Here at Bullish, we cover the bleeding edge of finance, investing, and the folks who are evolving the conversation around money.
Sometimes the 1’s and 0’s are moving so fast that it’s easy to get lost in the sauce, and we need an expert on virality to guide us through the twists and turns of steaming hot news — someone to highlight what’s truly relevant in the digital ether.
Luckily, we are blessed to have direct access to a stock exchange sage, a money maestro who can truly break down what all this news MEMES.
His name is Dr. Parik Patel, BA, CFA, ACCA Esq., though you may know him better as @ParikPatelCFA. When he’s not lighting up your Twitter feed, the chartered FinMeme Analyst pens our weekly column “Dr. Parik’s Meme Diagnosis of the Week.”
Still, the fans and stans have been asking us: Who is the real Dr. Parik, and will he hire me for an internship? Just see this Reddit thread here for all the wild speculation about the man behind the memes:
So, for this week’s column, we decided to flip the script and offer our readers a peek into the life of Dr. Parik. Below, the man, the myth, the legend answers all — from his background at Lehman Brothers, to what it was like raising his “naughty” son Chamath Palihapitiya.
He even offers some tips for aspiring FinMeme Analysts, including the unforgettable lesson that follower counts only go up (just like stocks).
Without further ado, let’s meet Parik…
Bullish Studio: Can you start by introducing yourself to readers? Where is Dr. Parik from and how did he get such unique wisdom into all things FinMemes?
Dr. Parik: Hey! My name is Dr. Parik Patel and I am a Chartered FinMeme Analyst (CFA). I was born in Gujarat, India. Growing up, I showed early signs of financial genius. When I was just four-years-old, I taught myself partial differential equations and came up with the Black-Scholes model for options pricing, only for it to be stolen by those eponymous “market researchers”….🤔
I did my BA and PhD at Harvard University where I specialized in econometrics, only to realize that it was totally useless because stocks only go up. During my working life as an analyst at Lehman Brothers, I initially spent hours upon hours trying to explain relatively simple financial concepts to clients — only to later realize they could be conveyed far more effectively with graphics. A picture paints a thousand hostile takeovers, right?
Well, one thing led to another and I was soon churning out FinMemes for the whole world to see — including here at Bullish.Studio, where my “Meme Diagnosis” column is blowing up the internet, week after week.
Before the advent of Twitter, where was Dr. P sharing his dank knowledge and hot takes? Were you a message board guy? A low-key Tumblr lord?
Before the advent of Twitter, I would create fake chain emails and have them sent around Wall Street. When I was working at Lehman in ‘08, I created a fake email joking that Bear Stearns was insolvent. To my knowledge, this was totally made up and just some harmless fun. However, for unknown reasons, that email quickly went viral and just a few weeks later the company announced bankruptcy. It is unclear to this day if I am to blame...
Do you remember the first meme you made that went viral? How did you feel — were you hooked?
The first meme I made that went “viral” by my standards at the time was this joke about adjusting your EBITDA. The gist was to just add back all expenses until we get back to revenue. We used to do this all the time in the sell-side research division at Lehman, so I figured it would be perfect. I made this meme on the same day that I set up my Twitter account… It was a real baptism by fire, and from then on, I knew I was hooked.
I realized that within the FinMeme community there was a real market for nerdy accounting and valuation jokes, and one of my best performing memes since was my joke valuation for Tesla, which is currently my pinned tweet. I still stand by my analysis, and look forward to seeing the share price hit $1,264.
What’s your relationship with your fans and followers like? Do you have a lot of “Reply Guys” filling up your feed?
I like to think that I have a really positive relationship with my followers. I try to reply to DMs whenever I can, and always make sure to reply to a few comments on my posts. So keep the @’s coming!
What was it like raising your son, Chamath? Did you impart any viral knowledge early on that informed his career?
Chamath was actually very easy to raise because he was always incredibly sharp and hardworking. He was a little naughty, as all kids are. When he was young, he would host backroom poker games at school and count cards to ensure that he always won. I guess he was always quite entrepreneurial and good at thinking outside the box. The goal of any parent is to see their child become more successful than them. One day, I hope to see Chamath achieve this. He’s got a long way to go though…
What does father-son time with Chamath look like today? What do you guys do together?
At the moment, Chamath and I are socially distancing to keep ourselves safe from COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, we liked to play cricket together, as well as watch television and share our favorite memes. Not only did Chamath inherit my smolderingly good looks, he also inherited my refined sense of humor, which is why comedy is a big bonding point for us. If only he’d share more of his own dank meme stash. He’ll get the necessary self-confidence one day.
Who are your other favorite FinMeme Analysts?
There is a large community of FinMeme Analysts that I rub digital elbows with. Not all of them are chartered, but that’s chill. Some of my current favorites are Ramp Capital, who has served the community for over a decade, and Litquidity, who is one of the hottest FinMemers on Instagram right now.
Will you ever stop tweeting about Elon Musk? Will he always be so viral?
The day I stop tweeting about Elon is the day that Elon himself stops tweeting. I have, however, been evaluating his memes to determine whether he is viral because his memes are good or just because he’s rich. I’m excited to share my findings with you soon.
Are there any old meme formats or tropes that you miss? Whether it’s a starter pack or “distracted boyfriend meme,” do any deserve a second coming?
The distracted boyfriend meme will always be a classic, but the main memes that I will miss are the Suez Canal memes. RIP the Ever Given. Taken from us too soon.
When will you be selling an NFT, and what might it look like? (asked via Twitter)
I’ve been flirting with the idea of doing this, given the surprising level of demand. So the answer is yes. As for what it will look like… all I can say is that it will give you an opportunity to own a cornerstone of FinMeme history.
What is your grooming routine for the pristine looking mustache? (asked via Twitter)
Coconut oil, water, and a lot of brushing. Not everyone can achieve this look. It takes diligence, fortitude, and excellent genes. It pains me that Chamath did not decide to rock a mustache like his old man.
How has fame changed you? Do you buy your ghee at Whole Foods now? (asked via Twitter)
Of course not. I still buy my ghee from the local Indian grocery store, but now I have to go in disguise because too many people ask me for autographs. I even had to get my car windows tinted just so I can drive down the street in peace. Fame is a double-edged sword.
Any advice or tips for aspiring FinMeme Analysts out there who want to make a splash on the web?
My main advice would be to find something that differentiates you. For me, that was my nerdy valuation jokes and my billionaire son. For you, that might be something different. Maybe a billionaire step-son? Keep experimenting and trying new things. And remember: followers only go up.
What do you want for Father’s Day?
All I want for Father’s Day is a big hug and card from my son. A Tesla Model S would be nice, too, but we’ll see. I’ve been dropping hints. Chamath, if you’re reading this, red is my favorite color.