Sam

 

Shapiro

SHAPIRO@VMGPARTNERS.COM

Hope for the best for others, and it will come back to you. Life is not a zero sum game.

Sam’s curiosity about the world around him is core to the person and investor he is. Here he shares a few memories of growing up in San Francisco. 

NO STONE UNTURNED

As a kid I loved to look for salamanders under logs, collect chunks of quartz, and flip over rocks by the edge of the bay to catch the crabs underneath. My mom showed me that there were mouse bones in owl scat, so I’d seek that out and search for the bones inside like they were fossils. 

HOMETOWN AT HEART

I feel lucky to live and work in the place that I grew up. The city has changed a lot, but so many of my family and close friends still live here, and they are a huge part of my life.

What do you consider your hometown?

San Francisco. I feel lucky to live and work in the place that I grew up. The city has changed so much, but so many of my family and close friends still live here, and they’re a huge part of my life. 

What was growing up here like?

Some of my favorite activities as a kid were looking for salamanders under logs, collecting chunks of quartz (which I just called “crystals”), or flipping over rocks by the edge of the bay to catch the crabs underneath. I kept a scrapbook where I’d stencil any new leaves I found. My mom showed me that there were mouse bones in owl scat, so I’d seek that out and search for the bones inside like they were fossils. 

I remember my mom coming back from runs in the hills with bird feathers. I thought she was a superhero, and I’d imagine all sorts of crazy ways she must be finding those feathers. She taught me that finding wonder and awe within ordinary moments, like a feather on the ground or a beautiful tree, is a great way to keep perspective.

That’s awesome. What about your Dad? 

I was really into baseball as a kid and we shared that love. I loved memorizing players’ stats, and I read through the standings in the paper every morning. My brother and I played home run derby tournaments with my dad, who pitched, so we called him “The Arm.” He passed on one of my favorite pieces of advice, which is to hope for the best for others, and it will come back to you. Life is not a zero sum game.

It seems like you take after your parents. 

I think I take most after my Grandpa Bob. He always felt like a larger-than-life character to me. This came through in big ways, like proposing to my grandma two weeks after meeting her, and small ways, like always wearing colorful shirts. My favorite and most eccentric shirts are gifts from him, and I love wearing them as a nod to the impact he’s had on me. 

How do you spend your free time now? Is it still home run derbies and owl scat? 

My ideal Saturday is spent running, hiking, or biking on Mount Tamalpais with my wife Hannah, our friends, and now our daughter Olivia. Then we head — ideally nice and sweaty — to Stinson Beach and jump in the ocean.

Finding wonder and awe within ordinary moments, like a feather on the ground or a beautiful tree, is a great way to keep perspective.

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