Top Lies on Wall Street…No rating results yet

This list first appeared on the CNBC website and while I can probably add another 100 bullet-points to this, this one is pretty good too…

Here are the 10 most common little white lies told on Wall Street:

1.”I have a business dinner tonight.” This is the go-to get-out-of-jail-free card. It’s hard to disprove. A business dinner is the lifeline of a salesman, which makes it difficult for a wife, husband, co-worker or client to call bullshit.

2. “My client brought their entire trading desk to dinner.” If the bill is so high you think the finance department is going to freak out, you start adding names — on the client side. One night, I was allegedly at three different business dinners in the city all at the same time. I was on my couch, but my name looked good on the expense report.

3. “You got one of our best allocations.” Whenever a hot IPO deal is priced/ all of the salesmen have to call their clients to give them their allocation. And no client is ever happy with the amount of stock they got. But your broker tries to coddle their clients with lies of encouragement.

4. “We spoke to the company.” While those words might be true, anything that follows it is most likely a lie because if, in fact, that person actually did speak with the company, she wouldn’t divulge such information.

5. “The big boss is in town.” This is a desperate move to get the client to send his order in right now “because the big boss is watching.” He just wants business and couldn’t think of anything else. Why should you care about HIS boss?

6. “I have a seller of 250k XYZ and it cleans him up on 3.8 million shares.” This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It essentially means that a broker is trying to get you to buy a block of stock with the promise that this is the end of this sell order and the stock will likely go up right after this. Unless you’re related to the person saying this or you have incriminating photos of him, DO NOT believe it. Either he’s lying – or his client is.

7. “I’m a natural.” No, this doesn’t mean “I’m a natural at trading.” It means that I have an actual order that is the opposite of your trade (e.g., I have a buy order for what you’re selling), so I’m a natural fit and we can get this trade done quickly. Brokers will do anything to get an order and order flow is one of the easiest ways to do it. They’re trying to smoke out the real buyers and sellers with false liquidity. It happens all day every day.

8. “There’s no more cocaine left.” There’s always a secret stash — it’s just not for you. The only time that statement is believable is when it’s 6 a.m. and the person is licking a glass coffee table; otherwise, it’s a bold-faced lie.

9. “I’m sorry, but he’s off the desk this morning. He had a breakfast meeting.” This is the co-worker’s line straight from the manual of I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE HE IS THIS MORNING. The last thing you want to do is blow up a co-worker’s lie. So regardless of where he really is, he’s always in a breakfast meeting when he’s unaccounted for.

10. “I’m not lying.” Ding! First sign a person is lying.

Please rate this

If Dating Was Like Investing…5/5(1)

A friend of mine recently shared this amusing article from Elite Daily.  The author compares dating to investing where in every relationship someone is always the Investor and their partner the Stock.  Within each there are various personality types…

Types of Investors

Average Investor:

Plays the field decently; believes that playing the field is the best strategy to spread his/her risk before settling down with the Stock that returns most consistently over time. This is one of the more well-rounded Investors. Most likely to pursue, fall in love with and end up with S&P 500s and Solid Stocks.

Savvy Investor:

Savvy Investors (think) they know all the tricks and plays in the book. They are more knowledgeable about the market than any of the Investors. Behavior is 99.9 percent strategy and 0.1 percent emotion. All moves are premeditated. Most likely to pursue Penny Stocks and Game Changers. Most likely to fall in love accidentally with Underrated Stocks or High Risks. Most likely to end up with Solid Stocks.

Angel Investors:

Angel Investors are the most detached from the market than any other Investor, always keeping their heads above the melee. They invest in Stocks based on how closely they identify with their cause. Angel Investors are the most discreet about their wealth, but also the most gracious. They are scarce due to lower participation in the market. Angel Investors don’t have a reputation for pursuing, ending up with or falling for any particular kind of stock, but never invest in Dumb Risks or Metal Scrap.

Follow the link below to read more…

Please rate this

Unemployment…No rating results yet

The unemployment numbers came out today and the US unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6%.  This is the lowest reading since 2008 and while many financial pundits will have their own spin on the number…it’s a good reading.  Having said that, we must remember that economic statistics, indices and most measurements have been changed so many times over the years that today’s 5.6% is not the same thing as a 5.6% in 1980 (for example).  I personally love to negate these numbers as much as the next person but hard to argue that a drop in the unemployment rate is anything but a good thing.  One thing I would point out is that with this drop, we’re also seeing a sharp drop in labor force participation.  This negative change is definitely not a good thing.  Two charts showing this below…first one is the unemployment rate and second one is the labor participation.

Unemployment Rate…

unemployment rate

Labor Participation Rate…

labor participation rate

In case you’re wondering why the participation rate picked up in the 1970’s and 80’s…it’s women entering the workforce…among other additions.

Please rate this

3G Capital…No rating results yet

Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital Partners was unknown to the average investor before they teamed up with Warren Buffett to purchase Heinz.  The firm is notoriously publicity shy and not much is known of it’s inner workings which is why I was excited to see today’s WSJ article about the firm.  That article can be read HERE.

One interesting tidbit I learned was about it’s sources of capital…

“3G is considered a private-equity firm but doesn’t raise money the same way most of them do. Rather than getting a huge pot of money from a large number of investors, the 75-year-old Mr. Lemann and his partners, Carlos Alberto “Beto” Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles, turn to roughly three dozen of the world’s wealthiest families and individuals.

In addition to Mr. Buffett, recent investors include hedge-fund manager William Ackman , members of Colombia’s Santo Domingo family, seven-time Wimbledon men’s champion Roger Federer of Switzerland and JAB Holdings, which manages assets for Germany’s Reimann family, according to people familiar with 3G’s operations.”

Please rate this

Financial Advisors…No rating results yet

People have many opinions of Financial Advisors…some folks think their value is minimal while others fine their advice and guidance indispensable. Whatever your view is, there’s a nice article in the WSJ regarding the various types of advisor and how to fine one who suites your needs.  That WSJ article is HERE.

What to Ask an Advisor

What to Ask an Advisor

Please rate this

Asset Managers Are From Mars, Asset Owners Are From VenusNo rating results yet

Great read from Research Affiliates on the promise of smart beta.  I’ve been in finance for the last 10-years and I have no clue what exactly “smart beta” means.  What we do know is this quote is one to be remembered:

“So, for the record, let’s say it loud and clear: Investment management is a for-profit enterprise. As such, asset managers and asset owners have a relationship beset with natural conflicts.
Asset owners want fees below 10 bps; asset managers prefer “2% + 20%.”1 Asset owners want transparency; asset managers favor black-box opacity. Asset owners want simplicity; asset managers hire rocket scientists to create complex optimized solutions for sex appeal.2 Asset owners want “future” outperformance after they fund a manager; asset managers would be satisfied with strong past outperformance to facilitate future asset gathering. Asset owners want a bigger alpha; asset managers would happily sell them the possibility of alpha and charge handsomely for the service of selling hope. “


Please rate this

Oil WisdomNo rating results yet

FiveThirtyEight has an interesting article showing how the conventional wisdom on oil is always wrong.  Check it out here:

There is a common saying among strategists that when it comes to oil prices “No one knows nothing”.  Not sure who coined the term but I first heard it from Mike Goldstein at Empirical Research Partners.  When I was on the buy-side he was one of my favorite strategists and worth a listen.

If you showed this chart to anyone in 2007, I am pretty sure you would have been laughed out of the room…




Please rate this

Rat Traders5/5(1)

Check out

From the website:

Our program is a professional service to the financial industry; rats are being trained to become superior traders in the financial markets. Using our own methodology in accordance with well-established animal training techniques, our subjects learn to recognize pattens in historical stock and futures data as well as generating trading signals. We provide solutions for tick based trading data and day based data. RATTRADERS rats can be trained exclusively for any financial market segment. They outperform most human traders and represent a much more economic solution for your trading desk.

All that’s left for them to do is come up with a fancy name like Boca Raton Trust Company and launch some mutual funds or even better, some liquid alt strategy.  Boom!  Billionaire rats over night!

Please rate this

Meeting at a barNo rating results yet

So, last week I’m at my favorite pub in town (across from the office) and I see a colleague from work hanging out with her friend. After awhile, her friend leaves and she comes over to say hello. She offers to buy me a beer and after about twenty minutes or so of light conversation she whispers in my ear that she’s had a crush on me for several years. I’m married and she’s married, so….what am I supposed to do with that?

Please rate this


I worked at a firm that had opened up a separate office a few steps away from the main campus to prevent “group think”.  Place turned out to be one giant brothel with PM’s and analysts having free reign to do whatever they wanted.  Got so bad that a wife of one of the main PM’s had to call the firm’s CIO and request that her husband’s admin be fired or relocated.  Couldn’t make this stuff up…

Please rate this