The July/August issue of the Register focuses on a consultant’s ability to break down complicated financial topics for the average investor. Cliff Walsh, RFC®, a constant writer and contributor to the publication discusses the importance of discipline and emotion control when communicating with clients about their investments.
Walsh is the current Vice President of Asset Management at American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP) in Holbrook, NY. Before joining AP in October 2017, Walsh served as the Chief Investment Officer of Progressive Advisory Solutions, LLC where he oversaw the company’s investment process, portfolio management and risk controls. He has also served as the Director of Investments at PPS Advisors, Inc. and acted as the portfolio manager of PPS Advisors’ investment strategies. In addition, Walsh held positions at CCM, Julius Baer Investment Management and Sidoti Company.
He admits that his fascination in investing began when his grandfather, an amateur stock speculator gave him $100 on his 12th birthday and opened the newspaper to the investment section. Together they bought a penny stock called Wang Labs.
“I had no idea what criteria we used to buy it,” recalled Walsh. “I ended up doubling my money in a short period of time and was in awe that you could actually make money like that.“
From that simple start to today’s career path, Walsh has made it clear that he can break down complicated topics for the average investors. Crediting his trial and error approach tested on his wife who has zero understanding of finance, he has learned how to explain things to people who do not have a finance or economics degree.
“Rational, common sense goes a long way,” advises Walsh. ”Knowing why you bought something and under what circumstances you will sell are important.”
From a client’s perspective, he feels the consultant needs to communicate and lay out a plan of attack in advance. He has seen a lot of plans go to waste because the consultant could not subdue client emotions adequately.
“Fear is a powerful force – both of losing money and missing out on making money,” admits Walsh. “And that fear spans clients over multiple generation types – Baby Boomers, Millennials, Next Gen.”
At American Portfolios, Walsh refers to an impact style of “values” investing called ESG or Environmental, Social and Governance. They believe that using ESG criteria improves risk adjusted investment returns. More and more clients are becoming aware of the companies their investment managers invest in and want to make sure those companies are aligned with their values. His team runs a group of Impact Investing Portfolios that are particularly attractive to Millennials and women.
“As consultants, we balance the emotions of the clients with discipline in laying out their financial progress,” further iterates IARFC Chairman and CEO, H. Stephen Bailey, MRFC. “Cliff appreciates the background each client brings to the table and relates appropriately with understandable and obtainable solutions.”
For a full Register article in the July/August issue, visit www.iarfc.org.