The Most Important Thing Warren Buffet Said Yesterday

15 years ago our team left a well-known national brokerage firm to create an independent firm dedicated to families. At that time, we committed to invest 10% in Berkshire Hathaway stock and 50% in low cost, tax efficient index mutual funds.

I  had a wonderful day today listening to Warren Buffet at the annual shareholder meeting for Berkshire Hathaway, capped off by a wonderful lunch time interview of Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard.

-John Lame

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Image Source: The Motley Fool

Image Source: The Motley Fool

1N5 Non-Profit of the Month

1N5 was created in memory of Jim Miller, who died by suicide in July 2008.

Our goal is to STOP the stigma and RAISE awareness by bringing mental health education to greater Cincinnati schools.

Warrior Run 5K began in 2010 and works in partnership with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Surviving the Teens®, a mental health awareness/suicide prevention program offered to middle/high school students. The organization has donated a total of $315,000 to CCHMC in support of this program and that funding makes up nearly 50% of the program budget each year. The program currently serve 25% of Greater Cincinnati area high schools and it is the goal to serve 75% by the end of 2017.

In 2014, with the aid of former UC President Santa Ono, the organization introduced the College and High School Challenge. Through these Challenges, the organization has donated over $200,000 back to participating school to address the mental health issues of area college and high school students. During Challenges, partner colleges and high schools are in competition through student participation in the Warrior Run 5K, service hours and fundraising. Participating colleges receive $5K, high schools $2K, and they keep all raised funds for mental health program development. Winning schools receive a $1.5K scholarship to award a student who is managing a mental health diagnosis, or one volunteering in the mental health field. A Mental Wellness Week, reaching approximately 15,000 college students each year, is part of a community-wide initiative to raise awareness and funds for mental health and suicide prevention.

Since 2010 1N5 has raised over $515,000 and impacted 75,000 university students and 15,000 high school students. In May 2016, a new event was initiated: the annual 1N5 Spring4Life fundraising event, and in July unveiled a resource to detect signs and symptoms of mental illness, sources for help, as well as a place for teens to safely tell their stories. For even greater reach, we utilize social media and local billboards.

We develop relevant and sustainable mental health and suicide prevention programs for area high schools and colleges with the intent to start this very important conversation. To teach students the symptoms of mental health, what to look for not only in themselves but also in their friends, the actions to take if identified, and resources available in and outside the school to start normalizing mental health education.

1N5 aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health and start the conversation by raising awareness in schools and universities in greater Cincinnati.  Nationally, 20% of youth ages 13-18 are living with a mental health condition; 1 in 5 teens are suffering. In 2016, in Cincinnati alone, 21 youth died by suicide. We want to stop this trend. Openness and conversation are the keys to meaningful change to our youth who are in crisis. We are driven to touch the lives of Cincinnati's youth by teaching ways to connect and build community, to foster leaders and to improve and save lives.

In 2017 we plan to increase the local high schools we serve from 25% to 75%. This plan will take shape through the partnership we have with Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Mind Peace and the relationships formed with current districts we serve.

Learn more at



6 Ways to Stop Overthinking Everything

Getting stuck in your head? How do you move on? Here are some tips on how to get into the right mindset and move on to more productive thinking. Challenge yourself to get there!

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Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Signs You'll Never Be Rich

Wealth is about loving what you do, setting goals, saving money, trying something different! All of us have the ability to gain wealth- but we need a plan and mindset to do so. What habits can you tweak to help you get started? 

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27 Quotes to Change How You Think About Problems

Problems- are they are good thing or a bad thing? We try to avoid them, not realizing their value. Here is a list of quotes from 27 great minds. One of our favorites- "“Every problem is a gift. Without them we wouldn’t grow” – Tony Robbins"

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Credit Bettmann/Getty Images

Credit Bettmann/Getty Images

DePaul Cristo Rey Non-Profit of the Month


Persistent, generational poverty continues to plague Greater Cincinnati; the city is ranked among those with the highest childhood poverty rates in the country. Quality education with access to better opportunities and a focus on college can move children out of this cycle, and that underlies the mission of DePaul Cristo Rey High School.

DePaul Cristo Rey, located in Clifton, serves only low-income students through the nationally recognized Cristo Rey education model. This powerful and innovative approach to education pairs rigorous academics with a Corporate Work Study Program. In a faith-based environment, all students attend college-preparatory classes while working five days a month in office, health care or education settings around the city. The school has 130-plus Corporate Partners across all industries including finance, architecture and law. The students’ earnings help to pay part of their own education costs while exposing them to careers and mentors as they develop their professional skills. At work the focus is on their transformation into young professionals; at school the focus is on their transformation into college-ready graduates.

In just six years since the school opened in 2011, the results are turning heads. 100 percent of the first three graduating classes have achieved college acceptance, test data shows an increase in academic proficiency, a college success program is tracking and supporting alumni, and Ohio Governor Kasich recognized the school in January with an Innovation in Education Award.

Visit to see how you can help!


Lenox P&G Outlook

Lenox P&G Outlook


Activist Investor, Trian Partners,

Takes $3 billion Plus Stake in Procter & Gamble (P&G)


The purpose of this communication is to update you on our thinking on P&G given the recent $3 billion plus investment by Trian Partners and lay out how Lenox can help you navigate this. 


  • Going back to our May 2015 P&G outlook, Lenox made the observation, “Over the next 24 months, if P&G does not begin to grow top line revenue and fix the product pipeline, we believe P&G could come under pressure, again, from investors (including retired senior management who have stock options) and activist investor groups to accelerate headcount reductions, break up the company, or recapitalize the balance sheet. Like GE, there appears to be an opportunity for PG to borrow money at a low after tax cost and use the proceeds to buy back shares. If P&G is willing to consider these more aggressive changes, the share value could increase to above $100.” 
  • Lenox had indicated there was a 1/3 probability that P&G would attract another activist shareholder group. We believed there were several reasons why this could occur:
    • The current capital structure (low debt to equity weighting) and the high dividend (shareholders get taxed twice once at the company level and again at the shareholder level).
    • The ongoing struggle for the company to grow top line revenue.
    • The slow, incremental approach to cost cutting relative to other CPG companies. 
    • The number of functions that could be purchased from outside rather than done inside.
    • The company’s failure to deliver significant value based on investments in R&D and Product Development.
    • The number of senior managers who had retired and received little value for their options. This created a group of willing advisors and consultants to the activist shareholder community. 
    • The Board’s failure to place enough ongoing pressure on the management team, without outside pressure.
    • Potentially attractive economics of breaking the company up into smaller, easier-to-manage business units, with less bureaucracy and overhead.
    • A potentially overpaid management group based on the amount of equity and option compensation.  

What do we know about Trian:

  • They bring a private equity mindset to the public markets.
  • They are both credible and effective as activist shareholders. 
  • They invest primarily in large companies.
  • They typically buy at an attractive price and have specific plans and timeframes in mind to significantly enhance shareholder value. 
  • They managed a focused portfolio, typically between 7-10 investments.
  • They have about $10 billion under management.
  • The investment in P&G is one of the largest they have ever made.
  • They typically build a position and then quietly let management and the Board know they have taken the position. They prefer private dialogue at the appropriate levels rather than public dialogue.
  • They are willing to do proxy contests to change governance and the direction of the company but it happens less than 10% of the time. 
  • They frequently ask for Board representation. 
  • They have a long history of turnaround and operational experience. They typically bring increased focused on shareholder returns and increased accountability to the shareholder by both the Board and senior management.
  • They typically hold investments between 3-5 years and sometimes as long as 8 years. 

What do we think the outcome will be:

  • We believe this will be good for P&G shareholders and bring greater economic value in a shorter period of time. 
  • Over the last several years, P&G has frequently traded below intrinsic value. We believe with Trian’s involvement, P&G will frequently trade closer to intrinsic value and perhaps above that. 
  • We believe Trian will bring transformational change faster. This may include:
    • Restructure to the balance sheet 
    • A change in the dividend 
    • Break-up of the company
    • More aggressive headcount reductions
  • We believe the company could trade between $120 and $130/share over the next 36-50 months. 

Recommendation if you are a P&G Shareholder or Option Holder:

  • Call us for Lenox Recommendations! 513-618-7080 or contact us at

Here are some questions you might have if you currently work at P&G:

  • What should I know about Trian Partners and their investment stake in P&G?
  • The last activist P&G investor was Bill Ackman. How is this different? 
  • How does this impact my career outlook with P&G? Should I stay or leave?
  • If I decide to leave, am I better off leaving now or waiting?
  • If P&G has significant restructuring, will my position be eliminated?
  • Trian Partners also invested in Kraft Foods. If I use this as a case study, what can I learn?
  • If I was considering leaving P&G, should this change my thinking?
  • What processes are there to help me rethink and recreate my career?
  • How can Lenox Help?
  • What should I do next? 

We think Lenox’s FinLife Experience needs to be your next step!

  • You need Clarity, which you can get through our Money Mind® Analyzer and Honest Conversations ® exercise.
  • You need Confidence through your personalized Financial Control Scorecard®, so you know your next move is the best move for your family.
  • You need Control, which you will get through our Client Guidebook. The Roadmap outlines what we need to do in the next 12 months, as well as many years down the road.
  • You need Coaching, so you feel like this potential change in life was the best opportunity you ever had. 
  • Lenox is a Fiduciary and unlike Broker Dealers, we only get paid by our clients, not third party fund managers.
  • We are a Family Office and provide a full menu of financial services. 
  • Find out more information about Lenox at our website: 


Additional References:

  • Contact Lenox for Trian Partners Fact Sheet and Trian “White Papers” 513-618-7080 or


Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This newsletter is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.


What Happens When You Take Full Responsibility of Your Life

What Happens When You Take Full Responsibility of Your Life

Indecision can be debilitating, preventing us from moving forward in our lives. What do we need to do to keep from drifting? Do you have a purpose, or a passion in life?  To make it real, you need to make a commitment to move forward. What steps should you take? Interesting article!

At Lenox, we help you discover your strengths and how you can put them to work to create and build wealth. It’s a powerful difference in working with Lenox. Using leading-edge assessment tools, we explore your gifts and identify opportunities to leverage and create value around them… guiding you to the career and lifestyle choices that help drive financial success. We help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE® Call us today!

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How to Become World Class at What You Do

Nine steps to become world class at what you do! A different way of looking at things may have a big impact on how we perform. We can get locked into same old mindset when instead we need to look outside the box and do things a little bit differently. A new mindset will make all the difference.

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Karen Wellington Foundation Non-Profit of the Month

The Karen Wellington Foundation for LIVING with Breast Cancer

They're not your ordinary cancer foundation. Nope. Not at all. Their focus is on FUN. Fun NOW, to be specific. They  put FUN on the calendars of women and families LIVING with breast cancer – women with calendars full of chemo and radiation treatments, doctors’ appointments, tests, and more tests. Not-fun-stuff. Their Recipients are special ladies and families who are not done LIVING yet. They send them on family vacations, relaxing spa days, dinners out, concerts, road trips and other FUN-ONLY activities .

They’re God-led, Friend-fueled, FUN-focused and, make no mistake about it, Girl-powered! They’re a growing group of friends in eight chapters throughout the US. Friends who know how to have fun and, more importantly, get excited about giving FUN to others.

What started as Karen's dream to send one family each year on a special vacation once she beat cancer has blossomed! Over the past ten years they have sent more than 250 special ladies on important vacations, provided more than 150 spa days and other crazy gifts of FUN. In 2016 alone, they sent 70 families on vacation! They hope to do even more in 2017.

They rely on the generosity of people to donate a week a year of their vacation homes or timeshares, airline miles or cash. Their Giving Committee leverages this generosity, connects the dots, and makes some magic happen. Before it’s too late. #FunNow!

How Can You Help?

NOMINATE a woman LIVING with breast cancer for some FUN:

DONATE a week of your vacation home, time share or airline miles:

DONATE cash and FUN!

Visit our website:

10 Sunday Night Productivity Rituals

It's Sunday night and you know you have a big week ahead. In fact, you may be a bit anxious of what tomorrow will bring. Ever wonder what you could do to make Monday morning and the rest of the week go smoother? Relax, plan ahead, look at logistics for the week. Believe it or not, how you spend you Sunday could affect the outcome of your week.  Take a look!

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Mark Cuban Predicts the No. 1 Job Skill in 10 Years

Creative thinking? Is that a major? Perhaps a Liberal Arts degree. Presently, we are set up with large corporate America and many re-occrruing tasks. Business is evolving and, likewise, we need to also. Robots and technology will replace the employees doing these tasks. Thinking from a different perspective, viewing things from another angle is what the need will be.

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