For Michael Tidik, the UBS Financial Services Inc. Tidik-Friedman Wealth Management Group is a dream come true. Growing up in the Burbank–Toluca Lake area, he always had an aptitude for numbers and an entrepreneurial spirit. “It all started with my childhood baseball card collection,” he explains. “I was very detailed — I knew every player, every team, every statistic.” At age 14, he took this collector’s impulse to the next level by selling about $2,500 worth of his cards and using the proceeds to buy stocks, growing his portfolio substantially over time. This early investment experience launched a 27-year finance career that eventually landed him in a successful practice in Encino. But his heart remained in Toluca Lake, where he and his wife live with their four children and where he’s a 26-year member of Lakeside Golf Club. “I really wanted to come back to my roots and have a business in the community I grew up in, and in 2015 I was able to accomplish that,” he says.
While opening an office on Riverside Drive was a homecoming for Tidik, for Jason Friedman it was about finding a new sense of community. He’d worked with Tidik in Encino while living in Woodland Hills, and once their plans for the Toluca Lake office were underway he seized the chance to relocate. “My wife had lived in this area and loved it, and she wanted to get back. She works in the entertainment industry, so it’s also close to her work. I figured, ‘Why don’t I just have the smallest commute possible?’ So I looked at homes within a 1-mile radius. And once I lived and worked in the same town, it was a perfect opportunity to get as involved as possible with the community. So three years ago I started getting my feet wet with the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, and I was elected to be a Board member.” He now chairs the Public Safety Committee, attends the Outreach and Environmental committees, and helps plan the annual Pancake Breakfast, Earth Day Festival and Taste of Toluca, and National Night Out.
“I am thrilled that we are based in Toluca Lake. It’s been a wonderful quality-of-life change for all of us,” Tidik says, and the deep ties they’ve forged in the community outside the office extend to their business as well. The five-member Tidik-Friedman team has clients in 20 states, but the majority of those it serves are local and appreciate the ease and privacy of a small neighborhood location. “They like the convenience of being able to just drop in for a face-to-face meeting, and we welcome and encourage that,” Tidik says. “It gives them a sense of comfort knowing that we’re so close and they can come see us at any time.”
This emphasis on personal, local connections is a microcosm of the greater Toluca Lake experience. “My favorite thing is that we can pretty much walk anywhere — to work, lunch, dinner, shops, golf, you name it,” Tidik says. “I can go into a restaurant and they know my name and my regular order. We love that in a city as big as Los Angeles, it still has that small-town feel.” Friedman adds, “We have amazing sushi, great Italian, great Mexican, great Argentinian, vegan food — you can get pretty much anything within a three-block walk! We go to Patys a lot. It’s nice when you step into a place and they know you by name and they take care of you. We really like that personal touch.” As Tidik sums it up, “Toluca Lake is our hidden treasure of a community.