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Bell Curve


You took a briefcase of cash from a Russian "investor" to recommend a Strong Buy on an Internet stock—and it turned out that investor was an employee of the SEC. You're just down the hall from Madoff for the next decade or so.


You just never got traction—everything you said "buy" tanked; everything you told investors to short went to the moon. You got fired but you have CFO-ish skills and now work for a chain of dry cleaners doing their books.


You were fine. You weren't awesome in your recommendations; people tolerated you, took meetings with a forced smile. You kept your job 25 years, saved your pennies, and you'll retire to a farm upstate and have had a decent life.


You were right on lots of stocks. And then your sector became hot. You were The Man or The Wom and now rival firms and hedge funds fight over $5 million signing bonuses for your talents. You won the Institutional Investor poll three years in a row for best analyst.


Same as the last guy, only you TOOK the hedge fund job, bet big—and won. You now have $100 million of your own money, your own fun, and a reeeeally nice jet.