If your idea of investing isn’t much more than throwing your leftover change into that jar on your nightstand at the end of every week, or using what the bank tells you is a “high interest” savings account, well… believe us when we say you’re not alone.
Luckily, we have the hot new CraveTV drama Billions, Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti to teach us the ways of the wise. If you haven’t caught the series yet (and we have to ask why — the show has already been renewed for a second season) all you need to know is that Lewis plays Bobby Axelrod, an extremely rich hedge-fund king, and Giamatti is Chuck Rhoades, the U.S. Attorney trying to trap him for insider trading.
Oh, and there are plenty of salacious insults and sex scenes in between. Got it? Good. Cause here’s what we learned about investing thanks to this duo.
A Trading Pattern
It’s what Rhoades is looking for before he’ll actually move forward with an official case against Axelrod. But good old Bobby is way too smart to fall for that, and apparently hides many of his indiscretions under people being paid boatloads of money.
At it’s core it’s a pattern, but in stock trades and stuff.
A Block Trade
It’s when a large number of bonds or shares are traded outside of the market hours for a prearranged amount of money, usually so that the stock isn’t affected when the markets are open. Bobby smelled a rat when a competitor did this with a certain stock, and ordered his team to sell the stocks right away before they lost money.
Shrewd move, Axelrod.
Shorting a Stock
We think shorting is everyone’s favourite word on this show — they use it all the time. Usually while they’re talking about new ways to make money. Now we see why. If you’re looking to “short” a stock, you basically look for one that you believe is going to decrease in value very soon. You then borrow some of that stock at its current price and sell it. Because it was never yours to actually sell, you get a credit and a predetermined amount of time to buy back that actual stock. If it has indeed gone down in value, you will get more shares for the same price than you would have originally.
Personally, we see plenty of room for failure if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. But obviously that isn’t a problem for Axelrod and his team.
We’ll admit we didn’t quite know this one before the show started either, but it sure sounds fancy. Apparently it is — it’s a group of investors that use high risk methods, like investing with borrowed funds.
Now we know why Bobby and his team seem stressed all of the time, and why they have their own in-house shrink. Gambling with so much of other people’s money seems pretty high-stress to us.
This one came up when Bobby decided he was going to invest in that delicious looking pizza in the pilot. He seemed like the everyday hero, what with saying he’d be responsible for the owner’s overages. Thankfully, this term is exactly what we thought it was — more expenses than estimated. However, it can also mean more profits than anticipated. So you tell us, was the pizza store owner really getting a good deal by getting into business with Bobby?
Ahhh and now we’ve come to the crux of the show — the thing Rhoades is trying to nab Axelrod for. In essence, it means making trades for personal gain based on confidential information. It’s highly illegal, and seems to cause a lot of confusion with “insider tips.”
You see, Bobby’s people claim they’re only using insider tips. But we all know otherwise, now don’t we?