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article imageOp-Ed: Investment managers share expertise with Hult Business School Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Sep 25, 2011 in Business
San Francisco - Despite the recessionary economy, some investment and financial experts remain steadfast that investments still need to be made and that garnering returns is important, among such are Berkeley Investment Advisors.
President of Berkeley Investment Advisors, Ray Meadows, CFA made a special presentation to the members of the Sunset Heights Association of Responsible People this past Sept. 12 to explain that investment strategies still work and that people who want to invest still can do so in today’s economic recession.
Meadows is a Certified Public Accountant with a Masters Degree in economics and a Masters Degree in Business from University of California, Berkeley. With his trading experience at Citigroup he acquired a superior grasp of the underlying workings of the basics of economics and the stock market.
Marketing Director for Berkeley Investment Advisors Herb Meiberger, CFA explained Meadow’s strategies are based upon quantitative approaches. “Ray has skills to analyze income statements and balance sheets,” said Meiberger. "Ray seeks value in a similar manner that Warren Buffeet does, said Meiberger. "Ray required that I read 'The Intelligent Investor' by Benjamin Graham before I could help him gain accounts," Meiberger said. "The market is up, then its down, it has ‘mood swings,’ part of the strategy of a competent investment manager is not to be emotional,” said Meadows.
Much of the ability to invest has to do with not only knowing when to sell and when to buy, but how to take prudent risks and understand the dynamics of risk factors. “Many average people have very little understanding of risk factors, and part of my job is to discern how much risk a client can tolerate,” said Meadows.
Even though some financial analysts have dire forecasts, Meadows sees undervalued stocks as having lots of potential for investment. Undervalued stocks are those that are often overlooked by investors. High profile stocks that people hear about in the news always get featured prominently in the market index. But what about those stocks that are just average? They too have potential to grow and can help to stabilize a person’s financial portfolio.
"Meadows manages a long term value portfolio which has consistently provided returns that are greater than popular benchmarks," said Meiberger. "For the six years that Meadows has managed investors' accounts, the total return has been 26.3 percent versus the S & P 500 return of 15.4 percent," Meiberger said. "Few managers can boast this performance," he said.
Part of a superior strategy is to avoid panic selling and buying. Panic only makes for more stress and increases the likelihood of making poor investment choices. Meadows likes to work with smaller financial portfolios. He will serve clients with as little as $200,000 to invest, noted Meiberger. "Ray gives lots of attention to his clients, providing them with high quality service. Clients can see their portfolios online and charges 1.75 percent of the account value for all transactions and management fees, said Meiberger. “This means that we are paid based upon the value of our clients assets that we manage,” said Meiberger. “We do not earn commissions by selling propriety financial products or by ‘churning’ a client’s account,” said Meiberger. As someone who has experience in handling large investment portfolios such as the San Francisco City & County Employee’s Retirement System, Meiberger understands how large investment managers can lose site of the investors themselves. And, he understands how difficult it is to out-perform benchmark indexes.
Yet Meadows pointed out that what Berkeley Investment Advisors look for in a client is someone who is ready to invest. Being ready to invest is key. “I am not going to argue with someone about whether or not they should invest,” said Meadows. A professional financial manager does not do that.
Meadows and Meiberger teach at the San Francisco campus of the Hult International School of Business. “It is all part of giving back,” said Meiberger, as Berkeley Investment Advisors want to help prepare the next generations for a changing global market.
The Dean of Hult International Business School at the San Francisco campus, Luis Umana-Timms has been very pleased with Meiberger and Meadow’s performance as he said, "Herb has brought to us very valuable insights regarding the financial industry, along with Ray.
Based in Boston, Hult is among the top ranking business schools with campuses worldwide. This reporter had the opportunity to visit the San Francisco campus on Sansome Street near Levi Plaza. Praised in financial news publications such as “The Economist" and "The Financial Times,” Hult is preparing its students to face a challenging world market.
Hult has always been a practitioner orientated business school, said Umana-Timms. So, when we designed the Masters of Finance curriculum program we were eager to keep the practical 'hands-on' approach," he said. "By doing so we structured the program targeting skills and criteria required by the CFAI (Chartered Financial Analysts Institute), The CFAI is an industry standard, every major city has a chapter," he said.
Umma-Timms noted that in the past Hult recognized that students enrolling in their programs were in a research driven context. Umma-Timms pointed out that, those who excel in the financial industry do much more than simply analyze data. "Given more than just skills of theory and knowledge, we strive to help our students to understand the basics but also be prepared for the dynamics of the ever-changing market and financial landscape. Berkeley Investment Advisors has been a positive influence at Hult.
“We see that some students who come to us have the knowledge but are in need of the practical tools to work in the financial world," he said. For this reason, Ray Meadows was invited to join the faculty.
Berkeley Investment Advisors does more than simply look at data. They seek out the best strategies and apply them with prudent discernment.
Sunset Heights Association of Responsible People member John Barry lives and works in the Sunset District. He was the coordinator for a lecture/presentation that Berkeley Investment Advisors gave that Monday evening at the SHARP clubhouse on 9th Avenue & Moraga Street. As a local realtor Barry understands the importance of good investing. He was very impressed with the presentation that Meadows and Meiberger gave to a group of about a dozen people.
Berkeley Investment Advisors offers Wall Street expertise and wants to make that expertise available to Main Street investors.“We focus on finding undervalued securities which greatly reduces risks over the long term ‘Peace of mind’ that comes with a superior long run,” said Meiberger.
Meiberger, himself invests with Berkeley Investment Advisors. “I have great trust in Ray’s experience and expertise,” said Meiberger. He noted that since investing with Berkeley Investment Advisors he has benefited from better returns and enjoys a higher delivery of returns he has ever received from an investment firm.
For more information about Ray Meadows and Berkeley Investment Advisors, see the Berkley Investment Advisors web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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