“Why do you do this?”

By Jason Bodner

It’s a fair question, and one I get asked often.

As an investor, you’re trusting me with your hard-earned money. And it’s something I take very seriously. Wanting to know what drives me makes sense.

I spoke about the “trade that started it all” in a recent Power Trends issue. It was that “Aha” moment where everything just clicked. I saw that huge gains were there for the taking, and I wanted to figure out how the everyday investor could be a part of it.

But that’s not exactly why I do this. That goes back much further.

It starts with one of my earliest memories from Thanksgiving Day in 1979.

I was only about 5 years old when I heard a loud crash and screaming coming from the dining room. My stepfather was responsible for buying a cooked turkey, but instead, he came home with Swedish meatballs – because they were much cheaper.

That was the final straw for my mom. The scene quickly turned into the fight of the century. It wasn’t really about the meatballs. It was about money… or lack thereof.

My mom always struggled. My dad left her and my sister just two weeks before I was born. Then she met my stepfather and had been a full-time mom and wife… until that disastrous Thanksgiving.

After that, we started living with my grandmother in North Miami Beach in this house.

It doesn’t look like much, but that house meant everything to me. I took my first tricycle ride where the sidewalk bends. My grandma used to pick oranges from the tree in the backyard and make me juice with them. I even rode out Hurricane David in that house.

But it was too small for all of us. So when my mom got a bookkeeping job, we got a place of our own.

Shortly after, she ended up in a training program for Bell-South… in Atlanta.

We moved again.

Just a year later, she got another new job… back in South Florida.

Again, we moved.

You see the pattern.

By 6 years old I had already racked up about 10 moves.

My mom was doing her best to make it work as a single mother, but money was a constant problem. I’ve needed glasses since I was just 18 months old. Bifocals weren’t cheap, though. If I ever broke them, I wore them with tape. And they were usually paired with hand-me-down clothes with patches on the knees and elbows.

It was a seemingly endless struggle just to get by, and my mom was tired. Tired of the financial shackles she couldn’t seem to shake.

My dad on the other hand did quite well for himself. He had everything my mom didn’t: A flourishing business, a stable home, and enough money to take vacations. My sister and I would visit him twice a year, and it showed me what I wanted for my life – financial independence.

I didn’t quite know what that meant back then, but I did know I wanted to make enough money so my mom didn’t have to worry.

Using the Data to Our Advantage

I’m proud to say that I did just that. It took many years working for “the man” and creating opportunities where there were none. But it was all worth it.

I started my career in investing as a clerk on a Wall Street Desk before taking a job running a desk of traders and salespeople to match institutional buyers and sellers at Cantor Fitzgerald, one of Wall Street’s blue chip investment banks. I spent 12 years at that firm, working my way up to eventually be the Head of North American Equity Derivatives.

Sounds fancy, huh? What I was really doing was running the options desk for another seven years.

And while I had my nice apartment in Manhattan, a housekeeper, dog walker, and was going on expensive client dinners, my mom was still struggling. I felt like I had failed her.

Wall Street was starting to become less and less fun with each passing day. I had a health scare that was clearly from the stress.

But it was there that my real opportunity began: I could figure out how to invest like the most successful pros on the planet. They were, after all, my clients.

And then my big break happened in 2014. I quit my trading job, left New York, and moved my family to Florida. I wanted to start using my own stock picking system to invest for myself.

I started my own research firm with my business partner – fellow TradeSmith analyst Luke Downey – where I created the Quantum Edge system, which analyzes more than 6,000 stocks and 1.3 million data points every single day. This information and our proprietary algorithms help us invest with the simplest yet most powerful investing concept there is:

Own the best companies operating in the biggest trends.

Luke and I pitched it to hedge funds and institutions – it felt an appropriate fit. After all, I used this process to help me give ideas to clients while running that trading desk for years.

As good a fit as it was, something still wasn’t quite right. I was helping rich folks get even richer while people like my mom were out there struggling.

Mom was always in my mind. By now things were improving for her, but never really to the point of financial independence.

She eventually asked me to take over her retirement investments. So I did, and I used the same system I made for myself and ultimately pitched to hedge funds.

And it started making her money.

“You’re a genius!” she said.

I know she’s biased, but those words meant the world to me.

I also helped my dad. We were able to forge a relationship over the years, and he loved stocks. It was something we could bond over, and he eventually started taking my recommendations.  Among those was Nvidia (NVDA). He bought 200 shares at $28.50 per share. His $5,700 turned into $179,143 – a 3,171% gain.

Now, those were the types of gains that make a difference – the kinds of stocks that I wanted to own, and the stocks I want to help others own.

“You’re a genius!” he said.

Yeah, he’s biased, too. But those words also meant the world to me.

You Can Gain Financial Independence, Too

It got me thinking: If I could help her, and I could help him, then I could help anyone, right? Not just the Wall Street elites. I could help people struggling to break free from the endless cycle of financial dependance.

So here it is. Here’s why I do this:

I do it for me.

I do it for Dad.

Most importantly, I do it for Mom.

And I do it for anyone else who wants my help.

It’s no get-rich-quick scheme, but I’m living proof that it works. And thanks to the miracle of compounding, you eventually reach the point where you start building your wealth faster and faster.

I may not have the biggest bank account on the planet, but then again, I never set out to be the next Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. I’m very happy with my life, and I’m happy to not have to worry about money. I’ve helped my parents get to that same point, and I’m teaching my three sons to get there as well.

I know you can do it, too, if you’re not there yet. Try to always be invested in stocks. Stack the odds in your favor by owning the best stocks in the market with Big Money flowing in.

And stay with the plan. You’ll be glad you did.

Talk soon,

Jason Bodner
Editor, Jason Bodner’s Power Trends