All my life, all I ever wanted to be - was an investor.
It stared learning about investing at the age of eleven, after my father passed from lung cancer caused by cigarette smoking. I can remember my mother sitting me down and telling me "You need to be the man in the family now, to help me around the house, and to be responsible for helping take care of your brother and little sister." So, one of the habits I took-up at that early age was reading the sports and business pages of my local newspaper.
I took that responsibility to heart, which started my journey to adulthood.
As I got older I had some money saved up from 3 years of mowing neighborhood lawns, so I opened an account at Merrill Lynch when I turned 18. I made my first profitable stock investment in Advanced Micro Devices. At 19, I was working as a lifeguard, and invested that money in oil stocks. As I continued working, I saved and bought more stocks.
I loved reading about football players, and I loved reading those stock tables.
It was a challenge trying to figure out some of the proper names of the companies from that brief abbreviated description in the stock tables. I tried to figure out which stocks (companies) made the best investment, and why they went up and down in price.
I knew there must be some secret to making lots of money in stocks.
I began to read investment books by the dozens. Mostly I read books that would recount how the great investors and traders made their fortunes in the old days - Bernard Baruch, Gerald Loeb, John LeFevre, Harry Schultz, and others. Then as I got older, I read about economics, technical analysis, business cycles, and bear markets. This was all great, pre-college foundation.
I graduated college with a BBA - Finance summa cum laude and was extremely excited to get to work on Wall Street.
While in college, I bought Southwest Airlines in 1977-78 after reading about the Wright Amendment in the Congressional Record in the business library (oh how I wish I had never sold those shares).
At that time, investment jobs were hard to come by. Too many mergers had left outstanding, talented, and knowledgeable people looking for jobs – I tried, but I just could not compete against those experienced analysts, even though I once offered to work for a major investment bank for free. So, I took a job with a large retailer working in their investor relations department, for a firm headquartered in my hometown. I really enjoyed talking with the Wall Street analysts about what a great investment my company was, as well as writing our company’s quarterly and annual reports to investors.
I ended up working there for 15 years.
I made a lot of friends at that company, worked my way up the ranks, and every time I thought of leaving, circumstances allowed me to do new, innovative investment-related work. So I stayed longer than I intended.
My next job was for a communications company for another 3-4 years, until my two daughters graduated from college. after that, I worked as a financial consultant for a few years. Then came the moment that I was looking forward to.
I made a critical decision to move my career in the direction of helping individuals, rather than large corporations.
With my two girls out of college and on their own, I began to realize my long-standing desire to be actively involved in the investment business. I went to work for a broker-dealer ("b/d"), got my investing licenses, and worked first in customer service, answering customer questions and doing lead generation work. Then, I was promoted to be an investment consultant in the prestigious Highland Park branch, consulting directly with the firm’s clients on how to maximize their investments consistent with their objectives.
I left that company after 6 years and joined a different b/d as an independent contractor, an important step along the road to independence, which I undertook primarily to have more selection in how I invested my clients money.
That in-turn led to founding my own company, where I enjoy complete freedom to act in my client’s best interests.
Since the launch of HWM in 2018, my love for investing has led to some remarkable results. I have a passion for helping “regular” people realize the American dream, for assisting them to enjoy a better lifestyle, and for getting them where they can change jobs or retire without undue concerns over money.
Seeing those dreams come alive is so rewarding for me – I see optimism and hope re-birthed, as goals are reached and lives are changed.
I like to explain, educate, encourage, excite, and empower others --- the “5 Es” --- to help them seek the best life has to offer.
Well, that’s my story in brief ...