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Memoirs of a Minyan: Trading Places

By

The purpose of the journey is the journey itself.

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Money is tremendous motivation when you're that young and I've seen it make good people do bad things. $500,000 suddenly seemed like a very small sum. I entered the world of the mega-millions, rainmakers that would make Gordon Gecko blush. I set my sights at joining the ranks of the Wall Street elite.

The policies introduced by Alan Greenspan kicked in and the stock market furiously climbed the front end of the technology bubble. Fortunes were made on a daily basis as IPO's climbed hundreds of points in a single session.

The eyes of the world were on Wall Street and Galleon was humming. The firm paid millions of commission dollars to the Street and they were given fat allocations on new issues.

ZING! 25,000 shares of an IPO up $60.

SHAZZAM! 30,000 shares opening $40 higher than where it was priced.

POW! An oh-by-the way "kiss" from a second-tier broker looking to get in Galleon's good graces.

This was my year. It had to be my year.

As we edged toward the end of 1999, my relationship with the partners couldn't be better. The firm was killing it, which is to say there was more money than you could shake a stick at.

The performance of my smaller portfolio lagged but I made up for it in spades. The P&L on the large option bets for the flagship fund spoke for itself and my inclusion in the circle of trust was a mere formality.

Gary sat me down to let me know that I would finally be getting a bonus and my eyes began to spin like a slot machine.

What would it be, a million?

Two million?

Three million?

"Todd," he began, "The partners appreciate your efforts this year. We're going to reward you with $50,000."

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

If I was ever going to make real money on Wall Street, I had to step from behind the shadows. If I was going to be a serious player, I had to be a partner. I asked Gary if that was in the cards and he told me that it wasn't.

When I left Morgan Stanley, David told me to make it count because you could only leave a firm that reputable once.

The same could be said of Galleon-they were one of the top hedge funds and nobody left on their own volition. I knew what I had to do and understood what was at stake.

Once I left, that door would never be open to me again.

R.P.


Click here for the next chapter of memoirs, "Whaddya Say Y2K?"

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at todd@minyanville.com.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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