trading – work experience 12/2021 Good-bye, Goldman Sachs – Getting a job there was a dream. The pandemic changed my perspective. By Nathan Risser

…”…The most accurate representation of life within the walls of an international investment bank is actually the thriller Margin Call, set on the cusp of the global financial crisis at a firm that closely resembles the one I worked for. Goldman is a quiet place where serious decisions are made and a veneer of calm hides the inherent drama of what is happening beneath. People speak in buzzwords and jargon, and poker faces hide what they’re really feeling. I had quickly learned to fit in, but, during lockdown, my shell wore thin. My ability to put on a front was tested to its limit and, eventually, failed. …

Without the camaraderie and perks of office life, I realized I had become a simple input-output moneymaking machine. Deliverables that normally had 24-hour turnarounds were expected before lunch on the same day. Normal business hours were scrapped as seniors moved their schedules to fit their personal needs. Some logged on at five in the morning, others slogged it out until midnight, and juniors like me were caught in between. Quality of life deteriorated for us all in different ways. My peers were pulling 100-hour weeks in cramped apartments with no ability to blow off steam at the pub. Senior staff had to generate revenue while taking charge of their children’s education and dealing with an increasingly demanding book of clients. This was the case in many companies, but in February 2021, the well-being of Goldman employees became a hot topic after a group of junior analysts presented their managers with a survey decrying their working conditions. …

Throughout my time at Goldman, like all employees, I had my ups and downs and moments of extreme stress. I wasn’t the best at dealing with it. I suffered bouts of depression that, at their worst times, led to suicidal thoughts and sessions with the on-site psychiatrist. The first thing the psychiatrist told me was that I wasn’t alone, that many employees sought counseling. That made sense, I thought at the time. Goldman employees are exceptionally driven and hardworking. But when I read the leaked analyst survey, I felt others had put into words what I hadn’t been able to. On the penultimate page is a list of quotes from junior employees. One in particular hit home: “My body physically hurts all the time and mentally I’m in a really dark place.” I realized there was a connection between the way I was working and how I felt. It was hard for me to admit to myself that I was suffering mental-health problems. When you’ve had it drilled into you that you’re a winner, that you are at your desk because you’re the best, and that any obstacle can be overcome if you just work hard enough, any admission of weakness becomes taboo…hen I resigned, I don’t think anyone was surprised. One of my bosses started planning my work handover. The other told me I was doing the right thing. On the day I left, I went into the office one last time. Around a third of my team had trickled back in. I took the card everyone had signed that said “Sorry you’re leaving,” grabbed the detritus from my desk, and walked out. I wish I could say that all my worries melted away, but I was scared. While it’s a high-stakes, risk-loving industry, finance is also one of the safest places an indebted, uncertain graduate can end up…

As I stood at an empty underground station, months of feeling there was no route out of the career I had so enthusiastically signed up for came flooding back. I got on the train and told myself that, however long it took, I was starting over. I was going to stand on escalators, resisting the urge to run, for as long as it would take to become myself again.” 13/12/2021 THANKS A MILLION I lost my life savings on crypto and even took out £30,000 loan to buy MORE… I’d be a millionaire if I’d just kept it by Adrian Zorzut

A TRADER has allegedly lost their entire life savings and took out £30,000 in loans to buy more crypto after the currency market plummeted. The gut-wrenching story was shared by one unlucky person on a Reddit cryptocurrency forum. A trader took out £30,000 in loans to buy more cryptocurrency despite having already lost their entire savings.

Users were asked to recount their horror stories of investing in the volatile crypto market in a bid to expose its dangers. “It’s the law of nature that there can’t be astronomical gains without astronomical losses, so what gives?” the thread starts. “Let’s be a little bit more transparent in the space and also educate the youngsters, newbies and boomers that it is not all sunshine and roses.”

Flameylamey chimed in, claiming they invested their entire savings into crypto in November 2017 – right before the peak of the 2017-2018 bull run, and watched it double before the market crashed. The Reddit user, who described themselves as a person who doesn’t normally take financial risks, claimed they were “gripped” by crypto and kept on ploughing money in.

“I actually took out two loans, $20,000 (£15,000) each time, which I used to buy more on the way down throughout 2018, but it all kept dropping,” they wrote. “Eventually my portfolio’s value was around 5 per cent of the entire money I’d put into it, including loan money.”In December 2018, right as the market was bottoming out, I basically capitulated and said ‘I’m already down this much, may as well take some risks’ and ended up losing everything in a series of margin trades with leverage.”

Margin trading is incredibly risky. It’s when an investor buys more stock that they can afford and you could end up having to pay back a lot more than you put in. It is also never advisable to take out a loan to invest with. You should only look at investing if you have cash savings and never invest more than you can afford.

Flameylamey continued: “In the end I lost it all, held zero crypto, had very little money left in the bank and had committed to spending the next 2.5 years making loan repayments that I had nothing to show for.” They claimed they spent the next couple of years making repayments on loans that was “roughly equal to renting a small apartment”.

There have been lots of warnings about investing in cryptocurrencies. Unlike traditional investments they are not regulated and that means if something goes wrong you have no way to make a complaint. Also, the markets are extremely volatile and you should be prepared to lose all your money. But to Flameylamey, losing his life savings wasn’t the worst aspect of his foray into crypto trading.

“The worst part? The crypto that I took out those loans to buy ended up going 100x from the bottom in the more recent crypto bull run this year, and I fully intended to buy more of it while it was down, but I couldn’t buy anywhere near as much as I liked because I was still making loan repayments. “If I’d never taken out those loans and instead just DCA’d (Dollar-Cost Averaging) at regular intervals while the market was down, which I fully intended to do, I’d be a multi-millionaire now. “How’s that for a horror story?”

The sorry trader said they were able to earn enough cash through jury duty to begin trading again in mid-2019 and has now “recovered everything I lost in 2018” and is in “significant profit”. I lost half a million on Bitcoin – I think more should be done to help gambling CRYPT-OH-NO I lost half a million on Bitcoin – I think more should be done to help gambling “While I’ve made only a fraction of what I could have made without all those mistakes, I’m just happy I got a second chance.”

This comes as a rehab clinic has opened in Scotland claiming to be the first in the world to treat cryptocurrency addiction. Castle Craig, a private hospital in Peeblesshire near Edinburgh, has seen admissions for Bitcoin addicts increase by a factor of 10 in the past year. Therapist Tony Marini, who oversees the clinic, said most addicts start by occasionally trading before frequent wins feed dopamine cravings and dreams of earning millions. One of his patients stole £1million from an employer to feed his gambling habit. He said: “Commonly, people start because they want to buy stuff off the dark web. And the only way to do that is with cryptocurrency. “The biggest problem is this cross addiction [with crypto] starting—through drugs and alcohol.” Since 2017, Tony has treated 15 people who have been addicted to crypto.