Q & A with Craig Pernick - Chevy Chase Trust - Noteworthy

Q & A with Craig Pernick

At Chevy Chase Trust, we manage your money as if it were our own. We’ve built a team of portfolio managers with exceptional expertise, proven experience, and the intelligence and care required to help you achieve your long term goals. Recently, we sat down with Craig Pernick, a Senior Managing Director with oversight of Chevy Chase Trust’s fixed income investments.

Q: How did you first become interested in a career in investment?

A: I knew all along that this was what I wanted to do. I was a kid who played The Stock Market board game. I can remember that, as early as 11 years old, I wanted to be a doctor or a finance guy. I never lost interest in finance and went to the University of Michigan where I got a BBA in Finance. After a short time working, I then went on to get an MBA from Wayne State University.

Q: You have chosen to focus your career on fixed income investments. How did you become specialized in this niche?

A: After getting my graduate degree, I applied to brokerage firms and, by chance, wound up as Assistant Municipal Bond Trader. Since then, I’ve done nothing but fixed income for the last 34 years.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your career?

A: I love finding good value when I trade and knowing that I’m doing the right thing for my clients. I particularly like sharing my expertise with people who don’t understand bonds.

Q: What led you to Chevy Chase Trust and what is it that you enjoy most about working here?

A: Before joining Chevy Chase Trust, I was with Asset Management Inc., a privately-held firm. Since I first embarked upon my career, the investment world has become more complicated and it takes resources to be able to do a good job. Chevy Chase Trust has a great team and ample resources in terms of legal support, compliance, research and trading, but we’re small enough that we can function like a boutique firm. As a result, we’re able to build customized portfolios for our clients and provide them with direct access to the people making investment decisions. There is no “packaged product” here.

Q: What kind of advice would you offer to someone just getting started in an investment career?

A: The most important thing is to find an area that you are passionate about. Whether it is research or portfolio management or trading, if you focus on what you enjoy, you can then try and find a firm that fits your interests.

Q: How do you stay current on everything happening in the markets?

A: I stay very involved in the markets, talking to brokers, doing research, and monitoring trading and prices.

Q: Tell us about how you spend your time outside of work?

A: I have been married for 31 years and have two children. My 25 year old daughter is a nurse at Children’s Hospital and my 27 year old son is working at the New York Times doing marketing. Because both myself and my son are University of Michigan grads, our family are big Michigan fans! Now that my children are grown, I’ve also been able to pursue my passion for medicine. As I mentioned earlier, ever since I was a child I wanted to be either a doctor or a finance guy. After several years of training, I am now an Emergency Medical Technician with the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad where I put in 1,000 hours a year as an ambulance driver and EMT. It is a big commitment, but I really enjoy it. Through my work with the squad, I meet wonderful people of all ages.

Q: Finally, what do you think is the most important piece of financial advice to pass on to your children?

A: Like my father always said, save 15% of everything you earn and always have a rainy day fund!

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