Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bitterroot Valley - Preserving Diverse Wildlife and Western History

A New York-based hedge fund manager, Steven Saslow holds a consultancy role with Blackstone Group and focuses on advising hedge fund investments and mentoring young professionals. In addition to his work with Blackstone Group, Steven Saslow has a passion for the outdoors and regularly vacations in locales such as Sun Valley, Idaho. He frequently travels north from that community toward the Continental Divide and the Bitterroot Valley on the Montana border.

Known for its exceptional fishing and wildlife, the Bitterroot Valley stretches south from Missoula and is along the route of explorers Lewis and Clark, who traversed the United States in the early 19th century. The valley was inhabited early on by fur traders from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and in the 1840s, Jesuit missionaries settled the area. The valley was one of the last strongholds of Native Americans in the Rocky Mountains, and Salish tribe members still lived in traditional ways there until the 1890s. 

Today, the Bitterroot Valley has a vital role as a grassland and wetland preserve of diverse wildlife, including amphibians, reptiles, and dragonflies. Common mammals include whitetail deer, raccoons, beaver, meadow vole, and yellow-bellied marmot.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Idaho’s Salmon and Trout Rich Big Wood River

Steven Saslow is a longtime manager of capital market trading businesses and former New York hedge fund manager who engages with Blackstone Group as consultant. Away from Blackstone and his financial advisory duties, Steven Saslow enjoys travel and considers Sun Valley, Idaho, one of his favorite destinations. He is drawn to outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and fly fishing in locations such as The Big Wood River and the Salmon River.

Stretching 137 miles throughout central Idaho, The Big Wood River offers excellent rainbow trout fisheries and is also known for brown trout. Beginning as a fast-running alpine stream at headwaters near the 11,000-foot-high Galena Peak, the walk-and-wade river has abundant wild fish.

The river broadens and slows at the juncture of the North Fork, 10 miles north of Sun Valley, and the 25-mile stretch to Bellevue is the most popular among anglers. South of Bellevue, fishing continues with brown trout becoming more prominent as the river winds toward the fertile Snake River Basin plains. The largely freestone river finally reaches a single dam before petering out in the desert of southern Idaho.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia

After a successful career as a financial senior executive, Steven Saslow retired from The Blackstone Group but remains a consultant, and also enjoys mentoring and training a new generation of analysts and associates. A frequent traveler throughout his career, including his time at Blackstone, Steven Saslow considers Barcelona as one of his favorite cities.

Located on the northeastern coast of Spain facing the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is Spain’s second-largest city. In an area settled by Phoenicians and Greeks, and later by Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, Franks, and finally won by the Catalans, Barcelona boasts of over 2,000 years of architectural gems.

The most popular architectural monument in Barcelona, and perhaps all of Spain, is the La Sagrada Familia, with approximately 2.8 million visitors each year. The Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family was commissioned by the Spiritual Association of Devotees of Saint Joseph, and construction began on St. Joseph’s day, March 19, 1882.

The task of designing and constructing the temple ultimately fell to Antoni Gaudí. He designed a temple 60 meters wide, 95 meters long and able to seat 13,000 people. It features a central 170-meter tower and 17 more towers 100 meters or more high. The work became Gaudi’s obsession, and when funds were depleted, he used his own money and raised more however he could.

When Gaudí died, only one tower, one portal, the crypt, and the apse walls were completed. Work continued and design changes made. Today, visitors are struck by its awesome verticality and the method used to mimic medieval cathedrals. Mired by controversies, construction continues, and the project is expected to be completed perhaps in the 2040s, over 150 years after it began.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hiking in Missoula, Montana

Steven Saslow retired from The Blackstone Group after helping build what was said to be the world’s largest hedge fund of fund for discretionary investing. Currently serving as a consultant and mentor at Blackstone, Steven Saslow has more time to travel out West and head to his favorite hiking destinations, including those around Missoula, Montana.

Located where three rivers converge, Missoula is ringed by seven wilderness areas in the northern Rockies, ideal for outdoor lovers. The city is noted for its trout fishing, and visitors can kayak and raft as well.

While the area offers numerous trail options, one way for hikers to get started is to take the Riverfront Trail, which can be accessed from downtown Missoula or the University of Montana (UM). The paved, flat path travels along the Clark Fork River on its south side, and after around one and a half miles, it becomes the Kim Williams Trail, a gravel path in between the river and Mount Sentinel. This trail is around two and a half miles and leads to other trails.

Another popular trail is the “M” Trail. Starting from the UM campus, there is a steep three-quarters-of-a-mile climb up Mount Sentinel, were a huge white “M” sign is located. Another mile takes the hiker to the top of the mountain, which offers a breathtaking view of the Clark Fork River, the Missoula Valley, and the remote mountains.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Importance of Physical Fitness in Retirement

After having created New York’s Blackstone Group’s first in-house hedge fund in 2002, Steven Saslow retired 2007, but continues to act as a consultant and mentors students and young professionals interested in a career in finance. In his free time away from his work at Blackstone, Steven Saslow is passionate about physical fitness, and stays active through yoga, pilates, hiking, and climbing, and acts as an athletics and weightlifting coach.

While retirement offers an excellent opportunity to take the time to start working on an active fitness regime, many people over age 60 don’t exercise at all - around 30 percent tend to be sedentary in this age range in the US. As it turns out, physical decline as we age may be much more the fault of not exercising than it is the natural process of getting older. Exercise in retirement can help prevent muscle and bone density loss, and improve balance which can help prevent falls.

Exercise can also help with a range of other issues like pain, chronic disease, and stress, and an active lifestyle can contribute to a healthy social life, which is especially important in retirement. With extra free time and the loss of social opportunities that were provided by daily work, fitness classes or community center gyms can provide a space for retirees to meet other people and enjoy their workout, which will almost certainly to lead to better physical and mental health.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hiking in Nature Minutes Outside of New York City

Steven Saslow is a retired former managing director of Blackstone, a New York City investment firm. Though he officially retired in 2007, Mr. Saslow still serves as a consultant with Blackstone. One of Steven Saslow’s hobbies is hiking; just outside New York City lies the Fort Lee Historic Park, a gateway to hundreds of miles of hiking trails.

Just on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, hiking enthusiasts will find the Shore Trail. The southern trailhead is located near the Fort Lee Historic Park’s visitor center. Instead of offering one hike, the Shore Trail offers multiple hikes suitable for hikers of all ages and skill levels. Hikes along the Shore Trail take hikers along the Hudson river, where you’ll pass multiple picnic areas.

More experienced hikers might prefer the aptly named Long Path, which goes all the way from Fort Lee, New Jersey to Altamont, New York, outside of Albany. Stretching over 350 miles, you will have plenty to explore and see, and the ability to take the hike as far as you want. Early in the hike, you will pass through the Greenbrook Sanctuary woodland preserve and multiple lookout points with spectacular natural views, and views of New York City.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Rutgers’ Road to Wall Street Jump-Starts Financial Careers