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Executive Profile , Ken Stern

BY ANDREW SCHWEIZER

Ken Stern is president and chief executive officer of Ken Stern & Associates Inc., a direct money management company providing investment services to individual investors. Stern says he strives to help his clients make more money, pay less tax and preserve their life savings.


RESUME

Name: Ken Stern.

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Company: Ken Stern & Associates Inc.

Titles: President and chief executive officer.

Education: Oakland University in Michigan; New York Institute of Finance; College of Financial Planning, Denver.

Birthplace: Michigan.

Age: 38.

Current residence: Rancho Santa Fe.

Family: Two children.


BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: Decide to be great, make your own destiny, create opportunity through adversity, and follow the golden rule.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Work the front lines often. Talk to your competitors, talk to your customers and talk to your people.

Guiding principles: Under-promise, over-deliver and be great.

Yardsticks of success: Having the ability to laugh with my children, signing paychecks and enjoy waking up every day.

Goals yet to be achieved: Go on a safari in Africa, continue to execute my company’s business plan of 35 percent annualized growth, and see my children happily married.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Being the front-runner in my business.

Worst business decision: Not sticking to the business plan.

Toughest business decision: Firing good friends.

Biggest missed opportunity: Not being more aggressive in late 2000.

Mentor: My dad.

Word that describes you: Passionate.


TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: Watching people realize their dreams.

What you like least about your job: Parts that I cannot control; I am a control freak.

Pet peeves: Laziness and people’s inability to think.

Most important lesson learned: Read the e-mail addressee before you hit send.

Person most interested in meeting: Dalai Lama and George Soros.

Three greatest passions: 1) Growing business and creating legacy for clients; 2) children; and 3) physical fitness.

First choice for a new career: Child advocate or international food critic.


PREDILECTIONS

Favorite quote: “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” , Bruce Lee.

Most influential book: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey.

Favorite status symbol: Fine suits.

Favorite restaurant: My kitchen and Mario Batali’s restaurant, Babbo, in New York.

Favorite place for business meetings: On a private airplane , they can’t get away!

Favorite vacation spot: Bareboat cruising in the Bahamas.

Favorite way to spend time: Exercising with kids, reading and cooking.

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