One notable character that has gone unnoticed was hedge fund manager, Andrew Lahde. At first blush, he struck me as an unpolished hedge fund manager, unlike the titans which we are familiar with such as Soros, Dalio, Bacon and Simons with all their great track records and fortunes amassed over the years. Upon further reading of the book and his farewell letter below (copied in its entirety), and from personal experience gleaned from conversations I have had with hedge fund managers and successful traders, he may have hit the nail on the head!
The crux of the letter “I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. I will let others try to amass nine, 10 or 11-figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two-week vacation in January during which they will be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices.”
As Buffett said, success is about more than your bank balance. When asked by CNBC what is the secret to success, Buffett replied, “If people get to my age and they have the people love them that they want to have love them, they’re successful. It doesn’t make any difference if they’ve got a thousand dollars in the bank or a billion dollars in the bank… Success is really doing what you love and doing it well. It’s as simple as that. I’ve never met anyone doing that who doesn’t feel like a success. And I’ve met plenty of people who have not achieved that and whose lives are miserable.”
Key takeaway is that do what you love, i.e. be happy about what you are doing, and success will follow. For instance, read about how Lahde went through a lot of pain raising funds for his subprime short, and when he finally hit the jackpot, he quit for good, as he hated the hedge fund industry.
Andrew Lahde's Farewell Letter by DealBook