Simon Conn, Portfolio Manager at QV Equities (ASX:QVE), provides a sober assessment of recent trading conditions in investment markets and says he expects the environment to remain challenging. “From the small number of companies that have reported to date the feedback is that the economy is a grind. Costs in Australia continue to rise and it is very difficult to pass those costs through to consumers. It’s a low growth environment and it just reinforces the need to be very careful in your stock selection and looking for companies with some sort of competitive advantage.” While cash levels currently sitting at around 20% Conn says he has used the volatility to build on some existing core portfolio holdings. Watch the full interview below: