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.
As we are coming round the final bend towards Christmas Day Turkey with all the trimmings, everything in December seems to have gone a bit pear-shaped for a few people.

For an Englishman like me, seeing people in red elf hats on 40C still seems a bit weird.

Especially when they are getting snow in the UK and now having to burn elf hats to keep warm, as electricity prices go through the roof.

I have a mental image of an English family huddled around their electricity metre as it’s spinning round so fast, it’s throwing off some heat, whilst I’m beaching it up in Aus.

Elon this week officially lost his position as the world’s richest man, which is something I predicted in my 2022 New Years predictions.

I will be going over them all in an article between Christmas and New Year so you’ll have to hang on till then to see my final score.

When you are the richest man in the world, there is only one way you can go. Being number two or three gives you two ways to go, but being on the top leaves you as a marked man.

Also this week, the 30-year-old ‘know it all’ Sam Bankman Fried got thrown into a very dark jail in the very sunny Bahamas.

The accused fraudster, who was once estimated to be worth over $32 billion, is being held in the island’s only correctional facility, Fox Hill Prison, until at least February 8 after failing to get bail.

Try not to tear up when you read the next sentence.

Fox Hill Prison was the focus of a damning report last year by the US Department of State into possible human rights violations, including violence and abuse by staff. Inmates “removed human waste by bucket”, the government report noted of the jail, where often six inmates are crammed into tiny cells that are only 6 feet by 10 feet.

But don’t worry too much as the Bahamian Commissioner of Correctional Services Doan Cleare claimed that the hideous conditions have been improved by renovations, saying “we don’t have any issues with rodents”.

Phew. That’s good to know.

SBF’s penthouse was 12,000 square feet of pure luxury and included six flushing toilets.

My personal opinion is that crypto shouldn’t be regulated and then everyone who is dabbling knows it is buyer beware. Or Caveat Emptor as my bulldog is called, though in my case it’s ‘biter beware’ after I had him snipped.

After all, in Australia you get a government guarantee on up to $250,000 held by one of the Big Four. But if you buy $250,000 shares in CBA, the return is bigger but you waive your government guarantee – buyer beware!

The GFC was 14 years ago and not one bank in Australia went under or needed government rescuing, so if you want to dabble elsewhere, it is at your own risk.

The grass is always greener on the other side and these days it’s only till you get really close that you realise that the greener grass is actually artificial. Crypto is artificial money.

This week we also saw Woolworths sell down their holding in Endeavour Group Ltd.

Endeavor was Woolworths’ solution to moving 12,539 pokie machines away from their ‘PR nightmare’ as each machine was stealing an average of $92,000 a year from their very own shopping customers.

Funny how they sold down after Tom Kierath from Barrenjoey sent out a note to clients that if a cashless card is introduced he estimates that their pokies profits will fall 35%. Woolies still holds 9.9% but that will be gone next year (they switched those funds into a Petcare company – cute.)

Tom’s warning note was based on a survey of 1,000 poker machine players who were in favour of having a cashless card with a daily limit of $100 a day.

One man’s misery is another man’s family’s joy.

As I write this article, Mrs Broker has gone away for the night and left me to my own devices.

Her biggest concern is that I slip and fall down the cellar stairs whilst attempting to get another red and lay injured on the cellar floor all night until she can save me.

I on the other hand could not think of anything better. Stuck on the floor and in reach of all my best examples, as my best bin ends are kept right on the bottom shelves and away from all of the ‘hands out’ relo’s eyeline.

Her loss, my gain!

Elon’s loss is Bernard Arnault’s gain and SBF’s loss of freedom is all of his investors’ gains. Hopefully.

Now, with a whole new year ahead to look forward to, I will leave you with this thought.

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s business partner, says it is not greed which drives people’s egos but envy. It’s this envy that drove everyone to borrow $1m and buy that house and borrow to get those new cars.

Stay humble and live within your means is his mantra.

So, you have a couple of weeks to re-write your resolutions for 2023.

Keeping the lawn mower close by should be your very first one!


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.