Featured Torero: Richard Davey

Tuesday, April 10, 2018TOPICS: Alumni

begin quoteI had so many great professors but one who really stands out in my memory is Alan Gin. I learned so much in my two economics courses I took with him that I use daily in my investment career.

1: What have you been up to since graduation?

Right out of college I worked at Grant Thornton to obtain my CPA license and served as a Senior Audit Associate for two years. After that, I obtained my CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) designation and started my own investment and financial planning practice that I have been building for 6 years. We call our firm Fiduciary Financial Group as we operate at all times under a fiduciary standard of care for clients. This means being legally obligated and committed to always serving the best interests of our clients. At 30 years old, I recently eclipsed $50 million in assets under management which was a huge achievement for me at this early stage in my investment career. My passion with my career stems from being able to sit across the table many times a day with people who need help managing one of the most critical components of their personal life… their money. My day to day job is really only one step removed from being a therapist. I like to think I excel in helping people boil down very complex (and emotional) financial issues & decisions into more simple, basic terms. 

In my personal life, I like to keep up my hobby of playing tennis, something I re-discovered in college at USD on the courts up by the Vistas sophomore housing. I also got married 4 years ago and now have a rambunctious 18 month old daughter and another baby girl on the way!

2: What is your fondest memory of USD?

I loved the culture with the beach nearby and the small classroom sizes where I could make friends easily and connect one on one with my professors. But my fondest memories definitely come from cheering on the Toreros basketball team in their WCC battles at Jenny Craig. My buddy, Ben Crookston, and I both suffered career ending injuries during our freshman year football camp at USD. To replace the void we felt from not being on a formal sports team anymore, we started a new student fan organization called “The Frontline”. Mainly focused on the USD basketball teams, the goal was to boost student participation and support for USD athletics. There was one game in particular when we were able to get our favorite taqueria joint (JV’s) to make about 10 cases of burritos for the first couple hundred USD students who showed up to cheer for the team.  While it was almost 10 years ago now, no game stands out more in my memory than our amazing underdog victory over UCONN in the first round of the NCAA tournament when De’Jon Jackson sunk a fade away buzzer beater to give USD its first ever tournament victory. That was pretty cool.  

3: What is your favorite place on campus, why?

I loved Aromas. Study groups with caffeine close by was a major plus. It really encapsulated the "small school" feel that I loved about USD.

4: Who was your favorite USD professor or class?

This is tough! I had so many great professors but one who really stands out in my memory is Alan Gin. I learned so much in my two economics courses I took with him that I use daily in my investment career. People tend to over complicate investing, when really it all boils down to supply and demand. If there is more demand for than supply of a stock, it goes up. If the opposite is true, it goes down. His x/y axis supply demand curve graphs that we hashed out time and time again on the whiteboards in Olin Hall helped me develop invaluable conceptual knowledge about economics that will never cease to be useful. He was a phenomenal teacher. 

Dr. Pattison pushed me harder than anyone but she knew how to get me to do my best. That's an incredible skill for a professor. I was a pretty good student in high school, but I got serious about my grades in college. I was never dealt a larger blow to my ego than the time I received my first “F” on a test in her Cost Accounting class. I was maintaining a pretty solid A average up to that point and thought it was doomed after I got that test score back on my mid-term. In a big school, the teacher wouldn’t have had any interest in helping me overcome that mark. With Dr. P, she met with me on many occasions outside of class to help me get back on track. By some miracle, I was able to salvage an A- in that class. Sounds cliché, but that taught me a lot about never giving up.

5: How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?

I still stay in touch with a number of my USD alumni from my class of 2009. I also had some colleagues at Grant Thornton who were USD graduates. Recently I've connected with a mentor from USD - Ken Winans who also runs an investment firm in the Bay Area near me.

6: If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?

Get to know your faculty on a personal level and network network network with alumni, particularly if you plan to stay in California for a career after graduation.

Interested in connecting with Richard? Email him at richard@ffgwealth.com.