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Why I Became A Financial Advisor (Joe)

By Joe Belfatto

Some things in life captivate us from a young age and never stop fascinating us. For me, it’s finance. I have always been interested in finance and the capital markets, and this passion has never wavered over my 30+ years of experience in this industry.

Starting My Career

After graduating from college with a degree in economics and receiving my MBA, I pursued a new venture with a long time mentor before entering Wall Street. At my five-year business school reunion, I connected with someone who offered to introduce me to a senior executive at Merrill Lynch, and I began my career in institutional sales with them in 1984. Over the course of 17 years, I worked in convertibles bonds, equities, fixed income, and equity capital markets. After 9/11 I decided to leave Merrill as my former boss recruited me to join him at HSBC to build out the capital markets business for the Americas. HSBC gave me the opportunity to move to London as Head of Global Equities, and I later returned to New York as Head of Global Markets for the Americas. 

My 23 years of experience in financial services prepared me for the next chapter of my career. What attracted me the most to MQS  was my 20-year relationship with Les Quick and the fact that MQS was an established independent advisory firm and fiduciary for its clients. Massey Quick Simon and the wealth management industry has provided me with the opportunity to impact people’s lives by assisting them in making potentially life-changing financial decisions for generations to come. I love what I do and feel like I am making a difference.

Transitioning To Financial Planning

My personal experience and that of my friends was that we were all too busy with our careers and families to dedicate the time necessary to our personal financial plans and investments. In addition, having worked with the banks and brokers, I saw that the advice being provided by the advisors wasn’t objective and not always in the best interest of the client.

When Les Quick, a close friend, founded Massey Quick with Stewart Massey, I was immediately impressed with their vision and business model. They embarked upon a mission to create a wealth management firm that served their clients' best interests by aligning the firm's goals with their clients. The firm quickly grew as did Massey Quick’s reputation and brand. Stewart and Les truly created a client-driven business, one that I believed in and wanted to be part of building.

I joined the team in 2007 as a partner where I am responsible for Client Relationship Management and Marketing. I also sit on the Management Committee and the Investment Committee, where I have an active role in evaluating new and existing investment managers.

My Role As An Advisor

I’ve been part of the team for more than 10 years and I’ve been thrilled with my decision ever since, as it has allowed me to leverage my background and skills in financial services, work with people I respect and trust and be an owner rather than an employee. I had always been intrigued with the wealth management business and believed my background would position me to help people better manage their wealth.

Massey Quick Simon provides me with the opportunity to interact with bright and motivated colleagues, clients with varied backgrounds and money managers across various asset classes, which I find both intellectually stimulating and challenging. I am very fortunate to have found the right fit for this chapter of my professional life.

As a partner, I want my clients to call me regarding any financial decision or issue in their lives. My goal is to serve as a place where they know they will get the help and guidance they need without having to spend a lot of time or worry.

The Hurdles And Triumphs

There are challenges that come with the role of a partner here. Managing our way through market volatility is always tough, since it is out of our control. Communication is key during these periods, and getting to know our clients from the start so we are on the same page in terms of asset allocation and portfolio management. We write investment policy statements for our clients so we understand their objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon, which helps during difficult market times.

Despite the challenges, I can’t imagine having any other career. Helping people get their financial lives organized so they can feel more confident is very gratifying. It’s incredibly fulfilling knowing they are in good hands at our firm and that we care a lot about them as well as being good stewards of their capital.

I love to work hard and I am surrounded by bright, caring, and highly motivated people at our firm who motivate me and who I am learning from every day. I want our firm to be best in class in our industry and offer our clients the best possible experience.

Next Steps

Pursuing your financial goals can be difficult, but you don’t have to make the hard choices alone. If you have questions about your financial needs and goals, I’d be happy to meet with you and conduct a complimentary consultation. To discover your financial opportunities, call our office at 973-525-1000 or email info@mqsadvisors.com.

About Joe

Joe Belfatto is a Managing Partner of Massey Quick Simon and is responsible for firm management, client relationships, and new business development. He joined Massey Quick Simon as a partner in 2007, after a 23 year career on Wall Street. Currently, he is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Investment Committee and also serves as the Partner on a number of individual, endowment and foundation client accounts. Learn more about Joe by connecting with him on LinkedIn or contacting Massey Quick Simon at 973-525-1000 or email info@mqsadvisors.com.