One of the saddest things about retiring is the day you close the office. You have to pack everything in boxes for shipment to the new owners and say goodbye to the staff. You turn off the computers and turn out the lights for the last time. Everyone on the floor assembled for drinks at 4pm – my shout – some speeches and reflections on a long career in the securities and investment business and it was all over. The inevitable question, “What are you going to do now?” and the inevitable answer, “I don’t know.” And so I prepared to leave the office on a Friday afternoon for the last time.
One of the poignant things about packing up is going through all the old files and folders. Years of correspondence with clients, sharing with them the ups and downs of markets and investments, the good times and the dark days of the GFC, the struggles of their daily lives as represented by their finances. I also found the times sheets of both my daughters, Hilary and Catherine, when they worked for me years ago in the early days of the business. written in their own handwriting I could not bring myself to put them into the shredder and put the file back in the cabinet. It will come home with me and not go on to the new owners. Cleaning those out will be a job for another person at another time. Not me.