Source: Dana Investment Advisors
On Tuesday, September 27, stocks were in the red and the S&P 500 was having its worst day in months.
As Mark Mirsberger, CEO of Dana Investment Advisors, watched the market fall, he was calm.
“It’s part of the journey,” said Mirsberger, 59. “It shouldn’t go up every day.”
Dana Investment Advisors in Waukesha, Wis., Ranked No. 1 on CNBC’s list of the 100 Best Financial Advisors in the United States for 2021. The company manages more than $ 7 billion in assets and has been in business since 1980.
Mirsberger attributes much of Dana’s success to her ability to stay focused on what doesn’t change moment to moment, or decade to decade. During his more than 30 years with the company, he has lived through the dot-com bubble, the 2008 financial crisis and now the coronavirus pandemic, which he says has been his most difficult challenge to date.
“The last one was more than financial,” he said. “People find it hard to understand that things can get better.
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“You have to show them that the world has no end,” he added. “Where there is hope, there is growth.”
As the pandemic emerges, he said they believe inflation may persist for some time. As a result, they focus more on floating rate and floating rate bonds.
The big tech stocks, including Apple and Facebook, have seen such growth that their upward trajectory may soften a bit, said Mirsberger, who added that he was looking for greater growth in high-quality value stocks.
“Unprecedented uncertainty regarding markets, taxes, cryptocurrencies, NFTs [non-fungible token]“Inflation, Covid vaccines and the environment make personal financial planning more important than ever,” he said. “As the internet has made information readily available, investors are looking for help deciding what is most important and what to believe.”
When Mirsberger interviewed the firm in the fall of 1991, he mentioned that he was a tennis champion and a state golf player. At the time, the company’s two biggest customers were the PGA Golf Tour and the ATP Tennis tour. He was hired.
“You are competing with the markets,” he said of the link between sport and financial planning. “And you want to earn for your customers.”
Although the company took steps at the start of the public health crisis to mitigate its losses, including selling several airlines and catering companies, Mirsberger said she was thinking about life and the economy long after the public health crisis.
This long-term focus, he said, helped them identify opportunities.
For more than 20 years, Dana Investment Advisors has offered its clients investment options in environmental, social and corporate governance – or ESG. Because they started doing it very early on, he said, “we’re kind of a petri dish test: can ESG add value?” “
They found it was possible.
“Our ESG strategies have performed as well, if not better, than our non-ESG strategies.” As a result, they are now integrating the approach into all of their portfolios in one way or another.
The company has also done a lot of research on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
“Being able to talk about it intelligently and not just dismiss it has helped us win over younger clients who want educated exposure to these areas,” he said.
But the biggest challenges in financial planning haven’t changed, Mirsberger said.
Everyone wants to know: will I have enough to retire? And will my savings last?
He has said these fears are well founded and he cautions his clients against seemingly easy solutions. “There is no quick fix,” he said.
Recently a client told him that someone had offered him a 4% return on “a very safe investment.”
“I said, ‘No they can’t.'”
After the client sent him the ticker, Mirsberger was able to explain his risks.
“If the market went down they were going to lose money,” he said. “People don’t like to read the fine print. The value we bring is reading the flyer.”
Mirsberger is skeptical of many exotic products being sold by Wall Street today, as well as the rise of some cryptocurrencies.
Instead, it shows potential and current clients how the company’s portfolios have grown steadily over time, thanks to smart allocations and compound interest.
“Over the next 100 years I tell people I’m pretty sure where the stock market is heading,” he said. “It goes higher.”