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The Art Collection of David Bowie: An Introduction

The Art Collection of David Bowie: An Introduction

Published in Open Culture
May 29th, 2023
by Colin Marshall

Today, it hardly surprises us when a successful, wealthy, and influential rock star has a large art collection. But David Bowie, ahead of the culture even at the outset of his career, began accruing art well before success, wealth, or influence. He put out his debut album when he was twenty years old, in 1967, and didn’t hesitate to create a “rock star” lifestyle as soon as possible thereafter. As the world now knows, however, rock stardom meant something different to Bowie than it did to the average mansion-hopping, hotel room-trashing Concorde habitué. When he bought art, he did so not primarily as a financial investment, nor as a bid for high-society respectability, but as a way of constructing his personal aesthetic and intellectual reality.

Bowie kept that project going until the end, and it was only in 2016, the year he died, that the public got to see just what his art collection included. The occasion was Bowie/Collector, a three-part auction at Sotheby’s, who also produced the new video above. It examines Bowie’s collection through five of its works that were particularly important to the man himself, beginning with Head of Gerda Boehm by Frank Auerbach, about which he often said — according to his art buyer and curator Beth Greenacre — “I want to sound like that painting looks.” Then comes Portrait of a Man by Erich Heckel, whose paintings inspired the recordings of Bowie’s acclaimed “Berlin period”: Low“Heroes,” Lodger, and even Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, which Bowie produced.

As we’ve previously featured here on Open Culture, Bowie also loved furniture, none more so than the work of the Italian design collective known as Memphis. This video highlights his red Valentine typewriter, a pre-Memphis 1969 creation of the group’s co-founder Ettore Sottsass. “I typed up many of my lyrics on that,” Bowie once said. “The pure gorgeousness of it made me type.” Much later, he and Brian Eno were looking for ideas for the album that would become Outside, a journey that took them to the Gugging Institute, a Vienna psychiatric hospital that encouraged its patients to create art. He ended up purchasing several pieces by one patient in particular, a former prisoner of war named Johann Fischer, enchanted by “the sense of exploration and the lack of self-judgment” in those and other works of “outsider” art.

The video ends with a mask titled Alexandra by Beninese artist Romuald Hazoum, whom Bowie encountered on a trip to Johannesburg with his wife Iman. Like many of the artists whose work Bowie bought, Hazoumè is now quite well known, but wasn’t when Bowie first took an interest in him. Made of found objects such as what looks like a telephone handset and a vinyl record, Alexandra is one of a series of works that “play on expectations and stereotypes of African art, and are now highly sought after.” Bowieologists can hardly fail to note that the piece also shares its name with the daughter Bowie and Iman would bring into the world a few years later. That could, of course, be just a coincidence, but as Bowie’s collection suggests, his life and his art — the art he acquired as well as the art he made — were one and the same.

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Destiny Wealth Partners Ranked Among USA Today 500 Best Financial Advisory Firms 2023

Destiny Wealth Partners Ranked Among USA Today 500 Best Financial Advisory Firms 2023

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This prestigious ranking, announced April 26, 2023 was the first of its kind awarded by USA Today and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry-ranking provider.
USA Today and Statista selected the Best Financial Advisory Firms 2023 based on two dimensions: recommendations by clients and peers and a firm’s growth of Assets under Management (AUM). The recommendations were collected via an independent survey sent to over 20,000 individuals. The development of AUM was analyzed both short and long-term based on publicly available data. In the consideration for the top 500 RIA firms, recommendations had a weight of 20% while development of AUM had a weight of 80% (short-term and long-term growth were equally weighted) to derive the final score. 
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Tom Ruggie Speaks at Jolt! Conference

Tom Ruggie Speaks at Jolt! Conference

 Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP® was recently the closing keynote interview at the 2023 Jolt! Conference, sponsored by the nation’s leading martech innovator Snappy Kraken. CEO Robert Sofia and Tom shared an inspiring conversation focused on how Tom’s passion for collectibles and his expertise in alternative investments have helped create a unique niche for Destiny Family Office, and are part of an overall commitment to excellence fueling the growth of Destiny Wealth Partners to a firm with nearly $1B in assets under management. Jolt! Has been named one of the top financial conferences in the country by

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Crain Currency Interviews Tom Ruggie

Crain Currency Interviews Tom Ruggie

Interview by David Zax, a freelance financial reporter whose work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company and The New York Times. 

Published Feb. 15, 2023

Crain Currency

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Tom Ruggie’s 31-year career spans managing wealth both for standard investors and ultra-high-net-worth clients. Since founding Florida-based Destiny Family Office in 2015, his focus has been increasingly on the latter. He spoke with Crain Currency about the excitement of having entrepreneurial clients and how working with ultra-high-net-worth individuals grants access to the “upper stratosphere” of the investment world.  

Why do you especially like working with the 13 clients of your multifamily office? 

They’re entrepreneurial. Most are either currently entrepreneurial, or the wealth came from entrepreneurship. Candidly, I’m probably not a good fit for G5-type wealth [i.e. inherited fifth-generation wealth]. What resonates with me is working with people that are like me. I started with nothing and have built a very nice business through hard work, from scratch.

What are the ways that entrepreneurial energy manifests in the client relationship? 

They tend to be appreciative of what we do for them. They tend to listen very well to recommendations. And they tend to be quick decision-makers. They know what it takes to reach a level of success because they’ve done it themselves. They know it requires hard work, being studious, being up more hours of the night. I’m still wound that way. I’m like my top client. In theory, I don’t have to work anymore, but I love what I do so much.

When you moved from more typical wealth management to the family-office space, how did things change for you? 

I was amazed. I was shocked to see what is available and how an investment banking company might treat me as the CEO of a family office versus the CEO of a wealth management firm. That was by far the biggest “aha.” We got into a lot more PE-type offerings, and that has actually progressed to doing direct investments. I’ve been shocked at how strong and consistent the performance is with some of these companies. The landscape changes when the firms looking for your business are aware that you have UHNW clients. It’s a different conversation, and you get hooked up pretty quickly with the upper end of the investment stratosphere.

I cringe when I say this, but something I kept saying to myself when I saw all this was “I understand why the rich get richer.” Because they get offered opportunities that are just not available to somebody that’s not rich. As someone who grew up lower-middle class, it goes against my grain. But at the same time, if the opportunity is there, you should take advantage of that sort of thing.

What’s a direct or co-investment you’ve been able to make that you’re excited about? 

Within our co-investment portfolio, the first company was Hipgnosis, which was brought to us by Blackstone. It’s a neat concept, a company based in the U.K. that holds rights to various music. They just purchased Justin Timberlake’s book of music rights. If Blackstone is becoming majority owners, history says they have a pretty good reason. Everybody makes mistakes, but Blackstone doesn’t make too many of them.

What’s something you know now that you wish you’d known 10 or 15 years ago? 

The Great Recession was a great learning stage for me. I had sleepless nights in 2008, worrying whether I was doing the best thing for my clients. Fast-forward to now, and I just have a sense of confidence that regardless of what’s going on out there, we are doing what’s best for our clients’ long-term interests. I don’t have those sleepless nights anymore. That attitude also conveys to the client. Clients know if you’re scared.

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Tom Ruggie Published in Kiplinger (5-1-23) Talking About “How to Help Your Kids Profit From Their Collectibles”

How to Help Your Kids Profit From Their Collectibles

You’ve been a longtime collector, but the kids are more interested in comic books than your baseball cards. You can use your expertise to help them profit from their own collections — and strengthen your bonds.

By Thomas Ruggie, CHFC®, CFP®,
Founder & CEO of Destiny Family Office and Ruggie Wealth Management

Published May 1, 2023


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Like many collectors, you’ve developed a deep knowledge about whatever it is you’ve collected over the years. And, if you’re like many collectors, your kids probably don’t share your passion.

That’s OK. They have their own collectibles, and you can use your expertise to help them get the most out of their passions.

Say you collect baseball cards. You might enjoy the chase of tracking down players for autographs. Maybe you even recognize certain players in public from hundreds of yards away. But your kids, especially when they’re young, might not want to spend hours at baseball conventions or spring training games. They might be more interested in kid collectibles like Funko Pops or limited-edition sneakers.

While you might not understand the attraction, you can pass on collecting best practices that will serve them well and strengthen your bonds. I’ve found this to be true with my kids. I love to collect autographed baseball cards, but my son was far more interested in Lego sets.

It doesn’t matter what you or your kids collect. Finding common ground in your passion can build a bridge between generations, leading to closer relationships. It’s also practical: When it’s time for your kids to inherit your property, they’ll know where everything is, how it’s categorized, where it’s insured and so on. They’re not going to maintain your collection, but they’ll be informed when it comes time to deal with it. (To learn more about making it easier for them when the time comes, read my article Estate Planning for Memorabilia Collectors: Don’t Leave Your Family in the Lurch.)

How to Go About It

One way to encourage the collecting bug — as well as teach good practices — is to be open about how your collection has increased in value over time. (Or not increased.) It can be eye-opening for them to discover, for example, that a single baseball card could pay for a house.

Even if they don’t care about the items you’ve gathered, chances are they respect your financial acumen and investment experience. Having a conversation like that may spark curiosity and lead to more discussions about how to track value and what an item or collection might be worth in the future. Online auction catalogs, such as Heritage Auctions or Robert Edward Auctions, are great places to see what’s hot and may also yield some surprises. Who in the 1980s thought VHS tapes would be collectors’ items?

An item’s value is tied to its condition. That’s something else you can teach your kids: Take care of things. It might pay off. Maybe your 25-year-old has some old Pokémon cards lying around that are now worth hundreds of dollars. That’s a great example of how collecting works.

Collecting also provides the opportunity to discuss the difference between a purchase and an investment. The Beanie Babies craze is a good example: Those stuffed dolls didn’t turn out to be good investments, but people were passionate about their Beanie Babies, so they may have been worthwhile purchases for them anyway. The message there is: If you’re passionate about something, embrace it, but be clear-eyed about why you’re collecting it.

The Best of Both Worlds

Collecting something you’re not passionate about is risky. If the investment doesn’t pay off, you’ll have lost money and be stuck with something you don’t care about — like 200 rookie cards of a baseball player you thought might be the next Mickey Mantle.

When you can buy something you love that also has investment potential, it’s the best of both worlds.

As with any investment, it’s wise not to expect too much. It’s an important message for your kids. It’s a rude awakening to learn that an asset you thought was a solid investment isn’t worth much now due to changing trends, its condition or other reasons.

The social component of collecting is another major point to pass along; it might even help your kids in their careers. If you’re passionate about something, you love to talk about it. You engage with people around your shared interests — and they may end up helping you in your career along the way. It’s the best form of lead generation. If you can do something you enjoy and it happens to be profitable, all the better.

Different things resonate with different generations. My son wanted to attend Comic-Con, a huge convention for comic book enthusiasts’ collectors. While I wouldn’t normally have an interest in comic books, we attended together and shared a wonderful experience focused on his passion, versus my own.

Even the world of sports memorabilia is changing, with NFTs becoming part of the market. While those might be risky, the trend has brought new collectors into the fold. If your kids are showing an interest, there’s a good chance you’ll learn something from them.

If you’re lucky, your kids will share your passion. But they probably won’t. All the better. Take this opportunity to let them teach you something new. While you’re squeezing in some lessons about baseball cards — and learning about classic cars — you’ll be building a lasting bond.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Bruce Springsteen’s 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible is ready to rock the auction block

Bruce Springsteen's 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible is ready to rock the auction block

Springsteen sang about a similar car in “Racing in the Street”

By Gary Gastelu,
Fox News Digital’s Automotive Editor

Published April 25, 2023

Fox News

When Bruce Springsteen sang “I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a three-ninety-six, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor” in his 1978 song “Racing in the Street” he didn’t actually have a car like that.

A couple of years later he pretty much did.

In 1981, the rock and roll legend bought a LeMans Blue 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Convertible with a 396 cubic-inch V8, four-speed manual transmission and Hurst shifter to cruise around in along the Jersey shore.

It’s not actually a “fuelie,” as the 396 wasn’t available with fuel injection, but that oversight has been chalked up to poetic license.

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Springsteen owned the car from 1981 to 1987. (Mecum Auctions and Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Springsteen painted the car black and owned it while he was working on the albums Nebraska, Born in the USA and Tunnel of Love.

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Springsteen painted it black, but it has been restored to its original color. (Mecum Auctions)

He gave it to his sound engineer Toby Smith as a Christmas present in 1987, and Smith has owned it ever since.

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The car is equipped with a period-correct radio. (Mecum Auctions)

The car has been fully restored over the years and returned to its original color. Upon completion in 2020, it was loaned to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland for display. Now you can display it in your garage.

Bruce Springsteen Chevy with a Hurst Shifter
Springsteen sang about a Chevy with a Hurst shifter in the song "Racing in the Street." (Mecum Auctions)

The Chevelle is being offered for auction by Smith at the Mecum Auctions event in Indianapolis on Saturday, May 20. It currently rides on chrome Cragar SS wheels and is equipped with Hooker headers and a period-correct radio that is not connected.

A letter of authenticity signed by Springsteen is included in the sale that says,”It’s a great piece and holds a sacred place in my heart.”

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A signed letter of authenticity will be included with the sale. The Chevelle and Malibu were part of the same model line. (Mecum Auctions)

According to classic car insurer Hagerty, a Chevelle SS convertible like this in perfect condition is worth around $90,000, but The Boss’ car gets a bit of a bump.

Mecum has given it a pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.

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Rare classic cars up for auction after huge 230-vehicle find

Rare Classic Cars Up for Auction After Huge 230-Vehicle Find

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Car enthusiasts will be able to get their hands on a rare Lancia B24 Spider America next month when an impressive fleet of 230 classic cars discovered in warehouses and an abandoned church in Holland comes up for auction.

Written by
Toyin Owoseje, CNN

The hoard of classic vehicles, believed to be worth millions of euros, belonged to Dordrecht businessman Ad Palmen, 82, who started collecting the cars 40 years ago, according to auction organizers.

Due to Palmen’s reported ailing health, he could no longer keep the vehicles and they were recently purchased by Gallery Aaldering, a motor vehicle dealer run by Nico and Nick Aaldering, for an undisclosed amount.

“The Palmen Barnfind Collection” will go under the hammer in the Netherlands from May 19 as part of an auction organized by Gallery Aaldering and Classic Car Auctions.

“This barnfind collection is truly a unique opportunity for car enthusiasts and collectors around the world to expand their collection,” said Nico and Nick Aaldering in a press release.

“We are very pleased to be able to auction these cars through Classic Car Auctions and look forward to seeing how much interest there is in this wonderful collection.”

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The 230 classic cars were stored in warehouses and an abandoned church in Holland. Credit: Gallery Aaldering

Carlo Te Lintelo, Gallery Aaderling’s head of marketing, told CNN on Friday that Palmen’s trove, which includes a white Mercedes 300 S convertible, a blue Ferrari 365 and a modest Alfa Romeo Spider, was a closely guarded secret until a fire broke out at his largest warehouse last year. A quick response from the fire brigade prevented the cars going up in smoke.

It is believed that Palmen has a deep appreciation for cars rather than a fondness for specific brands. Many of the models, including Maseratis, Jaguars, Aston Martins, BMWs and Facel Vegas, are in pristine condition, Te Lintelo said.

“These cars are in a great condition and immensely diverse. What you often see is people focusing on one brand when they are collecting cars like Mercedes Benz, Jaguar or BMW. Mr Palmen didn’t collect just expensive or exclusive cars he bought everything he thought was beautiful,” Te Lintelo said.

He added: “This collection includes cars that are very special. Like the Lancia B4 Spider America. Just to give you an idea, that car alone will sell for €600,000 to €700,000 ($660,000 to $770,000). They are very rare, only a couple of them were made. If in perfect condition, they can sell for up to €1 million ($1.1 million).”

‘Cars were his life’

According to Te Lintelo, there remains many unanswered questions about the collection because Palmen is too ill to tell his story.

“We have hundreds of questions about why he started collecting,” Te Lintelo said. “So much mystery around the cars because he can’t answer. [It’s] very sad.”

But there is one thing that Te Lintelo believes to be true: Cars were Palmen’s passion.

“He was living in the warehouse and not in a luxurious way. Cars were his life,” he said. “We want to respect his legacy. This was his entire life. The Gallery Aldering brought the cars but we chose to name the collection after him to honor him.”

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Interview in Barron’s PENTA Features Tom Ruggie

Future Returns: The Banking Crisis Didn’t Scare Off Alternative Investors

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By Beth Pinsker

April 4, 2023 12:02 pm ET

Investing for high-net-worth clients can be a bit of a high-wire act because they can have significant amounts of money tied up in complex alternative investments. When the panic started with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March, wealth manager Tom Ruggie was relieved that none of his clients were directly invested.

“We got lucky there,” says Ruggie, a certified financial planner and author who is based in central Florida. “But when it came to Credit Suisse, we had a little bit of a scare.” 

Ruggie’s firms—a family office business called Destiny Wealth Partners and a financial planning firm called Ruggie Wealth Management—did some work with the troubled financial institution on debt obligations. It turned out that all of the contracts were completed, but if Credit Suisse had failed, Ruggie and his clients would have lost a lot of money because the notes would not have been paid back. 

Investors who have money in private equity, hedge funds, and direct investments in start-ups are used to taking on a lot of risk and have the financial capacity to absorb it. Ruggie points to an EY study that a third of those with assets above US$250,000 hold some alternatives in their portfolios, including 81% of ultra-high net worth clients with more than US$30 million. Scares don’t happen often, but when they do, “it’s an eye-opening event,” Ruggie says. 

Still, rather than run to safety when things turn sour, Ruggie’s clients are more likely to go back and do it again. “They are usually willing to take risks when everyone else is running for cover,” he says. “When you have something come up, like the current banking crisis or the situation in 2008, a lot of people psychologically don’t do well with uncertainty. But the savvy investors, they look at it as an opportunity.”

Here’s where Ruggie says high-net-worth investors want to put their money today. 

How Much Risk?  

Not all high-net-worth investing is deep in alternatives. Ruggie says he divides client money into three pools: short-term money in fixed income, mid-range money in traditional equity investments like mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, and then long-term money in private investments.

To decide the ratio, he says “it’s a statistical correlation of how much money you have to how much you need and for how long. There’s no cookie-cutter answer.”

Some clients don’t put more than 10% of their net worth into non-traditional alternatives. Ruggie’s personal portfolio is pushing 40% alternatives, he says. Much of that is tied up in sports memorabilia—mostly an extensive baseball card collection—and some collectible wines, along with direct investments in companies. 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a bridge too far—“I personally can’t see the advantage of investing in something like that, and never recommend for a client to do so,” Ruggie says. 

As for cryptocurrency, Ruggie has dabbled, but just for the experience. “I wanted to learn,” he says. “I did quite well, but when clients came to us for advice, our guidance was that it’s off our path. Our client base is more concerned about long-term performance than the gambling aspect of investing.”

How Much Capital is Required?

Ruggie says direct investments in companies can start as low as US$25,000. These are the opportunities that are the most interesting to his clients right now, especially technology-based start-ups. 

Some clients also take a step back and put their money into private-equity that then pools investments and finds companies worth investing in. Those typically require putting in at least US$250,000 and the purchaser has to be qualified, with a net worth of US$5 million net. Ruggie’s clients also invest in hedge funds, real estate, and collectibles. 

Of these investments, hedge funds are the most liquid. There’s usually a lock-in period of a year, but then money can  typically be withdrawn with 30-days notice. 

Private equity has much less flexibility. “I tell people to basically anticipate no liquidity at all,” Ruggie says. “My mindset on private equity is that this is long-term money.”

The same goes for most direct investments in companies, which aside from the potential to sell stakes on the secondary market, there’s no ability to get cash out unless the company goes public and the shares appreciate. 

The Potential Gain?

The main reason for investing in alternatives is that the potential upside of these investments is unlimited.That’s what makes it worth the risk. The other reason is that many high-net-worth clients have money to put on the line.

“What is excess? It’s a correlation between what you have and what you need,” says Ruggie. “Everyone’s definition of rich is different.”

In a year like 2022, advisers like Ruggie have had to go to clients with bad news about losses for the year and say, they may have outperformed the market but still lost 10% or whatever the number. But for Ruggie, that’s a temporary situation with paper losses. 

The rest of the speech goes something like this: “It’s my belief—backed up by my personal investments—that what we’re doing with alternatives is going to outperform the market with statistically less risk than the market over time. It will catch up.”
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15 Effective Ways To Prepare To Pitch To VC Investors

15 Effective Ways To Prepare To Pitch To VC Investors

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Expert Panel®
Forbes Councils Member
Forbes Finance Council Post

Feb 22, 2023,08:15am EST

Raising capital is a critical challenge for entrepreneurs, and in today’s competitive market, securing funding can be more difficult than ever. With Crunchbase reporting that global venture capital funding hit a two-year low in August 2022, entrepreneurs must be prepared to go the extra mile to stand out and secure the investment dollars they need to grow their businesses.

Having a full understanding of what investors are looking for and how to best sell your vision has never been more important. Below, 15 Forbes Finance Council members offer their best advice for improving your odds of landing an investment deal. Follow their practical tips and strategies to help drive investor interest and secure the funding you need.

1. Bootstrap To Start Earning Revenue

If possible, use bootstrapped funds (personal, partners, family and friends) to come up with a minimum viable product (MVP) and start earning some revenue. I think the days of good terms on no revenues are likely behind us or far off in the future. Showing some revenue—especially multiyear agreements, if applicable—will go a long way with today’s fundamentally minded investors. – Justin Sanderson, Sanderson Wealth Management

2. Know Your Business’ Solution And Value

Flashy pitch decks are great, but in a tight funding market, entrepreneurs need to focus on two key components of their business: solution and value. What market need does your business solve, and what value does it bring to the marketplace? Investors are looking for businesses that have a clear value proposition and a strong potential for growth and profitability. – Glenn Hopper, Sandline Global

3. Highlight What Makes Your Business Unique

Differentiate yourself with your technology, expertise and/or product. Gone are the days when copycat companies would get funded (for now, at least). Bring something truly unique to the table, and be reasonable about spending assumptions. Investors are wary of unprofitable companies. They would prefer to back companies on a path to self-sufficiency. – Rebecca Mitchem, Neotribe Ventures

4. Consider Your Long-Term Vision And Exit Strategy

Carefully consider the longer-term vision of what you’re looking to accomplish with the business and its impact on your target market. Carefully consider, too, one of the most important things VC investors seek: making profits during liquidity events. When founders present a compelling exit strategy during their pitch, they increase their chances of securing investment capital. – Thomas H. Ruggie, Destiny Family Office

5. Develop Your Survival Strategy

Tightening economic conditions have made fundraising extremely competitive for startups. Founders who want to improve their odds of raising capital should be able to clearly explain their strategy for surviving the next few years. This includes not only runway, capital efficiency and a focus on margins, but also their competitive edge and differentiation from their peers. – Nish Patel, Inertia Ventures

6. Create A Compelling Business Plan

One tip entrepreneurs can use to better improve their odds of landing investment dollars is to focus on creating a compelling business plan. This should include a detailed description of the product or service, an overview of the target market, competitor analysis and a clear financial forecasting model. This will distinguish your business from other investments and show investors its value. – Angelo Ciaramello, The Funded Trader

7. Be Ready To Execute Your Business Plan

Make sure to have your pitch deck completed, the team established, and projections and proforma done. You must be able to show the ability to execute your business plan. Investors are looking for sectors with large growth potential and innovation. Showing that you have proprietary technology and patents helps. Most investors want to see that business owners have put their own skin in the game. – Joseph Lustberg, Upwise Capital

8. Establish Clear Objectives And Your Value Proposition

Establishing clear objectives and a cogent value proposition will never fail you. Entrepreneurs often build valuable products but fail to communicate the benefits or longer-term goals properly to investors. Highlight the value of your product versus other products, and always ask yourself what the necessary goals for growth are. A compelling value proposition with realistic objectives is key to success. – Anthony Georgiades, Pastel Network

9. Build An MVP To Gain Early Traction

Start with a technical team that can get an MVP developed at as low a cost as possible. In any economy, VCs will always invest in a product with early traction and strong customer feedback and data. – Jaclyn Foroughi, Brazen Impact

10. Map A Fast Track To Profitability

With the economy and interest rates where they are, your chance of getting investment is directly correlated to how well you can show a quick path to profitability. While in certain cases “growth at any cost” can still get funded, it’s no longer a slam dunk. Put your best foot forward by showing you can be a good steward of the investor’s capital and get to profitability quickly. – Aaron Spool, Eventus Advisory Group, LLC

11. Measure And Track Everything

Investors want to see accurate, compelling statistics. Beyond working on your marketing and sales strategies to drive growth, it’s imperative to keep track of everything so that you can present a convincing opportunity to investors when it comes time to raise capital. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

12. Have Your Documents Updated, Organized And Ready

Organization is the key to success. Having all documentation needed for funding opportunities ready at a minute’s notice will ensure that you are always prepared to take the first steps to secure capital. An up-to-date roadmap will also provide an honest representation of where your company currently is and where you want to go, painting a clear picture of how you can provide a return on investment. – Xan Myburgh, Backd Business Funding

13. Prove Demand For Your Product

Make sure you can prove product-market fit or that you have a plan to achieve it when you enter a room with a VC. Ensure there’s demand for your idea and that people are willing to pay for it. Investors will require evidence that you have built a product that fulfills a need, satisfies demand and sustains profits as well as—or better than—your competitors. – David Whyte, Irwin

14. Consider The Investor’s Point Of View

Have everything buttoned up before you approach capital providers, whether you’re approaching banks, non-bank lenders or equity partners. This includes a cohesive, well-articulated vision for the business in its current state and its future direction, as well as the hard data and logic to back it up. Put yourself in their shoes: If you were the lender or investor, what would you want before providing funding? – Andrew Kerai, Capital Ideas Inc.

15. Ensure Your Concept Is Scalable

Each investor has their own way of looking at an investment. You need to figure out if your concept is scalable. If it isn’t, then no amount of marketing or networking will help you raise funds. You will simply have to find other ways to make money with your idea. Understanding your idea’s scalability will help you craft an investor pitch. Investors want to make money, period. Plan for scaling. – David Abreu, Pacific United Financial Group

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For Sale: Memories From One of Hollywood’s Most Enduring Love Stories

For Sale: Memories From One of Hollywood’s Most Enduring Love Stories

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Joanne Woodward with her husband, Paul Newman, and the Oscar that she won in 1958 for her role in “The Three Faces of Eve.” Credit...Darlene Hammond/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

More than 300 items that belonged to Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward will be sold in June in a series of auctions run by Sotheby’s in New York.

March 3, 2023

Shackles from the film “Cool Hand Luke”; a script from the 1963 comedy “A New Kind of Love”; the wedding dress that Joanne Woodward wore the day she married Paul Newman in 1958.

These artifacts, along with some 300 others, tell the story of a union between two of Hollywood’s most enduring film stars that lasted more than a half century. It began in 1953 and lasted until Mr. Newman, a magnetic titan of the screen, died in 2008 at the age of 83. Ms. Woodward, 93, a formidable talent, has kept a private life since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007.

The objects will also take on another kind of value later this year, when they are put up for sale in a series of auctions by Sotheby’s. If previous demand for Mr. Newman’s belongings is any measure, the events are likely to be lucrative: A Rolex he owned sold in 2017 for a record $17.8 million. Three years later, another of Mr. Newman’s watches sold for more than $5.4 million.

The auctions, which will take place both online and in person in New York, follow the recent release of “The Last Movie Stars,” a six-part HBO Max documentary series directed by Ethan Hawke and based on audio transcripts of interviews with the couple’s friends, colleagues and family members.

“The family really felt that this was the right time to continue telling the story of their parents,” Mari-Claudia Jiménez, a Sotheby’s chairman and managing director, said by phone on Wednesday. The proceeds from the sales, she added, would go to the family.

The items, most of them from the couple’s home in Connecticut, include family photographs and autographed scripts, as well as awards, props and costumes from films including “The Color of Money,” “The Three Faces of Eve” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” Sotheby’s said.

Ms. Woodward’s wedding ring; autographed letters and photographs from Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; antique furniture and art collected by the couple, as well as racing memorabilia kept by Mr. Newman, a keen racecar driver, will also go on the block.
Sotheby’s has estimated that an embroidered suit worn by Mr. Newman at a 1971 Ontario Motor Speedway race could sell for up to $25,000; that the “Cool Hand Luke” shackles could sell for up to $5,000; and that Ms. Woodward’s wedding dress could fetch up to $1,200. But Ms. Jiménez, the chairman, acknowledged that these estimates were very conservative.

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Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward after their wedding ceremony in Las Vegas in 1958. Her dress is among the items being auctioned.
Credit…Associated Press
“You put in very reasonable prices that get people excited about the possibility of owning this piece of history, or this piece of Hollywood memorabilia, and then you have so many people competing that, inevitably, it sells for many, many increments above what we had estimated it at,” she said. “You’ll see things that are estimated at $500 to $800 that end up selling for $20,000.”

Sales of celebrity memorabilia have historically turned a handsome profit. Steve McQueen’s hero car from the legendary chase scene in the film “Bullitt”? $3.74 million. The “Casablanca” piano? $3.4 million. Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Globe? $250,000.

But in the case of Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward, both Academy Award winners, it is not just the relics of their lives on set that are up for sale.

The pair, most well known as Hollywood stalwarts, were also political liberals and philanthropists, who, according to a statement from their family, “dedicated their lives to pursuing the things that inspired them, whether personally, professionally, or as collectors.”

Their family said that they hoped the public would enjoy the collection, which offers a glimpse into who the actors were “beyond their glamorous Hollywood personas.”
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Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®

Founder & CEO

Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®, spent his first 25 years professionally building Ruggie Wealth Management into one of the premier firms in the country. The knowledge and wisdom gained from that led him to the founding of Destiny Family Office, a Destiny Wealth Partners firm, to help people face head-on the increasing complexities inherent in their business and personal lives so they can enjoy more time embracing their unique potential, transforming their worlds, and achieving their own destiny.

Acknowledging that in an evolving environment his firm must also continually evolve, he has identified three key areas where evolution has most keenly had a positive impact: presenting a compelling sphere of investments, including alternative, direct and co-investment opportunities, creating a special emphasis on high-end collectors whose collections signify a significant alternative investment, and strengthening the firm’s private trust capabilities. He has become one of the most respected financial advisors in the industry, receiving national recognition and rankings including:

  • • 10X Barron’s Top 1200 Financial Advisors
  • • Forbes/Shook Research Best-In-State Wealth Advisors (2022: 4th in North FL)
  • • 11X Financial Advisor Top RIA Firms
  • • Forbes Finance Council 2016-2023

The Florida native has served on numerous boards of directors serving for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and foundations. He was appointed by the Governor to the Florida Prepaid College Plan which manages more than $10 billion in assets and serves over 80,000 college students annually and served as its vice-chairman. In 2013, he and wife Kim created the Tom and Kim Ruggie Family Foundation to support projects that strengthen the bond of families, improve the quality of people’s lives and enhance opportunities for access to life-enriching services such as healthcare and education. In 2018, Tom was named to the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) Board, which is committed to helping children in Central Florida, especially those most at risk, realize their full potential.

Tom, his wife, son, daughter and son-in-law are ‘addicted’ to CrossFit and working-out in general. In 2020, Tom earned the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer designation. He also enjoys traveling with his family, red wine and has a significant sports’ memorabilia collection. Rankings and/or recognition by unaffiliated rating services and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results, nor should it be construed as a current or past endorsement by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines, and others, may base their selections on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized adviser.



Sharon Kolstad

Client Relationship Manager

Providing ongoing service and support that exceeds expectations, to Destiny Wealth Partners’ clients and team members alike, is Sharon’s focus and commitment. Before joining our team, she worked for a Christian non-profit organization, and has a passion to help others succeed both professionally and personally.

Born and raised in a small town in North Central Florida, she has lived in the Orlando area with her husband and children since 2017. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, paddle boarding and doing CrossFit.

Favorite Holiday: Christmas

Chris Nichols


Chris Nichols has been in the financial services industry for more than two decades and specializes in comprehensive wealth planning for ultra-high-net-worth clients. Through collaboration with these entrepreneurs, intergenerational families, institutions, and their other trusted advisors, he has a long tradition of helping them define their unique wealth management and investment objectives and building customized strategies aimed at achieving their goals. He offers oversight of the family’s overall financial matters, philanthropic strategies, and the development of the human and intellectual capital of the next generations.

He also retains his position as Founder, Managing Partner and Senior Wealth Advisor of Nichols Wealth Partners. Over the years, Chris has been a valued speaker on public and private investment planning. He is also the author of The Real Truth About Your Money: Simple Answers to Smart Financial Questions.
A native of South Florida, Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in economics from the University of Florida. He is past President and for 10 years served as a board member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Lauderdale. Currently he serves as investment committee member of the George Snow Scholarship Fund. Chris enjoys driving fast cars, exercising, reading, and watching sporting events. He resides in Boca Raton with his wife and four children.

Kimberly C. Good, ChFC®, CFP®, CIMA®


Kimberly is a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, a Certified Financial Planner and an accomplished Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA). She earned her CIMA credentials through The Wharton School Aresty Institute of Executive Education and The Investment & Wealth Institute.

Kimberly has expertise in the development of personalized financial plans; in particular, the implementation of those plans including investment management. Kimberly has experience as a trust officer, has advanced certifications within the life insurance industry, and was a portfolio manager and investment advisor for boutique investment advisory firms before beginning KCG Investment Advisory Services in 2009.

She is passionate about creating financial plans for her clients that align with their core values and life purposes.

Kimberly believes in family first and enjoys scenic drives and bike rides with her husband, and family time with her sons.

Getting to Know Kimberly

Bucket List: A mission trip to India

Favorite Book: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Favorite Food: Salt & vinegar potato chips

Jorge Romero, CFP®​


Jorge A. Romero is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner (CFP®) and began his career in the financial services industry in 2004 after having served honorably in The United States Marine Corps. Jorge’s focus is on the establishment of strong and long-lasting relationships with clients by addressing their goals and dreams through a holistic, comprehensive and disciplined financial-planning process. Jorge also consults on a variety of personal financial topics such as asset allocation design, portfolio analysis & risk management, and retirement & estate planning. Jorge received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Pre-Law along with a Minor in Latin American Studies from The University of Central Florida in 2008. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Financial Planning and Taxation and is a member of The Financial Planning Association of Central Florida, as well as the Estate Planning Council of The Villages®. In his spare time, Jorge enjoys spending time with friends and family; he is also an avid reader of history, international relations and linguistics books. Jorge speaks Spanish, some Italian, and French and is always trying to learn new languages. He also loves cycling, both outdoor and on his Peloton®, as well as tennis, and learning about wine.

Getting to Know Jorge

What’s Your Favorite Food: Aged Prime Steak

If I Could Meet Anyone, Past or Present, It Would Be… Albert Einstein

Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Favorite Movie or TV Show: Forrest Gump

What Motivates You? Solving Complex Problems

Favorite Holiday: Festivus

Name Something on Your Bucket List: Learn to speak Farsi

Place You’d Most Like to Visit: The Mariana Trench

Rob Clark, CFP®​


Rob Clark has been helping clients work toward long-term financial security for their families and their businesses since 2001. It is his goal to help his clients grow, protect, and manage their assets in the most tax-efficient manner. With attention to detail and organizational skill, Rob effectively manages clients’ portfolios, creating an integrated strategy aimed at meeting their investment and retirement objectives. Rob is a Certified Financial Planner™ and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. He serves on the Orange County Children and Family Services Board, the Orange County Animal Services Classification Board, and is a Leadership Orlando Alumni. He enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and health/fitness. The Florida native was born in Sarasota.

Getting to Know Rob

Bucket List: Cruise to Alaska

Favorite TV Show: The Office

Favorite Food: Sushi

Audrey Ralicki, CFP®​

Managing Partner

Audrey works alongside Tom to help create holistic plans for our Family Office clients – entrepreneurs, executives and multi-generational families with highly complex needs.

Her vision is to align their financial objectives with the desired impact, legacy and purpose they wish to make as they work to achieve their destiny. She is committed to providing leadership and support to our entire team of family office professionals, and above all, to providing exemplary service to the multiple generations of family office clients we serve.

Audrey’s passion for helping individuals and families pursue their financial goals led her to earn her bachelor’s degree in Finance with a concentration in Financial Planning from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.  She joined Destiny Wealth Partners in 2011, and has served in various roles within the firm. In 2018, she was named  Managing Partner.