A variety of experiences broadens your investment knowledge

In the fourth episode of the Inside Out of the Ordinary film series, John Wyn-Evans, Head of Investment Strategy for Investec Wealth & Investment UK, on why having a variety of life experiences and broad knowledge is key to investment success.

Read full video transcript

  • Variety, episode IV: John Wyn-Evans

    I love the variety of my life and that I can do lots of different things and enjoy doing them all, definitely with people who I love and who I respect. That’s the key to life.
     
    I think if you’d looked at where I’d started you wouldn’t necessarily have predicted that I’d end up where I am now. When I was at school
     
    I majored in modern languages, French and German and then that is what I studied at university. But I’d always been numerate and good at math's so I went into stock-broking when I was 22, 23 years old and that’s what I did for 27 years.
     
    Then I was approached by Investec, it was just mutually the right time for both of us and I started in September 2013. I think certainly from my role the more I know about what’s going on in the rest of the world the better it’s not just about spreadsheets, it’s not just about company data, it’s about politics, it could be about climate change, it’s about behavioural finances, it’s about all sorts of different things.
     
    It’s about human psychology, about emotions, you have to have some kind of view of how this affects markets and put it all together into sort of a cohesive opinion about where things are going.
     
    [Different speaker]: "Welcome everybody. Thank you very much indeed again for making the effort all of you who’ve come over to London to be part of the Global Investment Strategy Group (GISG) meeting this year."
     
    My role in the GISG is as an opinion bringer I suppose, and possibly as an opinion former as well. Given my role as Head of Investment Strategy, I have my own opinions and I think it's important that we share those opinions in that particular forum and hopefully you know guide the debate in a way that we feel is relevant.
     
    [Different speaker]: "Over to you John."
     
    "So, I think one of the problems that we face as investors right now is time horizons. I think of it in terms of if you look at ecologists and environmentalists, they’ll have a time horizon of decades in front of them. Economists have at least years in front of them when they look at how things are going to unfold.
     
    "The trouble is quite a lot of what we are informed by in markets at the moment or the influence that we have is down to politicians and unfortunately their time horizon really extends beyond about next Tuesday really."
     
    GISG is very important to Investec because it means that we have one specific group which sets the risk budget. From the client perspective and from the external perspective I think they just see it’s a very important part of our process that we have. And I think processes in an industry like ours are very, very important because they keep you on the straight and narrow.
     
    I would say I live a full life on the basis there never seems to be very much time for doing not very much. I don’t go out seeking variety to stop myself becoming bored or focused. Between work and sports and home life and friends and family there’s, yeah, never a dull moment.
     
    I kind of think this is the perfect job, it might sound a bit cheesy but no I really enjoy what I do and I think it just has brought together so many different strands of you know things that I have done in my life and knowledge that it puts them altogether in a pretty good package.

Meet John Wyn-Evans

“Variety is the spice of life” is a phrase that aptly describes John Wyn-Evans’ approach to life. A background in modern languages at school and university has been no hindrance in his career as an investment professional, and has, he believes, in fact helped it along.

“I find the more I know about the world, the better. The more I can absorb about topics like climate change, or behavioural finance, or other macro issues, the more it helps me to bring a cohesive opinion to the investment process,” he says.
 
“That’s how I see my role at Investec's Global Investment Strategy Group: an opinion bringer and opinion former, who helps guide the debate,” John concludes.
 
Read John's bio

Watch other films in the Inside Out of the Ordinary series

Process

John Haynes, Investec Wealth & Investment

Borderless

Annelise Peers, Investec

Balance

Ryan Friedman, Investec Wealth & Investment

Objectivity

Philip Shaw, Chief Economist, Investec UK

Wisdom

Prof Brian Kantor, Investec Wealth & Investment

Possibility

Fani Titi, Joint CEO, Investec

Watch other films in the Inside Out of the Ordinary series

Process
Borderless
Balance
Objectivity
Wisdom
Possibility

John Haynes, Investec Wealth & Investment

Annelise Peers, Investec

Ryan Friedman, Investec Wealth & Investment

Philip Shaw, Chief Economist, Investec UK

Prof Brian Kantor, Investec Wealth & Investment

Fani Titi, Joint CEO, Investec

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