The secret to investing success? There isn’t a single answer, according to George Wyper ’84, managing director of Royce and Associates and a member of the Yale SOM Board of Advisors, who spoke to a student audience at Yale SOM on March 25. The Career Development Office and the Development and Alumni Relations Office sponsored Wyper’s talk.
“There is no perfect way to great success in the investment business,” Wyper said. “Each great investment has its own metrics.” There are, however, general guidelines to keep in mind, Wyper said, and he listed a few: a long holding period for investments and avoiding both transactional costs and taxes.
Looking back over his 25 years in the business, Wyper said two developments have had the greatest impact on the investment industry. One, he said, is the growing role of consultants who now provide most of the contact with clients. Clients tend to be more forgiving than consultants when it comes to weathering difficult investment periods, Wyper said. The other change is the advent of electronically traded funds, which make it more difficult for managers to beat the indices. “That’s a huge change, a sea change in the business,” Wyper said.
Explaining that he did not have a master plan in mind when he began his own career, Wyper simply encouraged students to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities that will come their way. “No matter what you’re doing, do as good a job as you can,” he said. “Get a good reputation and good things will happen.”