Gagne Wealth Man­age­ment

Jay Gagne is more con­cerned with what he calls “head­line risk” than he is with the cycli­cal ups and downs of the stock mar­ket.

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Dust­ing off the His­tory Books to Calm Clients Fears

“We wake up in the morn­ing and the wrong head­line is blast­ing across the TV. Sud­denly the mar­ket re­acts vi­o­lently to the down­side – and then clients are pan­ick­ing when they re­ally don’t need to,” he said.

That’s when Gagne, the man­ag­ing part­ner of Gagne Wealth Man­age­ment, an in­de­pen­dent Ray­mond James firm lo­cated in In­di­anapo­lis, In­di­ana, takes an aca­demic ap­proach. He trans­forms from fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor to his­tory teacher, go­ing over the check­list of down­turns, as well as na­tional and world events that the stock mar­ket and the U.S. econ­omy have sur­vived.

His list in­cludes World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Viet­nam War, the Demo­cratic Party be­ing in con­trol, the Repub­li­can Party be­ing in con­trol, the as­sas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy, the credit cri­sis, ris­ing in­ter­est rates and low­er­ing in­ter­est rates, just to name a few.

“This mar­ket has been through ev­ery­thing,” Gagne said. “All we have to do is pull out the his­tory book and dust it off to see how the mar­kets re­acted when a sim­i­lar time ap­proaches us to­day. We can look at how many months it took for the mar­kets to re­cover – and what were the pol­icy de­ci­sions that worked and what did not work.”

He gained this con­fi­dence be­cause of a pro­fes­sional move he made in 2001, after earn­ing the Cer­ti­fied In­vest­ment Man­age­ment An­a­lyst (CIMA) des­ig­na­tion from the Whar­ton School of Business at the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia. He be­lieves earn­ing this dis­tinc­tion changed his ca­reer by up­ping his game as a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor.“My great­est suc­cess was that wake-up call in 2001 when I got the ad­di­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from Whar­ton and turned into a true pro­fes­sional by ap­ply­ing the prin­ci­ples I learned there to my book of business,” Gagne said. “I learned all of the things I did not know.”

The changes he made must be pay­ing off. Gagne doesn’t have to prospect for clients; they all come via re­fer­ral from the 220 house­holds of doc­tors, physi­cians and oth­ers in the med­i­cal in­dus­try that com­prise his cur­rent book of business. He noted that the av­er­age ac­count size un­der his man­age­ment is in the $1 mil­lion range.

Not only are Gagne’s clients high net worth in­di­vid­u­als, but they are very ed­u­cated and very so­phis­ti­cated. Yet, even they ex­pe­ri­ence a myr­iad of emo­tions when the mar­ket takes another spin on the fi­nan­cial roller­coaster.

“One of the things I tell my clients over and over again is that mar­ket tur­bu­lence is an even­tu­al­ity and there is no way to avoid it,” Gagne em­pha­sized. “But this is how we are go­ing to han­dle it: If things get cheaper, we are go­ing to stay put even more res­o­lutely. I don’t know where the bot­tom is, I don’t know when things are over­sold and I don’t know when things are over­bought. What I do know is that downs are al­ways only tem­po­rary and the gains made dur­ing the ups are al­ways per­ma­nent.”

Learn more about Gagne Wealth Man­age­ment Group on­line at

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