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Typical Day

As the core part of his job, Buck stays "on top of the markets." That is, he reads about stocks and bonds and other investment vehicles like real estate and commodities like oil and gold and water rights. Buck has a few dozen key clients and starts his days very early—he lives in California but has to "live New York hours." He is up at 5am usually—but has a big break when the U.S. stock markets close at 1pm California time. His golf game is solid.

Buck works for a division of SilverSlacks, a large investment bank which offers almost every form of investment vehicle under the sun (and beyond—they took SpaceX public). Buck began his career as a stockbroker who knew "everyone" in the e-commerce world in Silicon Valley. He sold many of them IPOs that worked and grew a loyal following. So it was a tough decision when he was headhunted to work for a then-hot hedge fund.

Headhunters are a scary lot.

He left his relatively steady $250k a year brokerage job for a base salary of $100k but clear bonus or profit sharing potential of millions and millions. It turned out that he was, in fact, a good seller of stocks, but not a good buyer of them. And when the markets crapped out, so did his career. The one good thing that happened to him for the long run is that he realized how well bonds did even when the equity markets were dying. So he got smart on bonds and real estate and that gave him a pretty diversified set of offerings that clients liked.

One client liked him so much that he put in a good word with SilverSlacks, where the client was already doing a lot of business, and SilverSlacks hired Buck on the spot. Buck built additional relationships and ended up being one of the big hitters for SilverSlacks, managing the wealth of some of the most wealthy and powerful families in his 'hood.