I was very young when my dad got me hooked on the markets
My dad is in the investment business, and I think he first explained to me what stocks were when I was six years old. I remember visiting TD Ameritrade in person with him, sitting down with a wealth advisor and picking out stocks from the S&P 500 that I wanted to own. I found it fascinating that tremendous wealth can be built in the market, while helping people with ideas get the capital to create new products, form advanced businesses, and ultimately build the economy.
My career direction was never in doubt
Growing up, when everyone was saying they wanted to be a doctor or a professional athlete, I always wanted to be an investor. In school, I was never interested in abstract math or literature. Blending qualitative and quantitative analyses and working through multifaceted problems was what I was good at and found stimulating. The same thing drew me to games of all kinds – board games, or card games like poker – where you have limited information and you must make the best decisions you can with what you’ve got.
You have to have a rebellious streak
This is a job that encourages independent thinking – you can’t just agree with the consensus. The job of the investment committee is to challenge us to think about how the business could do worse or far better than we think. They’ll ask us to consider low probability scenarios to understand how the business might perform in such an environment. Everyone’s focused on the facts. Oftentimes, you’ll need to concede and say: ‘I need more information to answer that question. We’ll go away and speak to Advent Labs, our data team, or enlist an outside consultant. And if you end up deciding not to invest, you’re still thrilled because you’ve come to the truth. It’s never about getting your own ideas past the finish line – it’s about coming to the right answer.
I’m happiest outdoors
I’m an outdoorsman through and through. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, hiking, biking and pheasant hunting, as well as exploring new cities and towns. I’m a big movie guy, and a great lover of fiction – especially horror. I really like reading anthologies of short stories.