Investment Intel

Investment Intelblog

Fast and Furious and…wealth management?

The driver of the car that killed actor Paul Walker was a Merrill Lynch wealth manager

Dec 2, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

By Josh Brown

Over the weekend tragedy struck as movie star Paul Walker (of 'The Fast and the Furious' franchise) was killed in a car crash after which the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Both the driver and Walker, who was the passenger, are dead. There is chatter that there was a street race involved and police are investigating.

Walker was 40 years old.

This is obviously all very horrible. And peculiar, given that the driver of the car was a wealth manager at Merrill Lynch. Roger Rodas (Brightscope profile here ), who was heavily involved in the street racing scene in real life, was Walker's good friend and business partner in an auto parts business. He was also the star's financial advisor and a 20-year veteran of Merrill.

I call this peculiar because it is not very often you encounter a financial adviser with such a high-stakes, heavy adrenaline, life-endangering hobby. Most FA types I've ever met or have heard of are the kinds of people who would be talking clients out of reckless hobbies and behaviors. We are all fully versed in the actuarial tables, as we must be, in order to plan retirements for people.

Here's some information about the relationship (via Heavy.com):

An online profile states that Rodas was, “one of America's top wealth management advisors and portfolio managers, with an impressive list of clients,” this was in addition to his role with Always Evolving. Rodas and Walker's friendship evolved over a shared passion for cars, it eventually morphed into a professional relationship where Rodas became Walker's financial adviser.

A Merrill Lynch profile of the pair says:

“The two struck up a conversation when Walker noticed Rodas driving a Porsche GT3 he had previously owned. Soon the two were racing side by side, as when they teamed recently with two professional drivers in a pro-am 25-hour endurance race in Thunder Hill, Calif. As their friendship developed, Walker occasionally asked Rodas for financial advice, and they began working together formally as client and Financial Advisor in 2007. The first item on their agenda was reorganizing Walker's portfolio, a hodgepodge of personal investments. Rodas suggested a diversified, relatively conservative portfolio of stocks, bonds, cash and alternative investments, aimed mostly at preserving capital. And because an actor's income is sporadic, each time Walker completes another film, he and Rodas meet to re-evaluate his financial strategy to help make sure his long-term goals stay on track.”

The same profile states that Rodas had worked at Merrill Lynch/Bank of America for 20 years (the profile is undated) and has been named on a list of America's Top 1000 Financial Advisers in 2010, 2011 and in 2012.

It's not been my experience that Fast and Furious is typical trait of planners and wealth managers. Most of my colleagues in the business are cautious and patient by nature, content to leave the short-term thrills to others while focusing on the overarching well-being and lifelong happiness hat comes from preparation and rationality.

But who knows, perhaps the advice Rodas was giving his friend professionally was the opposite of the lifestyle the two were purportedly living on circuit.

In any event, this is sad news. Godspeed, Roger and Paul.

(This piece originally appeared on Josh Brown's blog The Reformed Broker. Josh is chief executive of Ritholtz Wealth Management.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Featured video

Events

How 401(k) advisers can use 'centers of influence' to grow their business

Leveraging relationships with accounting, benefits, and property and casualty insurance firms can help deliver new business leads for retirement plan advisers.

Latest news & opinion

UBS continues to cut loans to recruits, while increasing compensation to brokers

The wirehouse reduced recruitment loans 20% and increased bonus loans 68% in the first quarter.

Things are looking up: IBDs soared in 2017

With revenue up, interest rates rising and regulation easing, IBDs are soaring.

SEC advice rule may give RIAs leg up over broker-dealers

Experts say advisers will be able to point to their role as fiduciaries as a differentiator in the advice market.

Brokers accept proposed SEC rule on who can call themselves an adviser

Some say the rule will clear up investor confusion, but others say the SEC didn't go far enough.

Cadaret Grant acquired by private-equity-backed Atria

75-year-old owner Arthur Grant positions the IBD for the 'next 33 years.'

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print