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.

Well, it’s been another big week all round.

Elon has managed to add a lazy US$100bn to his wealth and become the second richest man in the world and I have fallen head over heels in love.

That’s right.

Whilst Gatesie was getting knocked down to third place in the How Rich Am I? charts, I became obsessed with a young new thing who I happened to meet in a pub, after being introduced by one of my mates.

Bill has obviously been slipping in the cool and rich stakes for some time (though I don’t think he has actually ever been cool). Elon, our dope-smoking, SEC fine-paying CEO, just gets cooler and richer by the day. Even his 72-year-old mum is as cool as the technology that has made her son so rich.

It was Steve Jobs who famously once said of Bill Gates: “He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.” Which I am sure Elon did and Bill didn’t, which he probably now regrets.

Here is a video of Bill being really cool in 1995:

And here is Elon’s Mum, still skolling from the fountain of coolness in 2020:

Technology is making everyone wealthy and that’s how I came across my new love. My wealthy mate, who became a partner of Goldman Sachs at about the same time as Bill was dazzle dancing at the launch of Windows 95, told me he was asked to join the board of this young “App” company and maybe I should give it a test drive.

So I found a pub and a quiet pint, and within minutes I was besotted… with a blob of very clever code. (Sorry, ladies.)

I was able to buy Bitcoin and Ripple on the way up and then switch them both into gold at the bottom and turn a profit – all via this sexy little number.

But that is not the best bit. No, no no.

The best bit is that I could instantly switch my profit into beer, without needing to lift another finger – just a pint glass.

(Whenever Mrs Broker mumbles “Jesus” under her breath because of something I have done, I always remind her that he was able to turn water into wine. She replies: “Yes, water into wine but not a six pack into a keg, like you”, which I think is a bit below the belt. If you could find it.)

Sitting in the pub, trading away and taking profits in beer, it’s no wonder I was behaving like a smitten schoolboy.

So, to prove my self-made angelica status to Mrs Broker and other members of my tribe, I will carry on trading away until curiosity gets the better of them. Eventually, their boyfriends will be spending more time with me at the bar turning profits into beer, than with them, turning money into wine.

So how does this miracle thing work? The magic of this app is that it gives you a virtual debit card, which you can add to your Apple Pay and Google Pay wallet. Unlike trading shares, this app doesn’t require you to have a cash management account as your go-between before you buy or sell.

You just transfer dollars from your bank account to the app, get yourself comfortable at the bar and trade away.

Then, when you take a profit, you order a beer and tap and pay with your phone and your virtual debit card takes the money straight out of your trading account.


Yes, it’s all about crypto

The app is called Revolut, as in Revolution. When someone asked me how it was pronounced, I looked up at the bar and spotted a bottle of Absolut Vodka and told them “like the vodka”.

Setting up an account requires all the usual KYC checks, plus they hold a fully blown AFSL in Australia. Gold and silver are held by a London-based merchant and even though you can’t take delivery, you can take full advantage of the movements.

Crypto coins you can hold and trade are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), and Stellar (XLM). You can also hold and trade up to 27 different currencies at the same time plus the ability to transfer anything you hold to anyone who lives in any of those 27 countries.

All of this via a tap of your thumb or phone.

It was only three weeks ago that I was writing about how the bad boy Bitcoin was back and now all of a sudden it’s back to being like 2017, with prices taking off everywhere.

At least three years later, I now have a simple way of getting involved and arbitraging between an ounce of gold and a Bitcoin.

My mate never did join the board, though at their last valuation of £4.2 billion, they have become the UK’s highest valued financial technology startup. He said he would rather be at the bar with me than getting involved in the daily ups and downs of their corporate world. That’s why he’s my mate.

Because of COVID, we can only have a virtual beer together as he is in UK lockdown, so I wind him up by transferring him enough money to buy a pie and a pint, with an attached photo of myself in the beer garden, enjoying the Aussie sun, fresh oysters, a juicy steak and an icy cold beer.

That’s when he pings me back and calls me a peasant. To which I reply: “The peasants they are revolting. Cheers from everyone in Aus!”

Actually, I think he regrets not joining the board.

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.