We are very pleased to announce that Elias McQuade is our newest CFA® charterholder at Marotta Wealth Management!
The Chartered Financial Analyst ® designation is the most respected and recognized investment management designation in the world.
To use the certification, you must pass all levels of a three-part exam that tests the fundamentals of investment tools, valuing assets, portfolio management, and wealth planning as well as complete work experience directly involved with the investment decision-making process and provide 2-3 professional references.
The exams cover the core curriculum topics of Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Statement Analysis, Corporate Issuers, Equity Investments, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Alternative Investments, Portfolio Management, and Wealth Planning.
According to the CFA Institute website , “On average, a typical candidate takes 4–5 years to pass all three exams. Successful candidates report spending about 300 hours studying for each level, ranging from 303 hours for the CFA Level I exam to 328 for the CFA Level II exam and to 344 for the CFA Level III exam.”
Elias began studying for the CFA exams when he started working for Marotta Wealth Management in 2016.
The Level I exam is a multiple choice, 5-hour, 180-question exam. The 10-year average pass rate for this level is currently only 42%. Elias passed the Level I exam in June 2017.
The Level II exam asks test takers to review a case study and then answer multiple choice questions related to that case. In total, there are 88 multiple-choice questions which test takers have almost 4.5 hours to complete. The 10-year average pass rate for this level is currently only 45%. Elias passed the Level II exam in June 2019.
The Level III exam requires test takers to answer multiple choice questions related to case studies in addition to writing essay responses. The 10-year average pass rate for this level is currently only 54%. Elias passed the Level III exam in May 2021.
Upon passing this final level, Elias became a CFA® charterholder and full member of Marotta Wealth Management’s Investment Committee.
As a child, Elias remembers that his dad would give him a one dollar bill and say, “Always keep a dollar in your pocket.” Coming from a family that lived mostly hand-to-mouth, Elias saw at an early age how valuable financial freedom and security are if you can attain them and what can happen if finances are not planned accordingly.
In grammar school, Elias started mowing lawns and saved his earnings in stocks for the first time. Back in those days, he owned a utility mutual fund and remembers checking the morning paper for the prior day’s price changes while his mom drove him to school.
Though he had this early exposure to stocks, his real interest in finance didn’t began in earnest until college. In pursuit of an International Business degree at Bryant University, Elias decided to concentrate in Finance after developing a strong connection with some of his professors. In his classes, he found he had a growing interest in learning more financial concepts like the time value of money and the weighted average cost of capital.
After graduating from college, Elias was an International Management Trainee for Delhaize Group and worked for local real estate investment firms. Around March 2016, Elias was hoping to transition from real estate management to equity management and talked with a staffing solutions temp agency to see if they could help.
This is when Elias met Marotta Wealth Management. At the time, we were hiring temporary employees through the agency to fill our open receptionist role. Making the connection between our firm and Elias, the temp agency placed him in our receptionist role so he could see how he liked the field. After three months when his temp employee contract ended, we hired him full-time to continue as our receptionist while also training in portfolio management and rebalancing.
Since then, Elias has passed his receptionist role on to others and become one of our primary portfolio managers. He is part of the trading team for over 200 portfolios and is one of our main employer sponsored retirement plan advisors. In our Retirement Plan Management service, he helps with employee education, enrollment, and paperwork. He has also aided the Investment Committee as our Investment Committee Secretary and with the administrative and investment decisions for employer-sponsored plans, specialties he continues to have now that he is a full Investment Committee member.
A Brief Interview with Elias
What is your favorite Marotta Wealth Management service?
Asset Allocation Design, Portfolio Management, Freedom Investing and Dynamic Tilt. These are my favorite services at Marotta because I feel that we are systematic in building our asset allocations. We take into consideration more than just growth in income but also freedom of individuals to start businesses to support their communities.
What is your favorite part of being with Marotta Wealth Management?
Working at Marotta Wealth Management has been a great experience due to the close knit team and appreciation everyone has for each other. More than anywhere else I have worked, there is an openness to appreciating real human qualities and the necessity of work life balance.
What is your favorite Marotta Wealth Management article or series? Why?
I enjoyed a recent article written by David Marotta about “Systematic Inequality in the Social Security Rules.” This topic of systematic inequality has been, rightfully so, becoming more acknowledged and understood in our society. In finance, as in other fields, it is important to better understand these dynamics so they can be rectified. I think articles and thought leadership on these subjects are important first steps to making changes that will ensure a more caring and equitable society.
What advice do you give to those who are just getting started with investing?
Jump in and get started with a token amount! After my first investing experiences as a young boy putting in my lawn mowing money into stocks, I didn’t start contributing to my Roth IRA until my mid 20s. Once I put in a few hundred dollars, that’s all it took to get the momentum going. Just start with 100 dollars in a Roth and learn a little bit about asset allocation. Next thing you know you’ll have a real nest egg!