The non-macro manager

“What shape do you think the recovery will take … U, W or V” asked Philip Hayton, a broadcaster and chair of today’s Investec Investment Conference, to Alistair Mundy, head of contrarian equities at Investec. “I am not interested,” answered Mundy.

Mundy’s approach to investment is let others worry about macroeconomics. He buys out of favour companies which he expects to do well in the long term. Or to put it in his words: “I buy other’s peoples fears and discomfort, then combine it with 30-40 other fears to ease our own fear”. Simple. He does not look even look for catalysts as he says catalysts are all for an investor’s imagination, meaning they only come to light after the event.

So far it has worked. According to Morningstar over the last 12 months to September 7, while the average fund in the IMA UK All Companies sector fell 6%, the Investec UK Special Situations fund Mundy manages returned 10%. Over three years the fund is up 6% versus the average fund’s decline of 10%.