For more than a quarter century, Wall Street analyst Mike Mayo has danced to the steady beat of corporate America.
His work habits, his family events, his social life, even his workouts and vacations — all have been dictated by the seemingly immutable cycle of quarterly earnings reports.
Four times a year, forget about everything else. The kids? Find a babysitter. Gym? Try 4:30 a.m. During the 30-day crush, adrenaline runs so high that sometimes Mayo neglects to eat. He jumps and yells and doubles up on phones. He marked his 100th earnings season this year with a catch-your-breath cup of hot chocolate.
“Tennis has four Grand Slam tournaments,” says Mayo, a bank analyst at Wells Fargo. “Wall Street has its four quarterly earnings seasons.”
The quote above is taken from a Bloomberg article titled Wall Street’s 30 Days of Hell: No Sleep, No Meals, No Family and it demonstrates a few things not least Wall Street and its employees over inflated sense of importance. For those who are unfamiliar with earnings season let me give you a quick precise. It consists of analysts who work for broking firms ( not a real business) sitting around and going oh, ah and tut tut at real businesses when they release their results as if they knew anything about running a real business. The central issue here is the irrelevancy of analysts and the firms they work for in this equation as the analysts have no say over either the earnings or the markets reaction to them. Whilst we all like to think of ourselves as the hero of our own narrative within the world of trading we are all irrelevant, nothing we say or do will alter the trajectory of price. The only voice that counts is the markets yet it is the voice we ignore most often as the conflicting narrative of our opinions and our own self doubts floods our thinking.