My first formal exposure to wealth management was during the Summer of 1996 when I interned at a brokerage in my local area. This opportunity for me to observe wealth management through the eyes of different advisors, regarding primarily equities and fixed income, piqued my interest.
My observations were particularly affected by the strong love for stocks among the advisors during the power-packed ’90s for equities (though, looking back, the best few years were still on the horizon).
After studying equity and fixed-income valuation intricately during my undergraduate years focused on business and economics, as well as during my graduate degree in accounting, I looked forward to practicing what I had learned regarding optimal portfolio composition based upon primarily portfolios of stocks and bonds for traditional retail clients.
However, the beginning of the century appeared to begin a secular bear market for equities, in which stocks were not as profitable for investors as they had been during my prior experiences and studies.
Other asset classes such as commodities (including specific commodities such as gold), which were not part of the main focus of my prior investment exposure, suddenly became quite important to consider as part of a well-diversified portfolio.
As I learned more about complementary asset classes to consider along with equities and fixed income, I became more aware of the legal issues involved with considering and potentially advocating “alternative investments.”
Although I had some exposure to business law, the law was a complementary subject of which I felt could enhance my knowledge along with my strengths in finance, economics, financial accounting, and taxation.
Accordingly, I chose to pursue more education of our legal system, specializing in business law while earning both my law degree and graduate degree in law. During this latter experience, I chose to synthesize much of what I had learned over the course of my business and legal endeavors in a paper focusing on some aspects of the Federal Reserve System.
Monetary policy surely had a huge effect on the variety of different investments and asset classes I evaluated. It continues to be a vital issue in both our domestic and global economy.
My research on the topic provided me with an opportunity to put forth a comprehensive paper that took more of a holistic approach to the Federal Reserve System, including discussions on its history, structure, transparency and, most importantly, its current and optimal powers.