Bob was a catalyst among dividend investors at Seeking Alpha. He was a natural leader who reached out to other participants, initiated conversations, and created a sense of community among people of diverse backgrounds and interests.
He was a natural teacher because he was willing to share his experiences as an investor who “took charge” of his retirement account after he retired. He researched various approaches to investing and settled into a discipline of dividend growth investing. He became a leader of the “DGI” cohort.
Bob developed a large following due to his honesty about both his mistakes and his successes. He was always eager to learn more. He reached out to many people in a spirit of friendship. The common link was investing, but Bob was always eager to discover common ground that went far beyond investing.
We became friends in April, 2013. It began with personal messages, comments on each other’s articles, and mutual collaboration. I learned a great deal about investing from Bob. He was my slightly older brother in the study of dividends. As the years went by, we conferred often by telephone. Bob usually was the one who called.
We could talk for 45-60 minutes and never mention stocks. Our friendship was much deeper than the hobby that brought us together. We shared many meals together.
We spent a great deal of time talking about our families and the tumultuous times we now find ourselves in. My last conversation with Bob was on Monday – three days before his death. He was looking forward to watching a program about John Lewis on Wednesday. Friendships like Bob’s are rare. I miss him dearly.
At lunch one day, Bob told me about his recent pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis. In May 2018, my wife and I visited Bob and his wife when he was recovering from a double lung transplant. It was a relief and joy to see him getting stronger as we enjoyed a seafood lunch together.
Our son-in-law received a lung transplant in April 2020, and Bob was one of his cheerleaders.
Relationships are given to us for a season. I’m grateful our paths crossed on planet earth. Though fleeting, friendships like his are eternal.