Raj Dhaliwal caught up with Oscar Melian of Insigneo for our latest Virtual Coffee Stop and learned about one of the Miami’s most exclusive and invitation-only cocktail bars.
- Name: Oscar Melian
- Job title: Financial advisor
- Company: Insigneo Financial
- Location: Miami, US
What was your first job?
It was at a shipping depot at a Hialeah factory when I was 15 or so. I drove my motorcycle there after school. It was fun and is probably why I didn’t do my homework.
Why did you choose a career in finance?
I wanted to be a professional gambler as I was good at numbers and investments. I wanted to help people make money and manage their wealth. I was a professional photographer at the time and owned and managed a photo lab for other photographers. But I had to depend on employees. That’s not good at times and not enough risk/reward. I wanted to be solely responsible for my success or failure and not put a limit on how much money I could earn. I wanted to earn unlimited money so this career was the next natural phase in my life.
If you weren’t working in finance, what would you be doing?
As mentioned, I’d either be a professional gambler (if I had the bankroll), race car driver (if I had a sponsor), or stand-up comedian (if I had the patience and could accept rejection).
What has been your best investment decision?
Holding stock in Apple, Amazon and computer gaming company Nvidia during the recent market crisis. I liked them before the crisis struck as well.
And your worst?
Definitely Boeing. I never thought it’s value would plummet 80%.
What is the worst manager meeting you’ve ever had?
While I was working at Prudential many years ago we had a lunch presentation by a well-known fund manager. My team and I were about 20-30 years old at the time. The fund manager went into a scolding rant that he sponsored a dinner event and a member of our team that attended had ‘abused’ his hospitality by ordering the lobster, which costs a lot. Most of us in the meeting either did not attend, did not know about it, or were not invited. I was one of the ones that knew nothing about it. He continued to accuse us of taking his dinner but not giving him any business. It was horrible. Some of us, including me, walked out. To this day, I have never given the firm any business after that. That was 20 years ago.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Driving. Driving very fast. As fast as conditions permit. I love going out on the track. I find it very relaxing and it helps keep your focus. Also, bartending – but not while I’m driving. I enjoy mixing classic cocktails and serving them to my friends. I love the whole social aspect of it.
What is your favorite spot in Miami?
Bar 10165. It’s the best bar in town, and it just so happens to be inside my own home! It’s a very exclusive spot. It’s hard to get in, has a big velvet rope and is invitation-only. You have to know the owner and must have a good heart to enter.