ERIC COURAGE, CFA, CFP, CAIA
Founder / Wealth Strategy Advisor
Eric has over 15 years of experience, both in private wealth management and as an analyst building financial products.
He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). The CFA is “the gold standard” of finance worldwide, according to The Economist.
He is also a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP™) and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA).
Outside of MARGIN
Eric has taught CFP™ investment courses at a Colorado University, and served on the Englewood, Colorado Firefighter Pension Board, and CFA Colorado Board.
His passions outside work include intense exercise, cooking wantabee Michelin star healthy cuisine, funk/hip-hop/jazz/reggae drumming, and motorcycle rides around town. And, traveling to beaches with his daughter and wife.
AN ADVISOR TURNED ANALYST TURNED ADVISOR
In 2008, my career in finance began at a small private wealth management firm. Soon after the recession ended, I joined a team at a mid-size private bank. Most days I was bored. Soon, labeled a trouble maker by managment: too detailed, challenging, and “direct”. So, I started down the path of becoming an analyst.
During the first leg, I worked in valuation performing M&A valuations on small and mid-sized healthcare practices. Then, going through the CFA program. After, I worked as a Product Analyst at Transamerica. Where we analyzed the mutual fund landscape, and lead their launch into ETFs. After a big promotion, I worked in corporate competitive analysis for the entire firm. Daily, we’d dive deep and wide into almost every complex insurance and investment products you can think of.
The work was an opposite career extreme: humbling, detailed, and very challenging. Our small team’s research synthesized key developments and competitor intelligence for Transamerica’s Fortune 500 C-Suite. I was in the glass office. Closing in on everything I was supposed to want. But, secretly, between me and you, I started to hate it. I missed the clients, and many days I was in way over my head. Wondering why and what for? Would any of these write-ups and spreadsheets make a difference?
FULL CIRCLE: WHY I STARTED MARGIN
I loved the challenge of being an analyst. But realistically, I had to be honest with myself: there is little personal impact. So, I returned back to wealth management at a bank Private Client Group. To work with clients yet again. A step in the right direction. But as I soon found, down the wrong road.
The path included managment pressure to sell clients things they didn’t need; many requests to “dumb down” my work; the inability to talk about taxes; a huge number of clients, and scarce quality of professionals for peers to grow and serve clients.
It was off. Way off.
Maybe I should launch my own firm?
Since running the firm, I’ve learned a ton from our clients, failures, successes, and peers throughout the country. Many of my peers thank me for working with the engineer and very detailed clients, so they don’t have too. I’m humbled and honored that all of my analyst background goes into making a difference, while still getting into enough trouble to keep things interesting.