Meet the Partners! An Interview with Matthew Fischer, CFA

April 21, 2023

Meet the Partners! An Interview with Matthew Fischer, CFA

Matthew began his career with Chicago Partners as a summer intern in 2011. He joined the firm on a full-time basis in 2012 after he graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Kelley School of Business and a minor in Information Technology.

He enjoys researching his passions of finance and technology. Matt achieved the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2018.

Matt really enjoys traveling, having visited 49 states, countless National Parks & Monuments, and several countries. He is especially fond of mountains, sounds, & (most especially) fjords. He has immense passion for cars, with special fondness for 70s muscle cars to 90s & 2000s sports cars, and practically anything with a manual transmission. Other passions include golf, hockey, Notre Dame football, and sports in general.

We asked Matthew a few questions about his background, wealth management philosophy, and advice he gives to investors.

How did you get into wealth management?

There are many things that have driven me into this industry. One of the initial drivers was my cousin, who is ten years older than me and I very much look up tom and was working in Private Wealth for the large investment banks. I took a lot of time to research what that was and fell in love with the idea of being able to help individuals and families financially. I always felt that I had a great grasp of financial responsibility, thanks to my parents' frugality (truly cheapness, in reality), and I also loved the feeling of helping others and making an impact on their lives, so this industry seemed to be made for me.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to working with your clients?

There’s much to love about what I do. My absolute favorite part of this career is getting to know the clients, from who they are and what drives them, to being able to help their families and kids. I’m also very driven to help take over the burden and stress that clients have when managing their own capital, so that they can sleep easy at night knowing they have someone they trust at the wheel worrying about it for them. It is one of the biggest honors to be entrusted to handle one’s financial capital that has taken decades of hard work to build.

How would you describe your wealth management philosophy?

I view our role as a financial advisor as the CFO. Anything and everything related to their financial lives I want to make sure that we’re a part of so that we can help make sure the client is making the most informed decision possible. When it comes to the portfolio and how best to invest client assets, I believe strongly that the best portfolio for a client is one they can remain disciplined in, even in the toughest times. If markets, and therefore the portfolio, are down significantly and the client wants to sell to reduce risk, it is the wrong portfolio for them. We need to craft the right portfolio so that it matches their goals and objectives, but also their risk tolerance.

What is the number one question you receive from clients, and how do you usually respond?

Are we ok, will we make it?

Losing money is never easy. When clients see markets going down and know the portfolio is going down as well, it’s unnerving and feels like you’re going to lose everything. My response is that we’ve planned for this. We know markets are going to have periods of negative volatility (about 42% of the time). Together, we’ve helped build that proper custom portfolio so that it meets their long-term objectives. The portfolio is producing robust income that helps cover short-term cash needs while allowing the principal to rebound. While these harsh environments are tough and there’s actions and opportunities we’re looking at, we need to remain focused on the long-term. I vividly remember when I was learning to drive, my uncle took me out in the countryside and his main point was that I need to look far out ahead of me. I can’t be focused only on what’s right in front of me but almost more importantly on what lies ahead. If we get too focused on the short-term and the road that’s directly over the hood of the car, bad mistakes can be made. If we move our eyes higher towards the horizon, we can more clearly understand what’s to come and adjust the car appropriately to stay in the proper lane.

What is the single most important thing for investors to keep in mind?

Your financial footing stretches over decades and decades and you must continue to remain focused on the long-term goal and objective. No one can tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow but it’s your commitment to the plan that gets you to where you want to be.

What do you like to do outside of being an investment advisor?

While I truly do love waking up on Mondays excited to come to work, my real passion and drive is being around and supporting my family. I love spending time with my wife and supporting her and her career as well as my son (2.5), who continues to shock me every day with his intelligence and sense of humor. We are also very excited about the addition to our family that is coming this summer. On top of work & family, I love spending what little free time I have out on the golf course with my dad, watching hockey & Notre Dame football, traveling with my family on trips to the mountains and national parks where we can hike, as well as fostering my deep love of cars.

If you could visit one place, where would you go?

This is an incredibly hard question to answer, as there are so many places I absolutely love, all for completely different reasons. There are also several places I have never been and really want to visit & experience. One place I often think of for a place I really want to go and visit is the Faroe Islands. Small, remote, and stunningly gorgeous for hiking and exploring, it seems right up my alley for an amazing vacation.

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