A Yellowstone Advisory webinar

A fireside chat with Simon Young, Fund Manager of the UK Equity Income Fund for AXA Framlington

‘Unearthing winners, avoiding losers and making mistakes.’

Stepping well away from the well-trodden path of medicine that is a Young family tradition, Simon has carved his own way in finance and fund management over the last 20+ years starting at Mercury which became Blackrock, a spell in IR then back to doing what he does best, fund management at AXA Framlington. His UK Equity Income Fund is now a top decile performer in its sector.

Piecing together the intricate mosaic around the companies to build the richest picture he can establish is something he thoroughly enjoys. From simple googling of the company, to searching the eye-opening job boards, reading trust pilot reviews of the company’s customer satisfaction ratings and meeting management all combine to develop a broader view. Talking to competitors and combining the insights from social media are all part of the arsenal of techniques to learn more about each company on his radar.

Twitter is a treasure trove of eclectic opinions; some irrational and some rational. There is always the caveat however, to be aware of spurious claims but it can throw up some well-balanced sentiments from the likes of @Rhomboid1, @Boros10 (Leon Boros), @WheelieDealer, @Conkers3 (Peter Higgins), @Reb40 (Aston Girl), @dosh100 (Stock Whittler), @GrahamNeary and @Carmensfella. These FinTwit contributors post intelligent and illuminating pieces. Journalists such as @MorganHousel, @MuddyWatersre, @IanCassel, @HowardMarksBook and @Jeremy_Grantham are all incredibly insightful for Simon. Ditto podcasts such as the #TwinPetesInvesting and @PatrickOShag.

Over Simon’s career he has seen several crises such as the ’97 Asian shock, the Dotcom boom and bust, the 2008 global stock market collapse and the Covid-19 current quagmire. None were predicted. On this basis, the criteria he looks at to choose investments are high barriers to entry and a competitive advantage so the company can endure the hard times and still make money. These principles can be broken down into:

Principle 1: Finding the lowest cost providers where the competition finds it hard to cut their costs to below yours e.g. Ryanair.

Principle 2: A high level of Intellectual Property in the shape of brands and patents preventing competitive entry.

Principle 3: A high level of effective sales networks to optimise all possible sales avenues.

Principle 4: High levels of repeat income such…

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