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Why We Became Investment Advisors

By Petra Peters and Daniel Baumgartner

We all want to have financial security and stability and to know that the money we have worked hard to earn will be protected. But money is about more than numbers—it’s about your life and how you want to live. It’s very personal. 

Our reasons for becoming investment advisors are also very personal. We both come from European heritage and have lived and worked in Europe and the U.S. While the paths we took that led us to this profession may be different, we both had an interest in finance and wanted a career that would allow us to add value to people’s lives and help them achieve their financial goals and dreams. This led us to start our investment advisory firm, so our clients don’t have to worry about their financial well-being, but instead can pursue what they enjoy in life.

Career Beginnings

We both began our careers in the corporate finance and banking industries, working for international financial institutions which served mass markets, often with little concern for the individual interests of their clients. We saw how investors’ lack of knowledge of the industry and its products led to poor decisions that negatively impacted clients. We had a strong desire to do better and make a difference in people’s lives through honest investment advice. 

Eventually our career paths intersected when we worked as colleagues for Commerzbank Capital Markets Corp. in New York. It was there that we learned about the financial advisory industry and the importance of serving clients on a very personal level, working one-on-one with them, and offering individualized strategies rather than cookie-cutter solutions. Therefore, it became our mission to emphasize personal relationships with our clients and deeply commit to making a sustainable difference in their financial lives. 

Branching Out

We established Terra Nova Asset Management in 1998 with the mission of creating an environment that allowed us to prioritize our clients over products at all times, and to pursue a truly client-relevant investment strategy. Our business is focused on offering asset management services to domestic and international high-net-worth individuals and families. With our unique perspective on how different cultures perceive, talk about, and manage their money, we can address the needs of our clients at a more personal level and provide a standard of service that isn’t often seen in our industry.

As an independent advisory, we are unique in that we have an international client base, including U.S. citizens with strong ties to Europe, or Europeans wanting to invest in the U.S. Our clients are entrepreneurs, retirees, busy professionals, and executives who have no time to manage their investments so they trust us to take care of them. 

Our day-to-day activities include not only managing assets and researching new investment ideas, but also developing strategies that raise the chances of accomplishing our clients’ financial objectives. We enjoy building personal and long-lasting relationships, going the extra mile for clients so they know they can trust us and depend on us as their financial partners. 

The Best Part

What’s the most fulfilling part of your job?

Petra: When I think of the most rewarding part of my professional life as an asset manager/investment advisor, it isn’t the size of the business I built or performance results, but the ability to make a meaningful difference in my clients’ lives. The trust and gratefulness of my clients is what I value most. When clients tell me I am part of the family because of the wonderful friendships formed over years of working together, I feel I have accomplished my goal. 

Daniel: As an independent advisor, I find the freedom to provide our clients with honest and appropriate investment advice very rewarding. The rich and fascinating relationships with our clients, developed over time, are very fulfilling. 

What drives you to work hard in your profession?

Petra: The most interesting aspect of my line of work is that we are dealing with the future, not the past. This requires analytical skills but also, and more importantly, social skills. We have to understand our clients on a personal level. There are thousands of investment opportunities out there, but every client is unique in their risk tolerance and goals for the future. Creating the best plan for a client is a fascinating challenge.

Daniel: The enjoyment of lifelong learning! This is essential for successful investing, which requires a thorough comprehension of many subjects to critically assess investment opportunities. This challenge motivates me to work hard at what I do every day. 

Why are you passionate about helping your clients? 

Petra: I want my clients to live a financially carefree life so they can pursue the interests they have at heart.

Daniel: Each of our clients is an individual with specific needs and expectations, and I try to provide a high-touch, personalized service, which is difficult to find in our industry. Getting to know a client’s personality well, as it relates to their financial circumstances, is important prior to choosing the right solutions for them.

Take the Next Step

Are you looking for more personalized investment advice that is tailored to you and your unique goals? Working with a trusted advisor and partner can make all the difference. At Terra Nova Asset Management, our mission is to form loyal and long-term relationships with our clients. We take care of your finances and investments so you can take care of what matters most to you. 

Does it seem like we may be a good fit? If so, you can reach out to us directly at 212-355-1234 or ppeters@terranovausa.com for the New York office (Petra); or at 855-248-6630 or baumgartner@terranovausa.com for the New Jersey office (Daniel). You may also contact us here to schedule a meeting and we’ll get in touch with you soon! 

About Petra

Petra Peters is a founding partner and the Chief Executive Officer of Terra Nova Asset Management LLC, a partner-owned investment advisory firm that manages individual portfolios for clients. Petra has decades of experience in the banking industry, asset management, overseeing the administration of individual accounts, and designing and advising specialized funds tailored to the requirements of international private and institutional clients. With extensive knowledge of both Europe and the U.S., she’s able to provide advice and services beyond the typical investment advisor. Petra desires for her clients to live a financially carefree life so they can pursue their passions, and she values their trust and gratitude. Creating invaluable friendships formed over years of partnership, some clients even consider her part of their family.

Petra’s interests outside of work include classical music, history, travel, charities, motorcycling, and golf. She is also on the board of a German charity.

About Daniel

Daniel Baumgartner is a founding partner of Terra Nova Asset Management LLC, a partner-owned investment advisory firm that manages individual portfolios for clients. Daniel has extensive experience in marketing, development of special U.S.-investment products, as well as customer acquisition and relationship management. His ultimate goal is to make a difference in his clients’ financial lives through honest investment advice. He strives to provide high-touch, personalized service and enjoys getting to know a client’s personality as it relates to their financial circumstances before crafting the right solutions. As money is a very personal subject, Daniel takes his responsibility as an advisor very seriously, forming long-term relationships with clients based on trust. 

Daniel received his degree in finance and international business from New York University. Outside of the office, he is a hobby landscape and street photographer, and has a great interest in U.S. and European history (16th-19th centuries), believing it helps him answer the question “Why is something the way it is?”