Why the Morningstar Individual Investor Conference matters

-- | 24/10/2019

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Glenn Freeman: We're here at the Morningstar Individual Investor Conference with Jamie Wickham, CEO of Morningstar. So, Jamie, we've just come to the end of the last session, actually, and some very big themes that have been spoken about during the day. But what are some of the things, the topics that really stood out for you from the event today?

Jamie Wickham: Yeah, I think the main thing was just really how investors should be thinking about positioning their portfolios. It's a volatile time, as you say, and there was lots of discussion around volatility in markets, expectation potentially of recessions and obviously, interest rates is a big driver of valuations and of markets at the moment, and where that's going to land. So, I think the main thing for me was really helping and supporting the audience most of whom are self-managed super fund trustees and self-funded retirees, how they position their portfolios looking out beyond 12 months, you know, three years, five years to whatever the markets look like over that period and supporting getting through that.

Freeman: And this is by design when the agenda is put together is there was always something actionable things that, okay, this is what it's like, what does that mean for investors, and I think that's something that Morningstar is – still sort of ingrained within the Morningstar ethos, isn't it?

Wickham: Yeah, I think we always try and put together the agenda in such a way that we spend some time on the macro piece. So, we had that with Shane Oliver early in the morning from AMP Capital. Obviously, our own Peter Warnes kind of discussed a lot of the macro factors in the U.S. and back here in Australia. And then, diving into specific asset classes and I saw the global equities session with Hamish Douglass and Andrew Clifford was terrific. And then, the Aussie equities session was a great one as well. And I thought Adam Fleck, our Head of Equity Research, did a really nice job moderating that. But I think it was – you know, it's good to have that debate to whilst you can dive into specific asset classes, it's nice to have a bit of tension with the panelists as well and having some conflicting debate and you typically get to a better answer when you get that back and forth with the panelists.

Freeman: There's no absolutes, I suppose. It's all about balance and diversification as well, which is another key point that is always emphasized.

Wickham: Yeah. I think, you know, investing in some ways is very challenging, but in other ways, it should be kept relatively simple and there's some basic concepts around investing and the important things that everyone should keep in mind that were discussed today, like the benefit of compounding and time in the market…

Freeman: Yeah, versus timing.

Wickham: Yeah, versus time, but particularly that impact of compounding and starting from a relatively young age and reinvesting dividends and all those kinds of things, basic principles of investing, whether that be the effect of compounding, time in the market, diversification, et cetera, et cetera. And the other one is just thinking about risk. For a lot of investors in the audience, they are worried about income, they are worried about yields and clearly, with rates at historic lows, in some cases, they're getting pushed out the risk spectrum to find that income. And that goes back to some of the discussion we had around property and the various types of property, keeping the concept of risk in mind and being risk aware, thinking long-term and obviously how that ties into your diversification, how you build your portfolio is super important.

This report appeared on www.morningstar.com.au 2022 Morningstar Australasia Pty Limited

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