During that time, it was all about making your fortune in the City. I had landed a job at one of the biggest merchant banks around, SG Warburg, in a bid to become a Eurobond trader.

With the ‘Big Bang’ and computerisation, everyone was talking about black boxes and algorithms: ‘nothing could go wrong anymore.’ Then Black Monday hit, and it was carnage.

At that time, in the City, people’s lives were centred on work, it was just the culture, and all of a sudden it was just like a domino effect and everything was sideswiped. People were jumping off of buildings in New York.

I was only 20 years old and saw first-hand what took place on the trading floor. The film Wall Street, released in 1987, springs to mind. It epitomised the nature of trading at that time: ‘greed is good’ is the quote the film became famous for. I knew I wanted to stay in financial services, but I knew then that I didn’t want to be a bond trader.

Markets are very easily manipulated by big institutions, and if clients could see the underbelly of financial markets they would be a lot more cautious. There are winners and there are losers, which is why it is so important to have a defensive stance when investing.

This article appeared online at Citywire New Model Adviser titled:-
‘It was carnage’: IFAs remember Black Monday
New Model Adviser Team / 19 Oct, 2017

About Austyn

Austyn Smith is a leading advocate of the ‘risk managed’ approach and ‘all weather’ investing, and has been featured as a Citywire ‘Cover Star’ in 2010, 2013 and 2017.

Following his work on risk reduction strategies, in 2011 he was recognized by Citywire Wealth Manager magazine as ‘Being in a position of some influence among your peer group, and likely to take a leading role in setting the investment agenda for UK Private Client managers.’

Austyn has recently contributed to leading publications by Citywire, and the Institute of Directors, and over the years has been quoted in the Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, The Independent, and Bloomberg Markets.

With over 25 years wealth management experience, Austyn lives with his wife and children, Black Labrador and Springer, in Beaconsfield, Bucks.