By K.J. WEBB
FINANCIAL EXPERTS: The First State Investment Advisors team of Matthew Redmond, left, and Sid Shupack stand outside their office in South Tulsa. Shupack is the firm’s founder, president and chairman of the board, and Redmond is the new investment analyst and assistant portfolio manager responsible for developing the company’s investment models and research.
Tulsa-based First State Investment Advisors has been providing Tulsa families with portfolio management and investment expertise since 1971. The firm’s approach to investing and its focus on personalized client service has established First State Investment Advisors as a trusted and consistently successful investment firm with a loyal client roster.
Since its inception, First State has partnered with key Tulsa families to provide them a new approach to investing: the Gold Chip Standard. Through these continued relationships, community involvement and charitable work, the firm’s client base continued to expand over the years.
First State’s founder, President and Chairman of the Board Sid Shupack says, “Our early clients developed a strong loyalty to us and continued to recommend us to families and friends, which allowed First State to grow and flourish through the years.” As of March 2016, the firm managed nearly $42 million for individuals, pension plans and retirement accounts.
When asked to explain the Gold Chip Standard, Shupack says, “Our approach is to invest in the highest quality large cap companies, as determined by a list of factors we have defined as the standard of a Gold Chip company. We create value for our investors by becoming the expert on a selected list of these companies and buying in at opportune times based upon our fundamental analysis of the business.”
Moreover, the firm’s approach to investment management is different as compared to most other advisors. Where most investment firms rely on the recommendations and valuations provided by external sources, First State performs all of its own research, analysis and valuations.
In May 2016, the firm added another investment analyst to its staff, Matthew Redmond. As the company’s new investment analyst and assistant portfolio manager, Redmond is responsible for developing the company’s investment models and research. Since joining First State, Redmond has reduced the time required to complete First State’s proprietary stock analysis from 30 days to one to three days, allowing more time to be spent researching companies to make better informed investment decisions.
Redmond graduated summa cum laude from Oral Roberts University with a BS in Finance and as an Honors Fellow, the highest distinction of the university’s honors program. He had the top score of his university’s graduating class on the Major Field Test in Business, scoring in the 99th percentile of the national index. Prior to his position at First State, Redmond worked as a Financial Analyst for Helmerich & Payne. Redmond is currently earning his Charter, one of the most prestigious designations a finance professional can have. After passing the first two of three exams in December 2015 and June 2016, he is currently a Level candidate.
Shupack explains the added value of the designation, “The credential is one of the most highly-esteemed designations in the investment world. It specializes in preparing candidates to become portfolio managers with advanced investment analysis skills. The high standards, grueling study, and work experience required ensures that the small percentage of candidates that make it through the program are well-equipped to analyze investments and make informed decisions. Holding the credential communicates a level of expertise and integrity that is widely respected, and it assures clients that every decision will be made with the highest degree of rigor. “
In addition to providing its own expert in-house analysis, Shupack explains another key factor that differentiates First State from other investment advisor firms: “We believe a fundamental differentiator is our client approach. We take the time to develop close personal relationships with each of our clients. As a business, we act exclusively as a portfolio manager, we provide each of our clients with free financial planning to address all of their other financial questions.” Shupack adds, “Because we do not sell other products or services, we are able to minimize conflicts of interest in our recommendations to clients of what would best meet each of their unique needs. Additionally, we are happy to serve any client who is prepared to invest.”
When asked what people should look for when selecting an investment advisory firm, Shupack advises the following: “There are several factors to consider before making your decision. A person should ask whether the management team has the expertise, experience, and integrity to successfully manage investments; what is the investment philosophy of the management, and does it match with your own financial philosophy, objectives, and constraints; what is the long-term record and historical performance of the firm; and have they provided you with a clear definition of the probable risk of investing in their style? Many firms are quick to talk about how well they have performed and skirt over the risk.”
Regarding the current investment landscape, Shupack’s prognosis on the economy for the rest of 2016-2017 is a high estimate for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index () of 19,000 by the end of the year (it is about 18,500 currently). “Our estimate for the in 2017 is 18,000 on the low side and 20,300 on the high side. We are forecasting growth of 1.5 percent for the full year of 2016 and 2 percent for 2017. We estimate that unemployment will remain at about five percent for this year and next. We expect the value of the dollar next year to stay within a five percent range of the current value.”
When asked if there is an art to investing, Shupack says, “The art of investing is experience. The ability to evaluate risk and reward and to consider all of the many nuances that go beyond the research and mathematical models is one that can only come from time and expert training. Each time a decision is made, that ability improves, and it takes many decisions to round out the other analytical skills of investing with this art.”
For more information about First State Investment Advisors visit firststate-ok.com or call 918-492-1466.