Photo: Karvy Private Wealth
Remember the blind superhero Ben Affleck played called Daredevil?
Ashish Goyal is just like him. He’s Wall Street’s real-life super-hero.
According to a profile of him in Dealbook, Goyal is blind, he “can only discern light and shadows.”
Of course you might think that being blind would impair him as a trader, and you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that.
When he applied to Wharton, the director of admissions said, “I have never seen a blind trader on Wall Street,” for obvious reasons.
But think again, everyone! Goyal’s being blind actually makes him a better trader because, unlike other traders, he doesn’t fixate on graphs, and instead makes his calls based on “where things are now and just follows the news flow.”
Photo: Daredevil screen grab from youtube
According to the Dealbook profile, in order to read graphs, look at presentations, read his email, and all of the typical things a trader does, Goyal has developed abilities that are very much like the super-hearing abilities that allowed Ben Affleck to “see” Jennifer Garner in Daredevil (at 2:40 in this video). He “listens” to reading software and is able to visualise the graphs in his head — just like Daredevil was able to visualise Garner on the roof in the epic love scene pictured at right.
It’s awesome. Here’s what Goyal is able to do, according to Dealbook:
To check his e-mail, read research reports and look at presentations Mr. Goyal uses a screen-reading software whose speed is so high that it sounds like gibberish to the untrained ear. When he needs to read graphs, which the software cannot do, Mr. Goyal goes through the data and tries to imagine the graph in his head.
Two keyboards are linked to headsets through which the information and figures are read out to him at rapid speeds. The same technology reads out text messages he receives on his mobile phone.
Mr. Goyal lost his eyesight gradually and became completely blind by the age of 22. This also bears a shocking resemblance to Daredevil, who lost his eyesight in a freak accident.
And apparently you wouldn’t know he’s visually impaired by looking at him at the bank’s London office. Goyal sits on the trading floor with two massive computer monitors in front of him, with Bloomberg messages flashing across the screen, just like everyone else. In other words, he’s incognito.
One of the bank’s traders who interviewed Goyal told Dealbook that after they were dumbfounded after they met him: “We walked out of the interview room and just said, wow.”
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