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Would you work 20-hour days for US$300m?

This is what Greg Coffey, the Aussie hedge fund trader who’s now based in London, apparently does.

Coffey was big news last month when he left hedge fund GLG – giving up $250m in GLG shares in the process – to go it alone.

But, according to the London Times, he doesn’t get much time to do anything with his money, and spends 20 hours screen trading every day.

Even when Greg leaves London for a Coffey break with his family, his hardware takes the trip too. Having his gear there means he can trade through the night, so he doesn’t lose while his wife and kids snooze. If this sounds all too familiar, then maybe your job is becoming your life.

Is being like Coffey the way to get ahead? Can you succeed in finance and still have a life?

Comments (15)

  1. where can i sign up

  2. That’s extreme. Why not work 10 hours per day for $150 mil or even $100 mil. I believe in “work to live” not “live to work”. Greg could live quite comfortably on a third of his current wage!

  3. if a comfortable chair, why not ? In mine i think should be difficult…

  4. Simple answer, no. Its all a trade off. Greg is making much money and getting kudos for his work in lieu of time and balance. However, some day soon, he will be in a place where he can make the choice in life to leave that stress and schedule behind and still be young enough to make it up to his wife and kids. He seems like a foot on the floor kind of guy. After a long career in that field I would say if you can keep your ego in check and not get carried away with your own publicity and what is an unreal life, the rest will eventually fall into place.

  5. You reap what you sow. If you don’t put time into being with those you care about, they won’t care about you.

  6. thats unhealthy isn’t it….i could probably work for maximum 12 hours 9am – 9pm…i’m dead by 11pm

  7. I would because I think that you have no choice really as if you have stock in companies that are listed on foreign markets then in real terms the market never closes. If the market never closes then you could go broke while you sleep. Unless you cash out at the end of each day and I think that would be bad too.

  8. No not at all…

  9. It’s very honorable to work so hard, and it sounds like he’s doing a good job. I take my hat off to him. Personally…I would be in tahiti…oh…that’s right…I am. If anyone is short of vanilla beans or coconuts drop by sometime.

    Monsieur Surfer Reply
  10. One day on his deathbed hell ask himself “was my life worth 300m and 20 hour days”….and working yourself to death at your desk is a real possibility. Happens all the time in places like Japan.

    His boss is the real smart one, not Greg he gets paid more and I bet all the tea in china, he doesnt work anything like that nor bear similar stress.

  11. I will probably end up working 12-16 hours a day in software development until I’m 65 and have nothing to show for it.

    So by all means, give me a retirement policy attached to the 10 years at 20 hours a day…

  12. People like this, more often then not, do not retire early to make their unnatural efforts pay off. I have four children, and missed the first five years of the middle two children because I was married to my job. I realise that loss now and know that I can never get that back for all the money in the world. Ok if you have no kids, but once you do, then there are much more important things in life then spending your life in the office. Having fancy holidays does not make up for your absence when the kids need it the most.

  13. No way Jose! What’s life is all about? I read about people like that who drop dead at his desk at very young age. So instead of enjoying the fruit of his labour in old age – well, you know the rest of the sentence.

  14. what about the all important daily S’s ?

    time for a sh$t, shower and shave ?

    his wife might want a sh@g too !

    that leaves a couple of hours left to count is money and then hit the sack for a few seconds sleep !


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