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Ever Wish You Were a Hedgie? Read On

June 3, 2013

Financial advisors who lament the millions more they could have made had they chosen the hedge fund track may take comfort in a new memoir focused on the tackier side of that business.

Excerpts from The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader’s Tale of Spectacular Excess by Turney Duff — formerly of Galleon Group, whose founder, Raj Rajaratnam, was convicted of insider trading — hit the New York Post late last week and quickly rippled through the financial press.

Duff recounts his life more than a decade ago while a trader at Argus Partners. If his account is to believed, it was a blurry, repeating cycle of cocaine stocked at a crash pad maintained by the firm’s sell side, prostitutes procured for clients, reeking Prada suits and multimillion-dollar trades executed in a fog of sleep deprivation and hangover.

In some of the excerpt’s tamer moments, Duff recalls impressing college students at a bar by promising he could turn $100 into $110 and brags about tricking women to come back to his apartment by claiming, with the doorman's complicity, that it was an underground club.

Amid the sleaze, Duff appears to try to make a serious point about financial planning. "If only I'd invested some of my money," laments an aging prostitute he visits at 4 a.m. after a long night of partying, "then I'd be set."

Dealbreaker had some fun with the book’s overheated prose, commenting: “Whether you read it as an actual non-fiction account of his time at Argus Partners circa summer 2002, the literary pretensions of a financial services employee who thinks he’s the next Jay McInerney, or an unintentionally hilarious piece of performance art, we can say confidently it will be the best thing you’ll read today!”

By Elizabeth Jensen
  • To read the Dealbreaker article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the New York Post article cited in this story, click here.