Over the next few days, I’d like to tell you the story of how I met Bill Bonner and his coauthor on The Bonner-Denning Letter, Dan Denning.
I was working for Salomon Brothers in London on the legendary trading floor Michael Lewis wrote about in Liar’s Poker, the largest trading floor in Europe. The year was 2003.
I was hungry – to be a hedge fund manager or a Big Swinging Dick on a trading floor somewhere. And I was indoctrinating myself night and day in the art of speculation… by reading books, playing poker, and trading futures.
And then, I discovered e-newsletters… penned by characters like Richard Maybury, Richard Russell, John Mauldin, Kurt Richebächer, Stratfor… and Bill Bonner.
Their ideas captivated me.
I felt like I’d broken into an underground club… or become a member of a modern resistance…
I’d ride the Tube – the underground train in London – reading the latest issue of whatever it was, sunk low in my seat, casting an occasional furtive glance to make sure no investment bankers were reading over my shoulder.
I’d found my place… on the investment fringe.
Then, I did two things any investment banker would think were crazy…
First, I put my entire life savings into gold mining shares and gold futures contracts. And I convinced six of my mother’s bridge friends to give me money, and I did the same thing with that (more on that in a minute).
Second, I wrote to Bill and told him I’d quit my job at Salomon Brothers and come work for him, for free, if he’d give me a job at the newsletter he was writing at the time.
Bill forwarded my note to Addison Wiggin, another colleague of ours in the newsletter world, who took me out to dinner with Dan. But Addison never followed up with me.
I quit Salomon anyway, flew to Mexico City without any money (literally no money or credit cards), and hitchhiked my way to Chicago by freight train, scavenging from dumpsters, sleeping in the streets, and sending hilariously ironic newsletters to my lawyer and banker friends back in England.
I also sent these emails to Addison, out of a sort of perverse revenge for not hiring me. But then, he asked me to Paris to hang out with him, Dan, and Bill for a few days, an invite which I gratefully accepted. Despite my stench of garbage, they offered me a job in Baltimore.
And as for the long gold trade…
Gold was $350 an ounce when I started the trade… on its way to $2,000. So that worked out okay, too (although I cashed in much too soon).
And so you see, this isn’t the first time I’ve put my life savings into gold, launched myself on a crazy adventure, and sent absurd emails to my friends back home…
How will it end this time?
Better keep reading…
– Tom Dyson