Albuquerque Wealth Consultant and founder of Portfolio Wealth Advisors, Lee Munson, reflects on his alma mater Saint John’s College in Santa Fe.
Here is a link from a Washington Post article that was published this week that discusses why St. John’s College is a crucible of winemakers including one of the most famous in Napa Valley history and founder of Stag’s Leap, Warren Winiarski.
“One thing that people ask me what kind of education I received to do the type of math and finance heavy work my job requires. Sure, I and a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder and a Certified Financial Planner. However, that was mostly post-graduate level training that happened years after I was already in the business. The real education, outside of my New York City days on Wall Street, came from St. John’s College. For those that are unfamiliar with the college should take a moment and read this fascinating article that describes some of the most famous figures in Napa Valley – all that came from my college.”
Lee Munson is not new to the fascination with his relatively unknown school. Back in 2000 he was interviewed alongside such investment titans like Charlie Munger of Berskshire Hathaway. The book was titled Latticework, by Robert G. Hagstrom. Hagstrom also authored The Warren Buffet Way and The Warren Buffett Portfolio. An excerpt of Munson’s interview is below:
“My education at St. John’s gave me a sense of perspective, a broader view of the world. It was very clear that to be successful, I would have to consider all the possibilities, not just the tunnel vision you get from the standard finance classes. As a trader I rely on the idea that I’m seeing the same pattern over and over again; it may look somewhat different, but it’s really all the same thing. I have a much better perspective than people who think this is the first time these things have happened.
“At business school they teach you things – formulas, theorems, charts. But that’s just punching in numbers in a calculator. What’s worse, you learn just one way to do things, and then you can’t change your thinking fast enough to keep up with the market. Of course it’s important to do all the research, and do it thoroughly, but after that, don’t just look to the market or the industry itself to help you with your decisions. Look outside, at the broader picture; that is what lets you think freely. If you don’t know how to think, you’ll always lose money.”
Not bad for a 20-something working on Wall Street during a time when irrational exuberance was taking hold of markets during the dot.com boom and bust. These words still hold true for Munson and the philosophy of the firm.
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