10 years ago today, the New York Observer published a story about a 25-year old who moved from California to Manhattan and became a stockbroker.
He was “a tall, lanky, swaggering 25-year-old who… work[ed] at a top brokerage house in midtown, [wore] a lot of Prada and Gucci, [drove] a BMW and [was] married to an attractive 27-year-old woman who works in the art world.”
Munson became an overnight ‘somebody’ in New York after the article was published in April of 2001, before things had totally fallen apart and the dot.com bubble burst.
On his site, he says, “early in his career, he worked as a speculative stock trader on Wall Street during the dot-com boom and bust until he had an epiphany. Lee began to question everything about his approach to investments starting with the basics.”
Post-Observer story, Munson moved to New Mexico, became a vice president of Schwab Private Client in Albuquerque, earned a CFA and then launched Portfolio, LLC.
Here were some of our favourite lines from the Observer profile:
- “I realised at a very early time moving to New York City that my life was going to be shit out of luck unless I did something that made more fucking money–or as much money–as a drug dealer,” he said. “There was only one thing that you could do, other than being a drug dealer, which I have no aptitude for anyway. Selling stock. So during good times, I make as much as a top drug dealer or mob guy–legally! Ethically.”
- “New York is a reincarnation of ancient Rome at its peak!” he said. “Not at its peak–at its decline! When Nero was playing the skin flute, watching Rome burn …. That’s what we’re going through right now, and God bless it! I want to be a citizen of Rome, and to do that, you have to be a broker.
- “Some people would say I’m in the top 1 per cent of brokers, but I would say, safely, I’m in the top 5 to 10 per cent,” he said.
- “Fast cars, one woman,” he said. “Cristal. Blue Ribbon sushi. Nobu on a weekly basis. The Palm comes to mind. Whatever cost a lot of money, that’s what I had. I was always a punk rocker at heart, so what I love to do is take all my friends out and just buy ’em drinks at the cool places. It was like, ‘On me, baby!’ Share the wealth a little bit.”
- “If you’re pissed off at Microsoft for having a monopoly and controlling the world, and Bill Gates is the Antichrist, stop whining,” he said. “Why don’t you buy the stock, make a million dollars, then go build a bomb and blow ’em up? But you know, people aren’t man enough to do that. When I make money, I put it in Wall Street’s face, man. Put it in their fucking face.