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On a fall day in 1987, James “Jim” Gibbons sat with his father, who was a financial advisor, talking about stocks after the infamous Black Monday market crash. “Sometimes the best opportunities lie in uncertain markets!” his dad told him. These sage words stayed with Jim as he embarked on a 25-year career as a financial advisor in 1998, helping to usher people through the booms, the busts, and everything in between, on their path retirement.
By 2012, Jim’s reputation as a trusted wealth manager was well known. He could have written his own ticket to the C-suite of any number of large institutional firms. But when Jim and his partner were offered the coveted corner office, they rejected it. “We wanted to serve entrepreneurs, startups, business owners, and corporate executives who really need us,” he recalls. As an entrepreneur, himself, who had grown his stockbroker father’s pair of banking relationships to nearly a dozen, and into a successful niche business, Jim knew what these unique leaders needed most to thrive—and he was determined to give it to them. That same year, he co-founded what is now Alpha Pointe Capital (APC), in Annapolis, MD, as wealth management and 401(k) advisory practice focused precisely on serving this special group of people.
Alpha Pointe Capital: The Champion of Entrepreneurs and Innovative Business Leaders
With “Invest in Strength” as their philosophy and methodology, APC brings Main Street communication and attitudes with Wall Street sophistication to an investment process that accounts for the unique goals, objectives, and concerns of those they serve. With a focus on tech and emerging industries, from startups, scaling, MSO, vertical, or public companies, APC serves their clients with various wealth management needs, including investment advisory, portfolio management, retirement planning, and tax-advantage/fixed income services. With fee-only options, dynamic planning services, and on-demand communication, APC helps bring sophisticated strategies to portfolios ranging from the “large and complex” to the “just getting started”—and they make it easy.
We sat down with Jim to hear more about Alpha Pointe Capital, his work with MTC, and what he enjoys most about his career.
You’ve successfully ushered clients through booms, busts, inflation, and everything in between—experiences which have culminated in Alpha Pointe’s “Invest in Strength” investment philosophy. Tell us about this and some of your other unique strategies to help your clients prosper or protect their wealth.
We’ve had the opportunity to assist our clients through many different economic climates, which has its challenges. However, the rewards for finding these solutions, despite economic conditions, is enriching. In our opinion, larger Wall Street firms don’t get it. We get frustrated with the investment processes we see these larger, corporate firms deploy because they only address the client’s age, risk tolerance, and time horizon. There is a fourth major consideration for investing: market conditions. The markets don’t care how old you are, how risk tolerant you may be, and they don’t care how long you want to invest. To us, ignoring the markets is like playing the guitar with one hand. Therefore, we’ve studied and developed an investment process to address the markets.
“Invest in Strength” is our investment philosophy and methodology that is based on the only law of economics: supply and demand. Our experience shows this to be one of the better ways to address one of the more important components to the investing process—the markets.
Let’s focus a bit more on emerging industries. Can you share some of the other services APC offers to help manage their unique challenges and risks?
Our entrepreneurial experiences often take us into the emerging industries, which are pushing frontiers and boldly building businesses in markets no one has done before. We are excited to offer our 401(k) Advisory Services in nascent industries where other firms overlook. When we bring our 401(k) Advisory Services into a market, we treat our clients with the same level of service as those in legacy markets. An example of this is utilizing our Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor ® credentials to deepen our level of service beyond the product and bring a higher standard to the plan.
You’re also supporting entrepreneurs and startups as a member of the board of directors for the Maryland Tech Council and chair of the Chesapeake Region Chapter of the MTC. Will you tell us about your work there?
Serving on the Maryland Tech Council’s board is an honor, but mostly a privilege to be around so many forward-thinking people. Now, I have the ultimate experience of running a startup organization, the Chesapeake Regional Chapter of the MD Tech Council, as the chair. This has been a tremendously rewarding venture positioning the tech council into local communities and supporting emerging industries with highly targeted programming and events…not to mention quite a bit of fun!
Founder & Wealth Manager — Alpha Pointe Capital
Securities offered through Thurston Springer Financial, Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Thurston Springer Advisors, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Alpha Pointe Capital is a DBA of Thurston Springer Financial and Thurston Springer Advisors.