A Welcome from Gene Hoots
Here we are with the year 2021 almost half behind us. This year, I have communicated very little about my trip down Tobacco Road. There are always twists and turns in our life journey, and we don’t always foresee what is around the next bend in that road.
On January 1, I retired from CornerCap. I was there thirty-one years, and the time seemed right for me to go. So, for the first time in fifty-eight years, I find myself without full time employment. However, these first few months have seemed like anything but “retirement.” Cleaning up loose ends, getting a home office set up, and learning the skills—that I never had to have working for an organization with talented technology people to back me up—have occupied most of my time. This will undoubtedly be an ongoing process, but it should be a little less hectic going forward.
Which leads me to what I really need to let you know. I will begin to share with you new material about Tobacco Road. This may include essays on various aspects of tobacco history, or a current event, and will certainly include comments that others share with me. Also, having been in the financial analysis and investment business for almost 60 years, occasionally I will share a thought on the current state of markets and how to be a better long-term investor.
The book has already afforded me the opportunity to connect with many old friends from the tobacco industry and to share stories about working at RJR – some funny, some sad, but all bringing up memories of a great time in our lives. Others, who never knew me previously, have reached out to tell me their own experiences with tobacco – and we will share those stories.
But equally rewarding has been a new generation, mostly forty or fifty decades younger than me, who have a current professional interest in investing in tobacco stocks now. It has been fun to become acquainted with a new generation of very bright young investors, at least by email, literally from all over the world. They have sent inquiries from Shanghai, London, and Australia among other places.