An Investment Banker’s Deathbed Instructions To You

by Ron Haynes

Almost a year ago, Gorday Murray, a former bond salesman for Goldman Sachs, passed away from complications resulting from brain cancer. Before he died, he was able to write down his thoughts and ideas on his top five investment guidelines. They crystallize his decades of experience on Wall Street and will be applicable for decades to come:

Five investment guidelines

These ideas were first published in an article in The New York Times and then in a book that Murray penned with co-author Daniel Goldie called The Investment Answer.

1. Use ONLY fee-only financial advisors

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2. Divide your assets into three groups:

  • Stocks and bonds
  • Large and small companies
  • Value and growth

3. Once you’ve picked out your advisor, discuss your asset allocation

You’ll need to allocate your assets between varying asset classes: foreign and domestic, equity and debt instruments, real estate and commodities.

4. Decide if you want to be an active or more of a passive investor

Passive investors do better. Read my review of How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street for more details along those lines. In the book, author Alan Roth details with number after number where investors who constantly tinker with their portfolio get it wrong and do FAR WORSE than the market.

5. Rebalance often

Regularly review your investments and do the unthinkable: shave the profits from your winners and buy more of your losers. This is where you absolutely NEED the unemotional advice and counsel of a financial advisor. Rebalancing forces you to do what the most successful investors do: Buy Low and Sell High!

Great financial advice is timeless

After spending his life pushing bonds on mutual fund managers, Murray eventually went to work for Dimensional Fund Advisors, a mutual fund company that speaks out against actively managed investments in favor of passively managed portfolios.

Gordon Murray and Daniel Goldie thankfully were able to finish the book before Murray passed away in January of 2011.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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