The Secret Broker: Where the only thing that never goes out of style is class
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.
In life, one thing I have learnt is that quality has true value and things that pertain to be quality – or appear to have the same value as quality – are always trying hard but never quite make it.
Their valuation will always be lower than the ones that are pure quality.
In broking we lived and died by the term ‘my word is my bond’. You didn’t even need a handshake to seal a deal. The verbal contract was the deal.
We were all part of the same club and everyone had each other’s back.
Following this simple rule allowed financial contracts to flow freely between yourselves and the firms that employed us all.
You were loyal to them and they were loyal to you.
So, when I’m watching politicians in election mode, I wonder how they think things will end in the long term. Lots of promises made to grab headlines and hopefully a vote from the masses (or so they assume).
You have to wonder what drives them all. Is it ego or maybe the decision-making power of their positions that drives them to do what they do?
We always played it straight because if you ever strayed from your moral compass, you could no longer be part of the club, as at some point you would be called out and blackballed.
So far this week, there has been a British MP resign because he was observed watching porn on his mobile phone whilst sitting in the House of Commons… twice.
Then a French MP resigned after she was caught spending more than $3500 a month from her expense allowance on lingerie and clothing.
I can’t see any male being able to spend that much in a decade on socks and jocks. Just take a minute and think of any male MP in their underwear and nothing remotely comes up close to being worth more than $10.
Barneby? Scomo? Clive? (Mrs Broker, proofreading, reaches for the brandy decanter.)
Then finally another scandal in the UK press – a female MP accused of doing a Sharon Stone every time Boris Johnston stood up and participated in an important debate.
She now wears a trouser suit in the House of Commons, so nothing more can be alleged.
When everything is done and dusted, where will they all be in 10 years time?
Real estate or insurance sales, with a reinvented resumé, is my experience.
We were always taught that you only have one reputation and if you do the right thing by everyone, it will never be soiled.
I remember once getting a phone call from a banker in Switzerland who said he would like to come and see me about a deal. One of my wealthiest clients had given him my number and he told him I was someone he could trust.
We arranged a date and he told me he would be driving from Switzerland and would pick me up from outside our office.
On said date and bang on time he arrived in the most immaculate 1962 MK 11 3.8-litre Jaguar.
I was smoking around in an XJS at the time, so this classic car just blew me away.
We exchanged pleasantries and as he was driving us to lunch I asked him how long he had owned it and he said he had owned it from brand new.
A Swiss banker driving me to lunch in a car which he had owned from new for over 23 years? Lifted my impression of him by 1,000%.
I snuck a glimpse of the mileage and it was just over 20,000 miles. He explained to me that every year he would drive it to his dealer, Jack Barclay in Mayfair, to get it serviced.
So we dropped it off there and walked around the corner to the Guinea Grill. I was just in awe of his style.
The car was older than me, he was older than me and he had a deal he wanted done. Broker heaven.
20 years later, he was still one of my clients and even when I moved to Australia, he would still use me for some of his more discreet deals.
Clearly a man of style and class.
Always humble and always polite and never ‘nouveau riche’ like 90% of my other clients.
Crypto is nouveau riche and quality blue chips are style.
Of course Warren Buffett is never going to buy Bitcoin; not when he can buy quality.
As I said last week, quality stocks that produce quality profits are what you need as inflation and interest rates start to ravage your portfolio.
That and an advisor with a classic car to take you out to lunch in.
Holden or Ford? Nah.
What about a 1962 Mk11 3.8 Jaguar?
I’ll get the cover off… it’s due a service.
Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.