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Think Bigger by Michael W. Sonnenfeldt

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LESSON 31Get Financially Literate

Why wait until you’re liquid and dangerous? As someone who once fit that description, I think I have standing to say that it’s never too soon to get smart about managing your money. Begin your education before you sell your company, so you won’t put your hard-earned wealth in jeopardy.

“You need an investment philosophy,” says Charlie Garcia, the Tiger 21 chair from Florida we met in Lesson 18. Before a new member’s first Portfolio Defense, Charlie asks them to prepare a written presentation of their investment philosophy to help the group get a sense of their goals. “Some actually write ‘My investment philosophy’ at the top of a blank page. They have none. It’s really kind of stunning to meet these incredibly successful entrepreneurs who are financially illiterate when it comes to managing their money and protecting their family wealth, which has been created from the sale of a business they worked a lifetime to build.”1

Few people are better equipped to help others become more financially literate than Charlie. He founded a hedge fund, traded commodities, led a global financial advisory firm, and practiced law. Charlie views himself as a value investor in the tradition of Warren Buffett.

The members of Charlie’s Tiger 21 groups are divided into three categories. First, there are those who have had a liquidity event, meaning their primary business activity is managing their investment portfolio. Second, there are those who have sold a business, ...

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