A little bit about me, Lenore Elle Hawkins. I am an investor, a perpetual student of economics and a relentless warrior for liberty. I am also a great lover of fine wines, tend to dance excessively (particularly while cooking), possess an excessive adoration of dogs, and an endless desire to find the humor in life, so you’re bound to find posts concerning those as well. I am a founding partner at Meritas Advisors, where I serve as the firm’s chief economist and on the investment management committee. I have also co-authoring a book with Chris Versace titled Cocktail Investing (image at right), which is available from the usual sources such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBooks, and directly from the publisher, Wiley. Since that isn’t nearly enough to keep me out of trouble, I also work with Real Vision Television, the world’s only VOD (Video on Demand) for finance, essentially the Netflix of finance where the stars are the world’s most insightful investing minds.
I am a co-manager of the Growth Seeker portfolio for TheStreet along with Chris Versace, am a writer for Fox Business, and the Libertarian Post as well as a variety of international publications. I have been lucky enough to have been granted membership in the Mont Pelerin Society and am on the Board of Directors for The Dreyfuss Initiative, founded by Richard Dreyfuss, which seeks to help today’s youth become better stewards of the American Republic.
I have the good fortune to be a frequent guest on various national television shows including Fox News, Fox Business, One America News Network and RT, on national radio programs such as America’s Morning News and international radio such as RTHK in Hong Kong, and a speaker at conferences around the world from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo where I talk about the markets, economics and politics. I am incredibly blessed to be able to share my passions with so many and to live a life that allows me to experience so much of the world and all its flavors.
My career and my insatiable desire to learn have led me to a life of steady international travel. From this I have developed two home bases, one in sunny San Diego, California and the other in the indescribably beautiful town of Genova, Italy which lies south of Milan, between Portofino and Monte Carlo on the Mediterranean Sea.
My innate tendency is towards classical liberalism, which in today’s terms makes me a libertarian. However, to borrow a phrase from the great Ed Crane of the Cato Institute, I am a purely non-partisan, policy specific analyst. I align myself with no specific team in order to be as objective as possible and while I have my personal biases, I am mindful of the contributions towards addressing oppression by the Progressives and the appreciation of values that have stood the test of time by the Conservatives.
I have over 20 years of experience in finance, strategic planning, risk management and asset valuation. I previously worked with JP Morgan and began my career with Accenture where I led consulting teams advising financial services clients, such as the Capital Group (a group of investment management companies including the American Funds, Capital Bank and Trust, and Capital International Funds), Charles Schwab, and Industrial Indemnity.
I attended Harvey Mudd and Claremont McKenna College, earning degrees in Mathematics and Economics and later an MBA in Finance from the Anderson School at UCLA. Through many caffeine-fueled nights and doggedly-persistent days I was fortunate enough to consistently achieved Dean’s list honors during both my undergraduate and master’s degree programs. I must say that the best education, however, has come from having life kick the pudding out of me when I least expected it. The best lessons have come from falling flat on my face and having to get back up again and try.
My favorite place in the world is the Paro valley in Bhutan. Bhutan is a tiny little kingdom in the Himalayan Mountains, wedged between India and China. It is the only country in the world whose official religion is Buddhism and whose most important metric is the Gross National Happiness. I’m a lover of the free markets and an Austrian economist to boot who is in a deep love affair with the United States and especially her Constitution, but I have this special place in my heart for Bhutan, a land where people understand what is truly important. They have no concept of consumerism, of needing this car, those shoes, or that piece of clothing to make you OK. There is a gentleness there, a culture that takes a breath between listening and speaking to digest what has been said, a courtesy and compassionate view of all living things. For someone like me who always has a million things going on in her head at all times, going and going and going, it is a magical escape and a hint at another way of living that I try to bring into my soul.
I’m a voracious reader and a confirmed geek, so I tend to pour through a lot of financial and economics books and periodicals. I actually think that studying economic theory and political history is fun. I know, I’m not a healthy person. I also read a section of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence every morning with my mandatory coffee as well as continually re-read the Federalist papers. Federalist 51 is still my hands down favorite. The Law by Bastiat may be one of the greatest books ever written. Friends have suggested therapy…
I like to surf (not very good, but working on it), play golf, am desperately working on speaking coherent Italian, and have delusions of being a female Bob Vila, so there is always some project going on that typically requires a lot of Band Aids and unanticipated excesses of spackle. I also love photography and have big aspirations as well as fantastic equipment, so I’m often out and about practicing. So far the aspirations have not yet met with the talent, but I’m a persistent bugger, (some of my attempts can be seen here). One of my favorite places to shoot is from my terrace in Italy, which overlooks the Mediterranean. I must have done something right along the way to have a second home with a view like this!