Welcome to our series exploring the various species of the Brokerus Stockus, a near extinct but persistent, genus within the halls of Wall Street. This is not an analysis of independent advisers, an entirely related but separate breed.
Tonight we will explore: The Wile E. Coyote.
The Wile E. Coyote broker is by far the most elusive within the species. Spotted in the wild, this species of Brokerus Stockus tends to run solo. Mostly because everyone is “too lazy” or “dumb” to be in their wolf pack.
The Coyote almost always seek to invent a better mousetrap and/or blow themselves up trying. Their self-destructive nature keeps the population small.
The biggest marker for the Wile E. Coyote is their desk. It will look like a recycling collection center for stock reports; All blueprints for how they will finally win in their chase of the elusive speedy roadrunner-like portfolio returns. There will be charts strewn haphazardly. There will also be numerous trading books collecting dust on their bookshelves. Somewhere nearby sits a stack of sports sections.
The office will also look comically small for the amount of furniture occupying the space. This is a remanent of the go-go days of 2000 when they were churning their way into their now stale First VP title and then bigger office.
Beloved by their co-workers for their near constant complaining of the injustices served by the firm, the Coyote is often the thorn in the Branch Manager’s side. They are dogged in their pursuit for what they think is right, even if they are standing on the edge of a cliff.
The other equally important marker for the Wile E. Coyote broker will be their own portfolio. It will almost always be a mess. Picture every Acme Box idea stuffed into an account with 4 boxes of dynamite. And then falling off a cliff. Onto a cactus. Then add an anvil somewhere. Yes. That bad.
If they have children, those accounts will be the worst offenders full of high flyers gone awry, justified by the long time horizon any five-year old would have.
Favorite word: “I”. They will use it a ton. They share this common marker with their cousin, the Alpha Broker. A key variation in the use of “I” for the Coyote is “I” is usually followed by “don’t.” As in, I don’t agree, I don’t want to, I don’t like… You’ll rarely hear “I don’t know”, but it is actually possible, vs. the impenetrable ego of the Alpha.
Appearance: Slightly Disheveled.
Motivator: They want to be the hero– to make the market call no one else is making; they will catch that roadrunner. They will also die trying.
Best Client Fit: Engineers. These two will become fast friends. The Wile E. Coyote broker, neck-deep in charts & graphs, will converse ad nauseam about their latest greatest trades (conveniently forgetting the losses) and their newest acme-trading system. Only an engineer will truly appreciate the systematic passion of his rube-goldberg approach.
Favorite Investment: New Issue Closed End Funds (to receive the sales credits the client will never see). Day-to-day their diet consists of Value Line stocks barely followed. They also enjoy chasing a self researched thematic idea du jour– example: prison stocks, with the idea a recession will bring crime. Why? Few can question their general “street smart” hypothesis or want to actually take the time to understand their little followed stock idea, making the Wile E. Coyote broker the instant expert, with as little reading as possible of the actual instructions.
Little Known Fact: They secretly dream of inheriting money from or falling in love with one of their wealthiest clients so they can retire right now, on an island, drinking nothing but pina coladas — never having to think of that roadrunner again.
Biggest Fear: Someone will ask to see a performance report.
Career Path: They are loyal despite their complaining. They will hammer out a living working until the firm fires them or forces them out by moving their office to the basement without proper ventilation or lighting. They will work until a ripe old age otherwise. Why? Their portfolio will be a perpetual mess, forcing them to live hand-to-mouth until their firm’s grandfathered pension kicks in.
In Summary: They are a very well-meaning species, and can be very lucky from time to time, but beware of giving them your entire life savings- massive mood swings are not uncommon with portfolios managed by this species. And never buy Acme stock from him.