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Hardest part of the job for this Top 40 Under 40 advisor?

Keeping abreast of market developments is challenging — especially in volatile times, says Michael Lorenzo, a UBS advisor who oversees an option overlay portfolio strategy. “The flow of information is endless,” he says. Staying on top of that is a reason that Lorenzo made the ranking on our Top 40 Under 40 list for the first time, coming in at No. 8 this year.

Lorenzo, who generated more than $4.6 million in production, shared these and other details about his approach to the job with On Wall Street, which is taking a deep dive into the advisors who rose to the upper echelon of the Top 40 Under 40.

Read on to learn how Lorenzo’s practice is structured and about the best 15 minutes of his work week.

Finalists for the Top 40 Under 40 were to be no older than 39 as of Dec. 31, 2018. They also had to be registered with a firm in the employee channel. Nominees’ information was confirmed with their employers. Production totals were used to determine the rankings. Production and AUM figures are as of Sept. 30, 2018.

Michael Lorenzo_UBS.jpg
© Matt Greenslade

1. How would you describe your practice?

The majority of our team members — five advisors, five wealth strategy associates — have been working together for 15-plus years and serve approximately 50 ultrahigh-net-worth-families. We also have a proprietary option overlay strategy, in which we manage portfolios for our clients, as well as the clients of other UBS advisors. The majority of my time is spent as co-manager of the options strategy.

2. What was your biggest work accomplishment in 2018, and was there something that nearly kept you from achieving it?

Our option strategy seeks to benefit by managing market volatility. The market environment for volatility was quite challenging in 2018.

3. What was your biggest personal accomplishment in 2018?

Officially becoming a financial advisor in 2018!

4. Describe the best 15 minutes of your work week.

The three minutes of each workday when I walk through the door to our two boys screaming, "daddy's home!" as they run to be the first to greet me, and of course seeing my wife.

5. What’s the toughest part of your job?

The toughest part of my job is the lack of down time. To effectively perform as a portfolio manager, I need to continuously focus on both the macro and micro factors that ultimately impacts the markets and volatility. The flow of information is endless.

6. What makes you stand out as an advisor?

I pride myself on helping clients manage their own emotions and encourage them to take a long-term perspective when it comes to both managing their finances and staying focused on their life objectives. I believe that if I always put the client's needs ahead of all other considerations, their success will be my success.

7. What do you think people often misunderstand about the work advisors do?

Unfortunately, most clients have heard a horror story about a financial advisor that did wrong by their client. This perception tends to inform client’s judgement, and they're naturally skeptical of our industry. I entered this business because I believed I could help people meet their financial goals and improve their life. Advisors have to work hard to overcome these negative perceptions.

The advisors at the top of the ranking generated more than $59 million in combined annual revenue.
February 4

8. If you could get Americans to change one financial habit this year, what would it be?

I wouldn’t buy into the hype around crypto currencies and cannabis stocks.

9. What advice do you give to new FAs?

There is no such thing as instant gratification. Building lasting relationships with clients takes time. Clients want to do business with you for two reasons: They like you and they trust you.

10. What trends are you watching in 2019?

I’m paying attention to market volatility and liquidity. I’m observing whether or not the impact that systematic strategies had on the markets, especially as 2018 is the new normal. For example: Program trading, CTA/trend-following/vol-targeting strategies were forced to sell as volatility picked up (while liquidity was reduced) in the fourth quarter which produced outsized market moves.

11. What technology can you not live without?

At the office, I naturally wouldn’t be able to work without the computer or telephone.

12. Who is your personal hero?

This is very easy: my mom and dad, neither of whom are in finance. They instilled in me the value of hard work, respect and to never quit.

13. What is your morning beverage of choice?

Coffee — dark roast and a little half-and-half.

14. What goal, professional or personal, do you most want to achieve in 2019?

Professional goal: Expanding my knowledge of financial markets to look for sound investment opportunities, deepen relationships with our existing clients, and start building new ones with potential clients.

Personal goal: Set more time aside for exercise and playing recreational sports.

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