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Trident Fund Manager Nandu Narayanan Takes Defensive Position

Trident fund manager, Nandu Narayanan, is not a household name, but he was one of the few hedge fund managers to profit during the 2008 financial crises and the period that followed reports the GlobeAndMail. Narayanan runs CI Financial Trident Global Opportunities fund for CI Financial Corp. His fund returned almost 44% in 2008, compared to an average a loss of 18% for other hedge funds. Over the last 10 years, he has averaged an 11.2% return. Through September this year, Narayanan is up 6.5% while many hedge fund returns were in the red.

Nandu Narayanan’s Response to the Economy

He is warning now that he thinks economic recovery has stalled. Narayanan continues by saying that prospects for growth in the US economy have “gotten distinctly worse.” He also notes that the European markets are slowing down and, particularly in the emerging market countries, they are facing inflation and tightening in general. As such, Narayanan is keeping his focus on stable investment in defensive stocks, commodities, highly regulated markets, like the Canadian stock markets, and emerging countries, which he explains are, in some cases, in better fiscal condition than their more developed counterparts.

Nandu Narayanan’s Successful Strategy

Regarding his success in the face of recession, Narayanan credit is bearish outlook on the economy in general. He says that this philosophy skews his investing focus towards defensive stocks and certain commodities. For example, he looks to stocks in consumer staples, pharmaceuticals, water utilities, and integrated oil companies because these sorts of stocks will still make money regardless of the economy. While he also cause these types of stocks “boring companies,” Narayanan explains that they are also the sorts of stocks that have good dividends and strong enough business models to allow them to expand even when the economy isn’t. Narayanan also likes commodities, especially gold. He keeps more than 10% of his fund in gold-based equities and bullion. Narayanan says that gold is “absurdly undervalued.” The conservative Narayanan also likes bonds from “highly solvent” countries, like Canada or Norway, and corporate bonds from developing countries, like the State Bank of India.

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