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January 5, 2010

Patrick J. Dwyer

By Spear's

Private Wealth Advisor, Private Banking & Investment Group of Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management

Entrepreneurial figure you admire Howard Schultz at Starbucks, for taking the mundane process of making and serving coffee (an overlooked morning ritual) and turning it into a truly pleasant experience for its many customers. Personal service and educating their customer on the subtle quality distinctions that make superior coffee have brought high levels of satisfaction. We need to continue to offer great personal service – quality time spent one on one with clients – and to educate clients about the increasing complexity of the markets and innovation.

Mentor or source of inspiration
I have taken my inspiration from many sources, but my late father remains my true mentor. He was a classic value investor, never swayed by the fashion of the day or the guru of moment. His expectations were modest, conviction strong, and his time horizon forever. I can remember when internet investing exploded and everyone thought the investment advice market was dead in a matter of years – he bought regional brokerage stocks and hard line retailers, and tripled his money. His contrarian basic approach and humility taught me well.

Career highs and lows The greatest challenge is always keeping an open mind about change. Whether that is on the direction of markets or getting comfortable with a new style of hedge fund managers, I need to always be open minded in order to avoid the pitfalls of complacency.

Top tips for private clients in the recession First, investors need to make a long-term decline of the dollar a big part of their asset allocation bets. Second, high degrees of volatility are likely here to stay – so investors need to have managers and asset classes that can benefit from this like managed futures and certain types of hedge funds. Lastly, long term equity investing is not dead – it’s just moved overseas to the countries that are in the midst of a twenty year bull market cyclical.

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