Curious, patient, brave

These three words set us apart from our peers. Let three of our investment managers explain why the terms matter.

Spencer Adair

Curious

“Curiosity is constantly asking, what if? What if that product takes off? What if the world suddenly wants to drive electric vehicles, not petrol-powered? It’s an act of rebellion against passive investing. It is saying: I'm not going to accept what's gone before. I'm going to think about the future differently. And I'm going to construct a portfolio that looks nothing like one from the past.

Many other equity investors worry excessively about what can go wrong. We think it's much more valuable to think about what can go right.

So we will travel anywhere in the world. Take our time to research a topic that really captures our imagination. Speak to people with a range of different backgrounds and perspectives.”

Spencer Adair

Portrait of Kate Fox in Baillie Gifford offices

Patient

“To be a long-term investor requires patience. Patience in sourcing and digesting alternative insights. Patience in considering and observing how societal and technological shifts unfold. Patience in owning shares in great businesses as they navigate the inevitable twists and turns of growth.

Patience enables us to invest on your behalf with an optimistic mindset and deters us from making impulsive, ill-informed decisions.

But you shouldn’t conflate our patience with passivity. Being actively patient is hard to practise. That’s where our ownership structure and culture come to the fore. They enable us to forgo the temptation of small short-term rewards for the potential of greater returns in the long term. As Tolstoy wrote: ‘The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.’”

Kate Fox

Portrait of Toby Ross in Baillie Gifford offices

Brave

“Brave is an unusual word to apply to an investment firm’s activities. We know that. We’re not running into burning buildings. 

For us, brave means being prepared to stand apart from the noisy crowd. It’s the act of not selling an investment that’s deeply out of fashion but which we still believe in, even when we know that clients will challenge us.

It’s buying the immature company that might fail, but that could be the next Apple or Amazon. It’s constantly revisiting our beliefs and assumptions in an ever-changing world.

Bravery is embracing the unconventional to seek out long-term growth on your behalf rather than targeting short-term revenues and profits. It’s about us being all in.”

Toby Ross

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