Airlie: Finding quality at the right price

Livewire Exclusive

Emma Goodsell's Grandfather introduced her to investing when she was just 19. With $500 from her part-time job at Woolies, she bought a parcel of QBE shares. Constantly refreshing the screen to see how her wealth had grown or shrunk, Goodsell had caught the investing bug.

Today Emma works alongside industry veterans John Sevior and Matt Williams in the highly regarded team at Airlie Funds Management. In this deep dive interview, we learn about her forensic research approach, how to decide when to sell, and why she thinks CSL is in a 5-year upgrade cycle.

“When I started at Airlie the easiest thing to do would have been to have a discussion with John and Matt and say, ‘Don’t buy CSL it’s too expensive’. That’s the kind of argument that would have gotten a lot of purchase in a value-focused team like Airlie. But that hasn’t been the right call.”


  • Getting hooked on investing and Emma’s first investment in QBE.
  • The large movements taking place on the ASX and why this presents a regular set of opportunities for investors.
  • The attributes of business quality that the team at Airlie Funds Management are on the hunt for.
  • Developing an encyclopaedic knowledge of businesses and industries and how this can help to overcome near term valuation hurdles.
  • Inside her thesis for CSL, how it got into a ‘value’ portfolio and why Emma thinks the company is in the midst of a 5-year upgrade cycle.
  • Knowing exactly the type of business that you own and why this is so important for making a decision on when to sell.
  • The highest quality stocks on the ASX.
  • The most important lessons learned from John Sevior and Matt Williams.

Companies mentioned: Qantas (ASX: QAN), Vigin Australia (ASX: VAH), Wesfarmers (ASX: WES), CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), Brambles (ASX:BXB), James Hardie (ASX: JHX) and Reece (ASX: REH)


Please sign in to comment on this wire.
Avatar fallback

Adrian Lim

Wonderful interview

Medium screen shot 2016 01 12 at 2.25.34 pm

James Marlay

Thanks Adrian, glad you enjoyed it.

Avatar fallback

Dell Toki

Very informative and precise.

Medium b057d75510c30d8e09c2e02f87c68bdf1410221370

Andrew Longden

One of the best bits of material I’ve seen on this site, and I am here daily. Well done to interviewee and interviewer

Avatar fallback

Yamin Jie

Great interview. I am impressed by Emma's approach to investing. Their fund is now on my radar.

Avatar fallback

Ruth Alvarado

What a refreshing and interesting interview with Emma Goodsell I enjoyed her open and frank analysis to investing. More women like her are needed in the funds management industry.

Avatar fallback

Bob Clippingdale

What a lovely open discussion

Avatar fallback

Kim Jordan

Yes, great James - and what a fabulous team member they've got there!

Avatar fallback

Jonathan Berry

Very insightful and thorough response by Emma to the questions posed.

Avatar fallback

Alan Hardcastle

I too was attracted to RCR, and invested, knowing that services' businesses are often plagued with cost over runs and difficult clients. I will never again buy into that segment. My initial instincts were right.

See 7 more comments