Isaac Gilinski

Learn to be patient. People believe they need to be aggressive and take more risks, however sometimes, having patience until the right opportunity comes along is the optimal course of action.


Isaac Gilinski was raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. He went to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., wherein 2000 he graduated cum laude with a BSBA in Finance and International Business and a minor in German. He then attended the University of Miami, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2004 with an MBA, specializing in Investments and Corporate Finance.

Gilinski began his professional career in 2000 as one of the youngest investment professionals at Lehman Brothers. In 2001, he was promoted to develop the Latin American Sales arm for Global Capital Management, a new asset management group formed within Lehman.

In early 2002, Gilinski founded the Brickell Family Office, a multi-family office run as a fund-of-hedge funds. In 2011 he shifted his focus to launching and leading Brickell Analytics LLC, a global-macro research service based on contrarian analysis.

In addition, between 2012 and 2015, Isaac served as an independent macro researcher, reporting to the CIO of a $30 billion family office and macro hedge fund.

Also in 2002, Gilinski launched a time-release nutritional supplement business in collaboration and partnership with Osmopharm Switzerland. In 2014, Isaac installed himself as chief scientist and researcher and evolved the company into a research organization that continues to focus on the effects of nutritional supplements in-vitro on pathogens

Where did the idea for Brickell Analytics come from?

The idea came from a former client in my former business model. I had an old business, and one of my former clients suggested I start this new business.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day during the week is based on watching the markets from Asia to Europe to the U.S. from six in the afternoon on the previous day to 4 p.m. the next day. I watch the market for over 22 hours. Over the weekend, I take time to think about what I saw during the week and then write my research newsletter.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring my ideas to life by observing and doing research analysis and then writing about it. I observe, I research, I analyze, I write. Once I finish writing, my ideas go on a piece of paper that I communicate with my clients. I then implemented myself.

What’s one trend that excites you?

What excites me is not the trend itself, but betting against the trend, using mathematical formulas. I am a contrarian in nature, somebody who goes against the herd or the crowd.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I turned my life into my business; my business is my life. So if you’re thinking about your business 24-7, you are continually evolving, and you can stay in business. It’s a fast-paced market to learn.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell a younger Isaac Gilinski to have more patience. Sometimes you think you need to be more aggressive, take more risks, and yes, that’s good as a businessman, but you also need to think about when you are going to take risks and when, instead, you should be patient. Patience allows things to flow, instead of trying to force situations to happen. I believe if something is going to happen for you, it’s going to happen. You’ve just got to be in the right place at the right time. So don’t be overly aggressive or overly impulsive. Be patient.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I think this answer refers back to my answer about a trend that excites me; how I am a contrarian, somebody who goes against the trend. I discover treasures where others see nothing unusual. When everybody thinks Microsoft is going to go up and it’s a great stock, I think it’s going to go down. So I look for situations that others think are fine, but I don’t think it’s fine, or I think they’ll move in the opposite direction. People rarely agree with me because I’m always telling them the opposite.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Here I can use a Billie Jean King quote: “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” Persistency. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to make mistakes a many times over, and it’s easy to give up, to say you’re giving up. You cannot give up. You cannot give up because the moment you’re ready to give up is when the market will reward you, and you can make a lot of money. So, you have to be consistent. Persistent.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Similar to my prior answer, persistence and not giving up. Playing until I got it right. I’ve worked in finance since the year 2000, and my role in finance has changed at least four times in the last 19 years. So, to be able to stay in business, I had to change my business model consistently to keep up.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Complacency. You have to go out and look for business, instead of remaining complacent. Even though, at times, the ideal set-up is for the situation to flow, instead of forcing the business. If an entrepreneur becomes too complacent, they will fail. They need to be always thinking about how to grow the business is key to growth and success.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think a good business idea would be for someone to simplify or summarize the nutritional supplements market. Every time I want to buy a vitamin, there are several brands for the same vitamin available to choose from. For example, say I want to buy a vitamin C supplement. There are hundreds of vitamin C supplements on the market and it is very difficult to differentiate between what is good and what is not. Which brand should I buy? I think this business should consolidate and should evolve into one where each ingredient is identified by a few brands. It would be very convenient and helpful for the consumer.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I donated money to Wikipedia recently. Wikipedia provides free information for everyone, and that information is very valuable. It’s incalculable. Giving them $100 to help enrich people with knowledge is peanuts on the dollar. So, I would say the best $100 I’ve spent recently would be donating to the Wikipedia foundation because of the enrichment you get from the information they provide for free. Wikipedia should be selling information for millions of dollars, but instead, I can go on there, get it for free, and become smarter.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

As I just mentioned above, I use Wikipedia. I use it to learn about various things and enrich myself with further knowledge.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Wave Principle by Ralph Nelson Elliott.

This book, written in 1938, inspired me to start my business; it was the foundation for my business. It’s about a theory that was invented in the 1930s that no one gives credit to. It’s the theory of life. Life is about waves, and everybody should follow the wave principle. Waves is what we’re all about as human beings. We live in moments of optimism and moments of pessimism. Humans go through cycles of euphoria or manias and then cycles of sadness and depression. We all have highs and our lows, periods of optimism followed by periods of pessimism. Markets, like humans, move in waves; waves that go up and waves that go down; and that’s what the wave principle tells you.

What is your favorite quote?

“Life is a series of waves to be embraced and to be overcome.” – Danny Meyer.

Key Learnings:

● Learn to be patient. People believe they need to be aggressive and take more risks, however sometimes, having patience until the right opportunity comes along is the optimal course of action.
● Bet against the crowd; it can be very rewarding.
● Avoid becoming complacent. It could lead to career suicide.
● The access to information is an invaluable asset.