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.
 
Wednesday was a happy day in the TSB household. Something happened that gave all members of my clan the green light to take advantage of my jubilation and push through previous ‘head of household’ family roadblocks.

New outfits were ordered, appointments to hairdressers were made and holiday plans approved and booked.

Even a family night out to the newest and swankiest restaurant in town was passed and approved. No budget restraint. Even an Uber there and back.

It was just like the old days, when my bonus was announced, approved and banked and the ripples of money would freely flow all the way down to even the most hated of my relatives.

Life was good and we all felt good.

So, what had happened to make the atmosphere lift so much?

Winning the lottery? (No, don’t do as odds too high.)

Dodgy suspended share came back on? (Still waiting for that one, Jason Brewer.)

Las Vegas being included in a travel bubble? Nominated into the ‘Broker Hall of Fame’? Bitcoin hitting U$60,000?

Nope, nope and nope. This was much better.

Because finally, 41 years after the first time I had read the Financial Times (or FT, to us City types), I can now read it electronically on my phone and at the discounted price of 38c a day.

Previously, they had demanded hundreds of dollars for this service. Out of the sheer hatred of paywalls, I would spend hours trying to find a way to indulge myself in a proper (and free) read.

Since leaving the UK, my desire to read the FT has led me to do many things. Getting the local library to subscribe to a delivered, printed version proved too slow. Hours spent in five-star hotel lobbies, grappling with a bamboo stick and the paper’s very wide gait became too cumbersome.

Even visiting an entrepreneurial newsagent, who was an hour’s drive away, worked for a bit. He had a program that could print off 180 different international newspapers, in his shop and on the spot.

He even had the salmon pink paper for the Financial Times print run.

But this all came to an end when he disappeared with all the lottery tickets and with his pretty 19-year-old assistant. She was last seen holding onto his wig for him as he drove off in his mid-life crisis Mazda convertible, roof down, heading into the sunset and towards the boulevard of broken dreams.

Good luck to him.
 

A global paper for global people

Put all this into perspective, and you might start to understand why I was so excited about the paper’s move into the modern world.

When the ‘87 crash happened, the very first market to open the following day was New Zealand, followed by Australia. But with New Zealand only having a population of 4m and Australia 20m, they don’t really represent the financial world on a global scale.

In fact, Australia is weighted at just 2.1% of global stock market valuations, so, I’m sorry to break the news to you all, but the Australian Financial Review just does not cut the mustard. With a print run of only 47,000 a day and attracting just 6,000 online subscribers when it launched 2011, it only has local appeal.

At one point, they even printed a daily two-page ‘highlights from the Financial Times’. Also, when I can be bothered to read it in print, most stories I have already read online.

The FT reaches more people than the combined population of Australia and New Zealand.

That’s all you need to know about why you must get a subscription to their digital edition, if you are serious about the stock market. It’s just 38c a day.

Their coverage on Greensill (or Grenshill, as I now refer to them as) has been just outstanding. Before that, they exposed massive fraud at one of Germany’s largest listed companies, Wirecard.

Their journalists were being sued by the German government before it dawned on everyone that what they were writing about was in fact 100 per cent truth.

If you remember, I did write about my early morning commute, where I would struggle with the FT’s splane, much to the annoyance of my fellow commuters.

And here is the link to subscribe to the much more modern FT. Do yourself a favour and let the ripples begin.

Your relos will love you for it!

The Secret Broker can be found on Twitter here @SecretBrokerAU or on email at thesecretbroker@stockhead.com.au.

Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.