The Australian Investors Podcast
Curtis Larson - Temperament
My guest for this episode is Curtis Larson, a private investor and portfolio manager for Norse Capital.
Curtis is extremely generous with his time, making this episode amongst the easiest and relaxed conversations of the series thus far. But don't let that fool you, this chat is filled with nuggets of timeless wisdom gained over a career spanning more than two decades.
Curtis grew up in Asia, trained as a computer engineer in Canada, worked for companies based in London, Paris and Tokyo. Now he resides in Sydney.
A graduate of the prestigious Yale University, Curtis and I discuss his time growing up in a family that didn't talk about money, his various jobs, successes and failures, and investment strategy.
Curtis spent time in investment banking designing quant models and trading options. As with some prior episodes, we try to keep the ideas as informative as possible. But if you find yourself a little lost, I encourage you to listen again or take our free video courses on the Rask Finance website. Alternatively, reach out to me with any questions you may have.
Although we didn't capture this discussion directly in the show, Curtis believes it is vital for self-directed investors to ask themselves if they have the temperament, inclination and time to invest on their own accord.
Please enjoy this superb discussion with Curtis Larson of Norse Capital.
2:30 - Early life, Hong Kong
4:30 - Curtis goes to Yale and starts learning about finance
6:40 - (Owen breaks the flow of the conversation to talk about options)
7:30 - Leaving Yale to join Germany’s Dresdner Bank, in Sydney, Paris and takes a job at Credit Suisse (moving between Australia and London)
9:42 - Curtis’ first trading with US Dollar-Japanese Yen and makes a lot of money
11:00 - Another job in precious metals and trading, moving between
12:10 - Is finance a good job
13:10 - Being at the coalface during the GFC, buying (and selling Qantas) and margin loans
15:10 - How Curtis “hacks” himself and being prepared for sell-offs - and important lessons from buying Apple shares below $10 per share (it has since risen 20-times)
17:30 - Curtis takes a job where he tries to combine his precious metals experience and ‘hedge out’ the commodity price risk when an investor buys ASX resource and mining shares
20:45 - Norse Capital starts
22:20 - How Curtis finds long-term “growth compounders” and why he’s moved away from relying on numbers to dictate his investing, “let your winners keep winning”, Apple is a winner
24:50 - The real key to investing is adding to your winners
27:00 - Why Curtis invests in Australian small cap technology companies and overseas tech shares
29:00 - Compelling reasons to invest overseas
30:35 - How Curtis finds new ideas. Greenblatt's Magic Formula (see below), a network and reading/listening.
32:20 - Management & Tailwinds
35:10 - How to value growth stocks
37:20 - Deciding to sell multi-bagger holdings
40:30 - Shorting to protect the portfolio via US ETFs
43:30 - What would Curtis tell a younger him about money or investing? Start early!
- Competitive Advantages
- Joel Greenblatt's Magic Formula - BOOK (formula here)
- Norse Capital blog & monthly updates (they're short -- but good!)
Learn more about Curtis: