stephen adler

Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

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Stephen Adler, President and Editor-in-Chief, Reuters

My Wake-Up Call
One day I saw an ad for a CD at a bank in the Bronx and got set to head up there. My boss, The American Lawyer magazine editor-in-chief and budding mogul Steven Brill, asked where I was going—and put an abrupt stop to my journey. He sat me down in his office and showed me on a yellow legal pad how much my time was worth at my job versus how much I would earn by leaving my desk to score an extra quarter point on a bank CD. And, in stronger language than I'm using here, he told me what a jerk I was for not understanding that my biggest asset and investment at this life stage was my job—not my IRA—and that the energy I was putting into chasing CD alpha was better spent writing and editing for his magazine.

What You Can Learn
Getting and holding a job, and doing the kind of work that might lead to getting promoted, are a whole lot more important than picking the right stock or the hottest fund or the perfect CD.