As I stepped out on Broadway in the stiffling July heat, I felt the biggest wave of relief I had ever felt in my life. It was over, and now my life could start.
It took me a long time to decide what I ultimately wanted to write for my first post, but in the end the best I could do was give my new readers an idea of where I'm coming from and where I'm looking to go.
At the start of July, I left my second Wall Street job in the last six years and I had it coming for some time. Since the start of 2015, I began doing a full examination of my life, my daily activities, and my work. It was not a pretty picture, but was worth doing. One morning, I took a look around at the faces of the hundreds of bankers who disembarked from the World Trade Center PATH Station with me at seven in the morning and it occured to me - all had the same vacant expression and none of them were talking or even making a sound. Suited zombies, sans coffee-induced highs, losing their hair or prematurely going grey, walking that same lonely, silent walk down Broadway every day, savoring the last few moments of peace they would probably experience all day. Some days I would sneak out for fifteen minutes and sit among the dozens of hundred-year-old tombstones surrounding Trinity Church and ask where my career path would lead me? What could I say I did with my life before I end up in my own six-foot hole in the ground?
It didn't take me long to discover that I was playing a game that I simply did not enjoy, and with my kind of morality and ethics, could never win. I would treat clients' money as if I were investing money for my parents - with the utmost care and respect, looking for gains, but minimizing losses as much as possible. Most scavengers on the Street see the client as a teat to suck until it runs dry, and so they will make them take huge risks, with either a huge reward or a huge loss. If the gain is huge, the client will spend more money; if loss is huge, who cares? Another sucker is born every minute. This logic is not a gamble I'm willing to take with anyone's money, least of all with the money of those who know nothing about the stock market. They rely on me almost as a spirtual guide, so how could I lead those who put their trust in me astray?
Quite simply Wall Street is not evil: but it is run by plenty of people who are ethical vegetables. My biggest takeaway from my time in the financal world of New York City is that you can keep the SEC, the IRS, or anyone you want at bay forever as long as you have a convincing enough wink and a fat enough wallet.
While my job surely would've meant the death of me if I had stayed the course, my work was something that I looked forward to with excitement every day. I love researching stocks, analyzing charts, watching the markets move, reading about new industries, making predictions on economic data - it excites me and fascinates me! And the best part is, anyone can get excited about it with the right tools. Wall Street intentionally befuddles and discourages investors so you'll end up spending thousands in broker fees just to put your money into someone elses' hands. My ultimate goal is to show you that investing is not hard to do on your own; its very easy and it can be very fun once you know what you're doing.
So without further adieu, welcome to the world of GradMoney. I look forward to taking this financial journey with you!
Greetings, GradMoney Readers!
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