What's In a Name?

What's In a Name?

Core Facts

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In many societies, a person’s name is more than just a form of identification given by his or her parents at birth. It’s indicative of personality traits that characterize the individual.

David Lerner was keenly aware of this when he started his investment company back in 1976 and decided to put his name on the firm. Since the day the firm was founded nearly four decades ago, David Lerner has stood for honesty and integrity in all his dealings with clients and throughout the investment community.

Meet David Lerner

The man behind David Lerner Associates, David Lerner was born in the Bronx during the height of the Great Depression. His father, a house painter, worked hard to keep his family housed and fed, taking on whatever odd jobs he could find until going to work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard after the outbreak of World War II. David says watching his father during those difficult childhood years helped instill in him the hard work ethic and determination that have been keys to his success.

HIs own challenges started early in life when he was diagnosed with polio at age 14. He progressed from a wheelchair to a full and then half leg brace, learning how to adapt his active lifestyle and even remaining active in sports. After eventual surgery, he regained full use of his legs and the ability to walk normally without braces. David strongly believes that overcoming these difficulties game him the strength and perseverance that would later serve him well as an entrepreneur.

David Lerner’s first career ambition was to become a teacher, so he earned a college degree (the first person in his family to do so) and got a job teaching high school history in 1960, earning $4,000 a year. During this time, he also taught English to immigrants as a side job.

Through a chance meeting with a gentleman who worked at an investment company, David learned about how mutual funds could help small, individual investors meet financial and investment goals. By the late 1960s, he was selling investments at night while teaching high school during the day.

With a credit union loan of $2,500, David founded David Lerner Associates in 1976. Soon after, he adopted the investment philosophy that has guided the firm every sense: You don’t gamble with your rent or grocery money.

The foundation of David Lerner Associates’ investment strategy is the belief in what David calls a “sensible, middle-ground of investing.” In other words, somewhere between certificates of deposit and the craps table in Las Vegas lies a sensible middle ground.

The Road Less Traveled

David is a lifelong and passionate New York Yankees fan, going back to when he was a kid and spent most summer days watching Joe DiMaggio and other Yankee legends from the upper deck of right field. He left at 10:00 in the morning, rode the subway to Yankee Stadium by himself, and arrived back home in time for dinner.

“I have always approached life with the idea that I could do what I wanted to do, and I am not easily taken off track,” says David Lerner. “Whether it’s spending a day at Yankee Stadium or working on one of my activities, I have always done what I’ve done only because I’ve wanted to.”

David believes strongly in taking “the road less traveled,” even if it means taking a risk. “I started my business with almost nothing, just because I believed I could do it and I was willing to take a risk. It was not a certain path, but because I had confidence that my ideas were as valuable as the next person’s, I was willing to risk it. All of the top names in business have been risk-takers who started out with an idea they believed in and made it happen.”


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At David Lerner Associates we believe in the sensible middle ground of investing. We do not run with the herd. We pursue these fundamental investment principles regardless of market conditions. We offer many investment opportunities, some designed to provide income.

Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held investment company with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates 1 877 367 5960

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