Leifer.org

Welcome from Alan Leifer

 

This site is dedicated to sharing my work in the 15 years since I retired from Fidelity Investments.

My journey to the world of Jewish public service and Middle East affairs has enriched my life.

Through this web site I hope to share the learning and the connections I have made.

My adventures have taken me to the conflict ridden Muslim and Jewish Middle East, the emerging markets of India and Eastern Europe, and the environmentally sensitive regions of Iceland, Gallapagos and the Central American rainforest.

Along the way I partnered with people whose passion was as varied as American Jewish renaissance, civil society, peace and democracy in the Middle East, climate change, energy security, cleantech, and endowment management.

Browse the links to the right to learn about the  organizations through which I have pursued my passion for Jewish public service and Middle East affairs. Key studies that I have participated in are  available in the "Documents" section.  

Please contact me at alan@leifer.org to let me know if this site was helpful. 

 

The Wharton and Fidelity Years

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

In the mid 1970's, I was a teenager who was intrigued with the stock market and I entered Wharton to pursue this fascination.

Little did I know that "Investments" at Wharton was a course in higher math and that finance PhD's declared that the market was so efficient that it was considered a waste of a business degree to pick stocks.

The "real world" also had an allergic reaction to markets. Economic planning was all the rage, not just in communist Russia and China, but also in India, Europe and Latin America.

Even in America and Britain, the "Commanding Heights" of energy, telecomunications, utilities, banking and transportation were either government owned or so heavily regulated that they were immune to market signals.

Undaunted, I left Wharton with a BS, MBA and Teaching Fellowship. As a student I picked stocks for a hedge fund and for Peter Lynch as a summer intern.

 

I started to professionally pick stocks when the Dow had spent more than a decade below its 1000  milestone and Fidelity was earning $100,000 annually.

Twenty years later, Fidelity was earning more than $1 billion a year, the customers had a 20 fold return on their money, and the Wharton professors were launching mutual funds.

More importantly, the power of free markets to foster technological revolutions and lift billions of people out of poverty and away from tyranny was on display through every corner of the globe.

It was a good time to retire, and with Fidelity's continued support, turn my avocation for Jewish public service and Middle East affairs into a full time project.