Being a successful trader on Wall Street takes an even mix of innate and learned abilities. You better be highly intelligent and have an inspiring work ethic, but you also must be emotionless, compulsively methodical and have the ability to handle levels of stress that other people simply can’t.
But how do you truly know if you or someone you’re close to has what it takes to be a great trader? Social cues, so says former trader and current stand-up comedian Raj Malhotra.
In a fantastic piece for CNBC, Malhotra says he can spot potentially great traders at airports, in traffic and, of course, at casinos. The best traders zig when everyone else zags – and they do it in all aspects of their life. They love gaining that edge, no matter how small.
Great traders use the right lane because everyone stupidly assumes the left is faster, often clogging it. You can also have free access to the merge lane and the shoulder, gaining a car or two each exit, he says.
When travelling, a great trader assesses each security line with a hyper-analytical eye. It’s not just the length of the line, but those who embodies it. “Choose a line with people in suits, people that look like they have high IQs, and people under 50 who are traveling alone.”
Finally, eye the person at the casino who’s betting with the house – and against his follower gamblers – in craps. That’s your guy right there.
In essence, you must love the role of the contrarian. As Warren Buffett said: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”That theory seemed to work out OK for him during the economic crisis.
Sage Advice (eFinancialCareers)
An anonymous ex-M&A banker who now works for a family office says the worst thing you can do is to give up. If you want to work in banking you need to be like a stream: if you find an obstacle, go around it. Don’t just sit there stagnating.
‘Hiring Mode’ (eFinancialCareers)
Espírito Santo’s investment bank is hiring. A spokeswoman tells us the Portuguese entity is in “hiring mode,” that it’s “hiring across the board” and has appointed new people only recently.
OK Quarter (WSJ)
Wells Fargo eked out a profit during the second quarter but saw its stock price fall over its perceived inability to control costs. The bank did say it would continue to invest in risk management, compliance and technology.
Q2 Predictions (Business Insider)
The other big five U.S. banks will report this week. Here’s what analysts are expecting for each bank. Get ready for the phrase “down from…”
Ditch ‘Em (BBW)
Trading desks at big banks need to cut bait from clients who don’t generate enough revenue. The bottom 40% of clients may generate just 10% of revenue yet utilize nearly 30% of resources.
Saba on a Losing Streak (Bloomberg)
Investors are pulling money from Saba Capital Management, which has seen its fund decline for five consecutive months. It was down in the previous two years, too.
Fancy a Drink? (Bloomberg)
Most “banker leaves the industry to start some alternative business” stories aren’t that interesting. This one is. Former M&A banker Noah Bulkin has acquired hundreds of struggling bars, with the plan to turn them around using data analytics.
Buzz Around the Office
Spielberg the Poacher (Gawker)
A photograph of Steven Spielberg resting next to one of the faux dinosaurs he created for Jurassic Park went viral after some (idiotic) commenters thought it was a real animal that he had killed and was posing next to.
Quote of the Day: “Over the long term I’m an unbelievable money-maker. I’m not the only one. Soros is up there with the greatest. But there’s only about five to ten in the world who have done as well as me.” – John Hohn, founder of The Children’s Investment Fund Management, during his divorce hearing, which could lead to the U.K.’s biggest ever divorce award.