Investment counsellor and director

Years in the industry: 23
Years as a PM: 18
Industry accreditations: CFA
Typical clients: High-net-worth ($2 million+) and ultra-high-net worth ($10 million+) investors

Dealing primarily in equities, Olivia Woo has noticed that the conversations she has with clients change depending on how stocks are performing at the time. When the market is riding high, many investors increase their risk tolerance.

That’s why people with significant assets use portfolio managers in the first place – often they do not understand what their true risk tolerance is, and experts have a lot more discipline when it comes to taking the long view.

“Clients’ expectations have certainly changed – I have noticed they have become much more short-term-focused,” Woo says. “That’s primarily because there’s a lot of information out there, so people are influenced a lot easier and their time horizons tend to be shorter.” 

Having information and having knowledge are two different things, which is where portfolio managers like Woo come in. “We are long-term investors, so we don’t want to get swayed by noise in the market,” she says. “We don’t want to make an investment decision based on something we have no control over, like geopolitical risk.”

Instead, Woo and her colleagues at Mawer Investment Management look at the companies behind the share price on a deeper level. By doing this, Woo is able to judge which stocks will succeed over different market cycles. “We do look what’s going on at the macro level,” she says, “but we focus on what’s going on with the companies and their fundamentals. Our investment strategy hasn’t really changed between 2016 and 2017.”

When considering the prospect of an upcoming correction in the markets, Woo isn’t losing any sleep. “We are perpetually in a bull market – it’s just a perspective of time,” she says. “Fifty years from now, the markets will still be going up. We might have some short-term ups and downs in between, but in general the trend is always going up.”

“We are perpetually in a bull market – it’s just a perspective of time. Fifty years from now, the markets will still be going up”

Company Information

  • Mawer Investment Management
  • Mawer Direct Investing Ltd. Suite 600, 517 - 10th Avenue S.W. Calgary, Alberta, T2R 0A8

Contact Information