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Investments, Off the Cuff

Posted by Ashley Misquitta

Mar 24, 2020 8:55:11 AM

Senior Portfolio Manager and Investment Strategist
Empire Life Investments Inc.
Gestionnaire principal de portefeuille et stratège des placements
Placements Empire Vie

Off the cuff with Ashley Misquitta

Ashley Misquitta discusses how the investment team continues to manage investments in these uncertain times and where they are finding opportunities in this Off the Cuff video.




Hello, I’m Ashley Misquitta, Senior Portfolio Manager, Empire Life Investments. I would like to give you a sense of what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, where we’re seeing opportunities and a little bit about the investment process.

Let me start by saying I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy. We are all trying to do our part to flatten that curve and reduce the peak in incidences of coronavirus. 

Let’s start with what we’re doing.  Of course, we’re working from home like many of you are.  I have had several calls with the management teams of companies as well as with analysts. I’m set up with my computers, I’m able to access all the resources I need and it’s been a relatively seamless transition, at least for me. I want to let you know that we’re effectively able to do a large part of what we normally are able to do. Obviously, we’re not doing any in-person meetings with management teams but we are still communicating with them.

Let me shift gears to the discipline and the approach we use. We continue to use the same disciplined approach that we’ve always used to buy great businesses. These are businesses run by strong management teams and have strong competitive advantages. These businesses are now trading at very substantial discounts in many cases.  So, now we are trying to recognize where the opportunities are.  We see that the wheat is being thrown out with the chaff and we want to pick up those discounted opportunities for our portfolios to benefit from them in the future. 

Although the situation is very difficult right now, we know that in time this too shall pass.  We’re thinking about the opportunities that we will want to have taken advantage of. If we were to look back five years from now and give ourselves advice today, what advice would we give ourselves? And that’s really how we are approaching this and what we are focusing on.

Let me give you a couple of quick examples.  Pockets of the health care sector have been hit very, very hard.  Hospitals are very busy right now treating coronavirus patients and they’re deferring elective surgeries. So, the market has been heavily selling off companies that sell products for elective surgeries.  The reality is that when this passes, those elective surgeries will be done and these companies will stand to prosper quite substantially. Part of what happens when the baby gets thrown out with the bath water is that you can pick up opportunities because the market fundamentally misunderstands something about that company and the nature of their business. We’re seeing that in other pockets as well so we’re taking a slow, gradual and deliberate manner to take advantage of those opportunities.

I hope this has been informative and of interest to you. I’m the lead manager on the American Value Fund, the Global Dividend Fund and involved with a couple of others. Thanks very much for your time.


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This document/video includes forward-looking information based on the opinions and views of Empire Life Investments Inc. as of the date published and is subject to change without notice. The information contained herein is for general informational purposes only, and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security, nor should it be relied upon as investment, tax, or legal advice. Empire Life Investments Inc. and its affiliates assume no responsibility for any reliance on, misuse of, or omission of any information contained in this video, and do not warrant or make any representations regarding the use or the results of the information contained herein in terms of its correctness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability, or otherwise, and do not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that results from its use. Please seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Empire Life Investments Inc., a wholly owned-subsidiary of The Empire Life Insurance Company, is the Manager of Empire Life Mutual Funds and the Portfolio Manager of Empire Life Segregated Funds issued by The Empire Life Insurance Company.  


March 19, 2020