The Life Advice Guide: Insights For Young Adults From Stars of Business and Beyond

Interview number nineteen with Alexandra Lebenthal.

Photo: Courtesy Alexandra Lebenthal

Justin Higgins: “Hi Alexandra, what life advice do you have for young adults?”

Alexandra Lebenthal: “Trust…your gut. It can take time to learn to trust your gut. Why should what you think inside be more important than facts or what other people say. There is actually science behind it. Trusting your instincts is part of rational decision making. Having instinctual feelings around whether you should do business with someone can be as meaningful as the instinctual feeling that going down that dark alley doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. I will say that every time I have not listened to my instincts I have been wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s cost me a lot of pain and money too, so if I had to give one of the most important pieces of advice this is it.”


Alexandra Lebenthal is the Co-CEO of Lebenthal Holdings and CEO of the company’s wealth management business and broker dealer. She comes from a storied Wall Street family. Her grandparents, Louis and Sayra Lebenthal, founded Lebenthal & Co., a municipal bond specialist, in 1925. Her grandmother worked until age 93. She followed her father, James Lebenthal, as the company spokesperson. She joined Lebenthal in 1988 and became President and CEO in 1995 at the age of 31. Ms. Lebenthal remained at the firm for four years after its sale, leaving in 2005 before starting anew in 2006.

A passionate supporter of women in business, she was named one of the top 50 Women in Wealth Management by Wealth Manager Magazine. She has also been named to the Crain’s New York Top Women Owned Business and the Crain’s Fastest 50 Growing Businesses in New York.

As one of the most recognizable women on Wall Street she is a frequent commentator in the media, and is an official CNBC contributor.

She is a board member of The Committee of 200, the leading organization for female businesswomen. She is also a board member of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit organization that provides financial literacy education and resources for women.

Ms. Lebenthal is involved in many cultural and philanthropic institutions in New York City.

Ms. Lebenthal published her first novel “Recessionistas,” in August 2010, which was sold to USA Networks. She will be publishing “The Women’s Investment Bible,” in 2016, a comprehensive book on investing for women.

She is also the Co-founder of “The Women’s Executive Circle,” a group of high-profile Jewish Women that mentor other women under the auspices of United Jewish Appeal.

A graduate of Princeton University in 1986, with an A.B. in history, Ms. Lebenthal began her career in the municipal bond department at Kidder Peabody Inc.

Ms. Lebenthal lives in New York City with her husband, Jay Diamond. They have three children, Benjamin, Charlotte and Eleanor.

Follow Alexandra Lebenthal on Twitter @alebenthal.

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