Ep 5. Sam Polk: For The Love of Money

Ep 5. Sam Polk: For The Love of Money

“Success has to be redefined to include making an intentional contribution into the world.”

-- Sam Polk

Sam Polk is a former hedge fund trader left Wall Street to found two organizations that help bring healthy food to poor communities in Los Angeles: Everytable and Groceryships. He graduated from Columbia University in 2002 with a BA in English, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Sam started his career on Wall Street as a trader but found himself addicted to the money he was earning while deriving very little validation from it.  Sam has written about his experiences in the New York Times and in his book, For the Love of Money. His writing has also been publishing in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and CNBC.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their daughter.

Stew and Sam talk about Sam's desire to pursue a career on Wall Street and the role a spiritual guide played in helping him eventually leave Wall Street, radically changing his lifestyle. Sam sheds light on how he’s leveraged his passion for helping others in his community to create organizations where his work has significant impact on people in need.

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Show Notes (times when new topics start)

2:30. Internship. Sam began his career on Wall Street at Credit Suisse as an intern in 2002.  Like many college students, he was attracted to the prestige and the wealth of a career on Wall Street.

7:00. Living the Wall Street life. Sam lived luxuriously as a Wall Street trader. He first worked at Bank of America and then King Street Capital Management, a hedge fund.

8:40. Lack of personal meaning. Wall Street life ultimately lacked meaning for Sam, and he became disillusioned with its materialism.

15:10. Sam’s spiritual teacher. A Native American spiritual teacher guided Sam through his struggle while working as a trader by helping him see how we could adopt a different set of values.

21:30. Leaving Wall Street. The toughest thing Sam had ever done was to leave Wall Street.

25:15. New life. Groceryships and Everytable are two organizations Sam founded after he left Wall Street. They help provide food and health education to poor communities in Los Angeles.  

Selected Links

For the Love of Money: Book and New York Times article.

Sam’s personal Page: Sampolk.me

About Everytable and how it works.

About Groceryships and the problem it’s is trying to solve.  

Twitter: Sam Polk, Everytable, Groceryships

Share your questions, ideas, and stories by tweeting @StewFriedman.