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My Wall Street Experience and What We’re Doing At Cents

Many folks have asked about my experience and career path to learn how I advanced in the Wall Street and corporate industries. And it bears going over for everyone else, so you know the qualifications of who’s doing the investment analysis here.
(Shaun Jeffers)
(Shaun Jeffers)
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Many folks have asked about my experience and career path to learn how I advanced in the Wall Street and corporate industries. And it bears going over for everyone else, so you know the qualifications of who’s doing the investment analysis here. 

Justin B. and I are doing this because there’s a shortage of qualified, non-sensationalized, quality business and investing analysis out there. Wall Street corporate finance professionals have high-paying careers with SEC regulations that don’t allow them to publish many opinions publicly. And also, in reality, many of these professionals aren’t actually that great at investing decisions; many are stuck in dogmatic frameworks or don’t synthesize the quantitative with the overall qualitative factors.

Without access to investment banking equity research, many are left with Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool, or other outlets that contract out articles to random writers that aren’t qualified enough to get a Wall Street job. I dream of growing this community large enough to afford a team of high-quality analysts for us, but for now, it’s just a labor of love outside my day job. So please do spread the word so we can keep adding great content for everyone!

I’m going to start from the very beginning since some of our readers are still in college wanting to break into Wall Street. 

Academically performant from the beginning, I grew up thinking I’d be a surgeon, quite stereotypically, because it looked like one of the best ROI of earnings versus education. But I had always truly been a technology nerd, collecting Pocket PCs, Palm Pilots, building computers, and begging my parents to invest in Google ($GOOG) when they IPO’d (alas, they did not listen). When the Apple iPhone came around, I saw the writing on the wall and got my family to invest in $AAPL early. When the Great Financial Crisis hit shortly after that, I became even more fascinated with investing and a Wall Street career, devouring the Warren Buffett classics and CNBC.

I applied to the two best-ranked undergraduate business schools that placed onto Wall Street and ended up graduating from Notre Dame in three years, with an offer to one of the best buy side-placing investment banking groups on Wall Street at the time, Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance. Having graduated early, I wasn’t even old enough to drink at happy hours.

I left DB LevFin to go to a $1 billion hybrid hedge fund/private equity fund, which I’ll call “Fundamental Fund.” There, I was a generalist investment analyst focused on long-term, fundamental investing backed by deep research. Our performance was outstanding, outperforming our benchmarks, and I was able to cut my teeth looking at a ton of companies in a challenging environment.

For career reasons, I left Fundamental Fund to join the megafund Citadel, where I was one of two analysts plus a portfolio manager managing a nine-figure generalist investment book, with a specialty in investing around IPOs and secondary offerings. Our team was looking through hundreds of companies and generated great performance.

After being at Citadel for a while, Fundamental Fund had a healthcare software company they owned in Nashville, TN and asked me to step in as CFO. This is a relatively common thing in private equity. I chose to help turn the company around, growing it from $1.5 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) to $11.5 million in ARR. It’s been an incredible private equity-style software company experience for me.

So there you have it. I’m someone with an inherent love of technology and investing, trained with the objectivity and rigor from the highest levels of Wall Street, with extensive experience scaling a software business. I will always provide you with my real opinions and philosophies while always being open to productive dialogue. I hope together we can maximize our wealth and grow together.

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