2016 Forty Under Forty

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Josephine CettiSenior Portfolio Manager Global and US Equities 
(Copenhagen, Denmark) 32
Josephine Cetti
(Art by Lauren Tamaki)

“Josephine has oversight on a large equity portfolio in a fast growing fund. Her research is always deep and insightful.”

Name the most noticeable generational divide in investment style between sub-40-year-old investors and baby boomers.

The baby boomers have been around the block. Their experience makes it easier for them to identify the extreme bifurcation in investor preferences over time—and make a profit from it. 

Your least favorite part of being an asset owner is...?

Being wrong, losing money!

The manager you don’t currently work with whose brain you’d most like to pick for an hour is...?

Marc Faber (publisher of Gloom, Boom, & Doom Report), mostly to get a good talk about the geopolitical landscape as well as the state of emerging-market economies. And he makes me laugh.

... and where would that meeting take place?

Over a good cappuccino.

Describe the weirdest interaction you’ve had with an asset manager.

Being at asset management conferences where a lot of people want 20 minutes of your time can be awkward and weird. Sucking up makes me uncomfortable.  

What asset class or investment troubles you most right now—and why?

We have a large exposure to the new Nifty-50 stocks, a combination of very ‘growthy’ quality stocks and stable, transparent, less-volatile stocks. They are not trading at P/E (price-earnings) ratios of 50 like in the early 1970s, but for how long can these stocks keep on performing?

Name your favorite food and drink.

My mother’s Thai beef salad. My taste in wine is still primitive, and I tend to like sweet wines like Riesling.

What’s the wildest institutional portfolio you’ve seen?

A strategist from an Asian broker I follow closely recommends US dollar-based pension funds to allocate 50% to gold bullion, 30% to Asia ex-Japan equities, and 20% in unhedged gold mining stocks.

Name a cultural aspect of asset management that gets under your skin.

Americans are focused on defining their universe, putting everything into boxes.

Donald Trump is ________.

Treated exactly like so many other politicians before him. He appeals to a broad share of the voting population that other more established politicians wrongly neglect or ignore. That share tends to grow the more you ignore them, hence the rising popularity of anti-­establishment and nationalistic parties.

Name your four-member investment dream team for your own family office.

John Templeton as a CIO—I view him as one of the greatest investors of all time. Christopher Wood from Hong Kong-based broker CLSA would be the strategist; he is the best one out there. Hugh Hendry (Eclectica) and Carl Icahn are both good idea originators and executers—that’s also important.

What’s the biggest investment or career misstep you’ve made?

A short period in corporate finance during my studies was not for me. I missed the daily dynamics of the markets too much.

What should be an investment trend, but isn’t (yet)?

Replacing low-yielding corporate debt with invoice trading—providing short-term liquidity to smaller businesses cheaper than banks can offer.