Episode 21: Packy McCormick on Spotting and Explaining Future Trends

February 8, 2022
updated on

About Packy McCormick

It’s hard to imagine moving on from a self-described $2B mistake, let alone maintaining a positive attitude about it, and yet that’s exactly what this week’s guest did. In this episode, you’ll hear Packy McCormick talk about the winding path that led him to create Not Boring and why over the long run, he believes optimism is the best return strategy.

Packy’s resilience and work ethic started early, including with a formative experience bringing home a C+ in French. He grew up in a family that valued hard work and honoring commitments without being too hard-charging; an ethos he carried through studying economics and philosophy at Duke, onto an energy trading desk during the 2008 crash, and then into public finance.

Ultimately it was a notable comfort with risk and desire to continue charting his own course that led Packy to leave corporate finance for the NYC startup world in 2013, but not before a brief and ill-fated detour into options trading that would define his venture-focused investing strategy going forward.

Listen in to learn more about Packy’s infamous Bitcoin sell-off and how the pandemic timing played into the launch of Not Boring in this week’s episode.

  • (01:46) Let’s start at the beginning
  • (03:20) How do you run a FinTech in Ghana?
  • (06:15) Clearly a family of ‘underachievers’
  • (08:53) Relating to your parents once you are one yourself?
  • (13:27) Philly to Durham
  • (16:35) Summer 2008 on the energy trading desk
  • (18:57) The $2 billion dollar mistake
  • (22:59) Just buy and hold
  • (25:49) Startup life in NYC
  • (28:30) Not Boring is born
  • (33:43) Moving Markets
  • (41:18) Will retirement be a thing in 20 years?
  • (44:22) Invest in things you want to learn about
  • (45:37) Optimism as the best long-term return strategy

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