Founder & Wealth Manager
Jason W. Self, CFA, CFP® has 15 years of experience in private wealth management as a high net worth portfolio manager. Jason’s background includes co-managing the investment models for the Wells Managed Portfolio Group. In this role, he was responsible for the strategic and tactical asset allocation as well as investment selection of billions of dollars in assets. He has experience as an equity research analyst covering the semiconductor industry. He has an affinity for technology and previously worked as an associate product engineer in the advanced vehicle systems division of Motorola Semiconductor.
Jason prides himself on his ability to relate to a wide range of client backgrounds and personalities. He believes that every client is unique and that it takes skill and experience to help ensure that investments are properly matched to each particular client. His clients have included Nobel laureate scientists, university presidents, and other world-renowned academics. Jason’s personal background is more modest. His father was a pipe fitter literally born on the family ranch and his mother was an elementary school teacher. This wide range of experiences helps Jason relate to people with many different backgrounds.
Before founding Resonance Financial, Jason spent 7 years as a senior portfolio manager for TIAA-CREF Trust Company covering the southwestern United States. His private wealth management experience includes high net worth, ultra-high net worth, foundations, profit sharing plans, and executive compensation plans. He personally managed over $400 million in assets for his clients while maintaining a very high retention rate. He was also a portfolio manager for 6 years with Wells Fargo with over $300 million in AUM.
Jason is a magna cum laude graduate of Texas State University with a degree in Finance. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder and a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. He is a member of the CFA Austin Society, CFA Institute, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Jason has been rated as a 5-star advisor by Paladin Research.
BBA, Finance, Texas State University
Assets Under Management:
That's not really a question that can be specifically answered as more information is needed about your current investments, risk profile, required return, time horizon, and other factors. However, in general, I think investors should be cautious of increasing equities at their current level. There are several factors that drive the market. These include: valuation, global macro economy, trend, sentiment, the Fed, credit conditions, earnings expectations, and other economic factors.
I consider most of these factors to currently be slightly positive, which is supportive of the overall equity market. The metrics I use for valuation, however, show the market to be fairly overvalued at the current level. I also do not feel that earnings will grow sufficiently to justify this valuation. This should act as cap on the overall market as I do not believe that we will get to extreme valuations. I have asset allocation ranges for my clients and actively target specific allocations depending on my tactical outlook. I only see upside in the equity market of around 5% to 7% on the S&P 500 with downside of three times that much over the next 12 months. Consequently, I am currently neutral on equities as a whole and would not be increasing them in general.
Not all equities have the same outlook. I also tactically overweight or underweight certain classes as my research determines. For instance, I would underweight small cap relative to large cap at this time. I have also been adding more to value over growth. My firm has been significantly underweight foreign developed and emerging markets, but we are selectively increasing them at this time.
In summary, the actual answer depends on your specific situation. In general, the risk to reward ratio may not support increasing equities at this time. You might further consider taking a look at the sub asset classes to see if they are in need of adjustment even if you maintain the same equity weighting.
Assuming 3% annual inflation, $1 million 40 years from now is only $306,556 in today's dollars. The reduced purchasing power from inflation is something a lot of people forget to factor when projecting future values.
This is a completive field to break into due to the high compensation involved. Many firms will not even look at people who do not have a top-tier MBA or CFA. You might have some luck if your undergrad is from an elite school. I was torn between getting an MBA or CFA. I personally went with the CFA as the firm I was with at the time put more value on it over MBA. Some firms are different though.
I think most people consider the CFA more difficult than obtaining an MBA. It has a higher dropout rate and takes longer for most people, but it's substantially cheaper. Top-tier MBAs can cost over $100k. I get mixed answers from people I know who obtained an MBA. Some are quite positive on it and others said that they didn't learn much. One particular issue is that non-business majors can get an MBA. The first semester may be watered down to accommodate them. The major benefit I hear from colleagues who obtained the MBA is the great networking opportunities they got from it. I have not experienced the same with the CFA.
I think each route has its pros and cons. Some people get both. I would pick out a few firms that you are specifically interested in and try to read the bios of people associated with those firms. Linked-in may be helpful with that. You may even try to contact a few of them, asking to meet for coffee or lunch, to learn more about how they got into their positions. I find that many mid to low-senior people enjoy mentoring or helping younger people find their path.
I always love seeing people without a CFA charter answering questions about it. I wonder how they would feel about people without the CFP designation answering questions about the CFP program. They are both great programs, but they vary in subject matter and difficulty. I believe they compliment each other well, and it's possible to find investment advisers with both designations.
The CFP designation covers the categories below through 6 or 7 bachelor level classes. They give a great generalist level education in these topics. A specialist level would be an estate planning attorney, a CPA for income tax, and a CFA for investments.
- General principles of financial planning
- Insurance planning
- Investment planning
- Income tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Interpersonal communication
- Professional conduct and fiduciary responsibility
- Financial plan development (capstone) course
The CFA program is very difficult with only around 20% of the people who attempt the designation ultimately being successful in achieving it. It takes several years for most people to finish as you only get one chance per year to take levels 2 and 3. Level 1 is now has two tests per year. The passing rates are 39-53% over the last 10 years on average. It is considered beyond masters level. The topics of that program are below:
Ethical and Professional Standards
Financial Reporting and Analysis
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning
I do not know how a broker could convert you from a 401k to and IRA without your permission. If you have separated from your employer and your balance is less than $5,000, the employer may be able to push you out of the 401k. In that case, they may have an agreement with a brokerage that it automatically converts to an IRA. Ask the broker how this account was established.
IRAs and 401(k)s are individually titled, even if it is considered marital property. Consequently, your husband should not be able to act on the account unless he has Power of Attorney for you. It sounds you two may not be on the best of terms, so I would check with the broker first. They should be able to provide documentation of the withdrawal request.