I remember May of 2001 like it was yesterday. My birthday was around the corner and my business was stable, albeit boring. After the crash of 2000, my business was solely focused on preferred stocks and bonds. My gross production was a joke, about 15% of what it was just a year prior; but I was building assets. To couch my boredom, I started playing with my own money, in a very aggressive manner.
I was in my early 20′s and had no respect for money. If I lost $250k in an option trade gone awry, big fucking deal–I’d make more money. The only problem with this mentality was I hadn’t come to grips with the new reality, which entailed me being a fucking piker. My income was a joke and my spending habits didn’t reflect that “new normal.”
So I took $300k from my checking account and splashed it into the markets, leveraged it up and said my prayers. I couldn’t lose; after all, I was a genius. The market was ripping tits and 9/11 hadn’t happened yet. I was the shit and the other brokers could suck my dick if they didn’t like it.
By mid-May, I was really feeling myself, as you can see by the chart of the Nasdaq, circa May 2001. Things were on fucking fire and the internet stocks were making a comeback. I made my small fortune buying and selling dot coms, that later became dot bombs. But it wasn’t clear to anyone still in the game that they were dead. Although I cursed these stocks on a regular basis and didn’t dare buy them for clients, with my own money, I didn’t give a fuck.
What transpired next was a worst case scenario, spawned from hell, delivered to my door–executive class.
In less than 2 weeks, the Nasdaq dropped a little more than 10%. However, my portfolio of high octane HORSESHIT plunged. After they plunged, they plunged some more. I stopped going to work because I could not concentrate and wanted to focus on my account–because it was pretty much the bulk of my savings. I started trading from my friends office in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. He was managing $20 million for one guy, like some sort of devil degenerate. Aside from that, he was a nice guy.
As the market plunged, I bought more. I could not believe the prices on the screen. Things were getting so fucking cheap. It defied logic. I was levered to the hilt, greedy as fuck, fully convinced that the market was wrong and I was right.
It all ended on my birthday with my account at $00.00. “Happy fucking birthday, asshole”, said my margin clerk, as she liquidated everything. I remember the pangs of misery, the sharp knife in my stomach, as I celebrated my 25th birthday. I had to tell my wife “honey, I shrunk the bank account”, which led to ”no touching the savings account for speculation ever again” polices, at The House of Fly, which were later revoked as I regained my footing of manhood.
To make matters exponentially worse, EVERYTHING I SOLD came right back to my basis, and more, literally one week after I was flushed.
The moral of the story: Markets don’t give a shit about your birthday.