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After working for a few years there (albeit as a lowly programmer), I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the casino known as Wall Street. I like your somewhat accurate description of "soft money", but don't totally agree with your conclusions on investing philosophy. I've read the Random Walk book, and I've also read Warren Buffett's book on "value" investing. Most people are probably better off following your advice and sticking with an index fund, but do you realize what would happen if everyone did that? Think about it.... Warren's recommendations are very interesting.
Those who are interested in learning more about Wall Street are encouraged to read "Liar's Poker" and "Nightmare on Wall Street", which both happen to be about Salomon Brothers.