Walter Yu

Director of Portfolio Management & Trading
Walter Yu

My Story

I’ve always considered myself a numbers guy. And that’s why the first job I took was as a day trader. I sat behind a barricade of screens, hammered away at the keyboard, and made money – most of the time. My focus was on my performance: being smart enough, being quick enough, and most importantly being ‘right’ enough. At the time being able to distill the world down to a couple of boxes and charts was a wonderful thing. Performance demanded neutrality, so I needed to be neutral. This was most evident in 2008; the volatility was a godsend for traders nimble enough to navigate it, and it was common to end the day celebrating. It didn’t cross my mind that there were families losing homes, losing retirement savings; all I saw were numbers.

I went through what I imagine many people do. An existential crises of sorts, punctuated by the overwhelming desire to do ‘good’. At the time I didn’t know what that meant, and still don’t – but it wasn’t going to be found day trading. I wanted to work with a company I believed was making a positive impact in the community. After some time off I looked for support roles in various industries – tech, government, and banking. None of them seemed to fit. It was at this time I discovered my parents were in the process of losing their home. Through the lawyers, paperwork, and hearings I became more determined to define my ‘good’. I believe the situation would have been different had my parents been able to turn to someone with the right knowledge. Could I be a financial planner? The introvert in me screamed a resounding no. But I was certain there was a place for me to have an impact. I was right – I joined the Abacus team in 2014. I’m encouraged to better serve the community every day, to better myself as a human being; and I still get to be a numbers guy.

How I’m expanding what’s possible with money

I ceded control of finances to a better person than myself.

Outside of work, my passions include

I find no order in chaos, and therefore spend a great deal of time planning and organizing my life. I have a schedule for vacuuming and mopping. I sometimes ask myself why.

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