Alessandro Bruno BA, MA

Alessandro holds a BA and MA in International Relations all at the University of Toronto. Alessandro has been published extensively and is a frequent guest on television news programs including the BBC, CBC, and CTV. Alessandro has worked as an industry analyst, lived and worked abroad extensively, and served as a United Nations officer in North Africa.

Alessandro was also an analyst in the global investment banking sector for a leading international advisory group responsible for putting sustainability and corporate responsibility on the finance map; specializing in aerospace, transportation, energy, and mining sectors.

Alessandro speaks many languages other than English and his native Italian, including Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Persian, Russian, and Portuguese, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese, Arabic, and German.

Get to know Alessandro…

How did you invest your first dollar, and what did you learn about investing?

I invested a fair bit after returning from my UN assignment in Libya. I had saved up a few dollars and cents thanks to low living costs and the lack of any entertainment over which to spend and enjoy my international official’s salary. As a result I had some success investing in aerospace and airlines, among others, though my inexperience caught up to me and I eventually lost quite a bit for my standards.

Since then, I have invested in mutual funds and also learned to consider more factors thanks to my experience in analyzing various sectors and new parameters such as sustainability and reputation risks. These, when addressed properly, serve as an indicator of good management. I invest only in what I know and understand or what I like. For example, I look forward to buying Ferrari shares after the IPO in October!

What has been the most memorable moment in your investing career?

When I lost a good chunk of my savings and when I read Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness. I was happy to finally find a risk specialist who did not trust the new financial engineering approach to stock analysis. And of course, I also remember tripling my money on Canadian Airlines in 1998, after stubbornly holding on to the belief that the airline was better than Air Canada, based on service. Of course, we all know what happened a year later; Canadian Airlines exists only in the annuals of aviation history.

What is your investing philosophy?

I tend to shun technical analysis. Numbers fail to tell the story. And even when they do, they are merely a measure of performance rather than a predictor of one. Give me the facts, the background, the context; I don’t need the graphs. Also, I invest in a company rather than a market, both of which I must like, understanding the macro factors that can influence its performance.

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