Richard Bean, CFA, CPA
Chief Wealth Strategist
Outside of our founders, Richard is among the longest tenured members of CornerCap and leads our talented team of wealth advisors. Richard stays directly engaged with as many CornerCap clients as possible to stay abreast of the topics and trends most impacting high net worth families in any given year. His approach to client service is very hands-on, focused on custom scenario planning to suit individual client needs, a principle that he ensures every member of the wealth advisor team exudes in their client service, as well.
Education and Accreditation
- BS, Finance – University of Southern Mississippi
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder
- Member, CFA Institute
- Member, CFA Society Atlanta
- Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Why did you choose to join CornerCap?
The experience and credentials of CornerCap’s founding staff were the best I had seen, and as early as its first decade in business the firm had developed an excellent reputation. While the firm was highly regarded in general, I had the extra advantage of having interacted with CornerCap firsthand while I was working for an employee benefits firm that had a professional relationship with CornerCap, and several of my former colleagues were also clients. Hearing their recommendations made joining an easy decision when I was offered the opportunity.
How do you encourage clients to frame their financial picture?
Framing the pathway is where many advisors focus, but I’ve always believe that the most critical part of the journey is what comes next – staying on that pathway and not letting emotions derail the process. Keeping a longterm perspective can be difficult during periods of market turbulence. Feelings of hope and confidence can quickly be replaced by fear and anxiety. Prudent decision making is challenging when negative emotions are heightened. I encourage clients to allow me to do the worrying on their behalf and for them to remain focused on the path envisioned when framing their financial picture.
What inspired you to help people manage their wealth?
While I’ve always been passionate about the technical aspects of investment research, analysis and portfolio management, I quickly learned that the most rewarding part of wealth management is the relationships you develop with clients. It is quite humbling when people trust you to manage their money and to help them to make their financial vision a reality. I feel a tremendous sense of duty to perform at my very best for those who are relying on me, and it keeps me motivated and invigorated each and every day.
What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Successfully navigating our clients through one of our economy’s most painful financial crises. Because I joined CornerCap in 1996, I got to experience firsthand the full impact of the tech bubble that burst in 1999. As value-oriented managers, our portfolios significantly lagged behind the technology dominated indices in the late 90s as the bubble formed. This reality fully tested my ability to help clients remain focused on investment fundamentals and not get caught up in the hype of the latest internet company going public. The pressure for us to abandon our investment discipline and begin investing in the high-flying tech stocks was intense. This was all happening early in my career, and I was guided by the resolute discipline of our founders, Tom and Gene, and by their knowledge of how strategies work in the long term. We did not stray from our disciplined approach. When the tech bubble burst, our endurance was rewarded, and our clients enjoyed the benefits of our disciplined approach as the broader markets fell. I could not have asked for a better education so early in my career.
What’s your favorite book, and how did it shape your thinking?
While I still prize what I picked up from an undergraduate finance text book called Inside the Yield Book and a CFA study text called Investment Valuation, the two books I find myself re-reading most often are 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Both books offer timeless life strategies and lessons, but since keeping up good habits takes practice I do find it’s worth dusting off both books on a regular basis.