There are bear markets, and then there was the bear market of 2007-09. Yes, the Great Recession.
Economists consider it the sharpest bear market – a 54 percent drop in the Dow Jones industrial average – since the Great Depression. Financial advisers consider it a nightmare.
But Stephanie Hurt of BKD Wealth Advisors LLC looks back on the historic stock market crash with some gratification.
“I manage the entire life savings of many of my clients and from the fall of 2007 through the spring of 2009 helped them navigate through one of the most difficult periods our industry has ever seen,” says Hurt, a 15-year investment manager who had only been working in the industry five years at the time.
“I was able to retain nearly all of my clients during that difficult period and was able to get them to stick to their investment plan.”
Most people’s instinct creates a panic, and they decide to sell out. But Hurt says a financial crisis is the worst possible time to unload stock.
She would know as a senior portfolio manager and senior managing adviser for BKD Wealth Advisors. Her 10 years at the firm have earned a seat on the investment committee, where she is one of eight people setting policy on the client assets managed firmwide.
Hurt and her clients are reaping the benefits from the extra effort during and after the Great Recession. Her AUM is up 33 percent from 2014. She cites the rise in baby boomers entering retirement and the opportunity she has to help guide them through the process.
“Most people only retire once, but we walk down that path multiple times with clients and show them how they can retire and provide them peace of mind,” Hurt says.
Hurt works with private wealth clients and benefit plan clients. In her private wealth management role, she constructs, monitors and rebalances client portfolios, she says, so they can focus on running their businesses. The benefit plans give options to the employers’ participants.
“In that capacity, I have helped many plan sponsors lower the costs their employees are paying for their retirement investments,” she says.
Prior to joining BKD Wealth Advisors in mid-2007, Hurt managed portfolios for Springfield Trust Co. and U.S. Bank. During nearly five years in U.S. Bank’s private asset management office, she started with $25 million in assets under management and brought her portfolio to $150 million.
The chartered financial analyst is a member of the global CFA Institute that hands out the esteemed designation for fiduciaries. The CFA Institute promotes high standards in ethics and education.
Outside of finance, Hurt’s love for nature is shown by naming The Nature Conservancy as a beneficiary in her personal estate planning documents.
She also has served on the international organization’s board of trustees for the Missouri chapter.
She also is a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield-Downtown and on the advisory board for Missouri State University’s finance and general business department.
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