Today hosts Kim Ann Curtin and Stephen Johnson interview Turney Duff, author of “The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader’s Tale of Spectacular Excess.” 

Kim found the book so riveting she read it in two sittings!

Turney Duff’s Wall Street career spanned 15 years during an exciting time. After accomplishing many goals, he set his sights on making it to the buy-side. And make it he did. 

But don’t worry, he loves to root for the little guy. In this SteadyTrade episode, he shares plenty of hard-won wisdom. 

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Where’s the Smart Money?

Wall Street traders have long referred to themselves as “smart money” and retail traders as “dumb money.” 

And they still do it. But Duff thinks those monikers aren’t true anymore. To him, if you can identify the market you’re in, you’re starting off on the right foot. 

Duff used this wisdom to choose the right trades. These days, it’s easier than ever to find the information you need. Always know where the overall market is and which sectors are trending. 

If he can do it, Duff thinks you can too. He believes the ability to find an answer is equally as good as knowing the answer. And he says this belief took him all the way to the buy-side. 

It wasn’t easy for him. He was a B student with a less than stellar SAT score. And he still made it to the buy-side! How? He works to turn his shortcomings into his strengths. In this episode, he shares what drove him to find success.

What Does Wall Street Have to Offer?

Like any business or profession, it helps to have the right relationships. Kim and Duff agree. It’s nice to have a team to learn from and grow with.

Duff credits his Wall Street success to building relationships. And opportunities aren’t always obvious at first. He recalls a time when he didn’t get a job — but he made a new contact. And that opened the door to an opportunity down the line. 

But how smart is Wall Street really? It turns out Wall Street traders have shortcomings just like retail traders. Yep, even on the buy-side.

Turney recalls an incident from when he was a head trader on the buy-side. Someone on his team set a price at which they wanted to buy a security. Then the market dropped 5% — but his teammate couldn’t bring himself to buy it. What happened? 

As Duff says, it’s one thing to set a goal in theory and another to execute it in reality. When the security reached his buy-side price target, the sudden market drop scared him. Duff reminded his teammate that nothing fundamentally changed about the security. And it was time to buy.

So what sets a Wall Street trader apart … or any trader for that matter? The ability to anticipate AND to take action. After all, “being late is the same thing as being wrong.”

Tune in to hear the three most important lessons that can help you improve your skills as a trader. 

The Buy-Side: Smart vs. Wise

Success is more than the number on your trading account. 

Kim, Stephen, and Duff dive deep into trading highs and lows. 

Duff admits he’s struggled with dysthymia, a mild but persistent form of depression. He credits the condition with allowing him to accept losses more easily than his peers and move on. 

At the same time, it’s easy to become disillusioned when big numbers in your bank account don’t make you happier. 

Stephen knows what that’s like. He says happiness is the moment before you need more happiness. In other words, it’s a temporary feeling that leaves you wanting more. 

Duff discovered that accepting what each day brings helps give him the peace he desires. This and helping other people helped him achieve “serenity.” 

And he believes you’ll attract the kind of person you are spiritually and mentally. So if you want to improve the relationships in your life, you have to look inside yourself.

Find out what Turney and Stephen agree makes for smart focus both on the buy-side and in life.

What Do You Think?

Does every trader have a fair chance in today’s market? What drives you to succeed? We’d love to hear what you think, so drop a comment. 

Remember: if we select your question or comment as an on-air topic, you could win a SteadyTrade mystery gift box. Leave a comment below or on YouTube!

Thanks for tuning in to the SteadyTrade podcast. Stay tuned for weekly episodes featuring the hottest topics for aspiring traders.

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Get more from today’s special buy-side guest…

Follow Turney Duff on Twitter at @turneyduff or on LinkedIn.

Meet Our Hosts

Get to know Tim Bohen, Stephen Johnson, and Kim Ann Curtin here.

Follow our hosts on social media…

Tim Bohen

Twitter: @tbohen

Instagram: @tbohen

Stephen Johnson

Twitter: @Jonk87

Instagram: @stephenjonk87

Kim Ann Curtin

Twitter: @kimanncurtin

Instagram: @kimanncurtin