6 Notable Goldman Sachs Alums (Who Made Their Mark Elsewhere)

Getty Images
Getty Images

When Goldman Sachs received Fed approval to become a bank holding company, it ended the stalwart firm's run as an investment bank and foretold a new corporate direction. While a staggering amount of money has passed through Goldman's hands since its founding in 1869, many notable people have made their marks (and their fortunes) while passing through the firm's ranks. Here are a few alums you might not have realized had Goldman Sachs on their resumes.

1. Stuart Sternberg

The Tampa Bay Rays just made the World Series thanks to their brilliant defense and a dazzling pitching performance by Matt Garza, but one could argue that none of this season's magic could have happened without principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who took over executive control of the woeful team in 2005. Sternberg immediately cleaned house and let smart baseball thinkers lay the groundwork for this season's run. Of course he's a shrewd manager who knows that it may take a few years for a smart investment to mature; Sternberg enjoyed a 24-year career in finance before retiring as a partner at Goldman in 2002. When he took over the Rays, he needed a new president for the team, and he didn't have to look past the Goldman partner who helped him arrange his purchase of the team, Matthew Silverman. Silverman, who formerly worked in Goldman's Merchant Banking Division and Firmwide Strategy Group, now controls the day-to-day operations of baseball's biggest surprise.

2. Jim Cramer

If you're a fan of financial-talk television or just enjoy seeing someone stalk around a TV set while apparently coping with the early symptoms of rabies, you've probably watched an episode or two of Jim Cramer's Mad Money. Obviously Cramer's a really sharp guy behind all of his bluster, but it's surprising how interesting his life's been. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, he worked as a journalist, where one of his assignments saw him report on a murderous rampage by infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. He then went to Harvard Law School before getting a job as a broker at Goldman. Cramer used the expertise he gathered at Goldman to launch his own hedge fund, and he later founded TheStreet.com before eventually jumping to TV fame. As you might expect, Cramer's not the only Goldman alum to find a niche on TV; CNBC personality Erin Burnett also spent time with the firm.

3. Charlie Haas

Goldman's alums haven't all gone on to become leaders in the corporate world, though. Some have taken up high positions in the tail-kicking industry, especially Charlie Haas. Haas was a decorated amateur wrestler at Seton Hall, where he won two Big East championships, but after college, he did the responsible thing and got a job working as a stockbroker for Goldman Sachs. He still had the itch to do some wrasslin', though, so he eventually started working some independent shows with his brother, Russ. It's unclear how skilled Haas was as a broker, but he showed some real merit as a grappler. He eventually made it up to the WWE in 2002, and he's won the WWE Tag Team Championship three times. Despite following a wildly divergent career path from the one he started on after college, Haas has maintained a bit of business-world flavor in his matches: one of his signature moves is a lifting reverse DDT he calls the "Haastile Takeover."

4. Josh Bolten

The White House Chief of Staff is sometimes referred to as the second-most powerful man in Washington, and Bolten currently holds the title. After graduating from Princeton and then going to Stanford Law School, he passed through a number of high-level jobs, including International Trade Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, private law practice, and even a one-semester stint teaching international trade at Yale Law School. From 1994 to 1999, though, he was a Goldman man. He served as the Executive Director, Legal & Government Affairs for Goldman Sachs International in London.

5. Ashwin Navin

One doesn't usually associate high finance with downloading albums and movies, but Navin was able to use his own financial expertise to help make the BitTorrent protocol become one of the Internet's most popular content distribution avenues. After his 1999 graduation from Claremont McKenna, Navin worked as a banker and analyst for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch before going to Yahoo! in 2002. In 2004, he linked up with BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen to start BitTorrent, Inc. While serving as the company's president, Navin has been able to strengthen BitTorrent's position by working directly with movie studios and other content creators who generally don't work with file-sharing powerhouses.

6. Jon Corzine

Corzine is a former Democratic Senator and the current Governor of New Jersey, but he's possibly most famous for suffering serious injuries in a 2007 accident involving his motorcade. (Although Corzine made the questionable decision not to wear a seat belt, he turned his bad judgment into a memorable public service announcement for seat belt use. He opened with the line, "I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead.") Before he entered the political realm, though, Corzine was a big name in finance. He went to work for Goldman in 1975, and by 1994 he'd risen to the position of Chairman and co-CEO of the company. When Goldman went public after Corzine left the company, the future governor's stake in the firm was worth $400 million. Why did Corzine leave in the first place, then? He was apparently pushed out following clashes with his co-CEO, another famous Goldman alum: current United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson.

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Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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Living Near a Trader Joe's Can Increase the Value of Your Home—Here's Why

Trader Joe's can signal that local real estate values are high.
Trader Joe's can signal that local real estate values are high.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As real estate experts will tell you, the location of a residential property carries a lot of weight when it comes to its value. Proximity to schools, parks, and other homes selling for their market value are all positives. Apparently, so is having a Trader Joe’s nearby.

According to Reader’s Digest, the popular grocery chain—which is owned by discount grocery giant ALDI—can have an effect on property values. The data was compiled by ATTOM Data Solutions and looked at home sales from 2014 to 2019 across nearly 2000 zip codes. Homes that were near Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or ALDI were examined. Overall, homes that were situated close to a Trader Joe’s sold for an average of $608,305, more than those near a Whole Foods and almost three times as much as a home near an ALDI. The average return on investment (ROI) for a home near Trader Joe’s was 51 percent, or 14 percent more than the national average of 37 percent. The Joe’s-adjacent homes also held an average 37 percent equity, compared to 25 percent nationally.

You can view the complete infographic here:

Grocery store chains can be used to measure real estate values. ATTOM Data Solutions

For real estate investors, ALDI actually edged out other grocery chains, with homes near one of their locations seeing a 62 percent average gross flipping ROI and a 42 percent return on appreciation over five years.

Homebuyers may question whether the presence of a supermarket can influence home values, or whether it’s simply a matter of Trader Joe’s choosing locations in affluent neighborhoods with rising property values and deeming them a good prospect for the chain’s expansion. Either way, the store appears to be a signpost that you stand a good chance of profiting from your property.

[h/t Reader’s Digest]