After graduating from Northwestern in 1980 I began my career at a small firm in Cincinnati. I was lucky as they gave me exposure to all areas of the business which set the tone for the rest of my career. It was ironic that despite my degree in economics, it was my interest in psychology and philosophy that helped me most as I have learned that it is human nature which drives the markets.
Since early in my career I have managed portfolios with a mix of both stocks and bonds. I have come to understand that everyone has a unique risk threshold, and once you find an asset mix that takes into account long term goals and risk tolerance, you become able to make rational decisions even in turbulent markets. In addition I have learned to accept information from all sources whether it be from fundamental research, valuation analysis, a stock chart, and occasionally, a strong gut feeling.
An early highlight was my education in technical analysis which came from courses given to traders at the Chicago Board of Trade and dialogue with some of the more successful Wall Street analysts. Although I still believe that technical research works best when combined with fundamentals and valuation, I am also convinced that discovering and sticking to long term trends remains the key to success in the markets. My interest in technical analysis has set me on the path of analyzing the psychology of markets and linking human nature to these long term trends.
Eventually I moved to Louisville and joined a company that managed institutional stock and bond portfolios. There I focused mostly on equities and our firm had great success in the 1990s. Our equity fund outperformed the S&P 500 in 6 consecutive years and was in the top decile of money managers at the end of this period.
Later we sold the firm and my family and I moved to San Diego where my focus came back to where it started, working with individual investors, some of whom I had already worked with for over 20 years. What has been most satisfying to me is setting long term goals for people and then meeting these goals in a steady, conservative fashion.
San Diego has offered a great diversity and we love the ocean and the mountains. I especially enjoy surfing with my sons and though I have had my share of getting bounced around, I have found some of these bounces have been quite educational. Even though the bumps in the market may have been internally more painful, there is a similarity: if the lessons aren’t fatal they can be great teachers.