The Secret Broker: Dear TSB, I’ve been ‘mining’ information and now I’m a Bitcoin millionaire. Will I go to jail?
The Secret Broker
The Secret Broker
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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. This week, we dove back into TSB’s inbox after our cyber police guy was alerted by potential NSFW content.
Dear Mr Broker,
We run a little investment club, the girls and me, and we have made a lot of money through insider trading and we don’t want to go to jail and be made to wear dungarees, like they were made to do in Cell Block H.
Our average age is 78, so we are just too old to be wearing dungarees.
You see, we all play eleven o’clock bingo on Fridays at the local bowlo and after all the ‘legs eleven’ and ‘two ducks quacking, twenty two’ have been called we all meet afterwards to talk about our shares. (And just so you know, ‘two fat ladies, eighty eight’ can no longer be called out as it’s deemed not PC these days. It is now referenced as ‘two vegan burgers, eighty eight’.)
We all put $20 a week into the kitty and decide where to invest it at the end of each month.
There are 13 of us, so it comes to about $1,040.
We have been doing this now for five years and according to Bonnie, our little fund is now valued at $2.6m, thanks to our holdings in AfterPay, Domino’s Pizza, JB Hi-Fi, Zip Pay, Kogan, RedBubble, Tesla, Amazon, NetFlix, Gamestop and Bitcoin.
Dot is our ‘techie’ as she got her 23-year-old grandson to program Robin Hood and Revo-something into her phone. She handles the overseas side of things for us, including our purse with Bitcoins in it.
It’s our insider trading knowledge that we worry about you seem to know a lot about those type of things, so we decided to write to you. You see, when we meet, we all have little pieces of paper that we all add to during the week. We use a ‘scoring system’ to choose which shares to buy.
For example, my wayward grandson lives with me and once a week I go through the recycle bin and count the number of Domino’s pizza boxes in it. This week it was five, so I note that on my sheet.
I also note how many delivery boxes there are from Kogan and Amazon and this week there were two of each.
If I ask him what he’s doing tonight and he answers ‘Netflix and chill’, then I add 1 point next to NetFlix. He thinks because I’m 82, that I don’t know what ‘Netflix and chill’ means, but I do. In my day we would call it ‘parking’ and the mono radio and Holden front bench-seat helped all of our generation with our ‘night moves’.
When his grandad was courting me, I remember one night asking him ‘Oh Henry is that you?’ to which he replied ‘No Agnes, that’s the gear lever’. Being the true gentleman he was, the very next day he traded it in for a column shift and only sold it when we got married.
We were more ‘Blue Hills and chill’ in those days.
Anyway, when we all meet, we add up all the Domino numbers and Bitcoin mentions etc and the one with the most points becomes our $1,040 investment for that month.
This use of insider knowledge has made us all worth an extra $200,000 each.
Are we all going to go to jail?
From the address at the bottom of your letter, I thought you were already in jail!
I must say, I like your investment picking strategy and I can see how it can help you to see trends developing.
If I went through our yellow bin and used the same system, it would all be David Jones, ASOS, Harrods, Antonio’s Handmade Gourmet Wood Fired Pizza, Simon Johnston jars and Will Studd Cheese wrappers, none of whom are listed.
However, counting apps on the kids’ and their friends’ phones could become my new front door greeting ritual. Maybe a weekly ‘rummage through the yellow bins’ trip to some relatives’ abodes could become our new Sunday afternoon drive?
I can put all your minds at rest though, as you do not need to worry about adding pairs of dungarees to your going away bags. Your insider trading knowledge is all above board and not illegal.
Maybe you could all start a Reddit account and share your observations (after you are all set, of course). You could call it ‘r/UnluckyForSome’ as there are 13 of you. Or, as your average age is 78, maybe consider ‘r/HeavensGateSeventyEight’?
I might have to don the whites and come and sit in with you on the last Friday of the month, so I could leverage myself off of your knowledge.
Please don’t ask me to bowl though, as my ‘broker’ knees and gout these days mean that after I have performed the perfect bowl using my one knee technique, I will never be able to get back up.
These days though, I reserve my bowling arm to just lifting G&Ts, oysters and the odd cigar to my mouth.
See you on the 30th.
The Secret Broker can be found on Twitter here @SecretBrokerAU or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.