Michael Lewis

How Michael Lewis Accidentally Inspired Wall Street Careers

Michael Lewis is one of the most influential authors and leading social commentators. His work has inspired Oscar-nominated movies, and he is widely recognized for his best-selling books including The Big Short, Liar’s Poker, Moneyball and the The Blind Side. But when he left finance to become a writer, his first book had the opposite effect he intended.

Q4 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

Michael Lewis delivered the keynote address on February 11 at the Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Florida.

He is a fine storyteller, publishing on both conservative and liberal subject matter.

Whether he’s turning his attention to the practice of finance (read more here) or governance in the age of Donald Trump (see here), he tells fascinating stories that grip the reader’s attention.

Lewis used his keynote to share stories from his multi-faceted career that entertained his audience of advisors and financial professionals.

This time Lewis engaged the audience even more than usual for one simple reason.

Instead of discussing an upcoming book or commenting on the economy, he made himself relatable, revealing mistakes he made that helped him develop professionally. He told stories of unexpected instances, including when he accidentally found himself in perplexing positions where he learned lessons the hard way.

There’s one lesson from Lewis’s career that will surprise you – his first great success accidentally resulted in the opposite outcome he intended.

That success was in writing his first bestseller, Liar’s Poker, and serves as an insightful reminder from which all advisors can benefit. I will share stories and explain how writing that bestseller helped Lewis learn from an outcome he never expected.

Why Lewis wrote a bestseller that was accidentally inspirational

After earning a degree in art history at Princeton University and completing his graduate studies at the London School of Economics, Lewis started a career on Wall Street as a junior bond salesman for Salomon Brothers.

Poised to become one of the investment bank’s top executives, Lewis found himself earning a $250,000 salary at age 25 in the 1980s. Not only did he receive that compensation, but he had the added potential for a year-end bonus. Lewis considered himself wildly overpaid.

That was an extraordinary amount of money to be earning, not just at that time, but at such a young age, he recounted. “It’s an incredible sum,” he said plainly.

Read the full article here by Marianne Brunet, Advisor Perspectives


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