The 25 people you should avoid on Wall Street

A few years ago, CNBC's Ash Bennington compiled a fantastic list of the people you should avoid on Wall Street. Recently, the Wall Street Journal's John Carney issued a Twitter challenge for an updated version of this list.

In an industry where people often take themselves too seriously, or even define their own existence by their job title, it's easy to dismiss this challenge with a flippant, "Just avoid everyone on Wall Street." Fair enough, and that's why I'd rather get a Sriracha enema from Guy Fieri than be seen at the Hunt & Fish Club. But nonetheless, I've managed to restrict my list to just the Top 25 in this year's version of people to avoid on Wall Street:

  1. Avoid the guy who bitches about affirmative action. Odds are he's benefited from nepotism more times than he cares to admit.
  2. Avoid the guy who acts like his parents' place in Nantucket is really his beach house.
  3. Avoid the guy who name-drops college. A good education is a prerequisite for a job on Wall Street, and as Carney says, "A guy who drops the H Bomb clearly thinks his biggest accomplishments are behind him."
  4. In New York, avoid the guy with the pocket square and greasy hair.
  5. In London, avoid the guy with the pinky ring and floppy hair.
  6. Avoid the serial connector on LinkedIn, a.k.a. eHarmony for the underemployed.
  7. Avoid the guy who has MBA and CFA printed on his business cards.
  8. Avoid the girl that tries too hard to fit in – swearing unnaturally, and even dropping the c-bomb.
  9. Avoid the back office guys who refer to themselves as investment bankers, or the repo guys who call themselves traders.
  10. Avoid fat people. It's not fair, but they don't get promoted on Wall Street.
  11. Avoid the guy who tells you what Wall Street was like in the 1980s. He should be on a beach in Barbados by now.
  12. Avoid the guy who roots for Duke and didn't go there. (Notre Dame if you're a broker or in wealth management.)
  13. Avoid the convenient feminists - the girls who use cleavage and short skirts to get ahead, and then when things don't go their way, start bitching to HR about sexism.
  14. Avoid the "When I was at Goldman Sachs…" guy. He's not there anymore.
  15. Avoid the bucket shop bankers turned CNBC pundits. They'll drink on your dime and parrot your ideas.
  16. Avoid the guy who jumped around to a different bank every two years. His Patek Philippe (paid for by a bull market BNP Paribas guarantee) doesn't make him a hitter.
  17. Avoid the guys who mime golf swings in the office. They never break 100 on the course, and always say things like, "Big dog's gotta eat" after every half-decent drive.
  18. Avoid the guy who uses his business card to impress women in bars. (Side note: Avoid women who are easily impressed by, "Don't worry ladies, these drinks are on Morgan Stanley.")

Originally posted on Business Insider , see the rest of the list: http://www.businessinsider.com/25-people-to-avoid-on-wall-street-2015-2

Comments (36)

 
Best Response
Feb 18, 2015 - 4:19pm

propchop:

26. Avoid the vertically challenged. They're not trustworthy.

Whomever down-voted this must be very bitter about being short

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 5
  • 1
 
Feb 18, 2015 - 11:19am

Number 17. Who seriously thinks it's cool to pretend to swing a golf club? No other hobbies have people that do this. My father-in-law is a serious boater. We would have him committed if he stood around pretending to drive a boat. I like to read. If I pretended to flip pages of the non-existent book in my hands, I would assume people would desperately try to avoid conversing with me.

"Decide what to be and go be it." - The Avett Brothers
 
Feb 18, 2015 - 11:51am

granted i work from home, but i'll practice my baseball swing in my "office" sometimes.

i almost jacked one this past saturday so maybe it's helping a little bit?

https://www.facebook.com/shankeesbaseballorganization

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

 
Feb 18, 2015 - 11:55am

AndyLouis:

granted i work from home, but i'll practice my baseball swing in my "office" sometimes.

i almost jacked one this past saturday so maybe it's helping a little bit?

https://www.facebook.com/shankeesbaseballorganization


Well there are much crazier things that people do in the privacy of their own home. More or less, I think it's geared towards "that guy" that does it just to point out to everyone that he plays golf (always seen on casual days with an expensive golf shirt on). I play softball, but I prefer to have a few beers in me before I start swinging a bat. The folks I work with know that, so if I start mime swinging at work they may try to smell my breath...
"Decide what to be and go be it." - The Avett Brothers
 
Feb 18, 2015 - 12:32pm

Why wouldn't you have CFA on your business card if you have the designation? That's retarded

  • 2
 
Feb 18, 2015 - 12:42pm

nkhanlegend:

Why wouldn't you have CFA on your business card if you have the designation? That's retarded


I agree with you here. If I'm looking for someone that is a CFA charterholder, I don't think I would want to interrogate them for that information. That's a designation you put on a card, or in a signature line on emails, depending on your job.
"Decide what to be and go be it." - The Avett Brothers
 
Feb 18, 2015 - 1:25pm

propchop:

i think it's more of a reference to the guys who write "Joe Smith, MBA". Or even better, the all-stars who write "Joe Smith, MBA, CFA, CAIA, CMT, ABC, 123".


Makes me think of this write up that Jason Zweig did for WSJ a few years back. Seems that it's quite easy to get a financial "certification" that starts with a "C" and contains a lot of BS.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703927504575540582361440848

"Decide what to be and go be it." - The Avett Brothers
 
Feb 18, 2015 - 4:02pm

Number 1 is also key, because whether or not the guy has a point about affirmative action, "alleged racist" is not something you want to be associated with.

"Decide what to be and go be it." - The Avett Brothers
 
Feb 21, 2015 - 12:16am

LiamNeeson:

Great list. I realize this list should be taken with a grain of salt, but is a 40 year old Director really that old?


I have to agree here. Also, I work with some ex military and it really doesn't change much. Plenty of people change careers late and do just fine, with or without the military.

As far as CFA, that is fine. MBA on a business card is just strange.

Definitely agree on the guys that talk about cheating on their wives: at best they're just tacky, more likely they can't be trusted with anything.

Get busy living
 
Feb 19, 2015 - 4:23pm

Do BO people really say they are investment bankers? I'm MO, and although I say I work in an Investment Bank (Brokerage firm to be exact), I still make it perfectly clear that I'm not a FORainMaker.

 
Feb 22, 2015 - 2:52pm

#7
Joe Blow, CFA = ok
Joe Blow, MBA = no

Then nothingness was not, nor existence. There was no air then, nor heavens beyond it. Who covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping? Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed? -- Nasadiya Sukta
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