Hi, I’m Ricky Jonesy-Innit, boss of Becci Boo Investments.
Last week we said goodbye to our best commodity trader.
He’d been with us for years.
Sadly, Coco was determined to retire to the countryside, to his birthplace, a snug little village in the hills of Montseny.
Coco is not like you or me, he’s a highly intelligent Catalan sheepdog.
So, you might ask, how did Coco get to be a trader at the Becci Boo Hedge Fund?
It’s a long story that I will relate as briefly as I can.
Back in time, there was one particularly disastrous day of trading at Becci Boo.
The CFO was livid. Out he comes onto the trading floor, swearing and blinding.
“God! You guys are the damn pits! Can’t you get anything right? A catalan sheepdog could trade more effectively than you feckless feckers”
I try and diffuse the situation and offer a “Come on, Jordi, don’t be like that, we’re only human”
“You don’t believe me” he replies.
“Sure, but you’re not going to convince me that a Catalan sheepdog could be a substitute for a human trader are you?”
“How much do you want to bet?”
So, the next week we arrange to run an experiment.
We ring around all the owners of Catalan sheepdogs and ask them if they would like their dog to take part in our simple experiment.
Food, lodging and generous expenses included.
We easily manage to get together 64 Catalan sheepdogs and their owners from all over Europe.
The experiment we design is quite simple.
We give each dog a gadget with two big buttons on it, a red button and a yellow button.
Every Monday morning we ask the assembled dogs to press one of two buttons depending on whether they think that the chosen energy commodities market will close higher or lower at the end of the week. Red button for a higher close, the yellow button for a lower closing price. It’s a walk in the park for these dogs.
To make sure that all of the participating dogs have equal and fair chances in the experiment, we provide owners with access to all our big data, and we have multiple screens set up in each studio so that each dog can follow all of the financial news that they need to take in.
At the end of week one, 32 dogs remain in the experiment, and the other 32 are sadly sent home.
By the end of week 5 only two dogs remain.
By the end of week 6 we have a sole winner, Afi, who has accurately predicted the market movement of our commodities market for a record six weeks in succession.
Unfortunately, this is where things start to go wrong.
Our marketing department tweets the news of the amazing Afi and it immediately goes viral.
Articles appear in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Cinco Dias and Les Échos, hailing the amazing brilliance of the newly discovered Catalan commodity trader.
Hundreds of interviews are held and millions of photos make the rounds of the social and professional networks.
Over the following year Afi is interviewed, researched, studied and investigated. Academic papers are written about him. Amazing claims are made about his canine knowledge, wisdom and experience.
This is shortly followed by the publication of a plethora of bestselling business books, with titles such as: The 7 Habits of the Highly Effective Canine – Personal Lessons in Trading; Be More Afi and Grow Rich; The Gos d’Atura That Conquered Chicago; Learn to Trade like Afi; Good Sheepdog, Great Afi; Who Moved My Dog Food; etc. Which unfortunately all goes to Afi’s head, and he begins to seriously lose his mojo.
So much so, that by the end of the year, we let Afi go, and we bring back Coco, the dog that managed to get the market movements right for five weeks in a row, and who was only ‘pipped at the post’ by Afi.
Since then, Coco has helped us to win far more than we lose. So we were sad to see him leave.
After his epic leaving party all the staff saw him off, and as he was chauffeured away down the driveway he turned and looked back, and his face said it all.
“I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life”.