What is something most people do not know about you?
I am an avid woodworker with a passion for building furniture. Nearly every piece in our home is a product of my hands and many hours of labor and thought. Through the design and build process, I try to step forward to imagine how the piece will be used not just today but for generations after. How will it age? How many homes will it be in? How can it be refreshed or remolded into something new? I love envisioning that my children’s children may one day enjoy a piece that I designed and built. Each piece grows with our family in ways only a child’s mind could imagine. Desks morph into pirate ships, coffee tables into islands, and bookcases become climbing gyms (to my wife’s horror). And with that in mind, I always take extra steps to make my designs durable (crayon and art project resistant).
What is your proudest accomplishment?
For five years I spent every summer as a wildland firefighter while pursuing my undergraduate degrees. We traveled to every state west of the Rockies, exploring the beauty and ruggedness of the western US. The job took me to places that I would probably never have visited in my life. I have fought fire in the deserts outside of Las Vegas, a bombing range in Area 51, along the Grand Canyon, and deep into the wilderness of the Cascades. There are few better ways to appreciate the natural world’s power and the indomitable spirit of a well-oiled team than the challenge of fighting a forest fire. I learned an immense about myself, leadership, and the communities hidden from most of us. Those lessons have been instrumental in shaping my perspective today.
Why are you attracted to this line of work?
My philosophy is that at its core, successful investing is the skilled pairing of a given problem with its best solution. Neither problem nor solution are easy to see on their own, and uncertainty clouds the picture even more. So, we must employ the two most powerful tools an investor can hold, curiosity and reasoning. Curiosity leads us to ask, “what if?” and reasoning provides the structure to answer the question. It is a game of discovery that leads to spectacular outcomes. I couldn’t ask for a more engaging and intellectually stimulating profession.
Kellen joined Caprock as an investment research analyst in June of 2022. Before joining the Caprock team in Boise, Kellen spent a decade in the Bay Area where he began his career in business valuation with a focus on venture capital backed startups at Frank, Rimerman and Co. He then expanded his range to renewable energy finance with PwC’s Power and Utilities Deals Team. After receiving his CFA designation, he transitioned to an investment role with Seven Post Investment Office.
Kellen graduated from The University of Oregon with degrees in Economics and Accounting. He is an active member of Wildland Firefighter community and supports numerous organizations dedicated to improving the lives of some of our most underappreciated first responders.