Our Stories


Our Stories

While both of us are proud of our professional achievements, they don't fully explain who we are.  When you work with us, we want the opportunity to know more about you than just your financial life.  Well, we'd like to share a couple of things about ourselves (beyond finance) and what has shaped our lives.

Larry's Story


I consider myself lucky and blessed because I know what is important in my life.  I was brought up to say "Please" and "Thank you" and to go only where I was invited.  Although I grew up in central New Jersey, I have small town values running through my veins.  I believe life's pleasures are very often the simple things.  A day of fishing with Dad and my brother Jim was at the top of my things to do list.

My Mom was an elementary schoolteacher, and each summer we spent several weeks with my grandparents in South Carolina.  They lived in a small house in town, but also owned a small farm with a lake where our extended family vacationed together.  We spent our time fishing, swimming and just hanging out.  Even today when I need time to myself, I love to go fishing.

Family made me feel safe, and today I am a doting grandfather to Victor, who my daughter Tanya and son-in-law Johnnie adopted over two years ago.  I hope Victor grows up feeling the joy of being part of a nurturing and loving family.

Mom was also a Sunday school teacher, and my earliest memories are of her playing the piano to the students in the class.  She encouraged me to play the piano, and music and playing music remains a passion in my life. 

Anyone who knows me, knows that my spiritual life is important to me.  For the last 15 years, I've gotten together with a group every Friday morning before 6 AM for Bible study.  I do this because it gives my life meaning.  I don't proselytize, and I only share my beliefs with those who care to discuss it.  What I believe is that it's impossible to give away more than comes back to you. If you're able to create a safe and trustworthy environment and then deliver on it by staying true to your principles, life is great for everyone involved.

The foundation of my work is the desire to help people feel safe.  Today is a gift, join me in taking the time to unwrap it!

Mike's Story


On the surface, there is probably nothing remarkable about my upbringing on Long Island.  We grew up in a house built by Levitt & Sons (of Levittown fame) with a pine tree to the right of the driveway, just like every other property in the neighborhood. As the youngest of three brothers, the first skill I learned was how to avoid my brother, Eric's sharp elbows and shoves coming from any direction at any time. Eric wasn't really trying to hurt me; he just wanted to show me he was the boss.  Of course, I refused to give him the satisfaction.  My middle brother, Billy, was often my protector, but I learned how to fight back.  Outside our front door was a vestibule that was filled with basketballs, baseball gloves and bats and bicycles.  It was a boys' paradise.

The skills that I learned from my Mom and Dad were far more subtle.  There were no lectures about the meaning of life, and it was only as I transitioned into adulthood that I understood their message.  It is hard to put the message into words:  Be better than everyone else, but never believe that makes you a better person than anyone else.  It was not enough to try our best, we were expected to achieve.  Think you are better than anyone else, get a job as a paperboy, caddying, flipping burgers and pumping gas.  All of those are on my resume, along with some heavy doses of humility and some great memories.

Our house was boisterous, and dinner was a free for all as anything and everything was discussed.  Laughter was welcomed, sarcasm mandatory.  One of my worst habits is interrupting, but it all goes back to trying to get a word in edgewise at the dinner table.  If one of our friends popped into our house, a chair was found, a plate was set on the table, and my Mom would say, "Don't be Bashful!" No one told us we had to have fun, we picked that up on our own.  We didn't have play dates, we just showed up at each other's houses.

I was in third grade when Miss Quinn sat the twenty of us in a circle and told us that only two of us were going to college.  I remember looking around and wondering who the other person was.  I didn't exactly know what college was but I knew I was going. I knew that my father graduated from the City College of New York before he was 20, even though he grew up in very modest circumstances.  The bar for the Roberts boys was set pretty high, and there was no question about going to college or becoming a professional.  Eric and I are CPAs, and Bill is a lawyer.

Life never goes as planned.  The day I was in a doctor's office and was told that my son, Matthew, would never be normal nor able to live independently is the day I knew that planning for his financial future was a very serious proposition.  Learning how to provide for Matthew's future, while building up a college fund for our daughter, Andrea, helping my aging Mother with her finances and saving for retirement has been a very interesting journey and led me into financial planning.   Going through this experience has made me passionate about financial planning.

In my 30 years working in corporate America, I met too many people who had a sense of entitlement.  Leaving corporate America to work with people has been the most satisfying experience of my working life.