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Naked Broker

  • Before we go any further, I need to take you through some security questions. Then we can proceed but remember we do record these exchanges for training purposes.
  • Today occasioned my one month anniversary at Chaucer Securities and it is only with immense difficulty and regret that I can tell you, Gentle Reader (as if you give a monkey’s), that these four weeks have passed more profitably and more enjoyably than I could have imagined or hoped.
  • I was two years behind Michael Lewis on the Salomon Brothers training programme in the late 1980s. I’m light years behind him now and many millions of dollars poorer.
  • It had been billed as ‘lunch’ so I undertook some rigorous ante-jentacular exercise and skimped on breakfast in preparation.
  • You, Gentle Reader, are fortunate. You are only subjected to The Naked Broker on a weekly basis but for fund managers, the unfortunate subjects of my importuning, the suffering is daily. I’m too often in their inbox.
  • I'd been sitting in my new seat for half an hour or so, rearranging desk paraphernalia and familiarising myself with an environment which will become all too familiar very shortly, when I noticed a pair of arrows on the front edge of the tabletop.
  • "Success", as Churchill wrote, "is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm" and this maxim is uppermost in my mind as I enter the final week of gardening leave, scared witless by the enormous difficulty of the task that lies ahead.
  • A fortnight remaining until I make my debut at Chaucer Securities, and the clock is ticking. While anyone with a brain or ethics would be struck down with a terrible sense of inadequacy for the challenge that lies ahead and suffering from an intense bout of the heebie-jeebies, I have more pressing concerns: I need to take advantage of the greater resources and corporate infrastructure at my disposal and sort out a business jolly immediately.
  • If Hamlet were a stockbroker, chances are he might have said, “There’s no such stock as cheap or rich but thinking makes it so”.
  • I'm going to walk onto that trading floor like the new manager of a football team strides into the dugout for his first match in charge, wearing the trademark sheepskin coat and a fedora. I'm going to exude an air of invincibility and omniscience. "Don't worry, lads, leave this to me. I'm in control now."
  • It’s no good; I’m institutionalised. 25 years in the business (have I mentioned this wealth of experience before?) and as soon as I’m out of it, I’m like a fish out of water or an idiot bereft of a village. Until a few weeks back, my very idea of luxury was a little bit of a lie in and a leisurely breakfast, while reading a broadsheet newspaper cover-to-cover.
  • July 24, 1989, was my first day in the broking industry. I had barely got through the door at Salomon Brothers than I was up in a room with the other 15 or so graduate trainees taking a maths test. There were 25 questions and most of those taking the test recorded 100%. The second lowest mark was 12/25 and that was the HR chap who just took the test to see whether it was difficult or not.
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