Ruth Lin — Research Analyst
If I had the chance to ask the CEO of a company one question, what would it be? And how exactly would the answer affect my financial model? Would it change my decision to own the company? And how would I interpret what had not been said?
I learned to think independently from my father, an Israeli rocket scientist recruited by NASA after he earned his PhD at 23. When I came to him for help on a math or physics question, he’d explain one solution and then challenge me to find five more, none of which were taught at school. He ingrained in me the importance of asking questions, and he taught me that only with the perfectly formulated question ― often the result of hours of research ― does one gain valuable insights.
Following in the footsteps of my mother, one of Israel’s first computer engineers, I started coding for fun at 14. As the only female teenager at Israel’s most competitive school of engineering, I developed my analytical skills along with my composure and confidence. These skills were further honed when I joined the ranks of Israel’s FBI at 18. Almost immediately, I was tossed into hundreds of situations where I had to make tough decisions under pressure, often with incomplete information and human lives at stake. Today, as an investor, I am able to maintain full composure and focus, even during challenging days in the markets.
But it was my childhood, split equally between the US and Israel, that helped me develop a deep understanding of people. I learned how to perceive minute situational nuances, internalize undercurrents and subtle gestures, and connect the dots with people whose personalities were vastly different from my own. My Wharton accounting professors would preach that the full picture could always be pieced together from the financial statements, one footnote at a time. Since graduating, my experience taught me that an understanding of people, motivations and personalities will make the picture a three-dimensional one.
Daruma Capital gives me a platform to pull all my abilities together. I love learning about companies and industries, getting to know the people who run them and calculating the economics behind them. The most enjoyable part of my job is to ask questions, read and learn ― and then tie it all together in a financial model.
Throughout my research, however, I never forget that behind each data point and decision there are people: our investors and the people they represent, as well as the people who work for the companies we own. I’m proud to be a part of a team that appreciates independent thinking and analytical rigor, while never losing sight of the people affected by our decisions.