Your Stockbroker: The Alpha

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will present to you with various types of personalities and identifiers of 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.  

See also: Brokerus Stockus: Wile E. CoyoteBrokerus Friendus: The Wholesaler & Brokerus Maximus: The Branch Manager.

Today we will explore: The Alpha


The Alpha broker is by far the most revered within the species.  They are usually backed by a team of underlings, all of them “yes people.” Even the branch managers of the office know to fear the wrath of an Alpha. Always.

Alphas seek to be worshipped and adorned as such. There is a broad range of verbal propensity within the Alpha sub-sect, from constant mindless chatter to the quiet stoic personality.

If you think you’ve met an Alpha but they are not part of a team or group, chances are you’ve met an equally aggressive but more elusive, Wile E. Coyote broker (explained in our next post).

The biggest marker for the Alpha broker is the name of their group.  It will be their last name, almost always. They think they are the next Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley, or JP Morgan. And in their Class B office space, maybe they are.

The other equally important marker for the Alpha broker will be that they almost always drive an expensive car or like to throw around little-known facts about sports & the market to throw off their prey, the less confident. It’s common theory among the social scientists within this field, that the Brokerus Stockus species places much of their hierarchical capital into such pursuits, much like a moose and it’s antlers. Another interesting finding: A young, aspiring Alpha will usually wear or have worn a fake Rolex or Tag Heuer at some point in their career.

Favorite word: “I”.  They will use it a ton.

Favorite Sport: Golf or Tennis, whichever is held in higher regard in their social circle. The common theme of sport among Alphas will be anything that is you vs. them. Truly, anything that will give them an opportunity to dominate you into becoming a client is fine by them.  It could be tiddlywinks for all they care.

Motivator: Money and the thrill of the kill. “We’re not saving the manatees here people…”

In Their Favorite Movie List: Wall Street, Boiler Room, or Glengarry Glen Ross

Location of their office: One of the corners within your local brokerage firm branch

Favorite Investment: Third party managers.  At first blush, this seems to be in conflict with the domination theme of the Alpha, but after more study we realize that by hiring third party managers your Alpha Broker can never really be wrong. Instead they can point their finger to the manager for underperformance. It also still gives them a sense of domination to think they can hire and fire managers with billions of dollars, at will.

Little Known fact: The beta of the group is often the smarter.

Biggest Fear: A question that will make them look dumb, unraveling years of self-inflated confidence and ego.

Career Path: Move firms 2-3 times seeking the highest payout possible.

Caution: Watch for being overcharged by this species. They think charging a premium validates their worth. It doesn’t add any value to you.  Most investments you are sold from them are easily bought elsewhere, usually for MUCH less.

Favorite Song: 

12 thoughts on “Your Stockbroker: The Alpha

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  10. William W Wagner

    I can’t help but notice that all of the broker archetypes profiled here seem to depict dysfunctional idiots who are a danger to themselves and others. Bill O’Neil, on the other hand has written that “a good stock broker can make you rich”. Does the author believe that O’Neil also is a dangerous idiot? Is there such a thing as a “good stock broker”?

  11. iheartWallSt

    Good point, I’ll add it to the post list. For the most part, I will say this– I truly feel about 60-70% of the advisors in the industry are glorified sales people. But that’s just my opinion. I agree with you — there are good advisors, and I should list some of the qualities. Thanks for reading AND taking the time to add a comment.

    Right now, I’m writing/ranting about this ad. But I’ll try to get it in the rotation this week. 

  12. Pingback: » Reader Question: Is There Such A Thing As A Good Stockbroker? I heart Wall Street.

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