The Pursuit of Wealth: A Dropout, Pinterest, and IBM

It’s been quite a week – Notre Dame going ablaze, the Mueller investigation results, and lots of goodies on the financial news reel. Oh my! And, I would be remiss if I did not wish you a very happy Easter week. I pray things are well with you and yours.


If you have time this holiday weekend, watch the ABC special “'The Dropout': The Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes,” of which you can watch a clip of here. It’s fascinating, sad, and thought-provoking all-in-one. Holmes was a college dropout who founded Theranos, once worth $9 billion, and then was effectively forced to step away from the company. The company crashed and burned under Holmes’ fraudulent and deceptive approach to running a company that was originally supposed to revolutionize how blood tests are performed. Although the documentary has been out for now over a month, I finally got the opportunity to watch it and reflect. Here’s why I think the story is important for you:

  • Wealth and (sometimes the misuse of) power often go hand-in-hand, and thus one must reflect on one’s own motivation in the pursuit of wealth. Holmes’ continued to receive millions of dollars because she could manipulate wealthy investors to pour money into her company. From the documentary, we learn that Holmes’ flat-out lied to these investors in pursuit of her own power and wealth. What are your motivations to pursue wealth? Are they rooted in a quest for more power? How have you utilized that power if attained?

  • Question the System. Sound familiar? This was my Day 12 tid bit around embracing change. By questioning the system in which we exist, we hold the system accountable to operating fairly and equitably. Sadly, the world of venture capital that continued to financially support Holmes’ must be held accountable too. Follow the money flow, and you’ll find out what matters to people. Where is your money being invested? Are you comfortable with where it is going?

  • Cut Your Losses When Needed. As you will see in the documentary, there are points along Holmes’ journey where she could have stopped the bleeding (no pun intended) when things went awry. In the same way, you might make investments that produce losses. And, you might need to truly reflect and step away from your investment, even though it will probably be a bruise to your ego and hurt your pockets in the short-term. Do you have any losses you need to take? What’s your long-term plan?


Take some time this week to think about these questions and what they mean for your own actions as you pursue wealth.

Finally, I want to leave you with the following news that piqued my interest over the last week:

  • Pinterest and Zoom IPO’d TODAY. I love both these companies, especially Zoom, and it will be fun to watch these companies perform in the coming years. A TON of wealth was created today with these IPOs by the people who founded the companies, those who have been working there, and those who have invested in the company. But, do share if you did you buy the stock!

  • Golf Looks at Tiger Boom 2.0. I hadn’t realized the full Tiger effect on companies that produce golf equipment. Now that he’s won another major, it should be interesting to see how these companies are affected by Tiger’s comeback.

  • IBM Struggles to Jump-Start Its Turnaround. Once a tech darling, IBM is in a rut and I’m not sure if the company will ever get out. I haven’t used an IBM computer in years, and nor have many corporations. Even though IBM has invested tons of resources into growing its cloud business, things aren’t moving as quickly there as the company anticipated. Does IBM represent a buying opportunity, do you wait on the sidelines, or do you sell? More broadly, do you hold the company in your 401k plan or mutual fund? See where you’re exposed!  


Well, my hope is that you have some good time to reflect over the next few days and weeks on what I’ve shared. I have a week to go before I am expected to deliver a baby, news that I shared a few weeks ago. That said, I will be back writing to you as a mother later on. I’m taking a little hiatus to spend time with the little one. In the interim, keep living your best life and continue the conversation with the rest of the Charisse Says community below.