How Three Generations of Bernard’s Have Survived The Market’s Worst Crashes
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“In our business, I feel that my knack for simplicity is almost a superpower.”
Donald A. Bernard Jr.
Hometown: Reno, NV
Education: University of Nevada, Reno
Title: Senior Vice President/Investments
Designation: Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
Career: 1988-1990: Bateman Eichler, Hill Richards
1990-2010: Wells Fargo Advisors 2010-present: Stifel
Family: Wife Sallie; Daughter Brooke; Sons Donald III and Collin
Past President: Saint Mary’s Hospital, Truckee Meadows Boys and Girls Club, YMCA of Reno, Prospector’s Club of Reno
Community Involvement: University of Nevada, Reno and Our Lady of the Snows Church
“Something better might be attained in the future by giving up something of value in the present.”
Donald A. Bernard III
Hometown: Reno, NV
Education: California State University, Fullerton (Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field)
Title: Financial Advisor
Designation: Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
Career: 2015-2017: Newcastle Financial Advisors 2017-2019: Franklin Templeton Investments 2019-present: Stifel
Board member: Truckee Meadows Boys and Girls Club (Young Leaders Committee)
Community Involvement: Our Lady of the Snows Church
The Bernard Wealth Management Group
50 W. Liberty, Suite 100
Reno, NV 89501
When the next crisis or market crash comes…will you be prepared?
Over 50 years ago, a family investment brand began. An investment brand built on one word: reputation.
The Bernard Wealth Management Group at Stifel story began in 1964, when Donald A. Bernard Sr. (retired) established a brand and a reputation, which answered that question.
Since the beginning, Don Sr. consistently communicated the importance of being prepared financially, if something happened to you, which was out of your control.
Whether it be a worldwide crisis, market crash, lost job, freak accident or no source of income to rely on, Don Sr. preached the importance of saving money and accumulating assets, as doing so would provide you a source of income should the well run dry.
“You must take care of your own needs first,” Don Sr. said. “In fact, doing so is a moral necessity. Taking care of yourself makes you stronger for everyone else in your life. During times like now, the world needs you at your best.”
The Bernard Wealth Management Group at Stifel manages hundreds of millions of dollars, across the country and within all regions of Northern Nevada. For over 50 years, three generations of Bernards have been recognized as leaders by guiding their clients through various crises and market crashes.
The most notable market crash for Don Sr. came during the year of 1987.
“During the “Black Monday” stock market crash, we saw U.S. markets fall more than 20% in a single day,” Don Sr. stated. “It is thought that the cause of the crash was triggered by computer trading models using risky derivatives and options for portfolio insurance.”
“I will never forget the panic calls from clients and I recognized the significance of having saved money and accumulated assets. My clients and I had spent years working towards this. We made it a priority. Yes, the crash hurt us in the short-term, but we never had to rely on someone else to maintain our financial independence and financial security in the long-term.”
During that time, Don Sr. realized his purpose for getting into the investment business.
“The bottom line was, I wanted to help others financially, but if I was going to advise them on financial matters I had to be credible myself. I had to prove that I had everything and more that I was telling my clients to do. This credibility didn’t come over night. It took years to build. ”
I don’t predict rain. I prepare for the storm.
Donald A. Bernard Jr. pins his personal and clients’ success on being in a position to seize opportunities, even at unlikely moments.
Like his father, when these moments come, Don Jr. stresses the importance of financial independence and financial security because being prepared for any crisis or crash, allows you to manage your situation and increase your odds of success and survival.
“If you can take care of yourself first, then your focus can turn outward” Don Jr. insists. “You can allow yourself to be in a good place at a bad time. My focus in life is to help others experience that feeling financially.”
Don Jr.’s “unlikely moment” came in 2008. The Financial Crisis.
“The decline in stock prices reflected real economic problems” Don Jr. said. “It was a perfect storm made of a mortgage crisis, a credit crisis, a bank collapse and a government bailout. Once major financial markets lost more than 30% of their value, a steep recession began.”
In the midst of any crisis or market crash, The Bernard Wealth Management Group at Stifel has had a rule: to continue to build their family investment brand on their reputation. Don Jr.’s reputation as an established, trustworthy and clear-headed financial advisor, has allowed him to help others, who are serious about building and preserving their wealth.
“The most basic advice I can give to people, looking to prepare themselves for the next crisis or market crash is: First, pay off your credit cards in full. Second, put six months’ worth of expenses in a money market account. Third, have the drive to take what is left over and invest it in the financial markets, real estate or both. Finally, have the discipline to never touch those investments and continue to add to them until you retire.”
“Many people have asked me, Don what is the secret to financial success? It’s as simple as that. It’s a constant battle to achieve these things. It requires endless sacrifice, time, focus and energy but the reward is so much greater than the sacrifice. I promise you that.”
Like every other crisis and crash that preceded him, the means in which Don Jr. prepared has never changed.
“You’ve got to be a bit selfish to be a successful person” Don Jr. stated. “When you are, you don’t cause worry and stress for those who care about you. You can be a role model and people will see the fire in your eyes. I am proud to be able to look my clients in their eyes and know that I am one of the most credible advisors out there.”
Often times, issues are beyond our control but if you have saved money and accumulated assets, you give yourself freedom and options to succeed, no matter what circumstances are thrown your way.
“I live for moments like these” Don Jr. declared. “Because this is when our family investment brand and our story is everything. This is an opportunity for me to be a leader for the people of our community.”
“My father built our family investment brand and it was my job to take it to another level. Now my son must ride for the brand and do whatever he can to help others better their lives financially. He couldn’t be doing a better job.”
Like Father Like Son
Along the way, Don Jr. has groomed his son to ultimately take control of the family investment business.
As a child, Donald A. Bernard III would crawl on the ground of his father’s office while he was working. 26 years later, he is building his own book of business and helping his clients work towards financial independence and financial security, during a time of war with an invisible enemy.
Just like his grandfather and father, Don III is experiencing a crisis and crash of his own. This one is much different than the two that came before him.
“COVID-19 has rattled everyone inside and out of the financial markets” Don III stated. “Even the best and the brightest didn’t see this virus coming. Not only have we have seen markets plummet, we are seeing many in our community out of work with no income to rely on.”
The decline in stock prices has reflected concern and uncertainty over the global spread of Coronavirus. Stock prices have fallen over 35% due to awareness towards disruption of supply chains, free movement of goods, social distancing and a shock to demand, as consumers and businesses cut back on consumption and investment.
“The market is broken but it will fix itself in time” Don III insists. “No one knows how long it will take to make a recovery, but believe me this isn’t the end of the market. This pandemic will eventually end. Stimulus will kick in. The market will rebound and there will be many opportunities out there. My optimism believes we are in a good place that looks like a bad place.”
Mandatory and temporary closures to essential and non-essential businesses, have wreaked havoc on the local economy and governments’ ability to maintain services in the coming months. Moreover, we are seeing thousands and thousands of individuals and families with no source of income to rely on.
“When you have no source of income or savings outside of your employer, you lose all of your freedom” Don III said. “This crisis and market crash should serve as a wakeup call to build financial independence and financial security. If you don’t get your personal financial engine running right, you place a burden on everyone from your family to the country.”
“If you can do that, you are able to invite uncertainty into your life. Then you can survive it, appreciate it and take advantage of it.”
Once the fog of war clears, opportunities to own high quality investments will present themselves. These will be opportunities, which we haven’t seen since the Financial Crisis over a decade ago.
At the end of the day, The Bernard Wealth Management Group at Stifel will be there to help you. Why? Because their reputation says so.
And as his grandfather and father consistently asked those around them, Don III asks you:
“When the next crisis or market crash comes…will you be prepared?”
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