Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Lawrence Sprung, a multifaceted financial advisor, entrepreneur, and author whose journey from personal tragedy to professional triumph has defined his unique approach to financial planning.
In this insightful conversation, we delve into the life, philosophy, and career of Lawrence Sprung, an individual whose experiences have driven him to prioritize JOY in the world of finance.
Lawrence’s story is an extraordinary one, marked by the profound loss of his mother, Linda, who battled breast cancer for over a decade before passing away at the age of forty-seven.
This pivotal moment in his life inspired him to embark on a career in financial advising, with a deep-seated belief that professional financial advice can ease the burden of managing life’s complexities.
Through his work, Lawrence Sprung has not only assisted families in navigating financial challenges brought about by life-altering events, such as serious illness, but has also guided them in achieving their financial goals during moments of happiness, including wedding preparations, home buying, and college funding. His financial approach emphasizes the importance of incorporating JOY into personal finance, recognizing that money can be a tool to bring happiness and fulfillment.
Join us as we uncover the fascinating journey and philosophy of Lawrence Sprung, exploring how he brings his unique perspective to the world of financial planning.
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Table of Contents
Tell us a bit about you and what you do.
Lawrence Sprung: I am a husband, father, entrepreneur, author, hockey fan, and mental health advocate.
Many events in my life have shaped who I am today but the most profound was the loss of my mother, Linda, at an early age. She is the namesake of my firm, and my podcast and is the driving force behind so much of what I do and who I am.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was just a kid. She was young — in her thirties. I watched her battle the disease for more than a decade. We ended up losing her when she was only forty-seven.
When she was ill, my dad took care of her, as well as my sister and me. I remember watching him struggle with taking care of all of us, running our household, managing her care and the bills associated with it, working as a teacher, and running his side business (yes my dad pre-dates the side hustle)
He did not have a financial advisor.
As I got older and headed to college, I became aware of the value of professional financial advice. I often thought that if my dad had worked with a financial advisor, it could have mitigated some of the difficulties he experienced.
It wouldn’t have changed my mom’s health situation or the fact that he was juggling a lot of responsibilities, but it probably would have helped him manage it all better.
He would have had somebody he could call to discuss things with and maybe it would have allowed him to enJOY life more.
This stuck with me and is one of the main reasons I decided to become a financial advisor.
Now over 20 years later I take great pride in helping families navigate the challenges they faced in their lives that affected both their finances and their quality of life, such as serious illness. I also take great JOY guiding families as they navigate happy events, such as planning for a wedding, buying a home, or sending a child off to college.
What is your biggest strength as a financial advisor?
Lawrence Sprung: My biggest strength as a financial advisor is my genuine interest in learning and helping people.
I truly enJoy learning about people, their families, their goals, and their dreams. I am truly interested in the people and being in service to those that need us.
How are you different from others in the same type of business?
Lawrence Sprung: I think the biggest thing that sets me apart is my focus on JOY; the way we permit people to enJOY now while still planning for later.
What does financial freedom look like to you?
Lawrence Sprung: Financial Freedom means the day I wake up and know I do not need to go to the office any longer, although I probably will. This day will represent when the firm will run like a Swiss watch with or without me.
I will have the time to travel and spend time with those most important to me while knowing the families we serve are being taken care of just the same as I would take care of them myself.
What do you think is the most commonly made “money mistake”?
Lawrence Sprung: I think the most common money mistake people make is not paying themselves first. So often when we first meet new families, they are simply saving what is left over at the end of the month.
We need to work to reverse that, you are the most important person in your life, and paying yourself first can be key to financial success.
What is the single most important bit of financial advice you can offer our readers?
Lawrence Sprung: Aside from avoiding the money mistake of not paying yourself first, I think the best piece of advice I can offer is to understand money in and money out.
People often perceive budgeting as a dirty word, partially because many others feel expense shame but fundamentally your budget should be an understanding of where your money is going, how much are you spending, and on what.
Often, simply taking a look at your monthly bills will provide savings by uncovering subscriptions you forget you were paying or save you money by calling a vendor to negotiate the monthly payment down (something my family has done successfully on a few bills)
Tell us about your book.
Lawrence Sprung: Financial Planning Made Personal is an easy-to-read book designed to help the reader drill down to what and why they want from their life, what drives them, and help them map out a plan to get there.
Each chapter ends by reminding the readers to ask themselves, “What did you do today that brought you joy?®” and then has chapter-specific questions designed to prompt the reader to think.
What inspired you to write it?
Lawrence Sprung: I was inspired to write Financial Planning Made Personal because I felt it was important to amplify the message that personal finance should be just that PERSONAL. If that cup of coffee brings you JOY, great, buy it, just plan for it!
Financial Planning should not be one size fits all, it should be about your goals, your desires, and your wants and then worked backward in a way that lays out a path to what freedom means to you!
Who needs your services the most and why?
Lawrence Sprung: We find there are primarily two groups of people that we work well with and who see tremendous benefits from our relationship.
Those who are younger, building a family, and focused on their career. Many times these people are so busy, being pulled in so many directions between their personal and business lives they do not focus on their financial situation.
This typically will result in mistakes and challenges along the way that we can typically help them navigate and avoid. Our relationship will allow us to free up their time to focus on the things most important to them and what brings them the most JOY!
Those who are getting closer to or entering retirement. This is an important time and individuals must make the right decisions. A misstep at this point of their lives may be one they cannot recover from and we can assist them in navigating those challenges.
We can assist them in working through those challenges or avoiding them altogether. Our relationship will allow us to free up their time to focus on the things most important to them and what brings them the most JOY!
How do incorporate joy into your own financial plan and how do you implement this mindset for your clients?
Lawrence Sprung: JOY has been incorporated into my financial plan by focusing on what the money is for. As I share in Financial Planning Made Personal” I began saving money for my children’s college education in a 529 plan in 1998—before Denise and I married and had children!
Our first child wasn’t born until 2003. Yet I knew I wanted to have children someday, and it was a priority for me to plan and save early for their college education.
I envisioned my best life possible to include children and the ability to send them to any college of their choice.
When I started the plan, I named myself as the beneficiary and began adding money to the account regularly.
When our first child was born, I named him as the beneficiary of the plan, and when our second son was born, I opened a second account and named him as the beneficiary. Now, fast-forward to today, our older son is in college, and our younger son will be in college soon.
We have accumulated significant monies in that plan, which we are now using to help pay for our first son’s college education.
Because I started this plan early and benefited from compounding interest over time, only one-third of the account’s value today is composed of contributions we’ve made.
Approximately 70 percent of the value of our 529 account represents growth in the account over all those years. This means that only 30 cents of every dollar I am now using from that plan for my sons’ education represents my money.
All of that growth has accumulated, and because we’re using the money for college education, we are taking the money out tax-free. That growth has never been taxed at all.”
The fact that I can do this for my children brings me a great deal of Joy!
Where can we find out more about you and your book online?
Lawrence Sprung: You can find more about me on most social media platforms and you can learn more about my career at www.mitlinfinancial.com under the Our Team Tab.
You can learn about the book and find purchasing links for “Financial Planning Made Personal” at www.financialplanningmadepersonal.com
What passions do you have beyond your work?
Lawrence Sprung: First and foremost, I am husband to Denise and father to two great young men, Zach and Jeremy.
I am a huge hockey fan and recently started to attempt to play golf, at this rate I think I might enJOY the time with my boys more than the sport itself.
As you plan your own financial future, what does retirement look like for you?
Lawrence Sprung: I am not sure I will ever fully retire, I truly enJOY what I do and working with the families we serve.
As I get older the goal is to have more time to travel and spend fewer days needed in the office. I plan to grow Mitlin to outlive and rely less on me for the day-to-day while still providing top-notch service to the families we serve.
What is your favorite inspirational quote and why?
Lawrence Sprung: Practice makes permanent….. It might seem simple but I think it is a great reminder that every day you can get 1% better and it re-frames your mindset that perfect should not be a goal, as it is impossible.
We all make mistakes and that is OK, learning from them is what matters.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Lawrence Sprung for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Lawrence Sprung or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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