Q&A With Luke Persichetti, Asset Manager

Luke Persichetti

Mr. Luke Persichetti was born in Pennsylvania. After high school, he attended Yale University where he pursued a degree in economics. During his time as a student, he studied a wide array of subjects under Nobel prize-winning professors. Through his experience of working on Wall Street, he gained a greater understanding of what he wanted to do with his career. While working in finance as a college student, he learned that the field is all about trying to allocate capital as effectively as possible.

 

Luke Persichetti is an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge. He elects to spend most of his free time immersed in a diverse group of genres, topics, and resources. In college, he competed as a shot putter, which eventually led him to continue training as an athlete after graduation. He trains as an Olympic weightlifter. He also enjoys coaching other sports. In the past, he has returned to his high school to coach football. He also volunteered as an assistant coach for a youth track team in New Haven. He is looking forward to doing more coaching in the future.

 

What was your major and why did you pursue it?

My major was economics at Yale. I selected it partly because of an AP course I took in high school. At that point, it was the most challenging course I had ever taken. I also had always wanted to work in finance and decided that a deep understanding of how firms and markets operate would aid me in accomplishing my goal.

 

What is your definition of success?

My definition is broad. It is the point at which a person has learned everything they need to while still having ample opportunity to learn what they want to.

 

From your knowledge and perspective, what are the challenges facing the finance industry?

I believe that technology has and will continue to evolve to both the aid and the detriment of the industry. As far as jobs are concerned, many are going to be automated out over the coming years. Artificial intelligence is being trained and applied in many sophisticated spheres already. In many cases, this new source of labor can make decisions based on factors and at speeds we cannot comprehend on our own.

Another challenge in the industry is a deluge of media attention. Things can get out of hand pretty quickly in a world in which a U.S. President is liable to (sometimes intentionally) disrupt markets with a single tweet.  This level of connectivity in the markets through social media is unprecedented and could therefore prove dangerous when the U.S. economy eventually returns to precariousness.

 

What do you see in the market that excites you today?

I am excited by the positive side of the automation discussion. Technology is moving us forward, empowering investors, and making more individuals and firms more likely to deploy capital

Despite the obvious concerns for individual privacy, it is nevertheless striking to consider the sheer amount of data big-tech companies are capable of collecting and analyzing. I am looking out for them to become more involved in the financial services industry sometime in the future, particularly in the form of algorithmic trading.

Another thing I have noticed is how many young professionals in finance are now choosing start-ups over the traditional hedge funds and private equity firms. Investment banking programs are beginning to feed into small tech firms and all kinds of more entrepreneurial environments, which I find pretty exciting.

 

What technology do you see proving beneficial in the finance industry?

The big one is Artificial Intelligence. It will likely have a rippling impact that could change our fundamental understanding of capitalism.

 

Where do you want to focus your efforts in the finance industry?

I am looking forward to moving over to the buy-side of finance, specifically to a hedge funds or fixed income asset manager.

 

What goals do you have for your future?

I am looking forward to returning to school at some point in the future, whether it be for an MBA or a JD.  I want another crack at higher education, this time as a full-time student without an athletic commitment.

 

What steps do you take to improve yourself daily?

I believe that self-discipline is essential to improving each day in all areas of one’s life. I set goals to read a specific number of books each month, exercising a certain number of days each week, improving a skill by a quantifiable amount over time, etc.

 

What do you suggest a person listen to in order to remain updated on the finance industry?

Personally, I find great value listening to the “Bloomberg Day Break” podcast every morning. It’s a five to seven-minute market-focused news update. I also listen to “Wall Street Journal’s What’s News” every morning.

For a deeper dive, I like a podcast called “Macro Voices”. It is released every Thursday and always features an extremely knowledgeable guest that will share some unique insight or unconventional thesis they have on the markets and macroeconomic storylines.

 

What book do you suggest for someone getting interested in finance?

My first suggestion would be The Big Short. Learning about the financial crisis, all that went into it, and all that came out of it is one of the best ways to develop an understanding of the modern American economy. Some other great books on this topic are Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin, The Greatest Trade Ever by Gregory Zuckerman, and On the Brink by Henry Paulson. I would also recommend daily reading of news and editorials from Bloomberg, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal.

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