Episode 59: Lazard’s Steve Wreford

Thematic Investing, Good Stories and Non-linear Change

Steve Wreford is a portfolio manager in the Global Thematic Equity team with Lazard Asset Management. In this episode, we talked about the difference between an investment theme and a good story, sell discipline, monetary policy (“It is hubris!”) and non-linear structural changes. Please enjoy the show!

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Overview of podcast with Steve Wreford, Lazard Asset Management:

3:00 My father gave me a book about the stock markets
3:30 Having a basis in computer science. Are you still using it?
5:40 Thematic investing; it needs to be more than a story
7:00 The distinction between value and growth styles of investing is arbitrary.
8:30 What is wrong with a good story?
9:30 Genuine structural themes are rare and belong in your portfolio, stories belong in the pub
12:30 India is going to be bigger than China in population in three years’ time. The rise of India is a big theme.
13:00 We are seeing a sea change in the relationship between central banks and governments
16:00 The influence of the pandemic
18:50 How to deal with tracking error
20:00 Bits of chips.
22:00 With such big themes, when is the right time to sell?
24:50 There is a big difference between knowing a company well and it being a good investment
26:20 Is there ever a danger that one theme dominates the portfolio?
30:00 Sustainability problems are by definition non-linear
30:30 We are in a new world of monetary policies and it is hubris
31:30 What books are you reading at the moment?
33:00 One way to reduce volatility in your portfolio is to turn your screen off for a while.