196. Duncan MacInnes of Ruffer: The art of MiniMax Regret and Portfolio Construction in Today’s Markets

Duncan MacInnes is an Investment Director at Ruffer LLP, where he has spent over a decade. He previously worked in wealth management. I have enjoyed listening to Duncan discuss positioning and multi-asset insights on the conference circuit and wanted to take this opportunity to discuss his views on the current macro backdrop as well as the state of play in finance circles as we wrestle with failing banks and what this means for investors.

We start our conversation with a run through Duncan’s upbringing in Scotland and his initial study of law, his passage into first wealth management and then asset management. His initial training in wealth management took him to Asia and we discuss how that total immersion experience lit the fire for an interest in economics, markets and multi-asset class investing.

Moving to his current outlook we discuss Ruffer’s preference for “minimax regret” which is the practice of minimizing the probability of your maximum regret – and focusing on capital preservation. We discuss the impact of the Fed tightening cycle on taking money out of the system and what this means for the velocity of money and money concentrating in the centre. We then turn to a number of other areas in turn – de-dollarization, the shifting appeal of fixed income and the coming chronic phase of the crisis.

Our discussion around diversity focuses on creating an organization that can speak multiple languages – metaphorically speaking – some the language of number and quantitative analysis, some the language of sales and client partnerships

Duncan discusses some of the finance books that he recommends to others and these are: The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel, Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke, The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks and SuperForecasting by Philip Tetlock.

Series 3 of the 2023 Fiftyfaces Podcast is supported by Eagle Point Credit Management. Eagle Point Credit Management is a specialist investment manager principally focused on income-oriented credit investments in niche and inefficient markets. Founded by Thomas Majewski in partnership with Stone Point Capital in 2012, Eagle Point currently manages over $7.8 billion in AUM. Investment strategies pursued by the firm include collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), portfolio debt securities, and other opportunities across the credit universe. Currently, we believe that Eagle Point is the largest investor in CLO equity in the world and one of the largest non-bank lenders focused on providing financing solutions to credit funds. Learn more about Eagle Point at http://eaglepointcredit.com/