Oh, I don't deny that at that level each runner shouldn't be earning five- and six-digit payouts on a run, or even that they shouldn't be getting the good stuff; it's the retainer that's ridiculous. A smart investor-runner, however, will acquire the high-end goods only when s/he needs to, and wisely investing otherwise - first through Brokerage X, and then after one acquires a tidy sum, via direct investing in the megacorporations - because you never want to keep all your eggs in one illegal basket. You then roll the legal earnings back into their respective investment portfolios. Hawatari, for example, has 2 million in her primary-access Brokerage X account - but 362+ in her secondary account, and in the range of 1.5B in wide-ranging corporate investments, all this built up over almost thirty years. Could she retire? Sure, but to what? She likes what she does, and who she does it for.