Charlie Aitken has a simple investment philosophy:  Build a concentrated portfolio of the world's best companies in structural growth sectors. And for this week’s Rules of Investing podcast, I had the rare opportunity to sit down with Charlie for 46 minutes to hear how this philosophy translates into practice.

While the market grows anxious about the rapidly metastasising trade war, Charlie explained in our discussion how he sees it as a ‘tremendous opportunity’ to grow exposure to the companies that meet his criteria, nominating four such stocks right in the firing line right now. 

I really enjoyed recording this podcast in which we covered a great deal of other ground, including his transition into funds management, advice to his younger self, his topical thoughts on Boeing, and why he believes that when it comes to investing, it’s ‘Australia for income - and global for growth’. 

Tune in for a thought-provoking listen this long weekend from one of the market greats.


0:00 - Intro & welcome

1:56 - Lessons in communication

2:56 - Best companies in the world

3:50 - A difficult transition to a long game

5:57 - The best days: when you're doing nothing

7:46 - Australia for income, ROW for growth

10:15 - Tremendous opportunities in the Trade Wars

13:05 - A rethinking around the dark art of shorting

17:42 - Why Charlie is considering buying Boeing back

22:49 - A portfolio that is not complacent about change

25:22 - To reflect the future you don't need enormous risk

27:34 - Why high conviction means good risk management

30:07 - 4 top stocks in the Trade War firing line

32:22 - Inspiration from Uncle Walt and Peter Lynch

37:03 - Advice to Charlie's younger self

42:43 - Alibaba: a better business than Amazon

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Ngaire Groves

Thank you Patrick. Excellent podcast, and best of luck to you Charlie. Nice to get more ‘conviction’ from people like you in the industry. We’ll have to check back in around 5 years time and see how Alibaba is performing. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you are correct.

Julie Christianson

Thank you Patrick. Love these podcasts. What was the book he recommended and what is the best way to invest in the Chinese stocks he was recommending, eg Alibaba, Tencent etc.

Adrian Cachia

Thanks Patrick, another enjoyable podcast and some great insights offered here by Charlie Aitken. The points made about the myths and challenges with high-conviction investing are very important. It doesn't mean you're swinging for the fences. There is a great deal of skill and discipline required to know when to get out of a position...and to get back in...