Wall Street Thinks You’re Dumb: The Rise Of Wise Money

After having cycled the world and discovered their existence, I created Bankeronwheels.com to dedicate my time, energy and savings in serving them.

I call them ‘Wise Money’. And trust me, Wall Street could take a page out of their book.


  • Wall Street calls itself ‘Smart Money’, casting Individual Investors as ‘Dumb Money’.
  • Even on Wall Street, it’s not binary. There is ‘Real Money’ or ‘Fast Money’. Some on Wall Street may not even be smart.  
  • Bankeronwheels.com was born out the discovery of Wise Investing. To make them distinct from the investor crowd, I coined the term ‘Wise Money’.
  • Wise Money is forecast-free, patient, usually young, has an angel and beginner’s luck. Wise Money thinks in decades and will end up a Millionaire.
  • But today, for every Wise Investor, there are around 50 investors chasing Fast Money. 
  • Our mission? Making a small bike the symbol of resources investors can trust to finance their dreams, so that they can also become rich. Slowly, but surely.
Here is the full analysis

wall Street Thinks it's Smart.

Are you stepping into an elite Wall Street Institution? Prepare for a crash course in jargon. 

I grew up in France, so it wasn’t just about the financial lingo. 

I had to navigate professional English (thank you, French education system), decode my Irish boss’s accent, and, oh, let’s not forget my Scottish mentor. Soon, we added a dash of Indian accent to the mix with our new operations.

But let’s circle back to Wall Street-speak.

Dive into ‘Front Office’ interactions, and you’ll see Wall Street’s ‘Money’ dictionary expand exponentially. 

You’ve probably heard the big distinction: Wall Street loves to draw the line between ‘Smart Money’ (Institutional Investors) and ‘Dumb Money’ (Retail Investors). 

Money Isn't always Real

But in the world of Wall Street, ‘Smart Money’ isn’t a one-size-fits-all term.

At the top tier? Hedge Funds. Only some are successful. The ‘Fast Money’ amongst them has short-term goals.

The typical pension fund is called ‘Real Money’. It plays the long game.

But let’s clear a myth: Not all ‘Real Money’ is smart. Whether it’s pension funds, insurance companies, or sovereign wealth funds, sophistication varies. Some of them don’t always hit the mark.

Enter Investment Banks. Their mission? Equip investors and companies with a toolbox of services: from fundraising to mergers and acquisitions. And for those wanting something unique, custom investment products are on the menu.


As of 29/03/2024, Interactive Brokers offers rates up to 4.738% (GBP), 3.445% (EUR) and 4.83% (USD) on cash. 


As of 29/03/2024, Interactive Brokers offers rates up to 4.738% (GBP), 3.445% (EUR) and 4.83% (USD) on cash. 

You? Dumb Unless Proven Otherwise.

A stereotypical view of Retail Investors

bloomberg cover part 1
Source: Bloomberg
bloomberg cover part 2

Where are you in all this, dear Individual Investor? Most likely, you’re assumed Dumb.

Wall Street often dismisses individual retail traders or stock pickers, branding them ‘Dumb Money’. Individually, they’re seen as small fish: low assets, limited sophistication.

But united? They’re a tidal wave, making headlines even in places like Bloomberg Businessweek.

With the exceptions of cases like GME, they are easy prey for brokers or hedge funds.

If you’re visiting this website, chances are, Wall Street assumption about you is wrong. 



The Rise of Wise Money

Media often lumps all retail investors into one ‘not-so-savvy’ bucket.

But two game-changing breeds of investors are emerging:

  • The Active and Informed: Thanks to tech, extensive data, and platforms like Substack, Twitter, and closed forums, these retail investors are carving out an edge, especially in volatile markets.
  • The Evidence-Based Long-Termers: Think Bogleheads or those laser-focused on retiring by 45. They’re methodical, evidence-backed, and they’re making their goals a reality.

Introducing Wise Money

At Bankeronwheels.com we champion predominately the second breed.

After having cycled the world and discovered their existence, I have decided to dedicate my time, energy and savings to serve them.

I coined a new term for these Investors. Wise Money. Trust me, Wall Street could take a page out of their book.

#1 Wise Money is Forecast-Free

Wise Money recognises its boundaries.

Wise Money is prepared for charging Grizzlies and benefits from market sell-offs.

While not every wise investor wields technical prowess or deep historical insight, they possess a humility Wall Street often lacks: acknowledging the unpredictability of future returns and discerning what’s within their control from what’s beyond it. 


As of 29/03/2024, Interactive Brokers offers rates up to 4.738% (GBP), 3.445% (EUR) and 4.83% (USD) on cash. 


As of 29/03/2024, Interactive Brokers offers rates up to 4.738% (GBP), 3.445% (EUR) and 4.83% (USD) on cash. 

#2 Wise Money is Patient

Bloomberg headline in March 2020

You may be A Wall Street Banker and be dumb

Ever heard the saying, ‘The shoemaker’s children go barefoot’? That’s Wall Street.

Many in finance fumble their own finances. I’ve seen colleagues trip over this time and time again. They’ll jump hoops, navigate rigorous compliance systems, all to time the market or pick stocks.

And here’s the kicker: many have zero insight into Equity Markets, so they’re not even leveraging insider expertise!

Sure, it’s a hassle buying individual stocks in Wall Street. ETF investments? A breeze by comparison, since compliance knows these folks likely don’t have a real edge. Exceptions exist, like macro portfolio managers with a pulse on illiquid markets.

But too many in banking fall prey to the illusion of market mastery.

Overtrading, losing sight of the bigger picture, and acting on impulse.

Most haven’t even glimpsed the nine critical investing charts. When they stumble upon a website like Bankeronwheels.com, chances are they will be too arrogant to acknowledge that they are in the dark.

#3 Wise Money is usually Young

When Wise Money first encounters the concept of Financial Independence, it’s often in its youth.

I delved into a European FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) Forums to gauge when these savvy investors begin their journey. Unsurprisingly, many of them had started making shrewd investment choices quite early on.

Safe money aggressively. Invest in Index Funds. Diversify.

Here is a chart with the age when the new generation of investors discovers Wise Money.

75% of them figured out their finances before their 30s

Source: Bankeronwheels.com Sept 2020 Poll based on Reddit group 300+ respondents

#4 Wise Money has an Angel

Doing God's Work

Shortly after the Great Financial Crisis, the CEO of Goldman Sachs said that banks serve a social purpose and are doing “God’s work”.

The truth is, no single Investment Banker ever made any major positive difference for Retail Investors. Outside the inventors of Index Funds.

Saint Jack

If I go back a few years ago, despite over a decade of work on Wall Street, I never heard of Jack Bogle.

Neither did any of my colleagues. Recently I did another survey among my friends – from Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Société Générale, Morgan Stanley. Similar outcome. 

But as Warren Buffett said, Jack, the founder of the Asset Management company Vanguard, made more for the average saver than anyone else.

He may not have invented Index Funds and has even opposed passive investing in his early days, but it’s not a surprise that he’s now called Saint Jack.

#5 Wise Money has beginner's luck

Wise Money Grew x10 in just 3 years

It did help that Wise Money started investing during the last decade.

The Bogleheads Forum was created in May 2008 and Mr Money Moustache Blog was launched in 2011. Various FIRE communities popped around the globe during the last decade. There are even movies about them.

The trend accelerated during Covid.

Bogleheads’ Reddit community grew 10x over the past three years.  

Wise Money growth remains impressive given the overwhelming media attention that stock picking get

But The Dumb Money Forum counts 15 million

But, in absolute terms, the growth is lower than for the largest speculative forum – WallStreetBets.

Over the same period, reader count increased almost 10x from 1.5m to 14.5m.

WallStreetBets is after Fast Money, without its sophisticated tools. It may get no Money at all.

Wise Money Forum member count and creation dates

ForumCreation DateSept 2020Feb 2022Aug-23Growth
Global - Generic FIRENov-11790,0001,000,0002,000,000153%
Global 'Lean FIRE'Jun-15154,000231,000275,00079%
Global 'Fat FIRE'Nov-16104,000289,000372,000258%
Source: Reddit, Bankeronwheels.com. Data as of August 2023.

(As you can see, there is also further differentiation in the FIRE communities between members that can afford the type of retirement they wish. Lean Fire is a minimalist early retirement goal, while Fat FIRE targets a luxurious retirement, as described by Kathrin)

Luck favoured the prepared mind

Over the past 10 years, the NASDAQ returned 345%.

The S&P 500 more than tripled. By historical standards, it was quite an extraordinary period.

Assets ranked by performance (2013-2022)

Source Bankeronwheels.com. Click o the image to read more.


Wall Street will argue that replicating past success is challenging in a world with lower returns, and that Wise Money must also set proper expectations.

But Wise Money isn’t short-sighted—it thinks in decades, not just years.

With its straightforward global equity trackers, international diversification, and bold equity allocations based on age, Wise Money is poised to catch the next big waves.

#7 Wise Money will END UP Millionaire

In the end, it’s a simple equation: good education plus patience equals Wise Money as a millionaire.

Start with €10,000, add €1,000 monthly, and at 8% returns, you’re looking at a €1m portfolio in 25 years. Earn more?

A €2,500 contribution can fast-track you to that million in just 16 years.

Don’t take my word for it—plug the numbers into a compounding calculator and see for yourself.

From Bankeronwheels.com
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What Next?

  • To Parents: Begin investing for your kids early. Harness the magic of compounding. Deposit at birth, top-up regularly, and watch them achieve financial freedom, so they can chase their passions.
  • To Our Leaders: Not all of us stumbled upon the wealth engine that the Stock Market can be. Let’s level the playing field with early financial education, especially in times of widening inequality.
  • To Wall Street: It’s not just about the technicals. Let’s prioritize wisdom over short-term wins and celebrate long-term vision. As the wealthy pivot to charitable missions in their later years, why not make a difference now, like Jack did?
  • To Wise Money: Stay the course. When the next storm comes, lead with grace.
  • For Bankeronwheels.com: It’s about the bigger picture. Today’s ratio shows one ‘Boglehead’ for every 50 Wallstreetbets members. There’s more work ahead to tilt this balance.
Thank you for reading.
Good Luck and Keep’em* Rolling!

(* Wheels & Dividends)



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