In case you were wondering, David St John is doing fine, thanks, and has every intention of taking the six-month break he promised himself when he departed the UniSuper chief investment officer position on March 31. Unbalanced spoke to St John last month after he’d returned from a stay at his Snowy Mountains farm, where the chilly weather means his sheep produce a very nice grade of wool (19 microns, David tells us).
St John has been “extremely busy” catching up with family and friends, exercising an hour every day, and admits he has been contacted by the odd institution looking for one-off advice. On that investment front, St John is gratified that “markets have done exactly as I forecast”, and indeed UniSuper’s balanced fund was Chant West’s sixthbest ‘growth’ performer for 2008/9, losing 9.1 per cent against a median loss in the 61-80 per cent growth assets category of 13 per cent. But in St John’s mind, the most important bit of investment work he was about to do when we spoke was becoming a Finsia mentor.
The financial educator says it’s looking for “established leaders in the financial services community” to give up some time and pair with a “mentee” doing Finsia’s 16-week course, passing on to them their experience, insights and networks. St John thinks it’s a good way of giving something back – have a look at www.finsia.com/mentoring if you’re interested.