The Secret Broker: A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist
The Secret Broker
The Secret Broker
Link copied to
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.
Tesla came out with its quarterly earnings report after the market close on their Wednesday night and even though they were above analysts’ estimates, they were marked down 1% or so.
I know this because I was sifting through news headlines on my smartphone at 3am, as I find it a good time to read and gain knowledge.
Margaret Thatcher was famous for only needing four hours sleep a night whilst ruling the great unwashed with her Iron Lady fist and keeping her husband Denis away from the drinks cabinet for the other 20 hours a day.
I kind of have the same pattern, which could be a bit of a worry, as according to my smartphone, the lack of a good seven to eight hours sleep each night can lead to dementia.
When I say “kind of”, I mean that I do catch up during the day, with at least one nana nap in the afternoon. The days of the long lunch are a hazy memory of the past.
In those good old days, the alcohol would keep you fuelled up long enough to find a cab, give written instructions (I had a special card made up, with my home address on one side and an apology note on the other) to the driver and slump into the back seat for a very deep alcohol-induced coma.
The unwritten rule was that no matter how big a lunch or night out endured when entertaining clients, you always got to work on time. Some days that meant being at your desk at 7am to catch up on all the overnight news and share movements.
At one stage in London, I had two mobiles and a pager always on me and two phones at home, by the bed.
You always needed to have two phones. One to take a call from the office or futures/FX brokers, and the other one to relay live instructions to whoever was handling one of your positions.
The pager came into play because in those days, basement bars had poor reception, whereas a pager could always penetrate a text message through, no matter how deep underground you were.
Fast information and communication was how you kept in front of your rivals and the term ‘if you snooze, you lose’ was very real. You could lose money and clients if you weren’t on the ball or call 24/7.
Nowadays, you can find out information on just about anything just by tapping your fingers on your smartphone, so in the early hours when everyone is still asleep, I am up reading the FT or AFR as I’m still conditioned to work on four hours sleep.
The weekend 3am reads are a nightmare for me. The lack of stock market activity and live movements leaves me having to read the ‘Lifestyle’ sections of those publications, so now I know what a ‘Hamptons Makeover’ means or the results of some journalist junket ‘Weekend Detox Retreat’.
Anyway getting back to Tesla. After I read their results a few other articles popped up and I was soon down the rabbit hole on all things Tesla.
I found out that Elon was not the actual founder of the company and was just an early investor.
He invested US$6.5m and then slowly did what we would term a ‘cuckoo move’ whereby the original founders and staff were kicked out of the corporate nest and replaced with his trusty ensemble over the next few years.
Even though he has produced spectacular success for himself and his shareholders, he’s always been painted as the creator when in fact he was not.
I can always tell when the city blow-ins are in town, as the amount of Teslas you can spot driving around go from none to 18. They all have wanky number plates like ‘MITESLA’ or ‘TESLLA’.
I always make sure I have my V8 classic properly tuned up, so I can hoon past them as they’re queued at the only recharge station in town. Fortunately, it also happens to be across the road from the only petrol station in town.
The stares across the road from the Tesla drivers to the V8 drivers is like something out of a spaghetti western. I know which side of the road Clint Eastwood would be standing, with his hat and poncho.
If you get stuck next to a Teslarati in the local cafe, they will tell you ‘that once you own a Tesla, you will never go back’. They’re all uber-loyal to the brand, even though nothing opens and closes properly. Scarily like Jobsian Apple fans, they pass it off as “part of the brand’s personality”. They probably also own those Dyson vaccuum cleaners that couldn’t suck the skin off a custard tart.
I can always shut them up when they ask me if I have one with ‘No, I bought the shares instead’. I then point over to my V8 classic, with my number plate ‘UPTESLA’*.
All of my reading and observations can only leave me thinking that the shares have a lot further to go and other fans of the stock are calling them US$3000 a share over the next decade as the world moves away from ICE to EV.
In fact, I just got off the phone to my printer, who is making me up a little yellow and black diamond sticker for the back window. It says: “Drive carefully, TESLA shareholder on board”, with a couple of $$ signs at the bottom.
* * Number plates may have been changed to protect the identities of their owners and as all ways DYOR.
Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.