Banker with Brain Tumor Dedicates Final Months to Help Average InvestorsWhen an author talks about a deadline, it's usually not meant to be taken literally. But "The Investment Answer" came about as a response to co-author Gordon Murray's diagnosis with a brain tumor.
Six months ago, Murray was diagnosed with a a glioblastoma -- the same type of tumor that finally took Ted Kennedy's life. Murray had already been through this before, and knew the toll that treatment would take.
"You go through an initial period of sadness, but then you realize, 'Okay, I can't do anything about it, so let's just make the most of what we have,'" Murray said. "I could have a great, quality six months, or I could take the risk with the chemo, the radiation, and all these other drugs they throw in you, but it might actually make things worse."
Murray decided to forgo treatment, and time became a precious commodity, not to be wasted. As he started calling relatives and friends to tell them the news, one friend had an idea as to how Murray should spend his final months.
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Murray told his friend and financial planner Dan Goldie about his diagnosis and, "literally, without missing a beat, he said, 'Do you want to do that book you've always wanted to do?'" Murray recalled.
The book is a how-to guide to investing for retirement, a subject Murray knows a thing or two about. For 25 years, he was one of those "Masters of the Universe" on Wall Street, managing huge institutional investments at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse First Boston.
One of the main goals of the book is to demystify investing, to take it back from the whiz kids on Wall Street. The investment book is his offering of atonement, if not for his sins, then perhaps for the sins of the Street.
"I wanted to feel good about what I had done, because you go back to the mid-to-late 70's, Wall Street performed a function that was actually good for Main Street... match investors who need to raise money with investors who have money," Murray said.
That began to change, he said, partly because some bankers put aside ethics in favor of profits and ignored the tenet that the client comes first.