What’s your role?
My current role is the Lead Portfolio Manager of the Tribeca Alpha Plus Fund. I manage money for superannuation funds as well as retail investors to help grow their wealth through direct investments in the Australian stock market.
How did you get your start?
I started in the finance industry straight out of university, at a company called Aspect Financial, which later became part of Morningstar. I studied finance at university and was very happy to test my knowledge in real life through writing research reports recommending whether stocks were a buy or sell. Although my stock tipping ability at the time was a little dubious, I had great people around me who helped develop my skills quickly. And I was lucky enough to have some real successes early on.
What makes you happy?
As an investor and mother of two young children, many things make me happy. Professionally, I feel privileged to be entrusted with my clients money and in a way helping them to have a better retirement lifestyle by investing in quality companies. Also finding a quality growth company early and then watching the share price grow always gives me happiness.
Of course, my two young children keep me busy and make life fun. I spend my weekends moving from soccer fields to swimming pools and my Sunday afternoons are often spent making palm cards and helping my daughter with her presentations, not to mention the endless birthday parties and preparing school lunches.
How do you suggest beginners break into the share market?
I advise against seeking quick returns – it’s unlikely a beginner will have insights others don’t, as the share market is pretty efficient most of the time. So my first advice to a beginner is: stay with larger and well-known companies where research of their businesses are readily available and they have a long track record of delivering return for investors. It is generally sensible to take a long-term view when it comes to investing. Short-term movement are often caused by “noise”, developments that are unimportant to the companies long-term success.
However markets do overshoot in both directions, so recognising the “mood” of the market can provide opportunities. This can also be the case with individual companies when they’re affected by the latest news. Quite often I have found the market is slow to fully price a new development, providing an opportunity to buy before the price fully reflects the significance of the news. This can of course work in reverse as investors are slow to conclude the business is a flop. The market is often less efficient with smaller companies but this can mean the mispricing lasts for a long time.
However in my experience, the best opportunities come when high quality businesses fall too much on bad news. The market can often get too caught up in the short-term negativity. This can provide a great entry point for investors. I have made some of my most successful investments this way.
One other important piece of advice I would give for any investor is to diversify. Have a portfolio of stocks, at least twenty. Preferably stocks in different sectors with different attributes such as dividend, growth, value, etc.
What’s a good resource to start learning about investing?
There are many great educational resources out there on investing online. However I recommend starting by reading the financial section of the newspaper or The Australian Financial Review. Read about companies that interest you and of course anything you’re invested in or are thinking about investing in.
There is nothing better than experience. Reading the latest business news becomes so much more the key to understand the companies you invest in. And remember, diversify your portfolio!
What has been your greatest personal investment?
Have a curious mind and positive attitude towards continuous learning are probably the most important attributes for any successful investor. In fact, these are probably the most important attributes for a happier life in general. As a professional investor, I invest the majority of my time reading and meeting people to learn about their profession/businesses. This has not only helped my knowledge of companies, it has also given me great opportunities to gain incredible insights into some of the greatest minds.
Is there a piece of financial advice that has stayed with you?
Don’t be afraid to take the path less travelled. Share markets are filled with noise. Sometimes it takes courage to be contrarian to back your own conviction but the rewards can be enormous.
Important: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. Consider the appropriateness of the information in regard to your circumstances.