Mrs Rubenstein

“Life is like football, in both you’re going to get knocked down plenty of times, but don’t worry about it, because it’s how you get up that matters”
Bob Ansett

Every investment banker has at least one client that keeps nagging them about their investment account.
The common denominator to these clients is that they are usually one of, if not the smallest (in money and physical size) client, but they think they are your biggest and most important. They always try to give you the impression that not only do they own you but they do you a favor choosing you to manage their money.

Furthermore, they are never, but never satisfied. Worse, they think they could be doing your job better than you (some clients could! But these are not the kind of clients I am talking about now).

I still remember the first months with Mrs Rubenstein. She would call me every Thursday morning, 11 am sharp. In fact at one point I was at my coworker’s desk when I realized that the phone on my desk was ringing. I decided to answer the phone call at his desk. Looking up I saw that the time was 11:06 am. “Something is wrong with her. She is late” I said to him. When I put down the phone he grinned at me "the clock must be 6 minutes ahead" he said. It was.

Anyways, Mrs Rubenstein must have always carried with her the most up to date rankings and data on every investment house. Every time I beat the market (and I do that quite often ;-) she would pull out a name of an investment house that did better than me in the last month.
When I replied to her “Very well Mrs Rubenstein but have you checked their performance over the past say 6 months?” She would always have the same or similar answer to “Oohh don’t you be cocky with me young man, I could be your grandmother”. To tell the truth she could be my grandmother’s grandmother.

On one occasion I did exceptionally well and wanted to call her informing her about it. Just as I was about to pickup the phone I had cold shiver run through my spine, she beat me to the call by a second.
“I know what you are thinking young lad” were her first words “but the Chinese market had some similar result!”
“But we are not trading in the Chinese market madam”
“Oohh don’t you be cocky with me young man…”.

I am most likely not to have mentioned or think about her was it not for the phone call I received last Friday morning.
It was her grandson (the real one).
Apparently Mrs Rubenstein has died on Thursday around 11 am. The doctor simply said it was a heart attack.

The truth is she must have checked online her account. It was the first time the market beat me.
More then it knocked me down, it killed her.

Tea drunk while thinking of dear Mrs RubensteinKorean Puerh (my all time favorite)

Why? Well, I was not celebrating or anything like that – I am not evil. I was merely celebrating life (life after Mrs. Rubenstein).

Mrs Rubenstein (and I know you can read my inner thoughts – I am having a shiver through my spine right now) I will miss you.

May her soul rest in peace.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Imagine this Thursday the phone rings @ 11 am and its Mrs Rubenstein on the line.

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