In Negotiating Your Investments which will be released in April, I urge that investing is an act of negotiation. If that is true, all the rules of good negotiating apply.
Anyone who has studied negotiation knows that having a strong sense of who sits “on the other side of the table” is immensely important. There are few things as critical as understanding the other parties.
Among those who metaphorically sit across from you when you invest are the men and women who, in the aggregate, make up the financial industry. While “Wall Street” is made up of many thousands of individuals, it also has a distinctive culture, ethos, and “personality” of its own. So, who (or what) is this “Wall Street” negotiating partner you are working with?
Obviously, that question cannot be answered fully. Like any culture, it can’t be reduced to a single short description. Nevertheless, we can use eye-witness accounts and primary sources to begin to “paint a picture” of just who and what we are dealing with.
One such account was published this week in the New York Times. A young man named Sam Polk wrote an opinion piece in that newspaper’s Sunday Review. If you invest, I suggest you read it.