Can you imagine? One day you turn on the news, and there it is. Scrolling across the ticker of the flat screen…
“BANKERS ARE AWESOME, INDUSTRY-WIDE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AT RECORD HIGHS, RECENT SURVEY SHOW BANKS AMONG MOST TRUSTED COMPANIES IN THE COUNTRY…”
And why does that seem like such a distant dream?
I left the Wall Street firm I worked for during the summer of 2008. I was tired of the status quo, having to choose between suitable & right. I spent my entire tenure on Wall Street learning & being taught how to sell, when the reality is, real advice is bought. It’s sought out; usually because you’re a living example of good judgment, knowledge, and character — to whomever is looking to you for guidance. And, that’s a huge responsibility.
What we have here, is a failure to communicate.
We have mono-lithic banks too big and slow to find anything but late-stage companies to bring public anymore — mostly because Sarbanes-Oxley made it too expensive to go public — because Wall Street was cramming too many super-sized, fast-food IPOs down your throat in the dotbomb era. Nowadays, there isn’t some gem waiting to come to market, these companies are already crammed to the gills with their venture capitalist friends’ money before Wall Street takes them on the Muppet Road Show.
The bank will offer to give these well-connected companies & venture capitalists even more money, just as long as the conveyor belt that grinds deep inside the Chinese Walls of the wirehouse can continue to mint another fraction of a penny. Each participant in this twisted game-of-chicken based on implied value; each a hand in the pot, marking-up yet another plot twisting turn in oligopolistic bliss.
And then, of course,
shilling advising you on what a square deal the whole thing is gonna be for you.
They should probably be warning you — but then again, they’re making a ton of money on the hidden fees and interest so who can blame them? Meanwhile, the banks can continue to hang-on for dear life, to the government-backed shores of capitalism.
So, I’m making some changes around here. I’m thinking about starting a magazine. I talked with my friend Meb Faber about it earlier this summer. Actually it was his idea — to start something a little different, but we’ve both been dabbling with App software. Anyway, I actually did a prototype for his site, Idea Farm. Meb is super dialed-in to research papers & quant geekery. He’s decided to keep Idea Farm to a weekly email for now. A ton of free research for you to receive once a week via your inbox. How cool is that? He has people from 70 different countries on his list. Which is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. (I guess I just did)
And then he/we stopped pursuing the magazine. Part of the reason he stopped was because my other friend, Zack Miller, recently announced he’s launching his magazine soon, too. I guess Meb wanted to see what Zack was going to do. I’ve, personally, already subscribed to TradeStreaming Magazine — and I can’t wait to see it; I’m sure it’s going to be brilliant.
Then last night — I couldn’t sleep. It happens to me about 4 times a year, certainly more than once in a Blue Moon. So, I worked.
And this morning from start-to-finish, I realized, just fooling around to see what I could do with some free software, I hacked together a real-life publication. In one night, with no formal training, that can be printed & shipped to your doorstep anywhere in the US and downloaded to your ebook, smart phone, or computer — anywhere in the world — for free. How awesome is that?
To tell you the truth, I’m pretty excited about it & I hope you are too, because Wall Street is changing. There are little tiny bits of brilliance bubbling up from outside the walls of convention as we speak. And while some days it may seem light years away, it is my heartfelt hope that I’ll be able to share some of it with you in my lifetime.
No one, alone, can change Wall Street. I can’t blog at least 3 times a day, because I simply don’t have the time. And even if I could, as some of my good friends do — it’s still not enough to turn the tide of complacency. And frankly, I’m not that prolific. In my mind you need a team, sometimes a really big one — trust me — because some days after being awake for 48 hours straight, I’m still already late & behind schedule for tomorrow (but at least we’re growing).
Now, to be clear — what I’m about to share is a concept, I honestly haven’t asked many of these people if they’d be on board for what you’re about to see. I may never do another issue. They’re mostly friends or friends of friends, so we should be ok — I’m trying to be prudent. To make up for possibly having to ask for forgiveness (since I didn’t ask for permission), I’ve tried to offer you, the reader, a chance to engage any of the contributors directly & thoughtfully. I’ve also tried to help market their products & services by sharing them with you. And why? Because I truly believe in them.
I’m receiving zero remuneration for what you’re about to see. And I personally use, or have read, everything you’re about to witness. So let’s jump in, shall we?
And remember: always talk to your advisor before doing anything, opinions can change as facts change, and, I hope you enjoy.
And, just so you know — I know — this is a total hack-job in some people’s minds… but considering I did it in a single night and it is also absolutely free — I’m not beating myself up too much.