Michael G. Willis, President & Lead Portfolio Manager
Michael G. Willis has spent his career seeking the Investment Process of Wall Street. Convinced its secrets could be unlocked and used to design the perfect investment system, he began his research by trading his way through graduate school during the late eighties. After a very successful start, Mr. Willis lost his net worth when he took his investment system into the world of short-term trading and options. It was an important lesson that inevitably led him to the following truths:
Fear and greed are two primary emotions that must be mastered before the secrets of Wall Street can be unlocked
Many trading strategies are merely sophisticated forms of gambling
Using these truths, Mr. Willis rebuilt and surpassed his earlier accomplishments. To this day he teaches that if you are receiving investment advice from someone who has never lost their own net worth, to be very wary. He continued his research at some of the largest firms on Wall Street:
First Vice President - Investments, Smith Barney from 1994 to 1999
Senior Vice President - Investments, Paine Webber from 1999-2003
Senior Vice President - Investments, UBS Financial Services, Inc. from 2003 to 2004
Exposed to thousands of accounts, he continually saw fortunes made and lost to the powerful emotions of fear and greed. He also came to the realization that he was in an industry full of salesmen and corporate cultures that seemed to push proprietary products first, and client needs second. Large Wall Street bureaucracies seemed to forget that the top investment managers do not all work for the same company. In fact, Mr. Willis found that most Wall Street firms did well to land even one of its managers in the top echelons of the profession.
Mr. Willis studied the top long-term investment managers in the world to determine what made them better than the rest. Instead of rocket science, he found the distinguishing factors to be logical and simple. Foundational investment principles such as diversification and asset allocation played decisive roles in overall performance.
It also became clear that an independent platform would be the only way to give his clients access to the investment managers which he believed to be the best in the world. Investors sought unbiased advice and were tired of being sold products they didn't need. He left to found The Willis Group, Inc. and to place the final touches on what he now believes to be the Investment Process he set out to discover 17-years ago. The Giant 5 Total Investment System was originally exclusive to clients of The Willis Group with a minimum net worth of $1 million dollars. But the Giant 5 story was not meant to be limited to a few exclusive families. It was a story that we wanted to share with the American public.