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Business Sense column
By Bill Freehling
I HAD THE opportunity this past Wednesday to hear local financial adviser Doug Stewart give his thoughts on the markets, personal finance, attributes that lead to business success and more.
Stewart is the senior adviser of Cary Street Partners' Fredericksburg office near Mary Washington Hospital. He's been working as a financial adviser in the Fredericksburg area for nearly three decades. Barron's consistently names Stewart as among the top financial advisers in the country.
He's also been very active in many Fredericksburg-area organizations including Fredericksburg Academy, The George Washington Foundation, the Mary Washington Hospital Foundation, the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region and St. George's Episcopal Church.
On Wednesday, Stewart was the featured speaker at a monthly lunchtime event put on by the Next Generation of Business Leaders (of which I am a board member). I wanted to pass along some of his thoughts.
Diversify your assets. Stewart said he got into real estate investing because he didn't want to have all his net worth tied up in the stock market.
Look to areas of the market that others aren't paying as much attention to. He mentioned coal stocks and emerging markets as among these potentially overlooked sectors now.
Always put the client first, no matter what industry you're in.
Hard work is essential, but also take time for yourself. He said it's important to get away at times to recharge.
Everyone faces adversity. It's how you react to it that will determine your level of success.
Learning how to interact with successful people is an important skill.
Those who have achieved success should give back to the community that has played a role in getting them there. He advised audience members to pick an organization or two to which they can contribute.
Stewart also gave some interesting perspectives about how the financial advisory industry has changed since he started in the 1980s. Primarily because of the Internet, there are now more opportunities for people to direct their own investment decisions.
Stewart said people with relatively low net worths are more likely to want to manage their own money through online accounts. But higher net worth individuals with assets of more than $1 million have been more likely to stick with a full-service financial adviser.
Stewart said his job is more about helping these clients stay rich than get rich through conservative financial management.
Staff reporter Bill Freehling writes this biweekly column on business, personal finance and investing. He can be reached at 540/374-5405 or