July 4 Reading Material for ETF’ers : A Closer Look at Wall Street

MarketsMuse Editor Note: Below excerpt courtesy of ETF Industry Icon Ron Delegge from his best selling Gents with No Cents is a great teaser for any and all wing-tip types who are looking for a fun read while enjoying the July 4 holiday weekend. Ron’s day job includes publishing the ETF Guide and providing The Portfolio Report Card. (see below for links!)

gents with no centsPreserved deep within a corporation’s bowels is an extraordinary creature unlike any other — the corporate executive. Before you’ve even started your day, he has already been on a three-hour conference call with Asia about a big merger. Before that, he was yelling at Europe while you were tucking in the kids. Most people sleep when they sleep, but he works. The corporate executive is not a lazy man.

In our examination of corporate executives, we must remember to never judge. We must also remember that a stereotype is not a stereotype, especially if it’s true.

gents2Inside the executive’s subconscious mind (yes, even business people have a conscience) are his stock options vesting schedule, his getaway strategy from whatever and whomever, and maybe even a mistress. She will meet him for dinner because, as always, the company is buying. He’s at the top of his game.

Certain chief executives rise above the rest for the sole purpose of crucifying the competition. As much fun as that may be, some executives are more enthralled with persecuting shareholders and business partners than competitors. A psychologist might say that malice is the foundation of the executive’s character, but the executive doesn’t see it that way. His enthusiasm is merely misinterpreted as rage and his generosity as manslaughter. He works, not because he has to, but to escape the rat race of golfing and fishing. Nobody understands him — including himself.

Contrary to what the tabloids say, the corporate executive is a family person. Whenever there’s a graduation or funeral, he always sends a check. He’s ethical, principled and decent — according to his legal counsel. In his free time, which is never, he obtains great motivation from reading literature written by the Great Business Thinkers.* Maybe he’s morally challenged, but he’s not necessarily evil. He’s an incurable romantic; otherwise, he would not be where he is today.
*See Stink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Shill

From Executive to Diplomat
Naturally, the curious bystander wants to know, “Where do corporate executives come from, and who is responsible for educating them?” It was my original intention to list their parents by name, but cataloging family patriarchs and matriarchs would create an additional 156 pages of wasted space. This predicament left me with no choice but to analyze their resumes.

Although falsifying information on a resume is widely considered a taboo business practice, today it has become so commonplace that it’s almost taboo not to do it. In fact, bogus resumes have gotten so out of hand that they are the third leading cause for CEO firings, right behind illicit office affairs and going to prison.

In this regard, let me offer all corporate executives two rules of thumb: First, residing in the same city as a particular university does not automatically make you an alumnus of that university; second, if you cannot remember the name of the university you attended, it’s best to focus on your other strengths, like the one time you increased profits two percent by cutting your company’s workforce 87 percent.

Finally, if you’re convinced you attended a particular university but are unsure whether or not you received a diploma, call the school immediately and ask for the registrar’s office. Should the registrar refuse to acknowledge your token commitment to the educational process, agree to make a generous donation and see if the university will give you an honorary degree. (Not a decree, a degree.) Then, once you receive your diploma, you can tell everyone that you’re a diplomat. Do it for alma mater — even if you don’t have one!

Ron’s day job includes publishing the ETF Guide and providing The Portfolio Report Card.

Ron’s book is available at Amazon.com