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.

Over the last year, a certain American billionaire’s wealth has dropped by 70% because of their belief in the ‘I am right and the market is wrong’ mantra.

Sure, sometimes the market can get it wrong but when your company’s revenue is 99% online and 1% physical, you need to preserve your market share wisely.

I can only think that when you have a surname that starts with a Z and is followed by UCK, and you were possibly bullied at school, you would be determined to show them all up at some point in your life.

But if this then spills out from the playground and into your listed company thinking, things can go seriously wrong.

In your determination to prove that you are right and the market and your shareholders are wrong, you become like a drowning man.

‘My wealth is down but I don’t care,’ could be the motto plastered on his daily grey T-shirt. ‘I will prove you all wrong.’

But whoever tries to come and save him will also end up drowned, and long before he takes his last gasp of corporate air.

His revenge is now hurting all of his moaning and groaning shareholders. Not only has he toasted 70% of his own wealth, the advice from headlines is multiple variations of ‘The only way to save your company is to sack yourself’.

Ouch! I bet that hurt more than any school playground Chinese burn, dead leg or wedgie.

Seriously though, Mark Zuckerberg seems to be determined to do a Nathan Tinkler. Blow up everything they built and take everyone with them.

His dream of becoming a racehorse king was Tinkler’s downfall and Zuckerberg’s dream of life in the Metaverse could be his.

The Metaverse, as it turns out, is where you wear headsets over your eyes and your brain is taken on a journey of fantasy and discovery.

Here you go:

Picture: Meta

That’s a US$1500 Meta Quest Pro headset and you need to wear this… wait for it… because:

‘Meta Quest Pro is the first entry in our new high-end line of devices, and it’s packed with innovative features like high-res sensors for robust mixed reality experiences, crisp LCD displays for sharp visuals, a completely new and sleeker design, plus eye tracking and Natural Facial Expressions to help your avatar reflect you more naturally in VR.’

Natural Facial Expressions“.

That must mean that as you walk around bumping into things or fall down the stairs, that your Avatar face in the Metaverse will be able to show all of your grimsical facial expressions as the ambulance carts you off with two broken legs and half a headset strapped to your head.

But don’t fret pet, here is Zuckerberg’s Avatar in front of the Eiffel Tower in France. This could be you!

How uncanny is that? It’s almost like you are there! And you don’t even need to leave your living room or hospital rehab bed to experience France.

Now, the other thing that Mark hasn’t told us yet is that he has no legs. In fact, none of the avatars in Mark’s metaverse have any legs. So you can’t actually climb the Eiffel Tower, only pull yourself up all of 1,665 steps.

It turns out that giving legs to an avatar is an extremely difficult technical thing to do. They can mimic your facial expressions like Mark’s expression of pure, unbridled joy.

But legs? ABC says “coming soon”:

‘Zuckerberg described legs as “probably the most requested feature on our roadmap” and said they will be available soon on Meta’s Horizon virtual-reality platform. He said the challenge is perceptual, involving how the brain — taking in images seen through a virtual-reality headset — accepts a rendering based on how accurately it is positioned.’

Phew. Maybe Mark has managed to grow a pair of bully proof… legs just in time. He’s going to need them, plus other things that come in pairs, to save his skin.

Image: Meta

His folly of an idea has cost Facebook not only its company name – it’s now called Meta – but a whopping… hang on, just getting the noughts ready…


Wait, wait – it gets better. The video above was released as an example of what was to come, leg wise, but the next day they had to announce that the video was actually a mock up and not the real thing. The legs are coming but they need to spend another US$15,000,000,000 next year on them.

Here is a snapshot of a legless company:

At US$98.54, the company’s valuation comes in at US$264bn and at US$350 a share the valuation was US$798bn.

If I could only hang out with Mark in his metaverse and chew the fat over a few Avatar Martinis then I could help him understand what it is like to actually be legless in an Avatar Bar.

I wonder what his Avatar’s facial expression would be if he was having a chunder in the corner.

Probably the same as his shareholders, I suspect.


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.