Written by The Business Journal Staff
Rick Roush, Founder and Chief Investment Officer
Roush Investment Group
What we do:
I am responsible for all investment allocations for our clients. As the owner and founder, I have the ultimate responsibility for the growth of our company. We are a fiduciary firm, meaning every decision we make is made in our clients’ best interests. I own and embrace that guidance and responsibility.
I was drafted during the Vietnam War and did not complete my college degree. I have attended many advanced educational programs throughout my career ranging from training at the Chicago Board of Trade to Wharton University. I am an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) and a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA).
I have a wonderful family to which I credit my loving wife of 44 years, Terree. We have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
How did you first get involved in the investment and wealth management industries, Rick?
In 1981-82, I relocated to Clovis from Southern California with my commercial transportation equipment sales business. While in transition from Fontana, we were robbed of our entire tractor and trailer inventory. Unfortunately, I had borrowed over $500,000 and was now on the verge of bankruptcy. My father had declared bankruptcy twice while I was growing up, so I knew this could not be an option for me. Luckily, Mr. Bill Shaw at E.F. Hutton gave me the opportunity to become a trusted wealth advisor, and I have never taken for granted the value of relationships and the trust people place in you.
How would you describe your money-management philosophy and what assets or investment vehicles do you favor, Rick?
Well, I learned long ago that I view the “Wall Street” money managers differently than the majority of advisors in this town. We don’t believe in the traditional mantra of “buy and hold until the cows come home!” I don’t believe money managers should be paid a bonus because they didn’t lose you as much as the market index would have. A very successful client taught me years ago that “no position is a position.” Meaning, you can invest in cash. Owning stocks and bonds at all times is not necessarily a practical allocation. We are a firm that believes in utilizing strategies built on discipline and intelligence, which address the emotional and behavioral influences that can disrupt an investment plan. We’ve established a defined method of entering and exiting the market. Because the majority of our clients are business owners and their families, we also favor a large ownership in “double tax-free” municipal bonds.
What are the most important factors (or biggest obstacles) in helping your clients manage, preserve and increase their wealth, Rick?
There are a quite few factors, and obstacles, in wealth management. First, our clients themselves. By this, I am referring to their emotions and truly being able to define their expectations during what we call “life cycles of change.” Once we implement our Financial Life Planning discovery process, they see the value in our services and confidence and commitment prevail. Another obstacle is taxes. We focus on an old adage: “It’s not what you earn, it’s what you keep.” We use tax-free bonds as a major asset class for our clients. Another factor, or obstacle, is budgeting. Clients want to save and retire gracefully, but sometimes, unforeseen expenses expose themselves and dollars get placed into different “life buckets.” Our job is to account and plan for this, and it is a major obstacle we openly embrace.
What potential pitfalls should investors be aware of before diving into today’s markets, Rick?
I could write a book on this! Foremost, find an advisor that will sign a document stating: “Above anything else, I will ALWAYS put your best interest first before mine or the firm I work for.” Ninety-nine percent of all of the bank-owned brokerage firms will not allow a broker to sign that document. As an investor, you want an advisor who puts your best interests first and does not just follow a “reasonable” suitability when managing your wealth. Secondly, you want full fee-transparency. Meaning, your advisor should disclose to you all fees you are paying including the upfront, backend, and commission-based shelf products packaged by the large national banks and brokerage firms that you’re familiar with. Third, don’t chase returns. Understand what the tax costs are in the investments you own and if you sell, how those taxes will affect your return.
What advice would you give to people that don’t know if they are with the best advisor or investment house, Rick?
Always, always, always get a second opinion on ALL your investment decisions. It will only make you smarter and more confident about your current situation. “There is no expertise without collaboration.” This quote really resonated with our firm and our clients. You must make sure your team of advisors collaborates and meets at least once per year in the same room, at the same time, with YOUR agenda discussed, not theirs.
What was the best advice you ever received and who did it come from?
“When someone speaks ill of you, always consider the source!” – My Father
“Always treat people the way you want to be treated.” -My Mother
What are your roots in the Central Valley, Rick?
I was born on the Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore, Maryland. I moved to Clovis in 1981 from Southern California. We moved to Fresno from Clovis in January 1990.
I started with E.F. Hutton in downtown Fresno in the fall of 1982. I was one of the three founders to bring AAA baseball to Downtown Fresno and have owned the T.W. Patterson Building since May 1994. We operate our wealth management business, Roush Investment Group, on the 6th floor.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it, Rick?
I was raised in a poor upbringing and started work at age 11 with newspaper routes and lawn cutting businesses. Once I had my motorcycle at 15 ½, I could travel to work. That opened the door to my first real job as a “screen maker” for a local manufacturer in City of Industry. I quickly advanced to a screener from clean-up boy. There, I learned that you, and only you, can control your income when you work hard and work honest. I took with me the valuable lesson of “piece work” — you learn that hard work delivered with quality is a win-win, for you and your employer.