Luminaries in Finance and Other Fields Reveal Their Greatest Hits—and Biggest Misses:
The best investment of my life was the $0.83 that I spent on two cups of coffee at Stanford University’s Tressider Memorial Union in October 1975. I had met a beautiful graduate student a few minutes earlier in the campus bookstore, and I didn’t want to end our conversation. We have been conversing ever since, especially after we both said “Yes” in church five years later. This investment has subsequently required substantial cash infusions, but it continues to provide robust return on capital.
My worst investment was the $53 I spent in 1964 to buy an Indian Head five-dollar gold piece. I had never spent this much money on anything, but the coin seemed so magnificent to my 13-year-old eyes that I emptied my tiny savings account. The coin would actually have proved a good investment, but upon getting home, I dropped and nicked it—therefore destroying its collectible value. The experience taught me that it isn’t just your investments that matter but how well you manage them.