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A Dying Banker’s Last Instructions

by Phil Levin, Esq. on January 26th, 2011

I thought that you would appreciate this remarkable story about Gordon Murray, a former bond salesman at Goldman Sachs, who passed away on Saturday, January 22 at the age of 60 from an aggressive form of brain cancer. While Mr. Murray spent his career on Wall Street struggling to beat the market with active money management, he achieved his greatest professional satisfaction by authoring a book to warn ordinary investors about the folly of over-aggressive money management.

Mr. Murray received his grim diagnosis in 2008, in the wake of the financial collapse, and could have bought an island or moved to Paris. Instead, after spending over 25 years on Wall Street, he chose to channel his remaining energy into writing a slim paperback called “The Investment Answer”. The book’s premise is that most people invest in a haphazard manner, buy stocks and mutual finds they know little about, sell at the wrong time, and as a result, investors take too many risks.

“The Investment Answer” offers a blueprint about “how to do it better, and worry less, by taking a simpler, more regimented approach to investing.” As detailed in Ron Lieber’s article in The New York Times, (see link below), the book asks ordinary investors to make just five (5) decisions. Mr. Murray’s tells about how he “stumbled on a better way of investing”, and how he became a true believer in a different way of investing.

Knowing he had only months to live, Mr. Murray terminated his aggressive medical treatments and dedicated himself to completing what became his final mission in life…..to get the word out about his newfound investment principles, which was a major shift from the aggressive trading philosophy he engaged in for decades at the highest levels of Wall Street.

“The Investment Answer” is published by Grand Central Publishing, who released 150,000 copies on January 25. Reviews suggest that: “It is plenty useful for anyone who isn’t already investing in a collection of index or similar funds and dutifully rebalancing every so often.

In one of his final interviews, Mr. Murray said:  “To have a purpose and a mission for me has been really special.” We should all be as fortunate as Mr. Murray. While he died much too young, and just days before his book was released in hard cover, he successfully achieved his purpose and mission in life.

Get help to navigate your way through the estate planning process, by calling Sherry or Maureen at 610-977-2443 to arrange a Complimentary Consultation at your office or at The Levin Law Firm.

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