Business Students Get the Real Story from Analyst Vincent Daniel

Business Students Get the Real Story from Analyst Vincent Daniel

The high school’s Business Academy students were recently treated to a visit from Vincent Daniel, the real-life stock analyst portrayed in the 2015 film “The Big Short” and the 2010 Michael Lewis book it was based on, “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.” Both stories showed how Daniel predicted the housing market crash of 2007.

Daniel began by discussing his college accounting studies at Binghamton University, his, career trajectory and possible job pathways.

“The goal in college for me was to come out and get a job, and I wanted to be in business, so accounting was best way at the time,” he said. “My goal was to get my CPA. But I hated what I did. I loved what accounting taught me, but I always wanted to get to Wall Street.”

After two years of working as an accountant, he shifted to Oppenheimer and Co., researching financial service companies that specialized in mortgages. It was there that his analysis of flawed subprime mortgages led to the events depicted in the book and film. Daniel later worked at Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods; was a partner, executive director and financial analyst at FrontPoint; and cofounded Seawolf Capital, where he served as head analyst.

In describing what he does today, Daniel likened his job as a portfolio manager to being a professional gambler.

“I make investments on stocks and hopefully produce a return for my investors,” he said.

Before diving into a question-and-answer session, Daniel left the eager students with solid career advice, saying, “If you remember anything I said today, it’s this: Choose a profession that you love. One of the greatest things in life is to wake up and want to go to work. So, whatever you want to do, do that. Secondly, take public speaking classes and get over the fear of speaking. It’s very important to communicate and understand how to communicate. Three, if you want to be in my profession and get on Wall Street, you’re going to have to learn how to program and code, and if you want to analyze companies, learn how to use Excel. If you want to do what I do, model out a company. Look at their financial statements in the past and project forward. Invest in them, see how it feels to make money, and more importantly, see what it’s like to lose money.”