No. 26: Paul Vasady-Kovacs

Firm: UBS

AUM: $683 million

Location: New York

Age: 34

Note: This profile is part of a special series devoted to On Wall Street’s Top 40 Under 40 ranking for 2012. Every day we take a look at an advisor who made the list to find out the secrets of their success.

Paul Vasady-Kovacs’s interest in the stock market began in college, but back then he thought it was just a hobby. “I never planned to work on Wall Street,” he says, “but received an opportunity to work at a regional firm and I took to it.”

According to Vasady-Kovacs, the job blended some things he enjoyed. “I liked the analysis and the attention to detail,” Vasady-Kovacs says. “I also liked the relationship part of the business. I don’t like to let people down, and I was glad to see people happy with my work.”

Working as a financial advisor also provided him with a sense of independence. “In some ways I could view myself as a business owner,” Vasady-Kovacs says, “I didn’t have to take on clients if I felt they wouldn’t fit with what I want to [do].”

Vasady-Kovacs often leans heavily on fixed income, which he takes from his regional firm experience. “I worked in a division that specialized in income investing. That’s my background and that’s still where I tend to focus,” Vasady-Kovacs says. “This emphasis helps to differentiate me from other financial advisors.”

Vasady-Kovacs says that his team manages clients’ money, rather than farm it out to others. “We are strong believers that ‘one-size-fits-all’ in not the right way to advise investors,” he says. “We tailor each portfolio for each client, rather than buy into a particular model.”

That said, he often tailors clients’ portfolios with an eye towards generating steady cash flow. “We want clients to harness the power of compounding,” Vasady-Kovacs says.

A self-described “bond guy at heart,” Vasady-Kovacs is quick to point out that he includes a wide variety of income-generating vehicles in clients’ holdings. “We consider all types of bonds, from high-yields and mortgages to foreign bonds,” he says.

In addition, his clients may hold other investments that produce income, such as dividend-paying stocks, MLPs, convertibles, preferreds, and REITs, among others. Vasady-Kovacs says he aims to provide clients with consistent and reasonable returns, using cash flow to generate a reliable source of growth, regardless of market direction.

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