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    This Hedge Fund Manager Got Away With Insider Trading… Then Made Billions

    Investors should focus on companies that generate cash flow and profits, rather than solely relying on speculative investments.

    enOctober 19, 2023

    About this Episode

    Episode 509: Shaan Puri (https://twitter.com/ShaanVP) and Sam Parr (https://twitter.com/theSamParr) dive into the white collar crimes of Steve Cohen, the pros and cons of working 100 hours a week, and how to play the right game as a founder, investor, or asset manager. Want to see more MFM? Subscribe to our YouTube channel here. Want MFM Merch? Check out our store here. Want to see the best clips from MFM? Subscribe to our clips channel here. — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com/ Check Out Shaan's Stuff: • Try Shepherd Out - https://www.supportshepherd.com/ • Shaan's Personal Assistant System - http://shaanpuri.com/remoteassistant • Power Writing Course - https://maven.com/generalist/writing • Small Boy Newsletter - https://smallboy.co/ • Daily Newsletter - https://www.shaanpuri.com/ — Show Notes: (0:00) Intro (2:00) Steve Cohen's $19b insider trading empire (12:30) 996 Work Culture (20:00) Sam and Shaan's daily work schedules (24:00) Best Career Advice: Stuff the "Other" column (30:30) Law and Crime acquired for 9-figures (40:00) Tyler Hogge on sardines and tech valuations (44:00) Profit is a hypothesis. Cash is s fact (49:00) Know what game you're paying  (53:00) Inside the weird world of Bryan Johnson — Links: • Black Edge: https://tinyurl.com/j5646dbd • GLG Insights - https://glginsights.com/ • Sapiens - https://www.ynharari.com/book/sapiens-2/ • Abrams Media - https://dan-abrams.com/projects/ • Soap Hub - https://soaphub.com/ • Margin of Safety - https://tinyurl.com/5etkzb7t • Tyler Hogge article - https://tinyurl.com/4wmjnmfm • The Smartest Guys in the Room - https://tinyurl.com/2jec5z23 • Blueprint | Bryan Johnson - https://blueprint.bryanjohnson.co/ Past guests on My First Million include Rob Dyrdek, Hasan Minhaj, Balaji Srinivasan, Jake Paul, Dr. Andrew Huberman, Gary Vee, Lance Armstrong, Sophia Amoruso, Ariel Helwani, Ramit Sethi, Stanley Druckenmiller, Peter Diamandis, Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, Marc Lore, Jason Calacanis, Andrew Wilkinson, Julian Shapiro, Kat Cole, Codie Sanchez, Nader Al-Naji, Steph Smith, Trung Phan, Nick Huber, Anthony Pompliano, Ben Askren, Ramon Van Meer, Brianne Kimmel, Andrew Gazdecki, Scott Belsky, Moiz Ali, Dan Held, Elaine Zelby, Michael Saylor, Ryan Begelman, Jack Butcher, Reed Duchscher, Tai Lopez, Harley Finkelstein, Alexa von Tobel, Noah Kagan, Nick Bare, Greg Isenberg, James Altucher, Randy Hetrick and more. — Other episodes you might enjoy: • #224 Rob Dyrdek - How Tracking Every Second of His Life Took Rob Drydek from 0 to $405M in Exits • #209 Gary Vaynerchuk - Why NFTS Are the Future • #178 Balaji Srinivasan - Balaji on How to Fix the Media, Cloud Cities & Crypto • #169 - How One Man Started 5, Billion Dollar Companies, Dan Gilbert's Empire, & Talking With Warren Buffett • ​​​​#218 - Why You Should Take a Think Week Like Bill Gates • Dave Portnoy vs The World, Extreme Body Monitoring, The Future of Apparel Retail, "How Much is Anthony Pompliano Worth?", and More • How Mr Beast Got 100M Views in Less Than 4 Days, The $25M Chrome Extension, and More

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Success in investing is not determined by physical appearance, but rather by skills, knowledge, and hard work.
    • Despite lacking mathematical expertise, Steve Cohen's reliance on intuition and understanding of stock market patterns led to his successful day trading career, although it was later marred by allegations of insider trading.
    • Martin Kona's knowledge and discipline in the finance industry have led to impressive returns for investors, but his involvement with a shady consultancy firm highlights the challenges of convicting white-collar criminals.
    • Henry Ford's introduction of weekends off for factory workers not only gave them more leisure time, but also boosted loyalty and stimulated the economy by allowing them to spend money on consumer goods.
    • Balancing work and personal life is essential for maintaining good health and productivity, as excessive work hours can lead to negative physical and mental health effects.
    • Productivity is not measured by hours worked, but by the quality of work. Finding a balance between work and personal time is crucial for overall well-being.
    • Differentiating yourself from others is crucial in a competitive job market. Exploring passions and pursuing unique ventures can provide valuable experiences that set you apart from others.
    • Understanding and catering to niche markets is essential for entrepreneurs to build successful businesses and achieve substantial growth.
    • Identifying and fulfilling demand in specific interests can lead to significant revenue and successful ventures, emphasizing the importance of catering to passionate audiences.
    • Launching multiple projects under one brand in the media industry can lead to success by targeting different niches, similar to how successful e-commerce entrepreneurs replicate their ventures.
    • Investors should focus on companies that generate cash flow and profits, rather than solely relying on speculative investments.
    • Understanding history can provide insights into current issues and help make informed decisions, such as not risking excessive funds on potentially high-yield but risky investments.
    • Choose and diversify investments based on risk tolerance and knowledge of specific market dynamics for successful investing.
    • Parents have the ability to shape their children's values and priorities, nurturing emotional well-being and encouraging individuality. By understanding and embracing different lifestyles, we can expand our perspectives and challenge our own beliefs.
    • Shaan Puri believes in utilizing technology and data to make optimal health decisions, highlighting the potential of science and technology in improving human health.
    • Dedicate time to experimenting and effectively communicating about your passions, as it can lead to new possibilities and a unique career path.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Appearance does not determine investment success

    Attractiveness or physical appearance does not necessarily correlate with investment success. Contrary to popular belief, being conventionally attractive or tall does not guarantee higher returns. In fact, there seems to be an opposite correlation between attractiveness and investment performance. This means that those who are considered unattractive might have had to work harder to achieve their success. So, instead of focusing on one's appearance, it is important to prioritize skills, knowledge, and hard work in the world of investments. This finding challenges the stereotype that physical appearance plays a significant role in the financial industry and highlights the importance of meritocracy in achieving success.

    Steve Cohen's Intuitive Trading Strategy: A Combination of Gut Feelings and Stock Market Patterns

    Steve Cohen's success as a day trader was driven by his intuition and an exceptional memory for stocks. While he claimed to be bad at math, Cohen relied on his gut feelings and a deep understanding of stock market patterns to identify arbitrage opportunities. This approach allowed him to make profitable trades based on quick price changes. Although frustratingly vague when it came to explaining his methods, Cohen's intuition-based trading strategy proved highly successful. However, it's important to note that his success was later tainted by allegations of insider trading. Despite facing legal trouble and having to shut down his firm, Cohen ultimately escaped significant consequences and continued to amass immense wealth.

    Martin Kona's Success and Controversial Practices in Finance

    Martin Kona, despite his controversial tactics, has shown impressive success in the finance industry. His extensive knowledge of stocks and unwavering discipline in portfolio and firm structure have resulted in incredible returns for his investors. Kona's ability to attract talented individuals to his company is a competitive advantage, as he understands and speaks the language of traders. However, the arbitrage opportunities in US public equities have diminished over time. Additionally, Kona's involvement with GLG, a consultancy firm, reveals a shady side of his business practices. Despite this, the book highlights the difficulty of convicting white-collar criminals, as Kona only had to pay a hefty fine rather than face jail time.

    Henry Ford's Pioneering Revolution: From Overwork to Weekends Off

    The concept of the 40-hour workweek, which is now widely accepted in America, was actually pioneered by Henry Ford in the 1920s. Prior to that, factory workers were constantly working long hours, often up to 100 hours a week, with little time for leisure or family. Ford realized that if his employees were overworked, they wouldn't have the means to buy the products they were manufacturing, such as cars. So, in a bold move, he introduced the concept of weekends by giving his workers Saturdays and Sundays off without reducing their pay. This revolutionary change not only gave employees more free time but also boosted their loyalty and allowed them to engage in leisure activities and spend money on consumer goods. Ford's actions set the foundation for the 40-hour workweek we know today.

    The Impact of Excessive Work Hours on Health and Well-Being

    Excessive work hours can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. Studies suggest that humans can only efficiently focus for around five hours a day, and working beyond that can lead to increased risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure. History also shows that overworking can result in nervous breakdowns and stress-induced diseases. While companies like jd.com and Alibaba in China promote the 996 work schedule (9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week), there is a growing revolt among young Chinese workers who prefer the American-style work-life balance. Ultimately, finding the optimal amount of work time is crucial for individual well-being and productivity.

    Finding the Right Work Schedule for Productivity and Lifestyle

    Finding a work schedule that suits your productivity and lifestyle is key. Both Shaan Puri and Sam Parr have different approaches to their work hours and find what works best for them. While Puri breaks his work into multiple sprints throughout the day, Parr prefers longer periods of thinking and shorter bursts of focused work. It's important to recognize that productivity doesn't always equate to the number of hours worked, but rather the quality of work accomplished. Additionally, Puri highlights the importance of being your own boss, but also the challenges that come with it. Ultimately, finding a balance that allows for rest and personal time is essential for maintaining overall well-being and avoiding burnout.

    Standing out in a competitive job market

    Differentiating yourself is crucial in a competitive job market. The story shared by Shaan Puri emphasizes the importance of standing out from the crowd. Traditional qualifications like a degree and internships may not be enough to catch the attention of potential employers. The bottom 20% of the resume, where "other" experiences and interests are listed, is the opportunity to differentiate oneself. Puri's advice to explore passions and pursue unique ventures resonates with the idea that showcasing unconventional experiences can be valuable. Taking risks and embracing opportunities outside the norm can lead to success or at the very least provide an interesting story that sets one apart from others.

    Niche Markets: The Path to Success

    Being aware of niche markets and catering to their specific interests can lead to significant success. The example of Dan Abrams and his various media ventures demonstrates how targeting specific niches can generate substantial monthly traffic and even result in high-value acquisitions. From celebrity gossip to meme culture, media personalities to sports news, Abrams tapped into specific areas of interest and created successful platforms. This highlights the importance of understanding audience preferences and providing content that resonates with them. By identifying and catering to niche markets, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to build thriving businesses and achieve considerable exits. This underscores the value of focusing on specialized interests and capitalizing on untapped market segments.

    Tapping into niche markets for entrepreneurial success.

    This entrepreneur, Shaan Puri, has found success by tapping into passionate niche markets. He has launched various ventures targeting specific interests, such as law and crime, Christian TV streaming, and whiskey rating. Puri's approach seems to be identifying areas where there is demand and creating platforms or content to fulfill that demand. This strategy has resulted in significant revenue and successful exits, with his ventures reportedly selling for over $100 million. Puri's ability to recognize opportunities in niche markets showcases the potential for entrepreneurship and emphasizes the importance of catering to specific passions and interests in order to attract engaged audiences and drive success.

    Exploring Multiple Projects in the Media Industry for Success

    Launching multiple projects in the media industry can be highly successful. Unlike software companies that focus on scaling one product, media companies thrive on exploring different projects under one brand. By understanding what captures people's attention and identifying underserved needs, media creators can target any niche effectively. This concept is similar to e-commerce, where successful entrepreneurs who excel in one venture know they can replicate their success multiple times. However, one advantage of the media industry is the availability of operating cash flow, unlike e-commerce, which often ties up capital in inventory. By operating efficiently and setting up favorable payment terms with suppliers, e-commerce businesses can avoid cash flow troubles. Additionally, impactful blog posts have the potential to create a deeper connection with readers compared to shorter forms of content like tweets or Instagram stories.

    Shifting from speculative investments to prioritizing sustainable business models.

    Investors have been caught up in a game of trading sardines rather than focusing on businesses with long-term value. This analogy illustrates how investors were buying and selling assets solely for the purpose of making a profit without considering the underlying worth of the asset. The same phenomenon has occurred in tech company evaluations and even in the crypto market with NFTs. However, the current trend is shifting towards investing in companies that generate cash flow and profits, rather than banking on future valuations. This highlights the importance of prioritizing sustainable business models and focusing on the actual value a company can deliver, rather than solely relying on speculative investments.

    The Consistency of Human Nature: From Ancient Times to the Present

    Throughout history, humans have always been quick to criticize and label the younger generation as lazy and uncaring. This pattern has repeated itself time and time again, whether it's in the caveman era or in modern times. It seems that human nature doesn't change, and our reactions to new things remain consistent. Although we often think that current issues are unique, they can often be traced back to similar problems in the past. When it comes to investing, it's crucial to understand the game you're playing. In the tech industry, for example, most companies fail or have little impact on returns, but a select few hold the key to significant success. However, it's important not to risk too much of your net worth on these ventures.

    Understanding the game: rules and dynamics of investing in different assets

    Investing in different assets or industries requires understanding the rules of the game and knowing which game you're playing. Whether it's startups, crypto, gold, art, or watches, each investment avenue has its own set of rules and dynamics. For example, venture investing in startups may involve higher risk with the expectation of potential big returns, while index investing in established companies offers a safer and more conservative approach. Additionally, different games may have their own seasons of popularity and profitability. It's important to choose and diversify investments based on your risk tolerance, control, and knowledge of the specific game's rules and market dynamics. Ultimately, understanding the game and its rules is essential for successful investing.

    The Power of Parental Influence

    Brian Johnson's unconventional lifestyle and dedication to prolonging his life has not only influenced his own mindset and habits, but also has a significant impact on his son. Despite being surrounded by peers who follow a more typical lifestyle, Johnson's son remains independent-minded and unperturbed by the differences in their choices. This highlights the potential for parents to shape their children's values and priorities, fostering emotional health and individuality. Furthermore, Johnson aims to clarify the misconceptions surrounding his lifestyle choices, believing that a better understanding of his motivations would lead to a more positive perception. Overall, visiting Johnson's house provided insight into an entirely different way of living, inspiring and challenging the interviewer's own perspectives.

    Shaan Puri's Optimism for Science and Technology in Health

    Shaan Puri experimented with a health protocol and found it to have positive effects on his body. He followed a meal plan created by Brian Johnson, which made him feel lighter and less burdened. However, he didn't enjoy all the meals and mentioned that there are improved versions available. Shaan also mentioned a group of people who are living a similar lifestyle and even hold testosterone parties to get tested and determine their needs. Additionally, he highlighted a meal delivery service called the blueprint delivery service that simplifies following the protocol. Shaan believes that this approach, which involves relying on technology and data for optimal health decisions, is equivalent to trusting in the power of artificial intelligence. Overall, it seems that Shaan is optimistic about the potential of science and technology in improving human health.

    Embracing experimentation and communication for personal growth and career opportunities.

    You can dedicate a significant amount of time to something and build a career around it. Shaan Puri's interview with Brian Johnson highlights the idea of experimenting and talking about it, which can lead to new opportunities and personal growth. While Johnson's experiment with slowing down aging may be out of reach for most people, there are other experiments that can be pursued to create a unique identity and career. This concept is exemplified by Tim Ferris and his success with the "4 Hour Body." The key is to dedicate a substantial amount of time, whether it's six months or more, to something and effectively communicate about it. This can change your life and potentially open doors to new possibilities.

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    The Announcement You've Been Waiting For...

    The Announcement You've Been Waiting For...
    Do you want to look half decent naked? Do you like free stuff? Do you like following the greatest podcast ever? Announcing to My First Million's My First Million Challenge. It's simple. We're doing a fitness challenge: 100 push ups 100 burpees (nipples to the ground) 100 air squats Done as fast as you can. Here's how to qualify: Film yourself doing the challenge Speed up the clip Make it fun Post your video on Twitter and tag @thesamparr and @shaanvp We're giving away prizes! 1 Cold Plunge to the fastest man (+$5,000 value) 1 Cold Plunge to the fastest woman (+$5,000 value) NIKE Strength equipment to the most entertaining video NIKE Strength equipment to the hardest effort NIKE Strength equipment to the best costume The fine print: You must be subscribed to the My First Million YouTube Channel and subscribed to the podcast to win. Honor the Gentleman's Agreement. We won't check but we make content for you so please pay us back by supporting our channels. Contest lasts from May 10th to 12th

    CEOs Pay Him $10,000 Per Appointment?!

    CEOs Pay Him $10,000 Per Appointment?!
    Episode 582:  Sam Parr ( https://twitter.com/theSamParr ) and Shaan Puri ( https://twitter.com/ShaanVP ) talk about the $1B idea that is basically inevitable, why stock exchanges are the smartest business model ever created and the female Pieter Levels who we’re crowning our Hustler of the Week.  Want to see Sam and Shaan’s smiling faces? Head to the MFM YouTube Channel and subscribe - http://tinyurl.com/5n7ftsy5 — Show Notes: (0:00) Shaan's billion-dollar idea: Executive Check-ups (2:12) Mayo Clinic’s $100M proof of concept (12:58) $15K/mo lead gen arbitrage (17:25) Pizza intelligence (19:41) Shaan's Mount Rushmore of indexes (24:54) The most profitable companies in the world (26:32) Why stock exchanges have the best business model (33:20) "Shoot your old idea in the head" - Eric Ries (41:20) Hustler of the week: The Female Pieter Levels (43:30) "Marketing is the tax you pay for an unremarkable product" — Links: • Prenuvo - https://www.prenuvo.com/ • Big Desk Energy playlist - https://shorturl.at/ajuG5 • Suno - http://suno.ai/ • ICE Index - https://www.ice.com/index • Long-term Stock Exchange - https://ltse.com/ • “Startup Lessons Learned” - https://www.startuplessonslearned.com/ • Branded Fruit - https://brandedfruit.com/ • Danielle Baskins - https://daniellebaskin.com/ • Get HubSpot's Free AI-Powered Sales Hub: enhance support, retention, and revenue all in one place https://clickhubspot.com/sym — Check Out Shaan's Stuff: Need to hire? You should use the same service Shaan uses to hire developers, designers, & Virtual Assistants → it’s called Shepherd (tell ‘em Shaan sent you): https://bit.ly/SupportShepherd — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com • Hampton Wealth Survey - https://joinhampton.com/wealth My First Million is a HubSpot Original Podcast // Brought to you by The HubSpot Podcast Network // Production by Arie Desormeaux // Editing by Ezra Bakker Trupiano

    Scott Galloway: Do This In Your 20s To Make Millions In Your 30s

    Scott Galloway: Do This In Your 20s To Make Millions In Your 30s
    Episode 581:  Sam Parr ( https://twitter.com/theSamParr ) and Shaan Puri ( https://twitter.com/ShaanVP ) talk to Scott Galloway about his Get-Rich formula they won’t teach you in school and the hard-to-hear but essential advice every 20-year old should hear.  Want to see Sam and Shaan’s smiling faces? Head to the MFM YouTube Channel and subscribe - http://tinyurl.com/5n7ftsy5 — Show Notes: (0:00) Don't follow your passion (3:08) Reverse engineering $160M exit (7:30) How to keep top talent in your company (11:12) "I'm not your friend" (13:41) Scott's best and worst hedge fund deals (16:20) Losing $10M every day (18:14) Handle triumph and disasters the same way (20:54) If you can't fix it, you have to stand it (24:28) Lessons about happiness from the dying (25:51) Statute of limitations on suffering (28:57) Where Scott steals his powerful phrases (33:09) Shaan opens his notes app of funny phrases (34:52) Scott's anti-excited list (37:33) “Go live in a city” (39:50) Opportunity in America v Europe (42:30) The fallacy of hard work over time (46:56) Money does buy happiness (52:20) The Algebra of Wealth (55:33) If you have a side hustle you need a better main hustle — Links: • The Algebra of Wealth - https://tinyurl.com/44yw3h6k Get HubSpot's Free AI-Powered Sales Hub: enhance support, retention, and revenue all in one place https://clickhubspot.com/sym — Check Out Shaan's Stuff: Need to hire? You should use the same service Shaan uses to hire developers, designers, & Virtual Assistants → it’s called Shepherd (tell ‘em Shaan sent you): https://bit.ly/SupportShepherd — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com • Hampton Wealth Survey - https://joinhampton.com/wealth My First Million is a HubSpot Original Podcast // Brought to you by The HubSpot Podcast Network // Production by Arie Desormeaux // Editing by Ezra Bakker Trupiano

    The Formula To Break 100 Million Views On Shorts (ft/ Jenny Hoyos)

    The Formula To Break 100 Million Views On Shorts (ft/ Jenny Hoyos)
    Episode 580:  Shaan Puri (https://twitter.com/ShaanVP) talks to Jenny Hoyos, the 18-year-old who has mastered the recipe of viral shorts. They break down her step-by-step process for creating content that pulls in over a 100M views.  Want to see Sam and Shaan’s smiling faces? Head to the MFM YouTube Channel and subscribe - http://tinyurl.com/5n7ftsy5 — Show Notes: (0:00) Intro (2:14) How to build charisma (6:35) The 4 criteria of a great idea (jumpcut) (8:48) Make it personal (14:45) Mastering the hook (17:29) Metrics  (18:52) The first frame (21:09) Foreshadowing (22:37) Storytelling in one word is “change” (25:06) The But & Therefore Rule (27:21) Building the stakes (30:43) Craft the close (32:14) Steal like an artist (33:52) Figure out who's watching (36:46) Study the channel for outliers (39:28) Where is the puck going? — Links: • Jenny Hoyos YouTube - ​​https://www.youtube.com/@JennyHoyosLOL • Charisma on Command - https://www.youtube.com/@Charismaoncommand • Miss Excel - https://www.miss-excel.com/ • Infinite Ratatouille Glitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tskvmb0HPDU • Steal Like An Artist - https://austinkleon.com/steal/ • Get HubSpot's Free AI-Powered Sales Hub: enhance support, retention, and revenue all in one place https://clickhubspot.com/sym — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com • Hampton Wealth Survey - https://joinhampton.com/wealth — Check Out Shaan's Stuff: Need to hire? You should use the same service Shaan uses to hire developers, designers, & Virtual Assistants → it’s called Shepherd (tell ‘em Shaan sent you): https://bit.ly/SupportShepherd My First Million is a HubSpot Original Podcast // Brought to you by The HubSpot Podcast Network // Production by Arie Desormeaux // Editing by Ezra Bakker Trupiano