sure - trading is fun, the most fun job I've ever done, and the passion and psychological pull involved in unrivaled. But, it's not the only thing I could be doing with my life. A billion $ would open other doors for me to make a livelihood, ones that might not have all the same emotional intensity but are very rewarding in other ways. As mentioned earlier, renting in the correct locations is an unbelievable cash cow, but I'd also buy up a successful scuba diving op somewhere in paradise, so I would be on vacation while working everyday!
Also, if you turn down this offer, it might be that you either have a very very very large account, or an addiction!
1. Money is not the greatest joy in the world
I was once given the task to convince someone to leave his university position with a $170,000/year salary, for a job that would pay him a 6-7 digit annual salary - and he turned it down. That didn't make sense to me at that time. Eventually, I moved to a better team and it made sense to me. What I can't leave behind is the team that I'm working with, followed by the people that I've met through trading. The amount of talent in finance is incredible; the top 30 trading teams can easily replace the top 8th-37th computer science or mathematics departments.
The greatest joy in the world is to find people that you connect with on an intellectual level - people are willing to die for the people that they connect with. For the same reason you wouldn't(, unless you have moral issues,) abandon your wife and kids for Candice Swanepoel even if you were paid $1 billion to do so - why would I abandon the people I work with for $1 billion?
Some of you have said that you'll spend more time on philanthropy - I think that's a bad use of money.
Not many people have heard of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation - they're the largest charitable organization in Sweden. Even with a $5.3 billion endowment, you can't really change the lives of millions on a sustainable basis. But everyone has heard of IKEA - and IKEA pays almost 140,000 people, and has over 500 million visitors, on an annual basis. IKEA has helped our college kids furnish their apartments, and middle-income homes and both small and large companies line their kitchen cabinets. Or consider Microsoft - not many of us are beneficiaries of the charities of Microsoft or even the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but most of you are beneficiaries of the capitalist engine behind Microsoft since you're likely reading this behind a Windows PC.
What the third world needs is not humanitarian aid, but for-profit companies that provide telecommunications and household electronics (which I argue are more important than pharmaceuticals). I have to quote from the 2008 World Economic Forum: Capitalism takes interest in the fortunes of others and ties it to our interest in our own fortunes in ways that help advance both. This hybrid engine of self-interest and concern for others can serve a much wider circle of people than can be reached by self-interest or caring alone.
The following 9 users say Thank You to artemiso for this post:
I've had fun trading, and I've had those days where I wish I was back at a 9-5 job. If I was offered a billion to quit I sure would. This is a great topic to post to traders, maybe we'll see who needs to go into a rehab program (jk). Ultimately, I think most traders have a specific goal, and when they reach that goal they would stop trading.
"When new money is created on a grand scale, it must go somewhere and have some major consequences. One of these will be greatly increased volatility and instability in the economy and financial system."
J. Anthony Boeckh
Oh... okaaaaaaay. After you decline the offer, send the donor to me.
We need to prepare for the eventuality of helicopter based wealth dispersion operations (HBWDMO) by the incoming ChairSatan-ette, making this an exceptionally timely and germane area of discussion.
I have been greatly impressed, by the serious efforts that have been made in response to this urgent and timely question. There is certainly a great depth of intellectual and philosophical discourse, perhaps worthy of Learned Dissertations for submission to peer reviewed Academic Publications..
I have received several similar offers from bankers, from bogus proprietary trading firms, and from the widows or heirs of Nigerian government officials. However, none have yet satisfied my one billion dollar minimum.
Just as I share my trading journey in my Journal, I would share my windfall with others. I would contribute the money to Americans for Prosperity, and to front groups promoting forced GMO consumption, nuclear contamination, mandatory SWAT team home break ins, and increased bonuses for Goldman Sachs operatives, whatever branch of government or central Bank, in whatever country , they happen to be embedded in.
A knock on the door: "Hello, my name is Michael Anthony....... on behalf of John Beresford Tipton ..... "
Or.. "It's DAVE, from the Publisher's Clearing House® PRIZE PATROL® !
"If we don't loosen up some money, this sucker is going down." -GW Bush, 2008
“Lack of proof that something is true does not prove that it is not true - when you want to believe.” -Humpty Dumpty, 2014
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” Prof. Albert Bartlett
Last edited by Zondor; February 7th, 2014 at 02:21 PM.
well it is not unlike winning a huge lottery and you do know that a good percentage of those big winners go broke by miss-managing that money.
to me one billion dollars is enough...and yes I would stop trading stocks if that were a condition. But the weasel there would be that I could hire someone (someone that I vetted through other sources as being trustworthy) to manage that money. So it would be like setting up a blind trust.
I could live off of $1-2 million/year nicely....other interest or earnings would go to a trust fund where I could make donations to worthy people/causes.
But you still have to have hobbies/interests to occupy your time and the lack of them literally kills some people. How many people die within a few years of retiring because they have no ambition/nothing to do.
There has to be something else in your life to make it vital...I can say that from experience as I have been retired over 10 years now (retired in my early 50's with trading as sole income now).
One of the most difficult things about retirement is finding something "useful" to do...there is lots of things you can do but finding that "goldilocks" feeling of being useful is very difficult...I still struggle with that.
The following 2 users say Thank You to Underexposed for this post:
It reminds me something, when I was working for a large European investment bank. A trader I knew get his bonus for the previous year, $50 M. Okay, not 1 billion, but not bad.
We talked about it with my guys, and one of them said "Hey, if I get this kind of bonus, I'll retire immediatly!".
And another one said : "Not me, I'll work another year, to see if I can get $50 M once again ".
For about $137k/day, it make sense...
Usually in trading, those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. (Al Brooks)
success requires no deodorant! (Sun Tzu)
The following 4 users say Thank You to sam028 for this post:
I have to respond now. Though reluctant for two reasons. First is that I do not want anyone to know that I'd even read a thread as nonsensical as this one. Second is out of respect for @artemiso.
That said. The idea that money is not the greatest joy in the world, while true, is subjective and would not warrant declining the offer. That notion (decline it) is full of logical fallacy. The proposed greatest joy, debatable at best, and also totally subjective. Receiving the "gift" had no strings attached so you don't have to abandon the team you'd die for man, but you could buy them dinner!
No strings, no exclusions.
Correct points on the value of business activity over philanthropy and that "bait" displays the intellectual sophistication that I'd expect from this author...but it still smells like bait.
Here is the deal.
The question, by it's nature is complete folly. To answer or even read it is also then engaging in folly..a waste of time. Unless that is, someone takes the bait and the author can educate them.
Here is a better question. What is the difference between a man that will not leave his work team for a considerably, an exponentially greater remuneration, and a guy that punches a woman in the face to take whatever cash she has?
The author,artemiso, knows the answer.
wldman not gonna get sucked in.
Everyone, be well and do well.
Last edited by wldman; February 8th, 2014 at 02:19 PM.
Reason: identify artemiso as author and change a t to an n.
The following 3 users say Thank You to wldman for this post:
Very few in finance ever get that king of individual bonus. Here is the thing. The people who are even close to that kind of remunerative productivity would never get any where close if they where also the type of people that would "retire" once attained.
Established traders generally are shooting for 10MM total comp which is salary and equity + bonus that usually includes both. Enrty level traders at the prolific firms average about 335,000 to 350,000 and average people never even sniff a trading desk.
Top bonuses are huge. I remember one fund paid out 156MM pounds. In 08 John Mack made 40MM at Morgan Stanley. Blankfien made 54MM at Goldman Sachs and John Thain made 44MM one year at Merrill.
Just pointing out that a 50MM guy is very very rare, probably a household name on Wall St or LaSalle St. and past that, guys that bank that tall have got no idea ever about walking away...many work/worked 20 hrs a day for 20 years to get there.
The following 3 users say Thank You to wldman for this post: