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“I had a stop-loss in place but in hindsight that stop-loss was way, way too far away which allowed me to lose everything,” Spargo says.

“The stop-loss should have been much closer, so that if it didn’t go my way I’d make that trade much sooner.”

His capital was wiped out, in an experience he describes as “terrible”.

“I felt sick,” he says.

“That was one of the big learnings for me – have your stop-losses very, very tight so that you never put yourself in a situation where you can lose more than 1 per cent of your net worth.”

Today, Spargo’s number one rule is to diversify. He invests across asset classes including equities, international ETFs, real estate, bonds, property, speculative assets and even websites.

He’s also closely watching renewable energy as an investment theme over the coming decade.

“It’s a feel-good thing. You don’t have to feel bad about putting money in that … but I also believe that’s going to be a growth sector over the coming decade or two.”

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Spargo’s investing journey is the latest in our Trader’s Tales, which appear exclusively in The Australian Financial Review’s new weekly newsletter, Wealth Generation. Wealth Generation provides you with essential and understandable information if you’re hoping to become the next Warren Buffett, retire early to a tropical island or just live free of money stress.

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