Listener Call-In: Is "Broker " a Dirty Word?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Is the term “Broker” now a job title to be sneered at? Do you work in the financial sector and find that people are not so kind when they learn what you do for a living? If you work in investments, tell us how you are being treated in this economy. Give us a call or post your comment below. This segment inspired from a post to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators crowdsourcing project.

Comments [11]

The Truth from Atlanta/New York

oops NOT to blame the broker!

Feb. 02 2009 01:51 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

I work in the financial sector and our clients are well thought of. They are also intelligent enough to blame the state of the economy on the broker.

Feb. 02 2009 01:33 PM
Mary from Westchester County

What a funny way to bring up this topic!

I hate brokers. Financial or real estate. They are out for themselves and not for their clients. It's as simple as that.

In the 80s, before the internet, my Dad tried to get help with investing by signing up with a broker at what was then Paine Webber (which later got swallowed up by UBS, another paragon of virtue). This broker stuck to our family like glue, acted as if he were our best friend and sold us investments that he was paid the most money for by his company. The funds and other products he sold us all had huge loads or fees, and trying to get him to give us an honest account of the fees we were paying was a Sisyphean task. The companies' marketing tactics clearly assumed that their customers were complete cretins when it came to investing, and that even if one consistently bought high and sold low, you would still make out better investing over the long term in the stock market. And of course, they always had the ultimate excuse if the investments they got us into lost money.

Thank G-d for E-Trade.

Feb. 02 2009 12:04 PM
Judith Prager from NY NY

People are arguing that the investment bankers who made money in their groups should not be penalized because other people in the firm lost money. I don't buy this. The people who made money are part of a larger organization and presumably needed the organization's infrastructure to make the money they did (otherwise they would be on their own, not part of a bigger firm). The managers of all of the business lines are not only responsible for conducting their own business responsibly and profitably, but also to make sure that other managers are not jeopardizing the franchise by reckless actions.

Feb. 02 2009 11:48 AM
Steve from Greenwich Village

I segued from 35 years in the Restaurant Business to being a Commercial Real Estate Broker. My main practice right now is to negotiate lease extentions for small businesses with a rent reduction. This way we can keep necessary services in our neighborhoods.

Mainly locals are grateful and gracious to me, but it still pays about as much as being a chef...poorly.

Feb. 02 2009 11:44 AM
markBrown from and

OK: What to do about compensation (like the guy from Goldman Sachs said?

1) STOP excessive CEO/Executive compensation

NO compensation over 200% of the LEAST paid employee of the company. PERIOD.

that would be a good start.

and or increase the lower classes:


Feb. 02 2009 11:42 AM
Alex from NYC, EV (hope soon to be in Brooklyn)

Interesting show. In my attempt to relocate I’m looking for a room on craigslist. When I tell people that I work for a hedge fund they look at me like my name is Mark Chapman or Bernie.

Feb. 02 2009 11:42 AM
John from Manhattan

I'm a risk analyst downtown, and when I meet up with people, they're impressed that I'm still employed. :o) I get the comment, "you must be really good". My cousin left a phone message to me asking what we were doing with all his taxpayer money. Sigh.

Feb. 02 2009 11:41 AM
Paulo from Paterson, NJ

I was at the Monster Jam, and "The Broker" was a real estate broker. Not a stock broker. He did perform quite poorly though. It was too bad because I thought it was the best and most original name of all the trucks there.

Btw, who would've thought there'd be so many NPR listeners who went to a monster truck rally!

Feb. 02 2009 11:41 AM
eh from here

your tone is a little too gleeful about it..

Feb. 02 2009 11:39 AM
Robert from NYC

For me, only the real estate broker is the lowest, vilest, foulest, smelliest, evil sleaze and festering diseased individual to be found.(Did I cover it all?) They make lawyers and doctors seem like angels. I don't have dealings with financial brokers.

Feb. 02 2009 11:39 AM

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