“A COPY OF RON REDFIELD’S PUBLISHED INTERVIEW IN A BUSINESS NEWSLETTER”
November 15, 2002
1. What is the exact name of your firm?
Redfield , Blonsky & Co., LLC
2. What services does your business provide?
We provide both investment management (fee only) and a full range of accounting services. The accounting services range from tax planning, estate planning, audits , financial planning and corporate and income tax preparation.
3. What is your position with the firm?
Partner since 1987. I run the investment management division of our firm.
4. What has been your unique contribution to the firm? Have you been responsible for developing a new service or department with the firm? If so- how does it make your firm more competitive?
My unique contribution has been that I founded and run our investment management division. We have always been known as value investors. Our defensive posture and demands for portfolio balance were not appreciated in the late 1990’s, yet that discipline is most certainly appreciated by our clients during these turbulent times. Our firm is focused on research. The development of our managed portfolios is based on that research. We tear apart the financial statements of the companies we invest in. We monitor the company’s customers, their suppliers and competitors. We generally have an incredible knowledge of the industries we invest in. We have recently been quoted in articles by Reuters and Business Week Online for our thorough research in the telecom, data networking and fiber optic sector. This is a sector which has eliminated a great deal of wealth across the world. We started focusing on this sector in the late 90’s. We felt the sector was incredibly overvalued; in retrospect, it seems as though we were correct in our analysis, as the typical company has lost over 90 % of its value. We always wanted to invest in the sector as we feel the future of all communications will be over the internet (IP). We study the telecom industry closely. We study the data net-workers , the Service Providers, broadband infrastructure and Wireless Services to name only a few.
We also specialize in attempting to invest in quality fixed income vehicles (i.e. AAA / AA) and attempt to buy these investments at substantial discounts. The buying at a discount adds extra cushion to our investments. Interestingly enough, these types of vehicles are not often used by traditional advisers , as they do not pay the adviser or broker with any types of commission. We do not get paid for any products or any commissions, hence our interest is only on the growth or preservation of our clients capital. We make our money by charging our clients 1 % of managed assets. We were documented as urging our clients to focus on quality fixed income and not NASDAQ equities during early 2000. If you recall that was a period of rising interest rates and rising stock prices. AAA bonds were thought of as losing investments (as they were producing short term losses as interests rates rose). Our discipline to focus on quality has paid off since then. We are getting concerned that there is now too great an emphasis on quality fixed income at the moment. We are constantly researching the fixed income and equity markets to try and reduce our risk of loss over the long term. Our bearishness in the equity investment world is hopefully going to end soon.
On the other hand , we are quite concerned with the prices of the housing market. Our main concern is the massive run up in prices, accompanied by growing unemployment and a probable reduction of spending by the consumer. We also feel that low interest rates have given the housing market an incredible cushion. If that cushion begins to disappear, we may see an unpleasant scenario in housing prices.
5. What is your target market- who are the people that are most helped by your firm?
We really don’t have a specific target market. We work closely with individuals as well as qualified retirement plans. We attempt to focus on our clients needs, risk tolerances and financial time frames of investing. We are believers that investing is only a long term process and that a team- work approach between us and our client ( or their advisor or accountant) is vital to a successful investment strategy. We strive to educate our client to all facets of investing. We educate our clients to the risks of investing. These risks are in both high quality Treasuries and Common Stocks. The investors that are most helped by our firm are ones that understand that investing is more of a means of capital preservation as opposed to a get rich quick endeavor. We emphasize patience and logic.
6. Why do people like doing business with you- what is the key to your success?
People like working with us because we are dedicated to our work. We are forthcoming and honest. We attempt to always be straight to the point. We attempt to tell people exactly how we feel. It was often difficult for our clients to hear our bearish and depressing scenarios in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, but now that difficulty has turned to respect and understanding . We did not sway the course and we stuck to our principles, no matter how difficult it got.
7. Tell us something about your personal life that makes you interesting, such as: volunteer work for a good cause; an exciting hobby; past achievements, etc.
That is a difficult question. I am somewhat of a homebody. I work real hard, but I also am real focused on my family and three children. I pride myself on coaching two teams a season. Generally I coach my kid’s teams in Baseball (age 10) and Soccer (age 8). Our soccer league is quite fun and actually competitive for 2nd grade girls. All the coaches, parents and players seem to get along well. We stress the importance of hard work, respect , trying as hard as you can and having fun. We stress that winning is quite secondary to trying hard and having fun. We are near the end of our fall soccer season and our girls have been progressing incredibly. It has been a real life enhancing experience for me.
My hobby is collecting live music. I have always been a fan of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. I have collected well over 500 Springsteen shows and have developed an incredible appreciation for artists and their craft. I collect music that is referred to as “artist approved”. This means that the artist (such as Springsteen and Company) has a respect for the people that collect and share their music for the love of the art and never a financial profit or benefit. Collectors in turn will generally buy all material that the artist puts out. Hence it becomes a true give and take relationship. Anyway, that is my hobby; as a matter of fact my 10 year old boy and 8 year old girl have already been to two Springsteen Concerts. My 4 year old boy hasn’t seen Bruce yet, but he has been to two family shows of an excellent rocker named John Eddie.
8. If you could change one thing about the world we live in- what would it be?
That is such a difficult question. I guess I would love to see the world have a mutual respect for all in the world. I really don’t feel comfortable or qualified to answer such a question.