About me

About Ward Williams

Ward Williams

I worked at a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Washington with my own investment advisory practice for over 5 years, and now advise my friends and family informally, managing money for some of them, and actively investing for myself.

Why I started Green Lake Partners & this blog

I started this blog to teach and encourage people to take control of their finances before it’s too late.  Don’t wait until you’re in deep financial trouble to educate yourself and, if necessary, hire someone to help you.

My mission is to cut through the confusing, intimidating & unprofitable “advice” perpetuated by self-serving ‘investment professionals’, Wall Street, and media outlets.  I prefer to give it to people ‘straight’, make personal finance simple & understandable, and be upfront about the motivations & beliefs behind my advice.

In this way, I help people make decisions about what’s best for their financial well-being, not someone else’s.

Why you need to take action on your finances today

You need a financial plan to retire, protect yourself & family from disasters, fund higher education, take vacations, buy a home, invest, and simply get by comfortably, without having to stress about money. The earlier you start taking control of your money, the easier it is to accomplish your goals, so get started today.

Investing philosophy

I follow the investment philosophy of superinvestor Warren Buffett & Vanguard-founder John Bogle.  The goal is to buy and hold a well-diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds with the appropriate risk profile given an investor’s time horizon (when they need the money) and risk tolerance.

For 99.5% of people this means buying a low-fee, market index fund, preferably one that automatically rebalances like a Target Fund.  On a rare occasion, purchasing an actively-managed fund with reasonable expenses, the right investment philosophy, and honest & capable management may meet my criteria for investing as well.

For individual stocks, I look to purchase high-quality businesses at attractive (undervalued) prices.

For short-term investments (< 3 – 5 years), I prefer index bond funds with rock-bottom expense ratios and high-interest savings accounts (which are generally found online, rather than in brick-and-mortar banks.)

Formal education

I hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Washington’s Foster school of business.  I also hold Bachelor & Master of Science degrees in Physics.

Guiding Quotes

“The first rule of making money is not to lose money. And the second rule is to remember the first rule.”
– Warren Buffet
“For all long-term investors, there is only one objective-maximum total real return after taxes.”
– John Templeton
“The stock market is a giant distraction from the business of investing.”
– John Bogle

Disclosure Policy

To minimize any conflict of interest I may have in publishing articles on this site, I have a disclosure policy.  Any author on this site that discusses securities must disclose their personal financial holdings.  These holdings are listed below by author and ticker symbol.

Ward Williams – Mutual funds & Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs): VFINX, VBMFX, VTSMX, VTI, NAESX, VGTSX.

Individual stocks (long positions, unless otherwise noted): BRK-B, HOPS, NWPX

Ways I monetize my blog:

I enrolled in the Amazon Affiliates program in February 2010.  This means I get a small commission on any books that you buy through an Amazon.com link on my website.  (Note that I was posting these Amazon links previously without any compensation simply because I believe Amazon is usually the most reliable and cheapest/easiest place to get books and other consumer products.)

I will add Amazon links ONLY in cases where I believe the product I’m linking to is 1) excellent & worth buying and 2) available at a very good price from Amazon.  (I always recommend checking books out from the library before/instead of buying them.)

4 thoughts on “About me

  1. Pingback: Stay away from leveraged mutual funds and ETFs! « Words of Ward: Ward's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing

  2. Pingback: About Green Lake Financial Partners – How can we help you? « Green Lake Financial Partners

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