Ewan Markson-Brown: the joy of small companies

Merryn talks to Ewan Markson-Brown of Crux Asset Management about why when it comes to emerging markets, he much prefers to invest in micro- and small-cap companies than the likes of Tencent and Alibaba

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Transcript

Merryn Somerset Webb: Hello, and welcome to the MoneyWeek magazine podcast. I am Merryn Somerset Webb, editor-in-chief of the magazine. And with me today, I have Ewan Markson-Brown. Some of you may have been investing with Ewan for years. He's been at Baillie Gifford since 2013, running their Pacific Fund and the Pacific Horizon Investment Trust, which I know that we've talked about and written about in the magazine, possibly on the podcast in the past.

You may well have been holders there. I have bad news and I have good news. Ewan has left Baillie Gifford. He's no longer managing those funds. That's the bad news. The good news is that he joined Crux on 9th September 2021. And you will be able to buy into his new funds there. Ewan, thank you so much for joining us today.

Ewan Markson-Brown: Thank you for having me on your podcast.

Merryn: You’ve had a stellar career so far. And I was looking around for what other people have said about you in the past, they say that you are normally described as star Asian equities manager. That's nice.

Ewan: I don't really see myself quite like that, but it's lovely to hear other people say these things about you.

Merryn: Doesn't matter how you see yourself these days, Ewan. It's all about how other people see you. Let’s talk briefly about your career at Baillie Gifford, which is pretty stunning. But you decided to leave relatively recently. People don't actually leave Baillie Gifford very often. It's an extraordinary place to work. People love it. The performance of the funds there has been amazing. The business has grown and grown and grown over the last decade.

And you can rarely find anyone with a bad word to say about Baillie Gifford. Why on earth would you leave?

Ewan: Let me give you just the background notes. I've been 21 years in Asia emerging markets. I was six years at Merrill’s, five at Newton. I briefly had a stint at PIMCO to set up the EM Asia products. And I've always loved, in fact, investing in markets and then creating my own product. And Baillie Gifford just gave me that opportunity. Eight years ago, when I joined, there was these two small Asia ex-Japan funds, some $200 million in assets.

And no one had done anything with them for 25 years. They were just sat there. And Baillie Gifford was really great. It basically gave me a range, just do whatever you wanted with it. And I did and I really shifted that portfolio far more to what we call growth squared, which I think you will know as investing in what we think is the fastest market of great regional wealth, which is Asia ex-Japan. And really investing in the best growth companies and investing for a long run in that market.

Eight years later, we’re about 200 million. We’re close to six and a half billion. And suddenly, we were the best-performing fund in the world. Won for eight years. Fantastic. And then I guess the question for me was, what next?

Merryn: Being the best isn't enough for you?

Ewan: There's always a future. The trouble with investment management is that it's always your last year. Everyone always looks forward and not backwards on your numbers. You’re only as good as the last 12 months. Especially when I’m about 40… How old am I? 42, 43. That’s still, you’ve got a 20-year career ahead of you. It’s like, where do you take it? And I think it was really clear to me that I love going down the market cap.

And actually, as you go down the market cap, you get a lot of evidence for where the large-cap companies are going. And if you lose the chance to invest in your micro-cap, your small-cap, your mid-cap companies and meet them, actually, I think you lose a lot of value. And that's when I started wondering, would I be better off in a smaller firm with smaller assets under management, rather than in a very big firm, which has been fantastic, but it's grown so rapidly, so quickly? Is that going to start hurting performance in the future?

Merryn: You had so much money in these funds that you had no choice but to hold the biggest companies as opposed to the smaller companies. And that's going to affect the long-term performance of their funds?

Ewan: It was definitely starting to get difficult and there were definitely conflicts of interest arising between our fund and other clients in Baillie Gifford. It was manageable, but you could see that as that trend continued, it was going to get increasingly problematic. And I felt that actually, we could do a lot better in a different structure in a smaller fund. And that was one of the reasons why I started looking outside the firm.

Merryn: And one of the things that you said to one of our competitors, because sadly, it's not only us you're talking to, is that you didn't really want to have to hold the really huge stocks like, say, Alibaba and Tencent anymore. But you felt slightly pressured to do so inside the Baillie Gifford environment. Not because of anything in particular anybody says, but because all the funds hold them and they're such a big deal for the big trusts like, say, Scottish Mortgage, etc.

That somehow you feel slightly in conflict with colleagues if you don't want these things anymore.

Ewan: I think it’s that it was a strange environment at Baillie Gifford where notionally, everyone was independent and there’s no CIO. But there was a large amount of, I would say, groupthink, where everyone needs to have the same answer at the end of the day. And if you didn't quite have the same answer, there were slight question marks. And yet clearly, for some of the largest stocks like Alibaba and Tencent, the answer was, prior to IPO, we’ve had them so long.

That's it. We just have to hold them indefinitely. And I guess my view was that, this was really coming from an Asia perspective, rather than a global perspective, where the lifecycle of companies is actually a lot lower than in US markets, especially. And political change and regulation also happens a lot faster and can surprise you. And therefore, you've got to be far more willing to change your mind. And that ten-year buy and hold, in my personal opinion, doesn't really exist in Asian markets.

Three to five years, yes. Longer than that and you start really getting question marks.

Merryn: We’ll get to Baillie Gifford in a minute, because we're about the future, not the past, on this podcast. But one of the things that I always wonder is, if you are managing funds in the way that Baillie Gifford does now, where they have an awful lot of private holdings. They buy into a lot of companies pre-IPO and there’s a huge source of growth, both for them and for the funds.

Once you've done that and you hold these companies through IPO, you've been very supportive of them, it becomes extremely difficult to sell them, whatever happens to valuation, whatever happens at business, partly because you've got this loyalty to them. And partly because if you're looking for a pipeline of new private equity investments, new pre-IPO things to buy, they're going to be looking at your treatment of companies post-listing

And you don't want to be the guy who supports companies pre-IPO, but then abandons them post-IPO. There's various conflicts of interest or I think there might be various conflicts of interest between having both private and public companies inside the same portfolio or not. Or you don’t have to say anything at all.

Ewan: I would tend to say that there's a lot of benefit to looking at private companies. And at Pacific Horizon, we made a lot of money by some of the Indian ones and we did very well. And we did back them with our public funds. I talked to my companies slightly differently, but I indicated would be there for a couple of years, not indefinitely. And I think there's always a risk of falling in love with your management or management expecting far too much from you as an unlisted equity player.

We did have some issues in the Asia team where management were expecting us to hold their shares indefinitely, because of that image that we created. Which was clearly not in the benefit of the shareholders. We sold out. But it's a hard one because it brings lots of benefit, but there are risks of conflict of interest eventually. What I tend to do is not fall in love with my management team, be very clear with our investment process and not promise too much.

We're not doing private equity in my new role. It's something that we might consider in the future. But I think what really is interesting, from my point of view, is being able to get the access to a private equity to help you understand the listed equity.

Merryn: That makes sense. Let's move on now. Let's just leave it at, generally, you’ve moved on to be more true to yourself in how you want to invest. It’s getting a bit like a ladies’ magazine interview that we don't do that. Let’s move on before we actually find ourselves talking about feelings or something. We don't want to do that. You’ve got two new funds. Tell us about those.

Ewan: We've launched our Crux Asia ex-Japan Fund about five, six weeks ago and also our Crux China Fund. Both of them really exciting. Crux Asia ex-Japan Fund is pretty much exactly the same as with Baillie Gifford Fund that I just left. It's got a high correlation to the stocks. Effectively, I would see it as a continuation of the same product. I left Baillie Gifford. I basically got all the stocks in my holdings and just continued to run it for three months whilst I was on gardening leave. And we set up. There was a portfolio. Really nice and easy.

Merryn: But there has to be differences. You can't just… We’ve already talked about this, you're not just continuing what you were doing at Baillie Gifford. You are changing. You're changing your definition of what is an appropriate holding period, because we've just discussed how growth doesn't last as long as it used to. And we have to come down to a couple of years as opposed to five to ten years. That's a change.

Ewan: From my point of view, the holding period has changed, because I basically was doing that at Baillie Gifford anyway. I was just getting slightly raised eyebrows within Baillie Gifford. There's a number of things that I did in the company which I guess wasn't entirely aligned with some of the overall philosophies there. And again, probably one of the reasons why I now decided to take the same strategy outside.

What has changed though is that I've got far more flexibility in terms of market cap. We had clearly hit a liquidity point whereby some of the stocks, we could either not own more of or not own at all. And you could see that in divergence of holding between Pacific Horizon and the Baillie Gifford Fund, where the Pacific Horizon Trust obviously was a fixed pool liquidity. I could go much further down the market cap curve and take some quite different bets in that fund versus the much larger oik [?].

You can see now a new fund. We’re doing Alibaba. We’re doing Meituan. We’re doing Tencent. These large companies have completely disappeared from the fund and they’re just not owning them. We’re not owning them because we don't like them and we actually think you can find much better ideas out there. I guess that's one key thing we've done. We also can be far more flexible. Some of the smaller ideas which you wouldn't put into a larger fund.

We can now go into KH Vatec. This is a huge manufacturer which does foldable hinges in South Korea for Samsung. That's now gone into fund, which is quite exciting. And then we've taken quite big bets in the Asian markets, which is again, slightly more of a deviation. My three months gardening, I spent a lot of time looking at the Asians. And this is a market that I just find it’s fascinating that despite how well performance has been for us, we can find this market where these stocks, that some companies are up 5, 10X over the last three to five years.

Others don't know them or haven't held them. And nobody has, which is the great thing about it. I think that’s almost the last frontier of a very, very liquid market, hundreds, if not thousands, of fantastic companies. And the knowledge level on them, even by the local investors, is… They’ve less foreign investors.

Merryn: Let's leave China to one side for a moment and go back to Asia as a whole. You mostly spent these three months thinking about, how are you going to run this fund? How are you going to invest? And you are sticking with Asia. What is it about Asia over the next, say, ten years that makes you feel that this market as a whole is the one you want to be in?

Ewan: We think Asia’s going to be the fastest growing market in the world three, five, ten, maybe even 20 years. And it’s really urbanisation, the rise of middle class. But it's far more than just that. It's the rapid adoption of new technology by the middle class which is driving all this excitement, all this growth, all this innovation, all this disruption that we're seeing at the moment. And why is that happening in Asia more than we’re seeing in the West?

And first of all, you've got that younger population, more likely to adopt new methods to do things. Second, there’s less sunk costs. And what do I mean by that? I mean that it's far easier for China to leapfrog into, let's say, electric vehicles, rather than the old ICE engines, because of this infrastructure. Leapfrog into 5G technology. Or leapfrog into, what I say, a short-form video e-commerce. And we're seeing that a lot within the market.

And lastly, it's all about that adaption to change, the willingness for the people to adopt new things. And if you think about it, in the West, apart from the last couple of years, things tend to move relatively slowly. In China, paddy fields, which were 40 years ago, are now metropolises today. The rate of change which Chinese and the Asian people have seen over the last 20, 40 years is so dramatic that they're far more willing to actually adopt and adapt new technologies.

And I think that's why we're seeing a lot more innovation disruption in Asia than almost anywhere else in the world. But also this means, and I think comes on to a different question, why some of the larger companies, their lifecycle can be a lot shorter than what we would attribute to the same type of company in the West.

Merryn: Because they get to move beyond very quickly. A competitor rises and takes over their market much faster than might happen in the West, you mean?

Ewan: Much faster. And the disruption… These younger generations just had different choices. We're looking at Generation Z, for example. Their overall spending in the West is 3 to 4%. I think in China, it’s 12 to 14%. It's much bigger pool of available, I want to say capital, but available consumption. When it moves and it does things differently. And I think this is one of the reasons why Alibaba is losing its market share quite so rapidly.

Because these people would much rather consume from a short-form video, a bit like TikTok. They’ll get on there, see a key opinion leader have a cosmetics product or have a brand, one click, they can buy it online via the video and it’s delivered to them. Rather than scrolling, I guess, eBay or Amazon style for a whole list of available choices.

Merryn: And before we move off the big picture, what about valuations across the board? One of the things that we worry about a lot at MoneyWeek, because embarrassing that we're still quite value-biased, we worry, of course, about global valuations. And when you look at them in our historical context, it's almost impossible to find a market outside really the UK and possibly Japan that looks cheap on any historical metric.

Ewan: If you just take the historical numbers, I think Asia as a whole is cheap. And that's driven by China. India is obviously, out on a limb, very expensive. It's very much driven by the types of companies as well. There's an awful lot of value stocks, not that I would particularly push many of them. The larger tech companies like, I think China is the standout, but the market’s derated considerably in the last 12 months. If you believe that there's still growth there, which I do, I think that market is very cheap.

Asia ex-Japan is one of the last, if you want to call it, cheap markets in the world. It's also very, very cheap if you compared to the US. Saying that, that's not really how I look at the world. I very much see valuations in five years’ time as my core benchmark and the growth rates that you can achieve from that. And Asia’s been this classic market over the last 25 years.

If you knew which were 20% the fastest growing companies in the market and just bought them, over the next five years, you would, on average, double your money and significantly outperform. And that's exactly what we do here at Crux. We're looking for the fastest growing companies in that market over the next five years. The interesting thing for me is that in Asia, it's quite hard to find these companies. And it’s not always just the obvious high-growth companies.

Sometimes it might be a commodity company or industrial or even a financial as the cyclical and the markets turn. Really because we're focussing on what we think are the fastest growing companies, we think we're more likely to find those companies and we hold them for long periods of time. And therefore, more likely to outperform over that three- to five-year timeframe.

Merryn: Let's go back again. Sorry, one more macroey question. China, you just talked about how much it has derated over the last year. We know why that's happened. These new regulations coming in, worries about various political tensions, trouble in the property sector, etc. It's derated for a reason. It might eventually just become your classic value sink. It's cheap, but it's going to stay cheap because there are all these huge things to worry about. You clearly don't believe that? I hope you don't. Anyway, [overtalking] pointless.

EWI’ve obviously looked at China over the last 21 years, every three to five years… And again, this is why I think this is the right timeframe. We get a regulatory cycle. We get a slowdown in growth. We get a whole bunch of US hedge funds there in the China's models about to end and they're shorting it. We get someone saying the property market’s about to implode. So far, in the last 21 years, none of that's actually happened outside the occasional small company blow-up.

And it's always painful. The market’s often down 40, 50%. And we're there today with some of the large-cap companies down that or even more. It is a long-term story of it? I just don't think it is. I think if you look at what you're seeing in the currency market, currency has been strong. Exports have been up. Asia and profitability right down the market cap is good and growing rapidly. It's all about China effectively moving up the value chain for the next decade.

I hate to say decimating Western industry, especially I think Europe and midst of [?] Japan. And I think that continued. What we're seeing at the moment is effectively noise which has been brought forward or maybe even, let’s say, postponed. That there'd be no regulatory oversight of any of these tech companies for many, many years. And unlike in the West where regulatory change happens on a glacial pace, in China, when the guy up top basically says jump, everyone jumps at the same point in time.

And that’s clearly at the start of this year. And I think maybe the anti-IPO or failed IPO was the catalyst for a realisation that some of these tech companies had grown too big, too quickly, were becoming too powerful and were doing things in the society where it’s not necessarily beneficial for the people of China. And that regulatory change has come in. I think that’s mostly over. And over the next six to 12 months, that'll dissipate.

And you'll start finding a new bunch of growth companies emerging. And this always happens with China. It goes back to my earlier comment that because there's so much rapid change, there's always new entrepreneurs. We just might be seeing what I think is the end of some of the growth models over the last decade and the start of new growth models for the next decade. And that's just a messy period.

Merryn: Exactly the right time to get in if what you said is correct. Let's talk a little bit about what those new growth models are. What are we actually talking about? What's changed and what are the companies that will benefit, particularly in China?

Ewan: I think a lot of it's going to be in the Asian market, because obviously, the government's pushing. There’s a new market in Beijing coming through. I think they want to get their companies back into China. I think a lot of it is… I think there's 800 million people who have… It’s what? Less than $10,000 per capita. They haven't really benefitted as much as from the rise of China's all the eastern cities and provinces.

And I think that's really going to be part of the focus of the government. It’s still going to be infrastructure. It's still going to be ecommerce. It's still going to be social media. But I think a lot of it will go into other areas such as industrial. We can find a whole bunch of industrials which are really moving up the value chain. Just an example, I think it's quite topical, let's just take the electric vehicle industry. China spent 20-odd years trying to break into the traditional car manufacture and pretty much failed outside of a domestic market to sell their cars or create a brand.

I think in electric vehicles, they've got a fantastic ability and they're already dominating the supply chain. If you look at battery manufacturers, CATL is now the largest battery manufacturer in the world, based in China. We think it's going to take [unclear] 40% global market share and right technology, right scale. But what you don't see is behind that, all of the component manufacturers which help and go into either the battery manufacturer or the auto manufacturer, they're all in China and they’re all scaling dramatically.

And if you think about a traditional business, let's take an auto manufacturer, their likelihood to use a different supplier for the same product in the same model is really, really low. But suddenly, if you've got to revamp your whole supply chain because you're going electric, you're far more likely to look outside of your traditional suppliers. And I think that's happening globally. And the Chinese suppliers are coming out as the best in terms of scale, new technology.

I think there’s a whole raft of auto suppliers, which are really interesting, coming into the market. Whether we're actually going to see the branded names to challenge Tesla, I'm not sure. But definitely in terms of manufacturing parts and supply chain, I think China's really going to be up there.

Merryn: You don't think that all this talk that we read on constantly about the end of just-in-time supply and everyone wanting to improve their supply security and bringing these closer to home, etc., does not in the end really going to have much of an effect on any of these Chinese industrials?

Ewan: Not on the high end. We're investing in quite a few automation companies. And one where, I think, is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is these dark factories. And I think that's definitely happening. It’s happening in China just as the population is aging and it actually starts to lack a workforce. I think automation is going to be one of the key drivers…

Merryn: I'm going to have to interrupt because I'm mulling over in my mind what I think you mean by dark factories. And I think you mean fully automated factories with no people in them. Is that right or does it mean something else?

Ewan: That is right, yes. I think it comes from dark kitchens, which again, that's not fully automated. It's just not selling to the public. And I think, let’s just take an electric vehicle factory. I was talking to Hyundai motor. Their automation on a fully electric factory, the last is more significant than their current factories. Their labour needs just fall rapidly as they shift to electric, which obviously reduces your costs and increases your flexibility.

Whether they're going to build them in Korea or whether they end up building in Europe or America, I'm not sure. But again, it drives into this, that costs come down as you move electric. Automation increases significantly. You want to be buying into those companies which produce the automation equipment. We probably also want to be looking at the OEMs and thinking very closely whether as some of them scale, you can make significant returns.

Merryn: Let’s move from this to looking again at Asia. I'm interested in what percentage of your portfolio is going to end up in India. One of the things that, again, is talked about a lot is that India is the new China. People will move their manufacturing to India, etc. But as you say, the Indian market is expensive. Is there anything in there that really takes your interest or will India end up being not a great part of the portfolio at all?

Ewan: It's a good question. Because I basically left and September this year, I had my largest underweight to China, I think, in 20 years and a very significant overweight to India. And partly, it was there was a negative view on China. And partly, it was I think everyone else underestimating the economic revival in India over a long-term structural growth there. And that’s pretty due to COVID worries and issues. That's played through so dramatically in the last 12 months that I'm almost scratching my head.

We went deep into Indian real estate and they've all gone up 1 to 2X, if not a bit more, in nine months or so. And obviously, with Chinese stocks, it halved. Do I think India’s started another new investment cycle? Yes. Do I think India’s started the new proper cycle? Yes. Have the reforms come through? Kind of. Is FDI improving? Yes. Does it all look pretty good? Definitely. Is it in the price?

And when you've got India trading at one of the highest levels, almost ever, to its own history, and I think the highest level ever relative to the region, you start scratching your head. I think you've got to be very picky in that market today. Rather than saying it’s a blanket buy. What do we learn? We’re like Tata Motors. And this is a stock that I bought back in May last year. Really has a turnaround play into the global auto market.

But with my five-times bull market case, when eventually this becomes a huge beneficiary of the electric vehicle thing. And why do I say that? Because if you're a small brand, with not a lot of production, it's much easier for you to pivot to electric vehicles, because you don't actually have that much sunk costs, versus a Detroit Free or maybe some of the larger players. Tata has a small production base and therefore, it’s able to take, let's say, the Jaguar brand, which has been loss-making for a decade, turn it to 100% electric, cut out all costs.

And I'm going to be surprised within a five-year period, that becomes quite a profitable making model for them. That's one angle for Tata. The other angle is that they've just announced they're going to [unclear] subsidiary to become the largest electric vehicle company in India, I guess. I think TPG has just taken a stake in that. That’s about $10 billion. And you just think about, what happens to that ten years in the future?

Some of the Chinese branded electric vehicle companies are trading between $50 to $100 billion. Where does India go? Does Tata effectively become the Indian brand of electric vehicles? They currently have the largest market share. It's a very nascent market. That’s one that we own in size and I definitely keep around.

Merryn: I'm going to ask you a question that you’re going to absolutely hate. Now that you have this freedom to go down the market cap scale to buy small companies… Basically as small as you want at this point, because I don't know how much money is in the funds already, but some of them grow very fast. But right now, you can buy very small companies if you feel like it. What is, across both of the portfolios, either of the portfolios, the most exciting small company that you've been able to buy that you wouldn't have been able to buy at Baillie Gifford?

Ewan: I'll answer that, but I dislike that question.

Merryn: I know you do. But you know what? I love that question. You know who else loves that question and loves the answer more? The readers.

Ewan: The readers.

Merryn: Or the listeners.

Ewan: Let’s take you to, if you ask your question on India… And we were very early in picking the real estate market there and it's done fantastically well for us. I think that the Asian markets go in cycles, but they're very correlated to each other. I always say that India is six months ahead or behind China. If you take on that, it's six months behind that and then which is why the tech stocks in India are about to peak and go down significantly on that metric.

On the other hand, I think Indonesia is a year to a year and a half behind India in terms of its macro up term. And that's why we started, and especially the last month or so, to really look at Indonesian property stocks. Because they've gone nowhere for, what? Six, seven years. They're quite illiquid. No one really buys them or really looks at them. But when the Indian property market starts getting going, you can make an awful lot of money three to five times your money, plus.

We started talking to quite a few of the names in that market. And I think, why is Indonesia interesting? Indonesia is interesting because… There’s two issues. One, the governor has done quite a few structural reforms in the last couple of years in land and labour reforms. And this has just been missed by people because of COVID. And I think BG’s been worried about COVID rather than looking at reforms.

And you’re starting to see FDI react to these forms and FDI coming into Indonesia, which I think is fantastic. Secondly, the tech boom, and you can see it from companies like Sea and Grab and some of the local guys, are really changing the quality of the jobs and the education. And just, I guess, the technological ability of institutions is going from a very me too emerging market to suddenly, actually there's some tech savviness there and it's local people.

And I think that's really how India transformed itself in the last five to ten years. And I think Indonesia might just even start on that curve. And lastly, the commodity markets are buoyant. And I think Indonesia is one of the key beneficiaries of the Green Agenda. They’re a large producer of nickel, a large producer of copper and I think that's really going to benefit them. If you take that big macro view and then delve down, we bought…

I’m not sure I can say. It’s pronounced as Summarecon, which is an Indonesian property company. It's probably number two slash three in the market. But it owns a bunch of townships across Indonesia. The last couple of years have been pretty difficult. The sales haven't been there. But we just started to see a pick-up in the property market in Indonesia. There’s been a little bit of government support. If I'm right on the macro view, then I think there could be quite a bit of upside surprise in the next two to three years.

This is a very illiquid stock and we've never been able to own any Indonesian property companies within the Baillie Gifford Fund.

Merryn: We don't want everyone rushing in at once. Thank you. And thanks very much for asking that question, even though I know you hate it. We are running out of time. But last thing I wanted to ask you is costs. Obviously, your funds here are going to be rather more expensive than the Baillie Gifford, which is well known for trying to bring down the management fees and overall costs as quickly as possible, but with a very small fund, I'm guessing it.

While it's high, there’s ongoing charges of, what? 1.25%. Is that going to come down as you grow?

Ewan: Yes. The scale of costs will come down significantly as we grow. We’ve priced it to be as competitive as possible, given we’re a smaller firm. We don't have that many costs internally ourselves. It's really the outside providers that we need to push further on. And I think this is the first step. Obviously, Crux hasn't had an Asia slash emerging markets product before. We've gone on to the basic provider list.

But I'm fairly certain that over the next three to five years, as we scale, these costs will come down completely.

Merryn: I think we're going to have to end it there. Is there anything else you wanted to say? Anything big we've missed?

Ewan: No, I just emphasise. I think that there’s fantastic, interesting growth ideas in the market. I’d almost ignore the big picture, stop worrying about what China's doing here, there, what's slowing, what's growing. Just focus on great growth companies, which is what we do. And over time, you'll find that actually, returns were really, really good.

Merryn: Ewan, thank you very much indeed. And thank you, everyone, for listening. If you would like to hear more from us, you can go to moneyweek.com where you can see everything in the MoneyWeek contents table. You can sign up there for Money Morning, our daily e-letter written by the wonderful John Stepek. And of course, you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, etc., @MoneyWeek. You can follow me on Twitter, @MerrynSW. John on Twitter, @John_Stepek. And Ewan, can we follow you on Twitter?

Ewan: No, I'm not on Twitter, I'm afraid.

Merryn: Disappointing. Never mind. Thank you very much for joining us. And I hope that we will talk again as the funds grow. And hopefully you perform as well as you have in the past.

Ewan: Thank you very much.

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Income tax

Tax return deadline extended – but don't forget to file

HMRC is being slightly more lenient about tax returns this year, but falling behind will still incur hefty fines.
25 Jan 2022

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Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners
Investment strategy

Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners

Under our system of shareholder capitalism it's not fund managers, it‘s the individual investors – the company's ultimate owners – who should be telli…
24 Jan 2022
Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now
Share tips

Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now

Professional investor Fay Ren of the Cerno Pacific Fund highlights three of her favourite Asian stocks to buy now
24 Jan 2022
Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is
Inflation

Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is

As inflation bites and the labour market remains tight, many of the nation's employees are asking for a pay rise. Merryn Somerset Webb explains why yo…
17 Jan 2022