We’re joined in this episode by Paul Smith, CFA, a co-founder of SustainFinance and the former CEO Of CFA Institute. We chat about:
- His favorite experience leading CFA Institute, which is global beyond simple comprehension.
- How prepared the industry is to navigate the climate transition
- Whether ESG Investing is just a new form of colonialism
We also discussed his outlook for Hong Kong as a financial center and, as always, took questions from listeners.
[sloane]: Baby, welcome to the Free Money podcast. It's where we give you the Brooklyn Bay
[sloane]: Area consensus about institutional investing that you crave, and uh, you know, maybe
[sloane]: that's unhealthy and you know whatever we're just dealing with it.
[ash_b]: We are speaking of unhealthy. My kids are going to get vaccinated next week. S.
[ash_b]: happening. It's happening. Yeah, well, the the five g was a little weak in my house.
[sloane]: wow, wow,
[sloane]: yup, yup, yeah, A, and well,
[ash_b]: you know, So we want a multihop relay that you know through the kids
[sloane]: well, Well and then there's a discount on the Microsoft products that you get. Uh,
[sloane]: you know which, like I,
[ash_b]: Actually, do what I think is the greatest incentive for Uh, kid uptake a vaccine
[ash_b]: to go see
[ash_b]: doun in I, Max,
[sloane]: Oh, yeah, we're doing that this weekend. It's really exciting. Uh,
[ash_b]: I got to go do that. I saw it on the little, you know, I didn't watch it on my phone.
[ash_b]: Uh, but I did watch it on the T. V, screen, and you can just sense that if you saw
[ash_b]: this in the big theater, it would
[ash_b]: blow your fricking mind.
[sloane]: yup, I'm so glad that there's finally a done movie that late. I mean, they obviously
[sloane]: like with any Scifi movie That's like with a beloved book like this. You know,
[sloane]: there's going to be critique and whatever, but like you know, the fact that there's
[sloane]: not like widespread like you know. vitrial directed at this film tells me it's
[sloane]: perfect. Uh,
[ash_b]: I know
[ash_b]: all the true believers,
[ash_b]: including our former guest Jason Voss.
[ash_b]: Um, who's seen doing
[ash_b]: fifty to a hundred times The ridge. Uh, he said that it's fantastic. My critique of
[ash_b]: it is that it's only half a movie.
[ash_b]: That is my critique
[ash_b]: and uh, I must stand by that.
[sloane]: Mhm, Mhm,
[ash_b]: Um, it's actually correct. It's half a movie.
[sloane]: Yep, but they're getting. We're getting the other half. Ah,
[ash_b]: But have they failed it already? Like
[ash_b]: I don't understand? I have to go back and do another movie
[sloane]: yup, Yup, They got
[ash_b]: just as silly. That's crazy to me.
[sloane]: it's to Mi to mitigate financing risk. You know, I mean, like the it. I. I think
[sloane]: that the director wanted to film it all at once, but the studio like that is insane.
[ash_b]: Well, that is the perfect transition to my first bit of news, Sloan. Because
[ash_b]: sorry to cut you off here, but the Alberta investment Management Corporation is
[ash_b]: investing five hundred million dollars. Maybe they're pulling their money with
[ash_b]: I'm not exactly sure the details in new movie studios
[ash_b]: to fill the content void, because so much uh of the content is being created in these
[ash_b]: like non traditional studios.
[ash_b]: right. Um, And so we're seeing Albert, Investor Management Corporation and inquotes a
[ash_b]: sovereign wealth fund. That. Clearly,
[ash_b]: that sovereign wealth fund did not approve of the the press release.
[ash_b]: It is. It's like a story within a story there for his sludge.
[sloane]: yeah, yeah, exactly like. Oh, we. we want to be invested in fail. but we don't want
[sloane]: anyone to know we're investing in film.
[ash_b]: Yeah, and the bi. The manager that's doing this is like, but we gotta like you know,
[ash_b]: tip our hat in the fact that we have Audia, which is like, almost certainly who it
[ash_b]: is. right.
[sloane]: I mean, Yeah, it's a tough.
[ash_b]: Uh, good times.
[sloane]: It's a tough Fl. when you're like, you know getting I, I mean, I, I'm sympathetic
[sloane]: with that, you know like you're getting to go fun up up and running, you know, it's
[sloane]: it's tough to demonstrate legitimacy.
[ash_b]: You got Yeah, credit. Five hundred million isn't enough for credibility. You
[ash_b]: got to throw in the like generic sovereignalth funline. But my point is
[sloane]: it hits five hundred. A big check.
[ash_b]: that is a big check and hopefully some of that money gets us dooned faster. That's
[ash_b]: that was the connection to the top.
[sloane]: I mean, I like I. That's really encouraging. I think like the You know I was. I was
[sloane]: actuallyusing like earlier. that like the, The, The whole, Like you know,
[sloane]: Proliferation of film distributors really creates like a much more. uh, you know,
[sloane]: kind of interesting ecosystem for those people cause I, I mean, I have like a a
[sloane]: cousin who's just like trying to get a T. V series off the off the ground.
[sloane]: Um, and yeah, I mean, it really seems like a good time to be doing stuff like that.
[sloane]: There's a lot of entrepreneurial capital out there. There's a lot
[sloane]: of you know. Uh, a lot of places that you can wind up getting your thing distributed
[sloane]: right Like you know, all the old networks are still there. Plus we have all the new
[sloane]: Um, you know, I don't know how it works for overall investment returns, but
[sloane]: certainly from a creative standpoint. Um, you know, really really encouraging.
[ash_b]: I agree. I could even envision kind of a goof ball comedy where two intrepid uh,
[ash_b]: podcasters Uh,
[ash_b]: you know, try to free the world's capital
[ash_b]: and F can succeed.
[sloane]: yp, yup, yup. Yeah. it would be like a, like, a, like a nice procedural, you know,
[ash_b]: It'll be like it'll be like scrubs like they'll be like the comedy part and then it's
[ash_b]: like And we save the planet.
[sloane]: and we saved the.
[ash_b]: All right. Sorry by next?
[sloane]: Yeah. yeah, and like a little ma, little little magical realism in there too. I
[sloane]: think would be great.
[ash_b]: Yeah, a little goofyss, but at the same time Earth saved Um, all right. Next story,
[ash_b]: Stickting pension funds,
[sloane]: Ooh. good, good pension. A b. p.
[ash_b]: also known as a B, P. Yeah, also known as a p. G, which
[ash_b]: is the investment arm of a B. P.
[ash_b]: Uh. they are located in the town of Hen, Netherlands,
[ash_b]: Um. and they have announced that they are going to effective immediately divest
[ash_b]: completely from the fossil fuels.
[sloane]: that's great.
[ash_b]: Um. Pretty wild. They got five hundred and twenty three, a billion euros of pension
[ash_b]: fund dollars inside of them. but in terms of a divestment, Um, that's about fifteen
[ash_b]: billion that they got to like, pull out of different assets
[ash_b]: in the next little while, and redeploy and part of the news was like all of their
[ash_b]: like asset managers being forced to comply, Like the fidelity saying, Oh, sh, shoot,
[ash_b]: I guess we're going to have to figure out how to build an index, Um. without all the
[ash_b]: fossil fuels in it for for a P, G. So it's a. That's a the reason we're continuing to
[ash_b]: call out some of these divestments. At least I wanted to call this. This is like a
[ash_b]: new level like we thought
[sloane]: yeah. yeah.
[ash_b]: Harvard was interesting. Like you know. Are they fifty billion? You know. this is
[ash_b]: like six hundred and fifty billion dollars.
[sloane]: well, yeah, Ex, exactly. it's I mean, fifteen billion dollars is would be on its
[sloane]: own, like probably the the fifth or sixth largest university endowment. Um, you
[sloane]: know, and like I, it, it's so interesting to see people moving away from this
[sloane]: likecause. You know you, there are people who are making the case that like this
[sloane]: divestment is going to have blood on its hands. because it kind of like leads people
[sloane]: to. I mean, basically you know, the argument is, it shifts production to Iran and to
[sloane]: Um, you know, and to to play it, you know, but like I think, that's such a weak
[sloane]: argument. Uh,
[ash_b]: Yeah, it's a bad guy's argument,
[sloane]: you know. Yeah, it's a bad guy. Well it,
[ash_b]: but what about the bad guys?
[sloane]: well it, but it's also. it's just one of those things where it's like Okay, So you
[sloane]: know, if you believe that your secondary market investment has immediate real world
[sloane]: effects. Uh, you know.
[sloane]: Sure. sure. um, you know, but like it. If that's fifteen billion dollars that can go
[sloane]: into solar and like the y, You know. we're in it with renewables. We're in a place
[sloane]: where our deployment is like re, axing, and fourexing. Um,
[sloane]: y, you know, and like
[ash_b]: I'm surprised from that Fifteen billion doesn't come to finance our
[ash_b]: podcast. To be honest, I think when you think about like impact, you know
[sloane]: that's a good point. Yeah, I mean like.
[sloane]: yeah. yeah, yeah, ex, exact impact it scale.
[ash_b]: impacted scale like we get the message out, and other, you know, we lay it out and
[ash_b]: people play it up. That's
[sloane]: That's true. that's true.
[ash_b]: what I always. so.
[ash_b]: Speaking of laying it out,
[ash_b]: suclear capital.
[sloane]: Oh yeah. I knew you were to bring this up.
[ash_b]: Well, my favorite is when big rich asset managers cloak themselves
[ash_b]: in alignment to get even richer.
[ash_b]: And so the gy capital for those that don't know they're done raising funds, which
[ash_b]: is a pretty fricking big step change in this world of institut investment that we
[ash_b]: inhabit. because everybody was always begging for access to Sekoya funds. It's like
[ash_b]: the probably one of the world's best asset managers like just in terms
[ash_b]: of performance, Like world's best,
[ash_b]: they're just delivering performance that's like, probably has three digits before the
[ash_b]: decimal point.
[sloane]: y. yep.
[ash_b]: So what are they knowing? They're setting up something called Sokoya fund, which is a
[ash_b]: permanent capital structure which those of you who know me know that I am very
[ash_b]: intrigued by those permanent capital structures. I like aligning fund vehicles with
[ash_b]: the underlying asset. It's totally what Sekleia is doing here. then Wa'll find a way
[ash_b]: to go between private and public markets. They wa to hold their public companies, of
[ash_b]: which they have many. When
[ash_b]: you're Sekoya. you have many public companies. Um. So that's the needo part? aligning
[ash_b]: the structure with the founders, ▁l, Ps. Seemed to be on board,
[ash_b]: but it, part of me is like Hm. It's an internal fund of funds. So you now just
[ash_b]: allocate capital into the Sequoa fund, and the Seclea fund becomes the single ▁l p.
[ash_b]: in all the other funds. I'm
[ash_b]: sure that ▁l p is goingnna negotiate very hard with itself.
[sloane]: very. Yeah. I mean like you would never.
[ash_b]: And so you get to pay fees at the top level and then you get to pay fees that you
[ash_b]: don't even negotiate at the bottom level. So there's a little piece of me that's like
[ash_b]: this is just a manager that's like three. And thirty wasn't enough, and so now we're
[ash_b]: goingnna take one percent right off the top every year
[ash_b]: and that you know, and then we're going to still charge you the three and thirty. And
[ash_b]: but we're just not going to let you negotiate anything down below. So who does we'll
[ash_b]: see? I do like innovation in in the markets. It's wild to see some fund with this
[ash_b]: level of dominance do something this aggressive and and different, so
[ash_b]: good for them. Um, but put, I just suspect it has more to do with capturing a bigger
[ash_b]: share of the pie.
[sloane]: Yep. Well, from a marketing standpoint it's really interesting because it allows.
[sloane]: Like you know, the them they can raise now they're They're so much less constrained
[sloane]: in terms of how much money they can manage, because they have the public capital
[sloane]: pot, right,
[sloane]: Um, you know so that they can like it. You know, they still have this Sequoya name.
[sloane]: They still have all that you know, Um, but they can invest. They can just be like
[sloane]: another public tech manager. Uh,
[ash_b]: it's true like that's the. That's the piece that I think would be interesting to
[ash_b]: figure. out.
[ash_b]: Are they just going to hold the things that they've bought privately Or when? like
[ash_b]: will I be able to now invest in Sechoyia, and that will just go into the public
[ash_b]: stocks that Sechoa owns. It'll be very fascinating.
[sloane]: yeah, yeah, it's well, I mean, you know they're finally catching up with. Uh, you
[sloane]: know the geniuses that invest vegan and becoming a registered investment adviser.
[sloane]: Um. as part,
[ash_b]: Yes, that's true. No, I think they saw them. I think they saw that Invest Vean
[ash_b]: announcement and so yeah, Mm.
[sloane]: Yeah, they saw the readting on the wall, Um, y, you know, Uh,
[sloane]: but like but yeah, I, you know. I. I think that there are like, uh, y. You know,
[sloane]: it's really cool to see them a lot do that alignment, But you know it's it it. it's
[sloane]: It's just a very confusing kind of development for them.
[ash_b]: Yeah, if it wasnt like just another layer of one percent of fees every single year on
[ash_b]: a huge
[sloane]: Yup, Yeah,
[ash_b]: pool of capital that they already own, so they already did the work by the way.
[ash_b]: Anyway, I, getting ahead of myself. I'm going to make enemies good for them.
[sloane]: well, exact, exactly. It's like you know you got sort, you know somebody like all of
[sloane]: a sudden camping out outside your house. Uh, the like I, you know. I think it's
[sloane]: interesting thoughcause. like T ro price is a big. you know kind of tech manager
[sloane]: that's been increasingly you know, gain its mutual funds holding late stage private.
[sloane]: Um, you know investments, so like in In a way, it's kind of like you know. it's a.
[sloane]: It's like the harmonization of all of those approaches. You know, the T rope.
[ash_b]: and a lot of these hedge funds are doing it
[ash_b]: like. look what tiger's doing. I mean
[ash_b]: there, there's this blend between
[ash_b]: public and private that's definitely been taking place for. Ah, but a lot of it has
[ash_b]: been the hedge Funs dipping into the venture and like eating their lunch. Maybe this
[ash_b]: is you know.
[ash_b]: Had you know the venture people trying to eat their dinner? I don't know
[ash_b]: too many analogies.
[sloane]: well it. Well it, but you know also like you know, I, I've noticed a lot of
[sloane]: companies are coming. I mean, like you know, in this back world now we have you know
[sloane]: companies coming, companies coming, companies coming public
[ash_b]: How is our spat coming by the way?
[sloane]: like left and right. uh, oh, there are uh ours back. You know. it's
[sloane]: uh. it's you know. we're not really up in caught up with the Trumps of the world.
[ash_b]: well, Sloan, go dang I. I
[ash_b]: was going to say if Trump can do us back. Like what? the flip?
[sloane]: I know.
[ash_b]: we've got as much of a media brand
[ash_b]: as whatever it is. Truth, what is? Suppose the the truth,
[sloane]: Yup, Truth, social,
[ash_b]: Truth, Social
[ash_b]: couldn't even remember it, but everybody knows free money.
[sloane]: Yup, Yep.
[sloane]: Well, it's and he's a. You know he's He basically did it with a powerpoint. I mean,
[sloane]: I guess basically what needs to happen is we need to make a power pointint. uh,
[ash_b]: Damn, that's a lot. That's
[sloane]: yeah, it's a heavy lift. you know.
[ash_b]: a lot of work. building stuff is hard. We're going to come to that later.
[sloane]: Yeah, exactly. yeah. we. well, we got to get it, You know, we got get our guest in
[sloane]: here first. uh,
[ash_b]: Oh shit, let's do it.
[sloane]: but y. well, I think. uh, I don't think we have him yet. Um,
[sloane]: you know the
[sloane]: he. He's coming to us from far overseas. You know, so, um,
[sloane]: you know hopeful,
[ash_b]: well, I can give you a bit. I can give you a bit. Another a bonus news item.
[sloane]: Oh great. yeah,
[ash_b]: So one of the longtim, uh, guests of the show, Uh, are good friend from the firm
[ash_b]: Ethic, Uh, dot com, Ethic dot com is ▁jy. Lepman and Jay Litman is the president of
[ash_b]: Ethic, and they've recently announced. Um, And this is. this is the story. Slon, As
[ash_b]: like the perils of us getting too famous. Um, and it it concerns me because these
[ash_b]: podcasts are fire right,
[sloane]: yeah, yeah, yeah,
[ash_b]: So just wanted to get. this is like a warning shot for us. Um, ▁j, and and Doug and
[ash_b]: Johnny, the three F founders have brought on Megan and Harry the Royals as impact
[ash_b]: advisors to ethic and guess what happens when you bring royals into your company. The
[ash_b]: daily male camps outside your mom's house
[ash_b]: Yes, Yes, And so, if you happen to go and look at the Daily Mail this morning, you
[ash_b]: will see. Or maybe it was a day or two ago, exclusive, revealed
[ash_b]: fun loving hippie banker, Thirty three
[ash_b]: who founded Harry and Megan, Ethical Investment firm is a rugby mad, vegan, ex public
[ash_b]: schoolboy from Surrey, who has great banter with Prince and has hung out at his ten
[ash_b]: million mansion. This is in the daily bail with like twenty two pictures of him from
[sloane]: Oh, my god. Oh my God,
[ash_b]: like the random Internet.
[sloane]: there's a picture holding a dog with his mother.
[sloane]: there's a picture holding a dog with his mother.
[ash_b]: I can only imagine.
[ash_b]: and like, Just see you guys know like Jas, to totally normal human being right. So
[ash_b]: like this is a rag,
[ash_b]: just going out and truck like anything royal related. Like if you get involved with
[ash_b]: the royals at all
[sloane]: This article
[sloane]: is so long.
[ash_b]: it's like it feels like it's ten thousand words. Yeah,
[sloane]: Yeah, it's like. I mean. it's It's really like Unb. I mean, and it gets into like de
[ash_b]: I bets that,
[sloane]: I. I just like skimmed. and like that you got down at the bottom of. Let theres like
[sloane]: a critique from like a cab driver. Uh,
[sloane]: you know of deblazo' like, Oh yeah, biild. a blazo should be hobbed up with the
[sloane]: royals. You should be like you know, focused on helping people.
[ash_b]: Yeah, that's a. There's a totally not a nonsquetor like connecting cabbies through
[ash_b]: ethic into the royals, said Bill de Blzio I'm sure they're all related.
[sloane]: Y. Yeah, I mean
[sloane]: I. I didn't realize Jay was Vean too. That' the their rules, um,
[ash_b]: Yeah, I did not realize that either
[sloane]: who pals' in the app? Oh no, but I don't see him.
[sloane]: Oh no. Um,
[sloane]: how is that possible? Oh, I see him.
[Paul smith]: Uhhuh,
[sloane]: Hey, Wow,
[sloane]: so I can see there.
[ash_b]: sor but that pall, we, uh.
[ash_b]: Our technologized podcast is maybe sometimes too technologized for even us.
[Paul smith]: I'm just trying on a. I'm just trying on another device as well be cause this
[Paul smith]: is. I've got you on my phone here. I'm just trying to see whether I can get you
[Paul smith]: up on my ipad, which might be a better.
[Paul smith]: uh, a better link. Can you see?
[sloane]: Uh, I.
[ash_b]: That quality sounds great.
[sloane]: Yeah, you sound great for and you know, I mean, I guess we. we were uh,
[sloane]: troubleshooting, Uh, the technology and we forgot to introduce you. This is. of
[sloane]: course, Paul Smith, my former boss's boss, Bosed, C. If a institute
[sloane]: now the founder of
[ash_b]: Who's building sustainable finance into the Dna of the system?
[Paul smith]: Yeah, well, I'm um, I'm yeah. I know it's all. it's all, um, um, good fun. I
[Paul smith]: mean, you know the Um, sustainable finance issue that we, we kicked off about
[Paul smith]: Couba, Cam Ier and myself kicked off about. I guess now just over a year ago,
[Paul smith]: and obviously Um, since we started we, we look very clever because uh, just
[Paul smith]: about the world and his wife has jumped on uh on on that particular uh,
[Paul smith]: uh, theme And obviously we cop twenty six coming up as well in the next couple
[Paul smith]: of days. Um, you know we look. Uh, we look pretty smart, but it's something that
[Paul smith]: you know we've been. We've been passionate about for a while and we thought we
[Paul smith]: would um, try and add our voice to what is uh, an increasing multitude.
[sloane]: Yup, Yeah, I mean, we were just uh chatting before you came on about how, even like
[sloane]: you know Harry, and uh, you know Prince Harry and Megan Marhall have gotten it on
[sloane]: the sustainable investing game.
[Paul smith]: Don't get me started on that slow.
[ash_b]: you don't think this is Arthur finds a reallyally jumping the shark. This is just the
[ash_b]: beginning. I help
[Paul smith]: I wish I was as cool as
[Paul smith]: our as the funds. but anyway that,
[Paul smith]: I'm certainly, I was only uh, slightly younger than the Fs. I think
[ash_b]: eightng on.
[sloane]: Yes, that's true. that's true. I mean it got to hold onto it. I mean I. I. I think
[sloane]: maybe maybe it's like a jumping off point for this. you know, like I, I'd say, like
[sloane]: you know you and I like we worked at this organization that, like a lot of people
[sloane]: know the name of Um, you know, but like I would. I would you know, Venture to say
[sloane]: that few people understand
[sloane]: Um. You know it just because like, by sheer nature of it being so so so so global,
[sloane]: Um, and I wonder if like there's a story or a, you know an experience that that you
[sloane]: had cause you know you've been like you know, traveling to the C F a society in
[sloane]: Nigeria, in Bangladesh, and you know in Peru in Chile. Um, you know. Like what? What
[sloane]: stands out after you know? Now you've got some distance. you've worked out the
[sloane]: trauma of having to actually run the thing.
[sloane]: Um, what stands out now?
[Paul smith]: well it. it's It's uh, a great question. And thank you for asking it, because
[Paul smith]: you know the the most fun that I had at C. A was really Um, meeting societies,
[Paul smith]: and and the great pleasure of going to visit people in there, Uh, in their home
[Paul smith]: locations. Really, Because you know, if you enjoy travel, one of the problems
[Paul smith]: with travel is that you never really feel that you get under the skin of a place
[Paul smith]: because you're always an outsider, And and and the great pleasure of going to
[Paul smith]: our local societies around the world, I visited Um. You know a hundred and fifty
[Paul smith]: of them in over a hundred countries. Um. the great pleasure of doing that was
[Paul smith]: that you were going to see local people who were pleased to see you and would uh
[Paul smith]: show you things that as a tourist you you might not got to have seen And so so
[Paul smith]: that was the pleasure. but you mentioned Nigeria. That was top of my list. Um,
[Paul smith]: my, my, You perhaps know that, but the the most fun I had in Nigeria sounds a
[Paul smith]: bit wacky. Was we? we were taken up to the north of Nigeria, to a city in the
[Paul smith]: North Carno, uh k, n o, which is um, not quite in in the the bad lands of
[Paul smith]: Nigeria, where Boka Harama are causing such trouble, but um, but close by, and
[Paul smith]: so um, you know, we had a uh, um, uh, a land rover to take us into town with
[Paul smith]: machine guns mounted mounted for and aft and security personnel, and a full of
[Paul smith]: that sort of stuff, And I've never had that before in my life. You know, I've
[Paul smith]: never. no one's ever cared whether I lived or died of before,
[Paul smith]: but, but I think the local society didn't want, didn't want the head of the c f
[Paul smith]: A to uh, to sort of peg it on their watch place.
[Paul smith]: Uh, it was a sort of a full court press as far as that was concerned, and we
[Paul smith]: were going to see the Emir of Carno. Uh, you know that that the Uh, the most
[Paul smith]: important dignitary in the region, who happens to have been the Finance Minister
[Paul smith]: of Nigeria in one of his previous lives, and he'd been very supportive of the
[Paul smith]: local society, and Um, we were going there. Really Um, as the president, C. If
[Paul smith]: a, to thank him for all all of it, he donen for us, and and um, as as is normal,
[Paul smith]: Uh, the Emir arrived at his dean, his, uh, his um, uh, receiving palace, Uh, on
[Paul smith]: a white horse,
[Paul smith]: Um, proceeded and succeeded by Uh, his retainers blowing trumpets and
[Paul smith]: untilating, and very very formal, very colorful. Exciting,
[ash_b]: sounds awesome.
[Paul smith]: uh, procession, as he came to his, uh, his, his audience hall, and obviously
[Paul smith]: you, No, I'm there, Dres. in a suit and tie, and probably what was a hundred and
[Paul smith]: ten degree heat in in in the cells.
[Paul smith]: and uh uh, it was all great fun. And and you know he's
[ash_b]: It's amazing.
[Paul smith]: He's a tremendous man. um, uh, uh, vi, emir, uh, and uh, you know we had to.
[Paul smith]: Although he speaks perfectly Englishly, the protocol is that Uh, he's not
[Paul smith]: allowed, or I'm not allowed to talk to him directly. Rather more precisely, we
[Paul smith]: have to go through
[Paul smith]: an interpreter, and Um, that was amusing because the Emir speaks better English
[Paul smith]: than his interpreteded. and I could.
[Paul smith]: I. I could see, I could see that he was getting somewhat frustrated with the
[Paul smith]: laborious translation of of what was some barely basic pleasantrs. But um,
[Paul smith]: so so I guess you know. I guess that's uh.
[ash_b]: what a cool story.
[Paul smith]: You know, for me that was a highlight. it was. uh. It was really extraordinary
[Paul smith]: to see Uh, the Amir in his hometown. Uh, a great pleasure and a great honor as
[Paul smith]: well, and to do that and it was a. It was a real thrill. So that was you know.
[Paul smith]: That was. that was pick of my particular pops, but Africa again, as as I mean, I
[Paul smith]: love Latin America and had great fun in Peru and Chile and Uruguay and other
[Paul smith]: countries. But Africa really stole my heart in terms of the countries that I
[Paul smith]: visited where Uh, A. the people are just wonderful. I mean they're so committed.
[Paul smith]: It always reminds you know. you know, Sloan. I, I, As me, I, I live in Hong
[Paul smith]: Kong, have done for the last
[Paul smith]: twenty twenty five years, and Africa reminds me of Asia. Uh, when I first went
[Paul smith]: out there in the mid nineties. In that, the, the commitment to education, the
[Paul smith]: commitment to their children, the commitment to
[Paul smith]: Um. You know, trying to build a better life year over year for themselves is
[Paul smith]: overwhelming and incredibly, Um. Emotional to be part of that journey and to
[Paul smith]: feel that you're contributing in some ways to that and the country that I think
[Paul smith]: you know for me, encapulated that more than other was ▁zimbabwe, um,
[Paul smith]: which obviously uh, has had some terrible troubles. And and I, I can tell you,
[Paul smith]: I've never ever laughed so much or heard so much laughter as it did when I
[Paul smith]: visited Harari with the local society. They're wonderful people, and it just
[Paul smith]: shows that the human spirit the more, the more B S you have to shovel in life.
[Paul smith]: The more that you laugh, the more that you celebrate one another, the more that
[Paul smith]: community is important to you, Um, just incredible people. That left me feeling
[Paul smith]: in a very, um,
[Paul smith]: very proud to be leading an organization that in some small way, and obviously
[Paul smith]: one doesn't you know at the end of the day with financial education were not,
[Paul smith]: you know. we're not rocket scientists were not creating new human vaccines or
[Paul smith]: doing anything anything like that to fight off epidemics, but in our own very
[Paul smith]: little small way, uh, making a difference to people's lives. And and um, you
[Paul smith]: know, those would be the two experiences that I think I I would pick out from.
[Paul smith]: But I, I would. also,
[ash_b]: those are awesome.
[Paul smith]: because I, I'm talking to people in in the U. S. of Ay. It. I ▁ought to say that
[Paul smith]: I manage. I was so lucky I visited forty six states to the Union, far more than
[Paul smith]: Americans have ever visited.
[sloane]: Yep, Yep, you. any me be by ways.
[ash_b]: I think I think you had me be, too,
[Paul smith]: And and
[ash_b]: and'd have to go and love.
[Paul smith]: tell you, each one of them was a unique pleasurable experience. And because, as
[Paul smith]: I said Earli, your meeting fellow travellers, people who are very committed to
[Paul smith]: the cause of of T. Whether it's promote financial literacy or improve the
[Paul smith]: quality of of uh, financial services in their communities, and not only that,
[Paul smith]: but wherever you go in the U. S, there's something extraordinary to see. Not
[Paul smith]: just nice people to meet, but something extraordinary. Um, you know, my favorite
[Paul smith]: pick from there would be the Gilcree museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I can honestly
[Paul smith]: say I've never been anywhere in the world to a museum that was as well set up
[Paul smith]: a, and as enjoyable to visit as that. And
[Paul smith]: so, oh you, you say to people I've just been in Okla, Homer, and their eyes roll
[Paul smith]: into the back of their heads, But I can tell you you're the the missing out.
[ash_b]: I think we need to get a a book series together. You know, Paul Smith on the road, Or
[ash_b]: like, Maybe it's a Netflix special'. Like all the Greatest Hits,
[Paul smith]: It would be a. It would be a very, very short print run. I think as me.
[ash_b]: I'm sitting here. I remember whats I drak alcoholic milk in Mongolia, and I thought
[ash_b]: that was pretty wild. but
[Paul smith]: Yeah, No,
[Paul smith]: we had When I when I visited Mongoli, we had two charter holders there. And uh,
[Paul smith]: so it wasn't perhaps one of my more um, cost effective trips, but it was. it
[Paul smith]: was. certainly. It was certainly one of the most lively. they. they
[Paul smith]: are, Mongolians are wonderful people, but
[ash_b]: I agree
[Paul smith]: they they, they, they, they. They have a a unique way of celebrating.
[Paul smith]: but I would say I would say, and I have to declare. Uh, because I own parts of.
[Paul smith]: I'm a very small investor in the Um main brewing company in Mongolia. So before
[Paul smith]: I say this, um, please take that disclaimer um Mongolian vodka, Mongolian vulker
[Paul smith]: is the best in the world. No, ▁qu, no question about that whatsoever.
[ash_b]: this broadcast brought to you by Magen. Vodka.
[ash_b]: this broadcast brought to you by Magen. Vodka.
[sloane]: yeah, exactly. I mean, like we have a.
[ash_b]: This is the related related parties podcast. Don't worry.
[sloane]: Yeah. we have a very, uh, very strong tradition of inviting people who have uh,
[sloane]: financial interests and stuff to discuss their things.
[Paul smith]: I needed, needless to say, it's called Genngus Kalmvnker as
[Paul smith]: well, so
[sloane]: yeah. we'll talk about sponsorship deals later. Yeah, uh,
[sloane]: um, but you know, I mean like I, you know, as you're doing those visits, you know
[sloane]: you're going to monkolia, you're going to to to Nigeria. but you're also going to
[sloane]: invesco into New Burger Burman, And to you know you pick a big firm. Um, you know I,
[sloane]: I would. I would guess that you've kind of had some discussions with the leadership
[sloane]: there over the last, you know a little bit, and and probably that you know a lot of
[sloane]: those discussions talked about. You know how do we hire good employees, which is of
[sloane]: course central to the C. F.
[Paul smith]: Yp,
[sloane]: A institute. You know, deal, but also how do we really start to think about
[sloane]: sustainability? Um, and integrated into you know the World Chef Institute.
[sloane]: Obviously, you know, I, I think we had a e, s, G guy you know, starting in like you
[sloane]: know, two thousand eleven, or or even earlier than that, Um, I don't know when Matt
[sloane]: started working there, but it was a long time ago. anyway. Um, how would you kind of
[sloane]: characterize those you know, big muckty mucks, and how prepared their firms are for
[sloane]: kind of the climate transition, the S. D transition, and like how committed to
[sloane]: sustainability they are.
[Paul smith]: yeah, I, I mean O. obviously I. I think regionally uh, it differs um Europe, I
[Paul smith]: think is, uh, the big, uh, uh, The big dogs are further forward in Europe,
[Paul smith]: because of
[Paul smith]: social pressure, obviously, but also regulatory, Uh pressure, the legislative
[Paul smith]: pressure, um, uh, they have to be further ahead than the U S counterparts, Who
[Paul smith]: who are in the game definitely in are catching up Um Asia, Ah, it's pockets.
[Paul smith]: Basically there. Some some countries, Singapore, Hong, Kong, the further ahead,
[Paul smith]: Japan, perhaps arguably are further ahead than others. but uh, so you know,
[Paul smith]: there is a a regional Ta to all of this, but I. I. I think you know. One of the
[Paul smith]: few advantages of being old is that you have uh a little bit of perspective on
[Paul smith]: some of these things And I would say when we. You know when I first started
[Paul smith]: really thinking about e, s. g, let's say ten twelve years ago, Um, you know the
[Paul smith]: industry was maybe two out of ten in terms of its preparedness and its
[Paul smith]: understanding of the subject. And now I, I'd say you know it's a comfortable
[Paul smith]: five out of ten, if not six out of ten, Um, on a on a global basis. Now you know
[Paul smith]: that's lots of room to improve, but as um, an understanding at every level of
[Paul smith]: the asset management industry, top to bossom, that uh, e, s, g, uh is a theme
[Paul smith]: that they need to uh, take cognisance off. Now Granted some of the companies
[Paul smith]: that we're talking about Uh, perhaps pay lip service to that rather more than
[Paul smith]: have it in their d, n, a, Um, But I think it's it changes. It changes almost
[Paul smith]: week by week. Really in that um, uh, the conversation now is so widespread.
[Paul smith]: Uh, it's such a rich one. Um, you know I, I, you think about If you think about
[Paul smith]: Uh, Dave Chapll at Netflix, you think about climate Vs you, you know. Um, what?
[Paul smith]: Whatever your particular twist, whether it's the e, the s or the G.
[Paul smith]: there are
[Paul smith]: really uh.
[Paul smith]: in depth conversations happening that affect
[Paul smith]: companies that you may or may not be investing in, let alone your own company as
[Paul smith]: an investor.
[Paul smith]: So if you are, If you are turning a blind eye to that conversation, then really
[Paul smith]: you are. you're You're running into difficulty. And and then I think you know a
[Paul smith]: again rolling that Realel a little bit forward. You got to think about your
[Paul smith]: clients, Your you, the people who are going to subscribe to your mutual funds or
[ash_b]: hm, hm,
[Paul smith]: give you managed a counsel, whatever else it hands to be. Um, And they're
[Paul smith]: increasingly of a generation that cares passionately about a lot of these
[Paul smith]: subjects. Um, and uh, you know that's a book and even old dudes like me, I have
[Paul smith]: to share with you that uh, my first grandchild, my first grandnu was born three
[sloane]: Oh, my good congratulations. Pab,
[Paul smith]: or four days ago. And uh, thank you, and mother and mother and baby, Uh, got out
[Paul smith]: of hospital
[Paul smith]: yesterday, so I was able to hold. and obviously, because of cod of the
[Paul smith]: restrictions, we were'towed to visit. as so, I was able to hold the next
[Paul smith]: generation in my arms this morning. And Um, so, even even even people as old as
[Paul smith]: I,
[Paul smith]: um, are focusing for various reasons on the future, and uh, I think. uh, yes,
[Paul smith]: you know, greenwashing's still an issue at every level.
[Paul smith]: Uh, yes, a lot of businesses are not really walking the talk yet. They haven't
[Paul smith]: really retooolled, Um. There's not the skill sets that there should be in in in
[Paul smith]: this conversation, but it's changing. It's changing all the time is changing for
[Paul smith]: the better and our old employer, for instance, Sloan has now got uh, n s. G
[Paul smith]: certificate. That's going very well. Uh, that people are are are using to
[Paul smith]: qualify their staff. Um, but you know it's a it's. It's a journey to process,
[Paul smith]: but I think we need to be uh positive about that process, and to say that the
[Paul smith]: indusies come a huge, a huge long way are further to travel, but is on the right
[Paul smith]: road. Um. and I think the change that I've witnessed over the last ten years is
[Paul smith]: that the e s g conversation used to be about risk
[Paul smith]: management. You know how do you? How do you protect yourselves from the downside
[Paul smith]: of climate change or something like that, And today it's much more about
[Paul smith]: investment opportunity.
[Paul smith]: And I think that I think that's a tremendous leap forward in and of itself. It's
[Paul smith]: And I think that I think that's a tremendous leap forward in and of itself. It's
[Paul smith]: the people are thinking about e, s g, from the perspective of how does it help
[Paul smith]: the people are thinking about e, s g, from the perspective of how does it help
[Paul smith]: us make money, rather than how does it help help prevent us losing money. And I
[Paul smith]: us make money, rather than how does it help help prevent us losing money. And I
[Paul smith]: think that's a. That's a watershed change that's really only come in in the last
[Paul smith]: think that's a. That's a watershed change that's really only come in in the last
[Paul smith]: twelve to eighteen months.
[Paul smith]: twelve to eighteen months.
[ash_b]: yeah, especially in private markets, you see tons of um, uh, investments in. you know
[ash_b]: climate related technologies, Climate related, anytics, like this is such a booming
[ash_b]: area. There's even entire venture
[Paul smith]: Yeah,
[ash_b]: firms that are kind of being stood up around these thematics. Um, you know that
[Paul smith]: y,
[ash_b]: those are kind of easy to spot as being e, s. g, managers like we're trying to solve
[ash_b]: climate change and a venture fund like you can look at that and say, I'm probably
[ash_b]: pretty impacctable. Um. But are there like if I'm an alloctor and a lot of my work,
[ash_b]: Paul is like how how do we empower like the world of allocators with better decision
[ash_b]: making tools? Um, coming out of this,
[Paul smith]: y.
[ash_b]: it would be great to hear like what you think of as the giveaways when a manager is
[ash_b]: either Um authentically committed to sustainability or not authentically committed
[ash_b]: Like, Have you kind of come up with any you know, red flags or or green flights?
[Paul smith]: yeah. I, I think there are a few indicators, Uh, as be the first thing. is that
[Paul smith]: any any good company that's interested in this area, I think has to have a
[Paul smith]: purpose statement
[Paul smith]: allied to their mission and vision. It's what's the purpose of this. Now we've
[Paul smith]: all read some terrible examples of purpose
[Paul smith]: which are
[Paul smith]: which are really just guff. So the first, the first thing you want to focus upon
[Paul smith]: are are, does the company have a purpose statement? and does that purpose
[Paul smith]: statement have real teeth? Are there delivererables attached to it? Are their
[Paul smith]: ccapies? Are their data points attached to that purpose statement? or is it just
[Paul smith]: hot air? Is it just waffle? Basically are, Are they just doing it for cosmetic
[Paul smith]: reasons? And then, I think the second thing that you can do underpinning that
[Paul smith]: purpose statement is to see whether the organization is aligned behind that at
[Paul smith]: the board? Let start with the board level. You know what does that board look
[Paul smith]: like?
[Paul smith]: Does it have skills in the e, s, G world that correspond to the purpose that the
[Paul smith]: Ha company is espousing, and I think that you know there are some simple. There
[Paul smith]: is some simple indicators there as well. When you look at the s of the e, S and
[Paul smith]: G, you know what's the gender makes. What's the uh, uh, ethnicity mix on that
[Paul smith]: board? A? Is it you use the word out as me of of authenticity? You know, are
[Paul smith]: they really are? Are they are their actions
[Paul smith]: showing that they're living up to the commitments that they say they they're
[Paul smith]: making. So I think I think there are some very simple tests at that level. And
[Paul smith]: then, as you come down into the more granular area, Uh, when you're looking to
[Paul smith]: allocate towards asset management companies, I think you know you've got lots of
[Paul smith]: data points within the fund fact sheets. the prospectuses, Uh, All of those
[Paul smith]: things where you can cross check and not lease their proxy voting record, which
[Paul smith]: I think is the Uh is, is one of the biggest issues. Um, and there, you can
[Paul smith]: almost make a direct correlation on the proxy voting record between how many
[Paul smith]: people are in their proxy voting team. You know if if if they've only got three
[Paul smith]: people covering proxy voting worldwide and they say that as part of their, you
[Paul smith]: know, their vision of their company is that they want to take activist roles in
[Paul smith]: making sure that corporations that they invest in live up to their vestt E
[Paul smith]: credentials. You can call them out on that one to start with, because if you
[Paul smith]: got, if you only caught three people doing that are over a. A. a list of maybe
[Paul smith]: uh, two or three hundred companies that you've invested in. Um, you know that's
[Paul smith]: that's really not going to work. So I think Uh, now you know I, I, a. again. I
[Paul smith]: wouldn't. I wouldn't be
[Paul smith]: necessarily too aggressive about this because it is a. It is a journey and
[Paul smith]: companies are having to move from where they were to where they want to be, so I
[Paul smith]: think that's the final point that I would say is that you know, are they adding
[Paul smith]: resource every year? Are they getting better O at at trying to put some some
[Paul smith]: flesh on the bone of their of their e s g commitments. And and I think that's
[Paul smith]: you know, we early days, so it's hard perhaps to get that data series so that
[Paul smith]: you can look year over year. But I think that's what you're looking for Really
[Paul smith]: is not perfection. Ah is movement. And and something I should have said earlier
[Paul smith]: on is is that I think. uh, you know, I think too often the asset management
[Paul smith]: industry hides behind
[Paul smith]: perfection.
[Paul smith]: Uh, and says you know we can't. We can't possibly invest in E, s. G, because the
[Paul smith]: datas pour on the underlying companies or whatever, else, rather than say Well,
[Paul smith]: you know, um, yes, the data poor. We don't know with absolute certainty, but
[Paul smith]: doing ▁x wise, Eid is going to move the needle in the right direction
[Paul smith]: And I think that's that's what you're looking for. Really, You're looking for
[Paul smith]: intentionality and evidence that those intentions are being put to place, And I
[Paul smith]: think there's there's plenty of ways of of looking at that. I. I. I also just
[Paul smith]: sorry
[ash_b]: 's all good it.
[Paul smith]: you have to shut me up in a same.
[Paul smith]: Iy. I also think the other thing that's very curious in our industry is that
[Paul smith]: company's company or asset managers will say. Well, I can't invest in ▁x wy's
[Paul smith]: ed, because the case isn't proven for it.
[Paul smith]: And and you feel like shaking them by the throat and sing well. Once the case is
[Paul smith]: proven, You do realize there's no point then investing in that company, don't
[Paul smith]: you? And it? it's like it. It's it's like we've forgotten as an industry that
[Paul smith]: our job is to go into the darkness rather than into the light,
[Paul smith]: and that I think is a is a big mistake that our industry is making. We are
[Paul smith]: always looking for perfection. We're always looking for data where the purpose
[Paul smith]: of a good asset manager is to is to root
[Paul smith]: around in the undergrowth where the light of day has not been shown to seek out
[Paul smith]: the next best thing, and by definition that is, that's carriess risk with it and
[ash_b]: I want that on a thrt. I literally put. our job is to go into the darkness, not into
[Paul smith]: how we expect.
[ash_b]: the light on a Thrt, Because
[sloane]: y, yup, Yeah,
[Paul smith]: Yeah,
[sloane]: it's yeah. we haven't updated the Free Money merged store in a while, but uh
[ash_b]: this is this. This is like coming right after the E. g, industrial complex will have
[ash_b]: this one,
[sloane]: yeah, I, it's I mean. It's a fascin and you know you're so right, Like be cause, the
[sloane]: I, you know, I think that when people talk about investing in early stage crypto
[sloane]: funds, for instance, they're never going well. The you know, the data on how these
[Paul smith]: yeah, yeah,
[sloane]: are useful is never. you know is not yet established. They're like. Oh, wow, that
[sloane]: you know line goes up. We can make a lot of money, Um, you know, I think that people
[sloane]: are a little bit conflicted about something that has the potential to actually do
[sloane]: good in the world. Um, but you know there's also like I, You know, our our homeies
[sloane]: at C, f, a, uh, U. K, really c f A Scotland. Um, had a a a thing that I saw you know
[sloane]: some some stuff from on Lincton, Um, a couple of of weeks ago about how you know
[sloane]: this. This sort of idea that maybe e, s g is a form of modern colonialism, like you
[sloane]: know, made friendly and acceptable right. like some, you know Hippi, liberal say in
[sloane]: Brooklyn, perhaps thinks it's important to have Uh, you know certain policies and
[sloane]: procedures in place, and you know, basically you know, lines up the powers of
[sloane]: capitalism to force companies, no matter where they are and no matter what the
[sloane]: management thinks. Uh, you know to kind of align with that vision and you know I,
[sloane]: One of the things I think that's really interesting about sustained finance is that
[sloane]: you've actually kind of struck partnerships with a number of like Malaysian and
[sloane]: Turkish governance authorities. Um, you know so I'm I'm curious. How you how you
[sloane]: think about that critique of you know e, s g, as as you know, kind of a neo
[sloane]: colonialism, Um, that's been in a packaged more friendly like
[Paul smith]: I think it a great question, and it is something that I think we all
[Paul smith]: need to wrestle with this idea that
[Paul smith]: which has some substance to it. Obviously a lot of substance to it. E, s g is a
[Paul smith]: uh, a contric um. that the developed world is foisting upon the developing
[Paul smith]: world. That we are making the developing world pay for the for our sins
[Paul smith]: effectively through carbon taxes or through phasing out fossil fuels, or uh,
[Paul smith]: pollution, or whatever else it happens to be, and A, and I think there is uh, an
[Paul smith]: enormous amount of of um,
[Paul smith]: uh, validity to that comment. I don't think it's the intention necessarily that
[Paul smith]: to be clear, but I is, it is the end effect that the Third world, the developing
[Paul smith]: world will suffer, Uh, disproportionately Uh in this ▁quest. And and you know
[Paul smith]: Cop Twenty Six has that firmly on its agenda,
[Paul smith]: Um, you know, how do we financially advise the developing world, Uh, to work
[Paul smith]: with the developed world in in coping with some of these climate change issues,
[Paul smith]: And you've got countries obviously like a lot in Latin America, Columbia, for
[Paul smith]: instance, as are as an oil producer, Uh, South Africa, India, China, as coal
[Paul smith]: producing coal burning countries Um, how do we help them a overtime upgrade, Um,
[Paul smith]: their, Uh, their fossil fuel, Uh, production engines into something that's going
[Paul smith]: to be more, um, uh, environmentally. Friendly,
[Paul smith]: I. I. I. I'm a little bit um, pessimistic, I suppose on that particular issue
[Paul smith]: and I think I would point to coovacs and the challenges that we've had over
[Paul smith]: something as as really as clear as the as, as trying to spread the the, the The
[Paul smith]: Code vaccines into the developing world where we fail so far to do it,
[Paul smith]: Um,
[Paul smith]: and I suspect, ▁ultimately, the pledges that are made in Glasgow in in the next
[Paul smith]: week or so, as the pledges that we made in Paris, Uh, back in, Uh, two thousand
[Paul smith]: per sixteen, um, fifteen were, uh, will will prove. To be um forgotten pretty
[Paul smith]: quickly,
[Paul smith]: so I think I think it is the challenge is The biggest challenge is how do we
[Paul smith]: help Uh, the developing world move forward.
[Paul smith]: I, I would say that, Um. And and you're kinda to point out that we do work in in
[Paul smith]: in uh, Turkey, um, in other uh developing countries, But there's a huge appetite
[Paul smith]: in those countries to move the ball down the road as far as as as this
[Paul smith]: subject is concerned, Uh, for their own citizens, health, a partart for anything
[Paul smith]: else. It's not a uh. It's not uh, just in terms of contributing to to the to to
[Paul smith]: the global issues, Um, and we need to get alongside them and Um. if we fail to
[Paul smith]: do that, then uh, I think our, our, our challenges will only be deepened and and
[Paul smith]: inacbated. but I'm not a. I'm not foolish enough to believe that the
[Paul smith]: uh, uh, developed world is going to um,
[Paul smith]: uh, come alongside the
[Paul smith]: developing world in any major way, I will be. It will be incremental to be
[Paul smith]: little by little, Uh, and uh, alas. I suspect the developing world will suffer
[Paul smith]: disproportionately um A as we try and transition Uh out of our, um, uh, a
[ash_b]: one, Just the last question for you before we let you go. I. I think
[Paul smith]: carbonized world effectively, but
[ash_b]: the the transition in Hong Kong, given that where you're sitting is just pretty
[ash_b]: fascinating from those of us that like are focused on the geography of global finance
[ash_b]: and W, we capital. You know pools and flows and and who who are like you know, the
[ash_b]: stewards of those pools of capital. Obviously, Hong Kong has been one of the biggest
[ash_b]: most successful financial centers, Um on earth, and but there's a lot of regulatory
[ash_b]: changes going on in Beijing. Um. there's a lot of uncertainty around Hong Kong. I
[ash_b]: mean, given your work at C, F. A, and the fact that you're living in in Hong Kong,
[ash_b]: and just welcome another member of your family in Hong Kong, it sounds like Um, give
[ash_b]: us your take on Hong Kong. before you go. I get. how's it going? And and you know, do
[ash_b]: you have a level of optimism or pessimism? Or maybe maybe you can't completely say
[ash_b]: which is part of the issue
[Paul smith]: no again I. I don't flatter myself that Uh, Beijing is listening into my phone
[ash_b]: they're listening to slog, though, so be careful.
[sloane]: yeah, yeah, I have it.
[Paul smith]: or
[Paul smith]: no, I.
[Paul smith]: I, I don't think I'm I'm um, the the biggest concern, um, I. I, I think from a
[Paul smith]: purely financial perspective, I think Um, some people are getting uh, what's
[Paul smith]: happening in China wrong in that, um,
[Paul smith]: uh,
[Paul smith]: I, I don't think President. she is anti business at all. I don't think he's anti
[Paul smith]: people getting wealthy. What I think is Um is trying to reshape and reppoint the
[Paul smith]: country
[Paul smith]: away from
[Paul smith]: some of the Uh problems. The oligarchical problems, if I can put it that way,
[Paul smith]: and the property market problems that have grown up over the last um ten years.
[Paul smith]: And and I would point to you know, just to bring it home to Americans, I would
[ash_b]: Sss, is a good call.
[ash_b]: Sss, is a good call.
[Paul smith]: say you know, Um, think about Teddy Roosevelt, and uh, think about breaking
[Paul smith]: apart the Uh, the Island steel and oil cartels back in the early nineteen
[Paul smith]: hundreds, Um. You know the Tstpasting actions of of the first ten years of of
[Paul smith]: the last century, and I think that's what she is trying to do. Um. I think
[Paul smith]: he, uh, He's focusing on pockets of a agregious profit extraction within the
[Paul smith]: industry and trying to do that. But at trying to break that apart,
[Paul smith]: The challenge obviously in in in the system that exists in China, is that that
[Paul smith]: Uh looks to us in the West as being Um, very autocratic. It probably looked that
[Paul smith]: way to Andrew Carnege in Nineteen o four I,
[Paul smith]: we would have to. You'd have to ask him. um,
[Paul smith]: uh, you know, I think it's a I. I think there's a little again. A little bit of
[Paul smith]: historical perspective Is is important on that. Uh, as far as Hong Kong is
[Paul smith]: concerned, I, I, you know Hong Kong, Um, in my view,
[Paul smith]: is going to struggle to
[Paul smith]: Um, hold itself out to be a global financial center. Going forward, Um, I think
[Paul smith]: it is. It has a very bright future as a financial center for China, and
[Paul smith]: bizarrely, this polarization between West and east. Uh creates a renewed
[Paul smith]: opportunity for Hong Kong to play that bridge between West and East, but to some
[Paul smith]: extent, to some extent, a up to three or four years ago, Uh had begun to erode
[Paul smith]: that. Um. I. access to Shanghai. Access to Beijing was so open for Western
[Paul smith]: companies that they were bypassing Hong Kong. Now, I think as as Uh, China, Ah
[Paul smith]: and the West pull apart. Uh, oddly enough, Hong Kong comes back into focus and
[Paul smith]: you can see that you can see that in the boom in the stock market, the listings,
[Paul smith]: the, uh, uh, redomonciliations of listings away from New York and London to Hong
[Paul smith]: Kong. Uh, those things are actually good for Hong Kong, and I think we'll
[Paul smith]: provide Hong Kong with a very real purpose over the next decade, as a again as
[Paul smith]: China's window on the world, So I'm not negative about Hong Kong financially at
[Paul smith]: all. Um, I wish in Hong Kong, we had Um, a government that was a little more
[Paul smith]: visionary and helped our young people a little bit more to
[Paul smith]: understand.
[Paul smith]: Uh. the direction that we're headed in in Hong Kong are to become more
[Paul smith]: comfortable with it, to see the opportunity that's there for them, and most
[Paul smith]: importantly to break up some of the ogppliies in Hong Kong that have uh ruled
[Paul smith]: Hong Kong for Uh, the post Second World War period, Um, where it's time to and
[Paul smith]: time to move on from that, I think Co. That's Beijing's view as well, and I'd
[Paul smith]: like. I'd like the Hong Kong government to take a little bit more of an
[Paul smith]: aggressive approach to our home grown problems. Um, rather than focus
[Paul smith]: necessarily on what Beijing wants us to do. Uh, there's plenty of work close to
[Paul smith]: the home that we could do, but would help Hong Kong people become much more
[Paul smith]: comfortable with the realities of the world that they now live in. So very
[Paul smith]: positive about Hong Kong. Don't think it's going to be a global center. Uh, for
[Paul smith]: the next decade, Uh, it will reinvent itself as China's window on the world, and
[Paul smith]: through that, maybe in ten fifteen years becomes a truly global financial
[Paul smith]: cententer again, but with
[Paul smith]: uh very heavily, Ah, Chinese characteristics. So my, my, my thought for Hong
[Paul smith]: Kong. It's still a wonderful place to live. It's still my home. Ah, I, still
[Paul smith]: where all my friends are, and Um, I love it and it's been very kind to me and I
[Paul smith]: have absolutely no intention of abandoning it unless
[ash_b]: On that note,
[Paul smith]: out, which is
[sloane]: yeah, yeah, exactly.
[Paul smith]: very always a po. Them,
[ash_b]: we got to kick you out of here.
[sloane]: yeah, yeah, yeah, exact. Well, Paul, thank you. Thank you so much for hoping on our
[ash_b]: Sorke you's awesome,
[sloane]: our funny little podcast and talking to us about the stuff. that's I think, a great
[sloane]: perspective on Hong Kong, sustainable finance and the rest of it.
[Paul smith]: but pra
[sloane]: Uh chat too soon. By
[Paul smith]: thank you. Thank you so much. lovely. See,
[Paul smith]: but
[Paul smith]: bye.
[sloane]: Wow, what a guy?
[ash_b]: gangus convodka. This,
[ash_b]: this genngs Kan is smooth and won't actually kill you.
[sloane]: Yeah, exactly. I mean. like I. I, You know, I do wonder about that right. Like Does
[sloane]: gaus convoa like? Does
[ash_b]: Kill you.
[sloane]: it burn? Does it burn extra? Uh,
[ash_b]: it's got some consequences.
[sloane]: Yeah, you got to deal with the the, the consequences of your action. I mean, you
[sloane]: know I like I, you know I. I, I haven't had a drink in almost three years at this
[sloane]: point, so you
[sloane]: know. I mean, uh, like you know, the whole stuff is academic at this point, but uh,
[ash_b]: Yeah, interesting
[sloane]: you know, but if I were to have a drink,
[ash_b]: it would be Gis.
[ash_b]: brought you by
[sloane]: but yeah, exactly uh. time for our next segment.
[ash_b]: stuff is hard.
[sloane]: building stuff is hard. Let me actually play the sound effect.
[sloane]: Well, I can't play the sound effect. I'm s the technology. Really, it? just it. it's
[sloane]: a. it's
[sloane]: an. It's an embarrassment of riches. Uh, you know to be this good at technology,
[sloane]: this good Really at everything that we do.
[ash_b]: Yeah, I
[ash_b]: did write a book about technology, but that was investing,
[ash_b]: so not podcasting
[ash_b]: the buildings of his hard. I have one,
[ash_b]: but let's start with you this week. Did did you have any difficult? Uh, for those
[ash_b]: that don't know building stuff is hard as to say, segment in which we reflect on how
[ash_b]: hard it is to build stuff?
[ash_b]: Um from scratch.
[sloane]: yeah, I mean I. I think the thing that I'm wrestling with right now is just doing
[sloane]: marketing. Um, you know at all. Um, because, like I, I think you know, I'm trying to
[sloane]: buil this asset manager Invest vegan, and like I, the to actually go out and like
[sloane]: get on people's calendars and it just feels so needy. Uh,
[sloane]: and like I, you know, I, I think that you know when you're trying to start an asset
[sloane]: manager from scratch like it feels
[sloane]: like being a Dod door brush salesman. you know,
[sloane]: Um, you know where you're like, Uh, can I talk to about the are wonderful benefits
[sloane]: of you know investing vegan. Ah, yeah, Um,
[sloane]: uh, Yeah, and I, I just have a hear. I mean like I have the sense that like you
[sloane]: know, asset managers should spend as little time as possible on marketing because
[sloane]: it's a like direct detraction from investment time. Um, which is what I get paid to
[sloane]: do. Um.
[sloane]: And so yeah, I, I think squaring that circle and figuring out, Um. you know, like
[sloane]: what percentage of my time to commit to it has been my real? I like psychic struggle
[sloane]: over the last, you know, a little bit here,
[ash_b]: It. it'll be fun to like. Watch you go through this over the next couple of years,
[ash_b]: Because obviously like as the tr as the purists, Um, you know, trying to help the
[ash_b]: asset owners. We, we want you to spend your time not on marketing Right,
[sloane]: Yup, Yeah, exactly,
[ash_b]: And so we're always. We're always crabby when the managers are marketing too much and
[ash_b]: they've got these big I R teams and it's like man, what a waste. Like how much of my
[ash_b]: fees are going to pay for you the marketing budget,
[ash_b]: but it's uh, you know you. we could almost call this segment. Selling stuff is hard.
[ash_b]: Because if
[ash_b]: you're buil, if you're building something, and and it works, you got to go sell it
[ash_b]: that's just like a muscle that you got to develop as an as an entrepreneur. Um, I
[ash_b]: mean, I've like done more sales calls, mostly for like software. Know that that ive
[ash_b]: built or data, Um, or selling the equity in a company I'm building like it's like
[ash_b]: and and so again, building like that authenticity around what you're selling. That's
[ash_b]: the cool thing about what your buildingslo like You're living it, and you have a
[ash_b]: passion around it. And like you're demonstrating that you can make money doing it, Um
[ash_b]: in terms of investment strategy, So
[sloane]: Yeah, it's yeah. it's really. Um. It's it's been great journey so far and yeah, I
[sloane]: mean it's It's the funny thing about it is you know it's going to last for a very
[sloane]: long time, so I'm just kind of committed to the journey. What about you?
[ash_b]: mine was, uh, So I had a very important meeting in Los Angeles.
[ash_b]: Uh, I think it was Friday
[ash_b]: and all the planes were cancelled at eleven p M here on the
[ash_b]: West Coast,
[ash_b]: and it was really important for something that I'm building, which is uh, still very
[ash_b]: but still very important for me. And so I woke up at five in the morning and drove to
[ash_b]: Los Angeles, which is a six hour drive
[ash_b]: and had a ninety minute lunch, and turned around and drove back.
[ash_b]: And uh, yeah, so like, in case you think this is glamorous building stuff.
[ash_b]: that out of your mind. I literally had dinner at Denny's on
[ash_b]: a Fcked truck stop. Yeah,
[sloane]: oh. that's so good. Did you go for the triple slam breakfast Cause I, I think they
[sloane]: serve that all twenty four hours.
[ash_b]: you know what, I had a waffful egg sandwich. Ve, no, uh, sorry, little waffle. It was
[ash_b]: freed toast sandwich
[sloane]: That's terrify.
[ash_b]: and it was a little bit of a mistake.
[ash_b]: I Ow it.
[sloane]: and then Sp, like multiple hours in a car After that,
[ash_b]: Yeah, it was
[ash_b]: Uh, so that was Yeah. So that was my. my. Like The pain. That was the pain cave. I
[ash_b]: was in Uh this week. So
[ash_b]: but you got to do it.
[sloane]: you got to do it. Yeah, I mean it's like if you know if somebody wanted to meet with
[sloane]: me in Boston, I' drive to Boston. Um.
[sloane]: but yeah, like such as life.
[sloane]: Um, let's uh, let you know we got get another segment
[sloane]: in an actual sound effect, Uh, se minutement,
[ash_b]: they keep hitting
[ash_b]: segments of the show that we do.
[sloane]: um, let's you know. So the first question is you know you just publish this paper on
[ash_b]: I did.
[sloane]: the the economic case for transparency and private equity. Um, you want to like talk
[sloane]: about. Can you give us a couple of high points about that?
[ash_b]: Yeah. Sure. sure, I can give you the high level. Um, We think there should be more
[ash_b]: transparency in Private equity is the first thing. that's
[ash_b]: the title of the paper.
[ash_b]: Um, I mean, look, the the punch line is like. Private equity is like barely an
[ash_b]: alternative asset like
[ash_b]: this is mainstream, right, like huge commitments into the space, more capital flowing
[ash_b]: to liquid markets than like ever before. Um. it's mainstream and so we need to put
[ash_b]: um around how the managers report to the allocators just to level the playing field.
[ash_b]: Like I'm not saying like, we need to put rules around how much you can charge fees.
[ash_b]: I'm saying we need to put rules around how you report the fees you're charging
[ash_b]: Um, so that we can all have like a shared understanding of what's good. What's bad?
[ash_b]: What am I actually buying
[ash_b]: Um? the C. The classic Here is like Um, seventy six percent of private equity. G, Ps,
[ash_b]: claiming to be top cortile. Um. That's a real stat, and that comes out of the
[ash_b]: intransitivity of the metrics used Um in private equity. The transitive property is
[ash_b]: like. If A is bigger than Be
[ash_b]: and be as bigger than C,
[ash_b]: Um, then A is bigger than C.
[sloane]: Yup, Yup,
[ash_b]: Right. And and that's like a rule. Well. Unfortunately, because of the way we
[ash_b]: calculate I r rs, Um, which is often something that ▁l Ps want, Because that's how
[ash_b]: they get compensated
[ash_b]: Um. The, the private equity people can gain them, and when they recognize cash flows,
[ash_b]: et cetera, Uh, And so the poll paper is about how we get to that level playing field
[ash_b]: for the benefit of the ▁l Ps. But I admit also the benefit of the industry. The
[ash_b]: industry needs to go into the defined contribution world of pensions. So these are
[ash_b]: much shorter horizon assets. That's the future of pensions, Um. And in order to make
[ash_b]: that step, the carrot to the the general partners in private equity, here is look if
[ash_b]: you make these steps toward transparency, you're going to unlock all this define
[ash_b]: contribution capital. That can't do it today because you can't give them a daily nav,
[ash_b]: Um. And so I think uh, we're going to see some new rules coming out of S e C around
[ash_b]: Um, Private equity and the fees, and the paper is about, in particular the types of
[ash_b]: data. ▁l, Ps, need to ask G, Ps. For so,
[ash_b]: um, it's fairly approachable and we are going to publish Um, like A. In terms of
[ash_b]: reading, The paper's fairly approachable, is not horrifically dense. Um, and then
[ash_b]: which I do? I do, write a lot of stuff. that's hoerrific But let let's move on.
[sloane]: people don't really know that the moonlight is a horror author, but you know
[sloane]: the Stephen King of finance,
[ash_b]: oh, it was next.
[sloane]: so this is a. You know, I think an equally serious question. Um, people like to
[sloane]: argue that blank is a sandwich. Uh, like a hotd dog is a sandwich. A taco is a
[sloane]: sandwich. So on, and so forth, What? What is? Uh, your worst opinion along those
[ash_b]: Hm. Hm. I got one. but before I do it, Do you think the people of Bologna, Italy are
[ash_b]: angry that we took a bunch of pieces of pigs and converted them into baloney?
[sloane]: I think the pigs are probably the angest about it, but
[sloane]: but yeah, I mean, yeah, like, uh, they must be.
[ash_b]: you know, like they're like. What the frick? You took
[ash_b]: the worst equote sausage on earth, and you named it after us. anyways. uh, I think
[ash_b]: uh, I think uh, my take on a sandwich is um, a meat loaf sandwich, so that I think
[ash_b]: that's a real thing and so does my wife and my kids. um,
[ash_b]: uh, I, I think that is a delicious sandwich. Frankly, but you know it's not for
[ash_b]: everybody, but that's my worst take. I guess I think I'm pretty standard
[ash_b]: stand standard sandwich fair, not a shit sandwich guy. Uh,
[sloane]: yeah, na.
[ash_b]: which, which you know?
[sloane]: that's weird. that's you know. I. I. I don't see that for you.
[ash_b]: No, but the the shit sandwich is the classics. Uh, criticism methodology for managers
[ash_b]: to employees,
[sloane]: Oh yes.
[ash_b]: you start with the bread,
[ash_b]: which is the compliment, and then you give the critique and then you end with a
[ash_b]: compliment again. It's a framework.
[sloane]: yeah, like, like a listener might leave a comment on our, uh, you know on our Apple,
[sloane]: you know, Pockcast thing, like I think. these. these. these, these people are great
[sloane]: at podcasting their technology.
[ash_b]: Yes, it's terrible.
[sloane]: could youo? could? Is could use some uh, some updates, but I really enjoy listening.
[sloane]: That would be a shit sandwich. Uh,
[ash_b]: Yeah, I love the title of the show. The content isn't very good. Uh, but slow, Did
[ash_b]: Ashby look like nice people? That's a shit sandwich.
[sloane]: yes, y. That's shi,
[sloane]: uh, yes, uh, love, love, love to imagine our listener feedback. Um, last question. I
[sloane]: mean, this is like very
[ash_b]: Oh shit.
[sloane]: salient now who you's hoping? It's salient when the pocast gets released in a couple
[sloane]: of days. There's been a lot of discussion recently about how best to pay for and
[sloane]: incentiveise a climate transition.
[sloane]: Um, you know, I mean by a lot of discussion, I mean every day when I turn on the P.
[sloane]: B. S. news hour it's been like one
[sloane]: proposal for taxing people or another. Um. What's your preferred approach between?
[sloane]: like, I mean independent, the political realities, Um between carbon taxes, taxing
[sloane]: unrealzed capital gains tax credits for solar
[sloane]: et cetera
[ash_b]: yeah, I, I mean, like the the stuff that I've gone after just because like
[ash_b]: we, we have like one half of the political world in our country that is antagonistic
[ash_b]: to this issue of climate right. So so like My approach to this is been like. Can we
[ash_b]: just not like? Can we s focus on solutions that don't involve the government? That's
[ash_b]: what I'm going to focus on. Um. Because if you have for example a Trump presidency,
[ash_b]: like you're going to leave the Paris Accord, you're going to be all. And so the way I
[ash_b]: view the government and all this is like, that's the bonus like if if you have the
[ash_b]: right government in place, and they can do the policies that really drive these
[ash_b]: changes, Like the the types of policies that Tesla used and and many other companies
[ash_b]: used to like, get to scale Um. You know that's exciting, Um. But for me, I want to
[ash_b]: price the climate risk in financial markets, and so part of this is like doing a judo
[ash_b]: move on the fiduciary duties that are kind of Um bound into many of these pension
[ash_b]: funds, And say, Look if we can then go and use technology to put a price on climate
[ash_b]: risk, physical or transition, then we can um unlock trillions of dollars for climate
[ash_b]: solutions. That's been my main focus.
[ash_b]: I do also believe that, Um,
[ash_b]: given that we've managed to create like ten billion dollar markets around dog and
[ash_b]: kitty related crypto currencies, Um, we should be able to do something even bigger, I
[ash_b]: know that's audacious Um with carbon markets,
[ash_b]: and uh, I mean like it's sad to say this, but like the voluntary carbon offset market
[ash_b]: is only seven billion, right in twenty
[ash_b]: twenty one, like
[ash_b]: it should be seven hundred billion or even seven trillly. I don't know what the
[ash_b]: should be, but a big number.
[sloane]: it should be picked. Yeah, I mean it should be like you know.
[ash_b]: Yeah, like you shouldn't be like. Oh, look at the ranking of these markets. so
[ash_b]: there's doja coin. Uh, and there's a carbon. You know. It's like what.
[ash_b]: Um, but that you know that's the reality today. So so and I think this would even be
[ash_b]: a St. able coin because it like is rooted to a real world thing. And so why why not
[ash_b]: like? take that that focus on, you know, distributed Um
[ash_b]: coins and things like that, and bring it into that carbon market. So, but I think
[ash_b]: you're sensing like I'm focusing on the private sector stuff with the hopes that the
[ash_b]: Po public sector will happen, but we just we just all got so burned in twenty sixteen
[sloane]: yeah. yeah,
[ash_b]: when the all the priorities changed that it was like a reminder that you you have to
[ash_b]: keep working on private solutions.
[sloane]: I, yeah. well, and and you have to anyway, Liket No matter what the government does
[sloane]: you know, like you got to focus on. Like who's manufacturing the stuff you know, And
[sloane]: how do you get them the resources that they need to manufacture more of it
[sloane]: and deploy more of it. I mean, like there's you know companies out here that are
[sloane]: like. Actually, you know, hiring the people who put the solar panels on the roofs,
[sloane]: you know, and like, Are they resourced enough to pay People? like to you know top,
[sloane]: you know, cortile wages in their places and their places
[sloane]: of work, and get the best people I don't know. Um,
[ash_b]: by the way, as like a as a final shot like I know, we were kind of joking about Megan
[ash_b]: and Harry, uh, joining the Imp Impact partners at ethic, but like that like think
[ash_b]: about what happened. We had an article in the Daily Mail
[ash_b]: go out to all these people that probably like barely understand impact
[ash_b]: right and they're like now being sensitized to it. and so like this is the main
[ash_b]: streaming of these issues, which is really important. you know, for like sensitizing
[ash_b]: voters to these issues, but also like unlocking more capital. More stakeholders
[ash_b]: showing up at board meetings, you know, like my. My guess is when you have like
[ash_b]: people of this, you know, fame
[ash_b]: coming out and talking about these issues like, at the very least it becomes
[ash_b]: and and I think like we need a lot more mainstreaming of these topics so that we can
[ash_b]: start moving the capital faster. Um, so I'm not like a hater on that one. I know
[ash_b]: where is the related party? Uh show. So so like we, we love ethic, but um, I think we
[ash_b]: do need more stuff like that too. Like just sensitizing the the, the general public
[ash_b]: to these issues and not allowing Um. you know certain random um media sites to like,
[ash_b]: control the narrative breakthrough that,
[sloane]: yeah, yeah, except well be cause you know what happens like the uneducated. you
[sloane]: know, kind of journalists. Take that has been, you know, kind of proliferating
[sloane]: recently. Um has been like. Ah, yeah, you know. the sustainability, uh, push is
[sloane]: behind all these high gas prices. Uh, you know, which is like, I mean, First of all,
[sloane]: the high gas prices drive the sustainability push, not the other way around. Uh,
[sloane]: you know, Um, and like there' a million reasons why that take is is B, S, but y,
[sloane]: you're totally right. Like with each incremental, Uh, you know, push towards Uh,
[sloane]: solar and the legitimation of it. Um, you know people who would never you know,
[sloane]: necessarily care about ▁jy Lipman, Um, but feel like
[ash_b]: they care.
[sloane]: they have a per. Yeah, yeah, exactly they. They care about the British hippy banker
[sloane]: and his mom and his dog. Um,
[ash_b]: I know that that part. I feel bad for Jay. but but like we need more people.
[ash_b]: understanding that like these strategies make money and
[ash_b]: the that, like you can go out and build big businesses around them and all this kind
[ash_b]: of stuff. So look, I, I hope we get some real movement Um next week, Andd at cop. I
[ash_b]: think it'll be really interesting to see what comes out of there. or is it this week?
[ash_b]: I think it's next week
[sloane]: uh, uh, yeah, I think I mean it's
[ash_b]: this week when the podcast comes out.
[sloane]: yeah, exactly um. Hopefully you know, here's helping what we can.
[sloane]: I like. I look forward to being surprised. Um. anyway,
[sloane]: what? what you got going on in the garden this week? uh,
[ash_b]: So when I't know if you saw this, we don't have a sound effect, do we?
[ash_b]: What would a garden sound like? I wonder.
[sloane]: I've got crickets that could be M.
[ash_b]: so this is this is tragic. We, we've got tragedy in the monk, Uh garden.
[ash_b]: we had an atmospheric river bomb cyclone attack. I don't know what the all the words
[ash_b]: are. Uh, but there's a very big storm that hit here Over the weekend. We had eight
[ash_b]: inches of rain. Three trees blew over three of my trees. Yes, it was devastating and
[ash_b]: one of them actually broken half. So that's dead. but the garden Tip called my mom up
[ash_b]: tears. you know, not really. but whatever it's dramatic. Uh it. she's like. Oh, you
[ash_b]: can push those trees back up. Just dig around them. You push the trees back up, you
[ash_b]: put some more dirt in there you. You anchored again. It' totally keep growing. And I
[ash_b]: was like what? And so I was googling around. It's true. if your tree' blow over now,
[ash_b]: these are like. one tree was like eight feet, and one tree was like fifteen feet. Um.
[sloane]: Okay. so they're not They're not Goliaths.
[ash_b]: they're not yet. My Sequoyia is still not fully grown. Um. I did plan a to call it by
[sloane]: Oh, that's awesome.
[ash_b]: the way anyway, So the trees fell over. I got them back up. I got them staked and
[ash_b]: look, I don't know if they're going to survive. but like the the word on the street
[ash_b]: is if your trees get blown over in a storm, you can actually get them back up and
[ash_b]: living and regrow the roots that got pulled out on the one side.
[ash_b]: Um, because in theory the other roots are still going into the jer into the ground.
[ash_b]: just the one side that's kind of been up, and so yeah, I'll let you know
[sloane]: wow, damn nature. you crazy. uh,
[ash_b]: you crazy nature
[sloane]: th. that's incredible.
[ash_b]: back from the dead.
[sloane]: Um, Yeah, that's inspiring. I mean. like I, I think you know well. here's hoping
[sloane]: we're all. We're all the the free money nation is with those trees tonight.
[ash_b]: Yeah, well, when free money is when you don't have to spend more money on
[sloane]: That's true. that's true.
[ash_b]: new trees, you know, so this is still free money type tips.
[sloane]: Yeah, yup. yeah. exactly. I mean. uh. Yeah, I guess like my tip is, Uh, get your
[sloane]: garlic in the ground. Get your bulbs in the ground.
[ash_b]: Is this the time?
[sloane]: Um, this is the time. um. Yeah, I
[sloane]: got you know. we. uh, our our deck. Is you know? currently still taking ap, be we?
[sloane]: uh, we just got solar installed, but Um, the garlic is going in the ground very very
[sloane]: soon. and as are all the you know, the tulips and all the other wonderful little
[sloane]: guys for
[sloane]: spring. Um, so yeah,
[ash_b]: it's bolb time
[sloane]: it's the Yeah, as a forward thinking garden investor. Um, you know it's time to
[sloane]: think forward six, six months or so to a spring.
[ash_b]: bulbs in the ground. You heard it here. Probably not first, but
[sloane]: Yup. You heard it here first. uh, yeah, exactly definitely first. yeah, uh,
[ash_b]: we do that first
[sloane]: um, but that's all we have for you this week, and by y.
[mediaboard_sounds]: I'm the
[mediaboard_sounds]: remember, then Ig, right on a.