William E Donoghue

Jun 25, 1941 – Jan 16, 2017

William E Donoghue obituary image 1

 

Obituary

William E. Donoghue, 75, of Seattle, Washington, died January 16, 2017 in Healdsburg, California. Donoghue was a respected author and investment expert best known for the growth of money market mutual funds, of which he raised awareness through newsletters, investment conferences, books, and television appearances.

 

Donoghue, the son of the late Norman E. and Elizabeth Brumbaugh Donoghue, grew up in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lehigh University and later earned his Master’s in Business Administration at Temple University in Philadelphia. Donoghue also served his country in the Delaware Air National Guard.

 

While in graduate school, Donoghue met a professor who encouraged him to focus on cash management. He quickly became a leading expert on the subject, chairing financial management seminars and serving as editor of Donoghue’s MoneyLetter. The periodical came out during a time of unusually high interest rates.  In the 1980s, Donoghue was the leading analyst and monitor of the budding money market mutual fund industry. Along with MoneyLetter, he founded “Donoghue’s Money Fund Average,” a rating system for these interest-sensitive Investment vehicles.

 

In 1981, he authored William E. Donoghue’s Complete Money Market Guide (Harper & Row), which reached #3 on The New York Times best seller list, and he followed that successful first guide with a series of similar books. Establishing himself as a mutual fund expert, he began speaking on the topic and in 1994 started “Donoghue’s Mutual Fund SuperStars,” conferences that brought leading mutual fund investment advisors to the public.

 

While in graduate school, Donoghue met a professor who encouraged him to focus on cash management. He quickly became a leading expert on the subject, chairing financial management seminars and serving as editor of Donoghue’s MoneyLetter. The periodical came out during a time of unusually high interest rates.  In the 1980s, Donoghue was the leading analyst and monitor of the budding money market mutual fund industry. Along with MoneyLetter, he founded “Donoghue’s Money Fund Average,” a rating system for these interest-sensitive Investment vehicles.

 

In 1981, he authored William E. Donoghue’s Complete Money Market Guide (Harper & Row), which reached #3 on The New York Times best seller list, and he followed that successful first guide with a series of similar books. Establishing himself as a mutual fund expert, he began speaking on the topic and in 1994 started “Donoghue’s Mutual Fund SuperStars,” conferences that brought leading mutual fund investment advisors to the public.

 

In 1986, he founded W.E. Donoghue & Co., Inc. a Massachusetts-based national SEC-registered investment advising firm. Originally catering to individual investors, the firm later grew into an institutional firm providing investment and risk-management strategies through financial intermediaries. “Under Bill’s vision,” said Jeffrey Thompson, the firm’s current president, “the firm became a pioneer in tactical asset allocation strategies, and collaborated with Standard and Poor’s and S-Network Global Indices to build tactical dividend and momentum factor-based custom indices.” After 50 years in the financial services industry and managing $ 1.6 billion in client and shareholder funds, Donoghue retired in 2016 and sold his majority stake in W.E. Donoghue & Co. to Minella Capital Management, LLC of Naples, Florida. 

 

Donoghue, a longtime jazz and blues aficionado with an encyclopedic knowledge of the genres, became the leading authority on Alex “Rice” Miller, better known as “Sonny Boy Williamson II.”  Donoghue maintained a website devoted to him, www.sonnyboy.com, and a large collection of memorabilia. After conducting interviews with over 200 of Williamson’s friends and colleagues, Donoghue authored the forthcoming biography about the singer-songwriter and blues harmonica virtuoso entitled “Hiding In the Spotlight: The Untold Story of Sonny Boy Williamson II.”

 

Donoghue lived life fully to the very end. From boyhood he nurtured dozens of interests, including a love of historically African American music. The size of his record and CD collections was legendary. He frequently attended jazz and blues festivals, clubs, cruises, and concerts in New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta. Donoghue was also a wine aficionado. In his pursuit of the perfect grape, he was a seasonal visitor to wineries in Sonoma County, where he enjoyed the music scene, the food, and the vinyards. 

 

Donoghue is survived by daughter Bonnie Boyd Schwerin of Brooklyn, N.Y.; son William Elliott Boyd of Cherry Hill, N.J.; brother Norman E. Donoghue, II (Peggy) of Philadelphia; nieces Maya and Maggie;  and many cousins in Tacoma, Wash.  Donoghue's three marriages to Patricia Myers, Jean K. Boyd, and Susan H. Walker ended in divorce. 

 

A visitation will be held at Bonney Watson Funeral Home, 1732 Broadway, Seattle, Washington, on  Friday, March 3,, 2017 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The funeral will be held in the Chapel of Bonney Watson on Saturday, March 4,, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Washington.

 

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the "William E. Donoghue Fund in memory of the great Blues Musician Sonny Boy Williamson II, aka Alex Rice Miller” at the  B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretative Center in Indianola, Mississippi (www.bbkingmuseum.org).

 

 

                                                            

Guestbook

Conrad E. Grundlehner
Salem, VA
Jul 7, 2017

I had the privilege of working with Bill in the early 1980s, and closely collaborating with him on automating his money market publication.

I will miss him.

Tina Fuller
Bellingham , MA
Jun 26, 2017

I want to extend my deepest condolences to all of Bill's family and friends. Until today I had no idea that Bill had passed away. I started working for Bill when I was in high school and for 22 years I worked for various divisions of his companies. Those were truly some of the happiest years of my life. For a wedding gift he gave me a case of wine and a set of Chateau La Bubba wine glasses with his picture on them. He was larger than life and working for him we all became a family. I am VERY sorry for your loss and for mine as well. Although I haven't seen him for a very long time, I thought about him and all of the wonderful years of being a part of the Donoghue family. I sent him an email yesterday to wish him a happy birthday. The world has lost a brilliant mind and a really nice guy. Rest in peace Bill. Fondly, Tina (Bennett) Fuller

Sid Goldstein
West Hartford, CT
Feb 27, 2017

Bill and I were colleagues and friends going back to the 1980s, when we were fellow newsletter publishers. (One of his titles, covering cash management, overlapped with one of my newsletters about electronic banking.) Bill was devoted to the subscription newsletter industry, sharing his marketing techniques with other publishers. In his own business, Bill put his outsize personality to use to cultivate a unique identity for his products. He was the money fund guru, and made sure everyone knew it!

On a personal level, Bill and I had some good times together. Most memorable was the “wine safari” to the Napa Valley in the summer of ’83. We lost touch for a while, reconnected briefly around 2004, then I was saddened recently to hear he was gone.

Charles M. Di Marco
West Chester, PA
Feb 17, 2017

I am sure he will be missed by his family and friends. He was very successful in his subject area. I remember him in high school and he was a pleasant person. You could tell he was going to be good in whatever him did in life.

I was his classmate, of 1959.

Antonio Carlos Cabrera
Sao Paulo - Brazil, Ny
Feb 14, 2017

Bill was a longtime good friend. A kind and lovely person. We had the love of Sonny Boy Willianson's music a commom point. I missing you my dear friend. Good bless you.

Os verdadeiros amigos sao aqueles que lembram de você, mesmo estando a milhares de quilometros de distância. Bill era meu melhor amigo, fora de meu pais. Que Deus o abençoe.

Antonio Carlos Cabrera
Sao Paulo - Brazil, Ny
Feb 14, 2017

Bill was a longtime good friend. A kind and lovely person. We had the love of Sonny Boy Willianson's music a commom point. I missing you my dear friend. Good bless you.

Os verdadeiros amigos sao aqueles que lembram de você, mesmo estando a milhares de quilometros de distância. Bill era meu melhor amigo, fora de meu pais. Que Deus o abençoe.

Peter Crane
Westborough, MA
Feb 9, 2017

I had the pleasure of working with Bill in the 1990's after he had sold his Money Fund Report and Moneyletter newsletters to IBC. (I eventually became Editor of these publications for a time, working for what was then IBC/Donoghue.) The dramatic growth of money market mutual funds and mutual funds overall were in no small part driven by Bill's relentless preaching of their benefits. Those involved and invested in the $2.7 trillion money fund space owe him a debt of gratitude. His mantra of "safety, liquidity and yield" is still the cornerstone of cash investing today. Thanks Bill, and enjoy the big Blues show in the sky. We'll miss you.

Adam Katz Sinding
Copenhagen, DK
Feb 2, 2017

I remember Bill well from my childhood. I also remember visiting his house in Queen Anne and watching a Laser Disc (this gives you an idea of when we are talking) of Ladysmith Black Mombazo. At the time I was very interested in funk and jazz music, so to see Bill's enthusiasm was really cool to me. I'm sad to learn of Bill's passing, but it was clear that he lived a full and rich life. I wish I could attend the funeral. If I were in the USA I would make a point of it. Goodbye, Bill. You'll be missed.

Diane Katz Sinding
Tacoma, WA
Feb 1, 2017

My life has been enriched in many ways by what I learned from Bill; everything from music to mutual funds! He was a fount of knowledge and great and interesting guy. He will be missed!

Susan Walker
Seattle , WA
Feb 1, 2017

Bill was a colorful, larger than life presence to all in his large circle of friends, business associates, musicians and acquaintances We were best friends and loving companions. His love of Sonny Boy, blues, jazz, doo wop, music history, wine, friends and storytelling was legendary. We made a life together for 16 years, appreciating and sharing experiences, working together, and celebrating our deep friendship. I will miss Bill with all my heart and soul. Rest in peace, my love.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.

_