Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013 - (Page 12)

Advisor Profile Youth Appeal By Kate Stalter Seeking to fill a niche, Blair Hodgson DuQuesnay starts a firm targeting young professionals. Blair Hodgson DuQuesnay always imagined herself onstage, as a professional ballet dancer. She’s on a different sort of stage these days, playing the lead role in a new advisory firm focused on clients younger than 50. The name of her New Orleans venture, Ignite, is a call to action. “My goal is to engage younger people to get involved in financial planning now, because it will make their lives so much easier,” she says. “Time is on their side. Making small changes when you are younger is so much better than having to play catch-up later.” Dance to Finance DuQuesnay, a 2003 University of Georgia graduate, entered college as a dance major. To hedge her career bets, she opted for a second major in the business school. She especially enjoyed her finance courses and began an internship at a Smith Barney office in Athens, Ga. She moved to Atlanta after graduation, joining a UBS wealth management office. The office served high-net-worth clients, as well as foundations, endowments, and 401(k) and pension plans. Though she was the youngest team member, DuQuesnay’s strong analytical skills meant she handled quarterly reviews of asset managers for the firm’s institutional clients. 12 Morningstar Advisor February/March 2013 It was a valuable learning experience, but after a year, she transferred to UBS’ New York office, fulfilling a longtime dream of living in the city. She studied for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, which she was awarded in 2009. A year later, she became a Certified Financial Planner. While in New York, she considered moving away from wealth management and into investment research. “That was something I struggled with for a long time—not understanding whether I was a salesperson, a relationship person, or an analyst,” she says. “I’m interested in research and portfolio construction, but I also like client interaction. I saw a lot of people on either side of that spectrum, but not a ton of people who were in the middle, like me. It took awhile for me to realize it was an option to pursue both.” After five years with UBS, she joined a New York-based independent registered investment advisor, Wealthstream Advisors. She considers Wealthstream founder Michael Goodman a mentor. At the firm, she learned to focus on comprehensive financial planning, along with portfolio risk management. “I was doing complete wealth management for the first time,” she says. “Not only was it investment management for clients, but very detailed, very heavy financial planning.” DuQuesnay stayed at Wealthstream for about 18 months. She would have stayed longer, but was getting married and moving to her new husband’s hometown of New Orleans. “New Orleans is fantastic. I just fell in love with it. I’m originally from Montgomery, Ala., so moving to the South wasn’t some crazy notion. And I was a little fatigued about flying every time I wanted to see my family, so I was open to moving closer,” she says. Investing in Youth She joined a New Orleans firm as an advisor, but couldn’t shake the feeling that she wanted to replicate the level of service offered by Wealthstream. “I took a hard look at myself and where I was. I had all the tools I needed to be out on my own, but also I didn’t have a mortgage, I didn’t have children, I didn’t have a lot of the risk factors. So I felt like it was the perfect time for me to take a chance,” she says. One chief reason for striking out on her own was that she wanted to develop a practice that specializes in serving younger clients. Her Wealthstream clients had been high-networth retirees, and she originally expected

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013

Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013
Letter From the Editor
Social Media, the Old- Fashioned Way
Do You Use Active Strategies?
Youth Appeal
How to Buy the Unloved 2013
Morningstar Managers of the Year
Investments á la Carte
Investment Briefs
Approaches to Absolute-Return Investing
In Agriculture, It’s Good to Be Strong
Yes, There Are Good Active Funds
The Decoupling
Where It Could Pay to Be Active
The Active Fund That Defies Obsolescence
The Epitome of an Active Manager
Lines of Communication
The Existence of Market Timing ‘Intelligence’
A Route to Commodities that Bypasses the Futures Market
Best Positioned for Health-Care Reform
Diversified Stock Funds That Earn Their Stars
Our Favorite Mutual Funds
50 Most-Popular Equity ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
A Twisted Debate

Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013