A century of dividends

The Rules of Investing

Livewire Markets

In the last 117 years, Australia has seen two World Wars, the Great Depression, the introduction of the motor car, 30 Prime Ministers, and every year, Washington H Soul Pattinson (SOL) has paid a dividend. In this week's episode of The Rules of Investing, I sit down with Robert Millner, the longstanding Chairman of SOL. While SOL started life as a pharmaceuticals business, today it's a cornerstone shareholder in TPG Telecom, Brickworks, New Hope Corporation, and dozens of smaller companies. 

Over the last 40 years, total shareholder returns have compounded at a rate of 17.3%. This is a record that rivals that of some of the most well-known investors globally.

Tune in below to hear his view on the future of coal and agriculture in Australia, why he's not interested in buying banks at current levels, and what he thinks has been the key to Soul Patts' success.

Robert Miller from NAOS Asset Management recently provided his own take on the contents of this podcast, which you can read here. 


  • 2:21 - 2 standout investments in Soul Patts' history
  • 5:32 - Picking good people & trusting them to run a business
  • 6:27 - Why coal still has a future in Australia
  • 9:12 - Australia's part to play in "feeding the world"
  • 11:47 - The rationale for selling 160 Pitt St
  • 13:12 - Looking after people's money a priority
  • 15:46 - Having cash to pounce on opportunities
  • 17:18 - "Buying right" the best way to get value
  • 20:21 - Extolling the virtue of patience
  • 21:46 - Again, it's about people, people and people
  • 23:26 - Keys to an enviable dividend history
  • 26:26 - The Federal election & the future of franking
  • 28:41 - Is it time to get back in the banks?
  • 30:30 - The housing slowdown & its impact on Brickworks
  • 31:16 - The mutual benefit of the cross-shareholding with Brickworks
  • 32:56 - On climate change, population and scaremongering
  • 36:26 - Why Soul Patts is a rewarding investment

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The Rules of Investing is one of Australia's top investing podcasts. We interview the leading investment minds from Australia and overseas to better understand their processes and philosophy. After launching in October 2017, there have been over...

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