Doyle Wealth Management, one of the larger investment management firms in St. Petersburg with more than $922 million in team assets, got quite a bit of national recognition in 2018.
Bob Doyle, president and a founding shareholder, made Forbes list of top wealth advisors, while Chris Jay, senior wealth manager, and Cassandra Smalley, director of financial planning and senior wealth manager, were on Forbes list of “next-gen” advisors.
“These things are unexpected and when you get them it’s very exciting,” said Doyle, who talked with St. Pete Catalyst about the company’s accomplishments and challenges in 2018.
St. Pete Catalyst: What were your company’s biggest accomplishments in 2018?
Doyle: Our ability to maintain our continued growth in times of volatile markets and uncertainty. The firm was founded 14 years ago and since then, we’ve maintained a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent.
I attribute a lot of our accomplishments to our clients. Our clients are loyal, they’re true, they’re appreciative and they listen to advice.
We are the contra-advisor. W are behavioral investment counselors, telling clients to turn off the TV, be careful what you let into your head, don’t be swayed by the next big thing to pop up on your smartphone.
St. Pete Catalyst: What was a challenge the company faced in 2018 and what did you learn from it?
Doyle: One challenge we faced is finding the best of the best and brightest candidates. Our firm has doubled in headcount over five years and always trying to recruit and attract the best candidates was a challenge in 2018.
What we learned was that it is just as important to keep and retain qualified staff as it is to recruit candidates.
St. Pete Catalyst: What are your goals for your company in 2019?
Doyle: Our growth comes from clients so our focus for 2019 will be to continue to take care of clients — to develop, build and strengthen deep and lasting relationships. Our growth comes from those deep and lasting relationships. We end up being their only advisor and they feel very comfortable in sharing their story with their friends. If you take care of clients, your clients will take care of you.
Another goal for 2019 is to continue to take market share from all our competitors We are a fiduciary, not a broker, and as a fiduciary we have nothing to sell. We sit on the same side of table as our clients. That type of honest relationship attracts people who are looking for long-term results, many coming from the broker-dealer community and people who have self-managed their own investments.
St. Pete Catalyst: Many people are saying we will have a recession in 2019 or 2020. How will that impact you?
Doyle: I guarantee we’re going to have a recession. I guarantee we will have a bear market, but I have no idea when, nor do I spend any time trying to anticipate exactly when. Who really knows? A recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. It’s part of the economic and business cycle.
The only people who are hurt by a bear market are the people who are surprised by a bear market. How you react will determine how well you will do in a bear market.
St. Pete Catalyst: What business insight can you share with readers?
Doyle: Stick with the tried and true things. Live beneath your means. Do something nice for a stranger. Be kind to someone. Use good manners. Be polite. Take care of your neighbors. Those are the things that matter and at the end of the day when you put your head down on the pillow, you will feel like you had a good day.
St. Pete Catalyst: What’s your morning ritual?
Doyle: I like to be the first one up in the house. I make my side of the bed. I like to have quiet time and usually do that on the drive to work. I don’t play the radio or have music on. I drive down North Shore Drive, which is a little out of my way, so I can look at people walking and often catch the sun rising. It always sets my frame of mind that I’m fortunate to live where I do. I count my blessings as I drive to work.
St. Pete Catalyst: What are you listening to?
Doyle: I’ve gotten hooked on some podcasts. From NPR, I like “Planet Money.” Another one is “99% Invisible” for personal enjoyment. They have interesting stories.
St. Pete Catalyst: What are you watching?
Doyle: I don’t watch network TV and if I do, it’s a cooking show, like “Beat Bobby Flay.” We also watch old reruns of “Parks & Recreation” on Netflix.
St. Pete Catalyst: What’s a must-read or must-listen for our readers?
Doyle: I like history and I’m in the middle of two books. One is a presidential biography, “Reagan: The Life,” by H.W. Brands. The other is “Those Angry Days,” by Lynne Olson, about 1939 to 1941 when the county was divided about entering World War II. For people who say our nation has never been so divided as it is now, that’s not true and they should read this book.