Dan started his career upon graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1999 (with honors in his history major and with distinction by graduating in the top 10% of the class). He earned a scholarship to complete a master’s degree in history at the University of Maryland which he finished in December of 1999, seven months after completing his bachelor’s degree. He then spent a total seven years on active duty in the Navy. His service included three deployments to the Persian Gulf on a destroyer and a cruiser, and a tour as an exchange officer to the Argentine Navy.
Dan chose to attend the Naval Academy and serve in the Navy because he strongly believed (and still does today) in the mission and purpose of the United States military: to promote peace by being ready to win America’s wars. And the Navy was a great way to spend his twenties: filled with travel, adventure, and awesome responsibilities for a young officer – to include leading divisions of sailors, driving billion-dollar warships longer than one-and-a-half football fields, and managing and launching heavy munitions.
He left the Navy in 2006 because he decided the personal sacrifices that sailors have to endure (mostly of being away from family for many months, even years at a time) were too great for him personally to make a full career.
To transition to the civilian workforce, he earned his MBA at Harvard Business School in 2009, where he concentrated his 2nd year electives in finance. His first job after business school was working for the world’s third largest asset manager, State Street Bank, in Boston, in a corporate strategy role. He then decided he wanted to do more work directly in investing and moved to San Francisco to work as an investment research analyst at Parnassus Investments (now a $25BN AUM firm, then a $6BN firm), before deciding to launch his own hedge fund, Beck Investment Partners, in 2011. At the time, he greatly enjoyed doing investment research, and wanted to start his own company investing in microcap securities where he could find an edge that the market didn’t appreciate or value properly.
He then decided to alter his career path from managing a single strategy hedge fund to become a financial advisor for a few reasons: 1) As his interests changed, he wanted to spend his work life interacting with and directly helping individuals, rather than researching stocks, 2) he wanted to make more of an impact on my client’s lives through holistic financial planning, rather than managing a small portion of their money that they wanted to take big risks with, and 3) he wanted to work and learn from others in a larger organization with institutional level financial planning resources, colleagues, and mentors.
In his role at Equitable Advisors, he’s found all three and his job is incredibly fulfilling personally and professionally.
From his Navy days his experience of maintaining calm in high stress, high pressure situations (often when there were lives on the line) is one thing that distinguishes him from other financial advisors. His education and credentials are another. Very few financial advisors have MBAs from top institutions, even fewer hold the CFA designation, and an even smaller number maintain their knowledge base by teaching in a review course. His passion for this industry and function is a third. With 21 years of professional work experience he has the perspective to know what he enjoys doing and the desire to do this for the rest of his working career. (Rest assured that if you are a young investor Dan will still be working 30-40 years from now to help you retire.) Finally, his background as a fundamental active investment manager gives him a unique perspective on the challenges of implementing active management solutions in client portfolios.