When I got into the breakneck world of personal wealth advisory and financial planning, I never anticipated that it would involve so many literal broken necks. But when a lucrative client comes calling, you answer—even if that client happens to be John Kramer, the infamous Jigsaw killer.
I suppose I should have known I was in for a difficult account when I asked my client if he was ready to “make a killing” on the stock market. Most clients respond with “hell yeah,” or “you bet,” not “killing is but the means to an end, Marcus, and when your end comes, how will you atone?”
One doesn’t need to like their client to be a success in this industry, but it’s hard to manage the wealth of somebody who spends his money so frivolously. Try reviewing Jigsaw’s credit card charges from last week: 30 feet of high-strength, wrought iron chain links, $126.00; 17 mason jars that he described as “large enough to display a human hand,” $49.00; three tricycles, $170.00. What does a man need with three tricycles? I’ve never once seen him exercise!
These are ultimately small potatoes. The man can build a whole tricycle museum if he wants and it won’t make a dent; he’s loaded. The real hemorrhaging comes from the real estate—and also from the actual hemorrhaging, but that’s neither here nor there. This man must have bought up every abandoned warehouse in the city! I don’t even understand what he does with all this space. Maybe he needs it to store his collection of pig masks, which, I shouldn’t have to tell you, Party City did NOT offer a bulk discount on.
Emails from John range from cryptic to outright vexing. “Good Morning, John,” ran one of my messages to him the other day, which continued “Have you had a chance yet to review the brokerage window that I summarized for you the other day?”
His response: “Marcus, you’ve spent all your life discussing brokerage windows with clients, but at the end of the day, the most broken one of all is you. The window of opportunity for you to confess your failings is closing fast, and you must choose carefully how you proceed from here. Follow the rules.”
If you don’t understand what a brokerage window is, just tell me, John. No need to get Biblical!
Of course, John isn’t all bad news on the money management front. We’ve been able to launch a line of red and black robes that sell very well to cosplayers and cult members. Given his knack for engineering small gadgets, we made a misguided venture into fidget spinners shortly after those took off—the lawsuits were unbelievable.
Every time I try to appreciate the progress that Mr. Kramer is making, it all comes apart again with profligate spending. Have you ever had to explain to somebody that they don’t need six chainsaws? “You don’t even live near any trees,” I would argue, to which he would reply “No, but when I fell one of my targets, their blood shall water the growth of new life in those who outlast them, reborn in the crucible of torment.”
At least it pays well. I just wish he would stop sewing my paycheck into my skin while I sleep.