Financial managers open the door

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:21

    MILFORD - You can’t buy a tire and watch it grow into a Hummer, but you can buy shares of billion-dollar corporations and mutual funds and see them grow. That’s money management and that’s how Milford’s Biondo Group makes their living, handling investments profitably, mostly for fabulously wealthy people. They’ve been doing it since Joseph R. Biondo started the company in 1962. Most of the portfolios they handle begin with six figures and go from there, but the Biondos are also local people, with friends and acquaintances who don’t have six-figure portfolios, said Joseph P. Biondo. who is the second generation in the business. “When you start with $25,000 or $30,000, it’s hard to build a cost effective investment plan, when our managment costs can be $1,500 annually. That’s pretty high,” the 32 year-old Biondo admitted. While some 85-percent of their “high net-worth” clientele lives elsewhere around the world, the Biondos have continued to work with smaller investors locally because “we didn’t want that feel of exclusivity,” Biondo said. To make it more profitable for them and smaller investors, Biondo said the firm next month will “go live” with a NASDAQ listed, mutual fund offering called Biondo Investment Advisors. While the fund will handle a variety of investments, it is in large measure an investment in the firm’s financial reputation. The two Biondos will be making all of the new funds investment decisions. Federal securities rules prevented the younger Biondo from blowing the firm’s horn to loudly, but he did admit that the Biondo Group historically has outperformed the Standard and Poors 500 in profitability “with a lot less risk.” Fund shares would be attractive to the high-end investor and affordable for everyone else. The funds investment policy will be open ended. “Mostly US companies, but wherever the research leads us, we go. Anywhere there is an opportunity to make money without a lot of risk... I don’t care about labels like growth and value. We won’t be pigeon-holed,”Biondo said. “I expect that the fund and some of our smallest investors will become our biggest account on the first day of offering.” That can mean savings over traditional brokerage account costs, he said. “Brokers make money whether you do or not. I go to the grocery store and run into clients. I don’t want them throwing tomatoes at me,” Biondo said.