The people behind the process
People often ask me, “what’s it like to work at Montgomery?” So I decided to lift the lid and see what makes the people behind the process, the blog posts and the impressive numbers tick. This week, I spoke with Russell Muldoon, Portfolio Manager and Senior Analyst.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
“The numbers don’t lie. Management of companies can often just tell you what you want to hear and often tell stories to suit their case. You need to be wary of such information and as such you should always check the numbers a company releases, because unless they are fraudulent, that is the ultimate source of truth.”
What makes a successful investor?
“I believe that in the short run anyone can make money from investing. This may be due to good luck or skill and it’s often hard to tell over the short run. Successful investing in the equity market can take time to evaluate, but I feel you need two things; a clear philosophy and a consistent framework in which to apply it. This framework must be matched to the investors temperament, there is no point in having a Porsche if you want to drive slowly or a Yaris if you want to drive fast.”
What is the biggest mistake that most investors make?
“The mistakes are usually a result of not following the consistent framework that I highlighted earlier. I often see investors deviate from their strategy due to a period of less than ideal returns and as a result succumb to taking a tip from someone else without doing their own work on the investment first. The temptation for a quick buck gets the better of them. Patience and discipline are key virtues for an investor.”
What has been your best investment?
“It has probably been Sirtex Medical. Despite the recent pull back in its price, we started buying it around $5 and today it trades at around $22. It has definitely been an outstanding investment for clients in our funds.”
What worries you most about investing at the moment?
“The general expensiveness of the market at the moment. If you are an absolute return investor then there are very few bargains to be found compared to what you could find 18 – 24 months ago. We are also seeing a lot of mum and dad money come into the market chasing yield orientated stocks and that is pushing the price up of these and stocks (in general). Investors should be much more discerning about the risks of buying into some of these stocks as the risk to the downside has increased considerably.”
If you weren’t a Portfolio Manager, what would you most likely be doing?
“I’d probably be involved in the medical industry. I got involved in the wealth management industry early on in my career and love the idea that I am helping people secure their financial future. If I wasn’t in finance then I think I would be trying to help people out with their lives but in a health orientated way. A lot of my family has a medical background.”
What do you do in your spare time?
“Given I have two children under the age of five, I don’t have much spare time! My wife is my social co-ordinator and she usually directs me on the weekends. When I do get a moment to myself I like to catch up with my mates and play a round of golf or wet a line fishing.”