As we entered the restaurant, morning sun streaming through the windows, and were led to our table, we chatted.
Sam and I talked about our families, his life, and his recent retirement after 27 years of building his company to the powerhouse it now was.
We sat, opened our menus, and chatted about what his plans were for the next stage of his life.
As we took sips of our coffee, we talked about the Dodgers, contemplating if they’d be able to win another World Series with the roster as presently constructed. (We’re not optimistic!)
Soon, with breakfasts ordered and chefs dispatched, the conversation turned to his net worth – the approximately $60 million dollars he now had. More importantly, we talked initial strategy for the $200 million more he would garner over the next two years.
But more than just investment philosophies, succession plans, and tax implications, we talked about the human element that kind of windfall would have.
How would it affect his family, good and bad?
How would his high school-aged boys deal with that?
He wanted to know my thoughts.
As our breakfast arrived and we dug in, Sam pulled out his statement of accounts with us.
He’d actually printed out the paper, meticulously circling a couple of areas and line items where he had questions.
One specific area was the five-figures he’d paid in fees to our firm over the first six months of the year.
“Did I really pay you this over the first six months of the year?” he asked.
“Yes, you did,” I replied. “Do you not find value in what we do?”
Sam looked up from his plate, carefully choosing his next words. He wielded his fork like a conductor with his baton at ready, flipping it back and forth between us as he said, “I get value in THIS. You and I getting together and talking like we are now.”
Then, he smiled and went back to his breakfast.
That’s what it’s all about.
Human interaction. Human engagement.
Relationships, loyalty, personal attention.
If our greatest asset is time, then the greatest value we can give or receive comes from focused time spent talking about what’s most important to us in life, and building a solid plan from there.
There’s not a machine in the world that can do that – no algorithm, chatbot, or AI.
Sam inherently understood the value in what we do and the time we spent together.
And for me to have a client like Sam with that kind of perspective and wisdom, it’s simply invaluable.