How a 31-year-old financial analyst made $ 20 million in parallel

We have often wondered in the past that participating in the Reddit forum r / WallStreetBets and its associated market bubbles would be good or bad for your career in financial services. On the positive side, it shows that you are in tune with market trends and are good at getting ahead of the curve. On the negative side, the attitude towards risk that might be inferred might be a bit pungent for more conservative colleagues.

Corn Michael b levy, according to his profile in the Wall Street Journal, would likely divide opinion even more radically. On the one hand, his idea of ​​an “asymmetric bet” with “an edge” is a cryptocurrency equivalent of children’s sports trading cards. Another way to look at it is that he made $ 20 million on an initial investment of $ 175,000.

The electronic assets in question are called “NBA TopShots”. They consist of a short basketball action video clip, as well as a cryptocurrency token. You don’t get the reproduction rights to the clip (of course you don’t) and the clips aren’t unique, and indeed almost all of them are available for free on YouTube. It’s literally an electronic version of collectible cards – anything you buy is kind of an abstract concept of ownership of a particular instance of that music video. The company that sells them is called Dapper Labs, and alumni of the crypto hype might remember them as the inventors of “cryptokitties,” in the same way distributed images of cats who had a brief infatuation with collecting when they were apparently the only legal use of Bitcoin.

However, TopShots can be bought and sold, and there is an active speculative market in the few. Like any crypto investment, this speculative market sharply divides the world into two groups; people who own a lot of it, and people who find it all incomprehensible and incredibly bitter about the value of the money they seem to be worth. Mr. Levy is in the first group. According to his Twitter, he has spent “17 hours a day for the past five months” researching the market and determining which music videos will be the rarest and most sought after by collectors. At current prices (albeit somewhat illiquid), it appears his payoff was around $ 8,000 an hour.

How does this fit in with his daily work? It’s hard to say, as it has a name that is common enough to be virtually immune to harassment on LinkedIn, but according to one podcast interview, he studied investment banking and business school and now works in Manhattan “for my family’s investment firm.” This could explain the question of how a 31-year-old financial analyst had $ 175,000 for such a risky transaction.

Although Mr. Levy does not sell (it’s actually quite difficult to take money out of the system due to anti-money laundering controls), he is aware that “Any traditional portfolio theory would say it’s too much of an asset. disproportionate “, even if that gives you” the history, the rarity [and] the joy you get as a collector ”. But he has now bought a stake in the sponsoring company and appears to be doing a publicity tour. All in all, he might be smarter than the average imaginary collectible card collector.

Elsewhere, brainstorming exercises seem to be starting at Credit Suisse as each day seems to bring bad news about the Greensill funds crisis. Michael degen, head of asset management in EMEA, has been replaced by Filippo Rima, who will act in addition to his current role as head of equities in Switzerland. Luc Mathys, the head of fixed income and an anonymous banker in Zurich are also invited to step down.

All of these moves, however, are described as “temporary,” according to a note seen by This suggests that this is a precautionary measure and that at this stage of development, CS may not necessarily be convinced that the punishment is warranted. There is clearly a lot of uncertainty about the magnitude of the losses. And given the legal arguments over the validity of insurance contracts meant to protect Greensill’s funds, there’s likely to be even more uncertainty about who will end up holding the bag. If it turns out that CS or its asset management clients are taking the loss, most people would expect “regional leaders to fall.” If, on the other hand, the hot potato ends up with the insurers, then Mr. Degen, who was apparently the executive who brougt the Greensill business through the door, might end up keeping his job after all.

During this time …

It’s not just you who feel old – interns are really getting younger. Sixteen years high school student Yi Ke Cao spent two weeks last summer as an intern at Modular Asset Management in Singapore. It was not a work experience, community outreach, or an event to bring your daughter to work; it was a real internship where she “analyzed data in spreadsheets, chatted with veterans and watched nerve-wracking meetings where fund managers defended their investment ideas. against their peers ”. And Modular isn’t a little two-man boutique or a glorified family office, either – it hails from Milennium and manages just under $ 1 billion. (Bloomberg)

A single banker at a single bank; Atiq Rehman’s career with Citi began as a graduate intern in Pakistan in 1984 and ends this year; he is stepping down as Head of Emerging Markets EMEA as soon as a replacement is found. (Financial news)

As part of a research program with Harvard University, traders at Citi in New York City are receiving rapid home coronavirus test kits that can be read by an app in 20 minutes. (Bloomberg)

Jeremy Balkin, the HSBC digital strategist who installed a humanoid robot at their Fifth Avenue branch, joined JP Morgan to focus specifically on fintech and innovation initiatives in wholesale payments (Finextra)

A reminder of the seriousness of the reputational risks; the Davy scandal in Ireland started out as a petty self-operation affair from some executives, but the PM is now involved, the bond office closed and much speculation that the brokerage will lose its independence . (Bloomberg)

Booking your own trips and lunches isn’t such a burden right now, but if you’re still drowning in administration, here are some tips on how to politely but confidently ask your boss to cancel. the latest round of support staff cuts. (WIRED)

Do you have a confidential story, tip or comment you would like to share? Contact: [email protected] in the first place. Whatsapp / Signal / Telegram also available. Please indulge us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all of our comments are human-moderated. Sometimes these humans may be asleep or away from their desks, which may take some time for your comment to appear. Ultimately, it will – unless it’s offensive or defamatory (in which case it won’t.)

photo by Keith Tan to Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back To Top