First some background about me. I grew up in Port Elizabeth a smallish city on the east coast of South Africa. My father was a successful businessman, I grew up talking business around the dinner table and would sometimes work for my dad in the school holidays. My father was very strict an all round tough guy and I was a little rebellious in my teens. My dad was an incredible role model to me and continues to be despite passing away more than 22yrs ago.
My mother was a stay at home mom, a champion bridge player (she still is) who introduced me to the markets. It was with my Bar-mitzvah money (Jewish right of passage for when a male boy becomes a man at the age of 13) that I started to play the markets based on tips that my mom gave me and my interpretation of the newspapers business section.
My dad was more a mutual fund kind of guy, in South Africa we called it unit trusts and every month from the day I was born my father put money into my investment portfolio. At the age of 16 he handed the portfolio over to me.
I studied economics at university where I came into my own, as I was not the best student at school. At school I was naughty and enjoyed being the class clown. However despite my teenage delinquency, from the age of 10 I started studying the newspaper every day and 40yrs later nothing has changed. I have an insatiable appetite for learning and every day is a lesson for me at the university of life. At the age of 18 I started capturing my thoughts and emotions in a journal, 32 years later I still journal and want to bring that passion for learning and self discovery to the Pathways Newsletter series.
In 1996 I launched the very first Online Grocery business in South Africa and then embarked on a successful career in property development and portfolio management, corporate finance and investment banking, proprietary trading, hedge fund management and software development.
Throughout my life I have explored different pathways and realised that there is no one way to achieve success. Rather one needs a few guiding principles and from there you need to explore the pathway that suites your uniqueness.
Over the years the following newsletters shaped my love for economics and the markets as I studied them more religiously than any other. The Richebacher Letter, Richard Russell’s Dow Theory Letter, he wrote these letters daily for 50yrs almost never missing. I loved Richard Russell (pictured above) as he was so human and so unafraid to share his emotions with a wide audience. He was married 4 times and rode a Harley into his 80’s. The Privateer. Steve Hochberg and Robert Prechter’s Short Term Update and Theorist. John Mauldin’s weekly Thoughts From the Frontline. John Hussman’s weekly. Howard Marks Memo’s. Jeremy Grantham’s quarterly to name but a few.
My goal for the Pathway series is to write a daily & weekly newsletter that reflects the way I am seeing the world from a traders perspective and a human being trying to do his bit in the world. Join me on this Hero’s Journey as I truly believe traders are hero’s.