The Ehinger Center at Drew University

Ehinger Center pic

Ehinger Center
Image: drew.edu

After graduating from Drew University with a bachelor’s degree, Tony Ehinger completed an MBA from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. Most recently serving as co-head of global securities in the investment banking division of Credit Suisse, Tony Ehinger also has been instrumental in the renovation of Drew’s University Center, now known as the Ehinger Center (EC).

The centrally located EC is a social gathering place for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. KSS Architects designed the award-winning facility, which boasts environmentally sustainable construction and an open-concept design that offers students an inviting place to relax and socialize. It is one of the school’s most-used buildings.

With a renovated pub and a modern coffee house, the center provides students with a true community center. The updated floorplan includes two fireplaces, a lecture hall that also serves as an event space, a wall of windows overlooking campus, and a studio for the university radio station. It is also home to the school’s student newspaper.

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Hyde Park Summer Concerts

Hyde Park Summer Concerts  pic

Hyde Park Summer Concerts
Image: bst-hydepark.com

Concluding his career as a financial executive in 2011, Tony Ehinger pursues many activities in his retirement, including attending Bruce Springsteen concerts. Tony Ehinger has traveled as far as Hyde Park in London, England, to see Bruce Springsteen play.

Hyde Park is one of the eight Royal Parks in London and spans 350 acres. During the summer, at the Parade Ground on the east side of Hyde Park, Barclaycard presents the British Summer Time Hyde Park, an elaborate event that features concerts, films, comedy acts, and family-friendly entertainment. In the summer of 2015, Taylor Swift, Kylie Minogue, and The Who all performed concerts at the event.

General admission tickets are available for concerts as well as priority entry tickets, which allow ticket holders to enter an hour earlier than their general-admission counterparts. For an extra-exclusive experience, Barclaycard VIP Summer Garden tickets provide early entry, access to multiple VIP bars, an extensive range of premium food, and extra seating options. For ticket and other information on British Summer Time Hyde Park, visit www.bst-hydepark.com.

The Jersey Fresh Program Promotes Local Food

The Jersey Fresh Program pic

The Jersey Fresh Program
Image: jerseyfresh.nj.gov

After earning a master of business administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Tony Ehinger pursued a career in the financial sector, spending 25 years with Credit Suisse. Now retired, Tony Ehinger is currently pursuing another of his other interests by supporting farm-to-table eating at Sandy Farms in New Jersey.

Eating locally is a concept seen throughout the United States, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture supports the idea through programs like Jersey Fresh. The Jersey Fresh program aims to inform consumers about locally grown food and promote its availability. Some of the products that Jersey Fresh promotes include seafood, fruits, vegetables, wine, and beer.

Jersey Fresh products can be found at farmer’s markets, roadside stands, pick-your-own farms, and organic farms located throughout the state. Its website also includes a list of ready-made products that contain Jersey Fresh ingredients. To learn more about Jersey Fresh, visit www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov.

Bruce Springsteen and the $100,000 Tip

Tony Ehinger spent 25 years with Credit Suisse before retiring as managing director in 2011. He now oversees operations at Sandy Farm in Morris County, New Jersey. When he is not farming Tony Ehinger enjoys listening to the music of Bruce Springsteen.

With 20 Grammy Awards and more than 120 million records sold, two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Springsteen is hardly an unknown musician. Still, there are a number of tales about the New Jersey-born guitarist and singer that may surprise even the most ardent fan. One of these played out during the summer of 1989, a rare year when Springsteen had neither an album to promote or tour to play; instead, he traveled from bar to bar with friends and stayed out of the spotlight. An impromptu show at a pub in Prescott, Arizona, began in this unassuming way, but soon attracted a crowd of more than 100 people to the tiny venue.

The secret set–consisting of several Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley covers–would be an interesting story all on its own, but another twist makes it even more special. Before the show began, Springsteen had engaged in conversation with bartender Brenda Pechanec. Pechanec revealed that she was deeply in debt as a result of several divorces and ongoing cancer treatment, and later that night, assisted the Boss in escaping the unruly crowds. Apparently she made quite an impression on Bruce, as a few days later she received Springsteen’s tip in the mail: a $100,000 check to be used for further treatment.

Springsteen and McCartney Rock London’s Hyde Park

Tony Ehinger, a recently retired financial executive and avid Springsteen fan, declared the Hyde Park concert to be his all-time favorite. Furthermore, Tony Ehinger considers Springsteen’s ability to keep going strong an inspiration.

The summer of 2012 saw an epic event in the world of rock n’ roll: Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney onstage together. McCartney’s guest appearance was the planned finale of the kind of marathon, high-energy set for which Springsteen is known. Both Springsteen and guitarist Stevie Van Zandt were obviously thrilled to share the stage with the Beatles legend.

In fact, the band was still playing the Beatles’ classic “Twist and Shout” when the local authorities cut off the power, citing a curfew in the conservative Hyde Park neighborhood. Fans were furious, but the musicians had to say an early goodnight to the crowd. Van Zandt later tweeted that he felt bad for not being able to play more, but that the premature curfew “didn’t ruin the great night.”

To cap it off, the band resumed the tour two days later in Dublin and defiantly opened the show with the exact Twist and Shout verse that abruptly ended the Hyde Park show.

Drew University’s Ehinger Student Center

Tony Ehinger earned a bachelor of arts from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, where he studied English and economics. Thanks to generous contributions from Tony Ehinger and his wife, as well as other prominent alumni, the school’s renovated Ehinger Student Center now serves as an attractive and functional central hub for on- and off-campus services. Recent renovations include a vaulted ceiling, fireplaces, a raised roof line, and a two-story rotunda.

Conveniently located between student residences and campus academic buildings, the Ehinger Center offers a variety of resources for Drew University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. The center houses administrative and student organization offices, as well as a lecture hall and event space, a pub, a commuter lounge, and outdoor patio space.

Open seven days a week with a student-friendly schedule, the Ehinger Student Center also provides employment opportunities for students. On-campus jobs allow students the opportunity to develop time-management and communication skills in an environment that supports and values education.

Tony Ehinger: Avid Fan of Bruce Springsteen

A graduate of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, Tony Ehinger recently served as managing director of Credit Suisse. An avid music lover, Mr. Ehinger is a fan of rock and roll legend Bruce Springsteen.

A famous native of New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen ascended the rock charts in the 1970s and 1980s, garnering critical acclaim and massive popularity among the general populace. Springsteen’s combination of folk music, blues, and classic rock and roll coupled with his witty, sometimes biting lyrics made for a potent combination and proved irresistible to a legion of dedicated fans. Even today, Bruce Springsteen still tours with his famous E Street Band and regularly releases albums containing his signature music, lyrics, and distinctive vocal style.

Some of Bruce Springsteen’s best-known albums are Born in the U.S.A., The Rising, The River, Tunnel of Love, Born to Run, and Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Origins of the Farm-to-Table Movement, By Tony Ehinger

The term “farm-to-table” has become fairly ubiquitous in the modern restaurant lexicon. However, a considerable percentage of self-professed foodies know very little about how the movement actually began.

Aside from Alice Waters and all of the other chefs who have utilized responsibly sourced meat and produce in their cooking for decades, Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson deserve a great deal of credit for promoting the farm-to-table concept here in the United States. A veteran of the high technology sector, Musk transitioned into a new career after graduating from New York’s French Culinary Institute in 2001. He met English-born chef Matheson shortly thereafter in Boulder, Colorado. Together, the two men planted the seeds for a major shift in America’s food culture when they opened The Kitchen, a neighborhood dining spot that featured locally grown ingredients as the most important elements of a rustic yet refined menu. The business model caught on, positioning Musk and Matheson as poster boys for farm-to-table dining.

About the Author

Tony Ehinger is a former Co-Head of Global Securities at Credit Suisse. Now retired and living in Manhattan with his wife, he ardently supports the farm-to-table movement.

Caution; retirement investment advice ahead; by Tony Ehinger

Today’s retirees are facing a barrage of retirement advertisements that all promise Viagra- like investment results that deliver oceanfront living or a hillside view of rolling vineyards. Sorting through the multitude of products, from annuities to mutual funds, is a daunting task, particularly for the uninitiated.

There are no sure fire retirement plans, and any investment approach must be recommended with humility, as even the best of plans can be shredded in moments like the Great Recession.
There are, I believe, three issues worth contemplating that can at least point you down that road towards the blue 68 Camero. 

The first is setting your spend rate. Advisors recommend spending 3 to 5 percent of your nest egg in perpetuity. Regardless of any given year’s investment results, one should hold one’s spending to a fixed percentage of the portfolio. This spending approach sets the tone for the golden years, as strict adherence to a 4 percent spending rate may mean those years are more gold plated than 24 carat.

The second decision point is selecting the amount of risk you are willing to take with your savings. The rule of thumb is 100 minus your age should be level of equity risk you should consider. The balance of your investments then remain in fixed income, where bonds and other debt instruments promise the return of your principle at maturity. Given interest rates are at historic lows, it may be wise to invest in shorter bond maturities in the hopes of reinvesting in the future at higher yield levels.

Finally, the products you invest in should be primarily low cost index funds and ETFs offered by a variety fund management companies. Select the broadest indices you can, such as all world equities or bonds. Once you invest, only adjust the level of fixed income versus equities when required. This should occur less than once a year, as avoiding trading the portfolio will also keep your investing costs low; a key success factor over the long term.

Set your spending rate, select your risk profile, buy and hold low cost index funds. Stay the course, and while you’re at it, enjoy every sandwich.

Why Diversification Matters, By Tony Ehinger

Whether your money is invested in a retirement plan like a 401(k) or IRA, or if it is invested in non-tax-advantaged investment vehicles, a diverse portfolio is important. Individuals whose retirement savings are in 401(k)s and IRAs have the ability to choose between an array of investment vehicles, and these may be classified as conservative, balanced, or aggressive. Depending on how close a person is to retirement, they may lean more toward conservative or aggressive, but over time the best strategy has been shown to be a diverse, or mixed, portfolio.

Conservative investments are those in which the year-to-year return does not vary considerably, such as bonds and other short-term investments. More aggressive investments would be heavily invested in individual stocks. Since stocks are known to be volatile in their returns in the short-term, the potential to lose money in any given year is real. However, it is also ill-advised to invest all of ones money in short-term “cash only” investments because their rate of return is much smaller, and the opportunity to earn money is lost.

Overall, the reason to diversify is not to increase performance, because diversity cannot guarantee against losses. Rather, it spreads risk over time so that, in the long run, losses are balanced out by gains.

About the author: Tony Ehinger is the recently retired Co-Head of Global Securities at Credit Suisse. He has worked in the finance industry for more than 25 years, where he built a reputation as a leader in financial services.