CO-CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER
PLANCORP AND BRIGHTPLAN
What's top of your to-do list right now?
We launched a robo advisor called BrightPlan on November 1. BrightPlan is seeking to emphasize financial planning more than other robo advisors, which mostly focus on investment management. As co-chief investment officer of that platform, I’m doing everything I can to support the team as we continue to innovate and improve the platform.
What is keeping you awake at night (work wise)?
I only worry about things that can be controlled, so I don’t lose sleep over the market, the economy or the geopolitical climate. If work is keeping me up at night, it’s usually because I have multiple deadlines looming.
What fund had the most inflows in 2017?
Because markets went up all year and we’ve been rebalancing from stocks into bonds, my best guess is the Vanguard Short-Term Investment Grade fund, which is our largest fixed income holding. All else being equal, our fixed income positions tend to favor safety over return, but the super low cost of this particular fund let our clients capture most of the return.
Best meeting you've ever had?
My favorite meeting was a few years ago when a client asked me to take on a substantial project. I told him I wouldn’t be able to start for about a week because I was heading to Florida for a series of meetings. He wanted a faster turnaround and offered to fly me to Florida on his private plane and put me up at his house so that we could work through it together. We had a wonderful day together and that will remain one of my favorite days of work ever.
Worst meeting you've ever had?
I once met with a prospective client who called and requested a meeting after reading something I had published, but you would never have guessed it. He yelled at our receptionist upon arrival and made an insulting remark to someone passing by on his way to the conference room. During the meeting, he interrupted me multiple times to remind me he was a doctor, which made him a better person than the people working at my firm. After about 30 minutes I stopped the meeting, thanked him for the opportunity and politely asked him to leave. He went ballistic.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
If I won the lottery, I’d want to keep doing my job. The only difference is I would read more and take way more vacation. If you forced me to take on a new career, I’d love to work in the front office for a Major League Baseball team.
What are your interests outside of work?
I’m a huge sports fan. I’m in a slightly embarrassing number of fantasy sports leagues. I also love to travel and read.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’d really like to go to Australia for scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
If we gave you $100,000, how would you invest it?
The DFA Global Equity portfolio. I believe good investing is boring, and most investment success is the result of minimizing mistakes. Because I am exposed to new research and investment products all the time, I am highly susceptible to making changes on the basis of an uncertain potential improvement. My entire portfolio is in the DFA Global Equity portfolio, which is a low-cost factor fund that is globally diversified. When I’m 50 years old, I will buy a bond fund so that I’m
70% stocks and 30% bonds.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m a drummer. Prior to having children, you could find me playing late-night shows with a blues band several times a month. A thoughtful Google search might reward you with some drum solos of mine!