Why do people work on Wall Street? Some do it for the money. Some the love of the game. And some to put enough in the bank that they can one day leave the industry and finance their true passion. And, as a comprehensive survey shows, for many, that passion is dolls. Barbie dolls, cabbage patch dolls, celebrity dolls, dolls with creepy painted faces. Whether or not you're ready to admit that to your colleagues, friends and, most importantly, to yourselves, I don't care. What I do care about is you remembering all the accumulated wisdom you picked up on Wall Street and applying it to your new gig. And not making the same mistakes at this guy.
When Justin Bieber chopped off his trademark shaggy sideswept hairdo last February, legions of tween "Beliebers" gasped in shock. So did one 49-year-old veteran toy maker who delivered the very first Bieber dolls to rabid fans last year. "First off, I had no idea what he did," said Jay Foreman, founder and CEO of Florida-based toy maker The Bridge Direct. "I heard a lot of shrieks around me, and people running in and out of their offices." It turns out that Foreman's brand managers, many of whom had set up Google alerts in order to keep tabs on Justin Bieber's every move, were the first ones at the company to learn about his haircut. "I got everyone into a conference room and we looked at some images," Foreman said. "We weren't sure what he had done. Then it became obvious that his trademark was gone." Bieber's need for a change created an big problem for Foreman. A simple trim for Bieber was a money-losing move for Foreman, who had already begun manufacturing dolls for this holiday season with the pop star's old hair.
The first round of production for the fall 2011 Bieber doll line was well underway when "the haircut" happened. "We were able to change the look in the second production line for the dolls," said Foreman. JB dolls for next spring will have the newer, shorter hair. But making those unexpected production adjustments for next year's dolls "was an expensive step," he said. Bieber's haircut cost his business $100,000.
With a background in finance and starting production on a shit ton of dolls for the holiday season, promise us you'll look in the mirror and ask yourself "What if?" You're creating a doll for an extremely fickle audience that is following an extremely fickle teenager. Harken back to your days on the trading desk. Remember when you were a stuffed to the gils with financial stocks in the summer of 2008? Not wanting to admit you couldn't handle the pressure and flush your shares down the toilet, you put your thinking cap on and bought the Jan 09 XLF deep out of the money puts. How are you going to hedge the "if's" this time around? You're get on the horn to your prime broker at Goldma ASAP and tell him you are a buyer in SIZE of Beiber Hairstyle Default Swaps. And you're going to thank us later.