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Aspire To Inspire

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Collectively we can make a difference.

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When the turn of the century arrived, I was navigating a $400 million portfolio through the biggest implosion in financial history. I began writing that summer and found rhythm in the written word. It wasn't something I expected but it came naturally and helped synthesize my thoughts.

Someone had told me to write about what you know and what you love. The former was simple enough. The latter was a matter of fate.

Ruby became ill and was admitted to the Del Ray Beach Hospital. Each weekend, I traveled to Florida so I could hold his hand while he struggled through his sickness. After a while, I shared with my readers why I needed to leave early every Friday. I wrote about my best friend, why he mattered and how very much I loved him.

An amazing thing began to happen. I received emails from around the world from folks who had similar stories about grandparents, children, mothers, fathers and friends. There were ten at first and then a hundred. In time, there were thousands. We read those tributes to Ruby while he laid in intensive care, one after another, month after month.

If so many people took time to write someone they never met to lift the spirits of a man they only heard of, I would continue to share whatever insights I had in an attempt to help them navigate the twists and turns of the financial markets.

And so it began, the Minyanville community was birthed before we ever knew what it would be or where it would reside.

Letting Go and Carrying On

It was a random Wednesday in the spring of 2001 when I suddenly stopped trading and booked a flight. I sensed something was amiss and rather than wait for my regularly scheduled sojourn, I canceled my appointments and headed south.

I arrived at the hospital, raced to his room, held his hand and whispered in his ear. Five minutes later, a rush of energy passed through my body as his eyes shut and his grip softened. It was his time and he passed on his terms, surrounded by family as per his wishes.

I should have been prepared for the pain but reality was harsh, as it tends to be. Letting go is one thing but navigating the world without a north star was considerably different. People deal with hardship in different ways. For me, that meant staying true to my word that I would take care of the family and focus on business.

The summer of 2001 was a time of introspection and reflection. They say the greatest tribute you can pay to someone is living your life in a manner consistent with what he or she would have wanted. By the time Labor Day arrived, I transitioned from a place of sadness to a state of celebration.

And that's precisely when the towers fell.

The autumn of 2001 planted seeds that continue to sow with each passing day. I didn't understand how seismic the shift was at the time but I began to question my lot in life and the legacy I would one day leave behind.

I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the drawn, empty face that returned my dazed stare. Soon thereafter, I left my high profile perch and launched the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education and Minyanville Media, Inc. with hopes of honoring my grandfather and affecting positive change through financial understanding.

It was a world away from big money management but a place I knew I needed to be. I remember thinking that it would be a welcome lifestyle shift, one without eight-figure daily swings or twenty-four hour stress. I was right but I was also very wrong as I entered into an entirely new professional arena.

I didn't anticipate the workload, expenses, energy, hours or effort but each step was solid and each year grew stronger. Every mistake became a lesson. Each obstacle morphed into an opportunity. As we look forward to 2009, I'm happy to report that our global community has never been stronger and we are indeed making a difference.

Bringing it Home

During the last few years of conspicuous consumption and intense competition, giving back took a back seat to getting ahead. Now that the age of austerity has arrived like a clap of thunder, many are struggling as we edge our way through the new world order.

There's no denying times are tough and we're facing a few lean years. We can point fingers or cast blame but negative energy is wasted energy. If we're not part of the solution, we're part of the problem and as a wise man once said, what goes around comes around.

We're doing our part to affect positive change for the future leaders, healers, dreamers and visionaries. Tomorrow night, December 4th, the Minyanville community will migrate to New York City in my grandfather's good name. At the end of the evening, a lot of children will be better off because of our collective efforts.

A dream is only as powerful as those who believe in it. That's why I wanted to step away from the tape and share this tale. Sometimes we need to take a moment to reflect on the past if he hope to leave our mark on the future.

May peace be with you.

R.P.


Please be advised that the 2008 Holiday Festivus to benefit the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education has officially SOLD OUT as we tagged our magical 300 Minyan mark. If you (or someone you know) would still like to attend, shoot us an e-mail and we'll see what we can do. We strive to take care of our own in these parts and as always, we'll do our best to circle ye faithful.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at todd@minyanville.com.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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