Episode 30: Stephen Arnold – Aoris
On this episode:
Stephen Arnold joined Owen Raszkiewicz on The Australian Investors Podcast for a talk about life, money and business.
Stephen has a wealth of experience in global markets at top tier firms, here in Austalia and in London. He managed more than $1 billion in Sydney for Evans & Partners and has since founded Aoris Investment Management.
Aoris’ tagline is quality first value investing. I think it’s an apt phrase since it encapsulates so much of what I like about Stephen’s approach.
With a portfolio of no more than 15 stocks, Stephen places significant emphasis on knowing where his circle of competence lies and how to measure the change in a company’s competitive advantage or moat. As you’ll discover the depth of his team’s research is impressive, to say the least.
When I first read about and met Stephen years ago I was struck by his unique and conservative approach to valuation, his rules for filtering companies and industries, and the purposeful portfolio construction approach he created.
Though Stephen and I spend quite some time talking about more in-depth investment topics like valuation I think there is something for everyone in this hour-long conversation. We hope you enjoy it!
- 1:30 – Intro to Stephen and his early career
- 10:00 – Banking crises and lessons from analysing banks during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC)
- 17:00 – Stephen’s elevator pitch: What Aoris does (in 30 seconds)
- 20:00 – Why the “direction of travel” in competitive advantages is so important to Stepen (and how to measure it)
- 26:00 – Why technical selling relationships are best
- 32:00 – How to find stocks and companies with sticky customer bases and wide moats
- 34:00 – The 3 things Stephen looks for in companies with high-value-to-cost ratios
- 38:00 – How to assess management
- 42:00 – How and why Stephen values stocks the way he does
- 47:00 – How Stephen removes optimism bias, sensitivity and risks to choosing a discount rates
- 48:30 – Investing is a business of judgements
- 51:00 – What is internal diversification and how does it help build a portfolio?