4. Let the Games Begin!

I remember my first day on the derivative desk at Morgan Stanley’s New York office as if it were yesterday. There I was—6’1”, 215 pounds of muscle, straight A’s in my back pocket, and so scared that I could barely move. It was precisely where I wanted to be, rubbing elbows with the big hitters who wore Armani suits and had fat wallets. I remember thinking that one day, that would be me; at whatever the cost and no matter the price, that was my professional nirvana. There was one problem with my master plan—I was completely and utterly clueless.

They placed me at a turret in the middle of the trading desk, gave me a computer, plugged in two phones, handed me a few pages with trading positions, and told me to pick up the ...

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