What Does It Take to Invest in Russia?
Harvey Sawikin, co-founder and lead portfolio manager at Firebird Management, a fund dedicated to investing in frontier and emerging market equities in Eastern Europe, joins Real Vision editor/reporter Haley Draznin for a conversation about the development of emerging markets over the past several decades and the sector outlook. Firebird started out as the first Russian portfolio equity fund and has since expanded to include other countries in the region such as Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Romania. Sawikin shares why his investment strategy differs in more mature and developed markets, how a typical investor in emerging markets has evolved, portfolio repositioning amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and the value of travel in investing. Filmed on December 18, 2020. Key learnings: Emerging markets are often a blind spot for investors—finding them requires assessing liquidity risk and geopolitical climate. Dollar strength and weakness is the macro factor that has the biggest impact on emerging markets. The disinflationary environment has led Firebird to reposition its portfolio towards more growth stocks in the Eastern European region and less towards cyclicals.