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James Cordier is a man who’s supposed to be great with money. He’s a hedge fund manager who reportedly managed about $150 million for nearly 300 clients for Optionsellers.com. As Bloomberg points out, Cordier also wrote a 2014 book called The Complete Guide to Option Selling, and an archived version of his company’s now-scrubbed website said it was “Where the Financial World Turns for Expertise.”
Cordier is also apparently a man who confesses his losses—and that many of his clients have had their savings destroyed—on YouTube.
Earlier this week, Cordier uploaded a video in which he apologized for losing everybody’s money.
Sitting in a brown chair against a black backdrop and with his hands folded together, showing off his cufflinks and apparently expensive watch, Cordier emotionally said he was sorry.
“Needless to say, the events of this past week have been incredibly devastating for our clients,” said Cordier, who had a tough time keeping his composure when discussing the people who put their financial trust in him. “So many of you chose to entrust in us the ability to navigate in the world of investing. …I always talked about steering your investment like a boat. I remember so many times saying that if you’re steering the wheel and you’re making small turns, that’s good. If you’re making large turns, that’s probably not what you want to see.”
Consider this a gargantuan turn of the wheel.
Cordier explained that volatility in the oil and natural gas markets created “a rogue wave I was unable to navigate” and that “this rogue wave capsized our boat.”
Cordier also explained in the video—the original of which was supposedly deleted but one that’s since been reposted on YouTube—that he rarely calls his clients as “clients,” because he prefers to call them his “family.” But the video takes an interesting turn. He apologized to one couple in Michigan because he never got to go bass fishing with them, expressed regret to another client because it looked like a trip to the French Riviera would probably be squelched, and said he was sorry to an Australian couple because he likely wouldn’t be watching any Gold Coast sunsets with them in the near future.
The apology seemed heartfelt, but Cordier also lacked self-awareness in those examples—and notice on the video that he said his staff would be the ones to answer all the surely livid client phone calls that were probably headed his way.
Not many on YouTube showed sympathy.
One commenter wrote, “If you get wiped out by volatility, YOU’RE NOT A HEDGE FUND. You are a high risk fund.” Another commented, “‘Steering your investment like a boat?’ Sounds accurate since his boat was clearly the Titanic.”
And another couldn’t help but compare him to a controversial YouTuber who also had to say he was sorry this year. That person wrote, “Even Logan Paul had the common sense to take off the Rolex before filming his apology video.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.