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.

I’ve always told Mrs Broker that if I ever end up in a coma, just keep playing my favourite Spotify tracks and not Barry Manilow, as when I do come around I don’t want to wake up angry and agitated.

My other request is that she reads me the Financial Times every morning, and an overnight update on my beloved share portfolio.

Share price opening, high, low, last and volume is all I need to know and then bond yields and the major indices.

Now, I was thinking and imagining what my reaction would be if she told me the current facts and figures on inflation and 10-year treasury yields, as at this end Quarter.

I reckon I would sit bolt upright and yell “SEEEEEELLLLLLLLLL!”, as she held my hand and told me that the ASX All Ords was only 200 points from its year’s high.

This is unbelievable stuff.

We have a war in Europe, inflation hitting a 40-year high in America and the yield on 10-year bonds nudging almost 3%.

Even Bitcoin has had a bit of a surge, but I can understand that as it’s a way for the everyday Russian to shuffle their money around.

Gold has been disappointing recently, though things like lithium and nickel have been doing very well.

I can only think that as lithium is used to control people with bipolar disorder, this has been rubbing off onto the market.


Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave…

So, where do we all go from here?

Australia has an election coming up and the recent budget was all about buying votes, instead of tightening up the spending spree.

Maybe the Treasurer forgot to take his lithium as he appeared to be happy when reading it out and kicking the long term debt tin can down the road.

If you take say CBA shares, they are also very near their year highs and that includes a very nice fully franked dividend.

I noticed they have kind of decoupled from the other three main banks over here. I think their ability to raise $2.5bn on the bond market was a big tick for them.

The very first question that a potential bond investor would have asked is “What is your debt exposure to Russia?”

With the answer being “about $4m”, the cheque book would have been quickly unlocked and a cheque three times their normal investment size would have been signed and thrust across the table.

Lucky for everyone over here, the banks are far enough away from Europe to really get themselves exposed to the ‘European emerging market’ scene.

Maybe Australia is in a sweet spot, with rising commodity prices and coal and iron ore exports filling some of the supply shortfalls that the war in the Ukraine has caused.

In the UK, Boris held court with some Australian bankers, as they discussed rolling out a combined investment of $50bn in UK infrastructure products. It appears that the old days of Barry McKenzie and Alan Bond are well and truly buried in history.

Being old-fashioned in my investment thesis, I would have most of my clients sitting in cash and chasing assets that have an inflation link in their potential returns.

However, I think I may have got the last three months timing wrong. I can imagine a long line of clients outside my office coming in one at a time to give me a Will Smith slap because of their performance.

In which case I think I would just pretend to stay in a coma, until things actually do what they are meant to do.

Nothing wrong with claiming sympathy rights when investment things don’t go as they should.

Even Barry Manilow would be worth bearing the pain of, compared to irate clients.

Surely something will crack soon.

I’m getting bed sores!

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.