With a knack for numbers, an interest in finance, and a passion for helping people realize their potential, Rick Alvarado began a career as an investment advisor representative with the purpose of serving clients by offering a disciplined, fair-minded and even-handed approach to pursuing financial success.
In 2015, Rick began his 25th year as an investment advisor representative and financial professional. Early on in his career, Rick discovered financial acumen plays a relatively small role in the duty of serving clients’ investment and financial needs. Instead, he saw two hurdles that most often impede investors as they seek lasting financial success:
- Prevailing bias and conflicts of interest in the investment industry
- Inherent vulnerability that human emotion brings into the investment decision-making process
To build a successful wealth management practice and create lifelong relationships with clients, Rick elected to focus his efforts on helping people overcome both hurdles. He would offer a path through the labyrinth of industry bias and conflicts of interest by going independent, and uncover the psychological traps that ensnare investors by offering insights from the field of behavioral finance.
The first hurdle was easier to overcome. By choosing to go independent, Rick distanced himself from the unscrupulous client service practices that were common on Wall Street in the 1990s. At the time, many firms marketed securities underwritten by their affiliated investment banking businesses to their retail clients, with little attention paid to mitigating bias or disclosing conflicts of interest.
As an independent financial advisor, Rick could commit to serving the best interests of his clients with a critical and unbiased approach to recommending investments and providing financial advice. In partnering with LPL Financial when independent broker/dealers were still small, Rick was ahead of the trend toward independence as LPL grew to become the largest independent broker/dealer in the nation*. By offering independent advice and aligning with the best interests of clients, Rick Alvarado and WealthOne Advisors continue to build lifelong relationships with individuals and families, helping them plan for a secure and comfortable financial future.
*As reported in Financial Planning magazine 1996-2015, based on total revenues.
A more difficult hurdle came in helping clients manage emotion when making investment decisions. Again, Rick was ahead of the trend as he brought insights from the emerging field of behavioral finance to his investment advisory practice.
In working with clients through the turbulent markets of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Rick saw first-hand how investors often acted as their own worst enemies. Many bought stocks at their peaks under the euphoric spell of the bull market, then sold them at the bottom after the crushing blow of the bear market.
The financial toll of these emotional investment decisions would be devastating in many cases. Rick saw a duty in helping individual investors tune out their emotions and fight the irrationality of the market in order to stay on track toward their financial goals.
The study of behavioral finance gained greater legitimacy after Dr. Daniel Kahneman won the Economics Nobel Prize in 2002 for his long-time work in the field. By that time, Rick had fully integrated his experience in identifying and disarming emotional triggers into the investment guidance he provided to clients. When the financial crisis came in 2008, Rick was able to help his clients keep their emotions in check and stay confident in their financial plans through the worst of the market correction.