"Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business and a third let him keep by him in reserve." So it is written in the Talmud, a record of debates among rabbis about Jewish law dating as early as 1200 B.C. And so it is written on Page 1 of Asset Allocation: Balancing Financial Risk by Roger Gibson, first published in 1989.

Gibson is not Jewish; he found the saying from the Talmud in a book of quotes and liked it. But he has a penchant for history - he lives in a pre-Civil War farmhouse north of Pittsburgh - which has taught him one important lesson: Slow and steady wins the race. Since his book appeared the week he founded his practice, the firm has taken on six to seven new clients a year, hitting $1 billion in assets under advisement at the end of 2010.

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