I was born in St. Louis to my mom, dad, and a brother 2 years older than me. Growing up, I was fortunate to live very close to both sets of grandparents. That closeness instilled in me the importance of family, of close relationships, and of memories.
My mom was a stay-at home mom and did a great job raising us. Dad owned a hardware store, where I started working on Saturdays when I was 14. This gave me great experience working with the public and learning plumbing, electrical, and paint! I already had a decent sum of money in savings from cutting yards. I loved the “act of saving” and still do.
I enjoyed high school and enjoyed learning. I loved learning even more in college; in fact, I thrived on learning new things, from business, to music, to psychology. I did research for professors and helped in the classrooms, where I quickly developed a love for teaching. Thankfully, I did well enough to earn a Graduate Assistantship through graduate school, allowing me to actually save money during college.
Throughout college, I traveled parts of the country and grew to love the mountains. In fact, I moved up to the mountains in Colorado immediately after graduating. The following semester I was teaching business classes at the University level in Oregon. I loved the research atmosphere of the campus. Unfortunately, while I was in Oregon, my dad became quite ill, and I realized I needed to move back closer to St. Louis. So, the next year, I taught in Illinois on the University level. I taught primarily juniors and seniors in the realm of management and strategic planning. (My final was 24 pages typed.)
For all these years, I was an exercise fanatic. I did a lot of serious training at higher elevations in Colorado and Oregon and actually registered for the Ironman back in the late 70’s. That regimen and intense focus carries through to this day. I pushed myself so hard I became quite ill and was unable to compete; however, I loved the routine and focus of working on a goal.
At the same time, I moved back to St. Louis due to my father’s illness. It was a little over a year later when he died. Tough times in my life.
I was working in the investments community and loved the challenge of trying to “figure out” the markets. My niche was not “packaged products,” but equities. I became completely immersed in research stocks: Why did they go up? Why did they go down? What is “value?” I started reading everything I could get my hands on: papers, books, Barron’s, WSJ, Money. I watched “Wall Street Week,” and it was there that I learned about Martin Zweig. I bought his newsletter; read his book; and studied his book. I’m a sponge; I soak it up.
He came to St. Louis, and I maneuvered my way into a meeting and got to talk with him one-on-one. He was a “rockstar” to me. I followed his methods and turned off everything else. I tell you the truth; his methods saved me in the crash of ’87! I was stopped out of everything two weeks before the market crashed; my clients loved me! In fact, one doctor called me crying the day of the crash. “Pat, how much did we lose?” “Doctor, I have great news, you’ve been out of the market for the last two weeks, in money market.” Needless to say, he cried more. All of this helped form the kind of approach I wanted to take in the markets.
I became even more driven with market “research.” Why do stocks go up and down? Not value, not research reports. It’s simple: stocks that go up have more buyers than sellers. Simple. I still key on that. You will laugh, but at times, I sometimes would draw charts by hand.
Less than a year later, Mom sold the business and gave me some proceeds of the sale to invest. I HAD to get very serious about investing! A friend I worked with in the brokerage community recommended I read How to Make Money in Stocks by Bill O’Neil. What an eye-opener! He presented a specific, proven, stringent approach to equity investing. I immediately got the Daily Graphs chartbooks and Investor’s Business Daily newspaper.
In the early 90’s they knew me at Daily Graphs and asked if I’d like to go to a seminar with Bill O’Neil and David Ryan speaking. I jumped on it! I got to meet David and was afforded an opportunity to sit down and talk with Bill. That was a high point in my career. I soaked up everything about his approach while continuing to do research and bounce ideas around with my trading partners. I saw Bill again in the late 90’s and again in 2006.
My investing was improving, and I actually was making more money in our account than commissions and fees. In early 2000, just before the market crashed, I got out of the business and became a private investor. As a married man with four kids, I had to stay focused!
Another high point of my career occurred at a technical trading conference in San Francisco. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with Ed Seykota. It was a short conversation, but I did learn some great things from him!
My trading and approach to investing is “stolen.” It’s taken from the greats. I’ve tweaked and fine-tuned it over the years. Nevertheless, I owe much to all of them.
I’m happily married to my sweet wife with 4 kids ages 22 to 33. I have coached various sports for nearly 20 years. I’ve been a youth group volunteer for 17 years and a Scout leader for almost 16 years.
I love to learn. Love to teach. Love to inspire. Love to help. That is why I’m here.