Tao Mu regarded Li Xiaoheng as a possible future golden thigh. In order to make Li Xiaoheng trust him more in the field of venture capitalism, Tao Mu would naturally not conceal anything——of course, certain secrets such as his source of funds must be kept. Besides, the reason why Tao Mu’s rate of return was so high was not because he was so good at trading stocks, but because his vision and experience far surpassed his peers, as well as the inexplicable intuition that appeared every time he traded. This all added up to make it very easy to determine the volatility trend of international oil futures. But if one really wanted to talk about the subtlety of the trade and the theoretical knowledge, a professional top trader like Li Xiaoheng would definitely be able to leave him in the dust.
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However, a thing like intuition or instinct was fine as a trader or small investor. Whereas acting as someone else’s private investment consultant, it was not so easy to explain. Just a little carelessness and people could misunderstand and see him as a swindler.
But fortunately, people like Li Xiaoheng understood the importance of talent and intuition in the financial field.
——Many times, data analysis was not even worth the trader’s single flash of inspiration. Li Xiaoheng had personally experienced this himself.
“I knew your financial sense was very keen, but I didn’t expect that I still underestimated your ability.” After listening patiently to Tao Mu explaining the series of operations, Li Xiaoheng couldn’t help but exclaim with emotion: “Your short-selling skills and ability to predict rising prices when compared to mine are much stronger.”
Tao Mu smiled and said very humbly: “I just operate by intuition. If it comes to professionalism, I’m not as good as brother Li.”
Li Xiaoheng smiled: “Don’t be so humble. How old are you now? When I was your age, I just began to study in M country. Every day I only knew how to study hard and occasionally try my hand at the stock market, but I didn’t have Xiao Mu’s courage to fight to win or die.”
That’s right, with Li Xiaoheng’s trading experience and professional skills, he only needed to take a look at Tao Mu’s investment capital and operation mode, and he could immediately conclude that Tao Mu had definitely invested all of his wealth——not only that, but also the “private money” of relatives and friends was also thrown into the stock market.
Li Xiaoheng had always believed that he was an extremely conceited person in the professional field, but at Tao Mu’s age, he had to admit that he did not have the courage and boldness to throw in everything like Tao Mu.
Li Xiaoheng’s sincere praise caused Tao Mu to be unable to help but blush. If it weren’t for his rebirth and the knowledge of the next ten years, even if he had the courage to make a desperate bet with his capital, he likely would not have the boldness to persuade Liu Yao, Meng Qi and the others to follow along.
Therefore, compared with big shot Li who could set up Xiaoheng Capital in his first semester of college, his tossing around was really just relying on his lucky rebirth, so there was nothing to brag about.
Li Xiaoheng looked at Tao Mu with a gentle smile. Speaking of which, he had always been puzzled. In his opinion, with Tao Mu’s talented achievements, he should be an extremely confident person. However, just from the two times Li Xiaoheng had contact with Tao Mu, he already vaguely discovered that Tao Mu seemed to unconsciously reveal a bit of inferiority and anxiety in his speech and behavior.
Li Xiaoheng thought about it several times in private, and felt that Tao Mu’s mentality probably originated from his life experience as an orphan. Didn’t the field of psychology make an argument, the absence of a family could cause a person to be extremely insecure in the process of growing up. Li Xiaoheng guessed that Tao Mu was the same. But what he didn’t know was that Tao Mu’s experience was far more bizarre and tragic than this kind of basic psychological analysis.
Li Xiaoheng observed his private investment adviser subtly. While chatting, he would raise his chopsticks to add certain food from the dishes to Tao Mu’s plate based on wherever Tao Mu’s eyes looked.
This table etiquette was so meticulous that Tao Mu, who was used to taking care of others, even felt a little unaccustomed.
“Brother Li, don’t just look after me.” Tao Mu looked at Li Xiaoheng: “Between us, you don’t have to be so polite.”
“Okay.” Li Xiaoheng said, putting down the shared chopsticks in a personable manner, and suddenly sighed: “In so many years, except for the New Year’s family dinner, I seem to have not eaten such a rich meal in a long time. Speaking of which, I have to thank you Xiao Mu. I would have been too lazy to spend so much time eating a single meal if it weren’t for you accompanying me.”
Tao Mu smiled and said, “Every second is money to brother Li, naturally you are different from ordinary people like us.”
“What’s the difference?” Li Xiaoheng looked at Tao Mu with scorching eyes, that pair of pitch-black eyes were warm and bright, Tao Mu’s figure clearly reflected within: “Whatever we spend time and energy on, what we ultimately want is to meet our expectations. It’s just that some people like to eat, drink and have fun, and those like us just like to work.”
Having said that, Li Xiaoheng turned the topic to Tao Mu’s short-selling international oil: “…..I heard Luo Yang say that in order to watch the market, you barely sleep at night, and you also have to take care of your studies and FlyNews. Isn’t it too tiring?”
Tao Mu shook his head and smiled: “As you said just now, the reason why we do so many things is because we like it. Since it is something I like, how can I feel tired?”
“But you shouldn’t work too hard and ruin your health.” Li Xiaoheng chuckled and said: “You are still young, and you don’t know that one’s energy is actually limited. If you overexert yourself now in exchange for wealth, then you may have to use your wealth to exchange for health in the future. Xiao Mu is smart so you wouldn’t do this kind of loss-making business, would you?”
After Tao Mu heard this, he looked at Li Xiaoheng a little hesitantly. He seemed to guess what Li Xiaoheng wanted to say.
Sure enough, seeing Tao Mu look over, Li Xiaoheng smiled and put down his bowl and chopsticks, and said, “My personal opinion, since Xiao Mu, you are my private investment adviser, I won’t mention anything else for now. Just on shorting the international crude oil, our goals and interests are the same. In that case, why can’t the two of us work together. With your vision coupled with my trading skills, I believe that we will have great rapport when working together.”
The most important thing was that after the two of them cooperated, Tao Mu wouldn’t have to stay up late every night due to time difference, staring at the market all the time, for fear that he might miss something and blow up his trading account. Li Xiaoheng could also use Tao Mu’s vision and judgment to do more sophisticated trading.
This was a partnership of mutual benefits, and it was a powerful partnership where one plus one was greater than two. Li Xiaoheng couldn’t think of any reason for Tao Mu to refuse.
Sure enough, Tao Mu pondered for a moment, and also felt that there was nothing wrong with Li Xiaoheng’s proposal——not only could they make more money, but it would also deepen the connection between the two. This interpersonal relationship bound by such interests would become more stable. It also fit Tao Mu’s original intention of getting along with Li Xiaoheng.
Tao Mu secretly made some calculations in his heart, and readily agreed.
As soon as he spoke, Tao Mu felt that the atmosphere in the private room suddenly became more relaxed and warm. Tao Mu looked at Li Xiaoheng, and felt that it was likely due to the sudden strengthened cooperation between the two that boosted the personal relationship between them.
Indeed, this was the truth. At least in Li Xiaoheng’s opinion, since Tao Mu agreed to cooperate——his job function being elevated from Li Xiaoheng’s personal investment consultant to his chief analyst, then the relationship between the two could not be so casual like before where “you just ask and I just answer”. In order to ensure that Tao Mu could guide his stock trading at any time, Li Xiaoheng believed that the two must ensure that they would be able to contact each other at any time within 24 hours.
In addition to these obligations that must be fulfilled, the corresponding rights must also be in place. For example, in terms of revenue sharing, contracts must be strictly followed. In this way, Li Xiaoheng could use Tao Mu with confidence.
So Li Xiaoheng made an overseas phone call that night and directly instructed Xiaoheng Capital’s legal counsel to draft an employment contract that was based on the treatment of Xiaoheng Capital’s partners, and set out in detail Tao Mu’s due profit sharing and his necessary performance obligation. There was also a contract for Tao Mu to open an account with Xiaoheng Capital. Then in the next morning, he personally delivered it to Tao Mu.
Tao Mu was still completing military training at that time, so after receiving a call from Li Xiaoheng, he immediately asked for leave from the instructor and ran out.
The autumn breeze was cool and the camphor trees on both sides of the street were already rendered golden yellow. Large tracts of camphor leaves fell on the clean streets, sunlight poured down from the gaps in the camphor trees, mottled light and shadow danced in the air, and the entire campus seemed to have been casted in a golden light. Tao Mu ran across the field wearing a military training uniform with black high boots. The vigor and life in his appearance was so handsome it charmed all those who saw him. Sitting in the car, Li Xiaoheng suddenly felt his heart skip a beat as he watched Tao Mu running towards him under the sun.
When Tao Mu opened the car door and sat in the passenger seat next to him, Li Xiaoheng felt a hot wind blowing in his face, mixed with the scent of autumn grass and sunlight, causing him to feel slightly intoxicated.
Li Xiaoheng handed his handkerchief to Tao Mu and motioned him to wipe the sweat on his face.
Tao Mu really didn’t expect that in this era, there were still people carrying handkerchiefs around, and he was a little dazed for a while.
When he came back to himself, Tao Mu smiled and waved his hand to refuse, wiping the sweat from his forehead and cheeks with his sleeves without much care: “No need. A day’s sweat is unavoidable when doing military training. I won’t waste your handkerchief.”
Li Xiaoheng could only repocket his handkerchief and hand over the contract to Tao Mu solemnly, and said with a serious expression: “Take a look, if you have any suggestions, I will ask my lawyer to change it immediately.”
The contract Li Xiaoheng asked his lawyer to draft was very formal and rigorous, fully taking into account the rights and obligations of both parties so Tao Mu made no complaints. He decisively signed his name on the contract, smiled and stretched out his right hand to Li Xiaoheng: “Happy cooperation.”
“Happy cooperation.” Li Xiaoheng squeezed Tao Mu’s right hand firmly, eyes drooping, staring at Tao Mu’s neat and beautiful nails: “Then, starting from this evening, we will have a phone call every day. If you have any questions, we can speak about it over the phone.”
This was an obligation stipulated in the contract, and Tao Mu had no objection: “Okay.”
In the next moment, Tao Mu transferred his account to Li Xiaoheng to take care of. He had disposed of a large number of sock puppets overnight, shifted thousands of hands in the international futures market, erased all traces, and finally aggregated all the funds into one account to hand over to Li Xiaoheng.
This account contained not only Tao Mu’s capital, but also the private money of Liu Yao and Meng Qi, and the pocket money of Da Mao and Xiao Pang, as well as the idle funds of the company that uncle Wang, Dao Mao’s dad invested recently.
After finishing up everything, Li Xiaoheng looked up at the sky, and saw that it was almost noon: “Would you like me to treat you to lunch?”
There wasn’t that much tasty food near the school. At least Tao Mu didn’t think it would be to Li Xiaoheng’s taste. Aside from——
Tao Mu thought of this and asked, “Do you like to eat lamb? Wen Juxiang, run by my roommate’s family, is also one of Beijing’s time-honored brands. Very authentic.”
Looking at Tao Mu talk about his classmates and roommates, Li Xiaoheng found that he exhibited a rare energy. He suddenly said, “Actually, I prefer to eat the food you make.”
Both of them were a little stunned when these words were spoken. Without waiting for Li Xiaoheng to apologize for his recklessness, Tao Mu suddenly smiled and said: “Okay. What do you like to eat, why don’t we go to the vegetable market and see, and I will make it for you.”
Li Xiaoheng pondered for a few seconds: “Will it be too troublesome?”
“No.” Tao Mu shook his head: “I haven’t eaten my own cooking for a long time. Anyway, we don’t have military training until 2:30 in the afternoon, so we have plenty of time.”
Knowing Tao Mu’s train of thoughts, he likely still regarded Li Xiaoheng as a rare business partner. There would be no rudeness in his gestures, and he would even go to the effort to not disappoint his business partners. But in the bottom of his heart, it was hard to tell whether or not he was slandering the other as being too difficult to deal with.
Li Xiaoheng fell silent for a long while, but was still unable to resist Tao Mu’s cooking skills, so he could only toughen his skin and sigh with emotion, “Then I will have to trouble you.”
The plane ticket Li Xiaoheng booked was at 8 o’clock in the evening, and the plane would fly for 13 hours. When he arrived in M country, he would still have plenty of time to be able to catch up with the opening of the stock market. Therefore, Li Xiaoheng did not have the urgent need to make up for the time difference. He was more willing to go to the farmer’s market with Tao Mu than go home for sleep. Feel the noisy crowds around them, as well as those housewives and vendors who loudly bargained with each other. This kind of life was something he had never experienced before.
Expensive handmade custom leather shoes stepped on the ground full of stagnant water. Li Xiaoheng looked around and asked Tao Mu: “Why don’t we go to the supermarket?”
“Because the fresh vegetables in the supermarket may not be all that fresh.” Tao Mu turned his head and glanced at his business partner who was wearing a three-piece haute couture suit under a black windbreaker. For the nth time, he persuaded: “You should wait for me in the car. Here it is too dirty, don’t stain your clothes.”
Before his voice fell, a loud “Coming through!” sounded behind Li Xiaoheng. Immediately after a gust of wind passed by, Li Xiaoheng instantly turned around, narrowly avoiding a bald-headed vendor pushing a tricycle into the market. There were several pots of live fish and shrimp piled on the vendor’s cart, the fishy smell extremely heavy.
Tao Mu looked down at the lively bass and shrimp, and asked Li Xiaoheng, “Do you want to eat steamed fish and braised prawns?”
Li Xiaoheng tucked his hands in his pockets, and replied very seriously: “I want to eat boiled fish.”
He had no preference for how to eat fish. But he remembered that Tao Mu liked spicy food. As for prawns…..he recalled that Tao Mu didn’t seem to like to peel prawns. This was no problem, his prawn peeling skills were at the professional level. Every year during New Year’s, he would help the female elders in his family to prawns.
The prawns he peeled were particularly beautiful.
Li Xiaoheng, who had no talent in cooking, could only find some dignity in this kind of thing.
Of course, in addition to this, he could also do the job of washing vegetables.
“Why use rinsed rice water to wash the vegetables?”
In the 38-square-meter small apartment, Mr. Li, who had never gone into a kitchen before, wore an apron and stood next to the sink, watching Tao Mu pour the rinsed rice water into the basin to wash the vegetables and was unable but to ask curiously.
“It can reduce pesticide residues.” Tao Mu answered patiently.
The daylight was just right, Tao Mu took off the jacket of the military training uniform, and also took a quick shower in passing. He was now wearing house clothes and standing in a small kitchen with a dark apron tied around him. He felt that the tall, clingy guy behind him, his business partner who would turn into a curious baby from time to time, was a bit of a hindrance.
“It’s better for you to go to the living room and wait first. I will work fast so we’ll be able to have lunch soon.” Tao Mu patiently suggested.
Li Xiaoheng also seemed to notice that his existence was a bit in the way. He was a little embarrassed: “I thought I could help you.”
He looked at Tao Mu with a serious expression: “At least I can learn.”
Tao Mu: “…..” This kind of workplace newcomer line was really not suitable for Li Xiaoheng.
“Um, you should go out and rest for a while.” Tao Mu glanced at the time. Military training would start again at 2:30 in the afternoon, and it was almost twelve now. If he didn’t hurry, it really would be too late.
He seemed to have been rejected. Li Xiaoheng rubbed his nose in an embarrassed manner and exited the kitchen that was so small that only one person could turn around in it. He then looked at the layout and furnishings in the room, and asked politely: “Can I take a tour?”
Tao Mu replied loudly in the kitchen: “Go ahead.”
With the permission of the owner, Li Xiaoheng wandered around the small and exquisite apartment.
This was probably the smallest residence he had ever seen——the whole apartment was not even as big as a bathroom in the old manor of the Li family. But the decoration in this apartment revealed the master’s meticulousness and care. From the photo wall at the entrance hall to the potted trees on the balcony, there was a lively and warm atmosphere of life everywhere.
Standing in front of the photo wall, Li Xiaoheng looked at the photo of Tao Mu, three or four years old, sitting on a small wooden horse and smiling at the camera. His plump and small delicate face was very cute. He couldn’t help but smile: “I also have a similar photo. It’s just that my photo was taken on my first birthday. By the way, where did you take this photo? Maybe we even took it in the same photo studio.”
Tao Mu in the kitchen was silent for a long time before responding: “I don’t know. I don’t have any memory before the age of five.”
Li Xiaoheng was startled when he heard this.
Tao Mu said: “I heard from the dean that when I was five years old, I came down with a high fever. The fever was particularly severe. I don’t remember anything before.”
“I’m sorry.” Li Xiaoheng returned to the kitchen door.
The sunlight on the top floor was very strong. The dazzling sunlight poured in from the window, seeming to want nothing more than to envelope the young man wearing an apron in its halo. Li Xiaoheng looked at Tao Mu’s thin and straight back, and suddenly asked, “Then do you want to hear about my childhood?”
Tao Mu was a little startled, he looked back at Li Xiaoheng. After a long while, he suddenly smirked, “Why, when you were a kid, did you peek at girls taking baths and pull at girls’ pigtails?”
“That I haven’t done.” Li Xiaoheng put his hand in his trouser pocket, and half leaned against the door of the kitchen: “I grew up with my grandfather when I was young. My grandfather is very strict, so when I was young, my personality was relatively dull. Apart from reading books, I was always obsessed with studying and unable to extricate myself from reading the news and financial reports. Later, I went to Stanford University and was busy creating Xiaoheng Capital. As a result, I have been single until now.”
Tao Mu laughed: “No wonder the first time I saw you, I felt that you were very calm and steady when speaking and doing things, because it turned out you have been influenced by the elderly.”
“You want to say that I’m old-fashioned.” Li Xiaoheng chuckled: “My younger brothers and sisters often complain that I can’t keep up with the times, and that there is a generation gap between me and my peers. I also felt the same way before. But after meeting you, I feel that the reason I haven’t met a friend who I can talk to is all because the right person hasn’t arrived yet.”
Tao Mu paused slightly in cleaning the prawns. He then heard Li Xiaoheng continue to ask: “What about you? You are so handsome and have such a good personality. Are there many girls who like you?”
Tao Mu thought of the growing and learning environment Li Xiaoheng grew up in——they were very different from those of ordinary people, and coupled with his long stay abroad, perhaps many of his Chinese vocabulary was not so accurate. He should not be too oversensitive.
Thinking about this, Tao Mu smiled slightly and said: “I am in the same situation as you. I am addicted to making money, unable to help myself.”
“Then we are really like-minded.” Li Xiaoheng said. Seeing Tao Mu pouring the boiled fish into a large blue and white bowl, he immediately reached out to take it: “I think your tableware is also very fun.”
“Be careful, it’s hot.” Tao Mu avoided Li Xiaoheng’s hand and brought the boiled fish to the dining table with a smile: “My grandfather specially went to the glassware factory to find someone to custom make it.”
“You also grew up with your grandfather?” Li Xiaoheng eagerly climbed up the pole handed to him: “I really think there is so much in common between the two of us. No wonder we can get along like this.”
Next, Tao Mu made braised prawn, steak with red wine, crabmeat with pork meatballs, edible jellyfish with cold vegetables dressed with sauce, and osmanthus glutinous rice lotus root.
When the dishes were ready, Li Xiaoheng, who believed they got along extremely well, took the initiative to move the plate of braised prawns in front of him, rolled his sleeves up, put on plastic gloves, and began to peel the prawns.
He peeled it extremely fast, his slender fingers moving dexterously. After a short while, he placed a peeled tender prawn directly into Tao Mu’s plate.
Tao Mu was startled again. Li Xiaoheng smiled and said, “Look, I peel prawns very well while you like prawns. Don’t the two of us have a particularly tacit agreement?”
Before Tao Mu had time to speak, Li Xiaoheng chuckled and said, “So from now on, I really have to trouble you to work hard in advising me on the futures market. Although you don’t need to stay up and watch the market all night like you did before, our line of business is like this. A little negligence may result in the loss of billions of dollars. Coupled with the problem of time difference, I may sometimes have to call you at three or four in the morning. I hope you’ll forgive me for any offense.”
Tao Mu suddenly understood. Li Xiaoheng probably still felt a little worried about his professional ethics, afraid that he would choose to quit at any time, or that he could not be found at a critical moment, or that his attitude would not be so positive after a long time. All in all, all kinds of subjective negligence might cause mistakes that would result in huge losses.
With Li Xiaoheng’s manners and character, he was obviously not the kind of person who could speak ugly words beforehand. Besides, with the business relationship between him and Li Xiaoheng, as well as it being just the beginning of their cooperation, it was not suitable for there to be an “ugly talk first” style. So after thinking about it, the intimate exchanges these days could probably fall under the four words “having appreciation for talents.”
No wonder he could create the huge Xiaoheng Capital at such a young age. And in the future, be able to reach top billionaire status through investing in high-tech industries. This professional quality of being able to take and give was really not something ordinary people could possess.
Tao Mu believed to have grasped Li Xiaoheng’s thoughts, and immediately smiled, “You can rest assured that even if you call me at 3:30 in the morning every day, I will be full of energy to give you advice.”
“After all, my wealth and life are in your hands.”
Tao Mu said jokingly. Li Xiaoheng responded solemnly: “I have never worried about such things. After all, I am a very good judge of character.”
Tao Mu chuckled. He was indeed worthy of being a capitalist who could accumulate such wealth in the future. Towards this unique self-praising technique, he was indeed convinced.
The two of them chatted away, lunch passing by in a happy atmosphere. Moreover, by the time they finished the meal, the two felt that there was a lot of tacit understanding between each other, so it became even easier to get along. It really did seem like they were two old friends.
After the meal, Li Xiaoheng said goodbye and left. As soon as Tao Mu returned to school, his cell phone suddenly rang.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
For some reason, Tao Mu’s heart jumped. He answered the phone and listened to Gou Rixin’s good brother Da Luo’s panicked voice saying on the other side: “It’s not good, Tao Mu, brother Gou got into an accident.”
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