A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Thursday doesn’t even count as a day, It’s just the thing that’s blocking Friday” (3/30)
POETS Day (Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday) (3/30)
“Better days are just around the corner. They are called Friday, Saturday and Sunday” (3/29)
“Nothing screws up your Friday like realizing it’s only Thursday” (3/29)
“Thursday—the most useless day of the week” (3/29)
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Entry from January 16, 2010
“The broker made money and the brokerage firm made money – and two out of three ain’t bad”

There’s an old Wall Street joke told when an investor loses money: “"The broker made money and the (brokerage) firm made money – and two out of three ain’t bad.” The broker and the brokerage firm got their commissions or fees and made money, regardless of what the investor made on the broker’s advice.

Financial writer Andrew P. Tobias used the joke in 1976 and 1978, stating: “I have heard this joke, often, from a broker with an unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty and a number of important institutional accounts.” The exact origin of the joke is not known.


Google Books
26 July 1976, New York magazine, letters, pg. 5:
Andrew Tobias certainly knows whereof he speaks in his timely piece on brokers’ commissions when he suggests that one could do far worse than to purchase Barron’s weekly at 50 cents a copy ["The Broker Made Money, the Firm Made Money (and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad),” June 28].

Google Books
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need
By Andrew P. Tobias
Boston, MA: Hall
1978
Pg. 201:
“Well,” the joke goes, “the broker made money and the firm made money — and two out of three ain’t bad.” I have heard this joke, often, from a broker with an unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty and a number of important institutional accounts.

Google Books
Everybody’s Business: an almanac:
An irreverent guide to corporate America

By Milton Moskowitz, Michael Katz and Robert Levering
San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row
1980
Pg. 485: 
“Well, the broker made money and the firm made money — and two out of three ain’t bad.” — Old Wall Street joke.

18 November 1990, Fort Lauderdale (FL) Sun-Sentinel, “Broken trust placed in wrong hands, your investments can just disappear” by Buddy Nevins and John Kennedy, pg. 1A:
A common quip heard in the industry is: “The broker made money; the brokerage house made money. Two out of three ain’t bad,’” said Thomas Saler,...

Google Books
Financial planning for a secure retirement
2nd edition
By John T. McCarthy, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Brookfield, WI: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
1996
Pg. 84:
There is an old saying on Wall Street, “Well, the broker made money and the brokerage made money, and two out of three ain’t bad.”

Canadian Capitalist
Labour Funds Are Best Avoided
May 15th, 2006 ·
The broker made money and the firm made money – and two out of three ain’t bad. - Old Wall Street joke

Herald Sun (Australia)
Scott Pape in London: Poor get the blame
Scott Pape From: Herald Sun December 08, 2007 12:00AM
(...)
The old joke of explaining a dud investment to a client, “the firm made money, the broker made money—two out of three ain’t bad”, may yet come back to haunt my master of the universe mates.

Veriloquent Economic Analysis
Thursday, October 1, 2009
“The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need”
I just finished reading a book called “The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need” by Andrew Tobias. It is definitely an interesting and quick read with some great insights. It will not solve all of your financial challenges that lie ahead, but you’d be hard pressed not to find something of value. A couple of my favorite quotes from the book:

“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.” --- Calvin Coolidge

“There’s an old joke on Wall Street. ‘Well,’ the joke goes, ‘the broker made money and the firm made money – and two out of three ain’t bad.’”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Saturday, January 16, 2010 • Permalink