217. Making money from an economy in structural decline

Alexander Darwall, manager of the European Opportunities Trust, tells us why the European economy is in structural decline, but also why you can still make money there as an investor. He discusses healthcare company Novo Nordisk – in particular, its diabetes drug and new use for weight-loss – tells us about investing too early in Deutsche Boerse, and reveals why his investment in Dark Trace is just a small position today. Alexander also gives his views on central banks: the mistakes they are making and how politicised he thinks they are.
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European Opportunities Trust offers investors access to a high conviction portfolio of European equities, with a bias towards medium and larger companies. Manager Alexander Darwall generates his own ideas, primarily through company meetings. Firms benefiting from economic tailwinds and in strong positions within their industries are preferred. He particularly likes businesses with proprietary technology, and companies that have a business plan that provides them with long-term sustainable growth. He has a record of success in different economic environments.

What’s covered in this episode: 

  • Why you don’t need to be excited about Europe as an economy, to still make money there
  • How the right companies can do well, despite the risk of central bank mistakes
  • The characteristics of ‘special companies’ making up the portfolio
  • Why the manager invests in Novo Nordisk
  • How a diabetes drug can also help patients lose weight
  • How Deutsche Boerse can do well in periods of stock market volatility
  • Why the cyber security sector is at risk of disruption
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