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Alan P. - President

How i am going to celebrate my 49th birthday?

Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. June 26th, 2011. What else would a normal 49 year old do 2 weeks after his birthday. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and then if that wasn’t already a full day, run a marathon. I was lying in bed a couple weeks ago on a sunday morning watching the NYC Marathon. I was thinking to myself that in about 8 months that was going to be me. But before that run I was going to put in about 8 or 9 hours of swimming and biking. I must be out of my mind…who wants to put themselves through that? I do. I cant imagine anything more incredible then crossing that finish line and hearing “you are now an Ironman”. I have been training hard for many years and this has always been my goal. Ever since
I starting doing triathlons 5 years ago I knew my ultimate goal was to complete an Ironman.
I know there will be sacrifices along the way. I have a wife, 2 kids and a dog. Along with the 4 members of my family (for those of you that are dog lovers you understand how I came up with 4) I am the President and Co-Founder of Hedge Fund LIVE. A start up that is essentially a media company that has a number of trading desks that are viewed live, in real time. I have a number of things I worry about running a business. Now I need to squeeze 90 minutes a day in to train. Dec 1st…that when it starts. My goal is 140.6 miles.  A DNF is not an option.

Starbucks and Motivation

When we were just beganing our last business I was new to the “start up” world. I had spent most of my career at Bear Stearns and Deutsche Bank, neither preparing me for what I was about to undertake. We had 7 employees, a tiny office in Fort Lee and I had to walk 2 flights of stairs to get to the men’s room. A Senior Managing Director from Bear called me and told me to “wake up and smell the coffee, there was no way our tiny firm was going to compete with the likes of Bear”. He told me I was wasting my time and I should get a “real job”. I hung up the phone more determined then ever. P.S., 4 years later we sold our “start up” to the Royal Bank of Canada. The day the deal closed I bought a coffee and walked it over to my old friend at Bear… The take away here is that if you really believe in your business you have to perservere. There will always be those that dont believe you can pull it off. You cant let them derail you…use it as motivation. I find myself in that same position today. The only difference is that my old friend who I happily bought coffee for was our first investor. That said we are going down a path no one has gone down before, a fully transparent hedge fund and broadcasts real time every day. Plenty of people are blown away at the idea….others think I should “wake up and smell the coffee”…I often think about the VC’s and Angel investors who passed on Google when they were trying to raise 2 million dollars. Plenty of smart people passed. Plenty of smart people have passed on my second start up. Hopefully I will be buying a lot coffee in a few years…..


I am more convinced then ever that Hedge Fund Live is going to be a terrific educational tool. I recently walked the Associate Dean of the Rutgers Business School through the site. He essentially said that his biggest challenge is bringing the real world to his students and HFL would do exactly that. The next day he sent me an email with 7 suggestions on how he could expose his students to HFL. The first suggestion was for Jeremy and I to speak at their weekly class which he called their “Business Forum Class”. There are 275 students in the class and I think we are going to introduce HFL to 2 different sections in early November. Sure, its great for us to get exposure to 500 students but my real take away is that the Dean really “gets it”. B School is about exposure and preparation to entering the real world. Much different philosophy from my school days……


Sometimes when your building a business you experience something called the “Law of Unintended Consequences”.  Its a pretty  simple concept.  You set out with a certain idea or perception of where your business will be the most successful and somewhere down the road you discover that what you’ve created may work for a segment of the market you never thought of.  In a way that is what has happened to us at Hedge Fund Live.  Jeremy and I set out to create a unique subscription based business that would provide true transparency to the Hedge Fund World.  We initially thought our target audience would range from active day traders to  small Hedge Funds that wanted to be of a community.  Jeremy and I have always believed that the future of trading was going to be that of “collective intelligence” and Hedge Fund Live was going to be at the forefront

  A few months after we started our live broadcast I noticed something very interesting, at least half the questions were from investors who clearly had little to no investing experience.  We started to receive emails thanking us for giving them the ability to learn what Wall Street was all about by virtually sitting on our desk.  I realized right then that we had created a unique “e learning” website.  I started to think about how we could introduce our site to the educational market. 

 A few weeks ago I approached the Director of Cornell’s Financial Engineering Program to tell her about what HFL was all about.  Within 1 hour she told me that this was exactly what a program like hers needed and asked if my partner and I would come speak to her students and show them what the site was all about.  Last Friday Jeremy and I presented HFL to 50 Cornell students and the reception was terrific.  By the next day almost half the students had signed up and we have had a number of comments on our chat room from the newest members of our community.  I have had extensive discussions with Rutgers and Jeremy and I are about to schedule a night in November to speak to about 300 students and introduce HFL.  We’ve had a similar response from Duke.

  Business at times is about flexibility, especially when you’re starting out.  Im now convinced that the educational market is going to be a very important one for us.  My goal now is to get 50 schools on board within 12 months…..

Commitment & My Half Ironman

“Pain is temporary, Pride is permanent”. I read that in a triathlon magazine a few months ago. After finishing my first Half Ironman (HIM), I couldn’t agree more.
When I turned to my wife in early February and told her I was going to do a Half Ironman, she just shook her head and told me I was nuts. Never one to back down from a challenge I did what any type “A” wall streeter would do, I hired a coach and started training. I had done a shorter tri a few years back so I figured it couldn’t be that hard, boy was i wrong. For 5 months I trained harder than I ever thought was possible. I was up at 5am every day to either swim, bike, run or lift weights. I used to walk into my office after a swim and stink of chlorine even after i showered. I carried my gym bag with me everywhere I went, sometimes sneaking in a run in the afternoon after having biked for 2 hours in the morning.
Most people really dont understand what is takes finish a HIM. Think about it, a 1.2 mile open water swim where there are no blue lines to guide you (my race was in Lake Geneva, but alot of these races are in the ocean), 56 mile bike ride and then a half marathon. It takes most amateurs 5 to 6 hours to finish. It took me a little over 6.
My coach (Dianna Ineman) was a constant source of encouragement. There were days my legs would scream after a hard bike ride and I just couldn’t imagine anything short of sitting on the couch let alone running 13 miles.
When I crossed the finish line I knew I had accomplished something special. Its a feeling that I’ve only had a few times in my life. I am already starting to think about my next race.
Pride is permanent….