A Discussion with Anthony Munchak about becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst®

Anthony Munchak earned a BS degree and an MS degree in finance from Boston College, in addition to earning an MBA from Bentley College.  He entered the financial industry in 1992 as a registered representative at the investment banking firm of Fechtor, Detwiler & Co. in Boston.  Anthony held a number of finance roles in […]

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Anthony Munchak
Anthony Munchak

Anthony Munchak earned a BS degree and an MS degree in finance from Boston College, in addition to earning an MBA from Bentley College.  He entered the financial industry in 1992 as a registered representative at the investment banking firm of Fechtor, Detwiler & Co. in Boston.  Anthony held a number of finance roles in a five-year stint at Fidelity Investments, after which he was a portfolio manager at Guaranty Capital Corp. for two years. 

Anthony Munchak began working as a Senior Portfolio Manager in 2000 with Invesco Quantitative Strategies.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) charter holder and a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society.  Munchak has a high level of experience in portfolio construction, risk management, full replication, and all things Excel.

Anthony is currently enrolled in Boston University’s Financial Planning Certificate Program and anticipates completion in the Spring of 2021.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

On a personal level, I love the analysis part of my job, but there’s also the fulfillment of helping people achieve their financial goals.  It sounds like a company line, but there’s a whole lot of truth to it. 

As investment managers, we like to make money along the way, but in doing so, we firmly believe in helping people attain their goals to achieve a fulfilling retirement and to have financial security.  We’re not out there saving lives but we are helping people maintain their independence with a solid financial future.  That’s something that makes me feel good. 

What keeps you motivated?

My children.  They’re the reason I get up to go to work every day.  It’s to provide for them and give them future security.

How do you motivate others?

Having positive energy is important.  People will be drawn to you if you give off positive energy.  Meanwhile, there are the Debbie Downers of the world:  They might be great at what they do and really smart, but they don’t inspire others to want to be around them and listen to them and partner up with them on a project.  One of the things that I have going for me is a positive outlook on life, an optimism, and people, I think, want to be around those types of people.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

In the finance industry, there’s Warren Buffet and other investment titans out there.  But when I look at my greatest personal successes, I think of my children, so for me as a parent, my mom and dad have been the best role models for me. 

I think being a parent is the most important job in the world.  I believe that I am a great dad to my two children, and I had to have learned that from somebody.  We can be natural at things, but we also need those role models.  It sounds cliché, but my parents have been my role models.  I’ve learned a lot from them, and I’m blessed to have them in my life still.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

This might be due more to luck, but this hasn’t really been a problem for me.  I chose the right company to work for, and that’s Invesco.  Invesco is a large company and there are different managers with different managing styles, but I’ve managed to be in the right group that allowed for great work/life balance. In fact, our group at Invesco not only allowed it, they encouraged it.

What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

It’s confidence but also a particular kind of wisdom.  Not some kind of know-it-all wisdom, because I don’t know it all, nobody does, really, but it’s the wisdom that says, “I don’t know it all.”  I think I tend to know a lot about different things because I do ask a lot of questions.  I think good leaders ask questions; they do a lot more listening than talking. 

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

I would suggest buying a nice leather-bound book, and then begin to fill it with every name, number, email, and address of every new person you speak to and network with in your industry.  Mark the date, make a note of the subject you’re talking about, and you keep those names and their contact information.  Maybe you’ll never speak to them again, but maybe you will.  Maybe you have a good excuse to reconnect, or you read an article and you follow up with them.  Check in with them every 4-6 months and keep your network fresh.  Whatever reason you might have in the future, you can call upon those people and you can recall those conversations you’ve had.  People forget to do this or they’re lazy and they don’t do it, but they really should.  That book will become more valuable than you may think.

 What is your biggest accomplishment?

I would say a string of maybe six years early in my career when I got my MBA, my Master’s degree in Finance, and my CFA, which is not necessarily an easy thing to get. Those were a very difficult six years for me, working full time and going to school at night for at least four years, and studying big time for a couple of years after that.  All that work and success culminated in me getting my first portfolio management job at Invesco.  When I think about personal accomplishments, I hearken back to those times.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

I think I’m a very good friend to a lot of people.  They bounce ideas off me.  They ask me for advice, and not in such a straightforward way, but just through having conversations and sharing thoughts with each other.  Not to pat myself on the back too much, but I think I’ve been a good friend that people can rely upon.  I’m proud of that.

Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?

I see retirement nearing, but I also see one of my children going off to college.  I see myself perhaps owning a couple franchises that I’m now starting to look into as investments.  I see myself continuing in the financial planning/investment management world.  I’m not sure where I’m going to end up at the moment, but I know investment management will still be a part of my life.

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