The Phillies Acquire Right-Handed Pitcher Yoervis Medina

Yoervis Medina pic
Yoervis Medina

Holding an MBA from Stanford University, Timothy (Tim) Shields leads program and program portfolio management at UBS. Away from UBS, Tim Shields makes time to cheer on his favorite teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies.

At the beginning of 2016, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Yoervis Medina from the Chicago Cubs. The team traded its 2010 first round pick, Jesse Biddle, a left-handed pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery and is expected to sit out the entire 2016 season, to the Pittsburgh Pirates to sign the right-handed pitcher.

Venezuela native Yoervis Medina is 27 years old and has played two seasons as a Major League Baseball (MLB) player. A relief pitcher, he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2013 and spent a majority of his career with the team before being traded to the Chicago Cubs mid-season in 2015. He holds a 10-9 win-loss record and a career earned run average (ERA) of 3.08. While his career walks are considered high at 79, Medina has performed well at striking out batters. In addition, he has given up only 10 home runs over the course of 146 games.

The Chicago Frontrunners


Chicago Frontrunners Running Club pic
Chicago Frontrunners Running Club

As a program manager at UBS, Timothy “Tim” Shields handles complex, long-term technology projects. Outside of UBS, Tim Shields has been a runner for years, and has served as a member and former officer of the Chicago Frontrunners Running Club, which he joined in 2003.

The club is just one of dozens that are affiliated with International Front Runners (IFR), an affiliation of LGBT running/walking clubs worldwide. IFR reports some 100 Frontrunner clubs in 17 countries, including the United States.

Also known as Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Chicago, the Chicago club meets twice weekly on the city’s lakefront. Runners typically cover a three- to five-mile course, the club’s website says, while for walkers, it’s one to two miles. Runners and walkers meet after their exertions at nearby restaurants. The Frontrunners club also hosts monthly social events and keeps club members informed of upcoming events, such as the Chicago Marathon, held in the fall.

Preparing for Race Day: Six Tips for First-Time Marathon Runners

Marathons pic

Timothy “Tim” Shields serves as a program and portfolio manager for UBS in Chicago, Illinois, where he provides management for complex long-term process and technology projects. Outside his work with UBS, Tim Shields enjoys running and participating in marathons and he previously provided an anecdote about his first experiences for a 2003 book on marathon running.

The following list includes tips for individuals participating in their first marathon.

1. Taper training. Start slow when training, and gradually increase your running distance. Follow a careful training schedule until the week before the race. Slowly decrease your mileage in the last one or two weeks before the race, and use this time to recuperate and rest your body.

2. Wear appropriate running gear. Invest in a pair of comfortable running shoes and socks for the race, and wear them during at last one 10-mile training run at marathon pace to break them in. You can also benefit from wearing real running clothes in place of casual, everyday clothing.

3. Stay hydrated. Remember to stay hydrated during training and the race itself. If you plan on consuming athletic or energy drinks during the race, drink them while training, as well. Hydrate well before the race, and don’t wait until you feel thirsty.

4. Warm up. Perform complete warm-ups before each run, especially on race day. Recommended warm-ups include about 10 minutes of light jogging followed by a series of dynamic stretches.

5. Pace yourself. Pace yourself during the race, and focus on finishing it rather than your speed or run time. Run at a pace that feels most comfortable and conserves energy without overexerting yourself.

6. Find your motivation. Identify a source of motivation for yourself to focus on during the rough patches of the race. You can dedicate each mile to a cause or person, create a list of mantras, listen to your favorite songs, or station friends and family along different points of the route to cheer you on. Setting up a reward for yourself for finishing can also help.

So Do You Wear the Brown Uniform? Explaining UBS

Among the more interesting experiences of transitioning from New York to Chicago has been explaining my employer.  When I was in New York, never once was there any doubt what I was talking about when I said I worked at UBS.  Indeed, in New York it was clearly thought of as a prestigious employer and a vaunted, powerful company.

Since moving to Chicago, this has definitely changed.  When I mention that I work at UBS, the question I usually get back is something like: “do you work at the processing out by O’Hare?”   Early on I was shocked by this, but now I’ve gotten used to it.  And, on some level, it makes sense.  For most people in America, UPS is very much a part of daily life.  Additionally, UPS advertising and marketing is aimed at the public as a whole, and is encountered in widely readmagazines and as commercials during popular television shows.

UBS is more narrowly targeted, and– despite a centuries-long existence– doesn’t have the longevity in the US that it does in Europe.  In the meantime, I use these conversations for some gentle on-the-fly UBS background as a world financial powerhouse.  And if that doesn’t work, I just confirm that I can wear brown frequently.

— Tim Shields, UBS

Paying Down the Mortgage? Go for it!

Well, a recent gathering of fortysomething Stanford MBAs yielded a rich discussion of art, literature, and philosophy.  Oh, of course I am kidding.  We talked about IPOs, career moves, stock options, and hotels.  It sounds boring and pretentious, but I promise it was neither.  On the whole I would like to think Stanford folks are more grounded than would be expected.

A good chunk of conversation was spent on an age-old financial topic:  should a mortgage be paid down early?  The consensus was… oh, there was no consensus.  Opinions ran the gamut from “of course” to “nfw”.  One went so far as to say the smartest housing bet is to get the biggest mortgage you can find and make it interest only.  At the opposite end of the spectrum was me, with the very conservative approach: find the most appropriate space that is no more than 250% of your annual income, and try to pay it all off in five to ten years.

Perhaps all my time at UBS has embedded a conservative approach to financial considerations.  UBS is known for taking a more cautious approach than its competitors, preferring prudence to the promise of extraordinary returns.  Personally, I just think a person rests so much easier knowing the four walls around them are well within budget, and on their way to being wholly their own.  A person’s home is their castle, and they should own that castle, not rent it.

I get the opposite side.  The devil-may-care approach can yield a nicer crib for sure.  In a rising market, you can always refinance.  In a crashing market, well, you can walk away and make it the bank’s problem.  The former situation is hardly a guarantee, as we have seen quite painfully.  And the latter picture– aside from being of dubious ethics– wrecks your credit and leaves you either scrambling to find a new place or always nervous about a sheriff knocking on the door with an Order to Vacate.  That is an awful scenario.

I stand by my viewpoint: paying down the mortgage is one of the most gratifying financial moves a person will ever make.

–Tim Shields, UBS

Retirement Planning for a Single Person

I attended an informal brown bag lunch session sponsored by UBS in our Chicago office.  In most respects, the talk was about traditional retirement planning:  IRAs; 401ks; wills & estates, etc.  An interesting question came up from an attendee which I thought was both simple in its query yet eye opening in its response:  “what is different for me as a single person (with no kids)?”

The UBS advisor noted that a single person does have a different set of retirement needs than a (gulp) ‘traditional’ situation of a married couple with children.  On the plus side, a single person has no real need for life insurance, since there is no dependent relying on the single person’s income.  Similarly, a childless single person should have less worries about burning through his or her financial assets during his orher lifetime, since there is no person or people whom the estate will need to (or seek to) support.  So far so good.

On the downside, the UBS advisor noted that a single person will have to ensure funds are available for their long term care, especially since there will be no ‘moving in with the kids’ at a later stage in life.  A single person should also identify a trusted advisor (accountant, attorney) to serve as a power of attorney in the event of incapacitation.

In many respects, a single person’s plan mirrors that of a coupled person: healthily fund retirement accounts; keep expenses modest; have contingencies in place in the event you are unable to make your own decisions.  What is different, however, is that someone who is (and intends to remain) single does need to be more thorough in their plans, since there is really no fail-safe (ie someone else) in the absence of a plan.

— Tim Shields, UBS

Are Dividends an Important Aspect of the Investment Equation?

A diversified financial portfolio refers not only to an appropriate mix of products (stocks, bonds, real estate, art, insurance, etc.), but also diversification within each product category.  In the UBS wealth management and private banking businesses, a significant amount of time and due care is placed on ensuring that UBS clients achieve appropriate levels of diversification for their goals, needs, and risk tolerances.

For personal investors, a question which comes up frequently is: Should I care about dividends?  After all if a dividend is a cash payout from an invested entity to an investor, does the dividend achieve anything?  The investor receives cash, but her shares are now invested in a company with less cash, and thus the shares are themselves worth less.  That, of course, is a gross oversimplification, but the concept is quite real: if a company is paying out cash, then the company is sending a signal that it thinks investors can achieve yield on paid-out cash than they could if the company hung onto the cash and plowed it back into the business.

But, as the article points out, a consistent cash payout in the form of a dividend can also be considered a signal of the organization’s financial strength, and its ability to make such cash payments.  A high flying penny stock will almost never pay a dividend, and while there are good reasons for this (namely, whatever cash they have is being used to build the business), it is also often the reality that there is no cash available to pay out anyway.

— Tim Shields, UBS