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How to Spot a Wall Street Wannabe

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By Brian Sozzi on April 2, 2012

To all the single ladies out there on the hunt for a good fella with a job in the financial services industry, preferably a high-profile gig on Wall Street, we dedicate this post to you.

As for the guys: Sorry, dudes, we have to keep it real and let some secrets out of the bag. With the rise in prominence of online dating, female members of the big-name sites are inundated by men proclaiming to be big in many areas, especially their bank account and job title. Some will forward along pictures of themselves with a supposed B-list movie star (hello, Photoshop) or at their latest Nordstrom shopping expedition (to use the bathroom). Those that work on Wall Street may go on for hours about the deal they just closed or what CEO they rubbed elbows with at the bar (no CEO of a company has time to chill at the bar. Just saying).

There will be a select few that shoot over a PDF document of a report or short story they have written for the boss or as an op-ed in a business newspaper. This is where we want to focus our decoding efforts today. Ladies, today we give you the tools to pick apart, right from the beginning, whether this smooth-talking Wall Street fella is the last person on the deal team, not even on the deal team, or — possibly — the real deal.

5 Characteristics of a Real-Deal Wall Street Guy

1. He’s bold and blunt, but has the facts to support his claims. (You should ask for a photo of his badge.

2. He’s precise. (Ask him for a non-rounded number from the deal he said he closed.)

3. He’s regimented. (Ask when and how his day begins. The day ends or starts at the gym — never both.)

4. He knows everyone. (Ask him the names of professional organizations he belongs to.)

5. He’s a fitness fanatic. (Ask what he has for breakfast. Correct answer: Nothing, black coffee, or a piece of fruit after the gym.)

5 Characteristics of a Wall Street Wannabe

1. He’s quiet and modest, which means he ain’t crunching the large numbers on a deal — and maybe works in the IT department.

2. He’s a “rounder”: He speaks using rounded numbers, a sign that he reads The Wall Street Journal and, you guessed it, isn’t crunching large numbers on a deal.

3. He’s a bed fan. He arrives at the office as late at 8:30 a.m., which he calls “an hour before the market opens.”

4. He’s not an overachiever. He asks you out on a stock market holiday because the market is closed … but high finance never really closes for business.

5. He’s not well-endowed … in the wallet. He lives in the city, but he has no car because he “lives so close to the office and could take the subway or bus.” A real player has a car in the parking garage — or, better, a car that picks him up in the morning.

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So, ladies, you make the call. Using our checklist, is this person below (quotes taken from a reputable business website) a Wall Street guy worthy of bringing home to Mom? Or is he a Wall Street Wannabe who’ll be forcing you to watch football games after the three-month honeymoon period is up?

Mystery man says:

• “Apple shares have nearly risen by 50% this year.”
• “The American stock market increased today.”
• “Apple has a $100 billion cash pile.”
• “Apple is short on physical capital but long on brainpower.”
• “GE Capital contributes almost half of the profits for General Electric.”
• “There is a period of austerity in the economy right now.”
• “Brokers are competing to come up with the highest potential price target for Apple’s stock.”

Send your answers (Wall Street Wannabe or Wall Street Baller) to newsletter@decodingwallst.com, and we’ll send the decoded messages!

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Decoding Wall St.

Based on the book co-authored by Nicole Lapin and Brian Sozzi, Decoding Wall St., the daily Decoding Wall St. newsletter is a lifeline to unlocking, and acting upon, an endless array of hidden financial and world news clues. On Facebook and Twitter, Decoding Wall St. releases unique streaming content daily to help get you through interviews right on down to after-work cocktail parties. To receive the entire newsletter for today, including the “Decoding the Wall Street Expert” component, please visit decodingwallst.com.

Nothing but Gold Productions

A multimedia production company focused on creating accessible financial content across various platforms. Nothing But Gold Productions has a diverse client base that includes traders, individual investors, major retailers and content providers. More information can be found at nothingbutgoldproductions.com.

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