In the 90’s, prior to Lexington Wealth being formed, my partner and I found ourselves in a position where we were assisting parents who were trying to retire. In our view there were very limited places for people with means to find a financial advocate, a place where they were not being sold, handled or managed, a “safe place” where people had their backs. We both had encountered many planners, investment managers, stockbrokers and the like. There were things we loved about them and things we thought needed to change. The former brought us joy; the latter fueled our desire to make our small corner of the world different, ideally better than the way we found it. When we met and ultimately formed Lexington, this shared experience lead to our vision of the firm we have today.
Thanks to all of you that have entrusted us to be your financial advocate! Because of you we are now in our 17th year, are advising on in excess of three quarters of a billion dollars and have the privilege of serving more than 300 families, like yours. Our internal team is now 16 people strong and the core of this team has been working together for many years.
State of the Firm
The last decade has been quite interesting for advisors and clients alike; 2016 was no exception. We have seen the introduction of new technologies and regulations, changes in demographics trends, an increasing focus on security of information, and the rise of terrorism around the globe. Politics, both domestic and international, have been interesting to say the least. The industry has experienced advisors hopping from firm to firm. Markets have lived up to their reputation of being unpredictable. As fast as the world has been spinning, we take great pride in being a stable force in your life. We continue to evolve in a measured manner to make sure you and your family are best positioned for whatever the future has in store!
What follows is an overview of the current state of our firm.
Connecting the Head & the Heart of Wealth Management
In 2016, we took connecting with you to a deeper level. We brought you nationally recognized speakers in areas not just related to finance, but on other topics you have expressed interest.
Mike Boyle, a nationally recognized trainer and author, kicked off the year teaching us how to better take care of our bodies with a private exercise session. In collaboration with Jay Mooreland, a behavioral economist, we proved how our minds can play tricks on us causing bad decision making, then strategized on how to avoid these bad decisions. Greg Valliere, Chief Global Strategist at Horizon Investments, joined us for an intimate talk about politics just a few days before the national elections to share a Washington insider’s perspective.
This past year we also broadcasted our first live webinar, provided quarterly market update videos for the first time, and shared 11 recorded sessions covering topics ranging from Elections, Emotions and Reality, to a conversation with Charles Schwab’s Economist, Jeffrey Kleintop. We authored 12 monthly Insights on a wide range of topics from Social Security Benefits Timing, Caring for Aging Parents, College Planning, to the “4% Rule.” We have listened to you. You told us you wanted more guidance on a larger array of topics and we did our best to deliver. We are looking forward to finding ways to connect with you even more in 2017.
Truly the biggest differentiator in almost any industry is the people that work within the firm. Yet, a recent Gallup poll of American workers found that 68.5% of employees are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work! This does not seem like a way to create value for a firm’s clients and is one of the main reasons why Lexington devotes a considerable amount of its energy to culture and hiring the right people. We believe that our people have the heads of highly skilled professionals, yet the hearts of social workers!
We take great pride in having created a collegial environment that is not just evidenced by our physical space with open walls and glass offices, but in how our staff interacts with each other. We encourage our people to be innovative and welcome all ideas on how to create a better client experience or solution. We meet as a team every Monday morning with a “standing meeting” around our pool table led by a different team member every week. The conversations go well beyond work. We find by knowing one another on a personal level our work satisfaction increases.
We are fortunate to have in-house experts who share their experience and knowledge on topics ranging from tax strategy to estate planning to portfolio management. We routinely host internal luncheons focused on education. We also have presentations from experts outside of our firm. These internal sessions often take us on a journey from our “heads” to our “hearts”. This helps us to support our mission which is to holistically serve you.
We also put together a number of different firm staff events throughout the year. We call these Lexington Employee Activity Programs or L.E.A.P. events. These team building events are offsite and have included game night, sailing races and team bowling, to mention a few.
Bottom line—happy, engaged team members make great advisors and you are the beneficiary of this!
In October, our work family was forever changed by the unexpected loss of our friend, mentor and colleague, Scott Klein. Scott was an outstanding advisor who always went above and beyond to serve his clients. To honor his legacy, as well as to encourage others to serve in an exemplary manner, we have instituted the Scott S. Klein Service Award. It will be granted annually to the Lexington team member who best exemplifies Scott’s passion to deliver. He did this by anticipating clients’ needs and then executing on their behalf in a simple yet elegant timely manner. The clients could always sleep easily at night knowing that Scott was on top of their situation.
Lexington Wealth has a very engaged seven-person Investment Committee. This team has over 150 years of combined experience. Yet even with all this experience, we still retain one of the top institutional investment consulting firms in the world, Rocaton Investment Advisors, to help ensure we are leaving no stone unturned and to bring you thoughtful investment solutions. There are no conflicts of interest here and we sell no proprietary products. We always seek to minimize investment cost whenever prudently possible. We do all this with a special focus on making your portfolio “tax efficient.” This means you keep as much of your hard earned returns as is legally possible.
Technology at Our Core
Lexington embraces emerging technologies, increased security, and changes in regulations. We have made these investments to better serve you. We have adopted industry leading portfolio management and financial planning tools that allow us to spend more time getting to know your needs and less time with operational tasks. We also provide an online portal for you to access real time information and share files with us in the most secure way possible. Keeping technology at the core of Lexington, we can provide a more personal customization for you and your family without compromising efficiencies.
Security Means Peace of Mind
Protecting your information is a top priority for us. We continue to invest in protecting your information at all times by updating our infrastructure internally, training all of our staff on the latest threats, and constantly monitoring all third party vendors’ procedures for handling data. When it comes to cybersecurity, we reassess our current state of preparedness on an ongoing manner and make the necessary changes to stay at the forefront of any new threats that might arise.
We Continue to Grow
Your success is also our success. As a healthy, growing firm, we are able to provide better services to you, acquire talented industry professionals who are now on our team and continue to have the capacity to help other people you may know. We now serve more than 340 families located in 26 states as well as Canada, Mexico, England and Israel. We now advise on over $700 million of assets and continue to grow. We have been recognized in Boston Magazine as a Five Star Advisor for several years, named in the Top 50 of Women RIA’s and 3 of our advisors have been recognized in Worth Magazine’s Top 250 Wealth Advisors in the United States.
In 2016 our Family Office Group added several large families to the clients whom we serve. Family Office clients typically have in excess of $10 million in investable assets and often have complex planning or estate needs, which can be domestic or international in nature. Planning for this group is often for multiple generations, with charitable intent or family business decisions to be addressed.
Given the complexities of this world, we realize we cannot be an island. To better serve you, we have forged relationships with experts in many other areas such as: estate planning, CPAs, psychologists, elder care specialists, insurance, home transition, aging life care, banking, concierge medical services, mortgage brokerage, real estate professionals, and more.
Planning is in our DNA
We understand there is more to managing wealth than just managing your investments. As sophisticated planners and fiduciaries, our goal is to provide better insight into your big picture plans. We find that focusing on planning leads to some real “aha” moments for us and our clients. We believe planning helps our clients understand that discipline and patience are virtues that often are the most critical to ensure long term success. Remember, sometimes the best decision may be to hold off pursuing something that seems really sexy at the time.
Life changes such as business deals, marriage/divorce, career changes, having children and illness all happen in real time and we are there to help you navigate these events.
We are all about actionable advice that is implementable in the simplest way possible.
Our Community Involvement and Sponsorships
All of us who are part of Lexington Wealth have a deep sense of commitment not just to our clients but to the communities we live in. Since our founding, we understand it is not just about providing high quality service but also giving back to our community. Through the years we have supported local causes that align with our core values, some with personal and emotional attachment to our clients and staff, and some that we believe have a great impact on our society. We have contributed to 26 local and national charities from hospitals and universities, to local youth groups and groups sponsoring the arts. We will continue to stay involved and make an impact beyond wealth management.
This year we launched a monthly series for women, the Empower Women Series. Our intent is for women to come to a welcoming setting where they share and connect with other women, hear about relevant topics and ask the questions they have never asked. We will focus on topics like taking charge of your financial life, mindfulness and being empowered. No question is a stupid question and we’ll answer them the simplest way we can. No jargon, we promise.
We look forward to seeing this initiative evolve over the years!
Coming Full Circle
Back in 2000, when Lexington was opening its doors, our thinking was somewhat unique. We put our clients’ interest first! We did this by being a Fiduciary, planning in a holistic manner, and delivering institutional class advice. Today every bank, broker and Wall Street firm claims to do this. There appears to be all this “sameness” out there. Do not be fooled. Truth be told, Lexington Wealth and other top quality independent firms have been so successful that major Wall Street firms have attempted to have their business models look and sound more like ours! In fact, the Department of Labor has a new Fiduciary Rule scheduled to be phased in this year. Essentially Wall Street, banks, and insurance companies will now have to behave more like us and put their clients’ best interest before their own. Imagine that? Unfortunately, for their clients, this only applies to retirement accounts. Friends in the industry tell us that major financial institutions are in a scramble to comply with these new rules.
For us this new rule has very little consequence as we have been following these rules since our inception. This leaves us free to continue to stand behind our original mission. Put the client first! We do this by helping you plan for many of life’s complexities and by providing actionable, unbiased, tangible advice.
We will leave you with this quote from one of our own, Jordi Mullor,
“Life is full of unexpected turns and unedited chapters, so take the hard route, the tough one, the illogical, the unexplored, the one that everyone says is not worthy, the one that requires you to focus, to be passionate, to really love what you are trying to accomplish. Choose the one that challenges you to your core and makes you question your own dreams and beliefs. The crazy ones, and do it without losing yourself. You might find your real self along the way, and if lucky, if very lucky, you might find someone else on that same journey. Tell them how much you love them, thank them for their company, because it is always a choice, and they are choosing to spend time with you. Breathe in every sunrise and make it a memory. You never know, this could be the last one, make it count…”
We strive to achieve this level of passion, not only as part of our Mission Statement, but as an integral part of our lives.
Cheers & Happy New Year
CEO & Co-Founder
Lexington Wealth Management