Interview #7 – Ben Dao

In this first interview translated into French and English, I have the pleasure to present the profile of Benjamin, aka Ben Dao, an Anglo-Swiss crypto-currency fan who is finishing his studies in International Management in Geneva and who owns a small Youtube channel on the subject! Let’s discover his profile!

“Always place your becoming above your current being.”

– Jordan B. Peterson

Mr. GP : “Can you briefly introduce yourself? Your age, location, occupation, family situation, etc.

Ben Dao : My first name is Benjamin, 22 years old, born in Geneva with dual Anglo-Swiss nationality, studying "International Business Management" in Geneva. I have worked in the money transfer business as a cashier, customer assistant and all-round employee.

Before I get my Bachelor's degree, I have (at best) two more years of studies, and then in the best of all worlds, I would like to specialize (or master) in Marketing or Product Innovation.

Mr. GP : “What are your goals related to your interest in personal finance?

Ben Dao: My goal, apart from financial interest, is to be experienced for my future, and in the best of worlds, secure a portfolio now that would provide me with a regular income by the time I am back in the working world. 

Investing will always be a passion for me and something I will still do in a regular income job, but potentially at a slightly more restricted level of activity.

Mr. GP : “Do you hope to be FIRE one day? Or if you already are, how many years did it take you to be?

Ben Dao: Becoming FIRE is not really a goal for me. But I'm not going to feel bad if I never have to worry about money 😉

Mr. GP : “What is your investment strategy? Stocks ? Bonds ? ETF ? real estate ? Crypto ? Other ?”

Ben Dao : To properly learn how the markets and investments in general work, I have a little bit of everything. I just lack gold, silver and other physical precious metals as well as real estate. 

My way of investing is pretty simple: if I see a market taking a big "slap", and it has potential, I will go in a little at a time. I'm a big fan of the DCA, and the same goes for selling. 

However, to define if the position has potential, I spend much more time. Between intrinsic value and macro market elements (often related to population and my estimates of the growth of the good or service provided by the company), I am very careful where I put my money and that is also why I don't have many positions.

Mr. GP : “Do you consider yourself frugal? Can you reveal the evolution of your savings rate over the years ?”

Ben Dao: I consider myself relatively spendy when it comes to good times with friends or family, but frugal the rest of the time (except for things related to music).

I invest about 20% of what I earn, not including what I earn from my various activities outside of my main income.

Mr. GP : “What was your best financial decision?”

Ben Dao : Getting in the game. At first, I played on my phone with dummy accounts, trying to "beat my dad" on his investment return percentages. Once I was ready, I started investing in stocks of companies I knew (mostly Nasdaq), and after a couple of years, I started taking a look at cryptos.

This helped me a lot to understand better how "money" worked, and for example for my studies, allowed me to ensure an excellent grade with less work on the stock market related chapter.

On top of that, it allows me to help my friends who are hesitating to start, and to answer their possible questions, without them having to go through a youtuber who puts two ads per video and explains things very slowly, without focusing on the essential in order to have a long enough video :-)

Mr. GP : “What was your worst financial decision and why? What was the consequence?”

Ben Dao: For now, I have been lucky to have learned to avoid the classic mistakes, everything is a lesson and nothing is lost.

However, I do have a position in Alibaba (BABA) that is costing me several thousand dollars, because despite my buy-ins, my initial price has taken a big hit due to Chinese administrative decisions. (My initial purchase rate was $301. Yes, ouch). But it happens! And I would hold it until it went back up.

In this example, my loss as of this writing is 30.99%. I imagine that a good majority of beginners would have sold, but that's not the option I'm putting forward. In my opinion, this company is facing hard times because of governments, and Americans are afraid to invest in it, but it will surely turn around eventually, or not 😉.

Mr. GP : “What advice would you give to someone who wants to start increasing their savings rate? What areas (investments, savings, income, etc.) would you prioritize?”

Ben Dao: Depending on the knowledge and interest in the field, I think investments are a good way to make your money work, and it's pretty easy to do better than the bank. But for a beginner, I must say that starting with a dummy account helped me a lot.

Mr. GP : “Can you reveal your Net Worth and explain how it is composed?”.

Ben Dao:  Initially, I had 80% of my savings in the market and 20% hanging out in the bank. Then I decided to move 1% into cryptos, which quickly turned into 5% (I got lucky with my CHSB timing), which quickly turned into 50%.

The distribution would therefore look like this:
 - 50% Crypto -> CHSB (25%), USDC (15%), ADA (5%), ENJ (3%), UTK (3%), UNI 4%,
 - 50% stocks -> BABA (25%), ABNB (10%), EZJ.L (10%), BA (5%)
 

Mr. GP : “If you had to recommend a book or other resource, which would you choose?”

Ben Dao: Jordan Peterson, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos”.  Best book I've read by far, really helpful or my YouTube channel haha :-)

The book is available on Amazon at a more than interesting price (affiliate link).


Format de Poche

Format Broché

Format Kindle

Mr. GP : “A quote you like or a sentence that inspires you?

Ben Dao: “Always place your becoming above your current being.”


― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Conclusion

Ben is lucky enough to still be very young and he already understands the importance of making his money work. Still a student, he still invests part of his income in stocks and crypto, which allows him to really gain experience for his future career, while making his money work! The videos on his Youtube channel are really cool! Think about subscribing to it!

Thanks again for taking the time to answer this interview so thoroughly!

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