Proof that I made millions

Hi guys, so here's comprehensive proof with screenshots that I did in fact make millions of dollars from trading and investing based on insights generated by my software. I, Tae-Hwan Jo, hereby declare under penalty of perjury and fraud that these brokerage statements and tax returns are, to the best of my knowledge, my real, true and accurate brokerage statements and tax returns:

There is a lot to explain here so I'll get right to it.


I created the first version of the algorithm in September of 2013 at a coding bootcamp called Hack Reactor. This is well documented, there's even a Wired Magazine article about it: https://www.wired.com/2013/12/honeybadger/ After creating this wonderful and amazing thing, I tried to raise money for it from investors. I quickly found that I'm really not good at doing this. People have a tendency to distrust me - maybe because I'm kind of an asshole, maybe because I'm an autist, I really have no idea but I'm just not one of those people who's really adept at schmoozing and selling. My friends say that I'm the worst salesman they've ever seen. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like had I teamed up with a sales-y person like Elizabeth Holmes or Bernie Madoff or Anna Delvey or the Tinder Swindler guy. Maybe I'd have a lot of happy investors right now and I wouldn't ever think to release the algorithm publicly the way I'm doing with BigShort. But without access to capital, I had no choice but to fund the startup myself. As a result, I just used the algo to trade my own money. And trade I did! But first let's rewind. I graduated from Hack Reactor in December of 2013, and I then spent the next couple years refining and testing my algo, buying out a cofounder, failing to find investors, and just living life. Along the way I traveled to China with my friends, dated around, and helped my two best friends graduate from Hack Reactor too!


After a lot of backtesting, forward-testing, and coding improvements into the algo, I gained the confidence to start betting big on it in 2016. You can see the results in my 2016 Interactive Brokers Statement. Starting from just $139,009.51, I made $555,518.12 that year before commissions, fees, taxes, etc.


I thought my 2016 results were pretty cool so I bet really big on the algo in 2017 and made $1,735,394.83 + $783,182.92 = $2,518,577.75. You'll notice that I have both an individual and company brokerage statement in 2017. This is because in March-ish of 2017, after consulting with my CPA at the time, I decided to switch over to trading under my LLC rather than my personal account. I had never made this much money before in my life and I was scrambling to figure it all out. If I had known then what I know now, I would've rolled my newfound capital gains into a Qualified Opportunity Zone fund, but I didn't know about that particular tax vehicle at the time so I ended up paying a huge $1 million tax bill, yikes! Speaking of taxes, I don't want to post my company tax returns because they are more private and more complex in the tax strategies utilized to reduce taxes. I have nothing to hide from the IRS, I pay a lot of taxes and I don't even expense meals on my business card like a lot of business owners do. But I would rather not get into publicly explaining my finances outside of trading/investing, afterall I made this page solely to address BigShort-related skepticism so it's my ability to make money that's important, not my ability to legally minimize taxes.


This was my only losing year. It was the year that I was reeling from my very serious girlfriend at the time leaving me for someone else. It was quite heartbreaking and I made a lot of emotional trades that went against what my software told me to do. This was me at my lowest, and I was on some mood altering prescription drugs, which btw you really shouldn't be trading on. I lost $649k as you can see from my IB statement, and after this huge loss I was much more risk-averse going forward.


I tepidly made $577k this year. At this point I was still in worse shape financially than 2017 because I technically lost money during the following two year period (2018-2019) while still having to pay my living expenses. This was really quite disheartening and I was pinching pennies while trying to make ends meet.


COVID-19 brought a ton of retail traders into the markets. Citadel Securities (just one market maker out of hundreds) made record profits of $6.7 billion this year! When the market makers make money, I make money, because my strategy is just to piggy back 🐖 on what the market makers are doing! Yay! I'm rolling around in money like a pig 🐷 in the slop and after a 2 year slog I finally have a renewed hope in a better tomorrow. I made $2.2 million this year.


Made $2.44 million, btw I have no idea why it says that the time weighted return for this year is only 37.31%. Wtf does time weighted mean anyway? If anyone with expertise in the math behind this wants to explain it to me in golden retriever terms, please do I'm all ears. I think it's something to do with deposits and withdrawals screwing things up, for example if I withdraw all but $1 and I then lose that $1, does that count as a -100% return that somehow weighs down the rest of my returns? 🤷🏻‍♂️ But as you can see I started with $2.58 million in the account, made $2.44 million (again, before taxes and fees), and then withdrew $4.5 million. The reason why I withdrew so much was because my algo detected something very strange going on in the treasuries market, which is why I spent all of 2021 hounding my friends to short treasuries [Screenshot from 12/7/2021]. I consider this to be one of my best trades of all time because up to this point, treasuries had been in a bull market *for my entire lifetime* and shorting treasuries was widely regarded as a suicide trade. But I not only shorted treasuries, I put my reputation on the line by telling my friends and family to short them too. Due to my intense focus on inflation and interest rates, I spent the whole year researching and thinking about how to protect against inflation, and came to the conclusion that the best option would be to take on dollar-denominated debt. So that's what I did, and I bought a Walmart Plaza nearby my house for $7 million. This happened on November 30, 2021. I also invested $1 million into a QOZ fund. As you can see on my closing statement for Mill Plain Plaza, my buddy Andrew Lim loaned me $100,000 to help close on the plaza. I mention this because he's the guy that slaved away to code BigShort, so if you see him in the chatroom make sure to say hello and thank him for all his hard work!


With so much of my money tied up in real estate, I spent this year focused on developing BigShort with Andrew and managing my plaza. I barely traded at all which is why I'm not including my brokerage statement this year as it isn't representative of my primary investing activities. I wasn't a passive landlord, I got quite involved and installed a new roof on the buildings as well as a new parking lot. The old parking lot had too many cracks in it so I decided to make it nice and pretty and appealing. In December of 2022, I sold one of the buildings in the plaza for $4.6 million. Which is pretty cool because I plan to sell the other building for $5.4 million, which comes out to a greater than 100% return in just 1 year of being a landlord. Who knew triple digit returns were so easy in real estate too? 💪 Hashtag blessed. I also get a way better tax rate on my real estate gains as opposed to my stock gains. But I love how liquid stocks are, I can be agile and respond to opportunities around the world as immediately as I see them so I'm looking forward to getting back into stocks after BigShort launches, especially since I need to trade for the benefit of my subscribers. Anyway I ended the year up another 3 million or so in mark to market gains, which brings my total demonstrated gains since the beginning of 2016 up to $10 million. Not bad for 7 years of work.


I spent this year slacking off, working on BigShort with Andrew, and spending a lot of time with my new girlfriend whom I just recently broke up with prior to writing this 😂 You know, I'm almost 40 years old now and I really should be getting married and starting a family and experiencing all those things that I dreamed of when I was young. I sacrificed a lot to become rich, more than I'll ever divulge on here. I don't want to be the richest guy in the graveyard, and I don't want to be hunched over a computer screen watching 5 minute candles form for the rest of my life. Money has diminishing marginal utility, but many poor people on the left side of a logarithmic utility curve can't put themselves in my shoes and imagine what it's like to be financially comfortable, which is why they accuse me of being a scam. Trust me, if they had my money, they'd be taking more naps too. They might also play video games or go out drinking with their friends or spend more time with their family. When people have money, they don't have as much of an urgency to make money, and care more about other things such as living a meaningful life. My haters for some reason fail to grasp this concept. But if you've read all the way up to this point, you're probably not a hater and you probably want more money! So don't be deterred by my lack of enthusiasm for trading, just sign up for BigShort and give me your money so that I can go sip piña coladas on the beach and not have to trade anymore! (I mentioned earlier that I'm not a good salesman, sorry 😔) Look, you're young and poor and you have your whole life ahead of you. So if you decide to make a ton of money trading, that's okay, no one is going to blame you for that. That's what I chose to do and I can't say that my life sucks, it's actually pretty good! Dunder Mifflin is better than prison, I promise!


In 2009, I was admitted to the 8th best law school in the country, the University of Virginia School of Law. It was the hardest decision of my life to choose not to attend, and even more so being the son of Korean immigrants. As a 25 year old riddled with self-doubt and financial insecurity, I had an option to pursue a very safe, well-paid and prestigious career in law. It's all that I had ever wanted, having grown up without anyone believing I could do anything, and finally getting that validation that I was good enough to get put into the game. And yet I was so used to people not believing in me that I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable at the thought of not being on the outside anymore. I didn't know how to kiss ass like Tom Wambsgans or be a part of polite society, I only knew how to believe in myself.I'm telling you this story because I know that the other story I'm telling you is even more unbelievable, the story of a kid with no money, no job, and no connections somehow cracking the code of the markets and creating trading software which no one believed in enough to invest in despite it outperforming every Wall Street hedge fund and generating millions of dollars in profits. I'm aware that from where you're standing this story makes absolutely no sense and I can assure you that it doesn't make sense to me either. We live in a world where the daughter of an Enron executive need only don a black turtleneck and talk in a fake deep voice in order to be worth billions. My working theory is that humans are bad at judging value, and they rely on proxies of value such as social proof, of which I had none. I still have none, which is why despite literally posting my brokerage statements and tax returns on this webpage, naysayers and skeptics will surely continue to doubt my accomplishments. I'm the antithesis of Elizabeth Holmes: unrecognized, with no pedigree, no swagger, and neither the desire nor the ability to manipulate people into believing in me. So that's the story of how I got here.

Picture of BigShort creator Tae Jo

Tae Jo
BigShort Co-founder