Editor's Note: Our Founder & CEO Keith McCullough's memoir Diary Of A Hedge Fund Manager written in 2009 chronicles the life and insights McCullough learned on his way "from the top, to the bottom, and back again."
Below is a free excerpt.
"On the first day of my summer internship at Williams Trading, I strolled in at 7 A.M., figuring I was way early. Turned out, I was a half hour late. Meanwhile, I’d decided to wear my nicest set of clothes at the time – a black silk dress shirt, and my lone tie, maroon adorned with bald eagles. Both were gifts from my mom.
When I walked into the Rockefeller Center office, one of the traders, Ray “Razor” Letourneau, a former equities trader at J.P. Morgan and also a former Yale hockey player, looked me over, incredulous.
“What the hell are you wearing?” he asked.
Here I was, at what some might consider the nexus of the hedge fund universe, and yet I was about as oblivious as Forrest Gump at a Black Panther meeting. I’ve always thought of my career trajectory on Wall Street as having something of a Forrest Gump-type quality to it, intersecting with historical turning points and major figures now and again.
But even Gump would have had the common sense not to show up on a trading floor wearing a shirt that looked like something purchased at Chess King.
Later that summer I bought two suits—one blue, one gray—which I rotated every other day. The Williams crew wore ties, but they looked low key, like their trading setup. In fact, the whole operation was just four guys, an administrative assistant, and some computers set up in a small room.
But man did these guys have discipline, and a process."