Being on the front lines every day talking with investors just like you, it never ceases to amaze me how much you appreciate Dick Young and how he has made you a more comfortable and successful investor. He made you self-reliant. He helped you beat inertia. How? You basically had no choice. You needed to know what he was thinking every month. He got your attention, which reminds me of an interchange we had when I first started working with him back in 1998.
My job was to talk with prospective clients, learn about their situations and see if there was a way we could help. Prospects would send me their statements to be reviewed and each page looked like it was the Monster Master List. The only difference was they said Vanguard Brokerage or Fidelity at the top of the page rather than Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report. I would discuss the statements with Dick and he would simply say, “Thank (insert name here) for reading my report.” And then I’d wait. And wait. And there would be silence. He’d state (not ask) “Are we done?” I’d say “yes” and then click. There’s no goodbyes talking with Dick. It’s click.
“Are we done,” I repeated to myself. How am I going to get any clients if I keep calling them back, thanking them for reading IR and telling them what a wonderful job they’ve done? That’s not going to put bread on my family’s table. This interaction between Dick and me and prospective client reviews went on for weeks until I unwisely said “Dick, they can’t possibly continue doing this on their own. They need us.” “What do you mean, they can’t?” he stated. “What do you think I’ve been doing all these years?” CLICK.
Eventually, slowly, I learned that investors joined us because they trusted Dick Young’s approach. But, as life goes on, their priorities changed and they wanted to do other things like travel, or didn’t have time to implement Dick’s ideas because they had become so busy at work, or the time had come to give up the reins to make sure their spouse would be taken care of should something happen to them. I learned we were a good fit because they already liked Dick’s cooking—they just wanted out of the kitchen. In his most direct way—his only way—Dick was telling me, we do right by investors. The business will come. And it did. He got my attention.
Now that he’s stopped writing IR, I’ve been reminded of this story, as you can imagine, from the influx of emails, letters and phone calls thanking Dick Young. I’ve talked with many of you directly and I’ve reviewed your statements. And because of that fateful interchange with Dick back in 1998, I understand that only you know when you’re ready for help. And when you are, I look forward to working with you.