When you reach a certain age the need to address your past becomes important. It is then that a person realizes their own mortality and can reflect upon what they have accomplished and what they have not. That is the basis for my first story. Possibly some may gain some insight from what I have experienced. Some may find this story similar to their own; others may find simply meaningless. But to me, it is important and by sharing my memories it allows me to clarify this particular period of my life.
I graduated from City College in 1959. I received the Wall Street Journal Award, along with the “ Highest Award for Finance and Investing.” I started on Wall Street in 1955. I worked for F.I. Dupont and then went to E.F. Hutton and was personally hired by G.M. Loeb. In 1961, I was hired by my former teacher from City College, Leon Levy, to work at Oppenheimer & Company. My original job at Oppenheimer was stock brokerage, along with generating research ideas for their brokerage staff. I was also helping Archer Scherl who ran the Oppenheimer fund.
At Oppenheimer I met Sanford Bernstein. He decided to start his own firm. He ran a full-page newspaper ad with one word, “ BERNSTEIN ”. After this bold inception in October of 1967, by January the new firm was falling apart. His two other main associates, most notably Archer Scherl, left the firm. The only other major asset he had was his own accounts and his brother Paul, who was a great salesman.
In 1968, Roger Hertog and I, both at Oppenheimer, were discussing the idea of starting our own firm. Bernstein had been at Oppenheimer. Since two of his original associates had left so quickly, among the possibilities, was discussing the idea of joining the firm. Bernstein was on the way out of business. He was interested and agreed to our proposal. We brought along Lewis Sanders, who I believe was working as an assistant at Oppenheimer.