James A. Schmidt, Jr., CPA, RIA, AEP®

Harry M. Markowitz, PhD

Harry M. Markowitz is best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1990 for his work on portfolio selection. In his distinguished career, Dr. Markowitz has served in various academic posts at many universities, including Baruch College, London School of Economics, London Business School, University of Tokyo, Rutgers University, Hebrew University, the Wharton School and UCLA. He is also a board member (and former president) of the American Finance Association and was a fellow of the Econometric Society. Recognized as the father of Modern Portfolio Theory and one of the nation’s best known minds in finance, Dr. Markowitz is a professor of finance in the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. He is also president of the Harry Markowitz Company and has also worked or companies such as IBM and the Rand Corporation. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Sheldon P. McFarland

Vice President, Portfolio 
Strategy & Research
Loring Ward

Sheldon P. McFarland serves as Vice President of Portfolio Strategy & Research at Loring Ward. His responsibilities include management of the Portfolio Strategy Group, oversight of the Loring Ward 
Investment Planning Center and development of tools and services to support Advisors. McFarland also authors articles for publications, presents at events and serves on Loring Ward’s SA Fund Pricing Committee.  Sheldon earned a Masters of Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, from Santa Clara University. He also earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Management from Brigham Young University. He is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of San Francisco. He holds the FINRA Series 7, 63, 65 and 24 securities licenses.

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Meir Statman, PhD

John T. Scruggs, PhD

Vice President of Research
Loring Ward

John Scruggs is the Vice President of Research at Loring Ward.  He is responsible for conducting original research and employing insights from financial research to serve Loring Ward advisors and clients.
Prior to joining Loring Ward, Dr. Scruggs served as a Research Officer in the quantitative equity and index 
businesses at BlackRock (formerly Barclays Global Investors).  Previously, he was a finance professor at the University of Georgia and Washington University in St. Louis. His areas of expertise include Quantitative portfolio construction, empirical asset pricing, risk modelling and financial econometrics.  Dr. Scruggs has published scholarly articles in top-tier academic journals including the Journal of Finance and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Dr. Scruggs received his PhD and MBA from the University of Washington, and his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy.

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Loring Ward Investment Committee

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​Call Today: (701) 478-8787

Active in Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo community, Jim’s current and past service includes:

North Dakota Society of CPAs - Member, Taxation Committee, Member Committee
• Fargo-Moorhead CPAs - President, Treasurer, Secretary, Member
Red River Valley Estate Planning Council - President, Vice President, Secretary, Board Member
Hope Lutheran Church - President, Vice President, Council Member
FM Area Foundation - Board of Governors, Investment Committee, Audit Committee, Distribution Comm
• Selah Corporation Christian Radio - President, Board Member, Capital Campaign Chair
Ronald McDonald House Charities - President, Secretary, VP of Finance and Treasurer, Board Member
FPA - The Financial Planning Association - Associate Member
Nokomis Child Care Centers - Charitable Gift Planning Committee
• Fargo Business Exchange  - Member  
Boy Scouts of America - Assistant Scoutmaster 
• Soccer Coach - 3 years 
MSUM Jaycees - Member 
Moorhead Sunrise Lions - Treasurer, Member
National Association of Estate Planners & Councils  - Member​

For over 35 years Jim Schmidt has been helping physicians, corporate executives and entrepreneurs make informed and effective financial decisions about their financial future.  With a dedication to the client, Jim prides himself on being a leading fee-only fiduciary provider, working for your best interest.

Jim has earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant, commonly considered the most trusted advisor in our society today. Graduating from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1981, Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with a minor in Business Management. Jim and his wife Deb have three children and five very precious grandchildren.   

Loring Ward
Harry M Markowitz, PhD
John Scruggs, PhD
Alex Potts

Alex Potts

President & Chief Executive Officer
Loring Ward

Alex Potts is the President and CEO of Loring Ward Group Inc. as well as President and CEO of the SA Funds – Investment Trust.
Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer of LWI Financial Inc. He has also served as Chief Executive Officer of RNP Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm.

Potts started the SA Funds – Investment Trust. He also founded Loring Ward Securities Inc. (formerly 
Assante Capital Management Inc.). In addition, he also served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of LWI Financial Inc. (formerly Assante Asset Management, Inc.) Potts earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Santa Clara University. He also holds General Securities (Series 7), State Law (Series 63) and General Securities Principal (Series 24) licenses.

Sheldon P. McFarland

Meir Statman, PhD 

Meir Statman is the Glenn Klimek Professor of Finance at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara 
University. His research focuses on behavioral finance, including how investors and managers make financial decisions and how these decisions are reflected in financial markets. His research has been published in The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Economics, Financial Analysts Journal, and The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, among others. 

Dr. Statman’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Research Foundation of the CFA Institute, and the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA). Dr. Statman is a recipient of a Batterymarch Fellowship, a William F. Sharpe Best Paper Award, a Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Outstanding Article Award, a Davis Ethics Award, a Moskowitz Prize for best paper on socially responsible investing, two Baker IMCA Journal Awards, and two Graham and Dodd Awards of Excellence. Dr. Statman received his PhD from Columbia University and his Bachelor’s Degree and MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.