The Wall Street Walk

The Wall Street Walk

Thinking about a career on Wall Street? Want to understand how every day billions of dollars move from one pocket to another one? Want to know how some of the richest men in the history made their money?

Yeah dude, that’s Wall Street.

Before going to New York, I was very interested in visiting Wall Street and the Financial District. But I was looking for something different than the normal touristic tours organized by travel agencies, where you only have some quick stops near the Wall Street Bull and the New York Stock Exchange main entrance. I wanted to get an inside view of this fascinating place and I wanted to talk to somebody with a real knowledge of its history, because Wall Street is not just a street in Downtown Manhattan! It’s a symbol of the U.S. financial industry with a long history stretching back over 200 years.

That’s why I did my own online research and the possibility to join a tour called “The Wall Street Walk” came up. They offer a guide with financial expertise and the chance to visit a real trading room in the NYSE. Visitors are allowed to stay  a few minutes to take some pictures and walk around. The problem is that this tour is only available a few days per month and it is always overbooked. So planning it in advance can be really helpful.

This experience offers a unique angle on the buzz behind the biz, with tour guides who have worked for such industry titans as Goldman Sachs, Deutsch Bank, and J.P. Morgan. The tour “The Wall Street Walk” includes the “Wall Street Insider Tour”, the “Wall Street Movie Tour”, and the “Financial Crisis Tour” (all in all 5 hours).

My guide was Anneline Dinkelmann, a former Morgan Stanley employee, specialized in the retelling and recreation of financial history. Before becoming a guide she spent many hours doing research in the NYSE archives, so don’t be surprised if she shows you a copy of the legendary Buttonwood Agreement or photos of the original building where Alexander Hamilton used to live.

This walking tour takes you to parts of the city which you’d normally never see. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Get into a real trading room, to experience the fast-paced and vibrant environment;
  • Learn the history of the largest, most watched financial exchange in the world;
  • Discover the origins of Wall Street when shipping and rail companies ruled the business;
  • See where robber barons and financial icons like J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller made history;
  • See “Delmonico’s”, “Stone Street” and the other fine restaurants in the financial district where Wall Street power brokers go to lunch;
  • Understand the importance of financial indices.

I have a wonderful memory of this tour and I strongly recommend it to everyone even if not interested in finance. So just keep your mind open and suck in the experience!!