The Buy Side, by former Galleon Group trader Turney Duff, portrays an after-hours Wall Street culture where drugs and sex are rampant and billions in trading commissions flow to those who dangle the most enticements.
A remarkable writing debut, filled with indelible moments, The Buy Side shows as no book ever has the rewards – and dizzying temptations – of making a living on the Street.
Growing up in the 1980’s Turney Duff was your average kid from Kennebunk, Maine, eager to expand his horizons. After trying – and failing – to land a job as a journalist, he secured a trainee position at Morgan Stanley and got his first feel for the pecking order that exists in the trading pits. Those on the “buy side,” the traders who make large bets on whether a stock will rise or fall, are the “alphas” and those on the “sell side,” the brokers who handle their business, are eager to please.
How eager to please was brought home stunningly to Turney in 1999 when he arrived at the Galleon Group, a colossal hedge-fund management firm run by secretive founder Raj Rajaratnam. Finally in a position to trade on his own, Turney was encouraged to socialize with the sell side and siphon from his new broker friends as much information as possible. Soon he was not just vacuuming up valuable tips but also being lured into a variety of hedonistic pursuits. Naive enough to believe he could keep up the lifestyle without paying a price, he managed to keep an eye on his buy-and-sell charts and, meanwhile, pondered the strange goings on at Galleon, where tens of millions were being made each week in sometimes mysterious ways.
At his next positions, at Argus Partners and J.L. Berkowitz, Turney climbed to even higher heights – and, as it turned out, plummeted to even lower depths - as, by day, he solidified his reputation one of the Street’s most powerful healthcare traders, and by night, he blazed a path through the city’s nightclubs, showing off his social genius and voraciously inhaling any drug that would fill the void he felt inside.
A mesmerizingly immersive journey through Wall Street’s first millennial decade, and a poignant self-portrait by a young man who surely would have destroyed himself were it not for his decision to walk away from a seven-figure annual income, The Buy Side is one of the best coming-of-age-on-the-Street books ever written.
©2013 Turney Duff (P)2013 Random House
As an only child, books were my world. I love to read and audiobooks are essential in my world today. I must admit I am somewhat dependent (addicted?) to audible audiobooks. Too easy. Too good!
I took a risk on buying this book as I am completely illiterate in all things Wall Street. It paid off quite nicely because the author takes us through his journey on Wall Street from his own beginning as an painfully clueless intern. He explains the function of a Wall Street trader in a way that almost anyone can understand and I found it fascinating. He takes the reader with him as he moves up the ladder, becoming one of the biggest names on the Buy Side. While doing this, Duff seamlessly delves into the accompanying lifestyle of the trader-where more money can be made in one day than many people make in a decade. The excess is almost inevitable but it's the drugs that are Duff's final undoing. And eventually, his redoing. Ultimately, he sees the emptiness in all of it but not until he goes through his own version of hell. The beauty of this book is that you need not be a finance major to enjoy it, because the book is not about finance, or stocks, or trading at all. It's about our ever-increasing need to find something outside of ourselves to make us happy, and never finding it.
I would listen to this book again.
Duff paints a picture for the listener, I truly believe him even when he isn't quite sure what happened.
A blow by blow account of the street's spectacular highs, and lows.
Don't quit during the opening preface. I had a strong urge to stop listening right off the bat however, after Duff 'warmed up' The Buy Side seemed to flow more naturally.
It was a fascinating story, told from the first person perspective.
A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers--another insider story, but more about the industry than the individual
Almost anyone! I understand why someone who writes a book about his own life would like to read it, but his narration really detracted from the book. I almost stopped listening, although he did a bit better by the end. He was flat and boring.
Steven Hoye or Sean Runnette would have been great.
Not really, I just felt bad for those around him who were hurt by his actions.
Yes and no. It lets me listen when I am in the car, but I can't easily go back and reflect on certain parts.
How the power of cocaine so often trumped the love for his daughter.
The whole book
Neither...it made me sad for the major players whose lives were disrupted.
An excellent tale.
Yes, for two reasons, if this friend is interested in the ins and outs of a life on Wall Street and/or if this friend is just looking for a great overall story.
The best thing about this story, is how it is put together. Everything is easily understandable and entertaining. There was never a point where I could easily stop listening and wait till the next time. It was honestly one of the best books I have listened to!
It made me laugh out loud many times, but also kept me on the edge needed to know what will happen next.
I can only hope to find more books done as well as this one is... GREAT JOB Mr. Duff!!
Turney Duff takes us from his days as a wide eyed newbie at Morgan Stanley, through his trading days at Galleon, Argus Partners and J.L. Berkowitz in a book which one hopes was as self healing for Duff to write as it was interesting for us to read. Throughout the book you keep asking yourself, "how bad can this get" and saying, "I know this isn't going to end well, when does the train hit the wall." When done, it leaves you asking the age old question, "How could someone who had everything let it get so out of control?"
Some good stuff on Galleon and its founder/felon Raj Rajaratnam, more examples of Wall Street putting self interests ahead of clients, an interesting take on Jim Cramer, and the obvious lesson on the danger of drugs.
Yes! If you like the markets, you can pick up some things. However, be aware that the majority of the book is about drug/alcohol addiction.
Yes. See comments above.
Add more content on his career and how people can learn. More substance not substance abuse.
Enjoy mostly non fiction and the occasional thriller.
Being a financial advisor to individuals, this 'exciting' side of the business has always fascinated me. I am so far removed from it but in many ways envy the lifestyle. Listening to this story allows you to live vicariously thru Turney's ups and downs without the ramifications. Kind of like a Wall Street fraternity party that went too far. In the end I have to say I'd recommend The Buy Side for a truly quick read/listen.
An almost unreal story of how a person can be sucked into the wild life of a Wall Street broker.
Turney Duff is very honest and open about moments of incredible highs and just as honest about the incredible lows of his life. And they are both on the absolute extreme ends of the spectrum.
Turney Duff is able to emphasize how a small town kid can allow himself to spiral out of control with a life of excess. It is an extremely entertaining book that gives a lot of information about how the Wall Street melt down came about.
It was a great book to read to learn about the inner workings of corrupt Wall Street. A lot of what went on was on the news. This account allows the reader know more about the people and lifestyle of those who were in the middle of the Wall Street melt down.
All business but contemporary fun!
The author is just brilliant, amazing humor, great story telling, takes you inside the "dirty" side of Wall St but with an unpretentious tone that is so needed.
"Understated but superb"
No - I rarely listen to the same book twice.
The emphasis on the story and not the details of the excesses.
Actually, the prologue, which perfectly sums up what the whole book is about.
I expect the author could have revealed much more of the seedier side of his life, and no doubt some readers will wish he had. But the understated, matter of fact, nature of it all makes it all the more powerful and memorable.
At first I was not sure about the voice. But when you realise that the person reading it is the person everything happened to it makes it more real.
I listened to this in the car in one hour chunks and was sad when it finished. I found it so enjoyable. I'm going to re-listen to Wolf of Wall Street again. Tried before but gave up.
All in all The Buy Side is excellent. Highly recommended.
"Raw Wall Street told from a victim's point of view"
I really enjoyed Turney's openness and honesty. His rise and fall leaves one gutted for him and you are left only wondering how many others go through this journey everyday.
I felt excited to read the cut and thrust of Wall Street trading and brashness of the players. I felt a huge sense of waste when he descended into the hopelessness of drug use.
"Good interesting read"
An insight into the wall street and what the banks get up to with clients money.
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