Ross’ Story (Biography)
After Ross graduated from the University of Florida with his bachelor’s degree in real estate and finance and a minor in economics, he began his career as a retail stockbroker in 1995. at OLDE Discount Corp, which was later purchased by H&R Block. The first book he was given to read, even before the Series 7 material, was none other than How to Make Money in Stocks, by William J O’Neil. This was the first book he had ever read about the stock market outside of school and it is the only methodology he’s followed since then.
A little bit more than a year after learning the ins and outs of the discount, retail brokerage business at OLDE, Ross had the opportunity to start a new office for a competing firm at the time, where he became the sales manager and top-producing broker in short order. As luck would have it, one of his clients, who was an avid follower of William O’Neil’s methodology as well, introduced him to the manager of institutional sales at William O’Neil + Co. and it wasn’t long before he was hired.
Not too long after Ross began his career in William O’Neil + Co.’s institutional sales department, he developed a relationship with a hedge fund manager from South Florida, named Andre Neidich. It was only a short time after, that Ross turned in his resignation at William O’Neil+Co. to come work with Andre and his team. And then, the unexpected happened. Bill came in from home on a Friday morning and spent the better part of two hours with Ross in the institutional sales conference room, early on a Friday morning. Bill offered Ross the opportunity to stay and join his elite team of portfolio managers to manage firm capital. Andre being an avid follower O’Neil himself, understood that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you don’t say no to. He insisted that I stay and told me that the door was always open.
Ross’ time spent at William O’Neil + Co. was invaluable. Becoming a firm portfolio manager, meant working with and learning from the master on a daily basis. Ross traveled the country for the better part of two years with Bill, teaching Investor’s Business Daily’s all-day, investment workshops, at least once a month. Ross also had the privilege of co-authoring on one of the firm’s proprietary model books, in addition to many other research projects, under Bill’s tutelage. Ross’ outstanding performance while he was managing money for Bill, is what ultimately afforded him the opportunity to start a hedge fund with the former manager of Fidelity’s mid-cap growth fund. He was a protégé of Jeffrey Vinik, former manager of Fidelity’s flagship, Magellan Fund, who also invested with us. The melding of fundamentals and technicals as such, was not all that common and still isn’t. It turned out to be a winning combo. The fund produced a net positive return for initial investors over a 5 ½ year period, in which the S&P 500 was relatively flat.