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Paul Mampilly is an American investor and former hedge fund manager. Paul has been featured on CNBC, Fox Business News and Bloomberg TV. He is the founder of the popular investment newsletter Profits Unlimited, where he uses his skills, experience and knowledge as a former Wall ... more

Navigating The Dangers Of A Corrupt Wall Street

Date: Thursday, July 7, 2016 5:35 PM EDT

“Walk fast. Don’t stop. Don’t look at anyone. Put your cash in your shoes. Stay on the edge of the pavement so you can escape if someone grabs you.”

It was April 1987. And that was the advice I got about navigating New York City alone as a 19-year-old college student. This was during a time when the streets were riddled with crime, and I’d been living in the U.S. for less than a year. Looking back now, I can see I was a naive kid, even though I felt independent. After all, I’d been on my own for most of my childhood, going to boarding school since the age of 6.

I thought I knew how to handle myself.

So I made rash decisions, like the time I traveled alone at night to see one of my favorite singers back then, Paul Simon, who was performing at Radio City Music Hall. It was my first concert, and I was going. It didn’t matter that New York was essentially a war zone back in 1987, with junkies around every corner and muggings an everyday occurrence.

When the concert ended at 11, I had to walk by myself through some of the worst crime-infested areas of New York to get to my bus. The entire time, I wondered if I would get pickpocketed, mugged or maybe even killed.

Luckily, though, I made it home safe.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for many of those who “walk” alone down Wall Street. Just like New York City in 1987, the financial industry today is an incredibly dangerous place for those without experience. It may not be full of muggers in ski masks, waiting around street corners to snatch your wallet in a swift grab — but the market makers who run the corrupt system are doing things that amount to the same thing.

And many people who navigate the industry by themselves don’t come out unscathed…

I know this because I worked on Wall Street for about 25 years, including the time I spent managing a $5.6 billion hedge fund and the period I was at the top of a $25 billion asset management company.

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