At the end of December 2013, I was visiting Boca Raton, FL for a possible modeling opportunity. That morning, I was at the local mall and came across an elderly gentleman. I had never met or even seen him before, but something in me — whether you want to call it intuition, God, The Universe, or simply a random thought — told me to ask him a very specific and unique question. "Excuse me sir, upon reflection, do you have any regrets in your life?"
…Before going on, I understand that this is not a “normal” question to ask a complete stranger. What really "normal," though? That’s another post in itself. In truth, I intuitionally felt I should ask this question. Older people are experienced, and I make a point to learn from them. If this gentleman had a relevant answer to my question, I knew that this was a potential learning opportunity. I feel that seasoned individuals generally have more life experience under their belts than we young people. Why not put myself in the position of getting ahead of life’s learning curve?!
I thought to myself that the notion was silly, but I was in a place that was foreign to me, and I had absolutely nothing to lose. Thus, I decided to follow my soul’s calling; my intuition. The worst case scenario was that he would think I was strange, walk away, and I’d most likely never see him again. Nothing would be gained, and nothing would be lost. However, what actually occurred just affirmed my long-time belief that my intuition is more valuable than my logic
“Actually young man, I don’t. I’m happily married to the love of my life and I’m a very successful investor of 42 years. My name is Mr. Price (interesting name for an investor, right? ) and I wrote a book about investing. I love to teach young people. Come by mine and my wife's place sometime soon and I'll teach you!”
The enthusiastic investor then gave me his telephone number for future contact. A week later, I called him and we picked a mutually good time to meet at his home. He gave me his address, and of course, I plugged it into my phone’s GPS Navigation System because that’s how this directionally-challenged generation rolls [operates]. I was off to see the investment wizard!
When I arrived at his lavish apartment, I was greeted by his lovely wife. She was very hospitable and kind. I later came to find that she was very high up within the Mary Kay Leadership Program, and she had even earned the Mercedez-Benz through her Make-up Sales Multi Level Marketing Business. She was also a successful investor, thanks to her husband’s teachings.
By the end of my over-an-hour-long stay, I learned a great deal about the stock market for the given time frame; specifically about long-term capital gains. I also had the chance to see just one of his online investment accounts, which contained over 1,000,000 U.S. Dollars. I had never personally seen seven figures on any account statement previously. It showed me what would be possible for me if I focused and increased my knowledge. Shortly before I left, the gentleman handed me a binder and told me it was mine to keep! He also told me to share it with anyone that I saw fit. This was the “book” that he had originally spoken of. He explained to me it was not going to be something that he would publish and sell. Instead, he viewed it as his legacy. This, to me, was remarkable! The book contained everything that he had learned in his 42 years as an investor, compiled into a one inch binder. A feeling of deep respect overcame my entire being. I am truly thankful that life had presented me with this incredible opportunity and this man'slife legacy.
In his book, he doesn’t merely write about investing. He also writes about attributes of the successful; things like attitude, desire, discipline, and dedication. These, I believe, are essential lessons that many never learn!
Directly, the investor taught me a plethora of knowledge. Indirectly, he influenced me more than he will ever know. Being a 23 year old, I’m often concerned with what I want in the present and how I should go about getting it. He showed me that if I persist with my goal setting and attaining, there will likely come a time when I have pretty much any material thing that I so desire. This made me ask myself the questions. “What do I want to live on after I’m gone? What do I want my legacy to be?” This is a perspective that I believe is hard to take on for many modern-day young people. We're the "YOLO" (You Only Live Once) generation, and a lot of the time we're wrapped up in the smaller picture: getting a job, making an A on this next exam, partying this weekend, earning money for an "upgrade" in things that don't generate any return. These things can be of little importance in regards to our success in the grand scheme. We too often get stuck in the cycle of life, and we too often forget that we, as individuals, serve a unique purpose to the universe.
Though I am still figuring out what it is exactly that I want my legacy to be, thanks to this influential human being, I became one step closer. All of this having been said, I encourage you to listen to your intuition. In my experience, it often comes in the form of a gut-feeling orrather a thought that weighs heavily on your heart to be expressed. The thought is many times slightly uncomfortable to release, but as long as it isn’t hurting anyone or breaking your personal code, why not let your intuition guide you? It can create opportunities that you never deemed imaginable. In this particular case, when my logic told me that I was a weirdo and to refrain from asking the stranger my question, it failed me. My intuition, on the other hand, gave birth to a friendship, a priceless book on investing, an epiphany, and a life experience to be remembered for the rest of my days.
Found below is an actual photo of Mr. Price’s Life Legacy