Grayeli Investment Management - 01/1998-Present
Merrill Lynch - 09/1994-11/1997
M.B.A. in Finance, University of Maryland
B.S. in Business Administration specialization in Finance, University of Baltimore
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. My mission back then and still is to help my clients reach their financial goals, while giving them peace of mind so they can enjoy their life.
What is your investment approach to managing clients' assets?
Like so many other advisors I too use a diversified asset allocation approach by investing in a broad array of mutual funds as well as ETFs. Depending on the account size and your risk tolerance your money can also be invested in individual stocks and bonds.
What quality of yours makes you best suited to do what you do?
I've been told I'm trustworthy, reliable, and analytical.
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 do you like 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 building a book of business with hundreds and hundreds of clients.
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 affect 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.
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 a good fit for clients looking for someone to actively trade their accounts and/or manage it like a hedge fund.
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. I also enjoy playing golf, reading, watching sports and catching a thought-provoking movie.