Kenneth A. Smaltz Jr.’s story is one of riches-to-rags and back to riches again. A New York University dropout in 1984, Smaltz went to work for MBT Banking, a New York company that sold rare coins. Working long hours in the shipping department, Smaltz proved his worth and, in two years, was promoted to a sales job, earning $82,000 a year.
For a man in his early 20’s, his luck was almost too good to be true. He lived the high life, running up debt and neglecting to save. Then, came the crash. In 1990, the recession forced MBT to lay off workers, and Smaltz found himself with a pile of bills and without job.
Smaltz started working his way back to solvency by taking a job with rare-coin dealer Hancock and Harwell in Atlanta, GA. He became vice president of sales, achieving 130 percent of annual targets.
After two years at Hancock and Harwell, Smaltz moved to Minneapolis, MN, where he landed the position of senior sales executive at Asset Marketing Services, again selling rare coins. After three successful years there, Smaltz was ready to return to New York.
In 1997, Louis Vigdor, Smaltz’s former boss and mentor at MBT, put him in touch with Brian Abrams, the president of New World Rarities, a rare coins and precious metals company on Long Island. “[Abrams] helped me make the transition from Minnesota back to New York,” said Smaltz. “He allowed me the opportunity to launch K. Smaltz Inc. with the backing of N.W.R.” K. Smaltz Inc., a subsidiary of New World Rarities, has had annual sales of more than $7.5 million.
Smaltz gives back to the community by donating money and volunteering his time. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” he said. He certainly has seen that axiom work in his favor. Because he had help from others in high places, he no longer has to worry about paying off his debts. -PD
Kenneth A. Smaltz Jr.
K. Smaltz Inc.