272 · Marine Corps Discipline Crushes the Markets w/ Erik Smolinski

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Growing up poor and living in violent neighborhoods didn’t stop Erik Smolinski from being motivated and curious. Erik only needed to hear a few words about investing including the power of compounding from his high school instructor to light the passion and determination to take ACTION. The discipline, responsibility, accountability, and patience he cultivated as a Marine Corp officer strengthened his ability to stick with his well thought out trading plans and persevere. His use of derivatives strategies help him to minimize painful drawdowns while creating consistent, long term market-beating returns.

About Erik

Erik is a Marine veteran, options trader, real estate and angel investor. He is a strong advocate for authentic investing information. Erik became a first generation millionaire before 30 through hard work and unwavering dedication to his Outlier mindset. He started investing in 2007 and has spent more than 30,000 hours honing his skillset.


Trading in the financial markets involves a risk of loss. Podcast episodes and other content produced by Chat With Traders are for informational or educational purposes only and do not constitute trading or investment recommendations or advice.

Topics & Timestamps:

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  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 07:45 Early investments & obsession with learning
  • 16:30 Early returns and lessons learned
  • 20:42 Greed leads to biggest drawdown
  • 23:15 Importance of mentors and trading plans
  • 33:30 Catalyst to become a Marine Corp officer
  • 40:00 How Erik trades options
  • 44:40 The Meme stock craze and high implied volatilities
  • 47:55 The explosive rise of 0 DTE options
  • 50:48 The high long term costs of just one drawdown year
  • 56:10 Looking for reasons to say no to the trade
  • 61:45 The problem with a high win rate
  • 67:20 What Erik struggles with the most
  • 1:10:07 Compounded annual growth rate
  • 1:12:00 How to get in touch with Erik

Erik Smolinski

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