With the spot price of copper and other metal prices still near a 5 year low, you would think the rate of scrap metal recycling would dissipate, and scrappers would find a new line of work. Wrong, that 5 year low is still better than in 2000 when copper sat at .65..now that is low. So it got me thinking, how much a scrap yard is like a broker dealer, and a daily scrapper are the mutual fund managers of the scrap industry (sorry Merril Lynch) .
After spending some years working on Wall St. myself, and now being associated within the scrap industry, I thought I would give a side by side comparison of a day in the life of the broker vs. scrapper.
All times are quoted in Az time.
7:00 am Broker- Rush to office to make sure orders from previous day were entered correctly and sent to clearing firm.
7:00 am Scrapper- Rush to 1 st neighborhood to beat the trash guy who throws everything away, even if it’s worth a fortune.
8:00 am Broker – gets first call from client of the day, who complains about the investment you recommended last month going down in value.
8:00 am Scrapper – Get chased from lawn of resident who sat the washer and dryer on the curb for their cousin to pick up, not for disposal and much needed scrap.
10:00 am Broker – early morning fatigue kicks in the minute your calendar reports it’s time to prospect for new clients until lunch.
10:00 am Scrapper – Early morning fatigue kicks in when you realize you have to go back home or your shop to unload and tear apart your findings just to get down to the good stuff.
12:00 pm Broker – Lunch
12:00 pm Scrapper – Lunch
1:00 pm Broker – Give presentation on High Yield Bond fun to group of retirees at local club and pray they say yes so you can meet your sales goal for the month.
1:00 pm Scrapper – Drop off days scrap at scrap yard, and hope today’s spot prices are better than yesterdays, so you can hit your goal for the month.
3:00 pm Broker – Seriously contemplates leaving early to play golf with prospects.
3:00 pm Scrapper – Seriously contemplates leaving early to scout out warehouse that dumped their excess outside the fence the night before.
5:00 pm Broker – goes home to family to tell about what a day he had.
5:00 pm Scrapper – goes home to family to tell about what a day he had.
2:00 am Broker – Lies awake in bed worrying about finding his next client.
2:00 am Scrapper – Lies awake in bed worrying about where to find his next haul.