Table of Contents
- The Italian Man Who went to Malta
- Luca Lixi
- Lixi Invest
- Lixi’s Free Stuff
- Lixi’s Pricey Stuff
- Nuggets of Lixi’s Philosophy
- Lixi’s Enemies
- Lixi’s Beliefs
- Good Lixi
- Bad Lixi
- Final Thoughts
- Final Final Thoughts
NOTA: un lettore ha trovato il tempo e la voglia di tradurre questo post in Italiano! 69 pagine di pdf… sono senza parole 🙂 Ecco qui allegato: The Italian Man who Went to Malta – Italiano. Mini disclaimer: non ho letto tutta la traduzione, ho campionato solo qualche passaggio e mi sembra un buon lavoro!
Preamble to the Preamble
Before we even get started, this post is very long, and probably not much informative for non Italian readers.
It’s full of images and screenshots, I count 98 of them. Please, do not read it on your mobile phone unless you have unlimited data plan.
But before we really start, let me tell you that it’s been the most suffered blog post on this blog. I was so close to delete the draft and not post it at all. I’ve not enjoyed the work I’ve done. I went very deep in something which is not much relevant.
What resulted is a very very long post that doesn’t deserve much attention. It’s only relevant for Italians who might be tempted to thrash 5 digits money into a series of products sold by a “financial guru” on the internet.
I’ve spent last 2 weeks within this guru’s world. It’s not been a relaxing time. I’ve been there full time. Watching so many videos and reading infinite amount of material. Of course I didn’t spend a Rappen.
I think I overdid it. Too much work, too many details.
I should have just shrugged when I found who this guy really is, and moved on.
But this discovery triggered me.
I was angry.
So I decided to publish this post for the main reason to document my anger. To show you why I decided to take action, and start writing my own free guide. An effort that will begin the second after publishing this post.
Again, if you don’t speak Italian this post might not be relevant to you. Most of the screenshots and the video linked are in Italian language. To fully appreciate my review you should understand Italian. Maybe you get some value anyway, but the time investment to read this post is very high.
Ok, ready to start.
Take your time.
Note: I’ve added “in my opinion” almost everywhere to prevent defamation accusation.
In the previous post I mentioned that I’m going to write a personal finance guide. I also mentioned that even though the idea was lingering in my mind since months, what motivated me to kick-off this project is having discovered yet anther financial shark on the internet.
I have a problem with financial sharks.
I respect so much the “hard earned money” that seeing people throwing their money away for financial products that are just exploiting their ignorance triggers my Superman genes.
Financial alphabetization is a requirement for a fair, just, and efficient society.
Current global state of generalized financial ignorance allows for parasitism, exploitation of the weakest, wealth inequality, and an unfair society. Where are the financially analphabetes’ yachts?
Having said that, a hundred lives won’t be enough if I had to run after each financial shark! There are two ways I can contribute to this cause that could work at scale: one is to provide free (or extremely cheap) financial education, the other one is to advices against hard-to-spot financial sharks. Or better: provide tools to make you able to judge yourself whether a person/investment/course is junk or not.
I’m your mountaineering guide, who will both teach you how to enjoy a good hike, and at the same time warn you of life threatening snakes, rock falling zone, poisonous mushrooms.
I’ve found a poisonous mushroom two weeks ago, and I want to catalog and document it so that it can be added to your personal blacklist along with other similar-looking mushrooms of the same family.
Note: most of the material associated with my investigation is in Italian language. Most of the links and the screenshots are useful to you only if you understand Italian. This guy’s
prey customers are Italians, or Italian speaking even though he lives in Malta, and his company is registered in Estonia. I thought about writing this post in Italian language, because it has little value for non-Italians, but I decided to write it in English anyway.
The Italian Man Who went to Malta
This was one of the first videos I’ve ever watched on YouTube. It dates back to 2005! I wanted to name today’s post after it 🙂
On Facebook I follow a page named Istituto Liberale (Italian language). I think there’s a lack of liberalism in current Italian political scene, where all the parties are kind of socialists/nationalists. There is almost no one defending the values of meritocracy, personal responsibility, free market and so on. Having said that, I myself fundamentally disagree with some aspects of liberalism and capitalism as well. Anyway, this is not a political posts. And it’s not even a praise of the above mentioned Istituto Liberale: the admin of that page seems a kid who plays the capitalist via dressing elegant and blaming nationalists/socialists, not via producing useful/interesting content 90% of the time. But this is just my opinion.
He has a YouTube channel as well. On June 5th 2020 I saw a post about his upcoming live video stream titled “Perché l’educazione finanziaria è importante? Con Luca Lixi” (Tr: Why financial education is important? Featuring Luca Lixi).
I missed the live stream (I rarely watch live streams), but watched it the day after, when I found some time. It’s an hour long, in Italian language. “Enjoy“:
I didn’t know who this Luca Lixi guy was.
While watching the interview I thought it was a good one. An hour long, with few (non negligible though) eyebrow-raising moments. But I was happy to have discovered someone on the same page as me. Someone I could learn something from in terms of “how to teach financial education”. Quoting Taleb and Munger, mentioning “A Random Walk down Wall Street”, and praising passive investment is a good way to get my attention.
Even though the interviewer (the kid who runs the Istituto Liberale page/channel) asked questions at the edge of human intelligence, as a reminder that this kid loves capitalism but accumulated just enough money to afford purchasing his suit, most of the answers and further elaborations seemed reasonable and friendly to me. I was tempted to reach out to Luca Lixi and express my solidarity, maybe even explore the possibility to collaborate.
During this interview Lixi mentioned a few times (always preceding it with “I don’t want to self promote” preambles) that he has a community, a website, a company, some products for those who want to learn about personal finance. I told myself “let’s check it out! Let’s see how this guy is making the world a better place!”
Of course it was a huge disappointment. And I’m here to document it.
I was so disappointed and disgusted that I had to react. First with this post, second with producing better versions of his products for free.
Even though I should have noticed some red flags (more on this later), I had great expectations and I wanted to know more and connect. That’s why the disappointment was deeper than I thought.
In my opinion, this man designed a perfect machine to milk you 5 digits (maybe more) Euro.
Let’s gather some facts about the main character: Luca Lixi is an Italian man, born somewhere in Sardinia in 1985. He has an high school degree in accounting (“Ragionere e Perito Commerciale“) according to his LinkedIn profile. “Economy faculty at University of Cagliari” is also mentioned in his LinkedIn Profile, but he dropped out pretty soon, as he explained in this 2018 interview. He then worked 8 years in banking (until 2013), then 4 years as a self employed financial promoter for Sanpaolo Invest SIM (until 2017) but “failed” at the beginning (according to the same interview). Then in 2017 he founded Lixi Invest, his Estonian company. Somewhere in 2018 (I think) he moved his own domicile to Malta. There’s some missing pieces that I wasn’t able to reconstruct, but I think you got the idea. Yes, I also frowned a bit.
You will not find any direct link to his websites in this post. I don’t want to drive any traffic to this guy’s businesses. I will only link and add screenshots from third party sources like Facebook (posts from his private Facebook Group, which has public visibility – LOL), YouTube, Vimeo, other sources and so on. Not from his websites.
If you want to walk this path with me, please watch the interview with Istituto Liberale. Even if you don’t understand Italian, you can add English auto-generated and auto-translated subtitles.
In the interview he mentioned pretty soon to have founded Lixi Invest, his company, and “the biggest Italian personal finance community on Facebook”. He focuses on personal finance education, actually “personal economy”. Cool.
First questions from the interviewer were “What does finance mean?”, “do you recommend Bitcoin?”, “What’s the difference between Speculation and Investing?”. Answers were pretty good. Nothing new for us mustachians, but good to hear from this unknown guy who wants to help inexperienced investors: think long term, avoid get rich quick schemes, be patient, if you want rewards you need to take risks, loss aversion, net worth tracking, expense tracking, budgeting, setting personal goals, spend less than you earn, and so on.
The interview goes on pretty smooth. They talked about financial alphabetization, and the fact that Italy is one of the worst performing countries among OECD countries. According to a recent Banca d’Italia study (link, English Language), only 30% of Italians have the very basic financial literacy to be able to survive in this world full of financial sharks.
The few frowning points were at 29:11, where he said that stocks are collectively a zero sum game. If you gain something someone had to lose. If you trade, one wins the other one loses. What?
Even the follow up question about “finance not generating value” has been addressed a bit weirdly: “not in the short term, but in the long term it does, because of dividends. The real wealth in the stock market is represented by the dividends”… Whaaat?
He also said that there’s a huge difference between investing in the accumulation phase, and investing in the withdrawing phase. A slight frown here (like this –> O_o) for now. It will get much worse when I’ll discover that he sells two different and pricey products for those two investing stages of your life.
Another frowning event happened when he recommended young people with some money to “invest” in private education. He claimed he spent 100k on his education (private courses) and he got almost all his money back with a lot of interests in terms of human capital. He has some conflict of interests in recommending you to invest in your private and expensive education though…
Last frowning moment happened when I discovered he lives in Malta and his company is registered in Estonia. It smells a bit. Don’t ask me why, but it smells of tax heavens and deregulation. And his business is Italian-centric. Smells a lot.
Excepts the yellow/orange flags above, the messages that this guy wanted to deliver seemed to be good: work hard, save money, invest, diversify, don’t try to get rich quick, prepare for a slow wealth growth, care about fees, accept and manage your risk tolerance, set some goals, think long term, aim to be a sovereign individual, aim to freedom, aim to FI (but not RE, he says it’s boring), and so on.
Time to go visit his website: Lixi Invest!
I’m a dumb man.
Why didn’t I see it coming? I usually think of myself as a pessimist, a men that always visualize the worst case scenario. Then why was I expecting something good from googling this guy? Why do I keep setting high expectations on human beings?
I spent almost a week on his website, reading all his copywriting material to sell you stuff. Reading few articles from his blog, and watching too many videos with him. I’ve also joined the “biggest Italian personal finance community on Facebook”, to meet his customers and groupies. Now I have a clearer picture of who this guy is, and why (in my opinion) you should avoid him like you avoid the SARS-CoV-2.
On Lixi’s homepage you find a well curated video of Lixi (finely dressed, in a luxury leather couch) that explains you what Lixi Invest is, and a couple of mild calls to action to join his Facebook Group (Wiki Lixi, must admit the name rocks), and excerpts of his latest blog articles.
It’s clear after 10 seconds that this is not a single person effort. The “Chi Siamo” (about us) page mentions 17 people (all Italian first and last names) working for Lixi Invest! Wow, Estonian GDP is going to skyrocket!
And another call to action to join his Facebook Group.
The Media page shows newspaper interviews and it also embeds a dozen videos of Lixi being featured in local TVs or minor podcasts. I watched most of the videos there to get an idea about the character. More on this later.
After this warm welcome, I started consuming Lixi’s products. There are “free” products, a cheap one (his book), and few very very VERY expensive products we’re going to analyze individually.
Lixi’s Free Stuff
Lixi’s communication is probably what annoys me the most. Among the things we’re going to cover in this post, his passive aggressive tone to communicate with prospect customers (and indirectly signaling to his current customers) is – in my opinion – designed to make you feel guilty that he’s giving away so much free stuff and you’re just taking advantage. Hurry up! He’s getting tired of giving so much away for free. His time is worth 10k per hour, he claims!
This annoys me a lot.
Minor rant mode ON
I’m also giving away everything for free on my blog, and my time was valued more than 280k CHF (gross) by Hooli in 2019. But I’m saying “thank you” to my readers all the time because I get a lot of pleasure from my blog. I don’t want to judge those who make a business out of it (maybe I’ll also try to monetize mine a bit), but if your time is worth 10k per hour (like every Ragionere e Perito Commerciale in
Italy Malta) do you really need to be so aggressive and angry with your prospects? I don’t know, I think that if my time will ever be worth 10k per hour it means I’d be way wealthier than I currently am, and I’d do paid (10k per hour) work as little as possible while spending most of my time helping as much people as possible for as little monetary rewards as possible. Call me naive, but if your mission is “Financial Education” I expect something similar from you.
Minor rant mode OFF
Ok, let’s walk thru Lixi’s free material to see how valuable it is on its own.
I mean, if you only consume Lixi’s free material, how better “financially educated” you become? Spoiler: not much.
Let’s take a look.
They have a collective blog where I counted at least 4 Lixi staff members writing posts, including Luca Lixi.
The blog is – in my opinion – annoying to say the least. Clickbait titles, useless content (you gotta pay for the hope to get useful information), no external link (a prospect customer must not be distracted), only links to other posts in the blog, many call to actions to entangle you more in their fishnet (join the Facebook group, listen to the Podcast, subscribe to the Mailing Lists, watch the Webinars), and finally a sales pitch to buy they entry level uber-expensive Lixi Strategy product in almost every fucking post.
Readers engagement is the lowest I’ve ever seen. Most of their posts have zero comments. The few comments I’ve read are only praising the author or the content. No dialogue. No critique allowed.
Discovered only a couple of weeks later how Luca perceives the role of a blog within a sales structure (not his original idea, but the implementation of marketing techniques learned in expensive marketing courses like “Blog Vendita”).
Some examples (no link to that blog, sorry, google it if you want).
Lix-Man himself recently posted an article titled: “how much money you need to start investing?”
Not much apparently, better to start early.
Very good recommendation. Let’s start early! Investing?
You should start early… buying his 1.5k EUR Lixi Strategy product as soon as you have 10k available!
Because it will teach you “goal based investing”. Which according to another post on his blog can make you 15% richer over a lifetime. Achievement that you would immediately achieve via not giving him 15% of your wealth if you have 10k available 😀
Nerd note: it’s even worse. A +15% after a -15% totals to a -2.25%.
Serious note: Ok, of course I’m simplifying. I know that the underlying assumption is that you’ll keep earning, saving, and investing more money over time, not just the initial 10k. Still, asking someone with 10k to “invest” 1.5k on YOUR product might confuse an observer who might interpret it as an aggressive marketing strategy instead of a compassionate suggestion you’d give to a friend.
Btw, in 2017 he used to recommend that if you have less than 100k you should not invest (link).
Another example: “all you need to know before you start investing”
Some common sense advices: don’t be a daily trader, think long term, don’t let money sit on your bank account, beware of sharks, join our Facebook group, read this other blog post of ours, invest in what you understand, don’t invest in government bonds, buy Lixi Strategy, don’t invest in individual stocks, set some investing goals, buy Lixi Strategy, keep an emergency fund, buy Lixi Strategy, read the right books (for example the one written by Lixi), or directly Buy Lixi Strategy!
Btw, here we learn that Lixi Strategy is a 13 hours video course. More on this later.
Enough with the blog, let’s check out Wiki Lixi, “the biggest Italian personal finance community on Facebook“.
Wiki Lixi is a private, exclusive group that will show you “all the secrets of finance”.
Except that it’s publicly visible. You can see all the content without even having a Facebook account. I tried in Incognito mode, and I can see most all the posts from the Lixi staff.
But it’s exclusive. You can’t join the group by just clicking on the join button.
You need a secret word:
How to get the secret word? Go to their website and ask for it! How? Easy, provide a lot of personal info, including your email address.
What could go wrong? 🙂
But… maybe those are useful emails? Well, judge yourself:
Anyway, I’m in. I can finally actively participate in the “the biggest Italian personal finance community on Facebook”, i.e. Wiki Lixi!
Except that you can’t do anything in this group.
A comment below the Interview with Istituto Liberale warned about this though:
For example, you can’t discuss about investing.
Let’s test it first-hands.
I just asked “what’s your favorite World ETF?”, an innocent (though probatory) question to check how much of a “community” is this group.
Lix-Man replied himself that he’s already giving away a lot for free (be grateful, he doesn’t know for how long he’s going to be so generous!) and his not here to run a charity. Those who buy Lixi Strategy know which is the right ETF for them! And then turned off commenting!
I edited my post as a reply. Got a bit of love from other members (or voyeurs), and the regime didn’t react. Maybe they missed it?
Second, you can’t talk about YOU in this group:
They rejected a post (few posts along the same line) because it was too personal and that could configure as “consultancy”, and “they don’t do that here”.
Wait, is this a group of people communicating among each other or not? Because who the hell gives a fuck if you “don’t do consultancy here”, maybe another member wanted to step in and help the poor Paolo. What’s wrong with you guys?
I was tempted to leave the group immediately, but wanted to dig a bit further.
That’s where my blood froze, and my rage mounted.
So? How you feel about being part of the biggest Italian personal finance community?
A bit tense? Really?
What? Don’t you feel like being part of an amazing community? Freedom and Democr…
Ah… Ok, got it.
Ok, I couldn’t resist. I had to join the thought police to enforce the rules 😀
Btw Luca, any – really, any – external resource you’d recommend?
Cool. Thanks. Thanks especially for using an amazon affiliate link for your own book! Greed is never enough.
Ok, I acknowledged my very limited maneuvering space in your
prospect customers group community. I’m now free to interact (not in private, not sharing links, not talking about investments, not being technical, not being personal, not criticizing, not complaining) with other members!
Let’s see what’s the standard dynamic on the group, how nice is Lix-Man with his prospect customers, what is actually posted. I want to feel the Lix-Factor!
[Note: I took a lot of screenshot and anonymized them. I’ll link original posts, which are publicly visible and contain PII, along with my screenshots. It seems to me that a lot of the past “disappears” frequently on this community. Every year is 1984, it’s a never ending present moment. My screenshots are censored to be privacy safe in case people – or the Big Brother – remove their posts]
In this post (screenshot mine, original post removed) Luca is astonished that “there is still someone who has problems with spending 1500 Ridiculous Euros for the one and the only one personal finance course (BUY LIXI STRATEGY, NOW!) and who is satisfied with free stuff they find on the internet!”
In this post (link removed after explicit legal threatens), a guy who is already a Lixi Strategy customer, asked if it’s ok to use the tools he learned from the course to help his 90 years old relative that’s being scammed by her bank. Our hero discouraged him to do so. Better to tell good ‘ol grandma to open her wallet and purchase a Lixi Strategy membership 😉
In this post (link removed after explicit legal threatens), the author mocks one of the competitors (Alfio Bardolla, another guy I might spend few days on, but not in the near future) in pure 1984’s “Two Minutes of Hate” style, and of course the Lix-Man approves 🙂
Along the thread some of the subordinates digressed, and order had to be reestablished:
Let me translate Lixi’s answer: “here you don’t talk about other products or other people! Here we are on my world, which is already large enough, and recognized (RIP: by whom the fuck?) as a reference point. There’s no need to talk about others. By rules I should ban you. Please, be careful”
Yes, if you’re having shivers you’re not alone.
This is the “biggest Italian personal finance community” (no evidence provided though).
What’s the difference between this and any other conspiracy theory closed group?
If your blood doesn’t freeze at this, it’s already too late for you to be saved from this cult, in my opinion. You’re going to drop all your money to ScientoLixgy. Too long to translate it all, but in a few words: “The only reason why I leave this Facebook group free is to give you amazing personal finance concepts (RIP: we’ll see how Lixi contradicts himself later). Who decides what’s good? Me and my team. Can you complain? No. Do you disagree? Bring thousands of satisfied investors and savers that improved their life thanks to you and then you might have my same level of authority. Those who I’ve banned can’t see this, but I’m posting here for you to read. If I kick one is because I want to protect the other 17645 members.”
Let’s see what happens when he gets angry (link removed after explicit legal threatens):
Time to remind you that we started from here:
Like this other one (link removed after explicit legal threatens) where Lixi mocks those who believe buying a house/flat is not a huge mistake – which is a recurring theme on Wiki Lixi: offending those who question the ideological conformism within the “community”.
A guy we’ll call SG asked a valid question, albeit a bit provocative, about “why is renting necessary better than buying?”. I don’t express my opinion on the matter, I have mixed feelings and I acknowledge that there’s no right/wrong answer. I like Ben Felix 5% Rule (plus this, this, and this), maybe adapted by local (call it 3% Rule in Switzerland) and personal reasons.
Anyway, Lixi mocked SG (with a reply that must have costed at least 15 minutes to write, i.e. in the range of 3-5k EUR worth of Lixi’s time) who then replied, a bit annoyed but calm, with facts about Lixi behavior before touching the subject. Lixi got offended, deployed his preferred “logical fallacies arsenal”, like straw man argument and appeal to (nonexistent) authority.
Not happy with that, Lixi started another post just to expose SG to public shame (while threatening me for privacy reasons), cherry picking the “offensive” parts of SG’s reply and feeding his worshipers wit that, for the daily Two Minutes Hate.
Disgusting… and then he banned him. Even more disgusting.
The allowed posts on Wiki Lixi are those from his employees, who spam their blog articles (links removed after explicit legal threatens) within the group members. Always the same format: long form Facebook posts with one or more pictures (not a link), then first comment by same author with the actual link to their article, and/or a call to action to subscribe to a mailing list, and/or BUY LIXI STRATEGY. Of course all the links point to Lixi’s websites.
Other allowed content is their marketing activity and campaigns, like the launch of Lixi Strategy Gold (
link, screenshot), with the teasers ( link), the reminders ( link), the bragging, the follow-ups ( link), the showing off ( link), the pleasing reviews, and so on (many links removed after explicit legal threatens).
I came late to the party, I missed the May 31st deadline 😀
I’m having fun (mixed with anger for him, and pity for his victims), so let’s post another story 🙂
(of course, original link removed after explicit legal threatens)
You know it’s going to be fun because it starts with the classic mix of Lixi’s problematic behaviors & marketing techniques 🙂
He ruminates that “maybe he’s not sufficiently determined when he tells us the TRUTH, and that allows UNTRUTH to spread and prosper“. Yes Luca, you should be harsher with infidels! 😀
Here we go 🙂
“if you don’t invest NOW – after having purchased LIXI STRATEGY of course – you’ll need food stamps!”
“if you don’t have enough money YOU MUST BUY LIXI STRATEGY because you need it the most”
“if you have a lot of money YOU MUST BUY LIXI STRATEGY because you can lose your money!”
“In case you prefer to spend those 1500 Euro for a boring holiday in Sharm el Sheikh, one day you’ll be living on food stamps, or forced to be a burden of your children!”
“I must warn you because I’l the founder of the biggest Italian personal finance community on Facebook!”
You call it insane, we call it Tuesday on Wiki Lixi.
[Note: I’m in this group since a couple of weeks, and the amount of brainwashing has been HerbaLife + Amway + Jehovah Witnesses + Scientology combined. Seriously, this should be outlawed, in my opinion!]
Can you guess what’s the first comment?
You guessed it right 🙂
After few worshipers clapping, finally a not-yet-brainwashed (hopefully with enough antibodies to be immune to this bullshit) member of the community complained! (link removed after explicit legal threatens)
That was pure joy 🙂
I think Luca was an inch close to ban this guy and maybe delete this comment. But maybe he’s not smart enough to understand that in this verbal fight he’s the one who looks sick. Or maybe he knows how brainwashed his “true fans” really are, and it’s better to keep them happy and entertained. In the end he has a large enough worshipers base, and so many products to sell them. Better to act like the Übermensch in front of his worshipers (and attracts other similar people) than try to compete in a larger market of “people with brains”, where brainwashing has no power and what matters is only price & quality.
Anyway, few comments below another member complained (not in the best way possible), and this time he was was kicked out with personal offenses. Lixi’s patience is limited. Let’s not forget that his time is worth 10k+ EUR per hour! (link removed after explicit legal threatens)
I think time has come to post it again <3
Ok, last story (link removed after explicit legal threatens), promised. I saved a huge screenshot (not shared because I didn’t obfuscate all the participants – too much work) because this one is the best one!
The OP is a young guy – not (yet) a customer – who lost 224k EUR in a risky trade, 95% of his portfolio:
The thread is dense of people trying to solace the poor guy, even congrats him for the guts to post this here (instead of r/wallstreetbets). Of course Luca exploited the situation to praise his products and why everyone MUST BUY LIXI STRATEGY, and so on.
But the LOL moment happened when a real friend of OP came to comment. A human, passionate comment along the lines of “get up, you’re the best, you rule!” (link removed after explicit legal threatens). This guy is not even a member of the group! He was able to comment because he was a friend of OP, and as we said, the posts are publicly visible!
Luca misinterpreted the comment and offended the guy. The guy replied with courtesy, and Luca offended him again! At this point the guy lost his head and replied with the words Luca deserved (in Roman dialect btw):
Ok, done with Wiki Lixi!
On Wiki Lixi you can:
- Praise the Líder Máximo.
- Passively receive their aggressive marketing campaigns.
- Write a wonderful review of his products.
- Mock competitors or those who invest in bad assets (houses, government bonds, cryptos, daily traders).
On Wiki Lixi you can’t:
- Post a link.
- Contact other members.
- Talk about investments.
- Talk about your financial situation.
- Talk with technical terms.
- Be a finance expert. Yes, you can’t even be a “financial something”
- Contradict the Líder Máximo.
- Express your emotions / support a friend.
Luca said it explicitly what is the main reason you’re here:
Let’s move on…
… but before we move on, a few words on where his aggressive, insulting, and self celebrating communication technique comes from.
investigating a bit more (Lixi’s interview on tremend, Lixi’s video testimonial – when he still used to pronounce his last name “Liji” and not “Licsi”, the latter being way more cool and sales friendly), one of his mentors in terms of marketing is Frank Merenda, a controversial marketing guru (link, link) who uses exactly the same communication technique as our friend Lixi.
I though Lixi was a marketing genius, while he’s just one of the Compagni di Merenda 😀
You can register to his free webinars. He pushes this to you almost everywhere. In his mailing list, in the blog posts, in Wiki Lixi. I suspect it’s a 3 hours sales pitch with ZERO useful content. I didn’t need a lot more empty words with a push to BUY LIXI STRATEGY.
I got enough exposure, thanks.
Look at the goals: “why you should invest”, “how much can you gain”, “how to build the right mindset”… but where is the real meat?
BUY LIXI STRATEGY!
You can register to several mailing lists. One from Lix Man himself, and three (as of mid June 2020) one for each of his editors / bloggers / employees.
I was automatically added to the main Lixi mailing list when I asked to join the Wiki Lixi Facebook group, and I’m receiving at least an email every day, with a call to action.
Just avoid that like you avoid the Ebola.
Podcast & YouTube Channel
I must admit I just listened to few bits here and there of their podcast episodes. And I did that with a bias: I knew what I was looking for, i.e. a lot of self promotion and no concrete information.
Well, of course I found that – because it’s there, it’s everywhere. It “must generate leads”, in marketing terms.
But there’s also some good content. That’s mostly thanks to Lorenzo Brigatti, one of his employees with a passion in behavioral finance. Sometimes they analyze famous characters (like Warren Buffett), and their style.
This podcast might be an acceptable product, if you can tolerate the self promotion pieces (which is less dense compared to Wiki Lixi).
Need to listen to more episodes though.
Their YouTube channel hosts all podcasts and many more videos about: marketing, self promotion, nuggets of Lixi’s financial/investing philosophy (more on this later), slightly longer interviews, and appearances on local TVs.
I watched a lot of videos, and I’m going to talk about the content in the appropriate sections, not here.
Lixi’s Pricey Stuff
Ok, I’ve spent two weeks on Lixi’s free stuff and I learned NOTHING that I didn’t already knew.
I only got angry with his aggressive marketing, violent communication style, and glorification of the self, which pairs with the emptiness of his messages.
I’m not a beginner though, and it’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of a beginner.
Maybe I focused on the wrong “product”, which is the Facebook group (Wiki Lixi). Maybe listening to more of their podcast episodes, or reading all articles on their blog would have been more useful.
Maybe. But I don’t think so.
Maybe to someone who knows nothing about finance, and who’s only exposed to bank advisors, friends who made money with Bitcoins and trading Tesla stocks, dad who’s recommending to buy a house, and grandpa who thinks you should only buy government bonds… maybe some basic – ultra basic – knowledge is somehow useful.
But if you’re in a position of financial ignorance, you’re also vulnerable and an easy prey of someone who’s offering the Holy Grail of financial literacy, which is easily discoverable on the Internet for FREE. And this guy wants to sell you extremely expensive products that we’re going to evaluate here.
It will be a black box evaluation, since (of course) I didn’t purchase any of his products. I’ll use the information I was able to discover on the internet, reviews, his copywriting pages and a bit of intuition.
I acknowledge that the following “reviews” could be speculative and not very factual.
My personal opinion on the Lixi character is very poor. Even if the signals would tell that the products are great, I’d never buy ANYTHING from a guy adopting these aggressive marketing techniques (Propaganda), disrespectful and megalomaniac communication techniques (Übermensch), and a North Korean closeness on his community (1984).
Let’s get started!
The book is the cheapest way you can finance Lixi. Here’s an intro on LeFontiTV (link)
I admit, I was tempted to buy it. It’s 20 EUR. But I didn’t.
Set aside the fact that I wouldn’t finance this guy with a single Rappen, the main reason for not buying the book is that it’s just common sense stuff, without any actionable content (you gotta BUY LIXI STRATEGY for that).
And I’ve nothing against “common sense stuff”: I would have bought a good introductory book, with some concrete recommendation on next steps. Take Work Optional, Early Retirement Extreme, Your Money or Your Life, or The Simple Path to Wealth. Those are books that make no assumption, and could be considered “basics” (no, they are not!). Even though I learned a lot from the two I’ve read (ERE and YMOYL), I know pretty well what the other two contains – and I’d buy and recommend them blindly.
So I didn’t buy the book.
Lixi brags frequently that his book has amazing reviews, and it’s apparently true on Amazon:
Let’s take a closer look.
When I shop for something I only care about bad reviews. I need to be ok with what the complainers are saying. And I proceed with the purchase only if their issues are irrelevant to me.
Let’s take a look at the negative reviews.
This is the review considered most useful (by 150 people) on Amazon, among ALL the reviews:
I think this review tells me everything I need to know about the book. And it also confirms my expectations. Couldn’t our friend Lixi miss this opportunity to come here and offend the reviewer? And brag about how cool he is? Nope!
Let’s not stop at the first negative review. There are several of them rated 1 or 2 stars that are resonating along the line “No real insight, I was expecting more”, and “he continuously advertises his products”.
Let’s just drop here two more reviews.
First one raises a larger concern about how the hell he praises passive investing and then sells you a very expensive products for active investing (The Lix Files)?
Good question, I think it fits perfectly in a larger scheme to milk you as much money as possible.
Second one made me laugh so much 😀
“But RIP, you’re being dishonest! You should also read positive reviews! They are the vast majority!”
Yeah, it’s weird, isn’t it? A lot of good reviews…
We already know how Lixi communicates, so let’s skip over the boring self promoting and guilt inducing pieces… but what’s that?
Raise your hands guys, we have a genius!
Free Lixi Strategy + Gold membership (for one year, then you pay) for the best amazon review!
Then you can brag for your “excellent” reviews. G.E.N.I.O.U.S!
Seriously, I’m extremely disgusted.
There’s no review to be trusted, you can’t know what’s sincere and what’s paid for anymore.
Fuck the book.
P.S. the book is only available in paper format, no ebook. Ok boomer!
We’re finally there.
The product of the products.
I would like to take a look, but I’m willing to pay no more than 10 Euro for that. Sadly the price tag is a bit higher. That means this review is only based on the little information I found in Lixi’s world.
The Lixi Strategy website has a copywriting page that if you try to print it out needs 74 pages (and I have uBlock Origin installed, filtering some shit):
Anyway, the price today (late June 2020) is 1500 Euro. It was cheaper (according to amazon book reviews) a year ago, and it will be much higher in the future, according to Lixi’s continuous threatening words.
Ok, but what’s inside?
Essentially video lessons. 24 video lessons, roughly 13 hours of content according to a couple of comments I’ve read. Plus 2 excel files. And audio / PDF version of the video content.
Here‘s what the reserved area looks like.
Ok, good. What is this course about?
That’s the content:
- Analysis of your current situation (net worth and expense tracking)
- Goal setting and planning (what do you want to do with your money?)
- Execution (invest in financial instruments)
- Monitoring (rebalancing your portfolio)
I do think that the menu is a bit “light”. If you know nothing about money, the ocean of free resources is much more than enough to cover the gaps. If you know at least the basics, this course is shallow.
But don’t get me wrong: I think a personalized financial training on those topic is pure gold! I actually offered free coaching on these topics. The problem with this product is that there’s no personalization. You’re just watching 13 hours of recorded Lixi’s fine clothes and watches. Same soup for everybody.
Here’s a guy who asked for a course refund:
So this guy claims to have a background in investing and said he didn’t find any extra info. He asked for a refund and got refunded. Sadly I can’t find the post anymore (and I tried hard). I’m pretty sure it’s been canceled (1984 / Lixi / Merenda style). Anyway it’s a bit strange to see this guy, with a financial background, “willing to pay if this platform (Wiki Lixi) well not be free anymore”. Really? Do you find value in being part of this North Korean group, bro?
So, the entire Lixi Empire seems to be built on top of his 24 video lessons for financial analphabetes who can’t google for free material.
Let’s move on.
Lixi Strategy Gold
Gold is an up-sell of Lixi Strategy. This one is a monthly subscription only available for those who already purchased the 1500 Euro thing.
Lixi launched this thing on May 31st. I discovered this guy in early June, so I was too late. So sad.
Lixi Strategy Gold is not mentioned in any Lixi website. To participate you must be a Lixi Strategy member already. And the details of the Gold offer have been sent to you via email.
So why the fuck spam the “biggest Italian personal finance community on Facebook” with something they can’t even buy?
Oh, right, marketing strategies…
But I bet if you need to revision the history and let it disappear it will cost you nothing. A couple of posts cancelled and… puff, Gold never existed. 1984 for the win!
Anyway, what’s Gold?
Wow. So if you purchased Lixi Strategy and were promised to be “part of a community”… well, there’s a more exclusive community now: you must give us more money!
The subscription fee is not public, in a comment/review (link removed after explicit legal threatens) I saw 80 Euro per month, but I can be wrong. Anyway, 1k per year, seems on par with Lixi’s pricing, even a bit cheap.
Pass (of course).
Lix files is the product for stock picking, value investing.
Do you want to be the next Warren Buffett? Buy Lix Files. It’s just 6k for life!
Lix Files copywriting page is only 62 pages in pdf, 16% less marketing/brainwashing. Probably Lixi knows he doesn’t need to push hard, you should already be entangled enough with his products by now.
I don’t want to waste much time here.
“Alert on stocks with very high return potential”
Do I really need to add anything?
You might wander “wait RIP, Lixi is evangelizing people with passive investing… why the hell does he sells product for stock pickers?”
Because… I think he wants to make more money?
Who cares about words. Welcome to Doublespeak!
That’s amazing isn’t it? Telling you to run away from “get rich quick” schemes and bragging about his most successful trades. You’re tempting people with a +300% in 9 months!
I think this is the perfect plan to milk you as much money as he can, and I painted the vision few chapters below. Please bear with me for few more minutes.
Plus, would you really like to receive paid stock picking recommendation from a guy who makes basic math mistakes in his sales page?
Maybe geometric mean doesn’t get taught in the curriculum of a “Ragionere e Perito Commerciale“.
According to Lixi, a (claimed, not backed by any data) return of 49% over a 3 years period is equivalent to 16.66% per year. He just divided by 3… in his marketing page 😀
A 16.66% yearly return for 3 years totals to 58.77%, not 49%.
A total return of 49% over 3 years is equivalent of 14.22% per year, not 16.66%.
Sorry Lixi, I won’t tell you why.
But you can buy The RIP Files! It’s just 4997.99 EUR per year 😉
So you paid Lixi to learn how to invest passively (Lixi Strategy).
Then subscribed to a monthly recurring to be part of an exclusive community (Lixi Strategy Gold).
Then you realized you can make more money with active investing and paid Lixi again (Lix Files).
Now you accumulated a lot of money and want to start living off your investment income (FI, LeanFI, SemiFI, FatFI, whateverFI).
According to Lixi, the “withdrawal phase” is completely different and requires yet another Lixi product. Well, now you have a lot of money… the bad news is that this final (?) product is the most expensive in his menu!
The term “Rendita” in Italian can be translated in return, revenue, but I think the translation that fits the most here is “investment income“. This course is about how to get an income from your investments.
I know, you’re laughing 😀
We all know that a total return approach makes no difference between “before” and “after”, between accumulation and withdraw phase. Ok, maybe you should change asset allocation a bit, or use equity glidepaths, or yield shield during the first years of withdrawal phase, but it’s a minor adjustment of your current strategy – not worth a 10k membership!
Here‘s Lixi’s introductory video. I watched it all, and I think he’s visibly nervous: he uses a lot of curse words, and gestures with his hands more than usual, touching his expensive suit and his even more expensive watch many times.
Maybe somewhere deep down there’s an ethical thought that fights to get listened. Maybe some subversive neuron is rioting. I don’t know. I think that selling someone a 10k product on how to buy dividend stocks requires some guts and ruthlessness. I wouldn’t be able to do that.
According to Lixi, you need at least 300k EUR to think about “investment income”
Ok, this 10k joke has some content: a course, a couple of portfolios, the dividends calendar (interactive Brokers provides it for free), an alert system to buy and sell stuff like Lix-Files, and – this is the best perk in my opinion, the Rentiers Community.
I can’t wait to not be part of it 🙂
And that’s all for Lixi’s products.
I spent 8k words on the Lixi character and his products.
But what are his ideas? What’s his investing/life philosophy?
Next Chapter 🙂
Nuggets of Lixi’s Philosophy
Lixi’s products internals are very well hidden. The show he and his employees perform “on stage” is just Merenda marketing, with the sole goal to sell their products. So you can’t really tell what’s the philosophy behind the character, except few common sense principles he continuously pushes.
What are Lixi’s investing & personal finance principles and values? What are the active/passive/income investing strategy? What gets taught in the courses? Which ETF does he recommend?
It’s not clear. But we can reverse engineer a bit Lixi’s interviews, videos, podcasts, and Facebook comments. What follows is the work of 2-3 full days of taking notes from public material, and a reconstruction of Lixi’s philosophy, which should be a proxy for the content of his products.
We’ll find some good ideas, but also a lot of contradictions.
This section is confused by nature. I’m appending new information as I read/watch new material.
I’ve split this section in few parts: the enemies, the beliefs, the good, and the bad.
Disclaimer for Estonian Lawyers: everything that follow is my reconstruction of his beliefs based on the linked sources. I might be wrong or misunderstood the original sources.
Like every communicator, politician, salesman, polarizer, guru, cult founder, wannabe superman, Lixi must build enemies.
Enemies are vital for a culture of “us vs them”, which is what his pricing model needs. If you were selling bananas for $1 you want to please as many new customers as possible, if you’re selling golden bananas at $20k, you want to aim to 100-200
whales wealthy customers and convince them that you’re a prophet. And you need to be outrageous to get them, at the expense of letting the vast majority go away.
It’s marketing, babe!
Let’s classify Lixi’s enemies.
Real Estate Supporters
From Wiki Lixi posts and comments Lixi seems to hate those who believe that “Real Estate is the best investment”. He calls them “Mattonari“. He mocks them (link removed after explicit legal threatens), he bans them.
He believes that the house you live in should not be considered an investment (there’s a post on his blog that I won’t link here).
He believes that the Real Estate investment that could make sense is Luxury.
But at least once during these two weeks he has been kind enough to answer (in a reasonable and agreeable way) to a mother of a 20yo wondering whether her daughter should buy or rent. Take a look (link removed after explicit legal threatens).
In this “Massima Rendita” marketing video about Real Estate Investing he’s been a bit more reasonable and agreeable (link). I would have preferred a quantitative analysis (he can’t be quantitative, you need to buy his spreadsheets), but this video is qualitatively good.
My opinion: Lixi’s point of view is influenced by the international modern narrative of access being better than ownership for commodities. And he considers a flat a commodity, or just a tool you need to function, not an investable asset. Assets are companies, according to Lixi. I’m not that far from his opinion. I’m a bit more possibilist, even though I’ve already paid my pricey RE ticket between 2010 and 2019. Lixi’s business is done in Italy and he has to face a widespread boomer mindset, thus his view appears to be more extreme than it is. And his aggressive behaviors could be explained in several way: part of it is megalomania, part of it is personal branding (Übermensch, contrarian, tough, dominant, macho, wealthy, free), and a small part of it is sincerity.
Get Rich Quick and Competitors
Another Lixi’s target category is those who want to get rich quick. Or those who pretend to teach how to get rich quick. He classifies here most of his competitors, except he claims they are not his competitors. They are either charlatans who sell shit, or – if they are in the business of teaching/selling personal finance education – copycats of him. Megalomaniac.
Generally, posts in this category are (links removed after explicit legal threatens):
- mocking entire categories like cryptotraders, daily traders, option traders, those who make predictions/forecasts (
link,) link, link
- mocking individual stories, most of the time not by Lixi himself but his worshipers (
- expressing empathy with very sad stories (
link,), always self promoting though. “This could have been avoided if BUY LIXI STRATEGY blah blah blah“ link
My opinion: they are easy-to-target enemies where to redirect the Two Minutes Hate. It’s also Doublespeak on steroids. I think Lixi is very good at selling you that “trading is bad only because you’re stupid”. Smart people can have success with trading. Sorry, I meant “investing”. Because he rightfully distinguish between investing and speculating, but then he tries to convince you to buy Lix Files showing you short term speculative trades! Amazing.
Traditional Financial World
Another enemy of Lixi (because it’s a competitor?) is the traditional financial world. Banks, Actively managed funds, those whose interests are in conflict with yours, and those who want to monetize your analphabetism. Like those (banks) who want you to invest with them (link removed after explicit legal threatens), and those who say ETFs suck (link removed after explicit legal threatens).
In every comparison between his products against “traditional bank funds” he uses unrealistic figures for actively managed funds (like 3% TERs), and always depict them as the most evil creatures.
My Opinion: another easy-to-target category, which I also social distance myself from. The problem is that the alternative to that world already exists, and it’s free. It’s called The Internet. And it’s not rocket science, people should not pay 20k to Lixi to access the available information. I think Lixi pretends to care about financial education, but he’s making a fortune by capitalizing ignorance. If people were more financially educate he’d be broke. Lixi positioned himself next door to the people he hates, and tried to sell you a slightly better solution claiming it is the best. It’s like if a dying and powerless Banana Cartel sells bananas at 100$ each, and the young revolutionary Lixi opens a stand where Bananas are sold at 99$, promoting himself as the “new”, with a slogan “Bananas shouldn’t be sold at 100$, it’s a theft!”.
Let’s not forget that Lixi is shitting over the plat where he ate for a decade 😉
Lixi doesn’t like government bonds. Wiki Lixi is full of posts mocking those who invest in Italian government bonds, and those who promote them (
link, link, link).
So, government bonds have negative yield and some risk.
My Opinion: well, I’m less extremist on this, but I generally agree. Anyway, another easy-to-target enemy category. All these enemies are useful to establish camaraderie and create a “us versus them” environment. Many of his enemy categories are built on top of the generational tension between boomer with money and an old mindset (“invest” in government bonds, buy a flat, never bet on stocks) vs the young millennials who want to go 100% stocks and never have roots anywhere. Smart positioning.
Another category he sometimes throws darts to is those who have a degree (
link). The fox and the grapes.
Plus of course, those who dare challenge the Líder Máximo. If you challenge him, or make a comment he doesn’t like, there’s a very high chance that you’ll be offended, publicly shamed, and probably banned.
You need external and internal enemies, it’s Totalitarianism 101.
Here I tried to collect Lixi’s opinion on various themes related to personal finance and investing, i.e. what’s left after self promotion, self celebration, and enemies hunting.
What’s left is supposed to be “opinions about things”.
I’m basing my analysis on the various videos, articles, Facebook posts and interviews I’ve found on the web.
It’s a bit messy.
Disclaimer: again, this is my reconstruction from publicly available material. I might be wrong.
Hard work is the real wealth engine, not financial investments (link). Hard work or Entrepreneurship.
But when asked “how to increase my earnings” he doesn’t offer any advice. He always says “if you don’t have money, or a monthly saving, I can’t help you”. As far as I know, Lixi doesn’t talk about how to earn more (link).
He prefers to talk to people with money, either high earners, and/or those who received a windfall (inheritance, sold a flat, won a lottery).
It seems to me that Lixi never talks about frugality. I have the impression that he actually hates it (link, this video is very cringe “The one true secret to save and accumulate money”… take a look at the comments!). Saving without a purpose is boring (I disagree). You need to save and invest. “Saving is important for everybody, it’s not just a thing for the poor, I don’t have anything to do with poor people” (link) . “I’m not a low cost man, as you can see I hate low cost” (link) So the only true secret to save money is to save it 😀
Ok to be honest he talks about “pay yourself first and avoid lifestyle inflation”, but he’s very clumsy and it’s clear he has no idea what frugality is.
He’s a bit skeptical of teaching financial education at school for two reasons: 1) who’s going to teach, and what? 2) kids need to learn things on their own. They won’t accept it from the “system” and this can make everything worse (link). I agree with the first, not sure about the second. And don’t forget he has expensive products to sell to you.
If you’re financially alphabet, you’re vulnerable (link). Few examples of financially analphabetism in Italy: not enough insurances, not enough retirement planning, not enough diversification, and not enough estate planning. His explanation is that the state used to help you on this.
You should invest as soon as you can, after having set up emergency fund, and extra liquidity.
You should start investing with as little as 10k, but first buy his 1500 EUR product! (link)! Even though he says that 10k should stay liquid on your account, anyway buy his product first, so you can learn everything that comes before investing (like insurances).
First buy insurances, then buy courses (his, of course), then start even small, and learn about yourself. Handling money is tough, seeing your investments going up and down requires some behavioral finance training.
About liquidity: financial promoters, who are rewarded by the amount of products they sell to you, recommend you to be very low on cash because they have a conflict of interests. He recommends to not underestimate that “cash is king” (link, link). But at the same time he insults you if you don’t invest (link), remarking how much you’re losing by not investing. He recommends “1 years of earning as liquidity” (not spending, earning).
His explanation of this paradox is that “liquidity is not bad if kept for opportunistic reasons – waiting to buy, instead of letting it sit and rot” (link). Well, that would open other questions of mine (so… timing the market?) but let’s digress.
Life is split in two phases: accumulation and “Rendita” (link). Rendita can also be partial. Could mean “work part-time at age 50”.
Rendita vs Accumulation, two different ways of investing, two different philosophies: accumulation means more long term, more volatility, growth, expected 7% per year. Rendita is more conservative, more dividends oriented, expected 2-5% per year. Rendita starts at 300k, or better at 500k.
He talks a lot about “goal based investing”. It’s important to have your financial life tailored on your specific situation and your specific goals. Example of goals? Important purchase, children education, a “pension” or an investment income. A young guy should have “Rendita” (retirement) as the longest term goal (but still save for it), while some other short term goals should be financed differently, like money for a startup in 5 years, money to buy a flat, and so on. The right time to start thinking about your finance was yesterday. Start as early as possible.
Long term thinking: at least 7 years (link). Sometimes he says 10 years (used to say 10-12 in 2017). He said that over 10 years the stock market NEVER lost money, every stock market always doubled in 10 years (link, link). Which is super false. A portfolio for a goal 10-12 years away should be 99% stocks (link).
Concrete investing recommendations
Lixi never recommends any asset in particular (gotta pay for it), but in a June 2017 interview recommended to invest in small and mid cap Italy stocks (link). Obviously small cap Italy stocks were trending at that time. They lost 20% over the next 3 years.
During the same interview he suggested Biesse e Panaria group, two Italian companies that since his recommendation lost respectively 65% e 80%. LOL.
About costs and fees: funds KIIDs and Prospects documents are long because they want to confuse you. I assume he’s talking about actively managed funds. Costs are not only the explicit ones you see in the KIID and the Factsheet (link).
I discovered he also produced a small book “Le Truffe Finanziarie” (link) for 4.90 EUR on how to recognize financial frauds from those promising high returns and no risk.
About Warren Buffett: he’s perceived as the greatest investor of all times, while he’s a great business analyst. He spends time reading balance sheets, income and cash flow statements (link). He didn’t beat the market in last 10 years because he was underexposed to tech and overexposed to financials. This has shown “he’s just human, and not infallible”.
About derivatives: they can be used as insurances, but he doesn’t recommend them to retail investor. Unless you want became a professional (link).
About Crypto: using Bitcoins for its original scope (as a currency) is interesting and maybe good. As a speculation tool is not even classifiable as speculation. It’s like gambling, which is not necessary a bad thing but it’s not possible to consider it an investment because it’s hard to price the underlying asset (link).
About Gold: it’s not an investment because it doesn’t develop a revenue (this is a bit weird: in a couple of interviews he said that “if it doesn’t offer dividends it’s not an investment”). It’s either speculation or store of value (link).
About market timing: long term portfolios one should find a “permanent” portfolio, that doesn’t change much over time (link). Don’t try to time the market and change your portfolio too much.
Speculation vs Long term investing: long term investing is good but it’s boring. To avoid you playing with your long term portfolio, he recommends a “play/speculative portfolio” (link).
About insurances: he likes insurances when they “behave like insurances”, and not when they’re saving/investing products in disguise. Insurance means you pay a small premium and receive huge benefits if the insured event happens. Insurances are good (link) but they need not to be entangled with financial or savings products. Agree. Very good.
He thinks in Italy there’s a lot of wealth but it’s wrongly invested. And there’s a disproportion between wealth and income. Income is heavily taxed (link). The reason for this disproportion is that Italians don’t know how to invest. This argument is used to convince wealthy people to buy “Massima Rendita” instead of pushing with their 2k per month jobs.
Lixi doesn’t touch politics much. But he doesn’t hide he’s 100% Liberal, Capitalist, Libertarian.
He thinks regulations and government intervention should be as little as possible. (link)
Having enough wealth is one of the few ways of achieving some sort of sovereignty. Acquire capitals, disregard states (link).
He likes Taleb a lot: he mentions many times Skin in the Game, Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness and Antifragile.
He claims to have invested 100k EUR in private learning (link) and he recommends you to do the same (and he has few products to sell). Human capital is antifragile. Whatever happens to you or to your money, you’ll be fine.
He doesn’t like the concept of “retirement” (link). He’d get bored. “Living a life of leisure” is the dream of those who don’t have much money.
Italian Pension system (INPS) is a Ponzi Scheme (link). I like his way of explaining “retirement” not in terms of age but in terms of investment income. Detach from public pension. The concept is good. The video is good. Lixi in 2017 was a much more nicer guy.
Pension and pension age is a fluid concept. Investing with Rendita goals means you have control over the amount of work you have to perform for someone else over your lifetyme. You can stop working before statutory age, or work less. Totally agree.
“M***olixi ha fatto anche cose buone”
Well, I’ve written so much about what I don’t like of Lixi’s world in the previous 10k words that I bet you’re surprised to find something extra that I wasn’t able to classify 🙂
For example, his obsessive care of his public persona.
That goes beyond his walled garden.
I tried to look for something similar to what I’m doing here, but on the internet. I wanted to know what the Finanzaonline (FOL) community thinks about Lixi. FOL is the “biggest Italian personal finance community” for real. A real community, not a shortlist of prospect customers to indoctrinate.
Sadly, FOL has been asked to remove a long thread about Lixi, which according to other pieces of information I dug it was very interesting, and not pleasant for Lixi.
Someone even complained with the FOL staff for this policy of removing “uncomfortable” threads.
Maybe Lixi’s censory arm will reach poor RIP as well? Let’s see.
The more I spend time within Lixi worlds the more it seems 1984, really.
It’s been a long and stressful journey. Time to wrap it up.
- I would never buy anything from such an arrogant person, with such aggressive marketing strategies.
- I would never want to join such a closed 1984-like community. I love openness and freedom.
- I would never buy anything from someone I can’t contradict and who self celebrate all the time.
- I’m personally disgusted by his communication techniques, how he offends people and publicly shame them.
I do think Lixi is smart, and he knows more about marketing than about personal finance.
I do think he could guide you more or less through your personal finance journey, assuming you have a high salary and/or a huge amount of money – because he hates frugality.
But you can achieve the same at one thousandth of the price.
Lixi’s full path to wealth will cost you at least 20k.
JL Collins “The Simple Path to Wealth“, or Vicki Robbins and Joe Dominguez “Your Money or Your Life” will cost you less than 20, without the “k”.
Ok, fair. I’d pay 1% of his asking price to take a look at his products. Not a dollar more. And only If he was a kind person, and not the person he is.
If I look at the whole thing, at the big picture, I think this guy built a system to sell you the entire parable of the rich man.
First he tells you that you need to join his Wiki Lixi community, enjoy all his “free products”, and that you must be glad he’s so generous that he lets you consume his material for free. So that you start feeling guilty, even though his free products are comparable to all the free material Coca Cola allows me to consume, like ads on TV, giant billboards, radio ads, patronage of sport events and so on, without telling me “I don’t know for how long I’ll be showing you those ads for free!”
Then, while you’re within his Babylonian-style walled garden, he pushes you to buy his book, which is just another “advertising flyer you paid 20 EUR to read“, which is something you will do since it’s “cheap” and he allowed you to consume a lot of material for free.
In the meantime, while in his walled garden, he isolated you from competitors via disallowing literally every action that is not praising the Líder Máximo. You can’t post a link, you can’t talk about investments, you can’t name an ETF, you can’t name another financial company, you can’t even be a “financial something” on Wiki Lixi! So he isolated you from his competitors, constantly telling you that you’re privileged! For what? For potentially having access to a lot of food, but he’s keeping the chest for him, teasing you, and telling he’s already giving you too much for free and that you’re hitting his charity cap. Truth is that you get nothing from your group membership, except being exposed to a continuous sales pitch to buy his next product, which is Lixi Strategy, that costs 1500 EUR. For now, because in October “everything is going to change”. He’s tired or giving it away almost for free, i.e. for just 1500 ridiculous EUR. You should be grateful for that, and feel privileged! Else… you’re the guy who’s going to regret your decision to not have purchased it. As soon as you have 10k, invest those 1.5k (15% of your principal) is his product!
Then, while he’s chewing your right arm telling you should thank him all the time for this privilege, he will upsell his next product, which is Lixi Strategy Gold. It is a “secret” product. You only see the launch countdown on his Facebook group, but it’s an offer limited to those who are already Lixi Strategy customers! It’s not for you, ungrateful asshole who didn’t want to pay those miserable 1500 EUR! I asked for explanation, since the Gold upgrade can’t be found on their website, and got the answer that I need to first become a Lixi Strategy customer.
Oooooh no! FOMO is kicking in! I’m missing something that everyone is purchasing, as documented by Lixi himself who brags about how many people already subscribed. The price for Gold is only disclosed with customers, but from the information I found I discovered that the special discounted price for launch was 80 EUR/Month, with no Lifetime membership offer. It means he now milks you forever. Another 1k per year.
And then you think you’re done. You feed him each month with a good chunk of your savings, plus a nice 1.5k entry ticket and you’re done. Wrong. He’s been preaching passive investing everywhere. He told you so many times that you should only invest in passive funds, because “most active investors lose money!”. Most, not all. Soon you discover that of course he’s the one who doesn’t. On paper. He’s the one that will beat the market for sure! But you’re still on his beginners ladder. You pay each month to be told how to be a premium mediocre person. But the secret is there. It’s in another more expensive product he gently offers to you because you’re special. It’s called The Lix Files! Now you can step up your game and learn how to be an active investor! You can pay 1.7k EUR each year, or just 6k and you’re good to go for life! So… passive investing was boring, wasn’t it? Time to get more active! And 6k poorer.
Then you age, and your wealth grows (or grandpa dies, leaving you the three flats Lixi hates and recommends you to sell asap and invest the proceedings), even if it would have grown faster without Lixi’s hefty fees, you want to start withdrawing from your investment. You need now to change gears. You want to switch from accumulation phase to withdraw phase. Did you think Lixi Strategy or the other expensive products would have covered this aspect (which doesn’t require any extra knowledge btw)? Of course not! It’s time to subscribe his final (?) and more expensive product: Massima Rendita! It’s just 3k per year, or 10k for life!
And this is for now the all-you-can-be-eaten menu at the Lixi Restaurant, probably. I’m pretty sure someone in Lixi headquarter in Estonia or Malta is thinking about Lix Files Gold, or Lixi Strategy Platinum, or Massima Rendita Uranium! Stay tuned.
DM is a very enthusiast Lixi customers who purchased Strategy, Gold and Lix Files in 10 months. He didn’t know anything about investing until early 2019 (slightly more than a year ago). He started investing by buying Lixi Strategy. Here the first LOL is due. He joined the Wiki Lixi, devoured the free material, the podcast, the “webinars”. In August 2019 he bought Lix Files. February 16th 2020 he bought Lixi Strategy. He bough immediately Lixi Strategy Gold as soon as it came out. One off expenses 1500 EUR, yearly recurring expenses: 2700 EUR. Good luck!
This story is very sad in my opinion. Having to pay so much (and being happy with that) for information you can find for free makes me very sad.
The only thing who mitigates my suffering is that the likelihood of the review being fake is high, Lixi got us used to that. This DM guy has a Facebook profile (screenshot, link removed after explicit legal threatens) with only 5 friends, 2 of which are Lixi and one of his employees. And his Facebook profile url ends with first and last name that don’t match DM’s public name. I sincerely hope it’s yet another fake paid review.
Anyway, maybe once you’ve already thrown 20k down the toilet (if you’ve been “smart” enough to pay lifetime subscriptions instead of yearly fees like DM) you can finally unlock the very very expensive 1:1 coaching sessions with Lixi himself. Maybe. He claims that his time is now so precious that he should charge 10k per session. Maybe he’ll be kind enough that will make you this “gift” now, for just 1k per hour. Who knows.
I am disgusted.
Actions need to be taken.
You need to learn how to not get caught in these traps.
And this guy (and the many others I’m discovering these days) should be “free-marketed away” by a competitor that doesn’t need to buy an extra Rolex, and can produce a better product for free.
And I’ll try to be that person.
Have a nice day 🙂
And don’t forget to think critically!
Ok, this post is very long. I agree. Way longer than the situation deserved.
I spent 2 weeks in Lixi’s world and it’s been too much. I regret having wasted so much time. What I produced is the equivalent of an average Bachelor Thesis in an Italian University.
Don’t overdo like I did.
But mind that if you’re thinking about committing in the range of 10-20k with this guy – or with anyone else – a week of research should be the bare minimum! I spent more time because I wanted to document it for you. My antibodies are working like a charm, I didn’t need to go that deep if it were just for my own research. I knew after a day I didn’t want to give this guy not even 1% of what he asks.
Maybe for you it takes more time. please, take all the time you need before committing such a huge amount of money.
I hope the review was useful to you, not just to judge this Lixi guy.
Want a simpler checklist? If it costs more than 100$ it’s probably not worth it, unless it’s a personalized experience, with real people spending real time with you. There’s plenty of free information online.
The basic assumption is that your Critical Thinking muscle is well trained.
If you’re not vaccinated against shark poison, you are at risk. You’re vulnerable.
Mind that persuasion is very powerful. After two weeks fully exposed to Lixi’s narrative, I can perceive that I’m getting used to it, his tone getting familiar, and I’m close to not publish this post because “in the end I’m not even considering his offers so shitty anymore… look, there’s also a dividend calendar in Massima Rendita!“.
Nope! Even if you have a vaccine, keep exposure low. That’s why propaganda is so dangerous!
Have a nice day 🙂
Final Final Thoughts
I knew what I was going to face, and I did it anyway.
On June 25th, Lixi discovered this post and offended me (not directly) on his Wiki Lixi group. I replied and he threatened me with legal actions. Then he banned me from the group, and hid our conversation. I took a screenshot, of course.
Which has been an extremely funny conversation to have 😀
In the end he’s only attacking my anonymity, while he himself is nothing but an avatar: a man who continuously brags about how rich he is, without providing any number about his earnings, spending, net worth, portfolio… slightly more than 3 years ago he was still working for banks, paying 100k in “private education”, and probably broke as fuck. Never caring about frugality, arrogantly showing luxury, and changing his last name pronunciation from “Lisci” to “Licsi” to show a stronger avatar.
In the end I wouldn’t be surprised if he has “le pezze al culo” (he’s broke), I’ve met so many guys bragging like him than at one point shows up asking for 5k because that’s what’s behind those who flaunt a luxurious life: a shitty financial situation.
The “Millionaire next door” doesn’t look like “Lisci”.
He also replied to my edited post when I joined the community:
“if you have something to tell me, tell it to me directly, this is how gentlemen solve their problems”
Apparently Nope, Luca, you banned me, and threatened with legal consequences. I don’t see any gentleman who wants to discuss 🙂
Having realized that he’s the one who looks like a dumb in these conversation, he prevented others from reading my answers via deleting the post, and making the comments private on the other one.
Sorry bro, online reputation virginity is not a thing 🙂
NOTA: un lettore ha trovato il tempo e la voglia di tradurre questo post in Italiano! 69 pagine di pdf… sono senza parole 🙂 Ecco qui allegato: The Italian Man who Went to Malta – Italiano. Mini disclaimer: non ho letto tutta la traduzione, ho campionato solo qualche passaggio e mi sembra un buon lavoro!