A new chapter…

Today marks the day I turn another chapter…

For the past 13.25 years I’ve been a “Portfolio Associate” (and then at some point became a “Senior Portfolio Associate”).  I work for an international money management firm in Del Mar, Ca.  We manage stock portfolios.  Here’s how it works: you hire a broker to help you plan your investment plan.  He/She determines what your investment objectives are (based on your age, your goals, your level of investment risk, etc) and then decides what types of investments would suit your preferences, goals, etc.  They might suggest you have a bit of real estate, a bit of cash, a bit of investments in stocks, etc.  Then they would suggest a TYPE of stock portfolio for you… are you averse to risk and want something “safe”?  Maybe it would be good to buy bonds.  Or are you interested in seeing emerging markets succeed and you feel by investing in them you can both help them and yourself?  Or are you simply chasing performance and want to invest in something that will guarantee a large return?  Either way… the broker contacts a number of money managers and determines which product is best for you.  He/She might recommend our company as a good way to invest… whether it be with that bond portfolio, or emerging markets stock portfolio, or a mix of U.S. and Int’l stocks, etc…

Our company is hired by you and your broker to manage those investments.  Our research group decides which companies look good and present those ideas to our Investment Committee who say “yay” or “nay” to their recommendations and then we get to the business of buying and selling.

How do I fit into that?  In my role as a Portfolio Associate, I work with our brokers and clients throughout their entire experience with our firm.  From getting the account setup and working through all the paperwork involved… to managing their restrictions (no tobacco or gambling stocks, etc)… to auditing their holdings (do not hold more than 20% of a certain country)… to answering questions about our “value” investment approach (buying stocks deeply discounted to their intrinsic value) … to discussing account changes and providing account reports, etc…

I love my job.  Which is why I’ve truly enjoyed doing it for 13 years (on most days, at least).   All the while working for the same individual – Al, who is truly a wise and thoughtful and strategic and calm and professional (and encouraging and supportive) boss.  Because of him I’ve been given many opportunities to learn new things, spread my wings and take on special projects/tasks… basically be driven to be better every day and to learn more every day … and to have the ambition to continue to spread my wings every day.

I truly believe, deep inside of me, that I was MADE to interact with people on a professional level.  Maintaining that professional decorum and yet being able to bring a bit of a real person to the table just helps the whole experience.  To use my resources and solve problems and find a solution that works for both parties.  To create efficiencies avoid risks and errors and make the process smoother…

Looking back on my development as an employee (I’m thinking high school days)… I felt I have always thrived in this role: working professionally with other people by building a personal rapport with them in order to find solutions and build efficiencies.  (Not until recently did I understand this about myself.  But that statement is a bit of personal mission statement … )

So, what’s the next chapter?  I’m packing up these binders and boxes of experience and knowledge and moving to a new role:  Compliance Analyst.  It’s a simple move to a different floor, same company.  It’s a move up the ladder (change of title from Associate to Analyst)… and it’s the perfect move for where I am professionally.  Can I just say how uber-excited I am about the possibilities ahead of me?


This morning I unpacked some of those boxes and placed their contents in their new drawers … while I was unpacking and re-arranging I was able to watch the sunrise…  and this overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me as the new day dawned on this next chapter in my life…  


I’m so excited about the opportunity to continue to spread my wings… it’s just going to be in a different capacity.  My day-to-day tasks will change… my mission statement won’t.  My daily routine will look a bit different… my goals will be more solidified with a strong foundation of knowledge from the past 13+ years in this role (and the 2.5 years of the Client Service experience from when I first joined this team).  Yes, I’ve been at this company for over 15 years!  That’s a long time…

I get to take with me all that experience and desire to do and be better, build relationships and efficiencies, solve problems and avoid risk… and I’m ready!  Let’s do this!


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