Family History

Father and Grandfather

The Investors Who Raised Me

My Father


I am the third generation of registered investment advisors, following my father's and grandfather's footsteps.

My father was born in Ithaca, NY, and raised in Longmeadow, MA. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Business Administration in 1981, he began a successful career as a stockbroker. He worked for Smith Barney as a stockbroker out of Boston, Massachusetts, and later Portland, Maine. In 1997, he left Smith Barney and transformed our Kennebunk home's downstairs guest bedroom into an office. Out of that office, he founded his own investment advisory company to continue managing many of his former clients' portfolios. At the young age of eight, watching him grow his business was my first glimpse of family entrepreneurship.

As my father progressed in his career, he began a column, "The Populist Economist," published in the Lewiston Sun Journal. He also wrote for the Maine Wire on economic and political issues. He served on the board of advisors for the Maine Heritage Policy Center and the Economic Forecasting Committee for the Governor Paul LePage administration.

My father, Jay (on the left) and his brother, Tim (on the right).

Dad's love for birding

My father was an avid birder as a young boy, and his interest in birds only grew stronger as he entered adulthood. He considered himself a "bird nerd." He would take my sister and me on winter bird counts with the Audubon Society on several occasions. I was not of much help, but I loved being with my father as he was delightful to be around.

He was a very skilled birder and could differentiate between gulls, a challenging task, even for a seasoned birder, as their differences are often subtle. He would almost always travel with binoculars, or "binos," as bird enthusiasts call them, in the center console of his Toyota Land Cruiser (which he referred to as "the frugal man's Lexus").

My father, Jay (on the left) and tax activist Mary Adams of Maine (on the right).

My dad would listen to bird calls on a cassette to help him identify specific sounds in the field, to which he became very attuned. Some birds are very elusive and easier heard than seen, which gives a distinguished advantage to birders attuned to their calls. Dad would sometimes subject my sister and me to these cassettes on long car rides, which we found extraordinarily unamusing. However, it was a lesson in compromise for us young children. Observing him listen to these dull cassettes was my first exposure to seeing someone get enjoyment from seemingly boring "self-inflicted" education, a trait that he passed down to me.

Following our residence in Kennebunk, we moved north to Wilton, Maine, to a large horse farm. After walking the horses out to the fields for grazing, he'd make himself a cup of coffee and head into his office overlooking the lower pastures. His day was filled with research and talking to clients and friends. He'd print out the financial statements of the companies he tracked and would comb through their income statements and balance sheets with a blue ballpoint pen. The print newspaper, Investor's Business Daily, was regularly delivered to us in the mail, which he'd read from his office or living room.

My grandfather

Community Service

My paternal grandparents were respected people in their community. In 1978 they purchased a home from a family member on a private beach in Kennebunk and moved from Longmeadow, MA. My grandparents lived in their Kennebunk home for the remainder of their lives, approximately 38 and 40 years, respectively. My grandfather, Larry (whom his grandchildren fondly called Papa D), was a gracious gentleman, with a bright twinkle in his blue eyes. He stood tall and was a man of composure. He took as much thought into thinking of the words he intended to say as he did in speaking them. He was an educated man of good health and fortune bestowed upon him by his ancestors. Because of this, he felt a vital duty to serve his community through participation on advisory boards throughout his adult life in Longmeadow, MA, and Kennebunk, ME.

My father, Jay, (on the left) and my grandfather, Larry, (on the right).

Singing and marriage

Papa D also loved to sing. On Sunday mornings, he would drive to church and open the service by leading the faithful in song. When not accompanied by an organist, his talent enabled him to sing a cappella elegantly. He had a beautiful singing voice, and he kept the faithful churchgoers in harmony with his pitch and tempo.

He was a member of several choir groups in his teens and young adult life. While attending Phillip Exeter, he was a member of the Glee Club, which played a pivotal role in Larry's life as it contributed to his introduction to Rae, my grandmother. He met Rae when the Bowdoin College Glee Club visited her school, Pine Manor Junior College of Wellesley, MA, for a weekend concert.

Larry (grandfather)


Larry worked as an investment advisor for over fifty years into his old age. He started his career at Paine Webber out of Boston, Massachusetts, and later relocated to Springfield, Massachusetts, closer to home. Afterward, Larry became the manager for the Hornblower and Weeks office in 1964 for seven years. Following that, he worked for H.M. Payson, Dean Witter, and Morgan Stanley in Portland, Maine. Later, Larry went on to work with my father at Dwight Investment Counsel until my father's death. He finished his career at Seacrest Wealth Management until his passing from a long battle with cancer in 2018.

Larry was a routine man and rose between 6:30 am - 7:30 am every morning and would prepare breakfast for himself and Gamma Rae. Once breakfast was ready, Papa D would eat his meal in the comfort of his living room chair while switching between Squawk Box on CNBC and the weather channel. Their beautiful relationship was bound by marriage in 1955, yielding 62 incredible years of love and friendship. After breakfast, Larry would prepare lunch for Gamma Rae, walk the beach with his dog, and continue his productive day.


Papa D was a man of frugality. The toaster that sat on the blue veneer kitchen countertop was so old it must have been purchased when they moved to the home in the late 70s. The bathroom shower mats were thin, worn, and tattered. When the handle to the sun porch broke, Larry replaced it with a garden hose section. He drove a simple vehicle, nothing fancy, and had an old pickup with a rusty plow attached for when he wanted to move snow around—living on the beach in Maine, things rust quickly. If you're embarrassed by a bit of rust, you'll need a lot of money to keep up with the Joneses. Through his frugality, he was able to keep his wealth wisely invested in the stock market for a very long time.

My ancestors have been successfully managing wealth for over a hundred years when my great great great grandfather amassed a considerable fortune as a banker and cotton broker in New York City and Savannah, GA, during the American Civil War. Afterward, he became a railroad and mining tycoon during the Reconstruction Era and the Gilded Age. Since his death in 1907, his heirs and descendants have been the careful stewards of that fortune. Through my ancestors' gifts, I understand the value of careful planning and management of a family fortune.