RealJobs: Brett Wilzbach

Snooze-a-palooza

This is one of those days that when you’re flipping through channels and it lands on CNBC…..not even Jim Kramer can muster any enthusiasm. Trading reviews and commentaries will use terms like, “listless trading” a “low volume session” or “position-squaring”. It’s all fancy terms for not a lot of conviction going through the market today.

What you learn in working in the ‘sell-side’ is that, well, we’re more or less held hostage to the ‘buy-side’. As a quick aside, sell-side refers to the Wall Street Dealers/Banks that you’re familiar with, while the ‘buy-side’ refers to fund managers/hedge funds/insurance companies that make investments and manage money. The ‘buy-side’ utilizes the ‘sell-side’ for trading, new issues that are brought to market/’underwritten’ by Wall Street syndicate desks, and trading information or ‘color’ on what is going on during any given trading session. Most importantly, the sell-side provides the term that is the grand-daddy of all buzz-words that you will ever hear in going to any Wall Street information session, “liquidity.” More to come on this mystic, value-add that lowly sell-siders like myself provide as the week progresses.

Hence, in my few years of working since college, the day after the Super Bowl has always been a ‘travel day.’ If money managers aren’t coming out of the gates on a Monday morning rarin’ to go and set to execute that week’s trade idea, (yet rather are shoveling out their car after going to bed late in enjoying a rather weak Black Eyed Peas medley); then there likely isn’t all that much for me to do. I can call, and bug, and come up with trade ideas, but until those folks on the other side of the phone are ready to act, days like today can draaaaaaag on.

One’s gotta keep the faith though, working in sales is a very seasonal activity. Most trading goes on Tuesday-Thursday, not around holidays, and not in the summer. Tough, huh? Yet, like in any industry, you gotta work up to get the chance for that day that it’s your time to shine; or rather put some Gore-Tex on, because hopefully, when it rains it pours.

Off to the Beanpot to meet a customer. Sales in most industries doesn’t stop at 5pm! Luckily, it’s a BC alum, so this is the best kind of client event. Go Eagles!

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