So Far, So Good: The First 94 Years

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Mention the name Roy Neuberger and several awe-inspiring images come to mind. There's the stock market neophyte who arrived on Wall Street just months before the Panic of 1929—and protected his capital by shorting RCA stock. There's the savvy businessman who founded Neuberger&Berman, a lucrative brokerage firm that today manages about $50 billion. Then, there is the esteemed philanthropist and patron of the arts who has graciously donated most of his private art collection ...

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Overview

Mention the name Roy Neuberger and several awe-inspiring images come to mind. There's the stock market neophyte who arrived on Wall Street just months before the Panic of 1929—and protected his capital by shorting RCA stock. There's the savvy businessman who founded Neuberger&Berman, a lucrative brokerage firm that today manages about $50 billion. Then, there is the esteemed philanthropist and patron of the arts who has graciously donated most of his private art collection to museums and institutions around the country.

Now, there is the vibrant nonagenarian who, as first-time author, shares his extraordinary life story in So Far, So Good—The First 94 Years. As inspirational as it is compelling, this stirring memoir recounts Neuberger's remarkable journey and enduring reign as one of the most prominent and fascinating figures of finance.

Roy R. Neuberger was born at the turn of the century to a businessman father and a musician mother, both of whom passed on to him qualities and interests that would profoundly influence his life. He spent his earliest years in Bridgeport, Connecticut, then moved with his family to New York City, a place he's called home for more than eight decades. Though he had a happy, comfortable childhood, it was tempered with tragedy when, in 1912, his mother died, and his father passed away just four years later.

After his freshman term at New York University, Neuberger left to begin working at the B. Altman & Company department store. It was there that he learned about business and trading, and was introduced to the world of art. Following three "extremely valuable" years at Altman's, in 1925 Neuberger set out for Paris, where he remained for almost four years. It was an unforgettable time during which he travelled, studied art, and befriended Thornton Wilder, the art historian Meyer Schapiro, and other notable Americans in Paris.

Returning to New York City in 1929, Neuberger landed a job on Wall Street at Halle & Stieglitz — just seven months before the infamous Crash. In a pulsating, you-are-there account, Neuberger recounts the tumultuous events leading up to —and following —the Panic, and reveals how he managed to emerge unscathed at a time when others were doing anything but. He also offers an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at his remarkable career since, with details on the launching of Neuberger&Berman; the creation of Guardian, one of the first no-load mutual funds; his success with closed-end investment trusts; and his extraordinary winning run during the market crash of 1987. Generously sharing a wealth of professional wisdom, Neuberger offers his "ten principles of successful investing," as well as penetrating and provocative ruminations on topics ranging from the economy and the federal budget to Social Security and the future of the market.

Neuberger speaks eloquently about his lifelong appreciation of art. He describes the formation of his valuable and eclectic collection (most of which he's now donated), his firm commitment to supporting the careers of artists, his role as trustee of both The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum, and his involvement with the creation and sustenance of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York.

At the age of 94, Roy Neuberger is still going strong, trading every day, and enjoying life to the fullest. His dramatic story, told here with humor, insight, and complete candor, is part social history, part investment lesson, part personal reminiscence. So Far, So Good —The First 94 Years is a landmark work not to be missed.

Praise for So Far, so Good—the first 94 years

"The wisdom of Roy Neuberger is a beacon. There is nothing like experience, and here it is . . . in spades! We can all learn from the master." —Dr. William F. Baker, President, Thirteen/WNET, N.Y.

"Roy Neuberger has celebrated life for almost a century. He roared in Paris in the 1920s, assembled one of the great contemporary art collections of the world, and built a great investment firm. He has shared the journey with us through this book, and it is one helluva ride." —Byron Wein, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley & Co.

"What a life! Roy Neuberger's affecting memoir chronicles the passion and generosity that helped him overcome early adversity to fill his charmed, long life with meaning and accomplishment. Readers will benefit from his great advice about making money, and will take pleasure in learning how he used his fortune to acquire and share wonderful works of art." —Agnes Gund, President, Museum of Modern Art

"Roy never fails to amuse and enlighten. Over the years, he's taught me many things I didn't know I didn't know." —Jim Rogers, author of The Investment Biker.

"Roy's memoirs read as if he'd chatted them to you on his regular matinal walks —sprinkled with engaging personal insights, and no end of advice for which the most compelling argument is Roy's own success. A most rewarding read." —Philippe de Montebello, Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The tone of Neuberger's autobiography, written with freelancers Alfred and Roma Connable, is distancing and offers little insight concerning his thoughts and actions: he doesn't explain why he considers someone to be a "good" person, for example, or how he misdiagnosed the potential worth of a stock like Coca-Cola. The man who founded the Neuberger & Berman money management firm in 1940 doesn't offer great financial advice, either: before you invest, "analyze the companies closely" is typical. And it is unlikely readers will come away remembering much about the way Neuberger assembled a valuable collection of American art. The main appeal of this book stems from his Wall Street perspective as he recalls events from just before the crash of 1929 to today. He writes, "On my wedding day, June 29, 1932, the Dow Jones average dipped to 42, the lowest average in Wall Street history, before or since." Today the Dow hovers around 8000. When you have been around this long, Neuberger notes, you tend not to be taken in by fads and realize that profiting on every dollar is not possible. That advice alone could serve many well. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
An engaging if cursory memoir from Neuberger, who at age 94 is still going strong in the challenging worlds of finance and philanthropy.

Following a comfortable childhood in New York City, Neuberger (who was orphaned at 13) dropped out of college to work as a fabrics buyer at B. Altman, a carriage-trade retailer. A young man of independent means, he subsequently settled in Paris, where his tennis skills and interest in the fine arts ensured him an active social life. He returned to Manhattan in 1929, just months before the stock market crash, and joined a brokerage house called Halle & Stieglitz. Despite hard times on Wall Street and Main Street, Neuberger prospered in his chosen career and managed to preserve the capital that had been left to him. By now married with children, Neuberger (in partnership with Robert B. Berman) opened his own firm in 1940. Nearly six decades later, the firm occupies a secure niche in the ultracompetitive securities business, largely on the strength of its co-founder's skills at value investing, and can claim credit for creating one of the industry's first no-load mutual funds (Guardian). During the late 1940s, Neuberger began to buy the works of contemporary painters (Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Peter Hurd, et al.). The quality and quantity of his acquisitions led Nelson Rockefeller (then governor of New York) to build him an eponymous museum on the state university's new campus in Purchase in return for his collection.

Complete with tips on achieving longevity, financial security, and emotional satisfaction, an elder statesman's look back in obvious pleasure, albeit no great depth, on a fulfilling life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471171867
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/22/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

ROY R. NEUBERGER founded the $50 billion money management firm of Neuberger&Berman in 1939. In 1950, he established the Guardian Mutual Fund, one of the first no-load mutual funds. In his 68 years on the Street, he has never had a losing year.

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Table of Contents

The Roots of Joy.

Paris in the Twenties.

From Boulevard St.

Germain to Wall Street: The Panic of 1929.

After the Panic.

Making Money in Hard Times.

Starting a Family.

Launching Neuberger & Berman.

Guardian: The Mutual Fund Comes of Age.

A Collection Blossoms.

Creating the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Ten Principles of Successsful Investing.

Reflections at Age 94.

Epilogue: So Far, So Good.

About the Connables.

Index.

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