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Avoiding Trouble

“The system we designed, of being able to see across asset classes and controlling risk, informed us where we should be and not be, which enabled us to grow very large-scale businesses with a small number of people. I think for people who weren’t set up like that, it was much more difficult.

…we didn’t get into trouble, which is very important in finance. Because if you get in trouble in finance, you have only so many people working at your firm. If they’re all working on messes, they can’t be doing investments; there isn’t enough bandwidth. So part of what benefited us was that we’re risk-averse. I have a saying: There are no brave old people in finance. Because if you’re brave, you mostly get destroyed in your 30s and 40s. If you make it to your 50s and 60s and you’re still prospering, you have a very good sense of how to avoid problems and when to be conservative or aggressive with your investments.”

– Steve Schwarzman