by Jason Bodner

August 3, 2021

With the band Phish – it’s usually love or hate. I first heard them in 1992. I was a jazz addict since I was 10, and I also loved classic rock like Led Zeppelin. My first Phish album was Rift. I was instantly hooked. They had it all: Soaring guitar solos, classical-like passages, acoustic piano (rare in 1990’s ‘grunge’ music), crushing drums, thumping bass, and all of it sprinkled with jazz. I had found my band.

Returning to school, I joined the BMG CD club. Remember them? You sign up for $1 and they mail you 10 CDs. Smart college kids built their music collections by joining competing clubs and cancelling before subscription fees kicked in. I hooked all the Phish in the sea – which were then three studio albums.

Next, I started listening to bootlegged recordings of their live shows, which Phish encouraged. I saw them live at Albany’s Palace theater on May 5, 1993. It held 2,844 people and many were desperate for a ticket.

I only cared about their music. The ‘dead-head’ environment didn’t appeal to me. Some songs seemed too country. Some of their silly stage antics seemed to dumb-down the monster musicians they had, but my conflicted love continued. I saw more shows.

Then I got in a band of my own. Pretty soon, I hated Phish comparisons because of their hippie following. I didn’t like their new studio music. It bored me, compared to what they could do live, so I got impatient. Eventually I’d only occasionally hit my favorite jams. I basically dropped being a “Phan.”

I’d return every few years. I vaguely recalled that they broke up and reformed in the 2000’s.

Gradually, I introduced my three sons to the band through their 1997 Phunk-phase, and then I began to recapture the love. I let their music suck up all my listening time for a year. Then I dropped them again. Their venues became huge. I went with friends to a sold-out 2013 show at Madison Square Garden, capacity 20,789 – 10 times larger than my first show. (They would play venues of over 80,000.)

During lockdown, I’d go for long bike rides. A Phish set was the perfect soundtrack. Eventually the opportunity came to see Phish again – or any live music for that matter. I jumped at it. This weekend, I took my 15-year-old son to see them in Atlanta. They played great, and the scene was as crunchy as ever.

Jason and Son Photo

I bought into Phish in my youth but hopped on and off. I watched them grow from small theaters to large venues. They grew into a massive business, too. Privately-held details are murky, but here’s a wild fact: After 2019’s NYC Concerts, Phish earned more at MSG than most Knicks players ever did: $50+ million.

Remarkably, their career ticket earnings exceed $500 million, with more than 11.4 million total tickets sold, and they now have a live streaming service with subscription fees, content sales, merchandise, and other ways to monetize. I don’t have subscriber counts, but I estimate easily 100,000 plus, each paying $100 a year. With all avenues of revenue, I believe they will (or already have) eclipsed $1 billion.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Phish is an outlier. They bucked industry norms and did things on their own terms. And now they are the kings of the jam-band live music scene. It makes me wish I had just stuck with them, warts and all, from the beginning. Hopping on and off caused me to miss arguably their peak years.

Sounds a lot like regretting the stocks I sold too early.

Buying and Selling Stocks Can Also be Costly

For stocks, I’m picky. But being too picky can be costly.

Check this out: I bought and sold Mastercard (MA) for a quick 150% profit. I knew it was a good bet so in October 2007, I bought November $150 calls for $11.50. Mastercard Chart

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

And I was right! Earnings were announced on Halloween, and Mastercard shattered expectations, with growing sales, earnings, their footprint, all while guiding higher. MA gapped higher, blowing through the $150 strike price of my calls. It closed at $178.10, or +25.5% higher than when I bought the options six days earlier. My calls surged more than 150% in a week! I couldn’t resist taking the profit.

The trade was an absolute beauty, so I pocketed my winnings and walked away. I got what I wanted.

Here’s the rub: Mastercard went on to become one of the all-time great outliers. Since I exited that trade, the stock is up +2,300%.

A common old excuse says, “Nobody goes broke taking a profit,” but neither do you get rich leaving 2,300 % on the table. Let me put that in other terms: If I had purchased 20 calls, I would have made about $30,000 – awesome for a one-week trade. But if I had held 20 calls then exercised my right to buy 200 shares of MA at $150, I would have spent $30,000 on the stock. It split 10-for-1 in January 2014. My 200 shares would have become 2,000 shares. Had I held them until today, it would be worth over $724,000.

I literally left $694,000 in profit on the table. Mastercard Chart1

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

Here’s what I learned: Adopting a longer-term perspective, it becomes easier to ignore fluctuations along the way. Longer-term patience brings calm and reduces stress when stocks face pressure.

Here’s another update: When COVID news hit markets hard last year, Mastercard dropped from $347 to $210. It felt like a disaster – especially to traders. A drop of 40% is enough to give some people a heart attack. But since that March 2020 low, the stock rallied all the way back to more than a +70% gain!

Life is full of frustration and imperfections. But impatiently chasing perfection can cause premature exits and missing the big gains. Phish ticked most of my boxes but it wasn’t perfect, for a while. Mastercard gave me all I wanted, but I missed the big move. David G. Allen put it nicely when he said: “Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”

Navellier & Associates does not own Mastercard (MA).  Jason Bodner does not own Mastercard (MA) personally.

All content above represents the opinion of Jason Bodner of Navellier & Associates, Inc.

Please see important disclosures below.

Also In This Issue

Global Mail by Ivan Martchev
The Relentless Bid Under Treasuries Continues

Sector Spotlight by Jason Bodner
Buying and Selling Good Stocks Too Often Can Be Costly

View Full Archive
Read Past Issues Here

About The Author

Jason Bodner

Jason Bodner writes Sector Spotlight in the weekly Marketmail publication and has authored several white papers for the company. He is also Co-Founder of Macro Analytics for Professionals which produces proprietary equity accumulation/distribution research for its clients. Previously, Mr. Bodner served as Director of European Equity Derivatives for Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in London, then moved to the role of Head of Equity Derivatives North America for the same company in New York. He also served as S.V.P. Equity Derivatives for Jefferies, LLC. He received a B.S. in business administration in 1996, with honors, from Skidmore College as a member of the Periclean Honors Society. All content of “Sector Spotlight” represents the opinion of Jason Bodner

Important Disclosures:

Jason Bodner is a co-founder and co-owner of Mapsignals. Mr. Bodner is an independent contractor who is occasionally hired by Navellier & Associates to write an article and or provide opinions for possible use in articles that appear in Navellier & Associates weekly Market Mail. Mr. Bodner is not employed or affiliated with Louis Navellier, Navellier & Associates, Inc., or any other Navellier owned entity. The opinions and statements made here are those of Mr. Bodner and not necessarily those of any other persons or entities. This is not an endorsement, or solicitation or testimonial or investment advice regarding the BMI Index or any statements or recommendations or analysis in the article or the BMI Index or Mapsignals or its products or strategies.

Although information in these reports has been obtained from and is based upon sources that Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute Navellier’s judgment as of the date the report was created and are subject to change without notice. These reports are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. Any decision to purchase securities mentioned in these reports must take into account existing public information on such securities or any registered prospectus.To the extent permitted by law, neither Navellier & Associates, Inc., nor any of its affiliates, agents, or service providers assumes any liability or responsibility nor owes any duty of care for any consequences of any person acting or refraining to act in reliance on the information contained in this communication or for any decision based on it.

Past performance is no indication of future results. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report. Dividend payments are not guaranteed. The amount of a dividend payment, if any, can vary over time and issuers may reduce dividends paid on securities in the event of a recession or adverse event affecting a specific industry or issuer.

None of the stock information, data, and company information presented herein constitutes a recommendation by Navellier or a solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Any specific securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The holdings identified do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients and the reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable.

Information presented is general information that does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, or needs, nor does it present a personalized recommendation to you. Individual stocks presented may not be suitable for every investor. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. Investment in fixed income securities has the potential for the investment return and principal value of an investment to fluctuate so that an investor’s holdings, when redeemed, may be worth less than their original cost.

One cannot invest directly in an index. Index is unmanaged and index performance does not reflect deduction of fees, expenses, or taxes. Presentation of Index data does not reflect a belief by Navellier that any stock index constitutes an investment alternative to any Navellier equity strategy or is necessarily comparable to such strategies. Among the most important differences between the Indices and Navellier strategies are that the Navellier equity strategies may (1) incur material management fees, (2) concentrate its investments in relatively few stocks, industries, or sectors, (3) have significantly greater trading activity and related costs, and (4) be significantly more or less volatile than the Indices.

ETF Risk: We may invest in exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and some of our investment strategies are generally fully invested in ETFs. Like traditional mutual funds, ETFs charge asset-based fees, but they generally do not charge initial sales charges or redemption fees and investors typically pay only customary brokerage fees to buy and sell ETF shares. The fees and costs charged by ETFs held in client accounts will not be deducted from the compensation the client pays Navellier. ETF prices can fluctuate up or down, and a client account could lose money investing in an ETF if the prices of the securities owned by the ETF go down. ETFs are subject to additional risks:

  • ETF shares may trade above or below their net asset value;
  • An active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained;
  • The value of an ETF may be more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities the ETF is designed to track;
  • The cost of owning shares of the ETF may exceed those a client would incur by directly investing in the underlying securities; and
  • Trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem it appropriate, the shares are delisted from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally.

Grader Disclosures: Investment in equity strategies involves substantial risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. The sample portfolio and any accompanying charts are for informational purposes only and are not to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument and should not be relied upon as the sole factor in an investment making decision. As a matter of normal and important disclosures to you, as a potential investor, please consider the following: The performance presented is not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the reported performance of the A, B, C, D, and F portfolios (collectively the “model portfolios”) should be considered mere “paper” or pro forma performance results based on Navellier’s research.

Investors evaluating any of Navellier & Associates, Inc.’s, (or its affiliates’) Investment Products must not use any information presented here, including the performance figures of the model portfolios, in their evaluation of any Navellier Investment Products. Navellier Investment Products include the firm’s mutual funds and managed accounts. The model portfolios, charts, and other information presented do not represent actual funded trades and are not actual funded portfolios. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the model portfolios, research, and performance figures presented here. The model portfolios and the research results (1) may contain stocks or ETFs that are illiquid and difficult to trade; (2) may contain stock or ETF holdings materially different from actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolios; (3) include the reinvestment of all dividends and other earnings, estimated trading costs, commissions, or management fees; and, (4) may not reflect prices obtained in an actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolio. For these and other reasons, the reported performances of model portfolios do not reflect the performance results of Navellier’s actually funded and traded Investment Products. In most cases, Navellier’s Investment Products have materially lower performance results than the performances of the model portfolios presented.

This report contains statements that are, or may be considered to be, forward-looking statements. All statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by such forward-looking terminology as “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “continue,” “project,” or similar statements or variations of such terms. Our forward-looking statements are based on a series of expectations, assumptions, and projections, are not guarantees of future results or performance, and involve substantial risks and uncertainty as described in Form ADV Part 2A of our filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is available at or by requesting a copy by emailing All of our forward-looking statements are as of the date of this report only. We can give no assurance that such expectations or forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Actual results may differ materially. You are urged to carefully consider all such factors.

FEDERAL TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are informed that, to the extent this presentation includes any federal tax advice, the presentation is not written by Navellier to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. Navellier does not advise on any income tax requirements or issues. Use of any information presented by Navellier is for general information only and does not represent tax advice either express or implied. You are encouraged to seek professional tax advice for income tax questions and assistance.

IMPORTANT NEWSLETTER DISCLOSURE:The hypothetical performance results for investment newsletters that are authored or edited by Louis Navellier, including Louis Navellier’s Growth Investor, Louis Navellier’s Breakthrough Stocks, Louis Navellier’s Accelerated Profits, and Louis Navellier’s Platinum Club, are not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the newsletters’ reported hypothetical performances should be considered mere “paper” or proforma hypothetical performance results and are not actual performance of real world trades.  Navellier & Associates, Inc. does not have any relation to or affiliation with the owner of these newsletters. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletter portfolios authored by Louis Navellier. The InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletters contain hypothetical performance that do not include transaction costs, advisory fees, or other fees a client might incur if actual investments and trades were being made by an investor. As a result, newsletter performance should not be used to evaluate Navellier Investment services which are separate and different from the newsletters. The owner of the newsletters is InvestorPlace Media, LLC and any questions concerning the newsletters, including any newsletter advertising or hypothetical Newsletter performance claims, (which are calculated solely by Investor Place Media and not Navellier) should be referred to InvestorPlace Media, LLC at (800) 718-8289.

Please note that Navellier & Associates and the Navellier Private Client Group are managed completely independent of the newsletters owned and published by InvestorPlace Media, LLC and written and edited by Louis Navellier, and investment performance of the newsletters should in no way be considered indicative of potential future investment performance for any Navellier & Associates separately managed account portfolio. Potential investors should consult with their financial advisor before investing in any Navellier Investment Product.

Navellier claims compliance with Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). To receive a complete list and descriptions of Navellier’s composites and/or a presentation that adheres to the GIPS standards, please contact Navellier or click here. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier & Associates, Inc. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report.

FactSet Disclosure: Navellier does not independently calculate the statistical information included in the attached report. The calculation and the information are provided by FactSet, a company not related to Navellier. Although information contained in the report has been obtained from FactSet and is based on sources Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy, and it may be incomplete or condensed. The report and the related FactSet sourced information are provided on an “as is” basis. The user assumes the entire risk of any use made of this information. Investors should consider the report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. The report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. FactSet sourced information is the exclusive property of FactSet. Without prior written permission of FactSet, this information may not be reproduced, disseminated or used to create any financial products. All indices are unmanaged and performance of the indices include reinvestment of dividends and interest income, unless otherwise noted, are not illustrative of any particular investment and an investment cannot be made in any index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.