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An Ex-Merrill Trader's Lesson For The Young Pups

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Mind Katalan's pearls of wisdom and one day you too could be talkin' rentals without taking your sunglasses off. If you play your cards right.

"I'm looking for something three-bedrooms, swimming pool, modern, for $50,000 to $75,000 for the season," said David Katalan, who used to work as a trader at Merrill Lynch but is currently unemployed. He and a companion, a publicist who declined to give her name, were buying scoops of cappuccino crunch at the Ice Cream Club of Sag Harbor. Mr. Katalan said he was making lowball offers on houses listed for $90,000 to $100,000 for the season.
"How do I still have money to rent a house?" he said before he was asked, without removing his reflective aviator sunglasses. "I didn't spend like crazy over the last 12 years. I saved." His summer will not be about spending $2,000 for bottle service at a club. "It's going to be low-key," Mr. Katalan said. "Barbecues."