FFM podcast ep17: Chasing pack; Truworths standout; lagging resources; slowing inflation

In the daring world of Fantasy Fund Manager, the powerhouses of profit aren’t where you’d expect. The resource sector is conspicuously absent from the top ten winners’ circle, leaving room for unexpected stars like Truworths, soaring 25%. Step into the spotlight and find a diverse top ten roster: three retail titans, four financial juggernauts, a resilient Rand hedge, a dynamic mid and small cap, and a lone tech and communications marvel. But as inflation’s fiery pace begins to cool – July’s local figures a surprising 4.7% below expectations – can we anticipate a grand performance shuffle? Tune in to this week’s podcast, hosted by BizNews’ Stuart Lowman. Joining the stage are Grant Morris, the strategic portfolio maestro at ClucasGray Asset Management, and the astute independent financial adviser Brett Rubin. Holding their own within the top echelons – third and sixth, to be precise – both Grant and Brett unveil their blueprints for triumph and what it takes to unseat the reigning maestro, Rene Zietsman. Remember, each dawn of Monday is your chance to pitch your winning stocks. With enticing prizes awaiting, the game is on. Rally your comrades and head over to www.fantasyfundmanager.co.za to register—gratitude to our platinum sponsors, Sharenet, Terebinth Capital, ClucasGray Asset Management, and Money Better. And mark your calendars: Subscribe now to our podcast to keep pulse with every riveting episode. Rest assured, the stock prices discussed remain spot-on from the time of the podcast’s riveting recording.

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Welcome back to the electrifying realm of the Fantasy Fund Manager podcast. I’m Stuart Lowman, your guide through this financial playground’s thrilling twists and turns. Today, we’ve got two maestros in the house: Grant Morris, the shrewd portfolio manager at ClucasGray Asset Management, and the astute independent financial advisor, Brett Rubin. Gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to have you onboard this week.

Stuart Lowman: “Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s unbox some week 17 stats. Brace yourselves: Naspers is the beloved heavyweight in the game, embraced by 20% of players—talk about a popular pick—this week’s hurdle: a 1.5% dip. Now, cast your eyes towards NEPI Rockcastle. A rarity in portfolios, held by merely 2% of daring souls—one in 50, to be precise. A 0.5% uptick marks its journey this week.”

“Cue the drumroll for the most bought-in star of the week: British American Tobacco. It is a wise choice, as our esteemed guests, Grant and Brett, have recognised. And spotlight on the most sold candidate: Sasol, down 0.8%. Time for a quick pit stop, Brett—let our listeners in on your daily rhythm in finance.”

Brett Rubin: “Pleasure to be here, Stuart. Well, first and foremost, I’m a financial planner, steering my clients toward success. While I don’t personally handpick stocks for them, I entrust that task to my trusty discretionary fund manager. Beyond that, I run my own personal stock portfolio. I keep a keen eye on market movements, often seeking guidance from overseas news—US, China—you name it. I base my moves on a mix of intuition and careful analysis.”

Stuart Lowman: “No need to hold back, Brett—that insight paints a vivid picture of your approach. Now, let’s address the elephant in the room, or should I say, the leader’s board. Grant is storming in at third place, with Brett claiming an impressive sixth. Grant, let’s tap into your experience. How’s the journey been amidst the buzzing excitement and chatter?”

Grant Morris: “Greetings, Stuart. Well, the journey has been a fascinating education unfolding weekly. I’ve been crunching some numbers, and we still have ten captivating weeks ahead—a substantial stretch for strategic manoeuvres. The terrain can shift dramatically in either direction, offering opportunities to make leaps or face challenges.”

“A captivating tidbit: When glancing at August’s landscape, only 20 of the 60 stocks are flaunting a positive month-long return. Zooming out, merely 24 out of 60 shares show capital growth since the Fantasy Fund Manager’s inception in May. Surprising performers have emerged, highlighting the significance of diversification in navigating these waters. Care to explore the specifics? Some intriguing revelations await.”

Stuart Lowman: “A game of balance indeed, Grant. And Brett, it’s your turn to step into the spotlight. With a current ranking of sixth, your portfolio showcases Investec, Redefine, British American Tobacco, Sasol, Mr Price, and Karooooo. The burning question: What’s your strategy? A weekly shuffle, monthly manoeuvres, or perhaps a steadfast buy-and-hold philosophy?”

Brett Rubin: “Stuart, a pleasure. My approach involves regular adjustments. Typically, I scrutinise my portfolio’s weekly performance and analyse analysts’ forecasts for my holdings. This signals whether stocks are flashing ‘buy’ or ‘sell.’ Sunday nights are my time—the calm, composed moment to tweak my portfolio. I maintain a pragmatic outlook, considering sectors facing unfavourable sentiment, even if fundamentally sound. My moves are aimed at maximising profits while managing losses.”

Stuart Lowman: “Astute strategies, Brett. Now, Grant, the game might not mirror your day job, but is there a specific Fantasy Fund Manager approach you’ve embraced?”

Grant Morris: “Indeed, Stuart. My method has revolved around staying within my comfort zone. I focus on sectors where my understanding of the fundamentals and valuation is profound. This allows me to pick stocks closely aligned with the investment case. While some holdings remain steadfast, I’ve also ventured into buying underperformers and shedding well-performing assets—a tactic that aligns with Brett’s strategy. It’s about capitalising on volatility and the swings of sentiment.”

“Recently, I’ve found myself significantly hedging bets on diversified giants like BHP in the resources sector, as geopolitical shifts can trigger turbulence. Flexibility is key in these waters, though my risk tolerance might have wavered recently, especially in the resource realm.

Stuart Lowman: “A dance of calculated risk and steady navigation, Grant. And Brett, your journey offers a unique perspective. With careful analyses and intuitive insights, you’ve managed to turn the tides of your gameplay. Tell us, what’s your advice for fellow players looking to excel in the game?”

Brett Rubin: “Certainly, Stuart. Here’s my gamer tip: Tune out my financial advisor hat for this game—we’re in a different arena here. Feel the market’s pulse by staying updated with global news, particularly from economic giants like China and the US. Combine intuition with a pragmatic approach. Evaluate underdogs marred by negative sentiment; sentiment, not just financials, often propels market movement. And yes, the ‘buy and hold’ advice resonates—trust your stock choices, but be ready to adapt.”

Stuart Lowman: “Solid advice, Brett. And Grant, what areas could players keep an eye on as inflation’s winds shift and market dynamics evolve for potential game-changing moves?”

Grant Morris: “Good question, Stuart. The recent easing of inflation, now at 4.7%, holds potential implications for the market. If this trend continues, sectors sensitive to interest rates might find breathing room. Bonds, for instance, could witness improved prospects. Amidst currency fluctuations, interest rate-sensitive stocks could stand out as winners. Retail and financial service sectors could see upliftment, possibly translating to reduced bad debts and an extra boost to consumers’ wallets.”

“Intriguingly, some underappreciated sectors have shone in this game—retailers like Truworths, financial services, and more. This reinforces the importance of strategic diversification and spotting hidden gems, even amidst market turbulence.”

Stuart Lowman: “A fascinating take, Grant. Your insights unveil the power of strategic thinking in a dynamic environment. And Brett, as we wrap up this engaging conversation, what’s your final piece of wisdom for the players aiming to triumph?”

Brett Rubin: “Absolutely, Stuart. Here’s my parting tip: Forge your path by listening to your instincts—after all, this is the world of fantasy, where calculated gut feelings often lead the way. Pay attention to market trends and global currents; they’ll illuminate the course. And remember, be rational and research-backed in your changes. A dash of intuition and savvy analysis could pave the way to victory.”

Stuart Lowman: “Cheers to the journey ahead, fellow players! And a heartfelt thank you to our insightful guests, Brett Rubin and Grant Morris, for gifting us a glimpse into their strategic minds. Our gratitude extends to our sponsors—Terebinth Capital, Money Better, Sharenet, and Clucus Gray Asset Management—for fueling this thrilling voyage. And to all you budding financial maestros, remember: your next move could be the game-changer!”

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