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.


We’ve all got troubles heading our way at the moment and I feel for everyone.

My gut feeling is that everyone is starting out the year feeling a bit down and also a bit lost.

Being on holiday allows those with financial trouble heading their way to mentally sweep letters of demand under the carpet. They are things that they can face another day with, but not today. Sun’s out.

It could be that I am writing this on Friday 13th or the fact that in an article that came across my desk, it mentions that the 3rd Monday of a new year is the world’s most depressing day.

Or, as Psychologist Cliff Arnall puts it, this is how you calculate out the most depressive day of the year:

W = Weather. D = Debt. d = Monthly Salary. T = Time since Christmas. Q = Time since failing our new year’s resolution. M = Low motivational levels. Na = The feeling of a need to take action (book a holiday!)

So, whatever it is, I’m feeling depressed, not in the modern way but in the old fashioned way of just feeling down in the dumps. 

It’s the same feeling when I have taken a position in a stock and got the timing all wrong. 

That kind of depressed. No pills needed just a feeling in my guts from observing recent things in my universe.

Over my 40 odd years of broking and investing, you develop a feeling in your body, which is not controlled by your brain.

A wise old sage sat me down one day and explained to me, when I was in my early 20’s, that my gut feel is a real thing, which should be nurtured and encouraged, if I want to be a top trader.

He explained that the reason so many songs are written about love, is because love is a feeling that comes from your heart and not your head. It’s a feeling that cannot be explained, unlike banging your head.

I was too young to appreciate what he was saying to me until I actually did fall in love. 

The fluttery feeling in your chest and the sweaty palms feelings were not controlled by my brain, but the other way around. 

That’s why people talk about having a broken heart, when the loving feeling has all gone pear shaped. 

Their heart literally is broken and it takes time to heal.

Maybe it’s because I had to put up with having my financial wisdom picked at by some remote relative over Christmas and New Year bbq’s on my thoughts about some company a mate had tipped them at 1.9c.


‘How many shares on issue?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Well, go and find out.’

‘6.4 billion.’

‘Mate. Too many shares on issue. I would avoid them.’

‘Too late, so I hope you are wrong.’


I’m left thinking then why did you ask me, as I turned over his specially brought along plant based veggie burger and then let the juice from my medium rare steak run all over it.

Mrs.Broker can see the pain in my eyes as another corners me about some sh*tcoin they’ve put fifteen grand into. 

All I want is to enjoy the moment, just like my dog, who’s under the table waiting for scraps, tail moving at 1,000 miles an hour.

It’s at this time of year I wished that I had become a proctologist, as I bet no one would be approaching me with ‘what do you think about?’ questions.

All they would say is ‘I hope you washed your hands’ as I dish out the food I’ve been barbecuing and leave me in peace.

So, looking around at the different generations tucking into my food and wine, I feel for them all. 

The retirees who don’t know if they should lock up their cash for 2 years at 3.5%.

The recently married, with their new born, new car and a pram which cost more than my ride on mower, whose mortgage is just about to go variable.

The young ones who have moved back into Mum and Dads with their life story tattooed all up their arm, which of course, is half finished as they don’t have the money to have it finished. 

Hence the move back home and to me, the perfect sum up.

I look around feeling for them all, then as I’m driving into town to get more ice and beer, I see all the cars with for sale signs, half peeling off the inside drivers window and my gut feels the owners financial pain. 

The fact that two motorhomes have been added to the line up, only makes my gut feel worse for them.

However, as for my brain it’s another story. 

Should I go back and have a squiz at one of those motorhomes. I have the cash and I can use Camplify to rent it out on a minimum 10% return. 

Or what about that Lexus SUV. If it’s got the right KM’s on it I reckon there’s a very quick five grand turn to be made.

Now I’m feeling happier as my head takes over and the mental calculations start to get my financial juices going and I return to the bbq and hand out the best beer and bottles of wine that I could find at Liquorland.

Mrs Broker pulls me to one side and asks me if I’m alright, as when I left I was in a foul mood and now I’m handing out beer and wine, with the biggest smile she has ever seen.

‘Don’t worry I tell her. Tomorrow I’m going to open the safe and use some of the cash in it to help a few financially strapped strangers out’.

‘Your too nice and that’s why I love you’, she says and heads back into the garden.

Once a broker, always a broker, I think to myself.

I’m definitely not a spare in this family.

Now, how much for cash?