One of the great things about the U.S. is that people give their time and effort for things that benefit society. It is a secular offshoot of the Puritan idea of creating a Holy Commonwealth. We are out to save the world from itself, but now, without anything like Yahweh/Jesus telling us to do it.
I must admit that I serve in both spheres — I am an elder in my Bible-believing Presbyterian congregation. I also serve on the Baltimore CFA society’s board, and may become a part of the board that oversees the pension plans for Howard County, should the county executive so choose me. (As an aside, I applied for similar posts at the Maryland State level, but I fear that I am either too controversial, or too qualified. I suspect that they don’t want people who really know the business.)
When I came to Baltimore, my boss had a number of things to teach me:
- When someone asks you for help finding work, give him help.
- Break off time to aid the broader interests of your industry, in this case, the CFA Society.
- Where you have the opportunity, favor the local financial community if it doesn’t cost a lot to do so.
- Help students and young professionals where you can.
I have made an effort to do this. I aid people who are looking for opportunities, and I advise them. I may not be the best, but I have been around the block a few times. I really enjoy aiding people to find jobs in investing. I love spending time with students, and encouraging them to think broadly about how investing works. It is not a simple formula.
Thus I find my time pulled in many different directions, and my dear wife wonders at how I do it. The truth is, I don’t do it. I have as many hours as all those who are alive. It is just a question of the distractions that you block out in an internet era.
Thanks for reading me, and as Program Chair for Baltimore CFA, if you have any great speaker ideas for me, please send them to me. Thanks.
By David Merkel, CFA of alephblog.com