To the dozens of subscribers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the surrounding ships at sea, thank you for your service! I think it is very wise to use your free time to read my letter and learn about financial markets in preparation for an entry into the financial services when you muster out. Nobody is going to call you a baby killer and shun you, as they did when I returned from Southeast Asia four decades ago. In fact, employers have been given fantastic tax breaks and other incentives to hire you.
I have but one request. No more subscriptions with .mil addresses, please. The Defense Department, the CIA, the NSA, Homeland Security, and the FBI do not look kindly on private newsletters entering the military network, even the investment kind. If you think civilian spam filters are tough, watch out for the military kind! And no, I promise that there are no secret messages embedded with the stock tips. “BUY” really does mean “BUY.” “Sell” means “Sell” too.
If I did not know the higher ups at these agencies, as well as the Joints Chiefs of Staff, I might be bouncing off the walls in a cell at Guantanamo by now. It also helps that many of the mid-level officers at these organizations have made a fortune with their meager government retirement funds following my advice. All I can say is that if the Baghdad Stock Exchange ever become liquid, I'm going to own it.
Where would you guess the greatest concentration of readers The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader is found? New York? Nope. London? Wrong. Chicago? Not even close. Try a ten-mile radius centered on Langley, Virginia, by a large margin. The funny thing is, half of the subscribing names coming in are Russian. I haven't quite figured that one out yet. Did we hire the entire KGB at the end of the cold war? If we did, it was a great move. Those guys were good.
So keep up the good work, and fight the good fight. But please, only subscribe to my letter with personal Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail addresses. That way my life can become a lot more boring. Oh, and by the way, Langley, you're behind on your bill. Please pay up, pronto, and I don't want to hear whining about any damn budget cuts!
I Want My Mad Hedge Fund Trader!