I think we are a product of all our experiences.
Details create the big picture.
I think the American Dream says that anything can happen if you work hard enough at it and are persistent, and have some ability. The sky is the limit to what you can build, and what can happen to you and your family.
You never want to think the best things are in the past. You want to get yourself to believe that the best things are going to be in the future.
You can't control income. It varies based on conditions outside of [your] control. But you can control expenses.
I believe in treating other people with respect. My style is to speak to people, be available to them and willing to answer their questions. This also means being straightforward and honest with them.
Learn how to be a loser, because it's important to be a loser to be a winner.
I believe in giving back very strongly.
If a person is not willing to make a mistake, you're never going to do anything right.
I think life is sort of like a competition, whether it's in sports, or it's achieving in school, or it's achieving good relationships with people. And competition is a little bit of what it's all about.
And learn that when you do make a mistake, you'll surface that mistake so you can get it corrected, rather than trying to hide it and bury it, and it becomes a much bigger mistake, and maybe a fatal mistake.
And when we used to play and fight in the streets in Brooklyn and I would get hurt or something, my mother would always come out and save me. So that sort of postponed the inevitable about getting a good beating, without having somebody to come and save you.
From the business point of view, always encouraging the people in our company to own stock in the company, and if we're going to build something great, to have a lot of people share in the benefits of that greatness.
I'm not as involved in every little thing as I used to be.
I remember the mentoring experiences of some teachers that I had, like a second term home room teacher in public school that really was very helpful to me.
If we build something great, like we have at Travelers Group so far, a whole host of people benefit.
A lot of people at Shearson ended up making a lot of money because they had stock or stock options. Their kids were able to go to college, and it changed a lot of people's lives.
What turned me on then, and turns me on even today - and when the time comes from me to retire from management I think I'd still be interested in it - is that everything that happens in the world affects the price of securities.
I would say that my parents were supportive of me.
I was sort of a sissy as a little kid.
The whole financial industry is consolidating in the United States.
I wonder how many people would have thought at the end of World War II that the capitalist system would be one that was meeting the challenges and making things better for people as we approach the 21st century.
One of the people that I respect the most now, a person I think has done a heck of a lot for this world as a leader, is Margaret Thatcher. She helped create a world that offers us a lot of excitement as we look to the next century.
My mother really didn't know a heck of a lot about business. She was a very good mother, that made sure we ate right and we had our cod liver oil, but didn't know a heck of a lot about what I did.
My parents moved back to New York from Florida when I was in the ninth grade.
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