As you have probably seen on our Instagram page, my Aston Martin roadster with the bloody red interior and the license plate 2.4GPA (still cracks me up to this day and gets plenty of thumbs up from the less scholastic drivers on the road). I’m asked on a daily basis, “How much did it cost?” I simply answer, “It’s sooo much fun to drive!”
What transpired over my senior year of college was what motivated me to purchase an exotic car less than a year after graduation. For a while I nicknamed it “The Dream” since people would like to yell out to me their lifes goals when they see me in it as if I can grant their wishes. A Magic Genie, I am not.
As per my license plate, obviously I didn't do so hot in college. I never failed a class, never got D’s, never withdrew a class, or overslept. Just an average B-C student since day 1. As a result I was on Academic Probation for pretty much my entire junior and senior year and actually graduated below the minimum 2.5, I finished college with a 2.45 GPA diploma in hand. Thank you very much!
Meanwhile one of my best friends “Big Bry” was kicked out and had to go to community college for having a 2.42 GPA. I speculated that the dean let it slide for me, since I won every trading competition our school held. He respected me because I had the balls to tell him he was wrong on multiple occasions, while my friend rolled over and didn't put up a fight. Even when they were handing me a giant check in front of the entire faculty after winning 1st place with a 52% return for the semester (second place had an astronomical 6% gain LOL). I still made a point to show that it wasn't what I learned in the classroom that helped me achieve that return, it was from what I learned as a trader on my own time.
How much was the check you ask? A whopping $200 bucks -- less than the cost of the textbooks that I never bought. If you read our story “Academic Probation,” you will hear more about this and my return to campus after graduation to lay havoc on the first weekend school was back in session, stretch limo and Aston Martin trailing behind.
My strong suits have always been outside the classroom, going back to my days hustling pokemon cards in 3rd grade. A trader's mentality since day 1. Coming out of school, I had the typical recent grad dilemma, I’m broke, I have a ton of debt and this piece of paper (diploma) is becoming more of a standard than a stand out. Even with that being said, I still ran my own businesses in college. Granted they were very small time, I turned the candy operation from high school, into a vending machine business. It made ok money, nothing to lose sleep over, along with a solid income stream selling blenders on Amazon (that's another story for a different day) to the point I was able to quit my job that was paying me $18 an hour. I was making twice as much selling online without virtually doing any work. I still traded, but I never had the intention to spend a cent of what I made, I just wanted to grow the account. Whether I made or lost money, I wasn't losing sleep over it because I had no intention on ever spending it until the account had 7 digits.
So there was about a month until graduation and I was hanging out in my friends dorm who I called “Gross Revenue” or “Rev” for short. He was a tall guy, had a smoking hot girlfriend, and sold weed with a deep raspy voice. Pretty much your typical drug dealer stereotype, except he was white and dressed head to toe in polo. He seemed to always brag about his “revenue” but in the vaguest of ways, “I just sold a QP and made a few benjies” instead of saying I just made $200 for selling this ziplock bag of weed to a freshman. He loved to claim how he was burying cash in his backyard because the Feds were watching. He marketed himself well, I estimated his “revenue” to be as high as 6 figures, but I eventually came to find out it was less than 10 g’s. By Feds, he meant his town cops since they always know who sells drugs in a town that's less than 2 square miles.
So we’re chilling in his room bullshitting with a few other friends about the party the night prior. Its funny, everyone always referred to the night prior of parting as “a movie”. “Yoo man last night was a movie!” you would hear from one frat bro as the next would reply, “Just wait till thursday, it's going be a movie!” Thinking back I am literally facepalming myself for how stupid it sounded. So as “the movie” discussion started to bore me, I switched gears, hopped onto Cars.com and started looking at some Ferrari’s, Bentley’s, Lambo’s, etc. “Rev” peers over and looks at my screen and asks “What I'm looking at?”
“Car shopping” I reply nonchalantly still staring at the screen, not breaking my line of sight. Trying to drown out the idle conversation that is going on. I can feel him hovering over me to take a closer look. He see the tabs of Ferrari’s, Maserati's and Bentleys, and fires off with such confidence “Why are you looking at those cars? It's impossible to buy an exotic car out of college!” In that moment I pause, look up from the screen and calmly reply, “In less than 12 months, there will be one in my driveway.” Before I could finish my reply, he fires off “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!”
He started going off on a rant as I tune out and start to run the numbers in my head as to what it would cost monthly to afford the exotics I was interested in. Right then and there on a subconscious level, the race was on, if you tell me that I cannot do something, regardless of what it is.
Aston’s were not even on my radar at that point, but on a subconscious level I was going to prove him wrong. Not to shove it in his face, but for my own satisfaction. More or less the same mentality when the Dean told me that I couldn’t get a job on Wall Street with my 2.4GPA and that I should focus more on accounting and less on finance. When there was nothing I learned in college, business wise, that helped me start any business or get my first job on Wall Street, other than motivate me to prove the dean wrong.
After I graduated and started working on Wall Street as a Prop Trader. I started to spend the next few months flying around to Miami and other states on the weekends. To test drive Aston Martins and understand more about the car and what I was getting myself into. No one at my firm knew about this, other than my future partner Shake of Trading Experts, who I made promise he wouldn't let any of the BSD’s on the desk, know of my plot.
There is a certain hierarchy on any trading desk, if you were a BSD, you would wear a Rolex Daytona, but the key was to paid retail for such a subtle watch. Myself being less than a year on “The Street” had no business pulling up to the office in the type of exotic car, that only head traders and partners could afford. I was still lower than pond scum in their eyes.
(test driving an Aston Martin DB9 in Miami)
After all the traveling to different states and test driving half a dozen or more different Aston Martins. The last one took the cake. Funniest part, the salesmen wouldn't let me test drive it. He too, like my friend didn't believe how this 22 year old kid was going to afford a car that cost more than his first house. A fact he made very clear as to why I could not afford it. I just smiled and told the senior salesman I’d be back with cash next weekend. He rolled his eyes, and replied, “Yeah sure kid, the taxes alone are over $10k on this car.” ( I live in a state with 7% sales tax, if you want to do the math)
People love to tell you, that you can't do something and it's not because you cant, its because they know they can't. Don't listen to those losers. There's always someone that has to be the first and there are always exceptions to every rule, even from the old guys telling me “You’ll never make it.”
(Salesman wouldn't let me test drive it)
So a week later, I had my friend “Big Papi” tag along, who was one of my oldest business partners and a top producer of mine back during my candy hustle in high school. He moved to DR midway through high school to pursue a career in professional baseball and would have gone pro if he hadn't torn his rotator cuff when he signed to the Oakland Athletics. Regardless, he was a 6’6’’ jacked dominican baseball player and looked like my bodyguard anywhere we went.
So it's a beautiful sunny Saturday morning in March and Big Papi was driving me down the shore to the car dealer in my limousine as I sat in the back with a $41,000 cashier's check and $9,000 cash. I wanted to bring the $50,000 in all cash as the down payment, but apparently that's a big red flag. A friend who is an accountant told me I’d look like 50 Cent in Get Rich or Die Trying when he buys the all-white Benz straight cash. He sees my eyes light up at how cool that move was, an my friend responds, “He was a drug dealer, don’t do that shit.” So I went the safe route.
I pull up in the limo and walk into the guy's office and place the check down in front of the same old salesman. As he looks up and we lock eyes, I ask him, “Remember me?” The man’s dentures almost fell out of his mouth. Immediately the conversation turned to us becoming best friends, because he was about to get paid for the easiest sale in history. He went from telling me I couldn't test drive it and a week later his job was done. He uttered maybe 20 words to me when we first met. Now he's chatting me up for hours, asking me about my business, what I do, etc. since he was now about to make a few thousand dollars for closing the deal.
As the paperwork was getting approved he said to me, “You know, you are the youngest kid I’ve ever seen buy a car like this. See how bald I am? I've been doing this for a long time!” as he pointed to his balding scalp. Maybe he was gassing me up to close the deal or build some rapport with me after being such a dick, who knows. I never did it to rub it in the salesman's face or even to Rev. I did it for me, and that was all that mattered. I knew from that point on, that if someone told me I couldn't do it because of whatever excuse they wanted to make. I would prove them wrong. A few months down the road, Rev hit me up once he heard I got the Aston. He went from “that’s impossible” quickly to “How can I do it?”
“It’s impossible ;)” I replied.
Do you have balls?
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