After 35 years of stockbroking for some of the biggest houses and investors in Australia and the UK, the Secret Broker is regaling Stockhead readers with his colourful war stories — from the trading floor to the dealer’s desk.

It’s Christmas and The Secret Broker got an early surprise in his inbox. Here’s cheers to knowing you weren’t the only one doing it tough in 2020.

Dear TSB,

As we all know, this has been a very stressful year, especially for those involved in the logistical side of things.

We first got hit with COVID in March and because our creative accountant (who is now in jail) decided we should restructure and be incorporated in a new ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’, we were unable to qualify for Job Keeper.

This meant that most of our staff had to go on Job Seeker and this caused all sorts of nightmares for us, as now they didn’t have to turn up for work and the ones that did were using their dole money to constantly trade cryptocurrencies and shares via Robinhood.

This meant all of our efficiency levels fell off the cliff and we completely missed our KPIs. No end of year bonuses coming to management anymore.

On top of all of this, we invested in new technology so we could start to do deliveries using an EV.

We had to get ours specially made by Tesla and Elon very kindly left a note in the glove box, wishing us well and explaining that soon, an upcoming software upgrade would mean we could move to a driverless solution.

Someone from the delivery team somehow managed to see this note and then their union rep got involved. He wanted to know if the current delivery team would be ‘put out to pasture’ and made enquiries about their internal super fund position.

Of course COVID had smashed most of our equity positions and when I joked about ‘maybe they could all survive on a carrot a day’ he was not impressed.

The reason I am writing to you is because we have been approached to do an IPO.

The latest outbreak in the Northern Beaches of Sydney means our Christmas deliveries will be heavily affected and all the extra costs involved, which we will have to absorb, will bring our earnings down and this will put pressure on our valuation.

As the workers (or ‘little people’, as I like to refer to them) would like to add their shares to their trading platforms and move off Job Seeker, I am under a lot of pressure.

What do you think I should do?

Yours sincerely

Mr S. Claus.
North Pole.

Dear Mr. Clause,

I must say, your letter has brought back some wonderful memories of when the children were properly young and how excited everyone would get on the night of the 24th. The kids would leave some milk for you and some organic carrots for the reindeer, all underneath the fireplace and ready for your arrival.

After they had gone to bed at around 9 o’clock, Mrs Broker would replace the milk with my favourite single malt and the carrots with a Davidoff Grand Cru cigar, and get about wearing a skimpy elf outfit.

All of this jolliness would end up bringing out the hot bloodied broker in me. Soon I’d find myself chasing Mrs Broker around the house with mistletoe in hand, having demolished half of the whisky and leaving a trail of cigar ash around the house.

Early next morning the kids would get up and race downstairs to open their presents and all they would find was me, wearing not much else but my Santa hat, snoring under the Christmas tree.

So, Christmas morning in our house was me hungover and an angry Mrs Broker trying to calm the kids down, as they cried over their squashed presents.

Back to your IPO valuation.

Word on the street is that Amazon is very keen on taking 19.99% pre-IPO. Then, about a year after you’re listed, they will make a full bid.

You will be replaced by Jeff Bezos, who has arranged to have white hair and a beard grafted onto his head and face and operations will be moved from the North Pole to Mars. All your ‘little people’ will be replaced by robots and your driverless sleigh will be in full operation.

So the bankers will get their fees, your whole operation will be modernised and costs dramatically reduced. I’m even told that they are thinking of moving the date from the 25th December to American Thanksgiving Day in November, so all deliveries can be combined.

Scotty in marketing has come up with a brilliant spin on how this will save millions of turkeys from being slaughtered, as now a household will only need one, instead of two. Think of it as a Beyond Meat-adjacent play.

If you do float, a few of the hedge funds will be shorting Inghams shares and going long on yours, I’m told.

Whatever you decide, please make sure it comes from your heart and not your wallet.

Good luck and Merry Christmas


PS. Can you put me down firm for 100 grand’s worth of shares – cheers.