Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

David Shimana, CPA, CWS, AIF • Honolulu, HI
First Allied • First Allied Securities Inc.

My practice philosophy and process have evolved over the years. I believe in the value of ongoing professional education, sharing knowledge with peers and professionals in other disciplines, and having mentors. I also learn and grow from our firm’s work with clients, including successes and occasional instances where hindsight shows we might have done better.

I started my business career as a CPA and auditor, first working with one of the major international accounting firms and, after acquiring my MBA in accounting, with two of Hawaii’s top banks. After a couple of years in these positions, I ran into an old friend who had also been a CPA with a top firm. He had since transitioned to financial services and worked for a company that served participants in retirement plans, primarily in the 403(b) educational segment. He was enthusiastic about recruiting me for the firm he worked for. I will always be grateful for his mentorship in helping me get my start in the industry. I learned a great deal about the fundamentals of financial planning and helping clients find suitable retirement solutions within their employer-sponsored tax-qualified plans.

Following that first step into the advisory industry, I joined a smaller ensemble practice that was affiliated with one of the largest U.S. independent broker-dealers. The lead advisor and the group of advisors I worked with were all valuable resources for sharing advisory best practices. During this period, I made the transition from being more focused on specific product solutions in the 403(b) area to addressing clients’ broad financial-planning, investment, and retirement-income needs.

In 2007, I left to start my own firm. Through our affiliation with First Allied Securities, our firm offers clients the objectivity of working with an independent advisor, as well as the resources of a full-service independent brokerage firm.

Several people, all with different areas of expertise, have contributed to my ongoing growth as an advisor. One individual who had a huge impact on me managed a national employee benefits company. Sadly, he passed away in 2020. He taught me a lot about sales, having a successful mindset, and interpersonal skills.

A second person was a life insurance wholesaler. He retired a few years ago, but I still meet with him to pick his brain about different ways to improve what I’m doing in the insurance area with clients. He helps further my understanding of the ever-evolving insurance landscape of different strategies and products and provides insights on how best to conduct reviews of current coverages.

Related Article:The power of professional knowledge in a changing advisory environment

A third mentor is an investment professional and strategist with decades of experience across the investment industry, including management of tactical, risk-managed funds and serving as president of two major industry organizations—one dedicated to technical analysis and one to active investment management. He has offered insights related to how I could offer clients a differentiated investment value proposition—seeking competitive returns through full market cycles while employing sophisticated risk-management tools. We have spent many hours discussing how to combine uncorrelated strategies, analyzing portfolio construction based on different risk parameters, and addressing investment expectations with clients.

A fourth influential figure in my career was a retired systematic tactical hedge fund manager. The course he taught greatly shaped my understanding of valuations, future expected returns, asset-class diversification, outperformance rotation, and other advanced investment concepts.

These varied mentorship experiences have greatly contributed to my professional education and made me a better, more informed financial advisor. This development is further enriched by my background as a CPA and the knowledge gained from earning the designations of Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF). I firmly believe that one of our major obligations to clients as financial advisors is to deliver highly qualified guidance and a dedication to ongoing professional growth.

Securities offered through First Allied Securities Inc. A registered broker-dealer. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through First Allied Advisory Services. First Allied entities are under separate ownership from any other named entity. 1600 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 1408, Honolulu, HI 96814 (808) 952-5341.

David Shimana is not in public practice as a CPA. Certified Wealth Strategist and CWS are registered trademarks of Cannon Financial. Accredited Investment Fiduciary and AIF are registered trademarks of Fi360, a Broadridge Company.

Photography by: David Murphey