Richard Jenrette, the co-founder of the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, spent four successful decades on Wall Street. When he passed away last week (April 22, 2018) at the age of 89, he left behind a hand-written list he titled, “What I Learned (How to Succeed and have a Long and Happy Life).” Here is his list. (At the bottom of the page, you can see his hand-written version.)


  1. Stay in the game. That’s often all you need to do – don’t quit. Stick around! Don’t be a quitter!
  2. Don’t burn bridges (behind you)
  3. Remember – Life has no blessing like a good friend! You can’t get enough of them Don’t leave old friends behind – you may need them
  4. Try to be nice and say “thank you” a lot!
  5. Stay informed/KEEP LEARNING!
  6. Study — Stay Educated. Do Your Home Work!! Keep learning!
  7. Cultivate friends of all ages – especially younger
  8. Run Scared — over-prepare
  9. Be proud — no Uriah Heep for you! But not conceited. Know your own worth.
  10. Plan ahead but be prepared to allow when opportunity presents itself.
  11. Turn Problems into Opportunities. Very often it can be done. Problems create opportunities for change — people willing to consider change when there are problems.
  12. Present yourself well. Clean, clean-shaven, dress “classically” to age. Beware style, trends. Look for charm. Good grammar. Don’t swear so much — it’s not cute.
  13. But be open to change — don’t be stuck in mud. Be willing to consider what’s new but don’t blindly follow it. USE YOUR HEAD – COMMON SENSE.
  14. Have some fun – but not all the time!
  15. Be on the side of the Angels. Wear the White Hat.
  16. Have a fall-back position. Heir and the spare. Don’t leave all your money in one place.
  17. Learn a foreign language.
  18. Travel a lot — around the world, if possible.
  19. Don’t criticize someone in front of others.
  20. Don’t forget to praise a job well done (but don’t praise a poor job)
  21. I don’t like to lose — but don’t be a poor loser if you do.
  22. It helps to have someone to love who loves you (not just sex).
  23. Keep your standards high in all you do.
  24. Look for the big picture but don’t forget the small details.


HT: Bloomberg
Source: Classical American Homes Preservation Trust

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