Thursday, January 31, 2013

How To Become A Dealer / Sales Trader

Follow up on my posting on how to become an equity analyst, this one refers to the very uncertain, multi definition role of who and what a dealer is. It depends on the securities firm, whether they are players in the institutional business.

Let's start by defining the various dealing roles:

a) remisiers - you basically work for yourself, pass the required papers, put down at least RM50,000 or RM100,000 and you can start getting clients onto your account, you probably get 40-60 sharing on commission though some may even get 30-70, the latter being your share, you must treat this as your own business, so the question is what do you bring to the table, buying a stock from any remisier in town is the same thing, its not like buying fresh fish which may differ in quality from one stall to the other ... if you cannot clarify what your value adds are, then you will be a mediocre remisier, are you prepared to face the challenges where more and more people are trading on their own via the internet (yes, they can still be your client but the rates drop substantially)

b) company dealers - they are usually fresh grads trained inhouse to key in the orders once they have passed the requisite papers, if their skills is just in keying in orders with no client list, then they end up working for a dealer who does the sales and marketing, there are good company dealers in that they are quick and efficient, a crucial role in execution, to get to work in elite teams especially for big institutional dealing teams ... the person must be dependable, responsible, meticulous, good at math, can do some excel to tabulate average execution prices, etc...

c) dealers/dealing teams - you can be part of a dealing team that has been built by one or two enterprising dealers, they basically also work for themselves, salaries are deducted from group commissions, structure of profit share depends on negotiation skills and the kind of revenue you can generate, you get to look after private, corporate and institutional clients, again what are your value adds, if you cannot clarify them you will end up in a mediocre team ... the difference here is that usually the team do not need to put up any collateral, dealing teams are better in that you do not exist alone and has the support and newsflow and buy/sell flows from a cross section of the market, the bigger your team is the better the terms, some even get to carry positions over a few days

d) sales trader - top of the food chain, used to be called institutional dealers, but I think sales traders get paid better, employed solely by company but focuses on bigger clients usually foreign based, may concentrate on hedge funds type, usually exist only in the top tier houses and bank backed houses, the very big funds or indexed funds may only be allowed to trade with big top tiered firms and bank backed, sales traders are also part of the placement arm for IPOs and matching orders, must be able to take positions on books to bid/offer for blocks,  do switching strategies (e.g. sell KLK buy FGV) or reweighting by indexed funds

How To Start

Your parents did not spend RM50,000-RM100,000 a year for 3 years for you to come back and sit by a phone or just keying in orders into a terminal, almost like a receptionist. Many see the roles as the easiest way to earn a living. If you think like that, then I can guarantee you will be way below average.

Its a sales job. No matter how good you are if you are working from a second or third tier securities firm, you will never get the big institutional clients. Hence you need to get to a top tier house and positions there are usually not advertised. Usually they are filled by frustrated analysts, frustrated corporate finance people, frustrated xxxxxx within the securities firm. You need to know somebody who knows somebody to get the prime positions. Once inside a big top tier house, you won't want to move too often, and should only move horizontally to another top tier house.

If you are a good sales person, with good skills such as technical analysis, fundamental analysis, good spotter of movers, good trading instinct, has a good network of reliable information flow ... it doesn't matter much which type of securities firm you operate out of, then you are better off building your own team.

Best way for a fresh graduate is to join an established dealing team. You won't amount to anything being a company dealer at a third tier or fourth tier firm. The dealing team may throw you a few small clients to start with but you have to go and get your own to build your rolodex. Once you figure you have outgrown your team, then go and set up your own team. If you just rely on your team leader's clientele, you will be no more than a receptionist.

Can you learn to be a good dealer? Can you learn to be a good trader? To a certain extent yes, but that will never qualify you for success. It has to be inherent in your blood. You need to feel excited by the markets. You must want to better the markets. You must care about making the right calls. You must want to make a lot of money, not just want but really really want.

If you are a sales trader, then EQ skills are very important as you will be dealing with too many clients with big egos and small dicks. In fact that is the number one skill for a great sales trader, the other skills are just tools of trade.

So How ...

Must know why you want to become one. Must be passionate about the markets. Must like reading about stocks and business news, business personalities and business magazines. Must be open to abuse. Will need to handle high stress. Must be able to drink a bit. Must have a bit of an ego. Should be an alpha male for a guy and for a girl must be able to work with dickheads and around dickheads.

This posting ties in well with my previous take on ....

TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012

How To Behave Like a Badass Sales Trader/Dealer/Broker

Getting into a dealing room is difficult in the first place. After the initiation period, you will have to behave accordingly in order to be a "stockbroker". Most of the behavioural traits will be inculcated via osmosis, but you can always learn some handy tricks.

Yell Occasionally - Its no point being a soft spoken, polite person, in a dealing room. You will be accorded no respect. You have to yell occasionally to voice urgency. Easy targets will be when speaking on the phone to back room or settlements - use phrases like "the deal is done, don't bother me again"; "don't bother me again, just cross it it"; etc... The other easy targets are your execution dealers, some choice phrases include: "just hit the bloody thing to the stupid buyers"; "what do you mean we are still above the average buying price, ..C'MON"; etc...

Foul Language - This is a given, its the vibe, its a must. If you are not using occasional foul language, your bosses and colleagues will think you never do deals big enough or have clients that are big swinging dicks (or dickheads in most cases). No need to do it over the phone as you try not to swear to your clients. Just pick up any research report and exclaim, "these fucking analysts know dick shit", you get the drift ... a good trick is to put the phone down and then yell "Fucker" or "Useless fucker", hey, you might not even be on the line with anyone, but your colleagues and bosses will think you are doing "good work". "Good work" meaning "taking shit from clients".

Slam the phone - You are not a good broker if you have never broken a phone before. Sometimes the PABX system board may be very expensive, in that case, take the receiver and just whack on the table a few times till it can be heard across the room. Nobody will mess with you cause you will be perceived as a badass broker-dealer-trader. Works every time.

Use Useless Abbreviations & Insiders' Lingo - Sprinkle it in your conversation especially among friends not from the industry. Examples: dog with fleas, dead cat bounce, GN4, PN17, ostrich, pig, sheep, DK, Bollinger, arb, bp, CAC40, CFD, DAX30, front loading, front running, alpha, gamma, beta, GTC, RRR, warehousing, Sharpe ratio, theta, XD ...etc..

Badass behaviour in the dealing room is accepted because you are all fighting for the same clients. Some orders you got is some orders the competition did not get. To maintain good service, acute attention must be given to order instructions and execution precision - hence if you have to ensure the down line gets the message, you will yell and shout and curse, as its your head thats on the chopping block, not theirs. 
Getting yelled at by clients are normal, and as the punching bag, you will have to take those punches. Once the phone is down, that accumulated stress has to go somewhere or you will get an early ulcer or some cancerous growth.

Drink like a Fish - Badasses drink almost every other day. Either you have a really bad day in the office - so, need a drink. Or you had a really good day - so, have to drink to celebrate. If you are not a constant drinker when you are a trader/dealer/broker, you'd probably never amount to much. But basically you have to drink like a fish to numb your soul for being around so much money thats not yours, so many assholes, so much false pretences and bad behaviour,and so many devious sycophants. 

If you have read The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, you will know that a badass broker/dealer/trade is a true  Machiavellian. A person  who "views and manipulates others" for "personal gain, often against the other's self-interest". By reputation, stockbrokers have manipulative personalities. So do people who sell cars or houses. Its really hard to differentiate between the three.

How To Comfort Yourself - When your clients lose money, its a terrible thing and you will feel bad (for a little while). This always helped me when I was one, you will snap out of it when you repeat the mantra "Well, it could have been worse, it could have been my money, or it could have been me". Always work wonders.

How To Comfort Clients - When clients faced losses, they need to be handled. Tell them, you also suffered losses in your personal account on the same stock. Tell them another fund/client had even bigger losses than them. 

At the end of the day, a badass broker/dealer/trader is a person with high EQ (when necessary) and thinks that there is a vast gap between truth and untruths. Do you lie ??? ..., well, we don't call it lies when we are withholding some facts, ...we don't call it lying when we over exaggerate the attractiveness of a stock, ... we don't call it lying when we underplay the risk, ... we don't call it lying when we shove a placement down a client's throat because we just have to get the thing off our books.

What does a hedge fund manager with no fund to manage say?
Would you like fries with that sir?

A stockbroker is someone who invests your money till it's all gone!


How to know you are not cut out to be badass:
- when you avoid calls from certain clients, if you can't face the music, you don't have the balls for the industry
- when you can't sleep well most nights worrying about positions
- when you look at yourself in the mirror coming home from work and you hate yourself
- when you feel like Spiderman in a bull market but feel like an idiot during a bear market (market cycles should have little effect on you emotionally, just the place you spend your holidays .. Mauritius or Redang)
- when you have no life apart from the markets

In the end, the financial markets, if you work in them, are just places where you help in the movement of funds from one to another. You live by the flickering lights on the screen. You stare at 4 screens the whole day and go home to stare at another screen, and if you are constantly on FB and Whatsapp, make that 6 screens - that is if you do not go to watch a movie, which would be 7 screens, what a life, screens the whole fucking day. In the end, you take your cut (or commission) with the movement of funds. You hope to value add in your service to clients via "good analysis" or "good execution" or "good information flow" ... mainly its all bull shit, and you know it too, and guess what, the client knows it too.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Become An Equity Analyst

I get this question all the time from younger folks wanting to get a foot into the financial markets. When we talk about investment banking, we are talking about equity analysts, sales traders and investment banking (corporate finance included) primarily. IB basically are the guys (gals) who meet with company owners listed/private and getting them to do deals which may include listings, corporate exercises such as rights, warrants, bonds, placements and/or M&A deals. Sales traders are the new fangled name for institutional dealers of the past. Sales traders deal with flows from clients, placements and basic buys and sells orders. It can get tricky with switching strategies, reweighting and ability to take on positions on books. I will talk about the IBs and sales traders in later postings.

Today its how to be an equity analyst. The easiest way, well not really easy, is to get a good degree from a good university. The named universities such as the Ivy league, plus the LSE, Oxcam or Sydney University or Melbourne University is a start. There are the second tiered ones such as Monash University, UNSW ... and you must score well. Most top houses will at least grant you an interview.

The most important subject to take is accounting. If you don't like accounting, forget it. You must be very good at Excel, if you hate spreadsheets, this is not for you. Get your niche early, know one or two industries very well.

If you are like me, screwing around during university and getting so-so results, there are plenty of ways to get your foot in as well.

a) Get a good internship - Use your contacts, your network, hope your parents know some BSDs at some investment banks. An internship at any top 10 brokers would do well on your resume. If you get your internship, don't just do what's been told to you. Ask around and get to know the BSDs in the right department. Hint that you want a starting position when you graduate, failing which, its OK to beg.

b) Do your CFA - This is the best route if you come from a university not in the top 100, and/or your results are so so only. Once you land a "business type" position, enroll and try to pass all the papers. It always look better if you can put in your resume, passed CFA Level 1, completing Level 2 etc... May not get you into the top 10 houses but getting into a local one even is a foot in. Get your foot in first.

c) Specialise - Do you want to be an equity analyst because you heard it pays well, or do you have a passion for analysing industries and companies? If its the former, you'd probably won't make much of yourself even if you get in. All analysts end up covering one, two sectors at most. Do your research, you can go the indirect route by specialising in plantations or banks, or semiconductors or technology, or mining etc... If you have spent 3 years at a plantations firm doing relevant work, you will be familiar with the parameters for that industry, what they look at, how to get the data and make predictions. 

To be an analyst in Malaysia is a small thing, if you can, work yourself into a regional position. Know the regional stocks as well. The big money is in becoming a regional something. You may have to move to HK or Singapore for those roles, except if you are in plantations, which you can basically look at companies in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. The best paid person in IB, for sure is the top notch analyst ... look for the person who covers only ONE stock, e.g. Samsung or BHP ... they are paid over a million USD a year.

How to ace that interview:

a) Speak well - Besides researching and writing abilities, you need to speak well as all good analysts will have to speak to fund managers sometime. Your command of English must be good and your verbal skills as well.

b) Convincing - Be passionate, don't come to an interview even for a junior position without knowing anything. Must say you have deep interest in one or two industries, and you will be grilled further, and you must know your stuff. How? Read a few industry and companies research reports and things must roll off your tongue. If you can't even do that, then you better hope and pray you are a very pretty girl. (...its still a male dominated domain).

In the end, getting in is tough, once in you can move up by networking with better houses. Write good research reports that brings value to readers. I would say only 1 out of 5 analysts starting out become good ones, the rest just stick around and at best become Senior Analysts after 5 years but cannot progress.

To make it, you have to be early in calls, and be right most of the time. You have to be vocal. If you do not have the "stuff" to do that, then you will not make much headway. You have to get closer and closer to the company owners. You have to stick around at conferences and industry sessions. You have to write well, you have to be PERSUASIVE. You have to make a name for yourself. You are your own brand, the house is just a shell. Brand yourself first. 

Its not everybody's cup of tea, its a high stress job, you work 12 hours a day, everyday there's updates, results ... you keep spreadsheets that run pages and pages, you have little time for socialising. Your job is never secure, you can get laid off when times are bad (i.e. every 3 years), the higher you go the harder it is to find similar positions when there is a crisis or market contraction. So you better be very good at what you do. 

Analysts get crucified all the time. Sales traders think you are useless paper pushers who cannot hack it in the real time wheeling and dealing. IBs think you are their lackey boys to support whatever corporate exercises they are doing. Bosses think you are a huge mf cost center. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Maybe Only In Japan

CEOs who behave with integrity and share the burden of their employees, a collective kind of leader ... and he is not even an owner. Only in Japan.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When They Were Young & Not-Yet-Famous


Bruno Mars

Lady Gaga

Snoop Dog

Jennifer Lopez

Kanye West

Avril Lavinge




Bruce Springsteen

Friday, January 11, 2013

Revived 2V1G Beautiful Cafe Tour

Only one playing date per city, already Penang and KL are pretty full. Exceptional guitar work by Malaysia's finest Roger Wang, complemented by dazzling vocals from Winnie Ho and a new surprising member of the trio.  2v = 2 vocals, 1G = 1 guitarist. They have two exceptional albums out already if you haven't heard. There will be a high quality vinyl double album pressing, done in Japan, and will be available to vinyl lovers in a few months. Miss this concert if you dare. 




All shows start at 9pm with cover charge at RM50pp.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Marketocracy Portfolio Updated

Its been more than 3 years since I started my Marketocracy portfolio, so far pretty good considering the 40.98% return since inception. Thus my initial capital of US$1,000,000 has grown to US$1.41m. If you are trying to establish a long term portfolio track record, its not an easy task, there will be periods where your returns will be down because the sectors you have chosen may not be the flavour of the month. Hence the best measure of a long term portfolio is to benchmark against the S&P 500. Since 3 years ago, the fund has beaten the S&P 500 by 12.09%.

Value: $1,409,774.00Cash: -$1,114.35Stock Value: $1,410,888.35Total Shares: 100,000NAV: $14.10
Fund Performance for salvadordali's Mutual Fund  January 04, 2013

graph of fund vs. market indexes

SymbolLabelPriceSharesValuePortion of FundGainsTodayInception ReturnCurrent Return
NSRclick me$43.082,500$107,700.007.64%$40,145.57-0.23%59.43%59.43%Details TOP
STSIclick me$2.8225,000$70,500.005.00%$75,512.71-2.08%47.51%47.51%Details 
PVSWclick me$9.0313,550$122,356.508.68%$47,164.860.56%46.54%46.54%Details 
HESclick me$55.022,500$137,550.009.76%$28,436.601.51%26.06%26.06%Details 
Vclick me$156.771,500$235,155.0016.68%$21,479.210.81%7.36%23.17%Details MIDDLE
LVSclick me$51.191,500$76,785.455.45%$11,670.812.87%17.92%17.92%Details 
AIGclick me$36.302,200$79,860.005.66%-$12,021.530.33%-8.23%11.10%Details 
Fclick me$13.578,000$108,560.007.70%$115,525.200.82%42.92%9.21%Details 
Cclick me$42.433,000$127,289.409.03%$83,825.862.51%18.22%8.76%Details BOTTOM
WDCclick me$42.881,900$81,472.005.78%$5,342.25-0.33%7.02%7.02%Details 
FBclick me$28.767,000$201,320.0014.28%-$13,309.513.56%-6.20%-6.20%Details 
POTclick me$41.561,500$62,340.004.42%$12,771.181.51%6.73%-23.50%Details 

 recent returnsright curve
Last Week6.66%
Last Month8.22%
Last 3 Months12.28%
Last 6 Months11.35%
Last 12 Months27.18%
Last 2 Years-8.09%
Last 3 Years8.61%
Last 5 YearsN/A
Since Inception40.98%
Last Week4.59%
Last Month4.25%
Last 3 Months0.97%
Last 6 Months9.49%
Last 12 Months17.09%
Last 2 Years19.99%
Last 3 Years37.52%
Last 5 YearsN/A
Since Inception28.89%
Last Week2.07%
Last Month3.97%
Last 3 Months11.31%
Last 6 Months1.85%
Last 12 Months10.09%
Last 2 Years-28.08%
Last 3 Years-28.92%
Last 5 YearsN/A
Since Inception12.09%
left curve  alpha/beta vs. S&P500right curve
left curve  turnoverright curve
Last Month0.00%
Last 3 Months0.00%
Last 6 Months30.59%
Last 12 Months53.90%

Recent Transactions
Close DateTypeSymbolSharesNet Avg. PriceNet
Aug 9, 2012BuyAIG2,200$32.6719$71,878.27Details 
Aug 9, 2012SellWU3,500$17.5397$61,388.86Details 
Aug 1, 2012SellPVSW1,450$6.7504$9,788.12Details 
Jul 31, 2012BuyWDC1,900$40.0683$76,129.75Details 
Jul 31, 2012SellC1,000$27.0494$27,049.44Details 
Jul 27, 2012SellSNBC16,579$2.7035$44,821.19Details 
Jul 16, 2012BuyHES2,500$43.6454$109,113.40Details 
Jul 16, 2012BuyV1,500$127.276$190,913.96Details 
Jul 13, 2012SellPVSW2,219$7.3708$16,355.90Details 
Jul 13, 2012SellSTSI15,000$4.5614$68,420.58Details 
Jul 13, 2012SellC2,500$25.538$63,845.03Details 
Jul 2, 2012SellSNBC8,421$2.5564$21,527.27Details 
Jul 2, 2012SellSTSI20,000$4.7767$95,533.63Details 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Great Presents To Receive

Its almost a wonder over Christmas, when you hardly ever get the kind of presents that you really like. Too often we needed to buy for too many people, so not much thought goes into it. Came across a few that would certainly sparkle my day if I got them as presents ... anytime.

WHISKEY STONES - No, not the stones you get in your kidneys from over drinking. You can even get them now in Malaysia. Don't try to be a cheapskate and just wash some pebbles from your backyard. These are special stones from a special material. Brilliant to keep whiskey cold without diluting it. On that note, we always wonder if you should drink single malts neat or with water/soda. Neat is pretty good if you can take the strength, but its perfectly OK to have some water, I mean just a little, like the size of a shot of whiskey, not too much. Putting in a little water actually allows the aromas to come out a lot more than drinking it pure neat. Too much water (like at wedding dinners or too much soda), then drink some inferior stuff la, don't waste a good drink.

Maple Original front view with iPhone.
Maple Wood Wireless IPhone Speakers - The Original Koostik is the result of a year of product evolutionary design and refinement. It is the first passive solid wood acoustic amplifier for iPhone, and this now iconic design is in daily use in over 30 countries! By combining two hemispherical sound amplification chambers with carefully designed sound channels, it achieves natural energy free amplification of between 10 and 20 decibels. This means an increase of 2 to 4 times the volume! Please note that due to it's unique design, the Original does not allow for the connection of your charger while in use with your iPhone. It is a totally "unplugged" amplifier! 

Chillball Wine Ice Cubes

Chillball Wine Ice Cubes - Chillballs are the intelligent ice that will keep your wine chilled at the perfect temperature without watering it down or compromising the taste of your expensive bottle of wine. Its different from whiskey stones because for wine drinker you don't want cubes sloshing around. This one will sit at the bottom of the glass.

The set comes with 6 Chillballs in a compact tray with lid to sit very nicely in your freezer, thank you very much. It includes 8 patented clips (4 long, 4 short) to hold your Chillball in place so it won’t float up and interfere with your sav sipping. Suitable for most commercial wine glass shapes, Chillball Wine Ice Cubes can also be used to cool your cocktails, preserve your punch or any other drop you like.

Stemless Wine Glass -  I love stemless wine glasses. They’re elegant, they look great, and it’s been my experience that they’re much less likely to break while washing them. I like that they’re a lot less formal than stemmed glasses, and even less precarious on the edges of tables and counters. This has been around. In Malaysia we frequent so many non-Western places for food, and we also like to drink our wines, but you get shitty glasses or porcelain ones or shudder plastic ones - its just not the same. Buy a pack of 6 or 12 and you can put them nicely in a carrying case, so informal and can bring anywhere. Since when we have to use the stem????? 

Well I am kidding, there is a place for stemmed glasses, esp if you are drinking really fine wines. They keep your hand away from the wine. Red wine is best served at room temperature, or, at what was once room temperature—approximately 55° Fahrenheit. As you know in Malaysia and other hotter climes, we never get anywhere near that, so after chilling the wine, the last thing you want is to further warm the wine more with your hands.

The stemware allows you to analyze the color of your wine. Wine is a sensual thing; it’s all about the experience … and part of that experience is the color. Color and clarity can tell you much about your wine. However, a tumbler-style glass means that it’s difficult to hold your wine up into the light and view it unobstructed.

Finally, stemmed wine glasses make swirling wine before tasting much easier. Swirling gently aerates wine, allowing the flavors to more fully develop and the bowl of the glass to fill with the wine’s aromas. A stemmed glass can be set on a flat surface and gently swirled by hand, with little danger of spilling.  A stemless glass is harder to swirl because it’s more difficult to swirl a glass while holding it by the bowl.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Future of You

A good friend sent this to me ... ha-ha ... reading it made him think of me ... lol. I can safely say, much of my positive results in business, social contacts, influence, jobs/projects, discovering great friends and invaluable assistance, even improving my love life ... have been largely due to my blog over the last 6 years. Very nice to see (parts of it) being viewed from a scholarly perspective. ... And the funny thing is I don't even like to network or socialise much ... I would have been much richer monetary wise if I was a great ass-kisser, but what the heck!

The Future of You

Economic and technological changes are reshaping the nature of work. Having a great job does not guarantee your career success; your competence no longer depends on what you know; and being an affluent consumer matters less than becoming a sought-after product. Welcome to a new era of work, where your future depends on being a signal in the noisy universe of human capital. In order to achieve this, you will need to master three things: self-branding, entrepreneurship, and hyperconnectivity.
Self-branding is about being a signal in the noise of human capital. The stronger your brand, the stronger that signal. In today's world, self-branding matters more than any other form of talent, not least because the mass market is unable (or unwilling) to distinguish between branding and talent.
We are all individuals, but unless we are also a brand, our individuality will be invisible. Being a brand means showcasing that which makes you special, in a way that is distinctive (recognizable), predictable (consistent), and meaningful (it allows others to understand what you do and why). This is why David Beckham and Lady Gaga are much more successful than their more talented competitors — they understood that being a marketing phenomenon is more important than displaying outstanding soccer skills or musical talent, and focused more on self-branding than their counterparts did.
Successful brands are polarizing (they generate strong reactions) and simple. Strong self-branding means removing all non-essentials from your public reputation or, as Antoine Saint-Exupery put it, "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Entrepreneurship is about adding value to society by disrupting it and improving the order of things: it is turning the present into the past by creating a better future.
We are all busy, but the only activity that really matters is enterprising activity or entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the difference between being busy and being a business, and the reason why some are able to stay in business.
Everything that isn't already optimized or automatized depends on people, and every transaction between people is a business transaction. The most important commodity in human capital today is people who can grow a business, that is, work on the business rather than in a business.
Today's war for talent is the war for identifying, developing, and retaining true change-agents. Change-agents are hard to find, hard to manage, and hard to retain. Entrepreneurship is about being a change-agent; change-agents are signals, everyone else is noise. If you are not bringing growth, you are replaceable and recyclable.
Whether you are self-employed or employed by others, whether you work in a big business or own a small business, your career success depends on your ability to offer something new: new solutions for existing problems; new services and products; new ideas; etc. Everything that isn't new is old, and if you are doing old you are stuck in the past. In the age entrepreneurship, the future of you is new, and your value depends on your ability to do things differently. As the great Alan Kay pointed out, "a change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points."
Hyperconnectivity is about being a signal in the sea of data and making and shaping the waves of social knowledge.
We are all online, but what matters is being a relevant connector. Hyperconnectivity is not about being online 24/7; it's about optimizing the online experience for others.
Unless you are a hyperconnector, only Netflix cares about what movies you watch, and only your friends care about where you went for brunch. But when you are a hyperconnector, thousands of people will watch the movies you like and your brunch recommendations will shape reviewers' comments on TripAdvisor. In the era of information overload, being a trustworthy source of information is a rare commodity — it is the digital equivalent of being an intellectual and the latest state in the evolution of marketing.
The world's knowledge is too large to be stored anywhere; Wikipedia and Google aren't enough; the Library of Congress isn't enough. Hyperconnectors point us in the right direction. Anybody can upload a video on YouTube or tweet, but only a few can direct us to the videos or tweets we want to see.
The most important form of knowledge today is knowing where to find stuff. In fact, the ability to find stuff is now almost as important as the ability to create stuff. Hyperconnectors are the creative of the digital era because in the age of information overload, where everybody creates online content, effectively curating content is what really matters.
In short, the future of you depends on your ability to be a brand, a change agent, and a link to useful information. Paying attention to your personality and managing your reputation (how others see you) will turn you into a successful brand; paying attention to your ideas and defying the status quo will help you become a change agent; and bridging the gap between social knowledge and collective interests will turn you into a hyperconnector.
More blog posts by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
More on: Career planning
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic


Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is an international authority in personality profiling and psychometric testing. He is a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London (UCL), Visiting Professor at New York University, and has previously taught at the London School of Economics. He is co-founder of