NVEPC Virtual Membership Meeting: Five Tips for Making Better Decisions in a Connected World

Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: Virtual Event
Speaker: Paul A. Ferwerda, CFA I Portfolio Manager, Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management, LLC

Join us on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, for a special virtual membership meeting, "Five Tips for Making Better Decisions in a Connected World." We ask NVEPC members to invite a guest or guests, who fall within our membership disciplines and would qualify for membership, to join the webinar at no cost. Just add them as an additional attendee when you go online to register yourself!

In lieu of meeting in-person for this event, we are sending all pre-registered members an electronic $25 UberEats gift card, for you to enjoy lunch during our event! To receive the gift card, you must register by Sunday, November 15.

Connection details will be emailed to registrants one day prior to the event.


About the Presentation:

During this presentation, speaker Paul Ferwerda, CFA, will inform the audience about how our digitally connected lives affect decision making. Continuous connection has elevated the use of cognitive biases in our choices with adverse long-term consequences. These biases are systemic in a world of continuous connection where opinions spread more quickly than facts and convenience is often elevated over quality in our choices. He will suggest how to avoid our most common biases and spot neuromarketing techniques many companies use to guide our decision making. 

Home/School/Work balance was challenging enough before the pandemic and has become exceedingly difficult when it happens in one place, along with the uncertainty we all share about what our post-pandemic lives will look like. Prescription data since the pandemic began shows a sharp increase for anxiety, anti-depressant and sleep medications. "Doomscrolling" has become a common activity and represents a compulsive behavior focused on an emphasis of negative information. Our survival instinct kicks in and pervades our thoughts and decisions. How these instincts and other factors guide our choices is the theme of this presentation.


About the Speaker: Paul Ferwerda, CFA

Paul serves as portfolio manager and investment committee member for Wilbanks Smith & Thomas, representing the firm out of Richmond, Virginia. Prior to joining WST, he spent more than 28 years at Thompson Siegel & Walmsley, where his responsibilities included investment analysis, marketing, client service and portfolio management. Paul began his career at AmSouth Bank, where he spent five years and held similar responsibilities.

Paul graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and earned an M.B.A. from Duke University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of CFA Society Virginia.

Paul has had extensive public speaking experience during his 38-year career. He has presented to thousands of financial advisers at major Wall Street firms throughout the country with a unique perspective on client education and communication. The current focus of his comments addresses the cognitive biases inherent in all of us when facing uncertain outcomes and how a continuously connected world impacts the quality of our decision making. He believes in adding value to a subject in a thought-provoking and entertaining manner using everyday examples to explain financial market complexities.



  • This event will open 10 minutes before noon for networking, as well as networking in breakout rooms after the presentation.
  • Members and guests may stay on and network with others from 1:30 - 2:00 pm EDT
  • In order to receive the electronic UberEats $25 gift card, all members must pre-register by Thursday, November 12, 2020. Guests do not qualify for the UberEats gift card.
  • Connection details will be emailed one day prior to the event.

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