Our membership is large and diverse, with over 157,000 Members in more than 130 countries, served by both English and foreign language editions.
Members meet at our events around the globe, forming a community of like-minded individuals, all hoping to achieve a richer life.
Take a look at just a few of our remarkable Members…
CPA, Founder of Thomas E. Healy, CPA PC
Member Since 2008
This Scientist-Turned CPA Comes From Music Royalty
Owner of Sun Dragon Import Inc.
Member Since 2005
A Serial Entrepreneur
International Yacht Broker and Builder
Member Since 2016
A Former Professional Sailboat Racer
Here are what just a few Members said about us recently.
“Because of your advice over the past few years, I have been able to buy two new cars and have planned a trip to England with my children and grandchildren. I have closed out positions for gains of over $100,000. The Oxford Club has given me nothing but great advice.”
“My wife and I are lifetime members of the Oxford Club Chairman’s Circle. I feel you folks are so much like family and desire to spend more time with all of you. I was at the Oxford Club 20th Seminar in Vegas in March. I met you along with all the rest of the crew. With all the recommendations made by all you folks, it is hard to skip over anyone. Wish me luck trading all your recommendations.”
Robert and Pamela B.
“I have been a Lifetime Member of The Oxford Club for several years. Probably the best investment I have ever made.”
“The Oxford Club really helps me with a strategic approach to investing my money on different risk as well as asset levels. I look forward to their newsletters, commentary and trading services in my inbox every day. Keep up the Great Work!”
CPA, Founder of Thomas E. Healy, CPA PC
Member Since 2008
Lorena Cernadas: Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?
Thomas Healy: That’s been an interesting journey. I started my career in the sciences. At Williams College, I got a bachelor of arts in chemistry. Then I went to the University of Colorado, studied environmental chemistry, and earned a Ph.D. I taught at Westminster College in Salt Lake City for four years until the 1973 oil embargo recession hit. I was the most recent addition to the department, so I was the first one to be let go.
I finally found a small laboratory in North Adams, Massachusetts. Around that time, I realized that this career didn’t quite feel right for me. I went to a psychologist for guidance to interpret the various personality/skill tests. Now you can just take them online. Among the tests, the Strong-Campbell put one occupation at the top of the list: a CPA owning his own firm.
Based on that, I decided it was time to change my career. We, now a family of four, returned to Colorado; I got a masters in accountancy from the University of Denver. When I took the CPA exam here in Colorado in 1977, I got the highest grade in the state.
Lorena Cernadas: After following your dream, what’s your greatest professional accomplishment?
Thomas Healy: Well, I’ve been a CPA in my own firm since 1979, and I love it. Definitely the right career choice! I run my business from my home and have a basement office. I meet my clients at the dining room table in a wonderful home that is based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie house, built by my wife’s grandparents in 1919.
Lorena Cernadas: What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Thomas Healy: The most satisfying part is when a client comes with an interesting problem that I need to solve for them. The other interesting thing is how many scientists and engineers I get as clients. Because while I’m not current in science, I am still very interested in science. And they pick up that I speak their language.
Lorena Cernadas: As a CPA, what’s the one piece of advice you would give our readers when it comes to finances?
Thomas Healy: Look at the reality of what’s in front of you. It doesn’t help to pretend, for example, that you don’t have a tax obligation. That generally doesn’t end well.
Lorena Cernadas: You have some very interesting family stories. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Thomas Healy: Well, my great-grandfather on my dad’s side was Patrick Joseph Healy. He came from Ireland in 1850, at age 10, because of the potato famine. By the mid-1860s, he had gone to Chicago and started a music business, Lyon & Healy.
He made sure to have alliances with other people in the music business. That’s why my grandmother, Marie Keidel, was from the family that made the Keidel pianos, and my great aunt, Pauline Knabe, was from the Knabe piano family. Both of those piano makers still exist. Today, Lyon & Healy (no longer associated with the Healy family) is the premier harp maker in the world. I’m really proud of that legacy.
My maternal grandfather, Ernst Besag, was an electrical engineer and inventor. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, my grandfather happened to be in England on a business trip. The rest of the Besag family had to remain in Baden-Baden, Germany.
The British interned him for a while but then realized that he had some valuable knowledge they could use. They put him to work on the development of radar, which is the invention that saved Britain when Hitler started sending aircraft and V-bombs toward England because they could see them coming and send the RAF (Royal Air Force) to take care of them. So who knows how many millions of lives he saved by that inventive work?
Another thing that he invented is something all of us have in kitchens and bathrooms today, something that also saves millions of lives. It’s the ground fault circuit breaker!
I could go on for hours about my mother Trudy’s family. She never talked about how she got from their home in Baden-Baden, Germany, to New York so my parents could marry. I have had to learn about that from other sources.
The Nazi regime deported the Besag family in October 1940 to the Gurs concentration camp in southwest France. As my grandmother Martha wrote, “In July 1941 our eldest daughter, engaged to an American, was able to leave the [Gurs] camp and safely reached the States.” She went to Marseilles and then to Lisbon, Portugal.
My dad, working from the States, was able to get her a hard-to-get visa to travel to the United States. In November of 1941, she was on the last sailing of the ship Excambion, an American Export Lines passenger ship that sailed back and forth between New York and Lisbon, getting people, including the future first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, out of Europe on the westbound trips.
Lorena Cernadas: And so talking about all these inspiring stories from your family, what inspires you today?
Thomas Healy: Well, I’ve been a Unitarian Universalist for almost my whole life, in terms of religion.
The Unitarian Universalist principles that I believe in are especially that salvation is something we create now in this life, and that all souls are sacred and worthy. In high school, I read a book about being a Unitarian Universalist, and one of the chapters was “How to Get from Sunday to Monday,” how to live each day as you profess to live on Sunday. That’s become my touchstone in terms of how I conduct my life. If you can live by that, you can live pretty well.
Lorena Cernadas: Switching gears, what’s the greatest benefit of being an Oxford Club Member?
Thomas Healy: I paired my Oxford Club Membership with two other services that get mentioned from time to time in your publications: TradeStops and FusionIQ. And so I put those two services together with The Oxford Club’s newsletters to decide which of the suggestions are the ones I would like to put money into. And generally, if I’m careful and I don’t forget about stops, I do fairly well in terms of long-term growth of the investments.
The only time I will tend to break that rule is for something like Prime System Trader, where you’re banking on just doing the trade for the portion of the year that a stock does well historically.
Lorena Cernadas: Do you have a favorite investment?
Thomas Healy: Well, the one I have had the longest is the Mesabi Trust (NYSE: MSB). I first got into that one in 2001 when it was $3 a unit. And it was paying about 15% or so a year in distributions, which was not too bad!
Lorena Cernadas: Can you tell us your opinion of the American Dream, and do you think it’s still alive today?
Thomas Healy: I think it’s still alive. I think what’s going on in Washington, D.C., is too much of not paying attention to what is really going on and setting up an alternate reality that is more likely to lead people astray than to come up with a good result.
Lorena Cernadas: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. We greatly appreciate it.
Owner of Sun Dragon Import Inc.
Member Since 2005
Anthony Summers: Could you tell us about how you got started in the textiles industry? It sounds like you’ve been in the industry…
Qing Duncan: A long time, yeah.
Anthony: Something like 25 to 30 years?
Qing: So, in 1985, I graduated from China Textile University, and the school liked me. So they kept me on as a teaching assistant in Shanghai, which I liked because I wanted to stay there.
I taught there for 3 1/2 years. I wanted to go for graduate school in the United States, and that’s what I did. I came over here, and I went for a master’s degree in chemistry, which was tailored more to environmental chemistry. [Note: Qing has a Bachelor of Science in textile chemical engineering.]
Anthony: Wow, that’s an interesting specialty.
Qing: Before I graduated, I was working part time for a dye house in Los Angeles. My boss did not want me to leave, and they had been looking for a chemist for research and development. They had been putting up advertising all over the place and could not find the right person.
So the president of the company told my boss, “You know what? We’re looking all over the place for people. In the meantime, here’s Qing. She’s going to graduate, and you like her. Why don’t you keep her?”
My boss went on to say, “Oh, I don’t think she’s going to stay here.” But the president said, “Everything has a price.”
Qing: “I’ll give her an offer and see if she stays,” he said. So they came to me and asked, “What salary do you need for us to keep you here?”
I told them my desired salary, and they gave it to me. So I stayed.
Anthony: That was a great opportunity that they presented you with.
Qing: Yeah, they presented it to me, so I didn’t even need to look for a job. It was right there.
Qing: And then my boss moved and started a new company. He wanted me as the technical manager for that new company. So I joined him for a while and set up everything. This was about six years after my first job.
But I just got itchy, you know? It’s like, you reach the ceiling, and you cannot go up anymore…
So, after another six years, I just tired of that job, I guess. [Laughter]
Anthony: You wanted something new. I can understand that.
Qing: I wanted something new, yeah. So that’s when I started Sun Dragon. Sun Dragon is a company that allows me to do something special.
You know, I was working in two different dye houses and it was pretty much all for the fashion industry. But none of them were making what I wanted to create because they were using basic materials.
I wanted to create something with a bit more novelty, something a little bit different.
Anthony: Mm-hmm, something unique.
Qing: And environmentally friendly, too. Because I studied environmental chemistry. So I started to launch a new line of specialty yarns. All of these specialty yarns are environmentally friendly.
Like Tencel, which I started using more than 10 years ago. Nobody knew much about Tencel back then, but it is very environmentally friendly.
And also bamboo. I was the first one to introduce bamboo to the market.
Anthony: Oh, wow. And you mean the U.S. market?
Qing: Yeah, for the fashion industry. At that time, nobody knew how to dye bamboo here. We had a trial period at first, but through the years we solved many issues and have a much finer and more mature product.
About 10 years ago, I was also the first one working with a Coca-Cola program to launch a recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) product. So they had a $1 million campaign to work with Walmart and later on J.C. Penney to do a recycled plastic bottle program.
So another customer of mine and I were the first ones who jumped in. I brought in like 28 containers of yarn for Walmart’s rPET organic cotton program. That was more than 10 years ago.
And then there was another program launched. It was for Safeway and Vons. They wanted to have an environmentally friendly bag, an rPET bag. So we made more than a million bags for that, too.
Anthony: Wow. That’s a lot.
Qing: [Laughter] If you ever buy from Safeway or wherever – you know, those big food chain stores – the bag was probably made by us.
Anthony: Wow, that’s exciting. So what do you think is the next step for you? What will stimulate you going forward?
Qing: Well, I just formed a foundation. I want to do something I’m passionate about through this nonprofit. I set it up already, and I think that’s the next project for me.
Anthony: Do you have any particular causes or interests that you would like it to be for?
Qing: Well, I mean, I enjoy the arts; the arts are always stimulating. Anything that can stimulate me intellectually is a good cause.
Anthony: That sounds great. I look forward to hearing what you end up doing with your foundation. Now, is it also true that you’re interested in real estate investing?
Qing: I’m very active, actually, in real estate. I own three multifamily properties. Those give me passive income. And I’m always looking for a deal, you know.
I also have a shopping center I manage myself… and an insurance company. I have five companies.
Anthony: You’re really a serial entrepreneur.
Qing: Well, thank you. You know, so that’s what I’m saying. You have to diversify. Real estate has always been my passion too.
Anthony: What do you enjoy the most about your membership in The Oxford Club?
Qing: Well, there are so many newsletters. I don’t read every one of them, but I do glance through them when I get a chance. But actually, I enjoy the macro view from Eric Fry.
Anthony: That’s great.
Qing: Yeah, because it gives you the bigger picture. What’s the next frontier? And also I really like the simple investment philosophy of Alex Green.
I think I’m a little bit more aligned with Alex’s philosophy… you look for value.
Qing: Yeah, so I’m a value investor. I’m very conscious of value.
Anthony: Well, I think this has been a pretty excellent conversation. Getting to know you has been a great experience, and what you’re doing is very exciting stuff.
Qing: Well, I appreciate you taking the time and doing this interview.
Anthony: Of course. We value you as a Member, and everybody has their own unique story. So it’s very important to us to hear about people’s individual journeys.
Qing: Okay. Well, I will make sure to look out for you at one of the events.
Professional Sailboat Racer, International Yacht Broker and Builder
Member Since 2016
Julia Guth: George, it has been so wonderful getting to know you at our recent Club events. When you told me about your various fascinating careers, I was hoping you would let us spotlight you… so thank you! Very impressive!
Let’s start with one of your great passions: How did you become a professional sailboat racer and international yacht broker and builder?
George Sustendal: I got started in the shipbuilding field around 1970. Before that, I was a professional sailboat racer in the late ’60s. I used to be a very good racing sailor. I just loved everything to do with boats.
Later, I ran a small charter fleet in the Caribbean and from there went on to brokering boats. Then I went on to represent a couple of great shipyards that were looking for introduction to the U.S. market. I got them introduced, and they became very successful.
Julia Guth: Okay, can we back up? You just listed so many fascinating jobs in a row! First, you were a professional sailboat racer. Where did you race?
George Sustendal: I raced the East Coast and the Great Lakes, and then I raced out in Australia in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race… It’s about 630 miles long.
Julia Guth: You raced the America’s Cup in Australia?
George Sustendal: I did the trials as a crew, but the boat didn’t make it.
I also did all the Bermuda races, Annapolis to Newport Race, Newport and Southern Ocean racing circuits, and the Mackinac races.
Julia Guth: Were you a captain or part of the crew?
George Sustendal: I was both, but I was a professional captain as I slowed down from racing.
Julia Guth: What kind of boat was your favorite to race in?
George Sustendal: I think my favorite boat was one that was very famous in those days called “Bolero,” which was a 73-foot Sparkman & Stephens boat.
Julia Guth: These days, do you feel like you’d have to be a technologist to be an effective captain, or do you hire a tech crew to help outfit your boat and train you on that?
George Sustendal: In those days, I didn’t need to be a technologist, but there was always something to learn because each boat that came out, one after the other, had new things on it… new instruments, new things you could do for navigation and tactics and speed. So it was always interesting, but it wasn’t anything like it is today.
Julia Guth: So after you raced, you said you managed a fleet in the Caribbean?
George Sustendal: Yes. I crewed charter boats. These were custom boats up to about 65 feet long, called Choice and Windward Charters.
It was a beautiful place to sail… before the cruise ships started going in.
Also, the shore facilities were not set up for cruise ships like they are now, so everything was more of an adventure. It was real exploration when you went into these places, and we had to be resourceful. Also, you had to deal with different customs and languages. You had to be creative, whether it was securing food or fuel or any type of infrastructure support. Very different from today.
Julia Guth: And after you raced and ran the charter in the Caribbean, you brokered boats?
George Sustendal: I became a yacht and shipbroker for David Frazer Yacht and Ship Exchange in Fort Lauderdale. That job worked out very successfully. Then I moved to another brokerage called Northrop & Johnson, which was a little more international. I did that for about four years and then went out on my own.
Julia Guth: What was it like navigating the treacherous global customs and security forces back then?
George Sustendal: Like any other business, I had to build up good relationships with the authorities. I was good at that. By ’83, I had a couple of shipyards ask me to represent them, but I didn’t feel like I could do it properly at Northrop & Johnson, which was mainly a brokerage house. So I formed my own company to provide representation. My company marketed mainly new boats, some brokerage of boats too, but mainly new boats from one shipyard in Holland called the Royal Huisman Shipyard. The Royal Huisman was one of the finest, largest sailboat builders in the world. Still is.
I helped grow Royal Huisman from mainly building racing sailboats to building 70-foot cruising boats and bigger. The final boat when I was around was about 295 feet, a boat called “Athena,” a famous big schooner. While I was there, we expanded the yard and we expanded the market.
George Sustendal: Basically I was offered a deal I couldn’t refuse. It was to handle a German yard called Lürssen, which is one of the largest powerboat yards in the world.
It built mainly power vessels. And the last vessel I built with them was 297 feet.
Julia Guth: For military?
George Sustendal: No, it wasn’t military. It was built to be one of the world’s largest yachts. It was for an American client. For six years, I helped Lürssen grow to compete globally, then I retired after that.
I retired when I was 57 to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, the area I live now. Well, that was my “first” retirement.
Julia Guth: Yes… I was going to ask, you went from being a pioneer global yacht builder to a relaxed life in Mississippi?
George Sustendal: I tried that… it didn’t last long. I decided I had to do something, so I got together with a bunch of people and became president of an outfit called Starship Cruise Line. We built a 185-foot vessel, about 40 feet deep. We were licensed to carry 550 people to dinner. We operated out of Biloxi, Mississippi, where a lot of casinos had come in.
So we did that for a while, and then the smaller casinos were bought out by the big boys in Las Vegas. They changed all the agreements around, and we ended up having to move the boat to Tampa, Florida.
Julia Guth: Okay. That’s not a bad place to move!
George Sustendal: But by that time, we put a younger guy in charge because I really didn’t want to uproot everything again and move to Tampa. And so I was back to being retired again, and that lasted about, I don’t know, four years.
In 2002, my sister – a travel writer for The New York Times – was going to South Africa to go on a safari owned by the Orient Express Group.
Her photographer got sick. She asked if I would fill in. I used to do photography.
I filled in, and it was great. We went to not only South Africa but also Botswana. We also went on private safaris. I photographed lots of animals.
But while I was there, I ran into some people who kept promoting a place that I should look at because I was an American investor. I thought, “This is crazy, but sure, I’ll go look around.” I looked around and actually liked what I saw. I told the guy I wasn’t interested in buying a house on a little riviera, but I’d look at a small farm. Well, one thing led to another, and I found a farm that was started in 1628.
It needed help and, at the time, mortgages were expensive and the dollar was exceedingly strong. I did my due diligence on it. Finally, I said, “Well, I’ll just throw an offer out there like a take-it-or-leave-it.” And I did, and it was not for a lot of money. I ended up buying a 1,400-acre farm in South Africa! It was a gorgeous property with a river running through it. It had mountains and springs and lakes…
Julia Guth: Beautiful!
George Sustendal: I bought that and then started converting all the stuff to a guest lodge. I converted the main house, added some buildings and converted the farm into a number of apartments. It was a dairy farm at one time, and so I converted the buildings and barn to apartments while working on the land.
Well, I found out rather quickly I really wasn’t cut out to be a farmer. I had to plant this one type of crop called buchu – it’s used in women’s cosmetics and medicinal herbs, and it’s also a type of tea. I did that and, in the meantime, I decided that I wasn’t going to farm the whole thing. I was going to convert it into a trout fishing and game fishing lodge, and so I did.
Julia Guth: George, you’ve had more fascinating jobs than anyone I’ve ever met!
George Sustendal: The game and fishing lodge was very English. I had these big dams, and fresh water was always flowing into them, so I put in rainbow trout for fly-fishing. That was going fine until I started hearing about the subprime mortgage problem in 2006 and early 2007. I was getting a little nervous because I thought, well, if the United States goes into a depression, I may not have a chance of selling it. So I put the word out that it was for sale. An Irish hotel group bought it. It worked out very nicely because, at the time, the rand was stronger than the dollar. I made a good profit on the exchange and the land. Then I came back to the States.
Julia Guth: Does the lodge still exist?
George Sustendal: It has new owners who changed it a bit. Today, it’s called the White Water Farm. I think they still use part of my original website. It’s about 90 miles outside of Cape Town. I love South Africa. It has the best weather of any place I’ve ever been in the world. A bit more dangerous now, though.
Julia Guth: And today, are you finally retired?
George Sustendal: My wife and I built a waterfront house and built a boathouse, where we keep a 25-foot Blackfin motorboat. The terrain where we live is very similar to what you’d find on the Maryland Eastern Shore.
Julia Guth: Yes, you know that is where I spent many summers with my family, around Oxford, Maryland.
George Sustendal: In the summer, it’s just too beastly hot, so we travel. And we have a sailboat, as I told you, in Oxford, Maryland, being refurbished. When it’s ready, we will sail it around the Chesapeake a bit and later take it up in June to Newport, Rhode Island, where it’s a little cooler… maybe do some vintage boat racing up there.
Julia Guth: Let’s turn our attention to the markets. How would you describe yourself as an investor?
George Sustendal: I basically play more in the stock market now than I ever did before because of learning through The Oxford Club and other associated publications. I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve been doing reasonably well in the market by listening to people wiser than I am. The one thing I haven’t played are the options because I guess I’m really a little nervous about that.
Julia Guth: When you are ready… the way we trade options at the Club definitely mitigates risk. What was one of your top investments?
George Sustendal: Kraft… It was something I bought a long time ago, and I held it. It’s been one of the best stocks of the last 50 years.
I’m still holding it. I have about 10% of my assets allocated to a couple of things that are much more speculative, like the gold mining shares recommended by Rick Rule of Sprott. I’m just now moving into a couple of ETFs on China because I think there’s going to be a big resurgence of the China market, bigger than the U.S.’s.
Julia Guth: George, I’m so glad you’ve come to our events because most of our Members don’t. A Member doesn’t really see the Club in action until they come to an event, in my opinion.
George Sustendal: I love the events, and I love the people.
Not only the people you have speaking, but I love the people I’ve met who have attended. I find most of them very interesting.
Julia Guth: Thank you. And so to finish the interview, I just want to know one more thing… What drives you every day when you wake up?
George Sustendal: I just have a passion for doing whatever I’m interested in and getting good at it. I must say, practically every job I’ve had in life has ended up being a hobby job. I mean, I just loved doing it. I’m competitive, so I also want to do it very well. I was driven by the passion first for sailing, then for boats in general, then for the really big boats. And I always wanted to be the best at it.
Julia Guth: A lot of people would love to turn their hobbies into successful careers, but I think it really takes a unique individual to really succeed businesswise with their passion. What do you think has separated you to be able to do that?
George Sustendal: Well, I think for me it was focus.
Focus is a very important thing. Also, to meet people within the industries whom I liked working with and to find out what they were doing in order to help them. The people in my industry whom I didn’t like… I didn’t bother with. I was good at networking.
Julia Guth: George, thanks so much for all your time today and for sharing your fascinating life with us.
George Sustendal: I am honored to be a Member. The Club has made my life very enjoyable.