I’m Outside Today

Best feeling on earth for me – spent yesterday talking to some new Liftoff accounts on Zoom. Meeting some young people who we can potentially help a lot as they accumulate their first million, and I know we’re going to have an impact. The traditional wealth management industry hasn’t had a good answer for this segment of the population up until recently. Now I think there are great answers, and I’m proud of the fact that Liftoff is one of them.

Offering people who are in the wealth accumulation phase a solid portfolio, tax loss harvesting and automatic rebalance, plus the ability to pick up the phone and talk to one of our CFPs, it’s pretty epic. I get so much professional and personal satisfaction out of these meetings I think I’m going to do more of them. We have hundreds of households on the Liftoff platform now. It’ll be thousands someday soon, I just know it. We’re going to help thousands of people get on track and stay on track. What can feel better than that?

The other day one of my advisors shared a picture that a client sent in – an absolutely gorgeous sailboat we had convinced him he could buy. We helped make that happen with asset management and financial planning. It’s not that people need permission to do the things they love with their own money, they just need some validation, some encouragement. Not only can you do this, you absolutely should. You’ve earned it and according to the work we’ve done on your plan, it’s entirely reasonable. This is what you’ve worked for. If you don’t do it now, then when? If you don’t enjoy yourself, then what was the point of everything you’ve done to get here? My partner Kris has been telling me for years that people who have spent thirty years saving and saving and saving don’t necessarily know how to flip the switch and start enjoying the fruits of their labor.

I’m not a boater, so I don’t know much about that stuff, but just seeing the picture of those sails framed against a setting sun in an orange sky made me smile from head to toe. Full-body happiness. This is what I want to do forever.

I’m reopening the New York City office at the beginning of May. We’ll be out here again. I’ll be seeing my coworkers on a regular basis again – in some cases I haven’t seen these folks in person for over a year. We’ve hired people during the last year that I’ve never met in person ever. The reopen is going to be special. I can’t wait.

I got projects dropping this summer. I’ve been quiet, but busy. Everything we’re doing is going to the next level. I’m pretty excited for you to see this stuff. The content we’re creating is paying big dividends, and we’re reinvesting those dividends to build it even bigger. The audience demands it. The clientele demands it. People have invested time and attention in our message, we owe it to them. To you. Stay tuned.

Yesterday I gave a meeting to the staff about our most valuable asset. I told them turn on gallery view on Zoom and take a look. As much technology as we use (and we use a lot!), we have nothing without our people.

A year ago, at the moment of maximum uncertainty, I had taken on debt – backed by my own personal credit and Barry’s personal credit – to assure everyone that we would not be participating in the pandemic recession. I wasn’t letting go of anyone. I didn’t want there to be any doubt among my people that we would persevere, come what may. We were able to pay off that debt and keep everyone working. I learned a lot about what it means to own a business and employ people, lessons I might have never learned had it not been for 2020.

All the entrepreneur books and hustle porn on social media don’t teach you about this stuff the way your own experience does. I’m emerging from the pandemic as the same person I’ve always been but a very different CEO.

There’s a lot of unsexy stuff we’ve had to do over the past year to keep up with the growth of the business. Last year I told my newly hired Chief Compliance Officer I wanted us to be in the top decile of the industry in terms of the robustness of our compliance program. Best in class. Cybersecurity too. How can you make building a business your life’s work and then not fortify it? How can you protect your clients’ wealth if you can’t protect the firm itself? The next project is ramping up all of our business-related insurance and after that we’re going to be interviewing for a human resources chief. It’s all coming together. I’m learning new things every day. You can’t read about it, you have to live inside of it, make decisions, put your money where your mouth is.

I was talking to my friend Shirl Penney at Dynasty this week and he asked me about the future of the firm. I told him I don’t know exactly where things are going but I do know this: I want more of those sailboat stories. I want to hear more about people sending their kids to great schools or retiring in style or traveling the world or making great memories at a vacation home or changing careers to do something that they love. I want to sign more books for the fans. I want more emails from people who love the shows and the podcasts we do. More people telling us how helpful it’s been for them. If that’s the future, then I will be very happy.

The sun is rising earlier and the days are growing longer. We’re getting back out there and everything’s coming back. Last week I was at Peter Luger in Williamsburg for my friend’s birthday. Indoors. Felt normal but still special because of how long it’s been. I have a long list of people I need to reconnect with this summer in New York.

Kota the Friend is a Brooklyn-based rapper who records his own stuff, shoots his own videos, makes his own clothing line, etc. I’ve read that he’s already turned down three record deals from major labels. I can relate. He just dropped this track three days ago and for me it’s the official reopening anthem.

What are you looking forward to the most this reopening season? Tell me here.

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