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I’ve had little time to post lately, a screenshot of my desktop may explain why…

Literally, the story of my life:

Quant Screenshot

Quant Screenshot


Jordan Belfort – the Real Wolf of Wall Street – Live Interview

This morning, I watched an interview on YouTube featuring Jordan Belfort, the real Wolf of Wall Street.

As is quite common, there was a book before the movie (coming soon with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jordan Belfort).

Leonardo and Jordan

Leonardo and Jordan

The interview itself is worth a watch (embedded at bottom of this post), and here are some key notes/quotes:

On successful people, they: “See things as they are, not worse than they are. And then see them better than they are. and then make them that way.”

“People say, “oh, money doesn’t matter,” I’m like, “oh, so you’re broke.”

“Money is not going to make you happy but an absence of money can buy you an awful lot of misery.”

“You are not your past, you are the resources and capabilities you gleamed from it.”

“You what money is like?… it’s like oxygen… you need it to breathe, but there is only so much you can use in one lifetime.”

“This is not a decade where you can just sit on your hands and let be business as usual… you need to do something, because it’s not the status quo… it’s a decade of empowerment – people that make the right moves right now are going to do really really well. The people that subscribe to the old thinking of the past, which is bankrupt thinking, which is just working for a company and thinking the government is going to come in for ya… [no way]… it’s just not the way it’s going to be.”

four key things [to make it]:
1.) Vision – the ability to create a clear and compelling vision for the future, e.g., Gandhi, Mandela, Branson, Gates, Cameron.
2.) Manage your State – the way you feel in the moment, your physiological state. Be certain about what you are doing, have clarity and have courage.
3.) Beliefs – e.g., a governor on a vehicle (speed-regulation), interpret things how you want and root-out limiting beliefs.
4.) Strategies – essentially, they are essential.

The last things is the glue, which is just your standards (e.g. paying all of your bills) — your must in life. Raise your standards, don’t settle for ‘average'”

When asked what his mentality was during different stages in his life, Jordan’s replies were:

  • Before going jail: “Money, Power, Sex”
  • After going jail: “Giving, Family, Freedom”
Interview with Jordan Belfort:


If you are interested, I found a few more good quotes by Belfort on this page.


Update 2-11-2014: A fact about Jordan that I recently came across is that is net worth is estimated to be -$100m. One source, who apparently specializes in estimating the net worth of celebrities, says about Jordan’s financial situation:

“As per the terms of his conviction, Jordan Belfort is required to pay $110 million in restitution to more than 1500 defrauded clients. To date he has only paid back $11.6 million worth of restitution.”

Powerful Quote by James Weldon Johnson

New York City is the most fatally fascinating thing in America. She sits like a great witch at the gate of the country, showing her alluring white face, and hiding her crooked hands and feet under the folds of her wide garments,––constantly enticing thousands from far within, and tempting those who come from across the seas to go no farther. And all these become the victims of her caprice. Some she at once crushes beneath her cruel feet; others she condemns to a fate like that of galley slaves; a few she favors and fondles, riding them high on the bubbles of fortune; then with a sudden breath she blows the bubbles out and laughs mockingly as she watches them fall.


The exciting story of New York coming into its own is a tale that has fascinated me, throughout my life (view my personal NY photographs, in both life and land galleries).

Recently, while watching a YouTube documentary on the subject of New York, a powerful quote by James Weldon Johnson shook me, watch:

(video starts with quote, at 3m 17s into documentary)

Subtracting Congress From the Equation

Think about the tangled mess of a web that constructs the United States’ Economy. Well, I think there is a factor at play – currently undergoing some measure of a ‘reform’. CNN wrote on it recently and I don’t think the surface is even being scratched from an analytical standpoint.

It could be an issue of the US’s majority being composed dominantly of citizens in the middle class. People that don’t at all have the educational background to fully-understand our economy. Or the political structure of our government. People that don’t have time, nor care, to interpret the workings of a capitalist monarch. A society that is composed of our best thinkers and builders.

A portion of the US’s top one percent is composed of our most innovative engineers and business leaders (aka the private sector), while the other part is composed of those working for government entities. Where does Congress fit in? It’s fair to assume that each member falls in the top one percent. And that each member undoubtedly works for the government, i.e., for “the people.”

Could it be possible for a small group of lawmakers to have an enormous impact on the economical changes that take place around us? All the while doing so partially, or potentially solely, in the spirit of increasing their personal wealth? If your job allowed you the unwavering-flexibility to impact decisions related to our capitalist country’s future, would you bet on there outcomes?

Some wish not for Congress members to be given the ability to cash-in on investments that are driven by ‘inside’ information. They don’t think that this should be legal.

Personally, I think that severing the ties between Congress and the markets could be a game changer. Eliminating an elemental topological space that has pushed and pulled the mold, that which holds a fluid and evolving economy for the past 300+ years, could change everything.

Likely, a change this dramatic would only result in more of a free market. But that’s a discussion to be had on another day.

If Congress loses their ability to trade, I believe that these two predictions would hold true:
1.) Their wealth will be distributed back to the private sector.
2.) the US’s economy would undergo a dramatically different course as it continues to evolve on a it’s variable trajectory.