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Learning that drives better investment decisions

My Worst Investment Ever March 2021

Ep356: Austin Belcak – Get Help from Someone Who Is Where You Want to Be

BIO: Austin Belcak is the founder of, where he helps people land jobs they love without traditional experience and without applying online.

STORY: Austin made two mistakes. One was to take a terrible job without evaluating if it was indeed a good fit. Two, he spent so much time following jobseeking advice from family and friends who had no experience in the field he was interested in.

LEARNING: Successful careers are built from networking and building relationships. Find creative ways to showcase your value when searching for a job. Seek advice from people already doing what you want to do.

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Ep355: Ibrahim Kocagoz – Do Your Research Before Investing in Property

BIO: Ibrahim Kocagoz is the Technical Director at SODEXO Thailand, responsible for Innovation, Smart City & Systems, and Sustainability.

STORY: Ibrahim and his wife bought several apartments in Istanbul. The plan was to retire soon at a vineyard, making wine while receiving income from the apartments. However, the Turkish currency started devaluing, throwing off the value of the flats. Ibrahim could only charge half of what the apartments were worth when purchasing them.

LEARNING: Do thorough research before investing in property. Real estate is high-risk; be careful when investing in it. Understand the currency risk concept before investing abroad.

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Ep354: Jeff Nischwitz – Reduce Risk by Observing Harmful Behavior Patterns

BIO: Jeff Nischwitz is known as a Snow Globe Shaker who’s on a mission to help people shift how they lead and thereby shift their leadership impact.

STORY: Jeff’s parents sold their business and gave the money to their grandchildren for a college education. Jeff decided to invest his kids’ money as advised by a financial advisor who knew his dad. This was during the Dotcom boom, and at first, the investment grew from $10,000 to $75,000 per kid’s share. But within six months, the market crashed. The worst part was that his advisor never talked to him as the market started shifting. Being a thrill-seeker, Jeff decided to try another venture. This time around, he invested in a franchise that failed from the get-go. Jeff continued pumping money into the business even though things never improved. Jeff never quit until he was so deep into the mess.

LEARNING: Don’t let your ego drive you to poor decisions. Focus on the long-term instead of big hits that only last a short time—work with an experienced financial advisor.

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Ep353: Valuable Risk–Reduction Advice from Guests

Recently, I posed this question to some of my prior guests, “How would you advise a young person to reduce risk in their life?” The answers rolled in from 40 guests! I grouped the responses into five categories: Building valuable relationships, managing finances, personal growth, risk management, and having awareness. There are tremendous pearls of wisdom!

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Ep352: Shashank Randev – There Is No Surefire Formula to Venture Capital Investing

BIO: Shashank Randev has acquired a depth and breadth of experience from working in large companies, being the founding member for a SaaS startup (acquired by a Fortune 500 Company), to an early-stage fund investing in technology-enabled startups.

STORY: Shashank was the lead investor of his angel network and was advocating for a startup looking for funding. They had an impressive conversational artificial intelligence assistant for retailers. Their one problem, though; they didn’t have proof of concept. Shashank was unable to convince the founders to work on proof of concept, so he pulled his support. A year later, the startup was acquired by a huge company. Had Shashank not pulled out, he would have made 7x of his investment in the acquisition.

LEARNING: Identify your buyer even before you create your product. Have different perspectives when evaluating an early-stage startup.

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Ep351: Mark Morris – Buying a Home as Investment Can Become a Heavy Burden

BIO: Mark Morris is an expert at building developer relationships and helping housebuilders achieve discreet volume sales at speed.

STORY: Mark bought an off-plan property for $200,000 with the hopes of selling it for a profit. Unfortunately, a project that was supposed to take 12 months took two years to complete. The US financial crisis hit just a few months after completion, and now Mark could not sell the property.

LEARNING: Be careful when investing in an off-plan property because you are simply buying a dream. Most homes just take money away from the owner, making them liabilities instead of assets. Take advantage of the cooling-off period in your contract should you think you made a mistake.

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Ep350: Roshan Cariappa – Being Pragmatic Will Save You From Startup Failure

BIO: Roshan Cariappa has over 12 years of experience as an entrepreneur and operator at early and growth-stage startups, specializing in going from zero to one and setting up cross-functional teams. Currently, he heads Marketing at Vymo, one of the fastest-growing SaaS startups in India.

STORY: Roshan started his business in 2012, offering marketing services to startups and small businesses. He then pivoted to offering digital assets when digital marketing hit. The business was quite a success. In 2015, there was a vast consumer internet boom in India, and so Roshan thought he’d take advantage of this and pivot his business to offering tech products. He created an app to connect families. This was a huge change that worked against his company. In a few short years, the business failed.

LEARNING: Pivoting is about making small changes, not huge ones. Do not go all in; make room for risk and probability and always have a plan B.

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Ep349: Marc Cirera – Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away If You Lack the Passion

BIO: Marc Cirera is a business ethics and CSR specialist with a clear vision: a world where companies operate more sustainably and responsibly. It is for this reason he founded Companies for Good.

STORY: Marc was traveling across South America when he realized just how much the process of booking a bus, the most popular mode of transportation, was. He decided to create an application that would make this process easy. The biggest mistake Marc made was failing to research his idea before launching it. He went all in and came up with this spectacular product, but he soon realized that selling bus tickets was just not where his heart was.

LEARNING: Find that one thing that motivates you the most and do it. It is okay to walk away from an idea that is no longer working; let the experience be your chance to learn. Go out there, test your idea, make it work, and keep improving it as you get feedback.

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Ep348: J. Money – Break Free From the Crowd to Make Better Financial Decisions

BIO: J. Money is an award-winning personal finance blogger. He’s founded several popular projects over the past decade, including Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance.

STORY: J went looking for a 2-bedroom apartment to rent in 2007. He got lost and ended up buying a $350,000 house on a whim 48 hours later, with no idea of what he was getting into. A few months later, the property market went bust, so he could not sell his house. J has always been a drifter and buying a house that he could not sell saw him get stuck in a place he did not enjoy living in for seven years.

LEARNING: Do not do things just because others are doing it; try to shape your lifestyle according to your dreams. You could make more money by being a renter than a homeowner because there is no guarantee you’ll sell the house for a profit.

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Ep347: Chuen Chuen Yeo – Seek Out Expert Guidance Before Taking on a New Project

BIO: Chuen Chuen Yeo is an executive coach specializing in developing the agile mindset in professionals, thereby raising the quality of leadership in every organization.

STORY: Chuen Chuen quit working as a public servant and set up a coaching business. She then put her heart and soul into creating an online course. After three weeks of ignoring everything else, including her husband and kids, Chuen Chuen made only one sale. Her biggest mistake was failing to conduct background research and understand the online course space before jumping into it.

LEARNING: Do not allow fear to stop you from reaching your full potential. But, also, do not let too much optimism blind you from seeking guidance. Sell your online course before creating it.

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Ep346: Bushy Martin – Focus on Your Health Because It Is Your Wealth

BIO: Bushy Martin helps others to work less and live more. He is a highly respected property investment and finance expert, an author, and an anchor on Australia’s number one and longest-running property program ‘Real Estate Talk. He is also the host of the Get Invested podcast.

STORY: Bushy always believed that hard work was all a successful man needed. This made him self-obsessed with his career to a point where he abandoned everything else in his life. It made him lose everything, including his wife and son.

LEARNING: Invest in your health because it is your wealth. Focus on creating passive income so that you can have more time to live life. Time is a limited resource; use it wisely.

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Ep345: Steve Faktor – Take the Risk and Pursue Your Dreams

BIO: Steve Faktor is a former Fortune-100 executive—turned entrepreneur. As Managing Director of IdeaFaktory Innovation, he helps tech, financial services, and consumer goods clients see and build the future. The McFuture Podcast features Steve’s provocative predictions and prescriptions.

STORY: Steve’s lifelong dream was to be a comedian and radio personality just like Howard Stern. His parents, however, could hear none of it and pushed him to conform to being a nice boy who does well in school and then goes out to get a family and a job that everyone can be proud of. Today, he regrets never fighting hard to achieve that dream.

LEARNING: Fight hard to pursue your dreams, and don’t let anyone stop you. It is not too late to turn back and chase your dreams.

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Ep344: Lisa Goldenthal – Avoid Loss by Taking Care of Your Health

BIO: Lisa Goldenthal is an expert concierge lifestyle coach, creating customized meal and exercise plans for clients to combat sleep deprivation, stress, and unhealthy eating. Lisa recently launched The WholeCEO Podcast, where she sits down with industry leaders to discuss their insider secrets to being unstoppable.

STORY: Lisa, for a long time, assumed that she could eat anything she wanted over the weekend and burn it by working out during the week. But, this was a horrible plan that never worked. Tired of her unsuccessful plan, Lisa discovered her Boss Weight Loss system that works like magic.

LEARNING: You are what you eat, and your body is your best investment ever. Have a flexible, structured, and consistent weight loss plan.

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Ep343: Shane Torres – Be Open with Your Team about Your Business Idea

BIO: Shane Torres is the CEO & Founder of Road to $20 Million. He is committed to helping people achieve real estate business success with life balance through valuable resources, business planning, and consulting for both entrepreneurs and real estate professionals.

STORY: Shane started a home building company and roped in his wife as the designer and his friend as the project manager. He got overzealous with the business, took on more projects than the team could handle. This led to penalties from the EPA and the ultimate closure of the business.

LEARNING: Do not force your employees to be like you, or have your personality. Great people still need coordination and leadership. Have a realistic perspective when exploring new business ideas.

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Ep342: Tyron Giuliani – Past Success Does Not Guarantee Future Success

BIO: Tyron Giuliani is an Australian entrepreneur who moved to Tokyo on a whim, where he went on to work with 67 Fortune 500 companies to build their management teams in Asia. He hosted Vice President Al Gore in Japan after winning his Nobel Peace Prize.

STORY: Tyron got introduced to two celebrity business moguls by his big shot CFO friend. The two were starting a new company and asked Tyron to invest. He said yes without understanding what he was getting himself into. The two partners did not see eye to eye businesswise, leading to the company’s death before it even got off the ground. Tyron lost $300,000 in the process.

LEARNING: Don’t let ego mislead you into getting into a bad investment. Do not be blinded by the upside and let an expert do your due diligence for you before you invest.

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Ep341: Russ Johns – Build Skills That Will Carry You Beyond Your Job

BIO: Russ Johns is a producer at The Pirate Syndicate. He helps people be SEEN, be HEARD & TALKED ABOUT… using LiveStreaming Media.

STORY: Russ spent 15 years dedicating all his time to his job at the expense of his family and health. The company went through a merger and acquisition, and Russ’s role was made redundant, leaving him jobless. Russ’s biggest regret is spending so much time building someone else’s dream instead of his.

LEARNING: Build skills that are marketable outside of work. Build your dream, not someone else’s. Invest in what interests you and brings you joy the most.

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Ep340: Jonaed Iqbal – Ponder How Much You Can Stomach to Lose When Buying Crypto

BIO: Jonaed Iqbal is set on shattering the stigma associated with hiring people without college degrees. It is no surprise that he founded, a platform with job listings that do not require college degrees.

STORY: Jonaed invested $800 in Bitcoin when he was in college. He was lucky enough to sell when the price was high and just before it crashed. Fast-forward to 2017, Jonaed decided to use his credit card to invest $20,000 in several cryptocurrencies. He lost it all two months later. He is still paying the credit card debt.

LEARNING: Only invest what you can afford to lose, especially when buying crypto. Start small and invest 70% of your money in Bitcoin and 30% in the top three cryptocurrencies at the time.

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Ep339: Patrick Metzger – Find A Mentor Who Can Challenge You to Do Bigger Things

BIO: Patrick Metzger is the CEO/Founder of PM and Associates and one of less than 450 Professional EOS Implementers in the world. Patrick and his team help businesses get the most out of their organizations and people by helping get everyone on the same page and executing the company vision, as well as by creating healthier, more cohesive, and higher functioning leadership teams.

STORY: Patrick grew up around teachers and coaches. He believed that he, too, was meant to be a teacher. He went to school and earned two teaching degrees, and went on to teach for 11 years. Patrick had this nagging feeling that he was not doing what he was meant to do with his life. He went on a journey to find his true calling, but it was not until he decided to find a mentor that he could see it and reach his full potential.

LEARNING: Find a mentor or a coach who will challenge you and pull out the best of you. Dive deep into your past to know yourself and what you are meant to do with your life. Do not be afraid of obstacles or to quit and start over.

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Ep338: Nina Sharil Khan – Sometimes Trusting Yourself Is Better Than Trusting Others

BIO: Nina Sharil Khan is the Founder & CEO of PopCon, International Speaker & Host of the #JustLanggar PopCast live show. Nina is also Marketing in Asia’s Top 100 Inspirational LinkedIn Icons for both 2019 & 2020.

STORY: Nina quit her job to start selling unit trusts. In the process, she met a hedge fund manager who recruited her to his fund, which she blindly joined and started selling to her friends. The fund ended up being a Ponzi scheme.

LEARNING: Do your due diligence before investing in anything, and be careful of scams as they always come in very appealing packaging. Always diversify your risk.

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DISCLAIMER: This content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Readers should not consider statements made by the author(s) as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. While the information provided is believed to be accurate, it may include errors or inaccuracies. The author(s) cannot be held liable for any actions taken as a result of reading this article.