RealJobs: Brett Wilzbach

Shake and Bake! A bit more lively today…..actually a lot move lively. I had lunch at the desk today at 4pm, which in the world of sales might as well be a filet mignon. Because that means that one is BUSY during the day. There’s always a difference between “good busy” and “bad busy”. “Bad Busy” you don’t hold off lunch for…..”Good Busy”  you’re riding the good waves and don’t want to interrupt the focus….

A decently wild market day by fixed income standards. China raised its one-year deposit rate (its version of the Fed Funds rate) by 25bps, which caused quite a stir while we were sleeping. This was pivotal because the US was auctioning off 3yr notes today (borrowing from investors for 3yrs to fund the operations of the US). In the land of Fixed Income, it’s a constant hunt by investors for yield (just as it is with your E-savings accounts) and what is an increased rate in one currencies debt makes other currencies comparatively less attractive. Also, one doesn’t want to lock in a rate of interest if rates are just going to head higher and one can earn more down the road. The result was a sloppy auction, US Treasuries nose-diving, and accounts looking for opportunities amid the volatility. I may or may not have put on aviators at one point today.

Days like this you don’t mind staying a bit on the later side, catching up on what you didn’t get to read, making sure your trades get processed correctly, and see if the carnage continues when markets open in Tokyo again. The often painful truth about working in markets is that there is basically only a 24 hour window once a week (early Saturday US time) that nothing is trading (well, on an exchange, FX never quits). This means that a lot of times, for salespeople to try to stay knowledgeable, it’s a lot like chasing your tail. That warm and fuzzy feeling on a Sunday evening in college when you’ve finished all your homework and your to-do list is all crossed off? Yeah, that feeling doesn’t graduate. There is a mind-blowing amount of research put out across assets from several banks that more or less do the same exact thing. And….an account is undeniably going to ask you a question about that one thing you didn’t get to. It can get exhausting, but that’s also where the art of the tap dance comes in, or a technique I like to call, “steering the question to what you want to answer”. May not be the best strategy, but if there’s some way that you can add value or insight, then might as well discuss something you have conviction on.

Is it Friday yet?


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