Today I have prepared an interview with Jakub Bezděkovský. Jakub has graduated from the University of Economics, he has been trading for over ten years, and during his studies, he made vocational certificate as a chef just to have a fun and went to cook for six months in London. When it comes to trading, he has the similar approach as I have – partly conservative investment and partly trading – i.e. speculations with higher risk. I know him for more than five years and he has a typical “trader´s and investor´s character” – he pays respect, he reads a lot and gets new information. And it is also visible in its results.
Enough for the presentation and let´s start with our interview.
Could you briefly introduce yourself? How old are you, what are your goals in life?
My name is Jakub Bezděkovský, I’m 30 years old. I am currently working for one of the largest retail brokers in the Czech Republic, where I take care of clients, and I am also involved in trading education for financial markets. I have a lot of goals in my life, they are gradually appearing with time. The first one, professional is to pass knowledge about trading and investing in the Czech Republic, as there is still not much information in the Czech language. I have also declared war to all absurd bank fees and investment product fees, including half-truth marketing claims. There is not so much investment awareness in the Czech Republic, as in the US, for example, where people are used to spending some of their finances on stocks or ETFs with low fees that cannot be compared to those in our country. In addition, people lack a critical point of view and often they don´t have time to compare individual products and offers.
In my personal life, I want to fulfill my dream and spend part of my life on the catamaran in Vietnam and Thailand. They have amazing street-food and nature. And before, of course, take RYA courses.😊
How did you get to the financial markets, trading and investment?
At the age of 18, I became interested in online business and I came across trading and investing; later, I graduated from the university and wrote a bachelor’s thesis, which was later awarded by the ESOP Award (Excellent Student Work), for download click here. These were my beginnings, now I am laughing on its content. The advantage is that I have been involved in the world of investing and trading for more than 10 years, so I know exactly what happened on the Czech scene, what is the behind scene situation and that´s really interesting. Quality information can still be found in foreign literature more often than in the Czech language.
The inflation and the Czech pension system have also forced me to invest. Inflation is eating our savings, (now over 2% per year), and I no longer believe in retirement, maybe a small one while working to 70 years or more.
What was after high school, where did you go?
Well, first I wanted to get into the world and enjoyed good food. I made vocational certificate as a cook during my university studies, and a lot of people laughed at me at the time. Then I headed for London to Canteen, where I had been working for half a year and at the same time I had been studying university in the Czech Republic. It was an amazing moment of my life- to fly to Prague for the weekend to study, and back to work to London. The work was easy to get, as I gained experience and references at Café Imperial, and I have also spent a few days in the Alcron Restaurant under the supervision of Roman Paulus. At the same time, I wrote my diploma thesis on “How to lead and manage a restaurant”. It was my dream at the time, but to run a restaurant, one needs capital, preferably his own. And investing and trading is the way to multiply earned money, no matter for what purpose.
When I came back to the Czech Republic, I went to work at a “selling side” to a broker, where I was dealing with trading and private investments. I started to suck up information from all sides about how it works. The corporation did not suit me at that time, so I headed for the less-known company, where I had free space for my work.
How do you set up your trading and investment, what brings you more profits?
In the long term, I invest in safer and less risky assets, such as stocks, ETFs, part of the portfolio is invested passively. I call it the “safe” main component of the portfolio, that makes 70%. With the rest of the portfolio – 30% I “play” – whether by trading or looking for alternative investments or speculation, where the risk is small and profits can be high. The profits go to the conservative component. I can say that I’m a bit of Buffet and a bit of Lynch in the main investment part, their approaches and thoughts are suiting me the most.
A lot of people do not see any difference between investment and trading (speculation) and consider them as the same. It is a mistake. If I invest family money and savings, I want less risk. Then I also want a part where the trades will be more frequent, and I can select more. This is the riskier component. Therefore, I do not try to time the market with the bigger part of my portfolio, I just invest, with the smaller one I try to get the maximum from the market and I speculate.
How much did you gain on your entire portfolio in the last year?
It was tens of percent for the entire portfolio, about 30% in 2017. In trading and speculation part, profits are bigger than in the main component, from 40-400%, but I can I can also lose the whole amount easily, therefore it is a smaller amount. Last year, I did quite well, I have to say that the world economy is growing with an amazing speed and the profits were mainly from US stocks. If the reader asks where the 400% were made – the answer lies in the cryptocurrency Litecoin.
What about the cryptocurrencies and bitcoins, what do you think about them?
I would divide them into blockchains and cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is an amazing technology that has a future in some areas, such as public administration or copyright. Just look at the Kodak shares – after the announcement of the Kodakcoin, the price of the stock went into the clouds. Cryptocurrencies are used for online payments, in my opinion, Litecoin has the greatest potential for small payments, which has low transaction costs, plus Charlie Lee does a lot for it. If you are interested in this issue and you want to try the technology, it makes sense to have a couple of cryptocurrencies (ideally in a hardware wallet). Otherwise, I recommend to new investors to avoid this sphere, it is really a big speculation.
What is your point of view on financial markets? Will the world economy still grow?
This year I expect the last phase of the growth cycle, at least in the US. It can take 1-2 years, it is really hard to say precisely. We have not seen euphoric buying so far, the bubble in the markets is not yet here. I follow several indicators, inflation and interest rates etc. These are gradually growing in the US, EU is still waiting, because the inflation is not growing. Monetary wheels are slowly turning around, and this will also influence markets that will not have such support over time. So far, I’m still optimistic, but I see in the long run that the debt created by mankind is enormous.
What would you recommend to beginning investors?
Don´t be afraid to start, it’s not hard, and in the next articles, we’ll explain how it works. From the beginning, it is good to look at the products and opportunities on the market. Then it is good to use critical thinking that filters our delusions and shows the key products and brokers. Critical thinking is not taught at school, but it is necessary in many areas of life, and it doubles in finances. Once banks and other institutions see that we have earned money, whether, from employment or business, they want to bite a bit, mostly on charges. I understand to pay fees for quality services, but not excessive and meaningless fees. At the beginning, it’s also good to make a system in your finances, find out where we can save, what is actually an investment, whether we are not buying liabilities.
You have read many books, do you have some books to recommend to our readers?
Certainly, it would be Intelligent Investor by Graham, to beginners Robert Kiyosaki: Rich Dad and Poor Dad, or Cash Flow Quadrant. After all, we must first create income, whether from employment or from business, so that we can invest it. For this, it is also good to read book: Designer of Your Own Life, which came out from a course at prestigious Stanford University. Also, it would be good to read different annual company reports or letters to shareholders, such as Berkshire Hathaway (here) or hedge funds, one can see connections between ideas in practice. There are plenty of books, for example from Tonny Robbs, Ray Dalia, Carl Icahn, etc., we will surely get to them with time. You can also follow me on Facebook, where I make contributions from the world of investments, trading and the interesting literature.
Thank you for the interview! Jakub is already getting ready for the next week when he will start to write for Quastic about his investment methods!