He worked as a trader before trading WallÂ Street for the streets of New York, earning his living as a cabÂ driver.
More than a decade ago Jack Alvo, 49, wasÂ working a $250,000-a-year job in wealth management for Morgan Stanley on theÂ 73rd floor of the World Trade Center.
On September 11, 2001, he was lucky enough toÂ escape from the South Tower before it crumbled to the ground. He spent the nextÂ months going from office-to-office looking for work.
In 2009, he lost his last finance job afterÂ the markets crashed and with a wife and two kids to support, starting driving aÂ yellow cab around the very streets he lived and worked on for so manyÂ years.
Speaking to CNNÂ he said: ‘I got caught in-between andÂ things got tough. Never would have thought that I could do this, but being aÂ native New Yorker, I knew the streets.
‘I learned the streets a lot better when IÂ had to start paying attention to them.’
Working the 5am to 5pm shift, Alvo quicklyÂ established a routine in his new job. Writing down his fares on an envelope,Â calculating when he breaks even and then his net profit for the day.
He also learned of the ‘science’ to cabÂ driving.
‘In the morning, you don’t want to be caughtÂ on the Upper East Side too early. They don’t wake up ’til 7:30. But down onÂ Hudson Street, they’re younger, more aggressive.
‘They’re going to work at Goldman and Bank ofÂ America or wherever, and you take ’em,’ he said.
So desperate is he to get back into theÂ finance business that he keeps his resumes in a box in the back seat of his cab,Â hoping a passenger will pick one up and help him land a job.
Though nothing has happened yet,Â passengersÂ have been very helpful, helping him improve his resume andÂ make it more conciseÂ as well as offering him advice.
‘It does keep my faith in humanity,’he toldÂ CNN. ‘One thing you learn driving a cab is that it’s allÂ connected.’ He has hadÂ a few leads and even some interviews from people in his cab, but nothing hasÂ come through yet.
‘If you’ve ever been fishing, you knowÂ youÂ can spend a whole day on a pond and never catch a fish. But if youÂ know the layÂ of the land, your odds improve.’
Alvo explains why it was so hard forÂ him toÂ get a job after the recession and why he turned to cab drivingÂ after a year ofÂ unemployment.
‘Guys like me can be replaced at a muchÂ cheaper rate,’ he explained. ‘You know, a guy who’s well into the sixÂ figureÂ category, making 250 plus, he’s easily replaceable by a guy whoÂ they can getÂ for a hundred grand who thinks it’s the best job in theÂ world. Or they canÂ replace me with two young guys.’
The 49-year-old said it’s his new year’sÂ resolution to finish cab driving and get back into a nine-to-five job. He alsoÂ wants to write a book.
‘I could call it From Street to Street – fromÂ Wall Street to having to work to theÂ street, so to speak.
‘I think itÂ would be a story of survival –Â understanding that you can haveÂ everything at times and sometimes when thingsÂ get tough, you’re forcedÂ to take other routes.
‘But there is light at the end of the tunnel.Â AndÂ if you stay focused you can get through anything.’