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Trip Rodgers '95

In his book, “Wrestling Old Man Market”, Trip Rodgers ’95 states in the book’s opening pages, “When it comes to focusing on the core broad factors to be successful in the investment management business, I go back again to my wrestling years and the three keys I believe it takes to be successful there: Have great technique (or skills), Repetition, Be tough.”

On his path to his current role as Senior Vice President at Westwood Investment Management where he’s a senior analyst and portfolio manager, Rodgers certainly leaned on the lessons he learned in his years on the mat, especially at Cornell.

“Academically, being around a lot of talented and smart people prepares you for success,” he said. “You learn to think. Wrestling prepares you for success, maybe even more. It’s about sacrifice and striving for excellence.”

With the Big Red, Rodgers was a three-year starter, winning more than 45 matches. Among the most memorable victories was in the all-important dual against Penn in his senior season with the Ivy League title on the line.

Earlier in the campaign, Josh Bailer of the Quakers had defeated Rodgers in overtime. But in the pivotal rematch, Rodgers prevailed by a decisive 9-2 score as the Big Red took the Ivy championship back after finishing second the previous year.

Rodgers joked that he remembered a lot of bouts, but primarily losses, which still sometimes keep him up at night.

“My wrestling career had a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “The downs were disappointing at the time, but they taught me how to pick myself up after defeat. That’s been very useful in my career, with the many ups and downs in the stock market. Wins and losses 30 years ago are far less important than what I took from wrestling and how I learned to get through difficult times and keep going.”

Rodgers has certainly done that and achieved significant success along the way.

After graduating, Rodgers began his professional life working in investment research in the Dallas area. He then moved to UBS in New York City, followed by hedge fund Carlson Capital for a decade. During that road, he achieved an old objective in a somewhat unique way.

“My goal going into college was to be an All-American,” he said. “I didn’t make it in wrestling, but when I worked in Wall Street investment research, I made the Institutional Investor equity research All-American list in 2003.”

He also excelled in other areas, including starting and developing four yoga studios with his wife (since sold) and publishing the previously mentioned book “Wrestling Old Man Market”, which is available on Amazon.

“I really wanted to get my investment philosophy on paper,” he said. “Writing things down gives you clarity and I wanted to write down the funny stories before I forgot them and the lessons I learned. There are so many sports analogies that are applicable to investing and that’s what I put in the book.”

The end of the Acknowledgements section reads, “even after over two decades removed from competition, wrestling continues to shape who I am today. Undoubtedly, it will remain a major influence on how I will live my life going forward. In my mind there is no greater sport.”

It comes as no surprise that he remains involved with wrestling. He coached for years at a local club and is a volunteer coach at his son’s middle school. In addition, he maintains his connections with his alma mater, as a member of the University Council, and as the President of the Cornell Alumni Association of Dallas-Fort Worth.

“I’ve kept the friendships with my teammates,” he said. “My best friends to this day are Cornell wrestlers. The mix of being part of a winning team, with friends who are all striving for excellence and pushing you every day made being a Cornell wrestler so special.”

And the connections with today’s group are strong as well. Rodgers said he will definitely be in Tulsa to cheer on the current Big Red squad at the NCAA tournament in 2023. And, he began the day of the interview for this article with a yoga class with Hunter Richard ’22, whom he helped as Richard went through his job search process.

“There’s huge pride in being a Cornell wrestler,” he said. “It’s such a great combination of high level academics and high level wrestling that’s very hard to beat. It was a great experience for me and it continues to be a great experience for Cornell wrestlers today.”

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