Surviving landmines of racism and sexism while moving from the South Bronx projects to the investment Pit, at 19-years old Cin Fabré, ran with the wolves of Wall Street.
Cin Fabré didn’t learn about the stock market growing up, but from her neighborhood and her immigrant parents, she learned how to hustle. She knew that her hustle was the only way she could help her mother; her only ticket out of poverty and away from her abusive father. Shortly after graduating from high school, she applied her energy to selling overpriced eyewear in an optical store making more in commissions than she’d ever seen until one day a woman came in and spent thousands on new glasses without batting an eye. Without hesitation, Cin asked the woman what she did for a living and when she responded “Oh, I’m a stockbroker,” Cin saw this as an omen and vowed that she would become one too. At only nineteen years old, she pushed herself into brokerage firm VTR Capital, which was run by brokers who’d worked at Stratton Oakmont, where Jordan Belfort had reigned. She was shocked to find an army of young, mostly Black and Brown workers like her sitting at phones. She was a witness to a little-known secret in the brokerage system: Latinx and Black employees were forced to do the drudge work of finding investment leads for white male brokers, with no real prospects for promotion.
Most of us are familiar with the excesses of 90s Wall street—the spending, the sex, and the drugs—but the drug coursing through Cin Fabré’s veins was the energy of the trading Pit. “It was palpable the second she walked into the building—the air itself was electrified with frenetic action and the thrill of making money.”
However, during her ascent from cold caller to stockbroker—the only Black woman to do so at the firm—Cin endured constant sexual harassment and racism. Being a broker offered financial gain but no protection as Fabré continued to face propositions from other brokers and clients who believed that their investment money was a down payment on her body.
In Wolf Hustle the author examines her years spent trading frantically—and hustling successfully—Fabré grapples with what is most meaningful in life, ultimately beating Wall Street at its own game.
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September 19, 2023