March 29, 2021
Why Work With a CFA Charterholder?
CFA: a designation that matters

It’s been a wild year for the stock market. Even amid the economic challenges of a global pandemic, equities have performed stunningly well. Over the past 12 months, the global markets have climbed steadily, with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq indices all hitting record highs in March. At the same time, the headlines are filled with news of high-flying assets (think Bitcoin, General Motors, Tesla, and Twitter) that have jumped to great heights, seemingly overnight. It’s a scenario that is ripe for risk, especially for investors who are tempted by the potential to “get rich quick” by trying to time this highly volatile market.

While it’s clear that some investors are willing to take on the high level of risk that comes with chasing returns, at Leisure Capital Management, our clients prefer a more studious method to investing that focuses on the careful balance of risk and reward. It’s an approach that requires deep knowledge, practiced skill, and years of experience managing the complexities and nuances of investing. That’s precisely why we are proud to have three advisors on our team who hold the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation.

The world of advisory services goes hand-in-hand with a virtual alphabet soup of credentials (including ChFC, CFP, CFS, CIMA, CMT, CPA, and more), yet the CFA designation sits at the top of the heap as one of the most respected and sought-after designations in the finance and investment worlds.

Awarded by the CFA Institute, the CFA designation measures and certifies the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Recognized worldwide, the designation is unlike any other advisory designation because it is focused entirely on investing.

Our team’s CFA designations serve as an important differentiator for our firm—and a key benefit to our clients who rely on the growth of their assets to give them the freedom to live abundantly, give purposefully, and ensure a family legacy. We take our role in helping our clients achieve those financial goals personally, and we know that doing so requires a diligent approach to balancing risk and reward across your portfolio. Gideon, Ray, and Patrick are all trained in the nuances of the stock market and the value of diversification—and how to align the realities of the market with your long-term financial goals:

  • Gideon Bernstein has held the CFA designation since 1996. He is an active member of the CFA Institute, and has served as a board member of the CFASOC (CFA Society of Orange County). He has been managing fixed income and equity securities portfolios for nearly three decades.
  • Ray Robinson received the CFAdesignation in 2006 and is a member of the CFA Society of Orange County. His experience in portfolio research, portfolio analysis, and account management for high-net-worth individuals and foundations spans nearly three decades.
  • Patrick Maxwell received the CFA designation in 2014 and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Orange County. As a member of our Investment Committee, he is responsible for research across the breadth of the firm’s investment portfolios.

It’s a designation that matters, and it requires a level of training that doesn’t come easily. The CFA exams are known for being difficult to pass. It takes an average of 1,000 hours of study, covering extensive and challenging materials that are constantly updated to reflect the latest innovations and events in the industry. Areas of study include quantitative investment knowledge areas such as statistics, accounting and economics, as well as courses on each of the major asset classes. It takes between 2.5-7 years to complete the coursework, and candidates must also complete 4,000 hours of professional work experience to qualify. Less than half of those who take the test pass the first level.

For those who do pass, however, the designation is testament to their uncommon level of knowledge in the world of investing. And the commitment to excellence doesn’t stop after the passing the exam. CFA charterholders are required to attest to their compliance with the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct every year, and many (including all three of our CFA charterholders) actively pursue deeper knowledge in the field through independent research, regular journals provided by the CFA Institute, and participation in local CFA chapters, such as the CFA Society here in Orange County.

At Leisure Capital, we are committed to taking every possible step to help our clients navigate the complex investment universe available to you. That is why we place great value in the fact that Gideon, Ray, and Patrick have each earned the coveted CFA designation. From helping us enhance the quality of our portfolios to strengthening our ability to assess and align your investment options with your goals today and in the future, we believe the CFA designation matters. We hope you see the value of the designation in everything we do.


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