Philip Simon (Ep.28, Part 1): From the cave to the trading desk

Philip Simon is the “Rad Genius.” His life and career have bucked convention and traditional narratives, and are the consequence of a ravenous curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Philip’s story starts in the library, where as a kid he would read multiple books a day (an estimated 1,500 by the time he graduated). After graduating, he dabbled in the Marines, moved to a cave in Greece to pursue a life of asceticism (i.e. severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence) and restored ancient fresco paintings. He taught himself financial markets by reading “every single word” of the Financial Times and Economist for four straight years, which led him into cold calling for stock brokers, an Internet startup (the Ladders) and the world of high frequency trading (GTS).