The Wall Street Whiz Kid. I believe every person is the direct result of the sum total of his or her life experiences. Where we have all been in our lives has a lot to do with where we are today and how we view the world.
I didn’t grow up in an educated family; my parents didn’t introduce me to Wall Street or investing at an early age; we didn’t even have much money. In essence, I am probably the most unlikely person to someday be called “The Wall Street Whiz Kid.”
Was Ben Graham's big purchase of GEICO shares actually a value investment? Perhaps it was contrary to what many believe. "In 1948, we made our GEICO investment and from then on, we seemed to be very brilliant people." -- Benjamin Graham, 1976 Both Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett can attribute a large part of their Read More
I’m from New York. To anyone who has ever met me or heard me on TV or radio, that’s a no brainer. I
sound New York … specifically, Bronx.
I was born in Manhattan in 1956, and, when I turned seven, my family moved north to one of New York’s more family- oriented boroughs. My sister, who was eight years older, left home the following year to marry her childhood boyfriend.
The couple moved to Brooklyn which, although it sounds close, is a long train or bus ride away, so for the next ten years I saw her only once or twice a year.
As a result, I basically grew up an only child. While my mother, Esther, worked constantly—mostly at secretarial jobs—my father spent much of my childhood unemployed. When he did work, it was often as a chauffeur for some big- named singers like Simon and Garfunkel and a sportscaster named Chris Schenkel. He’d occasionally find odd jobs doing other things, but was not working more than he was working.
The problem was: Dad was a gambler. Not to the point of loan sharks knocking on the door, but whatever money Dad managed to earn he gambled away at cards, the track, or the casinos. Gamblers, I have learned, are generally lazy people. That’s why the thought of hitting it big on a bet is such a high for them. It’s a way of beating the system and avoiding work. That describes my dad.