Turney Duff is the New York Times bestselling author of The Buy Side.
Turney had it all. He had a 7-figure salary as the head trader for a large Wall Street hedge fund. He threw big parties that featured the who’s who of the hedge fund crowd. But he wasn’t happy. He once got a 2 million dollar bonus one year and he was never more miserable.
He began his Wall Street career in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley and eventually made it to the infamous Galleon Group. Turney worked under its founder, Raj Rajaratnam, who eventually went to jail for insider trading.
For years I wanted to speak to Turney so I was so happy to sit down with him and discuss some of these topics. Turney and I both worked as buy side traders and wrote books about leaving Wall Street careers in a spectacular fashion. We talked about what it felt like trading hundreds of millions of dollars in stocks and how there is a certain high. It’s like stepping onto the casino floor, Turney says.
Throughout his career, Turney always got ahead by what he calls his “happy hour skills.” We discuss why so many people go wrong with traditional “networking” and how important authenticity is in a world full of schmoozers. Turney talks bout the importance of being nice to everyone and putting out good karma. And how he was able to keep in touch with so many people.
Eventually Turney took his happy hour skills a bit too far when he wound up in rehab for his cocaine habit. After a second stint in rehab, he said no mas. And he has been sober for over ten years now. But not before doing some serious damage to his life, which we talk about in the show.
I also loved hearing his thoughts about the writing process. Turney is a consummate storyteller and he treats the craft of writing seriously. We talk about books that taught him how to write. And how he constructs a story with his “clothesline” technique. Since The Buy Side, he has ghost written two books. And worked as a consultant on the Showtime series Billions starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.
I learned so much from this chat with Turney and I hope you do too!