Today we bring you an interview with Johnny Upside, a Wall Street hotshot armed with an MBA, very little brain power and a limitless ego and sense of entitlement. Johnny possesses only one real talent – the ability to show up wherever the big money is being made. Unfortunately, his very presence usually means that the party is just about over. Johnny discusses his recent bear market trading strategy as well as the imminent launch of his fund of fund of funds.
The Reformed Broker: Long time no speak, Johnny, what’s happening?
Johnny Upside: …
JU: Oh, my bad! Was just scrolling through my Blackberry. Everything is awesome, 2008 may have been my best year ever. I’m killin’ it like you wouldn’t believe.
TRB: How so? Seems to have been a tough year for almost everyone…
JU: I’m positioned perfectly, I’m ultra-long gold and treasuries and I’m ultra short crude oil, banks and retailers. Ultra everything, brah.
TRB: So you must have performance numbers for the year that are off-the-charts!
JU: Well, those positions are kinda recent…
TRB: OK, so you at least must have had a great 4th quarter?
JU: By recent I mean I put them on in mid-December.
TRB: I see. So after a once-in-a-lifetime sell-off in crude oil you went ultra-short, and you bought into treasuries after a once-in-a-lifetime explosion to the upside?
JU: Look, I don’t have a lot of time to read during the year, so over Thanksgiving weekend, I finally got around to looking into who this Roubini guy is and I read the back cover of Peter Schiff’s book in an airport. I’m all set up now.
TRB: Well, you’ve certainly hitched yourself to a popular bandwagon. What’s with the gold trade, I didn’t know you followed the metals?
JU: Gold trade? Oh yeah, I’m ultra-long and strong gold, baby. Isn’t that what everyone else is doing these days?
TRB: Is that for an inflation hedge against the global debasing of fiat currencies?
JU: Was that English? I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re going to speak gibberish, I’m not gonna blow my Red Bull buzz talking to you. By the way, did I mention I have a Blackberry?
TRB: Yeah, sorry about that. So how are things at the hedge fund these days, anyway.
JU: Those guys are lame, I left there last week, even though they offered me the biggest retention package in hedge fund history. They were begging me to stick around. I thought of starting my own hedge fund, but all the Greek gods were taken, so I couldn’t find a name for it.
TRB: So where are you now?
JU: I’m daytrading the s%$# out of my own prop account. This volatility is here to stay forever. I don’t even look at indicators or charts. I just buy triple long ETF’s into sell-offs and buy triple short ETF’s into rallies. Back and forth like that 5 or 6 times a day, I literally can’t lose.
TRB: Have you had any training at all for this type of trading?
JU: Yeah, brah, tons. Starting with Nintendo in ’88, followed by Sega Genesis, Turbo Grafx 16, Playstation, Gamecube, XBox…y’know, I have cat-like reflexes. I may be the best trader out there right now, I can’t believe how easy it is.
TRB: Right…so what are your plans for 2009?
JU: I probably shouldn’t share this idea yet, so no one steals it, but what the hell. I’m launching a fund of fund of funds later this year. It’s gonna be sick.
TRB: A fund of fund OF FUNDS?
JU: No doubt. Basically my fund invests in other fund of funds. Brilliant! Nobody came up with that idea yet, I’ll be the first to do it.
TRB: Sounds like a lot of layers of fees. What do you bring to the table?
JU: I bring a bangin’ office in Greenwich to the table, dog! There seems to be a ton of office space available there lately, which seems pretty weird. Anyway, the whole thing’s gonna be behind a wall, but we’re gonna make it so the parking lot is visible from the road, so everyone can see our Maseratis parked out front. Its gonna look like a friggin’ Maserati convention out there.
TRB: Sounds like a great investment vehicle for people to consider. In light of recent events, what kind of due diligence do you plan to do?
JU: Maybe you didn’t understand what I meant when I said fund of fund of funds…the funds of funds that I choose will have done all of the due dilly, brah, and the funds themselves are pretty regulated anyway, right?
TRB: Actually, there appears to be zero regulation whatsoever. In fact, you could make the case that there has been so little regulation, it was almost as if these funds were being dared to take these risks and run amok. Like a game of chicken, but with our entire economy on the line.
JU: Sweet! That’s what the f%&* I’m talkin’ about! Look for my fund of fund of funds sometime in the spring. Just have to raise a little start-up money. I think this long bond position I have on can go up 30% again this quarter, and when crude goes to 20 like I’m hearin’ it will, then I’ll be liquid for real. This bear market stuff is easy. I may write a book about the end of America’s financial markets, y’know, in my spare time.
TRB: Sounds like you’ll be pretty busy…good luck with your new venture.
JU: Thanks, brah. Think I’m gonna call it Upside Capital Partners Group Limited Unlimited…something like that. You want in?
TRB: Think I’ll pass, but thanks Johnny.
JU: Upside, Out.