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Early Daze: Part IV

By Derek On April 12, 2012

My phone rang. I went into Daniel’s office and sat in the chair opposite his big desk.

“Ah, Derek.”

“Good morning, Daniel. How are things?”

“How do you wash your hands?”

“I use soap.”

By now I knew resistance was useless.

“Many people use soap. But just using soap isn’t enough.”

“Yes, I see.”

I started staring at my nails again.

The next week we got news that Yung Kao was going to do a Taiwan joint venture with Peregrine Securities in Hong Kong. Peregrine at the time was Asia’s most successful homegrown investment bank. They were opening offices right across the region and doing deals everywhere. They had a “can do” attitude, were in all the hot deals and everyone wanted to work there. This was seriously good news. I couldn’t wait for it to happen so I could call clients and say, “This is Derek, from Peregrine, Taiwan,” rather than “Yung

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Early Daze: Part III

By Derek On April 3, 2012

I found an apartment to share through an ad in the Taiwan English newspaper. A Canadian girl had one roommate and was looking for another for an older walkup that had three bedrooms. The price was reasonable and it was in a neighborhood just down the noisy road from my new office. We met and hit it off right away. Carol and I had a brother sister-like relationship. She had come to Taiwan to learn traditional Chinese painting. Her area of focus was small birds on branches. It is harder to do than it sounds. She kept two small budgies in a wooden bird cage to study them and how they moved. I was cool with that.

Three’s Company

My other roommate was “Miss Lee,” a Cathay Pacific flight attendant. We all lived platonically and kept radically different schedules. I was at work

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Early Daze: Part II

By Derek On March 30, 2012

The Singaporean fund manager at the end of the line was more than a little surprised to hear from me. I didn’t know anything about broking or what to say to a real client so I introduced myself and once he determined I was calling him from Taiwan, he became very excited and spoke very fast.

“Ok. Ok. Here is what you do. You are the first person to call me, ever, from Taiwan. Please call me every day. Bye.”

With that missive I had my first client! Well, we still had to open an account with him and get him to trade but I was now a “salesman.” My new exalted status required me to move my desk out of research and into “sales” – about ten feet away. My daily routine didn’t change very much, however.

Johnny took me under his wing and taught me

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