The Value of Good Advice: Modern Money Interview with Jeffrey Ryall, Associate Portfolio Manager at Cardinal Capital Management, Inc.
Q. What is Wealth Management?
Like most industries, the investment industry has changed significantly over the last 10-15 years. Today, Wealth Management is commonly used to describe the collaborative process where an advisor seeks to understand a client’s goals, values, and motivations, to provide tailored advice and help solve problems while integrating all facets of an individual’s finances. Typically, this includes coordinating investment management with other areas of financial planning such as retirement planning, tax planning, risk management (insurance), and estate planning.
Q. What are the benefits of Wealth Management?
Value can be delivered by identifying tax savings, saving time by delegating to professionals, receiving advice that avoids costly mistakes, and coordinating strategies between your other professionals (lawyers, accountants, or banks/lenders). Most of my clients are incorporated business owners and professionals with evolving financial and tax planning needs. The main way that I deliver value to clients is through the financial planning process, with regular communication, so I can proactively provide them with the advice they require.
Before seeking out the assistance of a financial advisor, it is important to identify your needs. Do you have the knowledge, interest, or time to effectively manage your finances? What type of advice are you seeking? How complex is your financial situation, and could it change in the future? Depending on your responses, it may be suitable to hire/engage in different elements of wealth management as needed, like ordering “a la carte” service at a restaurant.
Q. What makes Cardinal Capital Management unique and what services do you offer?
Cardinal Capital Management was founded on the belief that a small privately owned, research-driven investment management firm could play a significant role in the crowded field of large corporately owned financial services firms.
As a discretionary Portfolio Manager, clients delegate their day-to-day investment decision making to my team, allowing them to stay focused on their business and know that their wealth is secure. This relationship comes with the highest standard of care, I have a fiduciary duty to clients, meaning that I am in a position of trust, and have a legal duty to place my clients’ interests above all else.
In addition to providing investment management and financial planning advice, we offer charitable giving guidance through Cardinal Philanthropy.
Q. What are some personal finance or investment books that you would recommend to investors?
The first personal finance book I ever read was The Automatic Millionaire, by David Bach. It is an easy read that focuses on basic principles: pay yourself first, saving a little everyday goes a long way, and automate your savings. He introduced this through a simple concept coined The Latte Factor to illustrate how $5-10/day on coffee could instead be saved and invested, turning you into a millionaire overtime.
Another classic is The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham. Regarded by many as the founder of value investing, Graham’s philosophy focuses on long-term investing, diversifying, and identifying safe and steady returns (not speculating on who will become the next Apple or Amazon).
Q. What is one piece of advice you would give to young professionals when it comes to finances?
Automate your savings and take advantage of “free money”. One of the biggest challenges for new investors is developing the discipline to save regularly, even with small amounts. Automation takes away the constant need to decide how much am I going to save this week, month, or quarter.
What is “free money” you ask? The best piece of advice I received when I started my career was to investigate the benefits program offered by my employer. In my case, I could participate in the company’s pension plan and the company would match 50% of my contributions (up to a specified dollar limit). This amounted to thousands of dollars over my tenure. Typically, there is a period of employment required before these contributions are legally yours (this is known as vesting), but where else can you find an immediate 50% return on your investment?
Modern Money thanks Jeff for providing his frank insights on the value that good advice and guidance can bring to busy professionals. Modern Money encourages any readers who are interested in connecting further with Jeff to contact him through his LinkedIn or e-mail below.