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An Investment Bankers Lasting Legacy

If you knew you had only a few months left to live, what would you do with your remaining time? Gordon Murray faced this grim decision when the brain cancer he’d been battling for more than a year worsened, and he chose to discontinue aggressive treatments. Murray chose a path that few of us would, but from which all of us can benefit.

He got together with his investment advisor and friend Daniel Goldie, and co-authored a remarkable little book called The Investment Answer. I’ve read the book; it’s a short read of about 80 pages, and it’s essentially a summary of what many independent investment advisors believe about investing. The tale becomes even more remarkable by knowing Murray’s professional background.

For the first quarter-century of his career, he was an investment banker, selling bonds to pension and mutual fund managers whose jobs were to outperform the market. Upon retiring in 2001, he was introduced to Goldie, who in turn introduced him to a different investment approach, Dimensional Fund Advisors’ approach, and what some call asset class investing. Asset class investing calls for broad diversification, using cost-effective, passively managed funds.

Murray became convinced that asset class investing made a lot more sense than his former trading efforts. He not only personally recanted much of what he had sold and promoted for so long, he also joined Dimensional as a consultant, helping other financial advisors explain the same approach to their clients.

Recently, the authors’ inspirational tale was featured in a New York Times article entitled, “A Dying Banker’s Last Instructions.” It’s a good article, a great book, and a fantastic story of resilience, passion and dedication to truth and commitment. If you would like to discuss The Investment Answer and its practical applications, please contact me for more information.

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