Hi everyone, hope you’re all enjoying Labor Day weekend. I wanted to take a moment to welcome all the new visitors who’ve arrived through the link from Yahoo.com.
I’m pretty amazed and flattered that they put me on the homepage of Yahoo this weekend and I appreciate all of you who’ve arrived here for the first time as a result (and there are tens of thousands of you so far). And thanks to MarketSqueeze for posting the screenshot.
Anyway, due to the volume of emails and all the questions (most of them nice, some of them nasty), I thought it might be helpful to throw up an FAQ here. Thanks again for coming by, I hope you’ll stick around of course and become regulars!
“What’s your background?”
I’m 35, live on Long Island with a wife and two kids. I spent 13 years as a brokerage intern then coldcaller then stockbroker and then branch manager at a few independent broker-dealers prior to becoming an entirely fee-only investment adviser representative in 2010. I dropped my now-vestigial Series 7 broker’s license finally in December of 2011. I’ve made every mistake as an investor and a professional you can possibly make, in many cases twice. I don’t claim any superhuman abilities in the markets or in life – other than the fact that I possess a world class bullsh*t detector it’s taken me a lifetime to develop. I’m also too busy or tired to split hairs, I say what I really think and sometimes piss people off. I’m told this is rare in my industry.
“It says you wrote a book in the Yahoo story, where can I buy it?”
The book, Backstage Wall Street, is available wherever fine business books are sold, in the US and internationally. It was released this past spring by McGraw-Hill and can be found at Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBook Store and of course on Amazon. It’s a combination of Wall Street history, the state of the investing business and my own metamorphosis from hardcore broker to holistic advisor.
“What gives you the right to be so high and mighty about brokers?”
With all due respect, I’ve seen it all. And I worked at smaller firms with their own idiosyncrasies. But then I talk to colleagues at the bigger brokerage firms and their stories are even more messed up. I’m far from high and mighty, the overarching theme of this blog is that everyone makes mistakes, myself included, and that the only way to navigate this world is to know where the traps are set and the conflicts make positive outcomes impossible. This is my life’s work since 2008, I’m trying to be fair and to call them as I see them, I don’t always get everything right but my intentions are pure.
“You call yourself “reformed,” were you a bad broker?”
No, the Reformed title is tongue-in-cheek given my general views about the industry I left. I always did what I thought was right, even if it meant not earning as much money as the “big producers” during various points in my career. I sold and sold hard, but the line I refused to cross was anything where I knew for a fact that I would be hurting a client. Because of that, I’m proud to say that I have a spotless regulatory record, with no disclosures, arbitrations, client complaints or disciplinary actions. My CRD number is 2781372 and my full name as a Registered Rep is JOSHUA MORGAN BROWN if you’d like to verify this.
“Why should anyone trust you given how much time you spent as a broker?”
Fair question. First, I’m not asking you to trust me, I have nothing to sell. No newsletters, no securities, no alerts, nothing. My asset management program caters to high net worth investors with minimum account sizes of either $500,000 to $1,000,000 depending on the client’s individual objectives. Because this is the case, we are probably out of reach for 95% of investors and people who read this site. There’s a much more effective way of reaching the other 5% than this blog, so please understand that I’m not doing this as marketing. I love to write and posting 5 to 8 times a day keeps me informed about the The Street and on my toes. I am on a never-ending knowledge quest to become smarter, more worldly and a better investor – this blog is an extension of that. The fact that it’s found an audience along the way is a blessing and the coolest thing ever. I would never take it for granted and turn around and pitch products to this audience that means so much to me.
“How do I sign up for your website or writings?”
There’s a daily feed of my posts available via email right here:
This is not my mailing list, it’s the feed, so there will be no advertisements sent to you or spam of any kind. I will have no access to your email address whatsoever, you will only get the site’s posts in one daily digest.
OK, I’ve just written 800 words about myself so I’m probably going to go vomit now..but I hope this was helpful for anyone new to the site. Thanks so much for coming and I hope we can learn together while having fun, in good times and bad (I’m still not sure which this is, lol).
– your boy, Josh