White: I grew up on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, right on the West Virginia border. Farming is very cyclical and, when I was growing up, there were times when it didn’t pay the bills. When that happened, my father would drive a truck. I would ride along with him, missing school for weeks at a time. While on the road, I’d read books about the stock market and about business in general. At the age of 13, I landed a job driving a forklift at a local warehouse. I used those paychecks to start investing in the market.
I was in college when the tech bubble swelled. I invested a lot but then lost it all in 2000 when the bubble burst. That loss was a nice lesson about the cyclical nature of the markets.
I eventually landed a job at Cambridge Associates, covering hedge funds. My favorite managers were Ernst von Metzsch and Karl Bandtel, former portfolio managers of Vanguard Energy Fund. I loved their humility, willingness to be different, and strength to go against the tide. Once I landed at Wellington, I had the opportunity to learn from mentors in the metals and mining field. From there, I revised and improved upon my own philosophy and process.
It was the culmination of these life experiences that gave me the vantage point from which to view and assess changing cycles within the market.