Gilbert Raff: From Medicine To Money Management by Thom Hartle
Stocks & Commodities readers have suggested that we interview someone who did not start his or her career in the financial community but was successful enough in the markets to change careers midstream to trading. Gilbert Raff is one such individual. Raff, who was a cardiologist with a background in physics who has also written for Stocks & Commodities, left his medical career to manage money. S&C Editor Thom Hartle spoke with Gilbert Raff about why he changed careers, the similarities between assisting people in managing their health and their money and the methods he uses to identify market opportunities.
I'd like to start with your personal history, because you've jumped from one career that's vastly different from the one you're in now.
My first career was as a physicist. I graduated with a double degree in physics and pre-med from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1969. That turned out to be helpful to me in what I do
now, because physics is mathematically oriented. Then I did medical research before I became a
practicing physician, and that also was very helpful to me in understanding how to analyze things.
Analysis in the stock market is very similar to analysis in medicine.
What are some of those similarities?
Regarding research, you have to work with concepts that have been proven to work. There has to be a
sense that something is likely to repeat itself. I want to be confident that once I've tested something, it's
going to work in the future.
One has to be very systematic and organized. But there's another aspect, too, that relates to how medicine
helped me become a better trader or investor.