Do you ever know someone that has left a powerfully impactful legacy in life? In this episode Jimmy interviews Craig Hodges, CEO of Hodges Capital. They discuss the powerful legacy left by Don Hodges, Co-Founder of Hodges Capital, an investment advisory firm in Dallas, Texas, and how to structure your life to leave a legacy by serving others.
- The importance of serving others out of passion and the legacy you are building for those that follow you.
- Understanding the challenges of work-life integration and strategies to gain more balance in your life.
- Why its important to laugh during your day!
- Identifying mentors that you learn from but apply their knowledge to your life in a way that amplifies you – not simply replicates the mentor.
- The true definition of leadership (hint: It is based on action not simply ordering.) and how you can become a more effective and respected leader in your organization
Good morning! This is Jimmy Williams, your host with the most for Live a Life by Design, your Monday morning motivational speaker bringing you the biggest, best, and boldest of information so your life can be lived in the manner you wish. You know, every week we work hard to go out and find people that I know bring great value to those that they serve. Today our guest is an honored friend of mine, I am proud. He has even let me eat from his table on numerous occasions, and folks, that’s a sign of friendship when you’re from the state of Texas. If they’ll let an Okie come into their table, in their house and eat food from their table, they’re good people to me. Ladies and gentlemen, today I want to bring to you the CEO of Hodges Capital, and he is a wonderful gentleman, please welcome, Craig Hodges.
JW: How we doing Craig?
CH: Man, I couldn’t be better. I could not be better. I’m really happy to be on your program, Jimmy, it’s an honor.
JW: Well, thank you so much, so Craig has a wonderful legacy that he has helped create with his father. We’re gonna talk a little bit more about that. How their company got started, a little bit. But we’re gonna focus today on something more important, I know to him and his parents, was the legacy, their support of the community and how they built into their family these lifetime memories. And today I want you to take away from this, our valued listeners and subscribers that you too can do exactly what his father Don Hodges did for his family and that’s live a life by design. You just have to apply yourself to it. So, hey! Craig, let me just get started my friend. Tell me just a little bit, what was it like growing up with Don Hodges as your dad?
CH: I tell people all the time that some of my greatest talent was my ability to pick my parents. I did a tremendous job in that department. And I had, you know, my father who passed five years ago, was just a tremendous man. He was just the ultimate gentleman. Ultimate Christian. Just lived his, was really, really highly regarded and lived a great example. He wouldn’t preach at you, but he lived a life that, you know, showed grace and non-judgment and just an inspirational life. And growing up in that environment was challenging at times, we grew, was born in Oklahoma City, but moved to Dallas when I was a young child. But with a father in the investment business, at an early age, it was basic talk around the dinner table was what are the great young companies out there. And I remember in the early 70s my parents, or my dad buying me a handful of shares of Dr. Pepper, or McDonalds or I remember a company call Phoenix Candy Company. And at a young age, just kind of learning this concept was so neat that you could actually own part of a company. It was just a few dollars. And that concept stuck with me and it’s kind of been growing up, if you will, the dinner table, the good capitalism and companies and it was a wonderful childhood. It really, really was.
JW: I can only imagine your dear mother. Now there were three of you children. Yourself and two siblings, I could only imagine when your dad and you and your family got to talking about that, I could see her say, no listen, we’re not gonna talk about that around dinner. We’ve had enough of that today, is that true? Or did she kind of jump in with you and help?
CH: She jumped in with ya. In fact my dad would always say she was probably the best stock picker in the family. She came up with Home Depot in the early 80s and Walmart, she was shopping at those places well before everyone else had realized how great companies they were. No, it was kind of in our blood. We loved football and we loved talking companies. And that’s kind of what it was like growing up in our family, if you will.
JW: You’re gonna laugh, so my children began just like your father did for you. And Don bought you some shares of companies you liked. So, of course Disney was big, of course, and so, we bought shares of Disney for each of our children because we’d go to Disney World, Disneyland. We’ve even been to Euro Disney with our family in Paris, and so my kids thought, well dad, what’s this piece of paper. So when I took them to Disney and I stood on Main St. in Disney World, Craig I looked down there and I said, ok, you own a very, very small piece of this. And they took an interest in it. Right?
CH: Yep.That’s right.
JW: I’ll never forget my younger daughter, the younger one just loves Disney, and she said this to me Craig, she said you mean I own some of this castle? I said you own some of this castle, some of the rides, whatever, you own a piece of that. A very small piece. And she said, well, then, can I stay all night in the castle since we own it. The concept wasn’t quite so good, but anyway.
CH: Well, I bought my daughters some shares of Starbucks in the early 80s and explained that basically you guys own part of this company, and I’ll never forget one of the first times we were in there, we walked out and she looked at me and said, dad why did you have to pay if we own part of this company? Well, that’s a discussion for a little later on. I guess I’ll explain that to you later.
JW: It’s so funny. Well, speaking of that, tell me what’s one of the most humorous situations you’ve found yourself in with your dad? And you may be visiting about companies or something. Or was there any company that rose to the level of being more a fun situation as opposed to just finance?
CH: There was a couple, one, I was actually in college when he came across this company. And it was, his interest was he had traveled to London, England. And had visited the Jaguar plant. And just became enamored of these handmade cars, and there were so few cars made, and of course made them by hand, seats and all that kind of stuff. And he came back and he was just so enamoured that he came back and actually bought one of the cars. And then he figured out that he couldn’t buy the stock in the United States, it wasn’t listed here, so he would have to call a London broker and he bought for all his clients, he ended up buying Jaguar shares and it, about five or six years later it was bought out by Ford Motor. But it was a real homerun. But my dad would go to the ends of the Earth to find a different idea that no one else was looking at. We used to always get a kick out of that. One of the funny stories was right after, and he loved his Jaguar, he only had one, but he loved his Jaguar car, and the day that Ford bought Jaguar and a guy in a Taurus pulled up next to him and gave him the thumbs up. Like, here we are, me and you buddy. We always kind of laughed at Ford buying Jaguar. But no, good fun memories.
JW: You know, that is funny. So that’s kind of like me pulling up against a Tesla S Series, which a good friend of mine has. And I believe you’d know who he is if I’d told you. With my golf cart, going hey, all right.
CH: Same thing, right, same thing.
JW: Same team. Same team. I’ve got to ask you, and I want to move forward, but your dad is such a legacy. He had written a great book that you were so kind to give me a copy, and it’s called Horse Sense, and coming from a Texan, you know, that is a really, that to me is a lifestyle and knowledge base. Horse Sense, and I read these great quotes that your dad had quoted. Thousands of these quotes from some of the greatest people on the planet and I’ve used some of them in this podcast by the way. And so at the end of the day, my question to you is is what’s the best piece of Horse Sense that your dad ever told you either as a little boy or as a man?
CH: Boy, that’s a good one. To narrow it down to one. But I’ll digress a little bit to tell you how that book came about. Cause it is very interesting and he was a very humble man. And he’s not the kind of guy that would put his own quotes in there. But he was a quote collector. And he, everytime we would walk through the house as a child, he’d say, stop here, I want you to listen to this quote. And he’d read us this quote. And that went on for years and years. And he would collect these thousands and thousands of quotes. Well finally in our teenage years we just stopped listening, as teenagers do and kind of tuned him out. I think, therefore, he started collecting them and putting them in a file to try and use again someday. And then we celebrated his 50th year in the business, the kids all got those quotes and put them together and thought about binding them and that created the idea to come to a book. So yes, it’s a book about just the greatest quotes that you’ve ever heard, from all walks of life. Everything from business to war, inspirational stuff, religion, everything. It’s a tremendous read. And the nice thing about it is you can sit down and read two pages and be inspired, or you can sit there for hours and read it. So, yea, but you know, my dad kind of, the one thing I always remember him saying about life, and I still find this, even doing this for 35 years, that life is a series of two steps forward and one step back. And I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken. No one has that perfect 60 degree incline up. There’s always setbacks. And the greatest blessing you can have in your life are failures in that they correct you and you learn more from failures than you do from your successes. Those are the kinds of the concepts that I would continue to hear and cling to as a young adult.
JW: I gotta tell ya, Craig, and you are absolutely right. You do learn more from your failures. I would say in life that I would always step back and say I’m proud I learned because I don’t want to commit the same failure twice. So, you’ll learn from those things. But I’m an expert on failure, I’ll tell ya, I fail early, I fail often. And that’s been the success of our career. But, so tell me this then, you’ve got children of your age, college kids now, and so what, if you could tell them one piece of advice that you could give them to lead them down a successful life path, maybe what would that advice be?
CH: Well, that’s, I think the first thing I would say, and would be stay close to God. That would be the first thing. Because it keeps you grounded, and it keeps your feet on the ground. But as far as lessons, or practices to adhere to, I think the number one thing they can do is learn to save money at a young age. And boy, and start investing early. You know. There’s a quote out there that the greatest time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. Well, the second best time is today. And that is very, very true. You need to start and my dad was a real practitioner of if you will just do one simple thing, and that’s everything that passes through your money, that passes through your arms in your lifetime. If you can somehow save 10%, it doesn’t matter how much money you make in your life, if you’re somehow able to hold on to 10% of the money that comes to you you will be wealthy, and truer words have never been enough. It’s a challenge to do that and it takes discipline. But if that’s the one lesson that I could teach my kids that would make their life so much easier, if they can practice that. Pay themselves first and then do everything else after that.
JW: You know, you and I have so much in common, friend. I’m sure that somehow down the road our minds may have been linked. Because my two daughters, one thing I taught them is the importance of making good habits become true. So in other words, we start them on the habits of cleaning their rooms. Doing whatever responsibilities they had in the home. Then we taught them the habit of saving. And so, one of my daughters, the older of the two, is now in California. She’s a lead investigative reporter, got her masters and all this stuff. Graduated Magna Cum Laude, really took after her mother, if you know what I’m saying.
JW: But she got involved in a large company. She works for a large TV company out there that has stations all over the US. And she got the invite to participate in a 401k. Now I’m gonna tell you, my kids are not money people, they are very philanthropic. So they would give you, if you needed the money, we’re going through Paris, I don’t even know these street people, I felt sorry for them. But my younger daughter is running around giving euros to people on the street to people we don’t know, and I’m going hey, you know, you can’t just walk up to people we don’t know and hand them euros. And so she said, dad these people need it worse than we. And I said, that’s a great heart, but just be safe, right? Well, anyway the older daughter, she’s out there and she got involved in her 401k and she looks after about the first few months and goes, wow. And I go, this is what dad’s been teaching you. This is what dad does for a living. Learn these habits early. I promise you couldn’t pry it out of that 401k account with a drill now. She has really seen the right. You’re absolutely right. That is a great, great habit to start with. So, you’re a portfolio manager as well as CEO for Hodges Capital. So I’ve got just a quick question. How do you balance all of the management of 24 people, you’ve got a company to run, you’ve got five different mutual funds, strategies you have to be responsible for. How do you manage all this on a day to day basis? What’s your secret?
CH: Well, my, another one of my hidden talents other than choosing my parents wisely was hiring smarter people than me.
JW: I understand.
CH: I’ve got people all around me that really do help me and they all know that if it wasn’t for them, I’d be in some serious trouble. My dad was the type that did try to do it all on his own. It was a much simpler world than it is now and I’ve learned the hard way that boy I really do need an expert in every part of the business. And I feel like I’ve gotten that. I’m a pretty good quarterback, I can kind of tell everybody where to go and how to get open, but everyone’s gotta do their job in order for the play to work. So that is, and then, you know, I think life balance is as important as anything. My dad, actually, in all honesty, his life was a little out of balance. He worked all the time and he told me in his later years, he had wished that he had spent, now he was a great family man, don’t get me wrong. But I think he had wished that he had spent more time socially, you know picking up a hobby like golf or something. He never was a golfer. So basically he worked all the time and spent all the other time with his family. So, I think having a better balance, I think is something I’m attempting to do. I think that creates a much happier life, where you can do the things you love much longer than you see a lot of people that really get burnt out that work tremendously hard. And can only go 10 or 15 years and then they’re kind of done. My dad was somehow able to do it for 55. And I’ve got 20 more to go.
JW: And I think, I was gonna say, you’ve got a long ways to go my friend. But I think I can tell you what part of that drive was, was your dad from everything I’ve read, and from things you and your brother have told me, Don just had a real passion for serving people. And with that passion that keeps the fire going in that gut everyday, going, hey, I’m excited to get up and go to work. And here on this podcast, that’s one thing we espouse everytime we give any kind of advice, is if you’re not feeling that passion, find it, that’s what really moves the fuel to make you better at what you are, right?
CH: Very much so. He got so much pleasure, and of course he loved making people money. But he was amazing. He would spend, I watched him. He’d spend hours and hours with people that didn’t have much money. And I would always say, why are you spending all this time with these people that don’t really have enough money. You’re not gonna, you know, it’s not going to be great for our business. And I learned that that’s where he found his joy was helping somebody that really needed it. He did, he got no thrill out of making a rich guy richer. He got so much thrill out of sending some kids to college, or making sure a couple had their retirement set up where they could retire and enjoy their later years. Or somebody that could barely make ends meet find a financial path. Or somebody that lost a husband at 50 years old and didn’t have any idea how to handle the money for the next 30-40 years. He loved helping people like that. That’s a great legacy. If there is a legacy that’s it. I hope I’m more like that. I think there’s more joy in that than there is just on, you know, dollars and cents and how many zeros I have after my name kind of thing.
JW: You know, Craig, I gotta be honest with you, I, for the first several years of my career I was with an international accounting firm, one of the big four they have now, on the way up to be a partner. Great company, not anything wrong with them, but I saw a sense of entrepreneurism in my own life and I also said if I’m gonna run the rat race I want to find the cheese for myself kind of thing.
CH: I love it.
JW: So, my question to you, though, is what kind of legacy footprint in your next 20 years, you know, immulating the years that your father was at the company as well, how much would you like to, what kind of footprint would you like to leave, I guess? Let me ask you that?
CH: Good question. What kind of, you know, footprint? You know, almost exactly what he left us. Which was, you know, we started the company in 89 and it was miniscule. We kind of backed into the mutual fund business, starting the Hodges Fund in 1992 just as a business that our clients were somewhat wanting mutual funds. But here after that we created a company where we had thousands of customers that we’ve been able to help. And hearing all those stories of how we’ve helped them and how we’ve made their lives a little easier. You know, those are great. That’s a great legacy and I’d love to leave that to the next generation. And then our employees. We’ve had a stable group of employees for the 30 plus years we’ve done that. And when you step back and think, you know, my father and I started this company, we’ve made a nice life for basically 25 different families that’s been part of this journey and has helped us do so much. So, if there is a legacy that I hope to leave, and you mentioned my kids, I’ve got a senior at OU that’s probably gonna get into this business, I hope, she’s really, really talented. And then I’ve got a freshman at OU, he loves the stock picking business, of course, and has grown up around it. But, I don’t know if they’ll end up in this business, but I do hope that if they do that’s the legacy, it’s really helping people and serving people. And there’s more joy in that than anything else.
JW: Oh, that’s a fantastic legacy. I’d like to see your daughter carry on the third generation of this. I think that’d be awesome for the city of Dallas and all your clients, you know.
CH: I’d love her to step in here within a year and start sending me a check.
JW: You know…
CH: I’d be happy to be in the house.
JW: That’s a great plan. Man, that’s a great plan. If you can make that happen, let me know.
CH: That may not work.
JW: Well let me ask you a really tough question. Craig, I’ve been around you now for several years, you’re a great man. I just love the way you approach life. Your family approaches it. Your brother approaches it, it’s all just a wonderful thing now. I appreciate your friendship, but, hey, what really makes you laugh? Stock markets go up, cycles go down. It just seems like if you tie your mindset of happiness to any of those things that are not in your control, to me, now this is just me, you’re destined for a life of almost bipolar feeling. You’re just either up or you’re down all the time. So, what makes you laugh?
CH: Well, that’s another great question. What makes me laugh? I laugh a lot. I think the group of people that make me laugh the most are my high school friends. I grew up with seven pretty close high school buddies, and anytime I get with them, they know the real me. They know the embarassing, awkward, pre-teen Craig Hodges. And they break me down. No more big shot, and those guys to this day, if I go out and see them or go out and eat with them. I’ll come home and my cheeks will be sore from just laughing because they are the funniest people I know and they keep it real and they keep me humble and that’s the one thing that I know is a constant. Those guys can make me laugh.
JW: You know, I look for humor in everyday life, really, and that’s kind of what I do to keep my mind fresh. You know, the body is made up of different chemicals and scientists as I’ve studied say you release these endorphins in your system when you laugh. Your brain puts this throughout your system and you just feel better. And I got to relate to you one story, Craig. I don’t know if you’re at the age yet, being as young as you are. Folks, he’s actually two years or three years older than me. But anyway, at your age, he looks much younger. If you could see the picture of him he still looks in his 20s. But I had to go get a procedure that the doctors recommend at age 50 for all of us, and you can imagine it’s in a certain area of the body that we men probably just don’t appreciate getting work done. And see, you’re already laughing at me. So, they make you put on this very lovely gown as you get ready for this procedure, and you’ve got all these nurses that are very, very young. They look very young to me. Like 20s, right? And I was disrobing to put this gown on in this room where all you have is not a door but a curtain that they can pull back, right, to wheel you in to the procedure. And wasn’t even thinking man, I’m just thinking here I’ve got to put this gown on. And I bent down, wasn’t even thinking. My wifes sitting on the other side of the room, and I bent down and all of a sudden this nurse, this young 25 year old, whips open that curtain, and I mean I just moon her, just right there in front of everybody. My wife is aghast, yeah see you’re laughing, my wife is aghast, immediately my face is red, and I turn around and she had her name badge on. I’ll never forget, her name was Robin and I said, Robin for that peek it’ll cost you 25 bucks. So, and I apologized for it. So I look for reasons to laugh.
CH: She’s probably still scarred. She’s scarred for life from that.
JW: Yea, she’s probably not sleeping now, she has to go see a sleep expert.
CH: I’m sure.
JW: Well, let’s carry on with this topic just for a little bit, if you would. Tell me what’s been your most fulfilling event in your life. It can be personal, professional or both. Tell me what’s the most fulfilling for you?
CH: You know it’s pretty simple with me. My personal most fulfilling, obviously was having children. And that’s the greatest blessing I think anybody can have. You know, it’s, I’ve always described to people the days are incredibly long, but the years are incredibly short. And here I am all of a sudden an empty nester, and that, I would say that’s been on a personal basis my greatest pride. And then I think about what I was talking about earlier, about the company and how we’ve taken care of our clients and how we’ve taken care of all of our employees all of the years. That’s my most professional, I think, victory if you will. And just the consistency and being there year in and year out and being able to keep a stable group of folks, and a stable group of clients. No great awards, we’ve had those awards, but I think having that has been a much better, you know, victory if you will than some of the accolades you may get from time to time.
JW: I want to ask you, have you ever, now your daughter is the oldest of your children? Correct?
CH: I have twin daughters. Twins.
JW: Twin daughters, that’s right. That’s right. Does the phrase, now I just want to bring this up, the great prophet and sage of Rodney Dangerfield, said when he had raised his daughters he now understood why lions eat their young. Ok, so let’s get the girls out. Was there anything as a father of twin teenagers, when these boys come, cause they’re beautiful girls that you have, when these boys come is there anything that said, you know at the end of this, I’ll just get the gun and run these kids out of here.
CH: I think they knew better than to bring the boys around me, cause, I was kind of the wise guy behind the scene. And I came from a long line of these people that their goal in life was to embarrass their kids. And that was my goal to be the dorky dad that everyone was embarrassed of and I had to sit there and take it all those years. My dad walking in, in the black socks pulled up to his knees and the short shorts with the pasty legs and the embarrassing t-shirt. I had to face that with my friends, so it’s my job to pass that on to them. And so, yes, I’ve done a tremendous job embarrassing my kids and I don’t think they’re ever gonna let me forget it. So, it’s one of those things.
JW: I formed an entire group here in our local area, it’s a group called DADD, Dads Against Daughters Dating. And so I’ve tried to run off everybody that came to the house. These young men would come in. And so, you’re gonna laugh, when the kids were a little older and they got cooler when you get into jr. high, and I’d drop them off at school. And it was one of the high parts of my day to be involved with my kids at some level like that. And so I’d drop them off, and I’d always park the car, the whole line is supposed to keep moving, Craig, for efficiency, right? Unloading the kid. Well, I would park the car and I would stand outside my car and I would shout to the top of my voice, I love you and I’d put their whole name in it. And they’re just like, dad, dad, and they’re covering their head. And so that’s what we do, right? That’s what we do.
CH: That’s our job. That is our job.
CH: To make sure they know who’s boss.
JW: That’s exactly right. Well, let me ask you this, if you could just take your fingers, here we are in 2020 and notwithstanding the Coronavirus, of course and all this bologna we’re dealing with, if you could snap your fingers and change your current lifestyle, in what way would you change it and why?
CH: That’s a great, great question. You know, I think the life balance is something I would try to change. This job can be pretty all consuming, and it’s pretty rare that the stock market isn’t open on a business day, so there’s always something going on. And you feel somewhat tied to it on a daily basis. I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing life where when I leave I try to just leave it and then, you know do family time. Do dinner. You know, do the things like that and really invest in the moments, and be in the moment. And then later at night do some late night reading and kind of get back into what’s going to happen the next day. I think having a better balance. I think that’s the one thing that I struggle with. I watched my dad that didn’t have the proper balance always telling me it’s always very important. Especially taking care of your body. And he took tremendous care of his mind. He didn’t take that good of care of his body and his body gave out at age 80. And he hoped to work into his 90s, and so there was a lesson there for me too. And he was always really encouraging of all of us taking time for family. Taking time for vacation. Taking time for social. Taking time for spiritual items. And taking time for yourself and taking care of your body. And so, if there’s something I could change a little bit, and I do an ok job. But I need to be better at taking care of my body. Taking care of my spiritual life. Taking care of my social life. And making those a little bit more important and less about the business and family, if you will.
JW: Well, if I can relate to you for just a minute, you and I, this is so uncanny. My own daughters would tell me, cause I would rush from the office to be at one of their events at school. Or if they had an activity that was going on, I would try to rush there and get there. Even if the day was busy and I still had client meetings. I’d sometimes go back to the office for client meetings afterwards. They told me as I got older and they got older they could see it now. And they said dad, we see you in the pictures, your body was there, but your mind wasn’t there. And I said, you know, you kids, you kids, are way smarter than I was at your age. Cause, my dad did the same thing. My dad was an entrepreneur and he, to be very frank, there were a lot of days, he missed a lot of events cause he was like your dad. He really just loved what he did and he worked hard. Just worked hard. So what do you do, that’s just their lifestyle really that they had. So, I agree with you, I like to use the term work life integration. Cause I don’t know if I ever get it balanced, but I do feel like I contribute to both sides of that equation. Maybe not equally, which is understood with balance, but integrated well. And now that the kids, and I’m like you, an empty nester, I’m kind of sitting back going wow, where’d that time go? 18 years flew, now that last one’s off to school, right?
CH: Yeah, I’ve never heard, I’ve heard people say in their elder years that they never ever regretted a minute they’d spent with their family, but they did regret spending too much time at work. So there is a better balance out there somewhere, I’m sure.
JW: Yeah, there’s never been a tombstone I’ve seen in the cemetery that said, oh I wished I’d put in more hours at work. Right?
CH: Right, exactly right, yea. None of that.
JW: I’m gonna have a mausoleum. Cause I still think I can do some rebalancing and stock picking myself if they’d just leave me alone in there, but anyway.
CH: If anybody could do it Jimmy, I think it’d be you.
JW: Hey, I’m working on it, brother. I’m working on it. Hey tell me this….
CH: I wouldn’t put it past ya.
JW: Your dad was a tremendous mentor, I’m sure, for you. You and he started this firm together that’s been so successful. And you give back, you’ve given a legacy to the people around you, you’re clients, you’ve shown leadership in your community. But who are some other mentors that you maybe had over a lifetime of your career so far, being such an impact on you?
CH: That’s another great question. And I was very blessed, like I mentioned. I had a tremendous father that was just as good a man as you could ever imagine. But I also was lucky enough to grow up in an era where sports figures were so great, and mine, who was a Dallas Cowboy, Roger Staubach, and I was a quarterback growing up, of course he was in my mind the greatest quarterback the Cowboys have ever had. But, I mean, what a role model he was. He lived a great life. He was, won the heisman trophy. Went to the naval academy. Served his country. Was a model citizen. I mean, most people think if he’d have run for president he could have been elected president. And just a tremendous man. And in my formative years, I mean, the biggest names in sports in my world were Tom Landry, another great, great man and Roger Staubach. And, you know, I wonder about today’s kids. I mean, who are they looking up to that are like that. And I don’t know, there may be some out there. I have trouble kind of figuring out who they are, but boy, how blessed am I to have those kinds of guys be your role models, well what a blessing. How about yours? What about you?
JW: Oh, so you’re gonna laugh, let’s talk about sports for a minute. The Dallas Cowboys, and folks you know I’m an OU Sooner, so I do not mean the Oklahoma State Cowboys. I’m talking about the boys who wear the stars, ok down in Arlington. Ah, the Dallas Cowboys, yes, so I grew up every Sunday with my family gathered around, don’t laugh, back then this giant Zenith colored TV with built in stereo. This thing looked like it had taken eight people to put it in the house, ok. We’d gather round that, we’d watch the Cowboys just, and this is technical term, whop, that’s whop, just whop anybody they had down there. Yea, so I had a lot of respect. Now, my dad came through the era of Dandy Don Meredith, of course which is before Roger as quarterback in the Dallas Cowboys program. But he, Staubach, to me was just a class person. So, you know, today athletes, men make millions and millions of dollars now. And they say, well, I live a life I want to cause I’m not a person that’s gonna be influential to kids. You know, I’m not a role model. And I always want to tell them, whether you like it or not, by virtue of what you do in life, you’re a role model, so to me, that’s what I loved about that era. Troy Aikman was not but 35 miles, he went to high school here, little town of Henryetta 35 miles north of our community. So we knew him when he first started out at OU and then of course transferred out to UCLA more of a passing game, less of a wishbone runner. So, great people down there as quarterbacks. Emmitt Smith. I grew up loving all these guys. You know, they were really class acts. But I’ll tell you who really was my best mentor, was a gentleman not too far from you. Down in the Dallas area by the name of Zig Ziglar. I met him three or four, about four times in person. I bet I’ve bought every book, every tape. Back then he did cassettes. I mean, I bought them all. Jim Rohn, another great, what I call business philosopher. I’ve got everything the man had ever written. Whatever he spoke. I’ve got it. So, these are the people that I kind of pattern my life from.
CH: Yeah. That’s great. Yeah, Zig Ziglar’s son Tom. I went to high school with him. Sure enough, I’ve heard about Zig Ziglar for years. He’s tremendous.
JW: I’ve got to tell ya, as a man that grew up from Yazoo, Mississippi, and he always had this phrase. He said, now I know what you’re thinking. A lot of people think and brag that they’re from Yazoo, Mississippi, but I really am. His voice, that dialect.
CH: I love it.
JW: I do too. I just, fantastic stuff. So, Craig I don’t want to take too much of your time today but let’s talk about a few other things. What’s the next phase of your life and career look like. I mean, hey man, you’ve got 35 years in, you’re a young man, what’s it look like?
CH: You know, it looks a lot like it is now, but just trying to grow the group. I’d like to, you know, I’ve got a nine person investment team, there’s four or five of us that have a lot of years together. I think just deepening the bence. And right now in the investment world, active management isn’t the greatest part of the market, but I know that area will come back. And I think preparing people for when stock picking and that sort of thing and finding undiscovered stocks comes back I want our group to be on the forefront of that and really have, you know, a lot of names that can really, really help our portfolios and such. So, that’s kind of what the next phase. I’d like to, like I mentioned earlier, create more balance where I’m not doing quite as much where the more talented smarter people that are coming up do quite a bit more. So I’m actually looking forward to the next, you know, 15 – 20 years here. And I think it will be a lot of fun.
JW: So, you’re gonna laugh, I have an understanding of life to such a degree that clients as me, they go, Jimmy, when are you gonna retire, when are you gonna retire. I said, well, I could if I wanted to tomorrow. I said, but I’ll never retire. To me retirements almost too close to the funeral home. I said, what I’m gonna do is work until I can’t competently do this anymore, you know. So until someone else tells me, hey, you’re not getting it done at the level and quality you espouse to do. And so, I will tell you, I agree with you. I just want to get better for the people that I serve, better for my family, which is at the top of the people I serve. And my friends. I just want to make sure that I’m always doing what I think is in their best interest to help the values I bring to that equation of friendship grow. And be better. To me that’s just what life’s about man.
CH: That’s very well, said, I couldn’t have said it better myself. That’s very well said.
JW: So, what advice, if you were sitting down today talking with a young man or woman, that came into your office, sitting across the desk from you and said, Mr. Hodges give me one piece of advice that you could give me if I wanted to start my own mutual fund company, open a mutual fund company, or if I just wanted to start my own investment advisory firm. What would you tell them?
CH: Great question. You know, the first thing that comes to my mind, I would say, be flexible. Meaning things change. The market change. You know, the mutual fund business, isn’t the greatest area right now. Everyone loves ETFs, but that won’t always be that way. So somebody in this business, I would say be adaptable, evolve, but the one thing that never changes is that people will always need financial advice. And so if you can be as knowledgeable, as much of an expert in that field. People will always have a job, and always have a need. People will need you and the business may change how it looks and what products actually come out. But people need people they can trust and that are competent. And if you can do those two things, you’ve got it made.
JW: Oh, man, that is great advice, where were you about 30 years ago when I needed to hear that my friend?
CH: Hey, what did we say earlier. The best things to ever happen to us is all the mistakes we’ve made. We’ve learned from all that.
JW: Oh, man. I believe it.
CH: We’ve saved our skin.
JW: As I tell people I’ve got the scars to show it, the problem is the grey hairs, not necessarily on the body, it’s in the grey hair.
CH: Uh huh, I’m with you there.
JW: You know, one thing too, I want to say, is when people come up, and we have youth come and shadow us in what we do in our company and they always leave after this period of time they’ve been there and they say, man, I just want to do what you do. And I keep telling them. Ok, you don’t get to start where I am. We all have a starting block that’s farther back on the race then where we are today. So they see the nice suits, and the fancy office, and you get all this nice money rolling in the door. And I tell them, do not ever start in any business that is only for money. Start it in something that you’re passionate about. Because if it’s only money, it’ll be a short lived venture. I can assure.
CH: Amen. Amen, very true.
JW: So, what I guess I’m gonna ask, could you email me your daughter at OU, her email address so I can get a resume from her. I’ll put her to work before her dad gets her.
CH: Hey, I signed her up right now. Work for you, I would sign her up. You do things right, my man. Let me tell you something, you’ve been a real joy to get to know. I tell you what, whenever you reach out to me it is an uplifting experience. You called me about, oh I think it was about six weeks ago. Kind of in the middle of all this, pandemic mess and the volatility. And you just called and said hey man, I just want you to know I appreciate what you do and I’m telling you what, that picked me up, I needed to hear that call that day. So hey, keep doing what you’re doing man. Keep doing it.
JW: Well, I always say this, don’t want to get too religious on you, but I’m a seed sower, Craig. I like to sow seeds. Somebody’s gonna come along and water that someday I’m hoping. Yeah, I appreciate you very much. So, hey, we’re gonna close this out now. I know you’ve got a lot going on. It’s time for you to get your day going. So let me ask you this one last question for our listeners. If you could give our listeners, thousands and thousands of people across 27 countries on this planet, one piece of advice about influence, leadership, or legacy, what profound, impactful statements would you tell them?
CH: Oh, profound. Profound is, you’re looking for the wrong guy if you want profound. But, you know, with leadership the one thing I’ll say about leadership. And I’ve seen people try to be leaders, and leaders work by their actions and not their words. If you’re the leader you need to be the first guy there. You need to be the last guy to leave. You need to be the guy that’s working the hardest. And you can preach and talk and tell everybody this is what you need to do, but unless you’re willing to do that yourself. Unless you’re willing to lay it out there. People aren’t going to follow you, luckily I had a guy that was that guy. He was the hardest working guy of all of us. And everyone followed him because of that. And I hope to emulate that at some point. I don’t think I’m there yet, but I’m a work in progress as they say.
JW: That is great advice. Craig, I want to thank you so much for taking your valuable time. I know you’ve got a lot on your plate. This has been very helpful for me. I know it’s going to be helpful for all of our listeners out there. And I’d like to do one other thing if I could, Craig, in honor and memory of your wonderful father and this book he’s written called Horse Sense, I’m gonna actually give away a copy of his book to the first person that emails us at firstname.lastname@example.org and mentions the word Hodges Capital. And if they will send that to me. The first email we get based by the time and date stamp on the email will receive this wonderful book of which I’ve got to tell ya, I’ve dogeared the pages, Craig, I’ve highlighted things. It’s not really a book I’ve set down and read as much as I use as a reference manual. I get a good taste of what your dad was really all about by listening and listening to you and your brother but also reading these pages. It is phenomenal. So thank you so much for being here with us today.
CH: It was a lot of fun, Jimmy, always a pleasure my friend.
JW: Thank you, and listen we’ll do this again, until then though, you take care of yourself and enjoy your week.
CH: Thank you brother, appreciate you.
JW: What a great time to visit with my friend Craig Hodges. He is carrying on a legacy of service. You notice our conversation didn’t talk a whole lot about making millions of dollars and buying giant houses all over the world. It had to do with something foundational. More important and that is helping you live a life by design. One that gives you lasting happiness and not just the frivolity of what it is to own assets. You know, one of the greatest things he talked about was his fulfillment in his children. Those three children. Twin daughters and a son. You know, we believe here at Live a Life by Design that you are meant for a purpose on this planet. If you are having a difficult time finding your way throughout the world. I strongly encourage you to go to our website at livealifeby.design and look at those resources. Look at those blog posts, listen to more episodes of these, these podcasts every week and this will implant in your mind, hopefully the joy, the hope you need to live a life boldly on your own terms.
Thank you so much for joining us this week. It is truly an honor to have such a wonderful group of people commenting every week, go on iTunes, leave us rating for the podcast and a review. It is one thing for us to get those, to know that we are giving you the highest quality of information and hope that we can. And I certainly appreciate it from our entire team here at Live a Life by Design. With that said, I want you to know this week the challenge gonna this, the challenge is gonna to help reach out, find your legacy that you can leave for those around you, or if you’re younger, find someone that has a tremendous impact in your life and learn more about what makes them unique for you. And do this, never forget that you are important. You are vital to the success of all of those around you because you play a role, whether it’s a friend, a father, a brother, an uncle, whatever it is life on this planet is far better because you’re in it. Now, go out and live a life by design.