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The Ghost of Wall Street by Ayumi Sekai

The Ghost of Wall Street


I- Foreign Memories



"I've traveled back in time... Is it even possible? It's September 2012 now..."

When Jack Thornton woke up, he sat alone on his bed for a long time, staring at the familiar yet oddly distant surroundings.

The bedroom in his rented apartment in Boston felt both foreign and intimate. Memories, vivid and undeniable, told him this was indeed his home. But these weren't his memories, at least not originally.

Strictly speaking, the Jack Thornton of this timeline had died suddenly an hour ago.

Yet, here he was, resurrected, with a soul from a different era inhabiting his body.

The current Jack Thornton was a financial prodigy from the future.

He came back through time to inhabit this younger, less accomplished version of himself. He'd inherited the memories of the original Jack, a man whose life had been a string of tragedies.

Jack sifted through the sea of memories.

The original Jack had grown up in a struggling household, his parents scraping by to support his education. In high school, he'd met Emily Turner, a girl who had captivated him despite her average grades.

Jack had excelled academically and had spent countless hours tutoring Emily. Her grades improved, and Jack pushed himself harder.

At the college entrance exams Emily's scores soared while Jack's faltered. His once-promising academic future dimmed, leaving him out of the top 20 in his class. When the results came in, Jack had failed to secure a spot at his dream university.

Emily's family faced its own crisis. Her father, battling a severe illness, was hospitalized, and the financial burden threatened her college dreams. Desperate and tearful, Emily came to Jack with a proposition: she would be his girlfriend if he could help her financially through college.

Jack gave Emily the money his parents had saved for his own college tuition. He took on menial jobs, living frugally, sending most of his earnings to his parents and the rest to Emily for her education.

When Emily graduated from college, Jack had taken a grueling overnight bus ride to surprise her. He'd hoped for a heartfelt reunion. Instead, he'd been met with a cold, indifferent dismissal. Emily handed him the emotional equivalent of a "thanks, but no thanks," leaving him with nothing but a sense of betrayal and a broken heart.

"I've wasted four years of my life and my future, only to end up with this? It’s really pitiful..." he muttered.

Accepting the harsh reality, Jack knew he had to move forward. He had been given a second chance, even if it came with a miserable backstory.

As a top global investor from the future, Jack had the knowledge and skills to rebuild his life from scratch. The financial market was his playground, and with his foresight, he could turn even the smallest opportunity into a fortune.

The year was 2012, a time ripe with financial potential.

"Early capital accumulation relies on the upcoming bull market,"

Jack never procrastinated. He quickly assessed his current resources: bank cards, online payment accounts, anything that could provide him with capital.

He found a total of $3,500 in his checking account and another $15,000 in savings, sent by his parents to help him settle down and start a family. Half of his part-time job earnings had gone to support Emily’s education, the other half to his parents, who had saved it for him without spending a dime.

"$18,500... It’s not much, but it’s a start. I’ll use this as seed money and turn it into a million first."

He glanced at the clock; it was just past 10:30 AM on a weekday. Perfect timing to get things rolling.

He grabbed his ID and other necessary documents, left his apartment, and headed to the nearest brokerage firm to open an investment account.

The brokerage office was a few blocks away, a modest establishment tucked between a café and a bookstore.

Jack Thornton strode into the bustling office of Atlantic Securities. The office was quieter than expected, but Jack knew that by the end of the year, and certainly by next, the brokerage would be swarming with eager investors.

"Hello, I’d like to open an account,"

After a brief wait, Jack was ushered into an advisor's office. 

He remembered the historical data: the Dow Jones Industrial Average had peaked at 14,000 points in 2007 and was now on the cusp of another significant rise. He'd witnessed the market insanity of 2012 through historical accounts, and he was determined to capitalize on his foreknowledge.

Half an hour later, Jack's account was set up. He reviewed his new securities trading account with satisfaction.

"I’d like to activate my margin trading rights, please," he told the account manager, a young woman named Lisa Carter.

Lisa smiled professionally.

"To activate margin trading, you’ll need to sign a risk acknowledgment form and undergo an audio-visual verification. If you have more than two years of investment experience, you can trade immediately. Otherwise, there’s a waiting period."

Jack nodded, completing the necessary paperwork and procedures. Within ten minutes, his account was fully operational.

After leaving the brokerage, Jack headed to the local electronics store to buy a computer. His apartment was starkly under-equipped for the financial wizardry he planned.

He spent nearly $2,000 on a top-tier machine and arranged for high-speed internet installation. By the time he got home, it was already 5 PM.

Just as he powered up his new computer, Jack's phone rang. He checked the caller ID before answering.

"Jack, where are you? You didn’t show up for work today. If you miss another day, you’ll be docked three days' pay," barked his boss from the small manufacturing plant where Jack had been working.

"I quit," Jack replied curtly, ending the call before his boss could respond.

He blocked the number, tossing the phone aside. Working for survival was no longer part of his plan.

He downloaded the necessary trading software onto his computer, choosing ThinkOrSwim over the other platforms due to its user-friendly interface and robust analytical tools. He also installed Atlantic Securities' proprietary client, though its usability was lacking compared to ThinkOrSwim’s comprehensive suite.

"Tomorrow, I start my journey in the stock market. I’ll turn this $18,500 into a million," he declared to the empty room, his voice filled with conviction.

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