Superman, Batman, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle,
Tom Gardner, Tony Hsieh. . . Huh?
If you could pick two people that you could sit down with and talk to who would they be?
Last Friday June 7th, I was in the middle of an insane day. Las Vegas had the usual Friday tourist traffic and it was graduation night. I just finished two trips to the Las Vegas Strip and one trip to take an old sailor out to the new veterans hospital. Oh, did I mention it was 109 degrees?
I have a couple of projects that keep me busy. These would include listening to stock reports on Bloomberg radio, while working on my art. (I recently developed a totally original and unique art technique.)
One of the stock research companies (and there are many out there) that I most like to consult is called Motley Fool. Not only can they quote P/E ratios and intersecting/dissecting trending, moving averages and blah blahs, but the owners, David and Tom Gardner put a lot of stock (pun intended) in the ethical and human side of the companies that they research.
The Gardner's say that they go to each companies CEO and look for the way the CEO treats his employees. They look at his ethics and vision. (You young guys may want to look up the word ethics and also check out fiduciary while you are at it.) I am skeptic about what they say but these things seem important to the Gardner's.
In the middle of my insanity, I read a news release that said that Tom Gardner was going to be at a meet and greet at Tony Hsieh's Gold Spike Casino. You “out of towners” should know that Tony Hsieh is Zappos.com. He is our premier patron of the arts and a person that has a similar ethical outlook about business and life as the Gardener's profess to have. He is a bizillionaire that has promoted a revival of the famous Fremont Street, (the old Downtown area.) He is doing wonders for the arts community here. He also preaches vision, ethics and community values.
What a fantastic opportunity. Tom and Tony in the same room. Art and financial advice; one stop shopping! Heck, I didn't even know that they new one another. Maybe Superman will drop by?
The function started at 8 PM and I was still trying to get out of my house. By then, I was at least half crazy with excitement. Star struck? Yes.
I walked into a group of about 25 people, and there among them was Tom Gardner. I watched him as he worked the room. He seemed to genuinely like meeting people.
I was ready to burst, and I all but interrupted a conversation that he was having with a gentleman. Okay, I did interrupt but my head was ready to explode.
I was able to show Tom my art. He was gracious and seemed to like my art to the point that he said that he would like to show it to a New York gallery owner that he knows. How cool is that? Tom said that Tony Hsieh was with him the night before but would not be available that night. Tom said that he would provide me with a way to send samples of my work to Tony Hsieh.
Tom Gardner asked me many questions about my investing habits and why I used the Motley Fool for my main research vehicle. I was starting to see that this man that preached ethics and concern for the human side of investing, was for real. He repeatedly overlooked my insanity.
Tom was accompanied by a staff of three or four of his research editors. These were clean cut, intelligent and very personable young men. I was so impressed that I came home and signed up for a class in options trading with one of them.
I have already made a little money by listening to Motley Fool research. The best part is that you get all of their knowledge basically for peanuts. (Cheaper than the cost of one of the economics books that they bought for college!)
I have been in the rodeo of life for a while now. I can smell a skunk from pretty far away. This was not one of those times. I am going to review my portfolio in an effort to move more funds toward their recommendations.
In conclusion, maybe the Gardner's are correct. A “face to face” can reveal a bunch about a person's motives. If Tom told me to drink the Kool-Aid, I probably would.
No College Craig
P.S. Superman failed to show up!