Conde Nast Portfolio (December 2007 issue)
Really, he just wanted to be a success. How that happened, he didn’t much care. So in 1987, at the peak of the bull market, he landed a job with investment firm E.F. Hutton in Los Angeles. A few weeks into Blaine’s training program, E.F. Hutton collapsed following a check-kiting scandal and was sold to Shearson Lehman. Blaine’s training at Lehman consisted of a monthlong class, which focused mainly on overcoming customers’ objections, and a close reading of the bible on how to peddle stocks to people you’ve never met: Successful Telephone Selling in the ’80s, co-written by a Lehman managing director named Martin Shafiroff.