It is not about not failing; it is about learning how to bounce back after a challenge.
Gerhard Herrera Pahl is the Owner and Founder of HerPah, LLC. As a financial strategist and advisor, he has managed financial portfolios for several organizations and individuals during his career. He is a native of Mexico where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). He has served the financial services industry working with such institutions as the Central Bank of Mexico and companies such as Cargill, IDEAglobal and Guggenheim Partners Latin America. Gerhard enjoys mentoring the young generations and he has often taught financial courses at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, also known as Tecnológico de Monterrey.
After more than twenty-five years of a successful practice as a financial strategist, portfolio manager and financial advisor within the financial industry, Gerhard decided to empower his future by incorporating HerPah LLC, through which he offers an independent financial advisory service in Miami, FL. He has a keen understanding on managing portfolios and how to complement each part of financial puzzle in order to implement a solution. He understands the financial markets and stays on top of local and global news and trends that often impact portfolios. Gerhard designs and structures each client’s portfolio in a unique way, putting each client’s interest first.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I incorporated my own firm in 2012. The name of the company came from a combination of my family names. I decided to follow this path because I saw an opportunity in the consulting space. Many firms decide to outsource as it’s more cost effective for all and they are also able to better complement their platforms with different expertise. This has helped me broaden my network and I have also learned tremendously from diverse backgrounds along the way.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day begins with watching and reading the news and learning what the financial markets have done overnight. Evaluating the overnight developments helps me to evaluate how world events might impact the financial markets and hence, the strategic positioning within financial portfolios. For example, something may happen in China that could have an impact solely in the US financial markets or at a more global scale. It is important to review portfolios to see if there may be tactical adjustments or strategic changes to be made. Understanding the context makes the day much more productive as I can move at a faster rate when needed.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas typically generate from different sources. Mostly, ideas are born from an educated study process, but some ideas might ignite from a conversation with professional colleagues or perhaps even your own clients. This sets in motion a set of steps that help build strategies for portfolios accordingly. Once that process is completed, one starts to analyze which solutions will fit best and proceeds to implementation. Sometimes, it could be as simple as the inclusion of a bond or an equity fund, or involve a more complex process, like a full portfolio rebalance. Everything plays a role on how to implement ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One of the things that has caught my interest is the technology behind Crypto currencies. I am not a proponent of Crypto currencies, but it is very interesting to learn it and follow it. It goes hand in hand with the new generations and their use of technology. Technology is continuously evolving, and so are we as consumers.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Discipline. It might seem very mundane at times, but you must keep at it to be successful.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself not to be afraid of failure. In the face of success stay humble and human. One learns more from failure than from success. It is not about not failing; it is about learning how to bounce back after a challenge.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There is a notion used by many in the financial management arena that one is better off by keeping “more of the pie” for oneself. That is not true. In all deals, one must strive to have a “win-win” type of outcome for all involved parties.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keep up with current trends and educate yourself on them. For example, it is important to be aware of topics that may have been frowned upon or misunderstood in the past, but are now coming into the mainstream as cultures, technology and societies change. It is imperative to understand if those trends can represent an investment opportunity.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Being professional and having a good work ethic. Placing client’s interest first along with hard work and a good understanding of the financial markets naturally fosters word of mouth. This is an important way to grow your business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We all make mistakes. We are human. Some mistakes can be costly. When making a mistake, one gains knowledge, learns to forgive oneself and moves on.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think the development of underwater cities would be brilliant. Living in Miami, it is clear that the water level is slowly rising each year. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about utilizing the vast space that the ocean offers, instead of constantly building on dry land.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best monies spent, is when I go out and spend time with my beautiful wife and daughter. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have them in my life, gives me perspective and reminds me why I am doing what I am doing.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I would say the dedicated financial news platforms are very important to keep up with current events. Being on top of business news and analyzing the financial markets through the usage of Bloomberg and Reuters, for example, is key. On the other hand, one must learn also to discern relevant data in order to avoid information overload.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor. It is about the history of financial speculation and how to always look into the past to minimize repeating mistakes.
What is your favorite quote?
“A man can be destroyed but not defeated” by Ernest Hemmingway.
• You learn more from failure than you do from success. We all make mistakes. Use your mistakes to your advantage, gain knowledge, grow, forgive yourself and move on.
• Be disciplined and humble.
• Put your client’s interest above yours. There is no better recipe for success.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.