Let’s accept the fact there are a lot of stereotypes about Wall Street. Most often we are either depicted as testosterone-raged, cocaine-inhaling bros, or we are greedy, capitalist pigs. Many times people apply both stereotypes at the same time. While it’s true that people that fit these stereotypes exist, they are a small minority. Heck, it appears as if some of these caricatures have moved to the world of tech these days, if even a small portion of HBO’s Silicon Valley is true. And yet I wonder why tech doesn’t get the same negative treatment as Wall Street …
But I digress.
The truth is most of us with Wall Street jobs are just regular people with above-average intelligence (nods, pats self on back; so can you for being here) who are good at math and like to analyze everything. As a group we share these similarities, but within this group that is where the similarities end. There are many different roles in the world of investing, and finance in general, for many different talents and personalities. Yet the average person on Main Street thinks everyone on Wall Street plays the same role. I know this because I witness it whenever I tell someone what I do for a living.
So today I want to tackle the differences between trading and investing. But first let me share some excerpts from a short story I’ve yet to release titled, “The Same Thing Happens Every Time I Meet Someone New Who Doesn’t Understand Finance.” (It’s a working title.)