How did you arrive at this business?
I started in the business in 1994 with Merrill Lynch as a broker in their Baltimore office. It was a great experience working there, but in 1998 I decided to take the chance to start this firm.
What do you enjoy most about wealth management?
It's a good feeling when your ideas help clients reach their financial goals. So is knowing that people have entrusted you with their money.
What’s the biggest challenge in your work?
Dealing with major market-related events that are beyond my control and can have an adverse effect on client portfolios. The other one I would say is being aware of common cognitive biases that can effect my judgment and decision making. Lastly, I would say trying to get clients on board on the importance of a goal-based investment strategy in a volatile, short-term-result-driven industry.
What do you love most about being an independent advisor?
Not having external pressures such as meeting a company quota or trying to compete with other brokers for a sales competition which probably could come at some cost to my clients. Also as an independent advisor, I don't have to spend most of my time on building a book of business with hundreds and hundreds of clients.
What quality of yours makes you best suited to do what you do?
I've been told I'm trustworthy, reliable and analytical.
Why would someone not want to work with you?
I am not the most aggressive financial advisor. One reason is as a fiduciary I simply don’t feel comfortable taking more risk than what is needed to help clients reach their goals. I am also not going to be actively trading in clients accounts or managing it like a hedge fund. Lastly, I am not going to be calling clients every couple of months with a hot investment opportunity just so I can get them into depositing more money into their account.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Tehran, Iran and I grew up there until I was 13. Then in 1979 like so many Iranian-Americans we moved to the U.S. and began living in Maryland, where I finished my high school and then college. I lived in Maryland until 2002 when my wife and I moved to Virginia.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Family is very important to me, so most of my time is spent with my wife and our son. Especially our son, where I really enjoy being around him. Be it just playing around with him, or caddying for him when he is playing in golf tournaments, but more importantly making sure he is on the right path academically. I also enjoy playing golf, reading, watching sports and catching a thought-provoking movie.
Any volunteer activities you enjoy doing?
Working with kids and teaching them the many life lessons that come out of playing sports is a great experience. This is why I enjoy volunteering to coach youth sports and have done so both when I didn't have a child playing in the team, as well as now when coaching my son's soccer or basketball team. I've also been involved with different local cultural Iranian-American organizations, either as a volunteer or by serving on the board. Hoping to make a dent in preserving the Iranian culture for the younger generation in our community.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
Being lucky enough to not only have married a wonderful woman but also have a great kid whom I proud to be his father.
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