Having also left the sell side in 2003 (loathing it and feeling soiled by the experience) with my partner to found our independent buy-side firm focusing on risk management before returns, I resonate with what Fink reveals in this interview. One of the key points is his admission of how hard it is to get investment management right. Also key is his admission that the problems in financial markets today actually started in the late 80's. Also when Becky Quick asks “what made you realize that Wall Street was not getting it” about the need for risk management more than reaching for returns starting in the 2000's, Fink makes a rare admission: “well I didn't get it myself 18 months earlier, the division that reported to me lost 100 million dollars in the quarter.” This reminds me in some ways of my own experience in the late 90's.
It also reminds me of the following quote from Henry James's famous brother Psychologist William James (1842-1910):
“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”
Most people do not have the courage to admit their own screw ups were the catalyst to a major personal sea change. Yet doing so, seems to be absolutely key to meaningful change, improvement and innovation.
Cory’s Chart Corner
“An explosive critique about the investment industry: provocative and well worth reading.”
“Juggling Dynamite, #1 pick for best new books about money and markets.”
“Park manages to not only explain finances well for the average person, she also manages to entertain and educate, while cutting through the clutter of information she knows every investor faces.”