FiduciaryNews.com provides essential information, blunt commentary and practical examples for the ERISA/401k fiduciary, the individual trustee and the professional fiduciary. We do this through our own web-site (which you are looking at), our Twitter account (which provides direct links to fiduciary articles from other news organizations) and our LinkedIn Group (which offers a place for extended discussion in a wholly professional environment). Christopher Carosa, a well-respected speaker, author, investor and entrepreneur with more 25 years of experience in the trust and investment industry, serves as Chief Contributor Editor. FiduciaryNews.com is a product of Pandamensional Solutions, Inc.
About Christopher Carosa
Publishing Achievements: A nationally acclaimed writer, speaker, and researcher, Christopher Carosa, Chief Contributing Editor of FiduciaryNews.com, co-founded the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly suburban newspaper, before selling it in the early 1990’s. He returned as published in 2016 when FiduciaryNews.com’s parent company Pandamensional Solutions, Inc. acquired the paper. In 1999, the former weekly columnist wrote his first book: Due Diligence: The Individual Trustee’s Guide to Selecting and Monitoring a Professional Investment Adviser, published by Ardman Regional Ltd. He followed that up by contributing a chapter to Planning for the Affluent, published by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business in 2003. In 2005, his controversial paper, “The Emperor Exposed,” won the highly coveted Journal for Financial Planning Call-for-Papers competition for academic research and was published in the October 2005 issue of The Journal of Financial Planning. He has since had his articles published in other periodicals and, in 2009, began to collect his current and past writings for publication by FiduciaryNews.com. Because of his deep and ongoing industry experience, his journalist peers have called him an “embedded reporter” because he knows where all the skeletons are hidden. Aside from his industry reporting, Mr. Carosa also writes on the subjects of astronomy and space exploration as well as dabbling in fiction. He completed his first (unpublished) novel in 2005 and in 2008 he saw his stage play The Macaroni Kid, a musical comedy, produced before sold out community theater crowds. In 2012 he wrote his second and third books. Published in April of that year, 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions – Expert Guidance for 401(k) Plan Sponsors on how to Effectively and Safely Manage Plan Compliance and Investments by Sharing the Fiduciary Burden with Experienced Professionals is intended for the plan sponsor and plan service provider audience. Dubbed “a vital reference tool for years to come…” the has received highly favorable reviews and has continually sold well since its original publication. Later that year, Mr. Carosa saw the publication of his book 50 Hidden Gems of Greater Western New York. The book offers a journey to and through some of the more fascinating events, people places and things of America’s first frontier. The trailer and sneak peek alone make a look at the book’s web site worth it. In the summer of 2014, his book A Pizza The Action was published. Subtitled, “Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned by Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair,” the book is an entrepreneurial “how-to” manual wrapped in a personal memoir. It’s been called one of the finest motivational books set in a carnival atmosphere that has been ever written – a “must read” for every budding business executive, every start-up visionary, and, lest we forget, every carny. By the end of 2014, Mr. Carosa’s fifth book Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort was published. What 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions is to plan sponsors, Hey! What’s My Number? is to plan participants. Written in an engaging and familiar conversational style Mr. Carosa has become known for, Hey! What’s My Number? reframes some of the more complex retirement savings issues into more approachable bite-size pieces. One HR manager said of the book, “After going through it, our employees now realize their future is brighter than they thought.”
Professional and Educational History: An industry veteran responsible for: creating several mutual funds (including two nationally ranked funds he personally manages); starting a trust company; and, founding his own boutique investment firm, Mr. Carosa began working in the investment adviser industry more than three decades ago as a newly minted college graduate. He was hired by Manning & Napier Advisers, a well-respected Registered Investment Adviser with a national reputation, and in four short years became the youngest Managing Director at the firm. In charge of operations, he designed, built, and oversaw the company’s management information systems. This included both the portfolio management application and a unique artificial-intelligence based stock picking application that earned him a cover story on Wall Street Computer Review magazine. Before the age of thirty he had retrofitted the portfolio management system into a full-fledge custodial operations system, creating a new profit center for the firm. Within two years, he went one step beyond and convinced the owners of the firm to establish a trust company. As Executive Vice President and Senior Trust Officer of Exeter Trust Company, Mr. Carosa oversaw the day-to-day operations and trust administration of a company he built from scratch to nearly a billion dollars in assets before he “retired” to pursue a writing career. When he realized authors normally don’t generate enough revenue opportunities to feed a young growing family, he returned to the industry. In late 1996, he established Carosa Stanton Asset Management, LLC, where he combined the customer care philosophy of an old-time trust officer with leading edge sotck picking techniques derived from the then relatively new field of behavioral finance. Almost immediately afterward, in early 1997, he created the Bullfinch Fund, Inc., a family of flexible no-load mutual funds. Finally, using his knowledge and experience serving the trust industry, Carosa Stanton Asset Management, LLC soon (in 2000) became one of the early pioneers to offer dedicated fiduciary services designed specifically for 401k plan sponsors.
Mr. Carosa received his undergraduate degree in Physics and Astronomy from Yale University and his MBA (finance and marketing concentration) from the Simon School at the University of Rochester. The Institute of Certified Bankers has designated Mr. Carosa a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member for Medaille College where he taught both the introductory and investments courses as part of their financial planning track. He’s also taught economics at SUNY @ Geneseo and astronomy at the University of Rochester. He is particularly intrigued by behavioral economics and continues to research the psychology of decision making.
Speaking and Consulting Activities: Because of the depth of his knowledge and experience, Mr. Carosa is a recognized thoughtleader in the area of fiduciary issues and retirement plans. He is a much sought-after consultant and speaker, regularly appearing at national and international conferences and is frequently quoted in the media on fiduciary and investment issues. Among other media outlets, he has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The New York Times, CNBC, Fox Business News, USA Today. He credits his experience as a popular AM disc jockey and sports broadcaster for his entertaining and engaging speaking style. Of course, his ability to connect to a variety of audiences can also be attributed to his broad academic background. (After all, it’s not often you find a trained rocket scientist with a finance degree from a top-tier business school who likes to hang out with carnys.) While many enjoy his wit and humor, it’s his know-how and insights they really benefit from. Having regularly interviewed, interacted with, and in constant communications with some of the nation’s top retirement plan regulators, ERISA attorneys, and industry leaders, Mr. Carosa has seen, heard, and argued for and against pretty much all of it. He likes to say retirement savings is more art than science. Where many people like to emphasize the measurable, he knows the immeasurable (and unexpected) is usually what gets you in trouble. And he’s not too shy to point that out.
Community Activities and Family: Mr. Carosa has served on numerous non-profit boards, although he’s scaled back in recent years to focus on his writing, speaking, and consulting. In 2009, he was the motivating source behind AstronomyTop100.com, a global outreach project created in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Year of Astronomy. He is happily married to beautiful Betsy and is blessed with three wonderful children. His hope is that all people achieve their lifetime dream. His own dream is to a model railroad of Buffalo during its heyday in 1951 featuring steel operations, grain elevators and Class A passenger service… And to get his play produced on Broadway. Or at least host Saturday Night Live.