iOS app Android app

Karen Firestone
GET UPDATES FROM Karen Firestone
Karen Firestone is the President and CEO of Aureus Asset Management, an asset management firm which serves as the primary financial advisor to families, individuals and nonprofit institutions. She cofounded Aureus after 22 years as a fund manager and research analyst at Fidelity Investments.

Entries by Karen Firestone

When to Tell Your Employees to Stay Home

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 4:21 PM

NOTE: This first appeared on HBR Blog site on 2/27/15:

When I sat at my computer last week, trying to write out a policy explaining under what extreme circumstances we might need to close our office and how we would define our work schedule on days when people might not...

Read Post

How to Handle Losing a Major Client

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 10:10 AM

This post first appeared at HBR Harvard Business Review on 1/27/15.

You never want to receive an unexpected email from a very important client that reads "I need to talk to you at 2:30 today." Particularly if he's never sent you anything like that before. But one morning last month,...

Read Post

How Hard Do Company Founders Really Work?

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 11:24 AM

I'm a passable golfer. I enjoy the sport. I have clients who like to play golf. And I often get asked to hit the links. Yet I really have a hard time tearing myself away from the office to play.

That may be because I am a founding...

Read Post

Don't Let Cost Cutting Run Amok

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 12:34 PM

This first appeared on the HBR Blog on 9/18/14.

When our last receptionist asked if she could leave an hour early each day at a reduced salary so that she could get home to her son, I initially jumped at the chance to save some money. I never envisioned losing...

Read Post

A Case for Group Risk-Taking

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 9:30 AM

I work in the investment business, where risk-taking is an occupational necessity. There isn't anyone successful at managing a mutual or hedge fund who avoids risk; we just need to face it carefully. Traditionally the industry encourages a solo approach to evaluating risk; at Fidelity Investments, where I worked for...

Read Post

A Small Firm's Response to Higher Health Care Costs

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 4:41 PM

There are many reasons I love May - the flowers and leaves emerge, including those on the tree right outside my office window in downtown Boston; it's light enough to play golf until 8 p.m.; and we banish our heavy wools to make room for lightweight clothes. However, here's what...

Read Post

Why Images of Women Keep Growing in Financial Ads

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 7:01 PM


Financial services firms want to reach more women; so I conclude from data presented by Pamela Grossman of Getty Images at SXSW this year. According to data collected by Getty, financial firms are buying 20 percent more stock photos...

Read Post

Making the Gradual Retirement of a Co-Founder Work

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 11:35 AM

Most people look forward to retirement. They can't wait to play more golf with their pals, travel, hang out with the grandchildren, perhaps spend more time on non-profits, and generally pursue a more relaxed lifestyle. But some of us don't really want to retire. Like my partner, with whom I...

Read Post

Would You Play Golf On a Weekday Afternoon?

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 11:42 AM

Last summer, I was invited by a few friends to meet at four o'clock on a weekday to play a few holes of golf on a sunny afternoon. As I got out of my car, a guy I know waved and said, "Hey, great to see you, but don't you...

Read Post

Why the Market Keeps Going Up and Why It Might Matter to You

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 8:09 AM

I work in the stock market, although I have never written a "market" piece in this venue. So why now? Because the broad indices have steadily climbed higher for almost five years and, until recently, no one outside of those of us trading stocks all day, seemed to notice. Now...

Read Post

When He Retires and She Still Works, What Happens?

(3) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 5:51 PM

My generation - the Baby Boomers - are beginning to retire, particularly the very successful ones who can afford to retire earlier. They have stayed at work late, risen early, traveled more than they wanted when their children were young, survived under different bosses, ascended through the ranks, and attained...

Read Post

Reciprocal Mentoring With Millennials

(2) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 6:19 PM

This is not a forum for true confessions, but I have nowhere else to turn. After months of anxious observation, I am finally admitting that I have never witnessed, over my long career, such a wide ability gap favoring the youngest people in the office relative to the senior members...

Read Post

Is It Ever OK to Break Into Your Colleague's Computer?

(3) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 1:12 PM

This post first appeared on Harvard Business Review Blog.

Rick was looking for Kelly, one of the analysts who supported his consulting team. Kelly's hours were a mystery, and Rick was confused and annoyed. He tried to check her calendar online, but, after struggling to locate...

Read Post

Who Dares to Bake Cookies for the Office?

(11) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 2:01 PM

Recently, I asked one of my partners, a big, strong father of three, what he had done over the weekend. He explained that while his wife was out one rainy afternoon, he and the kids baked blueberry crumble, then assembled a confection known as an "ice box cake" and also...

Read Post

Look Who's Distracted Now

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 12:52 PM

When acclaimed hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones revealed his opinion that women become much less effective as stock traders or investors once they have children, he was, in a sense, suggesting that the distraction of motherhood -- a distinctly feminine condition -- exceeds that of other attention-siphoning...

Read Post

Leading People in an Anxious World

(3) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 3:18 PM

Safety is now Americans' overriding concern. Several years ago, as I sat in a secondary school board meeting, the visiting headmaster of a K-8 school was asked what he considered the highest priority for parents in choosing high schools. I was astounded when he said "safety" rather than, for example,...

Read Post

How Should a Small Business Handle Parental Leave?

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 1:50 PM

Although the U.S. is a highly developed country, the US government's work/family policies have not changed since 1993,when the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed. We are the only developed country without any required paid parental leave. (FMLA entitles employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave with an equivalent position...

Read Post

'Actually,' She Said, 'He Works for Me'

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 8:58 AM

Let's agree that gender stereotyping still exists. We may try to suppress the subconscious image of political leaders, doctors, and CEO's as male, but that's what pops into our heads when we hear those professions. What's ironic is that I'm the CEO of an investment company, so, if I struggle...

Read Post

When a Product Fails, Find a New Direction

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 4:58 PM

Your company has just developed an amazing new product. Years of development, energy, and, of course, money have gone into it. Hype and excitement behind the launch pushes it into high gear. But it falls apart at the seams at the last moment, leaving your company on the brink of...

Read Post

What a Pain to Manage Pain

(3) Comments | Posted February 21, 2013 | 2:20 PM

I have spent the last 72 hours thinking about pain. My own post-surgical pain, the way to manage whatever pain I have been experiencing, and why, in 2013, we have such problems involving the use or misuse of pain medication. The medical community needs to rethink and revise its management...

Read Post