Leland Faust, “A Capitalist’s Lament: How Wall Street is Fleecing You and Ruining America”


Listen to the podcast on Inkandescent Radio

Learn How to Become an Agent for Critical Thinking

May 2023: What is "critical thinking"? How does it differ from "wishful thinking" and "magical thinking"? Learn all about that and more on this month's episode of Money Mountaineering!

Click here to listen.

In 1978, business leader Leland Faust founded CSI Capital Management and was chief investment officer through 2011. He managed over $1.5 billion for the company and was the chief investment officer of a highly-rated mutual fund. His clients included more than 100 Academy, Tony, and Grammy award winners, and NFL Pro Bowl players, as well as NBA and Major League Baseball All-Stars.

Born in Los Angeles, California in 1946, Leland graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1968 with a bachelor of arts degree. He completed an Economics major with distinction in the honors program and great distinction in general scholarship. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1967. He was a member of both the varsity swimming and water polo teams. In recognition of his success in academics and athletic competitions, he received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. In 1971 he graduated cum laude from the Harvard Law School with a JD degree. While at Harvard, he instructed a class in United States income taxation as part of the International Tax Program.

He began his career as a tax attorney and later became certified as a tax specialist by the California State Board of Legal Specialization. In 1978 he founded CSI Capital Management, a registered investment advisor. He served as the head of the investment committee for 33 years (1978 – 2011) and managed portfolios for high-net-worth businessmen, athletes, entertainers, foundations, family trusts, and retirement plans.

For his work in the financial services industry, Barron’s named him from 2007 through 2010 (every year he was eligible for selection) to its annual list of the Top 100 Independent Investment Advisors in the US. For his work with professional athletes, he was named by The Sporting News to its annual list of The 100 Most Powerful People in the Sports Industry (one of only two investment advisors ever selected for that list). In 2011 CSI Capital Management sold its business and responsibility for managing approximately $1.7 billion to SunTrust Bank.

As soon as this fund was eligible, MorningStar awarded it five stars. It maintained either a four-star or a five-star rating throughout the rest of his life (1998 – 2010). For his work in managing this fund, Leland was named by Barron’s to its list of the Top 100 Mutual Fund Managers. Over the 13-year life of this fund, it outperformed the S&P 500 index by approximately 30%.

Throughout his career, Leland has published materials relating to his legal, investment counseling, and sports businesses. Early in his career, he lectured frequently for the California Continuing Education of the Bar, a division of the State Bar of California. He has also spoken extensively on financial and investment topics. He has taught or lectured at the University of California Berkeley, the University of San Francisco, the Commonwealth Club of California, the Harvard Law School (as part of its distinguished alumni speakers program), and numerous other venues.

Leland’s current book is A Capitalist’s Lament: How Wall Street is Fleecing you and Ruining America. In it, he unmasks Wall Street’s unsavory tactics in powerful detail by giving readers a high-level view of how the financial services industry misleads them, overcharges them, and exposes them to needless risk. He documents the financial industry’s alluring come-ons, airbrushed risks, high-stakes gambling, half-truths, misleading statements, outlandish predictions, tricks to overcharge customers, bad deals, and outright fraud by the most prominent and renowned of Wall Street’s players.

“A Capitalist’s Lament is about what happens when financial firms and their employees forget whose interest they are supposed to protect,” says Leland, who demonstrates how making foolish or wrong predictions is of no consequence to those who make them and how Wall Street luminaries with poor track records still garner celebrity status. “Most of all, I spotlight how Wall Street manipulates the system and furthers its own interests at its customers’ expense and puts us all at great risk. In my book, you’ll learn what you need to know to protect yourself from “business as usual” and get ahead—instead of getting taken.”

Leland is also the co-author of Personal Tax Planning for Professionals and Owners of Small Businesses (Continuing Education of the Bar – California, Publisher). He has also contributed to opinion pieces for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post, among others. He has been featured in articles and interviews with The San Francisco Chronicle, Barron’s, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has been a frequent contributor on radio and television to NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and Bloomberg.

Leland is a lifetime competitive athlete. At the University of California, Berkeley, he was a nationally ranked water polo and swimming team member, where he was captain and a school record holder. He set a record for the Golden Gate Swim as an open-water swimmer. He was also a two-time age group winner in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. Twice USA Triathlon named him to its All-American teams. Click here to learn more: lelandfaust.com.