Tony Knoll’s Origin Story Pt. I

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Today is July 21st and I just received some news that would forever change my life; I would start managing my first stock portfolio… But how did I get here? How was it that I as a 23-year-old college finance BA got his hands on this kind of money? This is my origin story…

Spoiled Brat?

Well… I’ll be completely honest from the get-go. This money isn’t mine; it belongs to a private client of mine, but before you say that this was just good luck, just hear me out.

I am not the owner of this wealth; I am only to manage it. But how and why is it that I got this position as portfolio manager? Well, it turns out I have a talent for strategy and analysis as well as experience to prove it.

See, while I may not have magically built a business that generates millions of dollars a year like most other finance and business YouTubers and bloggers… I do have a very specific set of skills that I have been acquiring over the years.

Who I am

My name is Tony Knoll and for the time being, I’m just an average guy trying to make his way in life.

I’ve been investing since I was 17 years old, I have a BA in Finance and I’m on my way to becoming a certified financial advisor.

During my journey I have to say I am very fortunate to have discovered my passion for finance and investing at a young age as well having had the fortune of having a mostly supportive family.

What I understood from the get go is that I have privileges most people do not have… I’ve had the opportunity to go to one of the best schools in my country, and I have a passion for devouring books, I have also learnt from CFA’s and know great investors.

I do not mean to sound snobby or arrogant by it. I just want to acknowledge that I did have an unfair advantage, but I decided to leverage these opportunities.

Discovering my passion

I started my career when I was 15 trading small items for bigger items at school and making a few toys for the kids in exchange for some pocket money or help with my homework…

At 16 I discovered what the stock market was because a closely related person to our family was having a meltdown over the 2015-2016 stock market crash.

I will keep my mentor’s name and gender private to respect and protect their identity.

This individual is a tough person to be around, they usually made decisions all on their own and paid little to no attention to what their financial advisor’s verdicts and opinions were (Until now).

I consider this person to be a mentor of mine and they have taught me a great deal, like the value of work, discipline, honesty, and courage. They are very tough, and extremely intelligent but sometimes rigid when it comes to decision-making especially when it comes to financial market decisions.

I must give them props though, they worked in Finance themselves, in one of the world’s biggest oil companies in fact, so this is a person that does have experience in the financial sector, just maybe not the type of finance we are talking about here…

The Stock Market crash of 2016

So, when the Stock market crashed in 16’ my mentor was very worried and fearful (like most other retail investors are every time the market begins a downturn).

My mentor is older of course, and thus mostly invests in bonds, specifically government bonds or state company bonds.

I have nothing against bonds, I have nothing against almost any financial instruments given they are a good instrument to invest in. But an Intelligent Investor must know what to buy and when to buy it.

Mr. Market

The market dictates what financial instruments it wants to buy or sell, and if you’ve ever read ‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham, you know that I am referring to the sometimes dreaded, sometimes loved “Mr. Market”.

Mr. Market comes in every day and offers to buy or sell securities at certain prices, these prices are sometimes ridiculously high or ridiculously low, but The intelligent investor knows how to tell the difference between bargain prices and overpriced securities.

That’s part of the secret, and when I was 16 reading this book in my high school courtyard my eyes lit up. It is as if I could solve my mentor’s stock market problem in an instant with this knowledge.

But this is just not how life works and when I told my mentor what I had learnt all I got was a pat on the back.

And of course! No experience, no knowledge of complex financial instruments, no trades made yet, Of course, I was just a crazy kid talking about the stock market!

But I was not going to let this be the end though…

Let the Trading Begin

I soon figured out a way to open a trading account on a broker that I would rather not share because well, these were not the best guys that I could have stumbled upon to open my first real portfolio, but I of course didn’t know better so I started trading futures on this platform.

I remember the first time opening the account and seeing all the things I could suddenly buy or sell, millions of transactions at the click of a button.

They money I had saved was only about 300 dollars though and the best I could do was buy some overleveraged commodities (I didn’t even know what leverage was).

Blowing up the first Account

In about 3 months I had grown my first portfolio all the way to 500 dollars and then lost it all in the blink of an eye because of some long position I had taken in cocoa beans futures.

This was the first real exposure I got to the markets and even though I blew up my first account I loved every minute of it, I learnt a lot and got to work to make more money working in a farm to save some more cash and get into the market once again.

Enter The Markets (Again)

I would eventually enter the market again just after turning 18 with about 1000 dollars cash and made my first “big” investment decisions.

But like all retail investors, I f*ed up again. The mistake this time was parking around 300 dollars of my hard-earned cash into a Cannabis stock called Aurora Cannabis (ACB).

I made this decision due to the news of newly legalized cannabis sales in Canada and some other U.S states basically believing every major news anchor that said that the cannabis markets were expected to grow 20% yearly and that by 2025 cannabis markets would reach 150 billion dollars.

This would cost me dearly though…

The F-Up

I thought it was a great chance to get in early, but like many great lessons in life: Not everything that shines is gold.

But oh well… I lost all the money I put into that stock, and I am so glad I did because the way I took that decision was basically speculating on market growth.

I didn’t even care that the company was not yet profitable, and yet I allocated nearly 30% of my portfolio into a single stock. A harsh lesson that had to be learned…

Sustainable Investments

This taught me more though and the rest of my portfolio from now on would be very well diversified in the oil sector, tech, real estate, and commodities instruments.

I started to make some money investing in Gold and Silver ETFs (Which are to date some of my favorite instruments to invest in) as well as in my Oil, Real estate, and Tech stocks.

This goes to all investors out there, either big or small, beginner or experts: Always invest in companies that have great financial sheets, long-term stock-price appreciation, and good financial ratios. In simple terms: Own. Great. Businesses.

The First “Big” Play

The first big decision I took was when Facebook stock crashed by around 20% in 2018. By this time, I had learned the lesson about putting all your eggs in one basket, but I remembered Benjamin Graham’s Wise words: Buy great stocks at bargain prices.

So, I spoke to my mentor about this crash, I also showed him my portfolio and explained all I had learned until then. He looked at me with doubt but ultimately reached out to his financial advisor and came to the decision to buy a small position in Facebook’s stock (Now called Meta).

It worked out wonderfully and he made a nice 30% profit in less than a year. My advice as I told him was to hold the stock for at least 5 or more years but unfortunately, my mentor took the decision to drop those shares a year after they had bought them (Someone clearly didn’t listen to Graham or Buffet).

This was the first time my mentor and even their financial advisor were quite impressed with my performance in financial decision-making and so this marked the beginning of what would be my career as a financial advisor and investor.

But of course, not all stories end with a happy ending and tragedy soon followed once again but this time, I was ready (at least in the knowledge department).

Read part two tomorrow for Tony Knoll’s origin story…

Bottom Line

Thank you for reading my story, I will keep posting about how I got to where I am now, the various obstacles I have encountered along my journey be it technical difficulties and/or personal difficulties as well…

My aim with this business is to provide young men and investors like me with value and skills to thrive in business and finance.

My business goal

I will dedicate this entire website to addressing common problems young investors make as well as giving an outline of what skills and mindset we as young men need to acquire to thrive in this increasingly competitive world we live in.

In here you will learn skills to build and thrive in business, investing and life.

Not all Business

Not all of this will be business talk however, I also have a passion for ranching and construction.

I love collecting and investing in precious metals, gemstones, and minerals and the direction I see the world heading in is abandoning the current fiat money system and perhaps returning or creating a new commodity-backed financial system.

I’ve been working on a farm since I was a little boy. This is my family’s farm which I am starting to manage now, and the skills you learn in these types of jobs and environments are I would say indispensable to today’s changing world.

We have been brainwashed since we were little children into a certain way of life where we prioritize material things like money and social status rather than God, values, skills, and happiness.

We have been conditioned to think that if we just get enough money then our problems will be solved, but we fail to realize this is just part of the equation.

Thank you!

Life is not all about being an office clerk or becoming a millionaire, life is not just girls’ drugs, money, and alcohol. I believe that there is way more to life than that.

Life is beautiful and once you realize your potential and what you can offer to the world you will start seeing it in a much different and hopefully positive light.

Thank you once again for reading all the way though, I hope to see you soon and I welcome you to this journey!

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