Today’s conversation is one of my all-time favorites, with someone I’ve come to respect deeply in the field of investing. My guest is Carl Kawaja, who has served as a portfolio manager at Capital Group for decades. Capital Group is among the most respected shareholders in the world, with over $2T of assets, and listening to Carl, you’ll hear why.
In our conversation, we cover Carl’s criteria for building conviction around long-term holdings, why he views uncertainty and ambiguity as healthy, and why tolerating failure is key to great investing career. Throughout our discussion, Carl connects his lessons through a variety of direct experiences, personal analogies, and broader frameworks. I love his ability to talk in the weeds about his investments in Vale and TSMC and then quickly shift to his broader thematic views like “The Empire Strikes Back.” I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Carl Kawaja.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
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[00:03:38] - [First question] - The two companies he has owned the longest and what they’ve taught him as an investor
[00:16:37] - Discussing his investment style through the lens of simplicity
[00:24:35] - A time where he worked to try and create a simplified equation but couldn’t
[00:30:59] - Discussing his investment style through the lens of echolocation and ambiguity
[00:36:03] - Thoughts on whether buying well or holding well is more difficult
[00:40:40] - Capital Group’s history and his river-rafting analogy in regards to the company
[00:47:48] - What he means by “The Empire Strikes Back” and relevant market themes
[00:54:50] - A brief summary of “The Empire Strikes Back”
[00:58:42] - Common reasons that he may have gotten something really wrong
[01:03:34] - Impressions made on him by the poet Rilke
[01:09:00] - The work of Brunello Cucinelli and the nature of quality
[01:13:08] - Advice for new investors who want to step into the field and set themselves up for success
[01:13:54] - The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
[01:17:39] - What he’s learned about kindness
[01:19:54] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for him