Doug Wolkon

Since I was a young boy I have been told that I am an idealist. Maybe true, but after graduating from the University of Michigan, I became a financier and private equity partner, traveling the country daily to scout out real estate investments for pension funds, philanthropies and college endowments.

Jet-setting in luxury from coast to coast throughout my 20’s, the world of high-finance certainly taught me a lot, whether I liked it or not. First and foremost, the experience taught me how to analyze a real estate asset (land or building) and envision thousands of different ways to improve and utilize it. Second, it taught me the tricks and trade of finance and development. Lastly, it taught me that the old-school game of real estate (i.e. landlords and tenants/ kings and serfs) is just that, old and dated and in dire need of a new approach.

It was like I was an undercover player within the finance industry. In my heart of hearts I had not yet decided that finance was the world for me. In an out-of-body experience, I took it all in, all the while consciously avoiding the personal financial straps of a big mortgage and fancy car.

Separately, something else was irking me. By 2004, prices of real estate assets were inflating and the risk-taking within the market was totally irrespective of the long-term investment methods I cherished so dearly. So by age 30, with some savings in the bank, I declared my freedom and left the high-flying, billion-dollar partnership fund.

However, with my new found freedom, I also lost my (corporate) identity. Without the big money behind me, I could no longer call myself a financier. And although idealist works at age 12, its not the best resume builder. I soon originated and proposed sustainable investment strategies like “Mini-Stock Markets” and Renewable Energy Property Funds to my financial brethren, but to no avail. So with time on my hands, I could not help but naturally move from finance to the more sensible yet theoretical world of economic thought.

I diligently began studying the “lost” history of economic thought with the aspiration of a child learning to read. The linguistics of economic thought were unbelievably familiar and easy for me to read and comprehend. My own economic theories became clearer and I began writing and writing and writing.

The theories were only reinforced by the dire state of the economy; and as a result of my hands-on financial experience, I believed I had a “no-lose” strategy to implement them. So in 2007, I explained my theories and strategy in a self-published book, The New Game, which not so coincidentally coincided with the timing of the global financial crisis.

Now I hustle, but differently. I write, I think, I travel and I invest my time and money in the current economy. I use money, but would prefer another means of appreciating value (i.e. Solar Currency). I envision an economy that is not so numerical, but rather based on value from the gut. I feel there is a more fun economy than the money economy. One that is based on peace, harmony, food, clothing, shelter and safety for all mankind.

Today, I live with my family in Hawaii on the Garden Island of Kauai.