From the February 2013 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Tragedy and Time

Mark Travis is a helluva guy.

Bright, charismatic, fun—you know when you sit for an interview or grab a beer it’ll be a good time. The president of Florida-based Intrepid Capital Management is that combination of cool (he surfs) and country—think Terry Bradshaw—that explains much of his success with clients.

Snapping our interview subjects in their surroundings, often including their passions, brings out more personality, and so it was with Travis and skeet shooting. It happened he was off to compete immediately following our photo shoot in December, so we took advantage of the opportunity.

The result was a powerful image, shot from below, with Travis holding his shotgun and wearing the requisite vest, safety glasses and ear protection. It made for the perfect opening spread for this month’s “Overlooked Managers.” (Click here to see the photo in question.)

And then Sandy Hook happened.

I loathe calling it a tragedy. A tragedy is when a plane crashes or an earthquake occurs. Call it what it was—an atrocity, and a monstrous one at that.

I’m just as hesitant to give the appearance that I’m in any way demonizing someone like Mark Travis, a responsible gun owner and sportsman of no safety concern to anyone whatsoever.

So it was with conflicted minds and emotions that we ultimately decided to pull the photo. We may have overthought the connection and potential controversy the picture might have had, but so what—children were killed.

DonorsChoose and Save the Children are our charities of choice for those looking to help. DonorsChoose, which isn’t specifically involved with Sandy Hook elementary, is a charity that many people are supporting in honor of the heroic actions by the teachers at Sandy Hook. Save the Children opened a facility in Newtown to give kids a place to express themselves while parents seek counseling. Both earned four stars from Charity Navigator, its highest rating for efficiency and effectiveness, and more than either the American Red Cross or the United Way of Western Connecticut.

The media is reporting on the overwhelming amount of money and donations with which the small New England town is grappling. But too often, when the headlines fade so too does support. Vehicles for sustained, long-term giving are especially needed at a time like this.

Onward and upward.

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