Brett St. John
My name is Brett Alexander St. John. I enjoy basketball, golf, snowboarding and keeping up with the financial markets. The passion I have for finance originated in my high school years when the great recession began.
The financial crisis of 2008 to 2009 was kicked off by a historical real estate bubble pop (which was caused by several factors including risky lending practices, misunderstood derivatives and imprudent credit ratings). With both my parents working at public insurance firms, it was difficult not to pay attention to the bear market’s panic induced selloff that ensued. And so to gain an understanding of what was happening, I began to read any market related content I could get my eyes on; this included the Financial Times, Barron’s, Bloomberg.com and several well renowned and recommended books.
Understanding I needed experience, I started seeking internships within the industry, in addition to working side jobs and studying Economics at the University of Connecticut. My favorite internship came in the first semester of my senior year when I studied in London and interned at a private equity news and investment forum company called AltAssets. While at AltAssets I had the fortune of editing some of the news articles posted to the company’s website and assisted with their annual LP-GP investor forum.
After graduating UConn I took a role at Bloomberg L.P. in Princeton, NJ. The role required working in great detail with the financial statements of the United States and Canadian markets. With a portfolio of over 500 companies, I reformatted the disclosed data into a more user friendly design for the Bloomberg Terminal clients. I also worked on and led several product enhancement projects, ran data quality checks, worked to add companies that filed for their IPO into the system, and handled both phone and live message inquiries from clients.
I learned a lot throughout my time at Bloomberg and am thankful for the opportunity to start my career there. After three years in Princeton I felt the need to expand my knowledge base and so I took an opportunity that presented itself at Voya Financial as an Investment Performance Analyst. At Voya my team and I were responsible for institutional GIPS compliant investment performance reporting. Furthermore, the team and I were responsible for return based statistics and a multitude of automation and marketing initiatives. The produced performance reports and analytics served Voya’s client reporting, marketing material, and investment management teams.
While at Bloomberg and Voya I earned my master’s degree in Investment Management and Financial Analysis from Creighton University with a 4.0 GPA.
At the end of 2019, a department restructuring at Voya ended my employment at the firm. I took the 2020 year to work on Almond Confirmed as well as study for the CAIA program. In May of 2021 I completed the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst program and earned my CAIA designation.
In 2021 I briefly joined Fiducient Advisors as a Performance Analyst. At Fiducient I contributed to the firm’s consulting efforts by providing performance measurement, evaluation and reporting services for pension, endowment, foundation, other nonprofit and private clients. Later that year I joined Coastal Bridge Advisors as an Investment Strategy Associate. At Coastal Bridge I work to provide advisors with asset allocation recommendations, manager research and due diligence, as well as investment research.
Outside of work and educational pursuits, I attempt to continuously stay on top of macroeconomic events occurring around the world, company specific events, and earnings results from the companies I am interested in. I am truly passionate about investment research, economics, and financial wellbeing. While have been investing in equities since 2011, in ETFs and Mutual Funds since 2013 and equity options since 2017, I continue to learn from my missteps and successes every day.
Impact is the key word for me. I don’t need to be extremely rich or famous, I want to be able to look back at my life and believe I made a positive impact on the world. My professional and educational life has always revolved around taking something and making it into something more. I have turned the impact of my father’s untimely death into a motivational driver to become anything I want to be and do it anyway I want to (shout out to pops). I took my fortune of getting into established firms and spread the wealth by preparing my friends for interviews and giving them my recommendation (leading to three Bloomberg hires and one Voya hire). Furthermore I’ve used the knowledge I’ve gained to provide friends and family with a structured analysis of public equity.
To expand on that last impact initiative I have worked with two friends and business owners to create Almond Confirmed.
Brandon Bell @ https://www.businessrebooted.com/ has been invaluable with the development and maintenance of the site.
Garrett Lemire @ http://garrettsdesigns.com/ has given life to the ambience of the site through his graphic art.
My goal for Almond Confirmed, by providing research, methods, and knowledge I use for my own investment management decisions, is to empower others to make better decisions with their capital in a way that makes the most sense for their individual situations and personal goals.