Meet Bill

Bill Barker, CFA®
Portfolio Manager

I’m an experienced investor with over two decades of experience examining businesses, valuing their stocks, and assembling portfolios. I studied Political Philosophy at Yale University and earned my J.D. from the University of Virginia. Prior to my career in investing, I worked as a commercial litigator and as an investigator of terrorist financing networks. I also spent time in the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Assistance, where I came to appreciate the value of helping investors understand how to save and invest in a way that makes sense for them (and to them!), their needs, and their futures.

A little bit more about Bill...

I found kindred spirits when I discovered The Motley Fool in the mid-90s. They motivated me to pursue a career in investing. Their mission then – to educate, amuse, and enrich – and our mission now – making the world smarter, happier, and richer – are endeavors I’m proud to be part of.

One of the earliest influences on my approach to investing is Bill James, the baseball writer and Sabermetrician (not to be confused with Bill James the philosopher, who was also influential, just not with regard to money matters). Through his writing, I learned more about the importance of questioning authority, and the value of doing your own empirical research than I have from almost any financial writer, though there are many great ones out there. In the Bill James line, I would also recommend Jesse Livermore (pen name) and his work at Philosophical Economics. 

In my spare time I play a lot of racquet sports. I’ve been nationally ranked in three of them, though likely none you’ve ever heard of. 

One of my fondest memories is being in attendance at the famous “Miracle on Ice” hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics. That same year I also attended “Live Aid.” I don’t know what the venn diagram of people attending both of those events would look like, but I bet the overlap would be pretty small – perhaps only me.

Get to know Bill...

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What are your dream retirement goals?

To have enough time, money, and useful intellect to give the last couple of decades over to charitable work.

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Do you have any hidden talents most people don't know about?

I think I could have been a pretty good dancer. Probably only in the Irish Dance category, as I’m never really sure what I’m supposed to do with my arms. But if it wasn’t for my arms and hands, I think I could have gone pretty far.

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What was your very first job or work experience?

I had a paper route starting at age 11 or 12.

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