Picture 74.pngIn 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.”

Tepper Turns Panic to Profits With $6.5 Billion Hedge Fund Gain [Bloomberg]

Comments (85)

  1. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    He looks so regal in that pic.

  2. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:30 AM

    bringing back memories, I'm getting misty-eyed.
    -pj

  3. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    Is that an Apple IIe in the background?
    What is he doing? Playing Oregon Trail?

  4. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:35 AM

    “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.”
    this is eerily accurate. gives me the chills (and gets me a little excited too).
    -andrea tong

  5. Posted by Investorcluzo | January 5, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    [sing-songy voice]… – just what I needed this morning, I just about spit up my drink…and I've got a meeting this afternoon! well done bessy.

  6. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    @5 seconded

  7. Posted by american bandersnatc | January 5, 2010 at 6:48 AM

    “When he sees a fat pitch, he just keeps swinging and swinging”. Is he saying that Tepper doesn't know how to time and size his trades?

  8. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:56 AM

    @7 shut your mouth when i'm talking to you.
    -DT

  9. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    when did corky start a hedge fund?

  10. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    that was kind of you not to use the photo bloomberg ran.

  11. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    The strippers usually get mad when I throw the $20 on the floor.
    ~Houston Natgas Trader

  12. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    I've never heard of him using the old "one armed man counting his change" analogy to prove any points in the trading room. What gives?

  13. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    @12 that's coming in part 3 of The Secrets To David Tepper’s Success.

  14. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    If any of you need assistance on the "one armed man counting his change" reference, I do have some time available for a while.
    ~The Joke Briefer

  15. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    The first warning sign is when the comparisons to Buffett start.

  16. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:41 AM

    Comment removed by moderator.

  17. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    Bess,
    You complete me.

  18. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:55 AM

    -@14
    That would be much appreciated, thank you.

  19. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    @14 – yes, please. I am particularly curious how it relates to being busier than a one-armed paper hanger, or than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

  20. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    @19 it doesn't relate b/c they're completely separate jokes. idiot.

  21. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    @20 chill out… @19 wouldn't be asking the joke briefer for help if he knew the joke in the first place

  22. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    @16 – That comment was absolutely dreadful. Were you abused as a child?

  23. Posted by american bandersnatc | January 5, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    There is a saying that "In the land of the armless, the one armed man is king".

  24. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 8:24 AM

    @AB no, the saying is "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
    and please, stick to jokes about tepper jerking it on the desk. thanks.

  25. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    Re: "The One-Armed Man Counting His Change"
    The parlor trick referred to as "The One-Armed Counting His Change" is usually at its most hilarious in mixed company after significant amounts of alcohol or other self-medicating drugs have been consumed.
    It is often displayed at office parties or at about 8:00 pm after work in bars and pubs and is usually reserved for an understanding and hard-to-offend audience. It frequently is reserved for those times after all G rated magic tricks ie "the sliding thumb, the salt shaker through the table" trick, tc., have been exhausted.
    To perform the "One -Armed Man Counting His Change" a male will produce an amount of pennies, nickels and dimes and quarters into the palm of his left hand, holding that change at about zipper level.
    Then, with his right hand and hidden from view, he will lower his pants zipper, stick his right hand into his pants and stick only his index finger out the zipper opening as though it wa a penis.
    Then the man will turn and face his audience and using only his index finger sticking through the zipper opening, he will finger the coins in his left hand as though he was counting them. Thus, he will announce, "Here is how a one-armed man counts his change!"
    The joke/trick has been popular since Greco-Roman times with some inferences in it to Egyptian dynasties and Chinese social discussions 7,000 years ago.
    Most recently it is alleged that it is extremely popular at a certain annual Omaha business event as well as among surviving investment banks.
    Limits to the joke consist of knowing who is in the audience or being aware of an attending viewer who is related to a one -armed man.
    Sincerely,
    ~The Joke Briefer

  26. Posted by GUEST | January 5, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    damn you @25
    There you go and show us how its done and spoil the magic for all of us.

  27. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    -@25
    That was really very helpful. Thank you very much.
    -@18

  28. Posted by Charlie | January 5, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    "…says Alan Fournier…." Sure sign of a twit when he compares his former rice bowl to Buffett. Time to bail.

  29. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    24=racist. examine your motives.

  30. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    f you believe Bloomberg’s story the point is to indicate that “the best trades can be like found money.”
    But that’s not really the point. At least, we doubt that’s the point. The point really has to be to dramatically demonstrate a very old joke about the deficiencies of the Efficient Market Hypothesis.
    The joke is usually told along these lines. A finance professor is walking across the University of Chicago campus with a student. They come upon $20 lying on the ground, and the student leans down to pick it up. The professor said, “Don’t bother. If it was really there, somebody else would’ve already picked it up.”
    Tepper probably throws the $20 bill on the ground to point out that whatever you might think about the EMH, sometimes there really are $20 bills lying around and you’d be a fool not to pick them up.

  31. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    @30 no, the point is that that joke is funny once. he's a douche if he does it "often" and not making as good use of a $20 thrown on the ground as Ping Jiang would.

  32. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    30 = david tepper

  33. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    @25/TJB Thank you. Informative as ever.

  34. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    Pitt undergrad?

  35. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Why would anybody dress up a swine in a wool suit? that's just sick.

  36. [...] of the year and while you might’ve thought differently at the time, it turns out keeping a pair of brass testicles on your desk and rubbing them at various intervals throughout the day for good luck isn’t so silly or [...]

  37. Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    Reminds me of the Mad TV Deal Or No Deal superstition sketch.

  38. [...] earners of the year and while you might’ve thought differently at the time, it turns out keeping a pair of brass testicles on your desk and rubbing them at various intervals throughout the day for good luck isn’t so silly or [...]

  39. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:30 AM

    He looks so regal in that pic.

  40. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    bringing back memories, I’m getting misty-eyed.
    -pj

  41. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Is that an Apple IIe in the background?
    What is he doing? Playing Oregon Trail?

  42. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    “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.”
    this is eerily accurate. gives me the chills (and gets me a little excited too).
    -andrea tong

  43. Posted by Investorcluzo | January 5, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    [sing-songy voice]… – just what I needed this morning, I just about spit up my drink…and I’ve got a meeting this afternoon! well done bessy.

  44. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    @5 seconded

  45. Posted by american bandersnatch | January 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    “When he sees a fat pitch, he just keeps swinging and swinging”. Is he saying that Tepper doesn’t know how to time and size his trades?

  46. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    @7 shut your mouth when i’m talking to you.
    -DT

  47. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:03 AM

    when did corky start a hedge fund?

  48. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:03 AM

    that was kind of you not to use the photo bloomberg ran.

  49. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    The strippers usually get mad when I throw the $20 on the floor.
    ~Houston Natgas Trader

  50. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    I’ve never heard of him using the old “one armed man counting his change” analogy to prove any points in the trading room. What gives?

  51. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    @12 that’s coming in part 3 of The Secrets To David Tepper’s Success.

  52. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    If any of you need assistance on the “one armed man counting his change” reference, I do have some time available for a while.
    ~The Joke Briefer

  53. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    The first warning sign is when the comparisons to Buffett start.

  54. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Bess,
    You complete me.

  55. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    -@14
    That would be much appreciated, thank you.

  56. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    @14 – yes, please. I am particularly curious how it relates to being busier than a one-armed paper hanger, or than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

  57. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    @19 it doesn’t relate b/c they’re completely separate jokes. idiot.

  58. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    @20 chill out… @19 wouldn’t be asking the joke briefer for help if he knew the joke in the first place

  59. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    @16 – That comment was absolutely dreadful. Were you abused as a child?

  60. Posted by american bandersnatch | January 5, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    There is a saying that “In the land of the armless, the one armed man is king”.

  61. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    @AB no, the saying is “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
    and please, stick to jokes about tepper jerking it on the desk. thanks.

  62. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Re: “The One-Armed Man Counting His Change”
    The parlor trick referred to as “The One-Armed Counting His Change” is usually at its most hilarious in mixed company after significant amounts of alcohol or other self-medicating drugs have been consumed.
    It is often displayed at office parties or at about 8:00 pm after work in bars and pubs and is usually reserved for an understanding and hard-to-offend audience. It frequently is reserved for those times after all G rated magic tricks ie “the sliding thumb, the salt shaker through the table” trick, tc., have been exhausted.
    To perform the “One -Armed Man Counting His Change” a male will produce an amount of pennies, nickels and dimes and quarters into the palm of his left hand, holding that change at about zipper level.
    Then, with his right hand and hidden from view, he will lower his pants zipper, stick his right hand into his pants and stick only his index finger out the zipper opening as though it wa a penis.
    Then the man will turn and face his audience and using only his index finger sticking through the zipper opening, he will finger the coins in his left hand as though he was counting them. Thus, he will announce, “Here is how a one-armed man counts his change!”
    The joke/trick has been popular since Greco-Roman times with some inferences in it to Egyptian dynasties and Chinese social discussions 7,000 years ago.
    Most recently it is alleged that it is extremely popular at a certain annual Omaha business event as well as among surviving investment banks.
    Limits to the joke consist of knowing who is in the audience or being aware of an attending viewer who is related to a one -armed man.
    Sincerely,
    ~The Joke Briefer

  63. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Re: “The One-Armed Man Counting His Change”
    The parlor trick referred to as “The One-Armed Counting His Change” is usually at its most hilarious in mixed company after significant amounts of alcohol or other self-medicating drugs have been consumed.
    It is often displayed at office parties or at about 8:00 pm after work in bars and pubs and is usually reserved for an understanding and hard-to-offend audience. It frequently is reserved for those times after all G rated magic tricks ie “the sliding thumb, the salt shaker through the table” trick, tc., have been exhausted.
    To perform the “One -Armed Man Counting His Change” a male will produce an amount of pennies, nickels and dimes and quarters into the palm of his left hand, holding that change at about zipper level.
    Then, with his right hand and hidden from view, he will lower his pants zipper, stick his right hand into his pants and stick only his index finger out the zipper opening as though it wa a penis.
    Then the man will turn and face his audience and using only his index finger sticking through the zipper opening, he will finger the coins in his left hand as though he was counting them. Thus, he will announce, “Here is how a one-armed man counts his change!”
    The joke/trick has been popular since Greco-Roman times with some inferences in it to Egyptian dynasties and Chinese social discussions 7,000 years ago.
    Most recently it is alleged that it is extremely popular at a certain annual Omaha business event as well as among surviving investment banks.
    Limits to the joke consist of knowing who is in the audience or being aware of an attending viewer who is related to a one -armed man.
    Sincerely,
    ~The Joke Briefer

  64. Posted by GUEST | January 5, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    damn you @25
    There you go and show us how its done and spoil the magic for all of us.

  65. Posted by GUEST | January 5, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    damn you @25
    There you go and show us how its done and spoil the magic for all of us.

  66. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    -@25
    That was really very helpful. Thank you very much.
    -@18

  67. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    -@25
    That was really very helpful. Thank you very much.
    -@18

  68. Posted by Charlie | January 5, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    “…says Alan Fournier….” Sure sign of a twit when he compares his former rice bowl to Buffett. Time to bail.

  69. Posted by Charlie | January 5, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    “…says Alan Fournier….” Sure sign of a twit when he compares his former rice bowl to Buffett. Time to bail.

  70. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    24=racist. examine your motives.

  71. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    24=racist. examine your motives.

  72. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    f you believe Bloomberg’s story the point is to indicate that “the best trades can be like found money.”
    But that’s not really the point. At least, we doubt that’s the point. The point really has to be to dramatically demonstrate a very old joke about the deficiencies of the Efficient Market Hypothesis.
    The joke is usually told along these lines. A finance professor is walking across the University of Chicago campus with a student. They come upon $20 lying on the ground, and the student leans down to pick it up. The professor said, “Don’t bother. If it was really there, somebody else would’ve already picked it up.”
    Tepper probably throws the $20 bill on the ground to point out that whatever you might think about the EMH, sometimes there really are $20 bills lying around and you’d be a fool not to pick them up.

  73. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    f you believe Bloomberg’s story the point is to indicate that “the best trades can be like found money.”
    But that’s not really the point. At least, we doubt that’s the point. The point really has to be to dramatically demonstrate a very old joke about the deficiencies of the Efficient Market Hypothesis.
    The joke is usually told along these lines. A finance professor is walking across the University of Chicago campus with a student. They come upon $20 lying on the ground, and the student leans down to pick it up. The professor said, “Don’t bother. If it was really there, somebody else would’ve already picked it up.”
    Tepper probably throws the $20 bill on the ground to point out that whatever you might think about the EMH, sometimes there really are $20 bills lying around and you’d be a fool not to pick them up.

  74. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    @30 no, the point is that that joke is funny once. he’s a douche if he does it “often” and not making as good use of a $20 thrown on the ground as Ping Jiang would.

  75. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    @30 no, the point is that that joke is funny once. he’s a douche if he does it “often” and not making as good use of a $20 thrown on the ground as Ping Jiang would.

  76. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    30 = david tepper

  77. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    30 = david tepper

  78. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    @25/TJB Thank you. Informative as ever.

  79. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Pitt undergrad?

  80. Posted by guest | January 5, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    Pitt undergrad?

  81. Posted by guest | January 6, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Why would anybody dress up a swine in a wool suit? that’s just sick.

  82. Posted by guest | January 6, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Why would anybody dress up a swine in a wool suit? that’s just sick.

  83. Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 at 6:20 AM

    Reminds me of the Mad TV Deal Or No Deal superstition sketch.

  84. Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 at 6:20 AM

    Reminds me of the Mad TV Deal Or No Deal superstition sketch.

  85. Posted by Guest | April 27, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    especially with that shirt he bought at the $2 shop.