The Alpha

August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

A few years ago I considered giving up banking. My life was a haze. I’d wake up, get into work, lose money and go home. Sure we all lose money– this isn’t really a problem as we’re still getting paid.

The problem was that I had developed a conscience. I started to think about the people who’s money this really was. I thought that somewhere, on the other side of the world, this money would mean something to someone.

It was hard. Try as I might I couldn’t shake off the feeling that this was wrong. And so I left the bank. I stayed at home, wandering the halls of my house in Berkshire. I was probably suffering from depression. I was also drinking too much. It was a funny feeling. Having it all. Then having nothing.

I thought back to my childhood when all I wanted to be was a trader. The tales my father told, raiding another nowhere company, kicking the bums out and turning it around for a million profit– so inspirational. I used to watch the currency markets and think buy, sell, buy! And more often than not I’d get it right. You know I called Soros before he ever shorted the pound– I knew!

Then I joined the bank. What a kick! My first day. Being led onto the trading floor, being given a platinum Amex, my Bloomberg, the client account I got (it was 10m, seems ridiculous now…). How thrilling it was. The rush of two bps moving on your every click. I gradually rose through the ranks. Became a star!

And yet, those feelings, that memory, the energy– somehow I’d lost it all. I was listless. Sad. Then one day, lying in bed, I had a revelation. Donald Trump was on the TV talking about condos. It was weird– but I looked at his face and his eyes went all soft. They bore into my own. It was as though he was trying to communicate.

And I heard a voice.

“Tim, you are the end and the beginning. You are the alpha. You are not a layabout. You love money as much as I do. Come my friend. Get up and fucking get back to work.”

The next day at 8.55am my phone rang. It was Mike. My old friend from JP Morgan. He said he had just set up a hedge fund and wanted me with him. Call it coincidence, call it fate, call it a miracle, but I knew then this was my destiny.

And so I said yes. And now look where it’s got me!

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