J.D. Perry

Reading accelerates learning, co-opts the learning of others and even keeps your brain healthier.


J.D. Perry of Baton Rouge, LA is a results-driven leader with over 20 years of experience in financial analysis, corporate cash management, asset management, environmental mitigation banking, and real estate. Mr. Perry focuses on minimizing risks and building relationships to drive continuous growth and profitability.

He is the former Chief Executive Officer of JP Global Capital Management, and the founder and President of ViaCap Partners, the parent company of Moss Point Financial and affiliated Moss Point companies. Prior to launching his businesses, Mr. Perry served in a variety of roles in larger trust institutions, including that of a Senior Vice President of Trust Division for First Commerce (now JPMorgan Chase), a $40 billion trust group servicing the Southeast US.

Before settling in Baton Rouge, J.D. Perry graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Houston. Notably, he is also the holder of the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) certificate among others.

Mr. Perry has served as a board member for various organizations, was cited in the Wall Street Journal, named Top 40 Under 40 Business Leader in Louisiana in 2005, and is a devoted husband and father. The secret to his success is striking a healthy balance between personal and professional life.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

Interestingly, we were a slow becoming rather than an inspired moment that yielded a new idea. I’ve been in asset management basically all my career, and over the years, several non-negotiable truths have been learned along the way. One is that in investments losses hurt more than gains help. The key to long-term outperformance is to avoid and/or severely reduce losses and not to hit home runs. This is something I’ve certainly experienced, but we also put a tremendous amount of research into supporting that concept. Therefore, we looked for the best way to accomplish long-term gains with drastically reduced risk of losses. This search was highlighted and prioritized due to managing larger endowments and foundation monies that were very concerned about avoiding downside risk. So, client desires coupled with our own research led us to forming our current company. Our firm is a very focused, niche player. We decided to avoid trying to be a generalist and only deal specifically with locking in known return instruments. We look to manage just a portion of client’s portfolios and not the entire portfolio.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Anybody’s day is what they make of it. Normally, my day starts at about 5 a.m. when I take a run that lasts about 45 min to an hour. Upon returning home, I have an opportunity to catch up on overnight news stories and get a feel for what’s coming up on the market that day. I consume several key news outlets to get everything positioned on what to expect at market opening. I get to the office before 8 and review my to-do list to ensure I’m on-point with what’s important to accomplish. From there its grind it out. I like to accomplish something substantial early in the day to set the tone. I keep a massive list and work my list. They are daily, weekly, monthly, and even out to a list of big ideas I hope to engage in one day.

What’s one trend that excites you?

There are several and many in a wide array of categories, but I think the technology front is catching my attention most often as it seems to with most folks. The rate of change has been very high for some time, but it seems we are certainly learning how to integrate useful tech into our daily routines more and more effectively rather than simply having information portals or games. Specifically, I find 5G to be really interesting and a true game changer going forward. It seems to be poised to catapult mobile computing in a manner not yet fully realized. I like the concept of combining the speed, processing power with automation particularly. As we move forward such technology, as well as others, really seem to have the potential to impact our daily lives in a positive manner.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Focus. Plain and simple, it’s focus. There are always distractions from what’s important and essential. Most distractions present themselves as dire and they require you to redirect your energies and efforts to troubleshoot the problem, but I find that in reality most of these issues are not that dire to begin with and serve to do little but kill productivity. I see all these folks talk about how “crazy their life has been” as if it’s beyond their control and they are unwilling participants forced to respond. Fact is, focus keeps you centered on what’s important and helps you ignore what is not. You get the most important items done first; you can say no to things that do not move you toward your goals. But it takes a well-defined vision on which to focus, but even a well-defined vision is useless without the focus to accomplish what is at hand.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Dream bigger and travel more.

Bottom line, I should have pushed faster, harder, and farther early on. When I look back, I hear Ralph Waldo Emerson’s comment, “In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts” ring loud. That’s has come home to me too many times. I looked at the “process” laid out by corporate America as the way to go but later found it to be more of a myth designed to promote other’s agendas over your own personal one. Nothing wrong with it if that’s what you want to do but for me, I am geared differently on that front. So, dream big, work hard and have more fun. I had no idea how true the comment “youth is wasted on the young” really is. But it has highlighted the fact that the wisdom that comes with age has great benefits as well. Part of all these dovetails with travel. We have a big, great world worth exploring. Travel shifts the way we think and understand how to engage. I wish I would have jumped into that more quickly. However, all that being said, I have very few regrets because life will always yield the desire to have done something differently, but such items are sterilized, and we recall past items with rose colored glasses. So, I’m good with the path I’ve taken and where I stand.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The fact that you are exactly where you decided to be. I don’t care what’s up in your life, you are there by your own conscientious decisions. Too many people spend too much time making excuses for situations that they created. People must stop making excuses, looking for others to blame and take ownership of their circumstances. People do not like to hear that and reject almost always….but it is true. People can accomplish so much more than they give themselves credit for so I say, believe in yourself and make decisions that put you on the path to your personal desires. Quit complaining and start focusing on accomplishing your goals. Make different decisions, get up, grind it out and don’t let the world tell you what you have to do. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I would say be thankful for and to those around you. Recognize the contributions of others and the fact we all need other people in many, many ways. Pretty simple, but so very important.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Books, and more books. I just can’t get enough books. Reading accelerates learning, co-opts the learning of others and even keeps your brain healthier. Reading is a strong key to success so I would say the best $100 I recently spent was on more books.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

There are so many. Reading is the key to success….if you read the right things. I’m pretty sure no CEO has moved their company forward reading 50 Shades of Gray or the like, for example, so the topic matter is important. Also, too many read to reinforce their own opinions rather than challenge their opinions. Therefore, I change what I would recommend depending on what you have in front of you in terms of challenges and successes. For example, if your company is having a sales problem then read 10 or 12 sales books. If you need to be more productive, seek out books on productivity. However, as a generic recommendation, I would tell most to grab Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini. It’s a good foundational book to help you break out and do what you need to do to jump-start you. Stating just one is hard given no single book really does the job. I really think CEOs need to read about other CEOs. Being a business leader, owner or anyone in leadership can very often be lonely and isolating and reading about others highlights it’s not just you, it’s the role. It is great to know others have dealt with it and to hear that most weren’t an overnight success. Lastly, I would say read history, a lot of history. There really is nothing new under the sun so reading history gives you great insight into what is happening today and where we are headed. But at all cost, read.

Key Learnings:

  • Anybody’s day is what they make of it.
  • Dream bigger and travel more.
  • Reading is the key to success….if you read the right things.
  • Reading accelerates learning, co-opts the learning of others and even keeps your brain healthier.
  • I would say be thankful for and to those around you. Recognize the contributions of others and the fact we all need other people in many, many ways.