It’s often said that if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s no wonder, then, that 20 years have passed so quickly! It seems like yesterday that Gideon, Ray, and I first sat down together to explore the idea of opening our own firm—a place where we had the freedom to make decisions based on strategies designed to both grow our clients’ assets and protect their family wealth for generations.
In the two decades since, we’ve all experienced a lot of change. We navigated the rough waters of the 2008 financial crisis, giving our clients the confidence to stay invested at a time when many investors fled to the ‘safety’ of cash, only to miss out on the tremendous market growth that followed. As the markets flourished and our client numbers grew (largely thanks to enthusiastic referrals from our wonderful client family), so did the amount of assets in our care. Then, of course, came something none of us could have predicted: a global pandemic that forced us to change nearly every aspect of our daily lives almost overnight.
As tragic as the pandemic has been, there have been many silver linings to be found. At LCM, one of the shining outcomes of the situation was affirmation that our team was truly prepared for anything. As Gideon shared in his article To thrive during lockdown, preparation was our advantage, long before COVID became our nemesis, we had planned well to ensure our ability to serve our clients seamlessly in the event of a natural disaster. Though, being in Southern California, we were primarily focused on the possibility of a major earthquake, it was a virus that ultimately brought us to our knees. Luckily, we were well prepared with systems and processes that enabled us to transition the business to remote operations without a hitch—a reality that set us apart from financial firms large and small who struggled to steady their ships at the time. In our case, preparation proved its worth.
The pandemic also shined a light on some of the hidden skills of our team. While in lockdown, Gideon was able to take the time to fulfill a years-long dream of writing a book on charitable giving. He completed Giving: A Handbook to Happiness for the Modern Philanthropist late last year, and the book immediately became a best seller in Amazon’s charitable category (even topping Matt Damon’s book, giving Gideon some celebrity-level bragging rights!). He also earned his designation as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®). Patrick used time in lockdown to attain the Chartered SRI Counselor (CSRIC®) designation and hone his knowledge in the area of ESG investments—funds that focus on securities with responsible environmental, social, and governance characteristics. The result: we will be announcing a new offering in that area next month. Finally, Christina completed the ‘Coregenius’ training, a program to help us support our clients experiencing challenges such as death, widowhood, divorce, a serious health diagnosis, aging, empty nest, retirement, and many other major transitions of life.
Just as many of us were anxiously anticipating the ‘end’ of the pandemic so our lives could finally return to some semblance of ‘normal,’ a new crisis emerged with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While the financial markets eventually seemed to shrug off the global impacts of COVID, this new war has some investors wary, causing a sell-off that we and many others have been anticipating for some time. Just as planning for an unknown natural disaster enabled us to operate without interruption during the pandemic, our strategy of planning for unknown market conditions enables us to continue to protect your assets in this uncommonly volatile investing environment. Sometimes history is precisely what proves the value of an approach. This is one of those times. Despite today’s challenging market environment, we proudly reached a milestone earlier this year of serving more than 300 clients with over $600 Million under management.* We are striving to continue to grow and improve every day.
As we look to the future of our firm and serving our client family, we are excited about what lies ahead. Yes, we know new challenges will come our way. As experienced asset managers, we know that is simply the reality, and we will continue to plan for whatever is waiting around the next bend in the road. But we also look forward to many new opportunities. We are thrilled to be welcoming so many next-generation investors as the adult children of some of longest-term clients take the helm of their family’s wealth. We are continuing to refine and expand our investment strategy to position our portfolios to address each client’s personal and financial needs. And we are looking forward to continuing to fulfill the mission we established 20 years ago: to grow and protect our clients’ assets by working in their best interest.
Whether you have been with us since the beginning or recently joined our client family, we thank you. Thank you for your trust in us, and thank you for your faith in our strategy, our skills, and our personal integrity. I and the entire team at Leisure Capital Management are deeply humbled and grateful for the opportunity to continue to do what we love so we never have to work a day in our lives. We look forward to continuing to grow with all of you in the years and decades ahead—and to raising a glass together soon to celebrate how far we’ve come together!
* As of December 31, 2021