Meet the real Wolf(e) of Wall Street
Joe Wolfe beats the market by day and takes down virtual enemies by night.
Think of the term Wall Street. What do you picture? Money, bells ringing, bulls with bronze testicles?
In other words: Not video games. Yet in a surprising convergence of two seemingly disparate worlds, a growing number of Wall Street insiders have shaken off the stereotype and embraced their inner Wade Watts rather than become the next Jordan Belfort.
We found such a person whose actual gamer tag—seriously—happens to be Wolf of Wall Street. His name is Joe Wolfe, portfolio manager and chief analytics officer at BlackRock, the asset management and investing company.
Wolfe has been a gamer for most of his life with decades of experience behind the joysticks. He plays a variety of games on both PC and consoles; some titles you can catch him on these days are World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. (Gosh, thanks Joe.)
Most people might think that the realms of finance and video games are worlds apart, but they’re not.
“I do a bunch of different things as part of my job which involves analyzing data, studying patterns, and writing computer code,” says Wolfe. “This translates into gaming in terms of trying to observe the patterns of what’s going on, particularly in the game. But then also gives me a better appreciation for what code goes into the game.”
He adds: “Sometimes I just get mesmerized by thinking like, ‘wow, you know, somebody had to code this’ and think about the environment and how there’s butterflies flying around outside. Somebody actually coded that and how cool it is. I have a greater appreciation for the code base that goes into it.”
Wolfe, who hails from Western Pennsylvania, was always ahead of the curve when it came to gaming. His childhood friend Stephen Carney can remember the days when he and Wolfe spent gaming the nights away.
“It was common for us to have LAN parties at either my house or his,” says Carney. “Over the years, we’ve binged on a wide variety of games, but as of late, I’d say Joe is most dedicated to World of Warcraft, although we put massive hours into The Division and Destiny.”
Carney says that Wolfe’s love of gaming has not come at the expense of his career. In fact, the world of finance and gaming is more like twin flames. By incorporating gaming into his routine, he mitigates stress and avoids burnout, ensuring that he remains sharp and effective in the fast-paced world of Wall Street.
When balancing a successful career in finance with being an avid gamer, Wolfe credits his introversion.
“It isn’t tough, so I’m naturally an introvert anyway. So rather than going out to restaurants and whatnot at night, spending lots of money on wine and dinners, I’m perfectly content to just log into World of Warcraft and be happy.”
His dedication to gaming has also proved beneficial in fostering relationships with colleagues. This is something that BlackRock financial analyst June Wang knows well.
“Joe knew that I liked playing games like Startup Valley, and Zelda on different platforms. He was like, ‘Oh, if you like playing Startup Valley, you must play [World of Warcraft].”
You might think that we made up Joe’s nickname, but it’s all too real.
“Everybody knows that I’m a gamer,” Wolfe says. “I think my nickname, while weird because of my last name, but Wolf of Wall Street is my gamer tag on everything.”
His story reminds everyone to not judge a book by its cover. When you see Joe in his suit navigating the busy corridors of Wall Street, he looks to be all business, but underneath lies the heart and soul of a gamer who is not new to the game but true to it.
So the next time you’re on Wall Street and hear the legend of The Wolf, put some respect on that name—and don’t forget to add the “e.”
Thanks for reading the ABK Edit! Subscribe for more stories delivered straight to your inbox.