Jake is an analyst on the Acacia team.
Jake joined Ruane Cunniff in 2004 after spending five years at The Research Board (a subsidiary of Gartner), where he ran The Research Board's subsidiary programs which serve CTOs, Chief Information Security Officers, Heads of Finance for the IT function, and Heads of HR for the IT function. Like all Acacia investment team members, Jake is a generalist but focuses heavily on Internet industry companies.
Jake graduated from Cornell University with a BA in English.
What advice do you have for aspiring investors?
Just start reading about companies! A good place to begin is with companies you have a relationship to, perhaps via products or services you use in your daily life. Read earnings reports / calls and 10-Ks / annual reports, Capital Markets Day transcripts, and listen to podcasts to get a feel for how companies present themselves, whether they are aligned with shareholders, whether any claimed competitive advantages, or maybe even moats, seem real and difficult to copy. Build spreadsheets as you go to better process the financials you are absorbing as you read.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Investing uses all parts of your brain. The math is the easiest part. The much harder (and more exciting) part is the psychosocial job of assessing management teams, of rolling up your sleeves to get beyond the veneer of what's presented by learning the facts on the ground and what's actually true, of forming an independent view on how industry dynamics / a competitive landscape will unfold in a world where, as my mentor puts it, "the pace of change just seems faster and faster."
What languages do you speak and how did you learn them?
English natively and German proficiently. I lived in Germany for a year after graduating University and was fairly fluent by the time I left. But that German has been rusting now for 25 years.