We all want to earn extremely high returns. That’s why individual investors are often found playing in smaller end of the market. They jump into speculative explorers or ground-breaking tech start-ups.
There’s nothing wrong with this. But investing purely in tiny stocks with the hope that future earnings will skyrocket lowers your success rate. On average, these stocks generally don’t live up to expectation. Or they might take a lot longer to get there.
That’s why fund managers, Stephen Arnold and Nicholas Cregan aren’t interested in these super high returning stocks. Another obvious reason why they’re not in the market for 10-baggers is because of their size.
The two run the $1 billion-plus equities fund for Evans & Partners Asset Management. They simply cannot jump in and out of stock that might run up so aggressively in the short-term.
It could be said that the aim is more so to avoid losers, rather than pick winners.
I like to think of it like the way amateurs play tennis. The idea isn’t to hit winning forehands and backhands down the line. Doing so would surely lose them the game on unforced errors alone. The far better approach is to simply hit the ball back over the net.
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And that’s exactly what Arnold and Cregan are doing.
The two also avoid stocks which are tied to regulation or cycles. ‘It makes great dinner conversation,’ Arnold told the Australian Financial Review. ‘…but if you are only getting one or two right out of 10, it’s not going to lead to great portfolio outcomes.’
The equity team is aiming to generate 8–12% over a five to seven year horizon. Nothing too exciting. Three years on, the two have already generated returns of 21.2% before fees.
I would say there’s something to their conservative strategy.
Junior Analyst, Markets & Money
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