My Why

Ari Baum |

What really matters in your life that makes all your hard work worth it?

For me, I’ve always been striving to be better for myself, my family, and my clients. That striving started with my very first job as a 10-year-old, vowing to put an insurance company flyer on every single car windshield in Brooklyn. And that first $20 I held in my hands that came from it - made me feel like a millionaire. I tucked it away in my sock drawer and kept adding to it until I took a whopping $100 down to the bank to open up a savings account. And with every single dollar I earned after that, I walked back down to that bank to deposit it and watch it grow.

I’ve always had a great sense of the American Dream. Because my family went through hell to give it to me.

My mother’s parents came here to escape persecution in Egypt. While my father’s parents were escaping the Holocaust. They came here with nothing, so they could give their kids and grandkids a life without war. It means everything to me that I get to offer that same American Dream to my kids. And I’ve never taken that for granted.

As a teenager, after boldly announcing to my dad that I wanted to work on Wall Street, he called up a friend to get me an interview. Thankfully they let this determined kid from Brooklyn work alongside them, sitting in the bullpen, learning, and asking a million questions. It gave me an even greater determination to make this my life’s work. Even though it almost cost me my future wife! When we were first dating, I was going to college, working on Wall Street, and using every other available hour to study for the Series 7 exam. Luckily, she stuck with me, and we have built a wonderful life together with our four kids.

But one day, as I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic in NYC. I know, that sounds like a typical day in NYC, but this day was different. It was a Sunday, and the West Side highway was closed for the NYC Triathlon. Suddenly I was filled with memories of watching the Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii on TV as a kid and I vowed to race the NYC Triathlon the following year. Today I consistently place in the top 1% of Ironman athletes, and I’ve had the joy of traveling the world to swim, bike, and run alongside amazing athletes and friends.

I strive every day to fulfill the hopes and dreams that brought my grandparents here to America.

What hopes and dreams can I help YOU conceive, believe, and achieve?