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- The Reddit geek who raked in more than $100,000 with two trades told Markets Insider he credits his parents for his success, likes tech stocks, and found it hard to walk away with his profits.
- Eddie Choi, a 25-year-old business analyst in San Diego, turned $766 into nearly $108,000 by purchasing puts on Roku stock and SPY — the S&P 500 exchange-traded fund — then profiting enormously when they dropped, Bloomberg reported.
- Choi learned how to trade options on WallStreetBets, a subreddit with the tagline “Like 4chan found a Bloomberg terminal.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Reddit geek who raked in more than $100,000 with two trades told Markets Insider he credits his parents for his success, likes tech stocks, and found it hard to walk away with his profits.
Eddie Choi, a 25-year-old business analyst in San Diego, made a splash when Bloomberg reported that he turned $766 into nearly $108,000 by purchasing puts on Roku stock and SPY — the S&P 500 exchange-traded fund — then profiting enormously when they dropped.
Choi learned how to trade options on WallStreetBets, a subreddit with the tagline “Like 4chan found a Bloomberg terminal.”
Markets Insider asked Choi about his background, investment strategy, future plans, and other topics. His answers have been lightly edited and are laid out below. He told us he works at a small bank as a business analyst, and declined to provide a photo or name his place of employment.
Who are you?
I’m Eddie Choi, and I’m 25 years old. I currently live in San Diego, and I work with data at a bank. I grew up with two immigrant parents from Korea, so they had to raise my older brother and me while learning a new culture and language in America.
I credit a lot of my success and who I am to them because they had to work extremely hard to make sure that our family was in a good place financially, emotionally, and physically. Because of how hard they worked, our family is in a good place, and both my brother and I have an amazing opportunity to succeed in America.
My parents always told me to dream big and to never settle, and that’s the mentality I’ve always had.
How did you end up trading options?
I tend to like risk and enjoy learning about higher-risk, higher-reward investments, so that’s why I initially learned about options.
I heard about options from WallStreetBets and from friends, and I learned more about how they work by researching it myself. I’ve tried many things that involve risk, such as trading cryptocurrency, day trading stocks, and gambling for fun at casinos.
What made you think Roku and Spy would be good investments?
Roku went up from $25 to $170 in about 8 months, between late December and early September. It started to drop, and it didn’t really recover. I’ve seen so many stocks drop a lot after going up insane amounts in short amounts of time, so I gambled that Roku was going to drop a lot in the near future.
I still believed in Roku in the long run, so this was just a short-term thing. I invested about $800, and I honestly expected to lose it all, but I knew there was a chance I’d hit it big.
Luckily the next day Roku dropped about 20%, which is insane for a stock with that market cap. To show you how much I gained, an option I bought for $11 was worth $1,350. I had a good handful of options that went up that much in value for Roku.
SPY wasn’t as crazy. I only gained 100% whereas I gained 65 times for Roku. I basically just follow the market for SPY, but trading it on a day-to-day basis is really risky because one news drop can dive or raise SPY enough to heavily affect short-term SPY options. There was bad news on the day I bought the SPY puts, so I rode that news and sold shortly after.
Were you worried about the risk you were taking with these trades?
I wasn’t as worried about my Roku trade because it was only about $800, but there was more money involved with the SPY trade, so I was more worried about it. I do realize that there will always be risk in investments, so I understand and accept that there’s the risk of losing money.
What do you attribute your success to?
I definitely did my research, but with such a short-term option trade, there’s definitely luck and timing involved. Any news can cause a stock to go up or go down a lot in value from one day to the next, whereas there’s more time for a bounce back when you invest longer term.
What did you learn from your trading success?
I learned that you need to be able to take your winnings. It’s tempting to continue to trade when you have such a successful trade, but I had to understand that it’s as easy to lose my money as it is was to win the money.
It’s also important to not trade emotionally. If you get too emotional about an outcome of a trade, it’s probably best to take a break and come back when you have a clearer mind.
What advice would you give to other aspiring investors?
The number one thing I want people to realize is that not everyone will win when it comes to risky investments like options and that there is a lot of risk involved.
I think some people may not realize the risk and may think it’s common for people to win a lot of money when they read articles or see stories of people winning huge on investments such as options. But when you’re dealing with weekly options, you have to realize that there is a possibility that you will lose all your money invested in the weekly option.
I’d also tell aspiring investors to do their own research. It may be tempting to go on forums or read opinions from others, but I invest based on what I feel is a good investment. I’ll obviously read opinions from others, but I try not to invest solely based on what another person says. The best way to be a great investor is to learn the ins and outs yourself.
What was the hardest part about the trades?
The hardest part was definitely walking away with my profits. I ended up walking away with $70,000, but I was tempted to continue to invest in options with that amount, but I had to tell myself that it’s probably best to take the profits for now.
What else is on your watchlist? Have any other stocks and indexes caught your eye recently?
I follow a lot of the tech stocks. I like them because they have high market caps, but they are also volatile, so they’re great to trade, but the risk is also higher for them.
How do you plan to use your profits?
I’m not sure how I’m going to use my profits as of right now. I’m not doing anything with them, but maybe I’ll use them to buy a property or something else in the future.
Do you plan to return to options trading, or quit while you’re ahead?
I’m definitely going to trade options again. I decided to take a break for now because I was using so much time to keep up with the market daily, but I do have plans to go back and trade options in the future.
I want to continue to invest for the rest of my life. I’ll definitely cut back on the risk as I age and have a family, but I personally believe that investing is a good tool to learn, and I also enjoy learning about it.