IF STEVEN ESPOSITO has learned anything in his more than 37 years of managing high net worth portfolios, it’s to never panic.
Esposito started in the wealth management business in 1983 and has experienced five market crashes and now, a pandemic.
“It’s never boring,” he says.
The one piece of advice he shares with his clients is that wealth management is not about finding the next hot stock. Rather, it’s about risk management.
“An investor can never eliminate risk; they can only mitigate it,” explains Esposito, Executive Director, Senior Portfolio Management Director, and Wealth Advisor for Morgan Stanley. “If your family wealth is properly allocated, market turbulence is an opportunity and not a crisis.”
The Lake Forest Group at Morgan Stanley brings a boutique approach to wealth management—one that assists long-time customers with everything from estate planning strategies and portfolio management to retirement planning, trusts, and philanthropy.
Esposito knows from experience that portfolios continually evolve as the years progress.
“I remember long time ago, a very wealthy client said to me: ‘I’m already rich; don’t make me poor’,” he says. “I never forgot that comment and it’s a cornerstone of what we do at the Lake Forest Group. We have had two severe stock market crashes in the last 11 years, and if investors haven’t learned how to properly balance their assets in that time, they never will.”
Esposito and his team pride themselves on a very personal, boutique approach.
“We don’t do cookie cutter portfolios, or create portfolios via a software program,” he says. “Every portfolio is managed independently and uniquely, along with some good old fashioned wealth management—all while benefiting from the global financial resources of Morgan Stanley. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Esposito’s advice has been sought out by major media organizations, including WGN TV and radio; WBBM’s “Noon Business Hour”; WIND radio; Fox News; ABC-7 news; CBS News; NBC News; the Chicago Tribune; Chicago Sun-Times; and Crain’s Chicago Business.
As of April 15, 2021, The Lake Forest Group has approximately 175 households under their management, the vast majority who have worked with Esposito for 12 years or more—including some who’ve been with him for more than 30 years. It’s no wonder then that he has made Forbes magazine’s “Best in State” wealth manager’s award every year he entered.
“It’s a very personal operation here in downtown Lake Forest. We emphasize personal attention, number one. I’m like the family CFO in addition to the asset management, we discuss the trusts, wills, etcetera. You have to review everything,” says Esposito. “Morgan Stanley is one of the premier global managers on the planet right now and the resources of this firm are incredible,”
Navigating financial markets has become more complex than ever and last year’s pandemic threw in a wild card that no one could have seen coming.
“That’s when you need a seasoned veteran on your side. I’ve learned from nearly four decades of experience—not from a textbook or TV—when to deploy capital. Deploying capital at the scariest moments and liquidating during market euphoria is the most difficult thing to get people to do,” he explains. “My responsibility as a wealth manager is to protect your family’s wealth first. We do our best to calculate our client’s risk tolerance—along with their needs, desires, and investment goals for their families and future generations.”
Esposito’s minimum account size is $1.5 million.
The Lake Forest Group at Morgan Stanley is located at 207 E. Westminster Avenue, Suite 300, in Lake Forest. For more information, call 847-604- 7321 or email [email protected].