A first-person account of a young woman's antic two-year trip in one of Wall Street's faster lanes that is as notable for...

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TRADING UP: Surviving Success as a Woman Trader on Wall Street

A first-person account of a young woman's antic two-year trip in one of Wall Street's faster lanes that is as notable for its unsparing self-appraisal as for its sardonic good humor. Through a genuinely fortuitous set of circumstances, Goldstone went from junior loan officer to head of the currency-options trading desk at a major N.Y.C. bank (which, though unidentified, sounds very like Marine Midland). Despite an M.B.A. from Columbia and a modicum of book learning, the author found herself ill-equipped to deal with the quotidian realities of the manic, male-dominated marketplace where assertive yuppies control billion-dollar portfolios. With virtually no guidance from the bank's top executives, however, she managed to master her craft, install an accounting system, and make the operation a paying proposition during a chaotic period when the Reagan Administration was enlisting the aid of economic allies to deflate the greenback. Though most of the characters are composites, and names have been changed to protect the culpable, Goldstone's frequently harsh judgments ring true throughout. To illustrate, she astutely equates financial institutions' trading rooms with casinos, save for the fact that ""in Las Vegas you can't lose more than you bet."" In like vein, the author observes that chartists, ""in their unrelenting search for quick and easy profit. . .have reduced (a) science to art."" As hard on herself as on colleagues, Goldstone recounts how she earned a six-figure income but lost perspective and very nearly a husband from options trading. Ultimately, the toll proved too high, and, with a refreshing lack of bathos, the author details just why she decided to quit the high-stakes, all-hours game before turning 30. A nicely measured tale of individual growth, gain, and loss, whose conflicts could make an entertaining, albeit cautionary, film.

Pub Date: March 1, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988