Working with John is like having an MBA in your pocket to guide and advise you.

John’s path to becoming a Principal Real Estate Broker is not typical.  Many people become real estate brokers because their kids have grown up and left the nest.  Others become brokers because they aren’t sure what they want to do after high school graduation but aren’t certain they want to go to college.  But John always knew he wanted to make deals and he pursued the education from the best in the world.  After serving in the Navy and living in various countries around the world, becoming fluent in several languages, he achieved two undergraduate degrees (accounting and economics) and a Master’s in International Management from top universities.  After working for two decades in financial engineering and derivatives, buying and selling millions of dollars daily, he bought a floating home on the Multnomah Channel five years ago and moved to back to Portland where he leverages his business skills to obtain the best real estate deal possible for you.

John received a finance and business education from the best in the world.

  • BS in Accountancy with Honors from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (ranked #1 in the country)
  • BA in Economics from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana
  • Masters of International Management from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management with Honors (ranked #1 in the world)
  • Holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation (the Financial Industry’s highest designation, including extensive ethics training)

John listens to your goals, advises you along the way, and negotiates on your behalf to help you achieve your goals.  When deals start to fall apart, it is in John’s ability to think through creative deal solutions which separates him from other brokers. Decades of business, negotiation, and financial experience has prepared him and we’ve not met another real estate broker out there that can compare to his skills.

John is not a “yes” man who is only concerned about closing and getting paid as some real estate brokers are.  He takes his background in financial structuring and ethics very seriously.  Sometimes, he will advise you NOT to go forward with a deal if it looks as if your risk is too high.

John works in residential and commercial real estate.

Having lived in The Pearl, Tigard, Beaverton, Scappoose, on Sauvie Island, and currently in NW Portland, John understand the neighborhoods.

After obtaining a B.S. in Accountancy and a B.A. in Economics, John’s first job was at CB Richard Ellis in Washington D.C. where he helped value and analyze commercial properties including class A commercial office buildings, apartment complexes, and parking structures.  Subsequently, when working at a commodities trading firm, he founded and led their commercial lease rate index derivatives group.  John’s valuation and risk management skills in energy commodities is extensive and includes evaluating, acquiring, managing, and selling specialty industrial leases in natural gas storage fields and natural gas pipelines.  These and other areas of his background come in very useful when helping clients evaluate investments in apartment complexes, floating home moorages, and marinas, among other types of property.

“John helped my family find our forever home and we lived out of state at the time. He went above and beyond by taking videos and lots of pictures of many homes. He didn’t try to sell us the most expensive home, he really tried to find our home based upon what we wanted. He was easy to contact,  responded quickly, went to bat for us in negotiations, and all around was a great realtor. We worked with many before with selling our old home and searching for a new one. His knowledge and expertise of the area really impressed us and that’s why we stuck with him through the purchase of our new home.” – Chelsea

A Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder is rare.  Having access to a CFA® charterholder working as your advisor in a residential real estate deal is lucky beyond imagination.

The CFA designation is globally-recognized and is the most prestigious designation in the field of finance and investments.  The CFA program is designed to cover everything that is directly or indirectly related in the finance and investment field and devised to provide CFA charterholders with specialized skills, such as investment analysis, portfolio strategy and asset allocation.

After John earned two undergraduate degrees in business and went on to earn a graduate degree in business, he then pursued the CFA designation, while working full-time in the field of finance, to deepen his studies into finance and ethics, and passed rigorous exams to prove his abilities. It takes about 300 hours per year over the course of 3-4 years to complete the program along with specific investment decision-making work experience required and, according to the CFA Institute, fewer than 20% of candidates who begin the program achieve the CFA designation.

While most people have heard of an MBA, typically only those in the business world are familiar with the prestige of the designation.  One way to explain the differences between an MBA and a CFA charterholder designation is to say that “the MBA program is a mile wide and a foot deep, while the CFA program is a foot wide and a mile deep.”  John has both.  One could say that John’s financial knowledge is a mile wide and a mile deep.

People in the business know the time and dedication it takes to earn the charter. When they see you have earned it, they will likely believe you have the ability, dedication, ethical grounding and analytical skills necessary to do the job in question.”

John takes this knowledge and applies it to the real estate profession in a way that has never been done before.  He is sworn to a set of ethics, honesty and transparency which you don’t find in the typical salesman broker who wants to make sure you buy or sell just so they can get paid, regardless of whether or not the deal is good for the client.  John is motivated to advise you so that you reach your goals, even if it means that you don’t buy or sell the home or investment property.

Working with John is like having your own real estate investment advisor.  He fully understands the risk and rewards of each deal and will fiercely negotiate on your behalf.

John knows floating homes first hand.

John’s qualifications that set him above other brokers who specialize in floating homes lie in his first-hand experience of the following which has given him a breath and depth of expertise that no other broker on the river can offer:

  • Searching for floating home
  • Obtaining financing for a floating home
  • Float and floating home inspections
  • Purchasing a floating home
  • Selling a tender house
  • Replacing a float
  • Working with an architect and engineer to design an addition to the floating home
  • Working with contractors to build an addition to a floating home
  • Working with the City of Portland building permitting services and Multnomah County’s planners
  • Knowledge and understanding of Title 28 building codes for floating structures
  • Building a Deck
  • Renting a floating home
  • Marina Board registration
  • Property taxes for floating homes

John understands what it is like to be you – whether you are a floating home owner, buyer, seller or renter – John has experiences in all of these areas.  John has contacts that can help you if your floating home needs work.

John can help you through the buying or selling process, even if English isn’t your first language.

John speaks the following languages:

  • English
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • German

John served in the US Navy for 6 years.

John served 6 years as a Russian linguist and intelligence analyst in the US Navy at the end of the Cold War.  He lived in Spain and Turkey.

John has interests.

John has competed in multiple 100-mile ultra-marathons and 24-hour bike rides and enjoys giving back by raising money through fund raisers.  He’s participated in the MS 150 bike ride in Illinois and Texas and has been a teammate in multiple Chicago-to-Peoria runs raising money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  He loves craft beer, music, traveling, and sailing.  He is married, has a son and step-daughter in high school, and a daughter at OSU.  He loves not owning a lawn mower anymore.

Where Did That Name Come From?

Fuzz was born with the name John Wesley McPherson, Jr. and hailed from a long line of highland Scots.  Being rather competitive in nature, he grew up playing sports.  One day, during the summer before John started junior high school, he signed up for a “Summer Conditioning Camp” which had been marketed to all junior high and high school athletes, but the camp was really intended as a way for the high school varsity football team to legally hold practice before the actual season started – to get a leg up on the competition for the upcoming season.  John was one of only two junior high school kids who showed up for the camp and the rest of the camp-mates were older, bigger, high school football players.  On a hot and particularly humid day, the coach had the kids run 3 miles after doing an hour of lifting and conditioning drills.  As some of the older, well-insulated, and sluggish linemen started to fall back, the younger John ran past a couple of them.  And, as boys can be prone to do when their strength is threatened on the field, the high school linemen decided that young John needed to be taken down a notch. Noticing that John’s curly hair had gone haywire in the hot, summer humidity they began calling out to him with sarcastic tones, “Fuzz!!  Look a at Fuzzie run!” It stuck, and it’s definitely more memorable than the name John.

Colleagues Talk About John

“To this day, Fuzz remains one of my very smartest colleagues. Among some very bright minds, his analytical abilities were perhaps unparalleled. He was also an excellent teacher and mentor, for which I’m very grateful.”

Ethan Schultz, Law Partner at Skadden Arps

“John McPherson had a gift for turning any project into a workable series of steps that everyone could understand and assimilate. He was great at getting things done effectively in a way that everyone involved could see was to their advantage.”

Joseph Hrgovcic, Quantitative Analyst, Chicago

“Fuzz and I became friends while we were both working in Turkey and Spain as linguists and intelligence analysts in the US Navy during the early 1990s.

Fuzz has more brute intellectual horsepower than anyone I’ve ever met. As an example, during my two years in Spain with Fuzz, I witnessed him teach himself several languages (at least 4) to a high degree of proficiency. These languages were in addition to his primary language, Russian, which he taught as an adjunct instructor for the National Security Agency. He was the best of a very bright and gifted group of people.

Fuzz has tremendous self-discipline and focus. I saw Fuzz achieve all of the education and career goals he had set for himself prior to leaving the military. From my perspective, Fuzz has simply lived into a future he’d already created years ago.

Fuzz has been a friend and mentor of mine since our time as linguists. Besides being scary smart, Fuzz is kind, easy going and honest. I’m honored to know him.”

Chris Watts, Former Russian Linguist, US Navy - now Dell, Inc.

“I have worked for and with John (Fuzz) on several occasions. In every circumstance he has provided creative, intelligent and unique ideas and solutions. His innovative attitude helped create new business ideas and perspectives that were valued within the organization. I would definitely work with him again and would enjoy doing it.”

JD Buss, Twin Feathers Marketing

“Fuzz managed the natural gas options for the bank – NYMEX and pipe. He has a detailed understanding of the market combined with long industry experience.  He is an extremely accomplished trader, an exellent manager of risk and handled the customer business well. He was great fun to work with too.”

Nick Bate, Derivatives Broker, former colleague at Société Générale de Banque

Financial Industry and Real Estate Designations

Designations in the real estate industry are a bit laughable at times.  You can “earn” a “Premier Agent” designation just for purchasing a certain amount of advertising on a site like Zillow or become a “Master __(fill-in-the-blank)__ Expert” in exchange for taking a 4-hour real estate continuing education class.

I list designations which actually mean something to you as a buyer or seller.  It took me approximately 1,000 hours to prepare for the Chartered Financial Analyst® exams and that was after I had obtained a B.S. in Accountancy, a B.A. in Economics, and a Master’s of International Management with an emphasis on finance.  It is a standard that the global financial world recognizes. Fair Housing is an important piece of legislation, but even if these very important protections didn’t exist, I would, and do, treat everyone equally.

Real Estate Broker Memberships

Real estate industry memberships are important because these associations and groups dedicate millions of dollars to the study of buyer trends, which home renovations translate to increased sales prices, etc. and share this valuable information with members like me so that I can better serve your needs.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.