My Story—How and Why I Developed my Practice…
Everyone loves a good story, one where we start to care about the main characters, root for them in their trials, are saddened by their losses and joyful in their triumphs. And I’m no exception… But can the story of how a Financial Advisor developed his practice touch those lofty goals? Read on and you be the judge…
I started my career as a broker with the storied firm, A.G. Edwards & Sons (whose family had ties with Abraham Lincoln) in 1994, after a successful seven year career as a Naval officer.
My clients know I had always wanted to fly jets for the Navy but because of a heart murmur, was unable to realize that dream (I drool every time I drive by Miramar Marine Corps Air Station). By the way, for those of you who like all things flying, check out the movie/documentary Speed and Angels (you can see it on Amazon Prime)—www.speedandangels.com—YOU WILL TRULY BE INSPIRED!
Instead I served as a Surface Warfare Officer for seven years – from being stationed aboard my first s hip USS Cook FF-1083 to finishing up teaching Anti-Submarine Warfare at Fleet ASW Training Center Pacific.
I majored in Business Economics at the University of San Diego and always had an interest in the Stock Market. I quickly dove into my new career as a stockbroker, enjoying referrals and help from my mother, who at the time had a thriving estate planning practice in Rancho Bernardo. The first few years at A.G. Edwards were my breaking in years, where I learned some of the basics of managing investment portfolios. I was incredibly lucky to be mentored by a grizzled veteran of the industry, a Texan named Conrad Sankpill who had 30 years in the investment “biness.” He really helped me start to see how complex investing was and how different disciplines could really help more effectively manage money for clients. At this point in my career I would make recommendations to clients based on their needs and wants.
Then in 1997 my mother developed lung cancer. I often look back at this time and wonder if a higher power was at work in my decision to become a broker. I say this because my career which, even though I worked for a large firm, was one where I essentially worked for myself. Consequently, I was able to be there for my mom when she really needed me. In addition to becoming critically ill, she was going through an incredibly difficult divorce. As a result, I ended up having to go to probate court to enforce my mother’s wishes, which in addition to working together over the preceding years, gave me what I feel is a unique breadth of knowledge regarding estate planning issues. More importantly, I began to realize that trying to satisfy each client by implementing their ideas where appropriate, hindered my ability to serve them efficiently. My book of clients’ investments quickly became unwieldy and very difficult to effectively manage and monitor. As a result, I began to informally manage my clients portfolios utilizing a more “model” approach where I would place, monitor and adjust fewer common investments in clients’ accounts who had similar objectives and risk tolerances. Although clients would continue to ask my opinion about some of their investment ideas, we largely went with my recommendations (of course if someone found a great idea, I would incorporate it!) because I was better able to tightly monitor and make changes when needed to their portfolios.
After my mother passed away, I had a small hiatus of peace for awhile until the bear market in 2000 began. At the time I had started to reading a technician named Helene Meisler, who seemed to have a very good handle on where the overall market was going. She wrote an article in June of 2000 that forecasted how far the market might drop in the coming two years that very few other market pundits shared. Needless to say she was right when most others were wrong. This bear market period had a profound impact on how I managed money. It gave me a new appreciation for the alchemy called technical analysis. I believe ignoring technical analysis is akin to walking out onto a busy freeway without watching out for traffic! Utilizing technical analysis in conjunction with fundamental research resulted in just a few of the investment decisions I made over the last nine years:
- Sold GE at 58 back in 1999 and never went back…
- Sold Lucent Technologies in the 70’s for most of my clients
- Avoided buying Qualcomm at 170 when clients asked me to do so…
Did I make mistakes—of course! But the point here is to illustrate that sometimes the market can often know something we don’t, and looking at the technicals may help us reduce potential landmines.
I believe I can help my clients and readers become better investors with portfolios that allow them to sleep at night. The last 25 years of my practice and dedication to continually learning how to try to make fewer mistakes has resulted in a set of principles I believe I can pass on. I can teach you to fish, but keep in mind most fisherman live on their catch and approach their craft with that kind of focus. In other words applying the principles I teach takes real work and discipline.
My Firm, Ward Capital Management specializes in:
- Managing individual stock and bond portfolios for my retail clients, and working with small companies in designing, providing and managing their 401k’s and Profit Sharing Plans
- Provide my clients’ with a pro-actively managed portfolio that grows and or provides income in good markets, and minimizes losses in bad markets.
- Communicate often complex concepts and developments in the market in simple terms to better educate my readers and clients.
- For those wishing to learn more on how to manage their own portfolios, provide coaching and education on the fundamental and technical methodologies I use to manage my clients’ hard earned money.
If you would like to learn some of these principles or want a money manager who takes this approach with your hard earned dollars, I invite you to contact me. Call me at 760-755-7799 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I thought I would show you the three most important reasons I do what I do. I can’t tell you how lucky I am to have them–the picture speaks for itself. 🙂