Chris Gardner has a unique perspective on money: he’s gone from living on the streets of San Francisco to becoming a top stock broker with Bear Stearns.

“The problem with Wall Street is greed,” explains Gardner. “A very small number of greedy people created our current financial troubles. Politicians talk about regulation, but how do you regulate greed?”

The dashing 55-year-old was portrayed by Will Smith in the film The Pursuit of Happyness. Riding the New York subway recently, he encountered hundreds of people carrying boxes: They had been laid off.

“But being laid off isn’t a disaster,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to ask yourself, ‘What do I really care about?.’ The best and brightest won’t eye a Wall Street career anymore.”

Chris’ tips
Gardner gives career advice in his new book. Start Where You Are. He shares his top tips with Metro:

• What are you truly passionate about? That’s where your success lies.

• Think outside the box when it comes to a career shift. And don’t be afraid to take a job that’s not your dream job if it will teach you some of the skills that your dream job will require eventually.

• Network. Make friends before you need friends.

• Money is the least significant component of wealth. Don’t judge yourself by what’s in your bank account. Money comes and goes but your conviction and talents cannot be traded, negotiated or sold.