Author: Diversification pays off in career, life

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Lisa Miller

During the financial crisis, Kabir Sehgal saw coworkers at JPMorgan Chase who had wrapped their lives up in their Wall Street careers become despondent as they lost their jobs.

“The world was falling apart,” he says. “It gave me the idea that I need to do a multitude of things in order to make sure I can plan for a rainy day.”

So Sehgal applied the principles of portfolio diversification to his life and work. Sehgal, who played jazz bass in college before choosing investment banking as a career, began to provide jazz musicians with financial advice and backing after the crisis. That opened doors to producing albums, including a 2015 Grammy winner for Best Latin Jazz Album.

Sehgal, who left JPMorgan Chase in 2015, now has a diverse resume. His latest book, “Coined,” is a survey on the origins and history of money.

 “Everything I do in my life is like a well-balanced portfolio, and I try to learn things,” he says. “You have to build different revenue streams, and you build different revenue streams by pursuing different passions.”

Sehgal advises you to make time to nurture other activities, because if the day comes that you lose your job, “you can fall back on those things.”

Sehgal says his portfolio is 50 percent stocks, 20 percent cash and 15 percent bonds. That leaves 15 percent for “angel investments” in entrepreneurs and small startups.

—D. Milstead