Sam Law, a member of First Baptist Church in Lubbock, is the founder of Sam Law Financial and has been in financial planning more than 20 years. From deep in the heart of one Texan, Law shares his background and thoughts on being a follower of Christ in the marketplace. To suggest a Texas Baptist leader in the marketplace to be featured in this column, or to apply to be featured yourself, click here.
As a financial adviser, my business focus is working with companies and their 401(k) plans. We meet with every 401(k) participant one-on-one, face-to-face, every single year. That’s a big differentiator to our clients. For people who do have a 401(k) plan, this is usually their only savings vehicle, and very few really understand investing.
I see our company’s role as one of educator, counselor and friend. We sit on the same side of the table as the participant and strive to help them maximize their retirement savings. We start as advisers to each person but usually end up being good friends, and this strengthens the company by having happy employees.
What other businesses have you been in, and what were your positions there?
I grew up in a family-owned plumbing supply business. In a family-owned business, everyone is involved.
My father and mother loved people. My father stressed to me so many times: “Son, that’s a human being. Help them fix their problems, and you make a sale.” My mom had a heart for missions and sharing Christ. Mom was Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas president for some years.
My siblings and I heard business stuff and mission stuff every morning before we all scattered for the day.
Where did you grow up?
Lubbock, Texas, born and raised.
How did you come to faith in Christ?
I asked Christ into my heart at age 6 at First Baptist Church of Lubbock on Easter Sunday.
Where were you educated, and what degrees did you receive?
I received a finance degree from Texas Tech in 1984.
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Life in the marketplace
Why do you feel called into the marketplace?
My passion is working with people and loving God. I get to do both every day.
How does being a Christian influence your decisions in the marketplace?
Being a follower of Christ allows me to work with people in a manner that brings hope to the people I get to work for.
When we are working with people and their money, things get personal really quick. We ask questions, listen to answers and proceed forward with what is best for each individual person. During our conversations on money, I always ask where they worship and do they tithe. These questions bring down a veil that then allows us to be better in our role as an adviser.
What is your favorite aspect of the marketplace? Why?
People, lives and interactions. It is fun for me to meet with a new company and new employees. I love the interaction and introductions with each person, knowing we are going to be good friends over time.
What one aspect of the marketplace gives you the greatest joy?
Meeting and working with so many different folks across the country.
What one aspect of the marketplace would you like to change?
The lack of hope in some many lives. People need hope for a new tomorrow.
How has your place in the market or your perspective on the marketplace changed?
As I grow older, the things of this world do not mean very much to me.
I will ask my clients, “What’s most important to you?”
People will answer something other than material things. I cannot remember someone saying, “I want a lot of stuff.” Never has happened.
Perhaps it is the flow of the meeting, but most people are more transparent with us. This is why I love the one-on-one meetings.
If you could launch any new venture, what would it be? Why?
There is a small place in Clanton, Ala. called Peach Park. I’d take it national. Peach ice cream with peach cobbler. You get the hot peach cobbler with the peach ice cream on top, take a bite, and you almost can hear the angels sing. That’s how close to heaven you are.
Name the three most significant challenges and/or influences facing your place in the market.
Baby Boomers reaching retirement, Millennials starting to save, and the speed of information—some good and some bad, some needed and some not.
I believe the ever-increasing speed of information is good to have in making decisions, but there still is a human being across the table from me. Speedy information is only one part of the solution. Good advice must be long-term and goal-based.
Why are you Baptist?
Born here and raised here. I like it.
Who were/are your mentors, and how did/do they influence you?
I am the luckiest guy in the world. I have had D.L. Lowrie and Bobby Dagnel as my pastors during most of my adult life. God’s word proclaimed faithfully and clearly every Sunday!
Bobby Dagnel says every Sunday, “Our mission field is where our feet are.”
What did you learn on the job you wish you learned elsewhere?
I wished I had learned to be a better listener earlier in my life. The more I listen, the better I get at listening. However, I only will become a better listener over time, never a master.
Other than the Bible, name some of your favorite books or authors, and explain why.
To Kill a Mockingbird is where I first really learned to read in high school English. I enjoy Jack Reacher novels for fun and Nick Murray books in regards to my business.
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? Why?
Isaiah 26:3. Not just peace, but perfect peace.
Who is your favorite person in the Bible, other than Jesus? Why?
The whole book of Ruth and all the people mentioned. Naomi says in Ruth 1:13, “God has raised his fist against me,” but in Matthew 1:5, we see her story listed in the genealogy of Jesus. Sometimes, when God seems distant and quiet, God is doing some of his greatest work. What hope!