We use investment theories based on academic research and experience.

Because getting the right advice matters

At Universal Value Advisors, we believe wealth is not just about money. It’s about having trusted resources to create a life well lived.


SMART= Seasoned Market Analysis for Result-Focused Trading.

Using bottom up techniques, we examine the balance sheets and cash flows of potential investments and stress test them for top line revenue declines. Using top down (macroeconomic) analysis, our core values of “Discipline” and “Value” help us to determine when to purchase a strong company’s debt or equity, and, if its price rises to overvalued levels, when to sell. 

We believe that the alignment of our interests with that of our clients is critical. Unlike other investment firms, we do not take 12b-1 fees or any other form of payment from outside sources for investing client assets. We make no money on trading. Clients are charged the low trading fees negotiated with our broker/dealers.

Our major source of income is our low management fee. What this means for you? It’s only when your assets rise in value that our income grows: a testament to our values and principles of fair trading.

our core values

value oriented

We use Benjamin Graham’s “Margin of Safety” because it is difficult to precisely pinpoint the intrinsic value of any particular business or company. As a result, we invest at a discount to the intrinsic estimated value be- cause doing so can make up for lower than expected results. We believe this proven practice generates higher than normal returns and that buying with that “Margin of Safety” is the best way to protect capital and provide excellent long term returns to our clients.


We examine each investment in detail to obtain a substantial “Margin of Safety” (concept originally described by Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing). Strong balance sheets, viable business models, positive free cash flows, management dedicated to shareholders, low debt levels, competitive advantages, and attractive growth prospects are all key ingredients in our decision processes.


Even strong companies can become overvalued. When we perceive this condition, we pare such positions in our client portfolios. This distinguishes our approach to investing from a “Buy and Hold” philosophy.


Our experts are constantly attuned to market conditions and invest according to the fundamentals, even contrary to the market’s mood of the moment. Our writings are on the cutting edge of market thinking, giving our portfolios the advantage of being early in investment trends.


All investment decisions are made in-house. We do not farm out portfolios to other managers. We take responsibility for the performance of client portfolios always with an eye on each client’s risk profile.


We use economic intelligence to outperform the market with an experienced spin on your investments.

Why choose Universal Value Advisors

Our practice is based on SMART*INVESTING

SMART= Seasoned Market Analysis for Result-Focused Trading.

We use bottom-up techniques, examine the balance sheets and cash flows of potential investments and use our macroeconomic expertise when viewing top line revenue growth expectations.

All investment decisions are made in-house.  We do not farm out portfolios to other managers.  We take responsibility for the performance of our clients’ portfolio according to our established risk and return characteristics.

We use human economic intelligence to outperform the market with an experienced spin on your investments, bringing you less automation and more advice.

professional help in planning your financial future

what you need to know


The financial media advises that bonds are a poor investment choice.  They compare today’s bond yields (the “coupon” payment/price) to the “total return” of equities (which includes both dividend payments and price changes).  Such comparisons are illegitimate as bonds, too, have a “total return” (which includes price changes).  In practice, it is often the case that when stock prices crater, bond prices shine.  Because bond and stock prices are often inversely related (when stock prices fall, bond prices often rise), the right combination often produces market-like returns over time with much lower volatility in the portfolio’s value.  Such a strategy is rational for clients interested in both return on their money and return of their money (i.e., capital preservation).  TINA is the latest version of the debunked “buy and hold” strategy that saw significant portfolio value declines over the past two decades.


Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, known as DDT, was a toxic chemical insecticide commonly used in U.S. agriculture in the 1950s and 1960s.  It was barred in the U.S. in 1972.  Today, we have the economic equivalent of growth killing DDT (Demographics, Debt, Technology) impacting the economy and its ability to grow.  

  • Demographics: Older (Retired) people do not consume like younger generations.  As a percentage of the population, retirees have nearly doubled over the last two decades.
  • Debt: It saps consumption, as current income must be used to make payments.
  • Technology: This is a jobs killer.  While improving corporate profit margins, it reduces entry level job opportunities especially for the unskilled/lower educated population.


Investing in a slower growth world won’t work well if TINA (“Buy and Hold”) principals are followed (including buying index and mutual funds).  SMART investing is selective in its industry allocations and in the choice of companies within those industries.  SMART investing utilizes the stabilizing features of bonds and alternative investments in client portfolios.

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Talk to us today to find out how we can suggest long- and short-term strategies that will help you realize our financial dreams.

Thank you for your interest in Universal Value Advisors

your trusted advisors

Dr. Robert N. Barone

Partner | Economist | Portfolio Manager

Robert Barone, along with Joshua Barone, founded Universal value Advisors (UVA) in 2005. He is currently the firm’s economist as well as a wealth and portfolio manager. Mr. Barone holds a Ph.D. in economics (Georgetown University) and is nationally known for his blogs, many of which are posted on, at the Minyanville blog site, or at Forbes. He is often quoted in the financial press, and writes a column every other week for Reno’s local newspaper, the Reno Gazette Journal.

In his career, he has been a Professor of Finance (University of Nevada), a community bank CEO (Comstock Bancorp), a Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco where he served as its Chair in 2004, and is currently a Director of CSAA Insurance Company (a AAA Insurance Company) where he chairs the Finance and Investment Committee. In 2007-2009 he served as Chairman of the Board for that entity. He also currently sits on the Boards of AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah (the AAA Auto club) and Allied Mineral Products, Columbus, OH, America’s strongest refractory company.

Joshua A. Barone

Managing Partner | Portfolio Manager

Joshua Barone has been the Managing Member of Universal Value Advisors (UVA) since its inception in 2005. In that capacity, he is responsible for the company’s day to day operations and is a major contributor to the company’s strategic vision. Prior to forming UVA, along with Robert Barone, he co-founded Adagio Trust Company in 2000. After building the assets of that institution, both he and Robert sold their interests in Adagio in 2005 and subsequently founded UVA. Prior positions include: M&A analyst in the community bank space; insurance sales both in property and casualty, and life and health.

Andrea Knapp Nolan

Private Wealth Manager

Andrea Knapp Nolan entered the wealth management business in 1998 at Merrill Lynch, where she was an Assistant Vice-President and Senior Financial Advisor. During the financial turmoil surrounding Merrill Lynch in 2008, she joined Universal Value Advisors to ensure that her investment advisory clients’ assets remained well managed. Mrs. Knapp Nolan has taken and passed FINRA/NASD examinations Series 7, Series 63, Series 66 and has held her Life insurance and Mortgage licenses. Mrs. Knapp Nolan was a High School All-American basketball player who received a full ride college basketball scholarship. She played for UC Berkeley and UNLV. Her 1990 UNLV team was inducted into the UNLV Hall of Fame in 2006. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1992, and a Master’s degree in 2000, both from UNLV. Upon her undergraduate graduation, Mrs. Knapp Nolan worked for the UNLV Athletics Department. She was responsible for donor development and fund raising.

Our Commitment to You

We plan and protect your total asset system by carefully planning your future with wisdom, discipline and the highest ethical standards so you feel empowered and reassured.

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