Happy Birthday, Elvis Presley

by Jim Toes

I have family in Memphis so “the King” has always held a special place in my life. So much so, that Blue Christmas plays all year round in my car. If Elvis were still alive he would be turning 80 tomorrow. Unfortunately, his life ended short like so many other talented artists of his generation.

There is a less known fact about Elvis’ career that our industry could benefit from as we begin a new year in search of opportunity and growth; either as individuals or as a firm. Over the course of his 22 year career, Elvis recorded more than 600 songs but he only wrote or co-wrote less than 10. How is it possible that a man with all his talent wrote so few songs? You would assume that he had to have heard hundreds of evocative phrases that he could have put to a rockabilly beat more than once every two years. I did not know Elvis so I can only speculate that his ability to remain true to his work required a strong discipline to do only what he did well and let those around him do the same. By maintaining this discipline, he consistently produced songs which greatly pleased his fans.

Over the course of his 22 year career, Elvis recorded more than 600 songs but he only wrote or co-wrote less than 10.

One of STA’s guiding principles on rule making is:

“All investors are protected by regulations that promote efficient market structures and foster competition between and among exchanges, marketplaces, and dealers”.

In other words, regulation should allow for a broker dealer to compete with other broker dealers and other participants like exchanges. It’s a good principle, but requires a certain level of wisdom because seeking growth opportunities in areas outside our core expertise carries risk.

As individuals we should always being looking to broaden our skill set, but that does not mean we stop allocating time and resources towards improving the ones we already have. As for myself, my 2015 personal and professional goals will be heavily influenced by Elvis. They will include few, if any new initiatives. I will do what I do best and do it better than I’ve ever done in the past. If it worked for “the King” it can work for me.

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday, Elvis.