I was supposed to do this. I did it for fun. And, you know, I got burned. And I should have you know, why don't you just tell somebody when I was growing up? I there's all these reasons. I mean, think about the logic, oh, it's easily going to be a 30 billion. That's nothing like there's like five or six companies trading at a trillion. It's like, who cares about 30 billion that's like, basically zero, right? When you're rounding? So for me, it was like seemed obvious that this was going to 30 billion and it did not so. Yeah.
Andrew Stotz 17:29
Interesting. Well, maybe I'll share a couple of things that you made me think of them. The first one, I call it the white Toyota syndrome. And I can't remember what behavioral bias it is. But once you buy a white Toyota, you'll notice that there are white Toyotas everywhere in the world. In fact, your exact model is everywhere. And I can't remember what that bias is. But when you when you get invested in something, you know, you see it everywhere. It's almost like it's
Nick Maggiulli 17:59
like availability, like once you see like, Oh, if I say Purple Elephant and like, Guys look out for Powerball, and you're gonna see one in the next week or some, you know, on some brand or something, right? So
Andrew Stotz 18:07
exactly. Either that, or we're living in the matrix in some cruel person, drop these people in your life. Right? Exactly. Either way, it's a mess. But the second thing, basically, you remind me, I have a friend, I'll call him RJ. And he was an analyst when I was an analyst back in like, 1999. And I was covering the banks, and he was covering consumers. And one time, I was asking him something, and, and he said, Well, let's Google it. And I say, what does that mean? And he goes, come over my desk, and he logged up Google, and he typed something in and he got, you know, an answer. And from that moment on, RJ is always the guy I just remembered. That's the guy that introduced me to Google. It's like you were the gonna be the guy that introduced everybody to the most phenomenal business in the world. Matterport Yeah, exactly. Their website right now. And the other thing that I remind, it reminded me I was something because is what you said about the, you know, I already knew that I wasn't supposed to do that. And when my mom and dad visited me in Thailand for maybe the first time, I think it was, I told him Look, one thing, I'm going to tell you what, both of them don't spend more than $100 without talking to me, God, I'm working a bit and I'm busy. But you know, my parents go out on some tour, and they come back at the end of the day, and I've just gotten home from work and my dad comes to me and he's like, I think I've done something wrong, you know, and I was like, Dad, what it shouldn't do and he's like, Well, we were on this tour, and then they brought us to this jewelry place and I wanted to buy your mother. This nice piece of you know, this nice ring. You know, we're on holiday Like, how much did you spend? He's like, I don't know, it was something like, I don't know, $3,000 or whatever he put on his credit card. And I was like, No, you know, you're not supposed to do that. But you know, it's just funny how, you know, we know we're not supposed to do certain things. And then we stumbled into it. Eventually, I called the place and I said, what time you guys close? They say, Oh, we close it. Seven. I think I'm gonna get there right on time. So we'll, we'll stay open for you. So I said, Okay, I'll be there. So I got there with my mom and dad and my best friend. And basically, we hard negotiated them to give him a full refund of the money, which was remarkable. But the point is, is that, you know, there's a lot of times that we know stuff that we're not supposed to do, but yet we somehow end up in it. So you know, I just, I just, those are the things that come to mind. Is there anything you would add to wrap up the learnings and lessons?
Nick Maggiulli 20:50
No, I just yeah, don't buy individual stocks, I still stand by that. I know, some people, you know, if you want to do it for fun, that's fine. I kind of was doing it for fun. But I still, if I could go back, I would have been like, Hey, don't get caught up in this hype of everything that's going on. And remember, 2021 I think, probably a lot of your listeners at least, if they didn't get caught up, they know someone who got caught up in the hype of, you know, tech and everything that was going on. And so it can happen to anyone. So just remember that, like, you're not everyone's susceptible, even if like you write about why you shouldn't do this stuff, you know.
Andrew Stotz 21:17
So let's, let's go back to the moment and think about when you first got into this story and all of that. And think about a young person that's presented with a similar situation, based upon what you learned from this story and what you continue to learn what action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate? I mean, it's so tempting. Yeah, I
Nick Maggiulli 21:38
guess it's really tough. I mean, if you're like out with friends, and everyone's doing it, it's kind of tough to be the one person out but like, you, you have to be like, hey, like this is, you know, I don't know, it depends, like, do you think like, for example, do I if I could go back? Like, do I regret like, you know, anything unnecessary, like it was a fun thing we did, but also like that fun cost a lot of money, like maybe I should have, I think I should have gone with even less, right? So if you want to do it, say I'll go in and no one's No, you have to put up an extra dollar amount. So I chose to put in 1% of my net worth, I could have put in point 1% of my net worth, right. So I think the thing to do is like, Okay, if you want to play just wager less, right, if you're gonna if you know, you're gonna gamble, just wager even less. And so there's no reason why I needed to put in as much as I did. And so I think that's the actual mistake I made, you know, doing the action of doing something with your friends, I don't think that's a mistake. I just think it's like, the amount I put in didn't, was not necessary. No one said I had to write. So that was the other thing too. So I would say, you know, if you're gonna gamble, make sure you know exactly how much you're willing to lose. Great advice.
Andrew Stotz 22:35
So what's the resource that you recommend for our listeners?
Nick Maggiulli 22:38
Actually, so if it's about individual stocks, there's a great book out there called scale by Geoffrey West. And it's really interesting, because I like reading a lot of like, you know, just nonfiction books that aren't about investing to learn about investing and scale talks about the growth of cities, companies, and, and all that type of stuff. And I think the companies section was really interesting, because, you know, half of the companies that are in like, let's say the s&p 500, they won't be around in 10 years, like the half life of a public company is around 10 years, which is kind of crazy. Maybe the s&p 500 slightly longer, but it's not that much longer, right. I think the best example of this is like, if you look at all the stocks in the Dow from like, 1920, not a single one of them was in the Dow 100 years later, right? Because they've all like things have happened in different ways. And they fallen out one way or another. So it's kind of crazy to think like, oh, this thing's gonna last forever, and it doesn't always happen. So I think I really recommend scale. I think that's a great one. If you're like, into investing stuff, I'd recommend stuff by William Bernstein. Like he's really good at, like understanding asset allocation and things like that. Yeah. So those are the main ones I'd recommend for like other readings. And of course, I would always plug my own book, of course, just keep buying if you want. I have a whole chapter on this and why like there's the five performed, there's two arguments against buying individual stocks. One's the performance argument, which I'm guessing many of your listeners have heard, which is like, hey, like, you know, most investors can't beat the market after fees. So like, what's the point? You shouldn't try? Right? That's a pretty simple argument. Most people have probably heard that one before. The argument I have put forth which I call the existential argument is, how do you know if you're actually good at stock picking? Right. And I think the issue is picking stocks and investing is like, you can make a decision now, but you don't get the feedback, the outcome from that decision for years, right? Compare that to like a basketball player, they make a decision or take an action, they shoot the ball, let's say they know right away, like within, you know, a couple seconds, if they made the right choice, you know, they did something, they get instant feedback, right? And they can improve on that, right. But an investor has to make decisions and then wait three to five years, you know, before they see that pan out possibly can obviously can happen sooner. But a lot of times it can take a very long time before you see your results. And then on top of that, how do you know that those results aren't just chance, right? And so you need a long track record, you need at least 10, possibly 20 years before you can show with statistical rigor that you are actually good at this. And so I think for most people picking stocks is not something they should do and so I explain all this in the book and go through that argument there. But I think that's kind of another resource you can look through if you want to think about, you know, individual stocks.
Andrew Stotz 25:06
Yeah. So for the listeners out there, his next book is just keep buying proven ways to save money and build your wealth. And it's impressive. He's got 1460 ratings, and he's got a 4.5 out of five, which is pretty darn good. I would say, and I'll have links to that in the show notes. In addition, the other book, you mentioned scale, the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies and companies, written by Geoffrey West. And I also have a link to that resource. And I'm interested in both of those. So that's exciting. And now, my last question for you is, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months?
Nick Maggiulli 25:52
So yeah, my number one goal right now is, there's probably I would say, my Yeah, my number one goal is to like expand my SEO traffic on my blog. So I've been writing a lot more for search engines and things like that. So it's a different form of writing. But I find like, if I write about topics that a lot of people are searching for, even my core audience will still read them. So even though it's not like my normal thing to write about something like general generational wealth, or like seven streams of income or something, there's a lot of people searching that stuff. So I found don't actually try to write for SEO a little bit better, and try to rank well on those things. Like, I'm just trying to expand my organic traffic, because I'm just trying to get different types of discovery. I feel like I've done the Twitter thing to death. Like, you know, if you've been on Twitter, if you've been on finance Twitter for five years, and you don't know who I am at this point, and like, I've either failed as a marketer or like you're not really on finance for like this. It's not a such a big place, like you know, so that's one of those things where like, I don't think I'm pretty saturated in that marketplace. So it's like, I need to find new ways to grow. And so I'm like, okay, I can write about SEO, I can do different things. I'm trying to do more stuff on LinkedIn. So just slowly kind of expanding my brand and I think SEO is the way to go for the time being. And
Andrew Stotz 26:58
one of my prior guests, Brandon Gailey, the blog millionaire, he's got a remarkable story. And he's just a master at blogging and driving traffic and just impressive so I have a lot of respect for people like yourself and Brandon and others that just keep going at it. I would say I'm, I'm okay at it. But I would say I'm not that great at it. So exciting to hear that and I wish you luck on that particular goal and listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. Remember, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. If you're not join that mission. Just go to my worst investment ever.com and join my free weekly become a better investor newsletter to reduce risk in your life. As we conclude, Nick, I want to thank you again for joining our mission and on behalf of East Arts 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?
Nick Maggiulli 27:56
No, I don't have any any particular words just keep bombing I
Andrew Stotz 27:59
guess. Just keep in mind there's the word works.
Nick Maggiulli 28:02
The three words that just you know set in my life. So thank you. Yep.
Andrew Stotz 28:06
And 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 host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.
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