Healthy, Wealthy, and Happy New Year 2011

As we approach any new year and in this case 2011, we greet our friends and neighbors with the above wishes for their future success.  It is not an accident that the first of the three is a wish for their good health.  The longer we live, the more we come to know the importance of good health.  It is not an accident that our site: is identified as the site for fiscal and physical fitness. 


I lost my brother, Ed Berger, to illness 17 years ago when he was only 58. We were very close and spoke almost daily. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think about him and wish he could give me some of his great business counsel and wise life advice.


Last week my good friend Frank Baldino Jr. succumbed to leukemia at a similar age.  Frank was only diagnosed a matter of weeks ago when the company he founded, Cephalon, announced that he was taking a temporary medical leave of absence. Unfortunately, he was never able to recover enough to return to work.   I met Frank not long after he founded Cephalon, 23 years ago.  As some news accounts have correctly observed, Frank was one of those rare individuals with scientific moxy who starts a company and then grows and develops his own skill set as the company grows and prospers.  Cephalon is now a company with $2 billion in revenues and an expanding product pipeline.  Along the way , Baldino’s net worth also grew to hundreds of millions of dollars.  No matter.  When illness struck, all that money couldn’t buy him his health. 


There are many people who tilt the odds in their favor. They don’t smoke. They stay fit. They pursue hobbies that give them a break from the workday grind. They eat well and they have a healthy relationship with food. They eat balanced meals rich in organic foods and short on the things that corrupt the American food supply. Even so, sometimes our genetic map overwhelms our best efforts to tilt life in our own favor. 



Frank Baldino led a terrific life and has left quite a legacy behind of nurturing others starting out in the biotechnology field.  He forged several paths that others could follow. But he also left behind a lovely wife and 5 kids, the youngest of whom is only 1.  The lesson for all of us is that we must take care of our health and appreciate every day we are given. 


As we approach this New Year, I wish to you a Healthy, Wealthy and Happy 2011 and in that special order of health first.  I hope you will appreciate the point we are trying to make with our website . Fiscal health is good and is our main area of focus.  But we want to encourage you to eat well, stay fit, smell some roses and count your blessings each and every day.  Happy 2011 to you and yours.


Joan E. Lappin CFA