234. Uwe Schillhorn or Emerging Markets Investor Alliance: Uncertainty and Navigating it in the World of Investing

Uwe Schillhorn is Program Director at Emerging Markets Investors Alliance.  He previously was CIO at Principal International Americas, where he managed the investment teams and developed the business in Latin America.  Prior to that he was previously a global bond portfolio manager at UBS, and his most recent role was as CIO of a Chicago based public fund.

Our conversation starts with his high school years, and his early interest in trading stocks – we hear about trades placed on Italian options from the phone booth during high school lunch break, and the rest might be deemed to be history.  He studied economics and then transitioned to emerging market debt, which opened up a career path through emerging markets which saw him spend over 5 years in Chile.  We talk in detail about the reality on the ground in emerging markets, and what the media can sometimes get wrong about them. Uwe mentions the potential for political instability and unrest, which he himself had underestimated, despite living on the ground there.  This, among other risks, change the shape of emerging markets investing.

From the land of some uncertainty then, we move to discuss uncertainty in investing and how the art of investing and client liaison links so directly to human conditions of doubt and the craving for certainty or closure. Uwe compares investment advice and financial planning to the ancient shamans who divined answers in early medicine.  Many of the answers then were unknowable, but people were drawn to guides who could provide assurance.  While modern medicine may have changed, arguably financial markets have not.  There are no scientific truths or certainties about outcomes – so the desire for guidance is stronger than ever.  This entertaining and sometimes philosophical discussion helps us map then landscape even if finding the way is ultimately up to us.

Series 1 of 2024 is supported by Apollo Global Management, a leading provider of alternative asset management and retirement services solutions. Apollo seeks to provide clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum and is focused on empowering retirees, building and financing stronger businesses and driving a more sustainable future.