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.

Welcome to our annual awards night!

This event is the highlight of the year for many of us involved in the broking industry, with a legendary after party involving wine, women and song. And men.

A kind of wonder and chunder party experience, with a chance to let one’s hair down after what has been an unusual year for all.

Each year I am able to don the old black tie, loosen out the trousers a bit and chuff on one of my favourite cigars, whilst listening to young know-it-all brokers drunkenly telling me their stock pick for the year ahead.

Mrs Broker raids the safe and wears enough jewellery to make her Royal Highness blush. She then has the honour of driving me home, pissed up in the back of the car and dropping off my Tommy Nutter evening suit to the dry cleaners the next morning.

That’s right folks, I have a handmade Tommy Nutter dinner suit from Savile Row, famous for dressing three of the four Beatles crossing Abbey Road.

But for me, his most impressive design feat was cleverly hiding buttons in the trouser waistband, which allows for discreet adjustments after a hectic festive season girth spurt.

It was such a shame Tommy died so early in his life. I will always be eternally grateful for his understanding of my financial market-driven income situation. In good years it would be fistfuls of cash and in bad years, suits would be left waiting for a year or two on the peg, until the next mining or technology boom kicked in and replenished the old bank account. A true character and legend.

Anyway, without much ado, let’s get on with it.

Drumroll, please…


Tip of the year

Everyday of my working life, I would be hassled for a stock tip and depending on whom was asking, would angle how I would answer them. Pretty girls would be given my ‘Special Special’ ones and rich fat pigs would get the ‘Mother in Law’ edition.

However this year’s tip is a special one. Not on a specific company but on how one simple bit of adjustment to your lifestyle will make you not a millionaire, but a billionaire.

That’s right folks, the tip of the year on how to become a billionaire goes to Elon Musk. His simple ‘cut your own hair’ tip is his secret source.

I can only presume that living in a tiny house, like Elon does, means that there is only enough elbow room to allow his scissors to go no further than his ears.

Of course Jeff Bezos started the trend, though his bathroom would be bigger than Elon’s entire house, so his dome can get the full treatment.

Name change of the year

The old ‘let’s change the name of our company’ trick came out to play a few times this year.

If you change your name and ASX ticker code, the directors of said company are hoping (and praying) that their shareholders will somehow forget about the past and only look forward/forwards to getting their investment dollars back.

The winner of ‘Name change of the Year’ goes to ‘Houston We Have’ (ASX:HWH), who, on advice from ‘Scotty in Marketing’, have opted for Echo IQ (ASX:EIQ).

Still no one actually knows what this company actually does.

It will be the fifth time that the company has changed its name, having started out being called SENTOSA MINING LIMITED, then PARMELIA RESOURCES LIMITED, then VERILUMA LIMITED, then HOUSTON WE HAVE LIMITED.

Previously, I had hoped that when you called ‘Houston We Have‘ their receptionist’s name was not Whitney, as the phone would be answered ‘Hello, this is Houston We Have, Whitney speaking’.

Now, I presume it goes “Hello, Echo IQ, Whitney speaking… speaking… speaking…”

Though if they trained up a duck to answer the phone, it would be one problem they have actually managed to solve.

Vegetarian of the Year

After many hours of deliberation, the judges have finally decided to award this title to none other than the Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Whilst fighting over his divorce settlement in court, it was revealed that the Sheikh had spent £2 million buying strawberries for his country estate, in one summer alone.

Now, considering that his local Tesco store sells strawberries at £2.25 a punnett, that equates to 888,888 little 220g punnets being delivered. With 10 strawberries in each one, that would equate to over 8m strawberries.

Let’s not talk about the tonnes of cream required to cover them, as we will be here all night and I know many of you are keen to get to the “mingle at the bar” bit.

Next up we have:

Loss of the year

As always, we lose a few people every year. Sometimes they are taken away too early and sometimes they just expire.

The winner of this year’s Loss of the Year is none other than that great financial icon of the 1980s, ‘Pigs Arse’. Or John Dorman Elliot as his mother named him.

Famous for his outspoken views, he actually started out in his career working at BHP for two years and later in life ended up owning over 10% of the company and also became a director.

Not many people have ever managed to do this in their lifetime. Work for a listed company and later own a substantial stake in it and then also become a director of that company. Especially when your public image includes openingly drinking and smoking in public and always enjoying thyself.

Here is a clip of him in action.

Now, I know I am diverting away a little bit from our financial market theme but someone who at the age of 58 was taken early and someone whom I really admired was the British comedian Sean Lock.

His timing and wit were masterly crafted into his TV show appearances and here is a clip, which was put together after his passing, that sums him up and shows why I admired his comedy so much.


Investment Advice of the Year

And finally folks, the winner of the prestigious award for Investment Advice of the Year, can be revealed. Would you all be standing for our winner…


Her quote that:

“Our concern for our clients is so significant that I get really upset when I think that they’re selling at the low or the other way around is buying into the high”

….brought a tear to my eye. It sounded a bit like King Canute, who set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the incoming tide to halt and not wet his feet and his royal robes.

Cathie couldn’t make it tonight, as her leaking ARK has left her stranded and a bit high and dry, so she was unable to reach her Tesla and drive it to the airport.

In a year when the S&P 500 rose by 28.43%, Cathie’s fund managed to lose 21.8%.

Of course when this happens to you, you launch another fund and hope that your new ‘ARK Transparency ETF’ (ticker: CTRU) will distract investors away from the other disasters you manage.

And in a nod to her critics, she has reduced her management fee from 0.75% to 0.55%, which was another act that brought a tear to my eye. Issued at US$20, it touched US$18.55 before recovering a bit.

So, thank you everyone for attending tonight and please remember to use the dry cleaning vouchers in your goodie bag.

Also ladies, please read my included note of apology, which my legal team has prepared for me, just in case I slip back into my old 1980s wandering hand behaviour, before Mrs Broker comes to save you and guide me outside and into the waiting limo.

I now declare the bar open.

The Secret Broker can be found on Twitter here @SecretBrokerAU or on email at [email protected].

Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.