In our last installment of The Secrets To David Tepper’s Success we learned that the Appaloosa founder rubs a pair of brass balls at various points throughout the trading day for good luck and also to keep his team in good spirits. Today it’s the bit with the twenty:
David Tepper often throws a $20 bill on the floor when he’s weighing a big investment with analysts at Appaloosa Management LP. “Would you pick that up?” Tepper, founder and president of Appaloosa, asks them. His point: The best trades can be like found money.
Obviously this has worked out pretty well for D.Tepp, as evidenced by his fund gaining about 120%, after fees, through early December but really? He does this quasi-amusing trick “often,” without it getting old after the first time? And his employees are still always like “ah-ha, we see what you’re getting at, Big D” the 100th time around? The thing with the sack we get. Watching someone have his way with a replica of testicles he keeps on his desk is never not uproarious. But this? Meh. In fairness, maybe it’s just that we read the first couple lines and got overly excited that this was going to go down the way it does up in Stamford, where the trick has been perfected and goes something more like, “Would you bend over and pick that up? Yeah, really put your back into it, just like that. That’s a good girl. Oh, I see you’re wearing the crotchless panties today, very nice. [sing-songy voice] Someone’s gonna get to execute his trade todayyyy. Okay now take that $20 and stick it in your mouth. Yeah, just like that. Don’t think I’m not doing this to make a point here, I am, and it will reveal itself right after you put this ball gag on.”
But whatever! The team seems to like it (or put up with it) and has only great things to say about the big man, like that a certain investor/aberrant sex fetishist doesn’t hold a candle to the guy.
“When he sees a fat pitch, he just keeps swinging and swinging,” says Alan Fournier, a former Appaloosa partner and founder of Pennant Capital Management LLC. “I don’t think Warren Buffett holds a candle to him,” Fournier says.
Also, this did not go unappreciated:
…he was an indifferent student at Pittsburgh Peabody High School, he says, and something of a class clown. He remembers being kicked out of one class and told by the teacher, “Go roam the halls and act like the animal you are.”