After two decades as a member of a Benedictine monastery, Doug Lynam eventually left his life as a monk and a teacher for a career in the financial world. Today, as a partner at LongView Asset Management LLC, he is in charge of wealth management and retirement services. He is the author of From Monk to Money Manager: A Former Monk’s Financial Guide to Becoming a Little Bit Wealthy — and Why That’s Okay.
You’ve been a monk, a Marine and a teacher. Now, you’re a financial advisor. As someone in service to others, how does working in finance fit in with your life’s work?
Financial struggles have a ripple effect on every other aspect of our lives, and financial security is the biggest driver of happiness. It’s a joy to help people achieve richer lives in every sense of the word. When we help our clients live out their dreams, whether that’s retirement, philanthropy or travel, we can see them find real peace.
Certified B Corporations seek to use their businesses as a force for good. How is being a Certified B Corporation reflected in LongView Asset Management’s approach when it comes to helping clients make money?
It’s about shifting our thinking about what makes an economy work. We invest only with companies that are environmentally and socially responsible, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes the most business sense. We must grow our wealth while saving the world. If we can’t do both, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.
What words of advice would you offer to others about how to view money?
Don’t think of money in terms of black and white, good and bad. Don’t demonize or glorify it. They’re both traps. Look at the world of finance through a lens of how much good it can do. If you want to change the world, you have to be in the arena.
Who is the most unusual, interesting or surprising client you’ve worked with, and why?
The most unusual situation I’ve come across was with a man who was part of a militia. He was convinced doomsday was approaching, so he wanted to spend his retirement money on building a bomb shelter and stocking up for the apocalypse. I couldn’t get him to think about the future, because he didn’t think there would be a future.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Right now, LongView Asset Management is one of the leading firms in sustainable investing in the Southwest. I’d love to be a leader nationally in the next decade. My second book is set to launch next year, so hopefully, in the next ten years, I’ll be publishing book three or four.
What would people who have known you for a while be surprised to learn about you?
I spent a summer in college on a three-month-long motorcycle trip throughout Africa, including a solo excursion climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was part of my journey trying to find myself. I later realized I was seeking adventure externally. The inner adventure is a lot more interesting.
Alana Grimstad is an experienced, award-winning journalist, writer and photographer based in Santa Fe who loves to meet interesting people and is honored to share their stories.