Tom Steyer: A Fund Manager Turned Activist



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Jun 24, 2015


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“If you see a strategy that has a good track record. This is not about a quick buck. It's not about one trade, or even one day. It's about putting your money into a strategy that has a track record, and sticking with it. Everyone has good days, weeks, and months... but there will be bad ones, too.” - Richard Mazur

Name: Tom Steyer

Date of birth: June 27, 1957

Nationality: American

Occupation: Fund manager, investor, activist


Born in New York City, Tom’s father was a partner in a New York law firm, and his mother was a teacher of remedial reading at the Brooklyn House of Detention. He earned a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Tom began his career at Morgan Stanley in 1979. From 1983 to 1985, he worked at Goldman Sachs.

Wikipedia says Tom is the founder and former Co-Senior Managing Partner of Farallon Capital Management, LLC (founded in 1986), and the co-founder of Beneficial State Bank, an Oakland-based community development bank… Since 1986, he has been a partner and member of the Executive Committee at Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based $8 billion private equity firm. Farallon Capital Management, LLC, manages $20 billion in capital for institutions and high-net-worth individuals. The firm’s institutional investors are primarily college endowments and foundations.

In spite of inevitable negativity, Tom firm’s positions were mostly green, and he grew richer and richer over time. As of March 2014, Tom was worth $1.6 billion

Tom’s married to Kathryn Ann Taylor and they’ve 4 children. He’s now very active as a philanthropist; and an environmentalist, being a democrat.

He and his wife have pledged to give half their wealth to charity.

What You Need to Know:

  1. After attaining some professional experience, Tom founded Farallon Capital Management, LLC, in January 1986 and co-managed its portfolios. You see, it takes time to become truly financial independent. Trading isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, for it takes Tom 26 years to arrive where he’s today. Those who look for ways to become rich quickly are in for heavy losses and heartaches. Grow rich slowly, not quickly.

  1. Farallon, which employs about 165 people in 8 global offices, and is headquartered in San Francisco, California, has one noble goal: Absolute return investing, which is a strategy that aims to produce a positive absolute return regardless of the directions of financial markets. What a great example for traders? We want to make money regardless of the direction of the market!

  1. How does Farallon achieve their aim of making money irrespective of what the markets do? Well, they make credit investments, value investments, merger arbitrage, real estate-related investments and direct investments. They also invest in public and private debt and equity securities, and direct investments in private companies and real estate

  1. It’s a pity that too many people only have short stints at trading. They trade for a few days or a few weeks or a few months or a few years; and then quit forever. For Tom, this is different, his trading career spans more than 3 decades.

  1. When you become financially free, you can then devote your time and life to what you really like (your passions). Steyer announced in October 2012 that he would be stepping down from his position at Farallon in order to focus on political activism. What would you like to do after you become rich?

Conclusion: One wise forumer says he used to get disappointed, but he learned to accept reality as part of things. Now he’s always happy because he’s no expectations and this has made his performance grow as well. He believes working without expectation is probably the best thing and makes trading so much easy to do, but of course, he remembers to set line between no expectation and being careless. He doesn’t expect much from himself as he goes with the flow of the market.

This article is ended with this quote:

“I believe my work right now should not be in our nation's capitol but here at home in California, and in states around the country where we can make a difference.”

– Tom Steyer


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