What is important?

The July 26th issue of Fortune magazine has an article on Ted Fortsmann. He was a man who became very rich in the 1980s and early 90s by financing leveraged buyouts. He kept his company small and worked with his brother as a business partner. He adopted two sons from South Africa but never married.

In the late 90s things fell apart. Ted Fortsmann made some bad business deals (although he is still rich) and in 2001 he lost his brother to cancer. His star has faded.

Now that he is considering retirment, he seems to be a lonely man.

He misses his little brother so much that sometimes he wanders into Nicky’s office -untouched since the day he died, on Teddy’s orders – just to sit for a while. He acknowledges that the lifelong bachelor routine has grown old…he [says] he wishes he had married.

This man was a titan of investing. He had all the success he wanted and still has influence with $2 billion in assets under management. In spite of all his accomplishments, he realizes he has no one to share them with.

Work is important, but not the most important thing.

Clergy of every faith have said to me: “I have been with many men approaching death; and not one has ever said, ‘I only regret that I didn’t spend more time at the office.'”-Dennis Prager