Cold Call: Lewis Altfest

Interview with Lewis Altfest, President of L.J. Altfest & Co. and Associates

(President of L.J. Altfest & Co. and Associate Professor of Finance at Pace University)

  1. When did you decide to become a financial advisor?

    When I realized I could get paid for the financial advice I was providing for free.

  2. What would you change about the business?

    Create minimum credentials and standards of behavior.

  3. How do you feel about new Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke's?

    Bright and more direct than Greenspan. But he should smoke cigars like Paul Volker. Paul wouldn't say much about the Fed's future actions. But when his cigar was on the left side of his mouth, it meant the Fed would ease monetary policy; the right was for tightening.

  4. First investment you ever made?

    Getting married to the right woman.

  5. Who would you want to play you in a movie?

    My first choice would be Kevin Costner, in his FBI role.

  6. And how would it end?

    Kevin receiving a prize for most affluent clients signed on in the latest quarter.

  7. Toughest situation you ever had with a client?

    One client seriously asked me to whom he should leave his money, saying, “Anyone. I have no close relatives.”

  8. How young was your youngest client?

    The youngest was not yet born.

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