Yuval is a leading expert in decision-making in the context of risk. He is a former business executive and current Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School, where he primarily teaches investments, corporate finance, wealth management, and risk and accountability courses. Yuval is the author of seven books, including the Pillars of Wealth series for medical professionals, Leveraging People for a Corporate Turnaround, and Is a PhD for Me? In his first year at Johns Hopkins University, Yuval was awarded the Carey Business School’s Excellence in Teaching Award 2015. He received the Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Yuval held senior strategy and operations roles with some of the world’s leading risk management firms, including KMV and Algorithmics. His roles have included managerial responsibilities in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Singapore, and Sydney. His risk management expertise has assisted banks in management of over a trillion dollars in assets.
Yuval has lectured extensively in academic and professional settings on the subjects of decision making, risk management, and financial literacy. He has been a contributor on Forbes.com and has been quoted in various media, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Baltimore Sun, TheStreet.com, American Public Media, Bankrate.com, Washingtonian, Investopedia.com, AdvisorOne.com, InvestmentNews.com, The Arizona Republic, Consumers Digest, FoxBusiness.com, US News & World Report, Treasury & Risk, Morningstar.com, RIABiz.com, WalletHub.com, Sweet Fish Media, cdtv.net, Progressive Dentist Magazine, the Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions, and the Journal of Medical Practice Management.
Yuval holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an engineering degree (B.Eng.) and two economics degrees (B.A. summa cum laude, M.A.) from Canada’s McMaster University. As a college student he was a member of the varsity wrestling and rugby teams, and prior to that a provincially ranked gymnast.
Yuval was born in the USA and spent over a decade in Israel and Canada. Recently, he qualified for a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and enjoys jogging and kayaking, as well as scuba diving.
Yuval Bar-Or, My Story
My father was a renowned physician, widely recognized as the world’s leader in his field of pediatric exercise physiology. With 200 peer-reviewed publications, he was a prolific researcher and popular lecturer who lived and breathed academic medicine. He was an old-fashioned doctor, who cared deeply about doing good, and was universally respected and loved by his family, students, staff and patients. He was also a very trusting and honest person, making him an ideal target for brokers, agents, and advisors pitching financial products and services. I estimate that his nest egg was reduced by about 25% due to (avoidable) losses and ill-advised (unnecessary) investments. And that assessment ignores the emotional toll of being deceived and misled.
After his untimely passing at the age of 67, I watched my mother struggle. Like many women of her generation she’d left financial matters to her husband. Despite having an unusually strong support group consisting of many good friends she was losing sleep over financial decisions. Observing her struggles made me realize just how vulnerable physician families are. This led to a career change as I extricated myself from the world of financial risk management (effectively, I was a “physician for corporations”) and re-dedicated myself to improving financial literacy among medical professionals.
I began by writing books, then moved on to delivering workshops, participating in blogs, functioning as a consumer advocate and making media appearances. I even obtained the same licenses required of financial advisors so I could truly understand the business of retail financial services and the people providing those services (I have since then allowed these licenses to expire). This personal voyage culminated in the Pillars of Wealth initiative, which in turn has one objective — helping you, the doctor (and your family) to level the playing field.
The initiative is based on a simple premise: doctors completing medical training don’t know enough about business and finance, which makes them vulnerable. For many, financial decision making is neglected due to lack of time, lack of interest, and in some cases a sense of intimidation. In response many seek to outsource all financial decision making to a reliable financial advisor. In a perfect world this would be an ideal solution. In the real world some financial advisors are inept, some are conflicted, and some are outright dishonest. Are you able to distinguish the good from the bad? Are you sure your best friend, in-law, or work colleagues can help you do this reliably? The honest answers in most cases are ‘no.’
The safest solution for you is to gain more knowledge. This is where the Pillars of Wealth initiative comes in, designed by educators and scientists. We don’t sell financial products. Thus, when we offer education, you know without a shadow of doubt that we mean it, because that’s all we do. Our only agenda is to educate you. This stands in stark contrast to the “education” offered by financial advisory, insurance, and brokerage firms, whose events are often thinly veiled marketing efforts. If you have any questions about financial literacy, please contact me.
Dr. Yuval D. Bar-Or, Ph.D.
Founder of the Pillars of Wealth Initiative, and
Johns Hopkins Carey Business School