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Executive Profile , Ken Stern


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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