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    Shares for Beginners Podcast with Emilie O’Neill of IMPQ

    Phil Muscatello of Shares for Beginners Podcast has released his interview on my role as ESG and Equities analyst of the eInvest Future Impact Small Caps Fund (Managed Fund) (ASX:IMPQ).

    The eInvest Future Impact Small Caps Fund (Managed Fund) (ASX:IMPQ) is our Active ETF focusing on smaller companies that are making a positive contribution towards a sustainable future. As at 30 June 2020, IMPQ has experienced strong performance, earning 9.9% p.a. in excess of the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries benchmark since inception (net of fees). To read more about the recent performance of IMPQ, click here for the latest report.

    In this podcast I take listeners through the jargon around ethics, sustainability and ESG, and why smaller companies are best positioned to invest in this way. I also discuss a day in the life of a professional investor in the small caps end of the equity market and provide important background to the philosophy of IMPQ.

    Without giving the whole podcast away, I have discussed a few of the main points in the podcast and provided additional reading for those who wish to delve deeper. We will be hosting an “Ask me Anything” Live webinar next week. So if you have more questions on sustainability, ETFs or the markets in general, this is your opportunity! Sign up here.

    What are Active ETFs and why they make sense

    One of the many benefits of Active ETFs is that they trade close to Net Tangible Asset (NTA) value. This is because they have a market maker that maintains liquidity for those looking to buy or sell units in the ETF. The third-party market maker helps to avoids the large discounts or premiums experienced by some LICs. Another benefit of Active ETFs is exposure to professional investment management without a minimum investment. In the podcast I discuss why Active management is important when investing in small caps and also in sustainable companies. Active ETF managers use in-depth company research to select stocks in the portfolio – it’s not just taking the good and the bad of the index.

    Interestingly, IMPQ is the first and only Active ETF in Australia that focuses on Sustainability and small caps.

    eInvest have written extensively on this topic, including how market makers work and why we prefer Active ETFs. Click here.

    Genetic Signatures (GSS)  

    Genetic Signatures (GSS) is one of the stocks in our IMPQ portfolio. Since we entered the stock during a capital raising late last year at $0.98, the share price has risen to over $2.40 (as at the time of writing). GSS provides improved patient outcomes through its rapid pathology testing kits, which can test for pathogens within 5 hours. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was able to modify its testing kits to include the test for coronavirus.

    I have written about GSS and other resilient, sustainable stocks that have performed well during COVID. Click here to read more.

    Single Stock Shock

    Phil brings up the topic of single stock shock. Smaller companies are typically more volatile, so it is important to have a diversified portfolio. I believe that the best way to get a diversified exposure to the markets it through Active ETFs. You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket!

    Read here how not to put all your eggs in one basket.

    Greenwashing

    Greenwashing is the concept that companies (and sometimes fund managers) advertise themselves as sustainable or make misleading statements around their ESG credentials.

    I discuss with Phil how we avoid greenwashing risk in our portfolio – which is primarily focused around our rigorous and consistent company engagement.

    My biggest investment regret?

     You will have to tune in to find out.

    A big thank you to Phil for having me on the Shares for Beginners Podcast, which is the top ranked investing podcast! Financial literacy is a passion of mine and Phil’s interviews are a great way to learn about investing.

    Disclaimer: Please note that these are the views of the writer, Emilie O’Neill,  of eInvest and is not financial advice. To find out how to invest in our active ETFs, visit here. The product disclosure statement and more can be found at www.einvest.com.au

    If you’d like to keep learning further, please feel free to follow any of our socials listed below.

     

    Emilie and Phil

    Podcast Transcript

    You need to understand the business. You need to understand the financials, the drivers of the stock, the sector, the competitors. So it is a lot of work to be able to keep on top of all of those factors that could drive the stock. And unless you have a large pool of money that will allow you to adequately diversify through having a number of stock holdings across different countries and across different sectors, you are exposed that single stock Shock.

     

    G’day. And welcome back to Shares for Beginners. I’m Phil Muscatel. When I started this podcast, I could barely spell ETF. I didn’t realize how much ETF in the various forms had become such a big part of the investing landscape. And I know from your questions how much you want to know about them. So who better to talk to someone who helps to manage an actual ETF? G’day, Emilie O’Neal.

     

    Hello. How are you feel Phil? Emilie is from eInvest, a company that creates portfolios. The trades actively managed ETF. How did it come to work in finance?

     

    Yeah, it’s an interesting one because ever since I was very young, I have been passionate about the industry. I’m not really sure where it came from, but I think I was just attracted to how the movement of capital is such an important area of our economic system and I always kind of thought that people who worked in finance were quite intelligent and obviously a very fast paced industry. So it was kind of something that I just always had my eyes on and worked towards that. My goal when I was I think was about 14 or 15 was that I wanted to be CEO of Macquarie Bank.

     

    So definitely a way to set some high expectations for myself.

     

    So what sort of age did that urge come about?

     

    I’m a very young age, probably about eight or nine. I don’t have any family who works in there.

     

    And there’s no one your Dad, your mom pushed you into this?

    Yeah. Just kind of really seem like something that I was attracted to. And I was, you know, always counting my parents coins and things like that. So it’s just something I really wanted to get involved with. And as I was working, I kind of developed a bit of a passion for sustainable investing. And I was previously working in investment banking and doing some banking finance type things. And I just thought sustainable finance was a way to make a positive contribution. It was also very growing industry.

     

    And so I put my hand up for a role at eInvest to help manage their sustainable fund there,

     

    Because this is something that I’ve been trying to achieve with the podcast is to festivals show that the industry is actually a great place to work in and people are lovely in the industry as well, and especially for women to consider this as an option because it is still a bit of a male dominated industry, isn’t it?

     

    Yeah, definitely is. I mean, if you look at the statistics, you know, only 30 per cent of women in the ASX 200 are represented on boards. Of the chair people it’s only 18 per cent. So there’s definitely long way to go, but it has definitely made improvements to make it a more friendly environment for both genders and to help recruit women into the industry. And it is an absolutely very rewarding career because you do get to mate with lovely people from all backgrounds and of life and skill sets. And, you know, you don’t necessarily have to have a background in finance or finance degree to join. You know, I work with people who have started their careers in all kinds of industries. And actually corporate experience is really important to bring those new, I guess, diversity of opinions into the into the industry.

     

    Like you said before, about being fascinated by the movement of capital. What do you mean by that?

     

    Yeah, so the movement of capital is kind of, I guess, one of the big drivers of the economy. So people have excess funds that they may need to that they can lend out to people who are in fund deficit to to do all kinds of activities. So to facilitate investments in, you know, building a new office tower or to invest in their own business to grow. So it’s all about basically the borrowing and the lending of money. And that’s the way finance kind of steps in.

     

    And you were 14 and fascinated by that.

     

    I was, it seems weird, but it’s true.

     

    Okay, so let’s move on to ETFs now. What are the advantages of ETFs? And you have a little something you wanted to say about that before.

     

    Yeah. So eInvest is an active ETF provider. So I just wanted to quickly say that we will be just making general comments here. Only it’s not financial advice. So make sure you consult a professional and read the PDS, a t eInvest dot com today.

     

    You and Tim and anyone would be an idiot to listen to me for financial advice.

     

    But yeah, so basically.

     

    So we think ETFs are a great way to provide exposure to the stock market so that it stands for exchange traded funds and basically its portfolio of a bunch of holdings that you can easily buy and sell on the stock exchange, just like you would buy any other stock on the market.

     

    So they are a great way to diversify your portfolio because you get exposure to certain sectors or to set an indices and where particularly an active ETF provider.

     

    So what that means is you’re getting professional management of the portfolio so that their stock stockpicking, if you like, like I said, with ETFs, you’re buying a basket of stocks.

     

    You’re not confined to one single share, are you? It’s all put together for some under some kind of philosophy. Yeah.

     

    Yeah, that’s exactly right. So you get basically when you buy a unit or a avalue on through an ETF, you’re actually buying a portfolio of different companies. So there’s all different types of ETFs. So you have passive ETF which look to track an index or to a certain sector.

    Give us an example of something like that.

     

    So, for example, you might have the ETF that tracks the ASX 200 or buys the technology index, for example, or you can have an actively managed portfolio like IMPQ, which is the fund that I helped to manage listed on the stock exchange. And that is basically focused on small and middle companies that are contributing to what we call a sustainable future. So you can get exposure to really interesting parts of the stock exchange basically through just buying one. One name on the stock exchange.

     

    So what’s the difference between an ETF and a managed fund so they can be Similar?

     

    An active ETF is a managed fund. So it’s basically there’s portfolio managers who helped to stock pick buy and sell different stocks, and they’ll also typically create financial models. So they’re forecasting the revenue and how that looks and running valuation analysis. And they will actually be able to pivot their investment decisions based on things that are happening in the economy or things that are happening on a sector by sector basis or across different geographies.

     

    And I guess they’re doing a lot of research and active managers are doing a lot of research into picking the companies that they think will be most advantageous.

     

    Exactly. So that’s the benefit of an active ETF is are getting the professional management. So they are doing the research into the companies, in-depth research through sector analysts. So sector analysts of people who are skilled in one type of industry, whether that’s mining or retail. And they’re really trying to generate returns that beat their benchmark.

     

    But coming back to the difference between a managed fund and an ETF.

     

    Yeah. So a managed fund is typically it can be an unlisted. So it’s not you can’t access it through the stock exchange. So you actually have to apply to buy units in that in that fund through the provider itself.

     

    So there’s a minimum often a minimum investment. Exactly.

     

    Exactly. So you have a minimum investment with ETF that you’re not restricted to a minimum. You can buy one unit. It just whatever your broker restricts you on a dollar value can be five hundred dollars. This there’s ones out there with a fifty dollar minimum on this podcast we’ve spoken before.

     

    One of my previous guests uses the term single stock shock. What’s the importance of diversification?

     

    Yeah, exactly. So this is a huge one because you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. So especially during covered where their stocks that are really going to underperform or might outperform. You know, it’s really important that the companies aren’t running out of cash. So diversification is really essential to avoid those large movements in your portfolio. So it actually means not having a large or too much of a large weighting to one type of stock specific stock or one type of sector or geography. So, you know, you can you can diversify by industry. So across the financials, retail, again, mining, for example. But you can also get exposure, diversification, exposure through size of the company. So you might be investing in large companies all the way down to what we call microcaps or really small companies and also across geography. So you could have developed markets or developing markets and in investing styles. So there’s this what we call growth stocks, first value stocks.

     

    I think I’m sorry I’m throwing this question in here now. I think there’s also a misunderstanding about diversification, that just if you’re in a passive index fund, say that just invests in the top 200 companies on the ASX. That’s not real true diversification, is it?

     

    Well, it depends on your overall portfolio, I guess. So a passive fund will track an index. Like I mentioned before, you don’t have a professional choose the stock stocks that go into the portfolio.

     

    You’re just moving along with the market or that specific ETF, a passive ETF that go tracking. So you are exposed to the ups and the downs, the market. You don’t have a professional trying to outperform or pick the best stocks. So you’re kind of getting the good, the bad and the ugly, I guess. So it really depends on your tie portfolio. It can be a good way to diversify in some respects, but you should definitely supplement that, we believe, with an active ETF like IMPQ, which looks at those smaller middle cap companies. We are an active manager.

     

    Do you have a definition of small cap?

     

    Yeah. So our portfolio is small to mids. So we have a weighted average market capitalization of one point seven billion. So it’s a little bit on the upper end of small, but typically we define it as outside the ASX 300. So the ASX 300 is the top 300 companies listed on the stock exchange by value. So that is amount of. Six times the value of the stock.

     

    So when you’re looking at these different shares, like a huge amount of shares on the stock market in Australia, her small miners and biotech companies. Do you have any other kind of sector allocation that you think about when you’re putting together portfolios?

     

    Yeah, absolutely. So we like our biggest exposure to sectors in the healthcare, financials, renewable energy and also technology stocks. But we are trying to have a diversified portfolio across all of the different sectors. And we also want a bit of global exposure, Spoto. So even though all of our companies are listed on the ASX stock exchange, we really want some that have revenue. All across all across the world and an appropriate mix of growth holdings. So there are things like technology or emerging healthcare, but also with more defensive holdings like renewable energy and consumer staples, which tend to be less more resilient in terms of fluctuations. But just going back to this kind of one stock shock, you know, if you had imagine if you had all of your money in some tourist related stocks, like, for example, Qantas, which at the time of recording has been down 47 per cent this year, or flight centre down 70 per cent this year or even event cinemas, obviously, they haven’t been able to be open for a while. So that’s down 36 per cent. So your portfolio would have really taken a beating. But what happens when you have diversity is that it actually mitigate some of the impact of those large fluctuations so that if one stock was to underperform really, really poorly, that your whole portfolio wouldn’t be down that month.

     

    Emilie, another instrument that’s used to gain exposure to a variety of assets is an airline. I see. What’s the difference between an ETF like the one that you’re managing? And then I see a listed investment company.

     

    So invest products are all 80 apps and that basically and it’s an open ended fund. So it means you can buy and sell units. You don’t have to wait for someone to be on the other side of that trade and you’re getting very close to market price. So that’s typically what they call a market maker, which is because that’s a big difference, isn’t it?

     

    They have to have a market maker, don’t they? Exactly. So what what’s the market like? Yeah.

     

    So it’s like a third party intermediary who basically helps to manage that. The value of the portfolio is similar to what it’s trading on the stock exchange. So you actually have to publish your net asset value every second. And the net asset value means that it’s an indicative value of the underlying portfolio. So so what the portfolio is worth. So iNAV is the indicator of net asset value, which is a measure for the underlying value of the holdings. So you’re getting very close to the value of that underlying, whereas leaks are close ended funds. So you actually need to wait for a buyer or seller if you want to enter or exit your position in a lick. And typically that means that they can trade at discounts or premiums to the actual value of the portfolio. And they also don’t have to publish their holdings on every day they had. They legally have to publish it once a month. So you are getting a little bit more a little bit more transparency when you invest in ETF, because you can you can say the holdings on a weekly basis.

     

    So to put it simply, an ETF, when you’re buying or selling it, it’s based on the actual value right at that moment, whereas an ally, say, might be trading at a discount or a premium.

     

    Exactly. So ETF, you’re getting very close to market value, whereas LIC’s, because you have to wait for that seller to buy or for a buyer when you sell out. Can trade at those discount or premium. Yeah.

     

    Okay. So you’re talking about your interest in ESG. What is ESG?

     

    Yeah. Yeah. So I’m very passionate about ESG. It’s what got me into this role and it basically stands for the environmental, social and governance performance of a company’s operations and products and services. So when we talk about environment, we’re thinking about things like pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, water management, the circular economy, which is really topical at the moment, and in social, it’s all about the treatment of employees and their customers. So product safety, access and affordability and also engagement of staff in governance where we’re talking about the board. So that’s the management of organisation diversity, independent cyber cybersecurity risk and those type of things.

     

    Can you give us an example of a particular company?

     

    We have heaps of examples of an ESG related company. So we call our sustainable future enablers stocks that are really focused on generating positive, sustainable outcomes to society into the environment. So stocks in this example is Fluence, which is a water management company, and they’re basically delivering decentralised water systems that can be dropped and deployed, superfast all over the developing and developed world, and it provides fresh water to those who really need it. So that’s an example. Obviously, water scarcity is a huge. Issue at the moment. And that helps to tackle one of one of those issues so that the types of companies that we’re looking for that are really having a positive difference.

     

    So governance. That’s an interesting one as well. Can you just go in a little bit deeper into governance and then maybe an example of a company that’s got really good governance? The term. Yeah. So with an example.

     

    Yeah. So governance is the typical. If you think about historical ESG investing, it does focus around governance. So you’re wanting to make sure you have an independent board who’s acting in the best interests of long term shareholders. You want to make sure you have a diverse range of skills and backgrounds in the organization because they tend to outperform. We’re really focused on gender diversity. We know that the that’s a huge issue that’s that’s been going on in corporate world. So only 18 percent of shares in the ASX 200 are females. And typically, when there’s a company that has less than 30 percent or less than 50 percent, We will write to those management and we will say we really would encourage you to appoint an independent female director. Here’s some suggestions. And in some cases, you might vote against them at the annual general meeting. If it’s we don’t think that they’re taking their active steps. And in terms of like I actually don’t know if I can give a good example of governance because there’s no perfect company, I guess. But we’re actively looking for them to continue to improve. So that also includes things like disclosure, making sure they’re giving clear and transparent information to shareholders.

     

    Well, that brings me to my next question, which is about Michael Fraser. Do you know Michael Fraser? No, I don’t. Apparently, he does ESG research anyway.

     

    So I saw this from a quote from him and from him yesterday on LinkedIn. And he’s saying, I haven’t noticed a concerning trend where large ASX listed companies list all the reasons why they’re ethical and should be considered in a ESG stock. They join ethical organizations, donate to charity, do community work, promote gender equality, and pledged to save the environment. Plus, more investors seem impressed and often suggest them as an ethical company, listing all of the above box ticking.

     

    Look, it’s a really good place to make a difference.

     

    Make it difficult, usually difficult.

     

    Well, it’s called greenwashing and it’s basically the idea that corporate and sometimes even fund managers actually make claims to be ethical or socially responsible or sustainable when they may not be. So some of the ESG writing systems out there do work in a bit of a tick a box approach. So do you have a diversity policy? Tick. Do you have a sustainability report? Tick. Therefore, they might consider a sustainable company or might rank really well that way. We do try to break through that noise and we really are focused on companies that are positively contributing to a sustainable future. And how we do that is focusing on seven key things. So we’re looking at improved social welfare, better educational outcomes, good corporate governance, better health, environmental services, water treatment and renewable energy. We’ve actually developed our own internal ESG and a scoring system. And the second there stands for engagement. We basically have 500 stocks in our database. And what we’re really trying to cut through is on the engagement. So that’s all about what? How is the management tackling ESG risk? What are their approach? How where are they? Can they talk in depth about sustainability? Do they open investor meetings discussing how important sensibility is for that business? And that can kind of break through some of that greenwashing risk, because typically you can say you can say some executives who might say, go and meet our sustainability report gives you all the information.

     

    But you also say executives that are saying, actually, sustainability is so important for our business because our staff really care about it. Our customers want to stay it. It’s helped to improve our business outcomes. And they’re the types, companies that we’re looking for. And I guess a big part of what we’re doing is ESG improvement. So that’s all about helping those management teams improve their sustainability outcomes. So we’re typically working with companies to help them, encouraged to discuss their material business risks and what they should be disclosing. An example is a recent community provider of community housing. And we’ve been working with them to help them discover what other material, environmental and social risks of their business and how to best disclose, disclose those risks were found really interesting about this industry.

     

    When I came into it, I thought I’d find a lot more red meat capitalism. But everyone’s a social justice warrior.

     

    And it’s really collaborative.

     

    People, you know, people are really working together because I guess the key goal is to improve the social environmental performance of our societies.

     

    So I think a big part of it, as well as help staff and customers are treated as he is.

     

    Yes.

     

    And actually, it’s really important, isn’t it, because so many companies have not been leaders in this guy.

     

    And it’s something that kind of got a little bit missed from ESG investors previously. But obviously, with the Covid pandemic, we’ve actually seen social become a lot more in focus. And that’s because we want to make sure that corporates are keeping their staff safe if they’re having to go back to work. We are really trusting to see how they dealt with their supply chain. So whether they’ll just cancelling orders or whether they’re actually still working with their suppliers to give the best outcomes for both companies and also keeping their customers safe, hot customers that needed hardship. Have they been dealing with that? And are they providing that support and easy access to talk to a customer service representative if their customers need it? And that’s really going to have huge impacts to the corporate reputation and ongoing customer acquisition going forward.

     

    And no one’s going to escape your laser like focus on this.

     

    Exactly. Exactly.

     

    It is a key component of what we’re looking for.

     

    Okay. You’ve started investing in the stock market now. How do you track trades, dividends and distributions and all those other goodies? Throw away those clunky spreadsheets we share. I have my portfolio in share side and everything is automatically recorded. Share Side is pleased to extend a special offer to listeners of this podcast for months free on an annual premium plan to share so dot com slash shares for beginners and sign up now for a seven day free trial before taking advantage of for free months. That’s share site dot com slash shares for beginners.

     

    Let’s have a chat about the future impact Small Caps Fund Active ETF. IMPQ. You help to manage. I do. I do. What do you do? What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office and turn on the computer? Well, what’s your day like?

     

    My day is. I get up. I’m looking at the news. I’m looking at company announcements. I’m looking at portfolio, what’s happened overseas. And day to day is really. And, you know, we do financial models on all of our companies that we’re investing in and also engaging with management, making sure, you know, they are keeping up with their ESG requirements where, you know, doing in-depth analysis and research on the companies. And we get in at seven thirty in the morning.

     

    So where are there’s. So there’s a lot of coffees to stop a day.

     

    There is a lot of coffee is very caffeinated at what right are companies being added or taken away from the portfolio?

     

    So I’m pretty active manager. So we’re constantly looking at the portfolio. You know, on a day to day basis, making sure that all of the stocks meet our evaluation criteria. If there’s any change in circumstances in the economy, we will adjust the portfolio accordingly.

     

    And how often does it take place in date daily?

     

    So is we’re looking to increase or reduce rates on a daily basis. And if there’s obviously new opportunities that come to market, we will be taking advantage of those by buying or selling other assets in the portfolio.

     

    You use the term weight. Now, this is like a portfolio. I was just making a pie chart with my hands here and the weighting is how that pie is defined.

     

    Is that right? Yeah. So if you think of a whole portfolio is 100 percent. And in our case, in the eInvest Future Impact Small Caps Fund, we have about 45 stocks in the portfolio. And they will all get a percentage of that pie on H. Sorry, it could vary from one percent up to maybe around four to five percent or six percent in some cases, if we have very strong belief that that stock is going to perform well. But it’s basically just the weightings is the piece of the pie that each stock represents.

     

    And how much is income part of the portfolio?

     

    Yeah, so it’s not income isn’t a huge focus for us in the portfolio. We’re more about capital growth. So how is the fund tracking. Yeah.

     

    So IMPQs goal is really to find new and interesting smaller companies that are contributing to a sustainable future. So they’re typically solving these large global sustainability challenges like climate change or tackling social issues, and they usually doing this on a global scale. So the term that I find with that really sums up our approaches, do good while doing well. And that’s all about the idea that our focus on sustainability and ESG performance actually provides capital to firms who are doing good things for the world. But it’s also enhancing the returns of our portfolio. So companies that perform well in ESG tend to actually perform better at managing risk across the whole of their business. And they have less ESG controversies. They have a greater ability to attract and retain key staff, and they tend to be in industries that are growth industries, for example, that they’re not producing coal, which is phasing out under the new climate goals. And Apple Fund has done really well. So we have saved nine percent over the benchmark in the last 12 months, which is pretty good. Yeah. Which is good. And typically that’s what research has suggested, that ESG funds do tend to perform well and typically experience less volatility. And with the Kovar downturn, actually a lot of ESG funds tended to outperform. And that kind of renewed the interest in the space.

     

    So are you able to talk about any of your favourite stocks, any personal favourites?

     

    Yeah, absolutely, sir. So we have a stock called Genetic Signatures or GIS, and that is at the ASX code side is the ASX code. We’re not recommending it for anyone to buy. Well, you don’t want single talk show.

     

    But basically, it is a rapid pathology testing kit. And so it can detect infectious diseases within five hours. And what it was actually able to do is when the Kovar crisis hit, is able to include the KOVA test in their in their kits, which had really strong performance for the fund, which is great. Another really great example is Mesoblast, and that is it got a lot of press lately, haven’t they. Yeah. So they trade odds, which is acute respiratory distress syndrome. And obviously that is with the covered crisis, lung infection and odd’s is really prominent there. And some of the initial tests have shown a lot of improvement in patients who’ve had odds and using the Mesoblast treatment.

     

    Getting back to your fascination with the movement of capital, this is what’s happening, isn’t it? That capital is helping to develop new technologies, new ideas, new ways of doing things?

     

    Exactly. Exactly. And that’s what we like to say is a bit of our role. So we participate in capital raisings when. Of raising money to do new projects. And that really helps to facilitate the movement of capital into companies that are doing good things and to help improve and drive those outcomes and away from companies that may not be contributing positively to society or the world in general. So that’s what we think is a huge benefit for investing in a sustainable way, is because you’re basically driving how the economy moves going forward.

     

    Have you ever made any investing mistakes?

     

    Yes, we should. About more. I am pick you in the downs.

     

    And I think a lot of my investing background has been an ETF, actually, funnily enough.

     

    I think that if you don’t have the time to adequately research because you need to really you really do need to research to make any kind of you need to understand the business.

     

    You need to understand the financials, the drivers of the stock sector, the competitors. So it is a lot of work to be able to keep on top of all of those factors that could drive the stock. And unless you have a large pool of money that will allow you to adequately diversify through having a number of stock holdings across different countries and across different sectors, you are exposed that single stock shock. And I actually did invest in one individual stock, the reject shop, back in twenty seventeen. I had a really bad run. I was luckily enough, able to wait till it recovered and sold out. Basically the cost I’d bought it at, but it was just an example of I had that shock to my portfolio because I had invested in that and that one stock and it didn’t do so well. And did you research it? I did. I did some research. And of course, I was familiar with the product myself. But it’s just an example of how, you know, diversification is key because unless you can afford to have those big fluctuations in your portfolio, you should be buying something that gives you diverse exposure.

     

    So in that example with the reject shop, what was the mistake that you made?

     

    I think it was just things. Things were changing. People were tending to go to Kmart instead of the reject shop in the stores weren’t doing so well and that they weren’t very strong online. So I think those a few issues at stake there. But, yeah, you learn your lesson and I buy and pick you. I think it’s a great, great fund for diversification. The smaller mid-cap stocks and a invest has a great range of products.

     

    So what sort of advice would you give first time investors?

     

    I think the first part is actually education, which is why I feel you’re really helping people out there to make smart choices with their money. All right.

     

    It’s all about math. The list goes. I’m trying to learn exactly. But that that’s the first step.

     

    You need to be able to understand how the stock market even works because, you know, people dedicate their careers and their education to understanding. So I think just understanding the basic drivers on why shares can move up and down, what sectors will be impacted during economic shocks. And if you don’t understand it, you probably shouldn’t be investing in it. But that’s the reality. So always understand the risk with investments and your risk profile, because that’s also very important. And like I said, unless you have the time, adequate funds to be able to diversify, you’re probably best getting exposure to through a portfolio of companies.

     

    Yeah. When one of my previous guests, who’s got a great quote and I keep on repeating it, is match your risk to your experience. Yeah, absolutely. So just in terms of your knowledge of business, let’s talk about the baby-sitting matching business that you run. How old were you when you were doing that?

     

    I would fain. And maybe about 20, 19 or 20, actually. And you started your own your own business? I did. I saw I saw a bit of a need out there because, I mean, at the time, there was only two ways you could engage your babysitter.

     

    And that was through an agency which is typically quite high hourly costs. Or you could go on Gumtree and you could kind of find an individual who’s advertising their services or, you know, pull a number of a telegraph pole if they had an advertising out there. But there wasn’t really a middle ground. So what I developed was a online system that really allowed a matching portfolio. So and all the babysitters had been screened for certain things. I’d met with them. I had discussed I was familiar with them and the parents were able to come to me and I’d match them up with a babysitter for a one time cost. And that that really taught me so many things about what I’m doing now. It definitely taught me to specialize in a niche and do it well, provide great customer service. So people want to come back and, you know, word of mouth is super important, but also just the importance of culture, culture of your team. So if you work for Team four, if you have employees who are really passionate about what they’re doing and they really enjoy working with you, they want you to do better and they will help you. They will work with you to try and improve your business as well. So they the kind of key things that I learned and culture is something that you just can’t really put a price on in business.

     

    Would another aspect of that be? Many businesses now are software service companies. I know that’s not exactly what you what that was, but the ways of doing business are very different these days, aren’t they? And that would be an example of a new way of doing business that you are undertaking with that enterprise.

     

    Exactly. So it’s and there’s a lot more online connections, obviously, as you would know. And, you know, you can get all types of products through online without having to even, say, a person face to face. So how do you still ensure that the customer experience is top notch? Because you don’t have someone sitting there who’s trying to guide you through it. So customer experience is super important. You know, if they need help. How easy is it to access that help and how quick are they able to access your service? So they’re all really important things when you are thinking about facilitating online online business. But in my case, it was a very human capital intensive business because it’s all about relationships.

     

    And people say even though there was that online platform, you still had to connect with them. You know, maybe over the phone and on you having babysitters who would meet them face to face. So still, that human interaction is was really important.

     

    So just before we go, Emilie, you’ve set up a special landing page for listeners to this podcast that’s going to have a lot more information.

     

    Absolutely. So if you want any more information on ETFs or eInvest, and IMPQ, which is the fund that I helped to manage, you go to www.einverst.com today, you forward slash shares for beginners and we’ll provide all of the links and content there. So thank you, Emilie.

     

    Neil, thank you very much for coming on the podcast. Thanks for having me, Phil.

     

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