Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Guest Post with Colin Lancaster - Fed Up!

Photo Content from Colin Lancaster

Colin Lancaster is a 25-year Wall Street professional. He has run two of the highest profile global macro businesses for the top-performing hedge funds in the world and has worked directly for a number of the icons of the investing world. Most recently he was Head of Macro Strategies at Citadel and prior to that he was Head of Macro at Balyasny Asset Management. He has managed investment operations in London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago, and San Francisco. Colin is a graduate of Princeton University and is a lawyer by original training. He and his wife have three daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and reading.


A First Timer’s Lessons in Writing a Book….from the author of Fed Up! Success, Excess & Crisis Through the Eyes of a Hedge Fund Macro Trader by Colin Lancaster.
"Keep super fast pace. Punchy. Say most possible in fewest words. Defender of American Dream. Defender of the middle class. Keep cheeky and irreverent."

These words were on sticky notes on my computer. They were my guiding principles.

I have never written a book before, But, I have always loved to read and have really admired people like Michael Lewis — people that can take complicated topics and turn them into an amazing story that people can’t put down. For me, I wanted to capture this extraordinary period of time that we have just lived through, and I wanted to do it through the eyes of a macro trader, which is what I know best. For me, to be able to capture this moment in time — and to be able to do it through the frenetic life of a trader during a pandemic — was an incredible challenge. Markets are always alive, but to be able to capture the heartbeat of markets during a period of isolation, quarantine, and fear was really incredible.

I also wanted to use the backdrop of the markets and the pandemic to address some incredibly important issues: I wanted to highlight the excesses in our current world and, what I would consider to be a new era of greed. Or as the main character — Boss would say — "This is much more than Greed is Good. This is steal as much as you can and if you are wrong we will bail you out….”

What I learned in the process is that writing is tougher than I thought. And, it is lonelier than you would expect. Being stuck with yourself and a big pile of words gets really hard at times.

I also learned that I needed to be patient. My first draft changed … a lot. In fact, I have over 14,000 words that I cut out of my draft. It was painful because as I wrote each one of those words I thought that they were perfect.

You also need to find your authentic voice. This is important. You need to decide how (and what) you want to communicate to your audience. If it is not “authentic” it will not resonate.

The fourth item I learned is that it was impossible to keep everyone happy. I needed to limit who I asked for advice. This was hard for me. Early in the writing, I asked a lot of people for comments. It confused me. Everyone had a different take on how the story should take shape and at the end of the day I could not satisfy everyone. I needed to be the master of my own universe and keep it to a limited group of trusted confidants. It is your story and you need to follow your own instincts.

Finally, I wanted to end this post with some of those words that I cut out of my original draft. I still think they are good and it really killed me to cut them out! They were originally part of a scene in which the main character — called Boss — is ranting to one of his colleagues. He had been in a recent trading slump and he was not having much success with the markets. His stress was beginning to boil over as he grew increasingly frustrated. I ultimately cut the section because it was too much of a rant and took away from the rest of the story. But, I still like the excerpt!

"So what causes wealth inequality and this big wealth gap that exists?

The biggest thing is obvious. Do Ra Me. The Benjamins. $$$$. Do you got it or not. This is the age old issue of Labor versus Capital. If you rely on your labor to get by in life things are tough and getting tougher every day and they will get even worse. The playing field is not level. Pretty much everything in life favors the guys with the Capital. Taxes, Opportunity, Education, QE. ALL OF IT. It is all geared to the rich. If you depend on your own labor to make ends meet the odds say that you are falling behind. But, if you got the dough to make it rain and can put that Capital to work for you it means that you are on a different level from everyone else. And the crazy thing is that the 97% that do rely on their labor have the votes to change this. But they don’t. Sheep are born to be shorn….

Easy Peasy."

Fed Up! tells the story of a global macro trader working amidst the greatest market panic we have seen since the Great Depression. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the world, readers are taken through the late-stage decadence of an exuberant market bubble to the depths of the market crash and into the early innings of a recovery. It provides readers with a front row seat on trading activity, allowing them to experience the heartbeat of the markets.

It's also about money and opportunity. It's about the moral dilemma of a man who is struggling as he reaches his own peak. Readers will experience the frenetic pace of life as a trader and will connect with the protagonist, experiencing his struggle to balance his personal values with the compromised values of the world around him. It shines a light on the largest policy issues confronting the U.S., while offering an entertaining and humorous look at the guys and gals who are the new market operators.

This riveting account of the 2020 market crash from inside the mind of a global macro trader will serve as an exciting, nail-biting record of current times. It is about making fortunes while the world slips into misfortune.

Will he beat the markets or will the markets beat him?

You can purchase Fed Up! at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you COLIN LANCASTER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Fed Up! by Colin Lancaster.

1 comment:

  1. One day wouldn't be nearly enough. Let me go back and change all the things that keep me up at night.