One of my large clients owned several companies. I admired the industry he created and always looked forward to renewing our business relationship each year. I was selling financial services, representing a large broker. I remember one year when after concluding negotiations. Howard, the owner, told me that I should expand my thinking about business. I did not always have to just make money for someone else, I could develop my own portfolio. Business that would be mine regardless of what happened in the market. It was good advice.
The wisdom of his thoughts would prove out over and over again as I moved through my business career. The most successful business people, ones I admired the most, developed a side business. A portfolio outside the market swings of their main career.
Here are a few stories of portfolio hero’s I have known.
The Sailor. Del did construction work, but the seasonality of it and swings caused by the economy troubled him. He managed to scrape …
Savannah is the most pleasant of experiences. It’s a blend of a working city, tourist mecca and art scene. Not to mention the great walking and culinary treats.
It is full of museums that will keep you busy for days. The one that impressed me the most was SCAD. It is part of the Savannah College of Art and Design. The passion of the young art students surrounds this place.
We were fortunate to stay across the street at the Embassy Suites in the Historical District. A great hotel, with nice wood panel décor and lavish green plants around the lobby. Our room overlooked SCAD. We enjoyed the coming and going of the art students, many carrying their current canvases under their arm.
The museum itself reflects the edge and energy of the entire college. It is larger than you would expect and pleasantly lacks the too refined movement of collections from room to room. Each room at SCAD cries out to be observed, interpreted and savored. Highlights included the video presentation of “Inverso Mu…
It was one of those scenes I can never resist. Fred, a postal worker, stopped his work and ask if I knew what I was taking a photo of. I told him my camera always found karma in open urban space with an interesting colorful subject in the distance. Fred laughed and said, “It’s interesting alright. The opportunity and the divide.”
I ask him what he meant. He continued to sort though the mail and deposit it in the postal box complex near where I parked.
“You see, I used to walk the streets and deliver mail to the housing complex in the distance. That’s before they put this infernal central mail box in.” He looked across at the housing again and then said, “A government experiment in helping the low income that never really fulfilled its dream. Most of the people remain a part of the city, but apart from the wealth of it. That’s public housing for you, it divides.”
Fred pointed to the unused urban expanse between us and the complex. “The opportunity, everybody wants this open ground. …