The people behind the process
Continuing my ongoing series of interviews with Montgomery investment staff, where I lift the lid and see what makes the people behind the process, the blog posts and the numbers tick. I catch up with an analyst on our global equities team who is visiting Sydney from our New York office – Amit Nath.
What initially drew you into funds management?
Problem solving has always been a passion of mine. It started with physics and mathematics at school, drew me into engineering at university and finally pulled me into funds management today. The sheer magnitude and complexity of the world, its interconnected economies, businesses and people, makes investing perhaps the most exciting problem-solving challenge in the world.
What makes a successful investor?
It is difficult to identify all of the ingredients that make a successful investor, but I believe probabilistic thinking would be close to the top of the list. Having a probabilistic frame of assessment is one of the most effective strategies to improve decisions making accuracy. In a world where each moment is determined by an infinitely complex set of factors, probabilistic thinking helps us identify the most likely outcomes without becoming overwhelmed by the quantity of data that is presenting itself.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Always have a plan because failure requires no preparation.
What is the biggest mistake that most investors make?
Refusing to acknowledge that they have made a mistake (hubris).
If you weren’t an Analyst at a boutique funds management firm, what would you most likely be doing?
Hopefully being challenged and solving problems in a creative way.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to travel and explore new places in my spare time. It allows me to try new foods and experience new cultures while being somewhat active. It also builds in large blocks of time where I can read and immerse myself in a variety of new topics during the journey.
So Amit, can you please share with our readers what you are working on at this minute and why?
I just finished looking at the cruise line industry which was quite interesting. There is a significant number of cruise ships coming online which will increase global capacity by ~30 per cent over the next 3-4 years. This is a red flag as the potential to oversupply the market and create pricing pressure exits. However, given ageing demographics across the world (which increases the customer base for cruise lines) and the large number of aged ships (retirements may remove substantial capacity), supply may actually remain in balance or move into deficit. In any case, the market implied expectations baked into the share price imply a favorable outcome for the industry, which of course is not clear to us at this point. Hence, we patiently wait.
Amit, a lot of people watch the hit US TV series “Billions” which is offered by Stan in Australia. Firstly, have you seen the series and if so what differences are there between TV and reality for a hedge fund?
It is a great show and I enjoy it very much as well, but it is largely fiction for the most part based on my experience. There are certainly elements that overlap with the reality of what happens at a hedge fund, but they are usually the boring bits that don’t make good TV (reading, spreadsheets, analyzing, etc).
Finally, now that Montgomery Global has an office in New York, what are the biggest differences between working and living in Sydney?
Sydney offers one of the best lifestyles of any city in the world and every time I return, a little piece of me wants to stay (I grew up here). That said, the pace and energy of New York City is unlike anything I have experienced. The cadence and intensity of the city gets me up every morning, motivates me for work and is probably what keeps me across the pond.