About

I have over 20 years experience in the investment management industry, 16 of those spent in a “front office” role. The typical frustrations of the industry such as being aware of performance risk, career risk, client and consultant’s short term views etc has in part led to me embarking on going out on my own as an investor managing my own money, including that of a Self Managed Super Fund recently. For quite a few months of the year I travel through South East Asia (cheap cost of living there was another reason for the decision), and focus mainly on the Australian Stock Exchange, however at times invest on other global exchanges.

My style could best be described as an “activist investor”, however my funds available don’t allow me to be the activist myself, but rather I look for companies that will become targets for other activists to unlock value. Deep value and event-driven investing may also be used to describe my approach. In addition to this I believe in a broad top down sector allocation covering stocks, property, commodities and cash equivalents in which I will not try and outsmart too much. It is more a rebalancing discipline to help limit drawdowns and broadly to have a contrarian tilt at major turning points. I use this approach to manage currency exposures also, which has become more important as I am now spending more time than previously outside Australia.

The blog is for a hobby, diary and a bit of self reflection, analysis and above all fun. Hopefully I will remain active. However first and foremost my investing is my main source of income so that is my priority rather than documenting everything on the blog. Yet time wise I couldn’t yet describe it has a full time approach for me as I have a few other things I spend much of the week also focusing on. So I apologize in advance if I go missing for a few weeks here and there. Feel free to enter your email in the follow section on the right hand side of the blog to be notified of my posts. Thank you for reading and please read below!

DISCLAIMER

This information should by NO means be taken as financial advice. It does not represent general advice or specific advice, particularly as I am unaware of the personal financial circumstances of readers. It is written purely for the purpose of an investment diary, to look back on, self-reflect and try and improve my own accountability for the investment decisions I make. It is for fun, and I am not a financial advisor. I try to be as accurate as possible but cannot guarantee I avoid mistakes. If making decisions with your own money, do your own research and seek personal/professional financial advice. Please read the ASIC guidelines around Internet Discussion Sites before reading this blog. By linking or mentioning other sites and products I am not endorsing them. Also be aware others commenting on this blog are not permitted to do so by giving licensed investment advice. Others who comment are personally responsible for their own postings.

 

2 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi, I am busy setting myself up to do a similar thing (manage my own money as opposed to working for a manager) and would love to get your thoughts as to how much capital you need as a starting point to be able to draw down a salary and still grow the pot. Have you learnt any key lessons along the way?

    1. Hi Carly,

      Fascinating question and it quite depends on each individual with varying risk tolerances and their life situation etc etc!

      Guess you know that so I get you are interested in my experiences thus far.

      To answer that I think the lessons are still awaiting me to a large extent. That is, I still don’t think we have had any major scares in the market since I stopped working in the industry late 2015. The more stressful times for me are probably like this calendar year. I say that because my investment style doesn’t seem that clever this year versus simply owing the major passive equity ETFs.

      As to what you could draw down on your capital, I’m probably a bit more negative than many citing the common 4% rule. But as I said it’s personal and I don’t see myself as much of a risk taker in life. It’s a topic for a whole blog post. Some of my thinking stems from the yearly Credit Suisse book.

      https://www.credit-suisse.com/corporate/en/articles/news-and-expertise/global-investment-returns-yearbook-201902.html

      And that too many get too much comfort on historically looking back and only thinking about returns from the US or Australia markets. We then maybe forget about taxes or other costs. And perhaps the 20th century just had some tail winds that won’t be repeated? It’s a very long time period in one sense, but then again not in the bigger picture of world history.

      So it might sound discouraging but perhaps even drawing down 3% real returns is optimistic! I’m more thinking about passive style investors.

      My optimistic streak thinks perhaps foolishly that I can maybe do a fraction better than the indexes or at least match them with less risk. A small portfolio size and no one on your back should give you some advantages. I am happy living a lot of the year in very low cost of living countries so that helps in the equation for me also.

      The main thing I’ve learnt though is to think a lot about the lifestyle change. I worry about some who have an extreme savings plan for more than a decade ahead when they can’t be sure giving up a normal full time job will make them happy anyway! For example I took about 3.5 months long service leave before I quit. I guess it helped me get a very small insight what it might be like having heaps of time by myself for an extended period. I’m also trying to do some small amount of work that pays me a little bit that isn’t dependent on how my investments are going.

      It’s such an open ended question so this long response might have seemed like a blog post itself!

      Perhaps some other readers might also have different opinions to share as I’m sure it differs from person to person.

      Steve.

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