Principal

Stephen Lewis

Beyond Advice: A Partner

I want to know everything—what wakes clients up in the morning and any issues that make them toss and turn at night. To accelerate their achievements I learn about their lives, the successes they’ve created and the challenges they’ve overcome.

What’s the best way for people to put their wealth in perspective?

After years of advising clients all over the globe, I have found that even though wealth is created in different ways, the disposition of that wealth is very similar. Everything we own, including our wedding china, will end up in only a few places: we either use it while we’re alive, give it to someone we care about, donate it to charity or the government takes it. When I look back at the clients my team and I have worked with and focus on the ones that have been the most successful, they had clarity in four key elements. First, we helped them get a clear and defined destination of where they wanted their wealth to go. Second, we helped them understand the time frame of their needs and investments. Third, we identified the highest probability path to get to their destination. Finally, the fourth is they trusted that my team and I would be their co-pilot and keep them on course during stressful times. Helping clients get those four elements right is how we create better outcomes.

Tell me about the types of clients you work with.

My clients have built their wealth in various ways. Most often, their wealth was generated through business ownership, be it in a private company or a public stock. They understand how hard it is to build generational wealth—and that substantial wealth brings both benefits and a unique set of challenges for them, their children and grandchildren. My clients’ main concern isn’t if they have enough money for their lifetime. Rather, they want to know that their wealth will positively impact their beneficiaries.

All of the families I advise value my guidance and view me as a resource to problem solve beyond investment design. I operate as a consigliere, which means I dedicate myself and my team to the family, working with individual members and holding interactive meetings to achieve their desired outcomes. As a result of this commitment, my client relationships have depth. I will always take responsibility for every decision I make—and will never let my clients down.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

Outside of my advisor career, I am a devoted husband and father of three. While each role has a different responsibility, the values I bring to them remain the same. I was raised understanding that integrity is the bedrock on which character is built, and my wife and I strive to pass that value to our children. My kids laugh at my desire to teach them about financial literacy. In fact, they tease me because I test the research insights I uncover in my work on them. They’re my financial guinea pigs, and I’m never prouder than when they can reference a lesson! My family and I also tie our personal passions with philanthropy, whether it’s in the community or our wine business, Decimus, which we started over a decade ago. During the summer months, you can find us in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont surrounded by the Green Mountains, enjoying the scenery, lakes and trails.

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