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Starting out a scientist with Johnson and Johnson, German Bianca Ogden is part of an elite group of female portfolio managers in successful Australian equity funds.
Thriving in a male dominated environment, this Fund Manager is part of a small group of decision makers managing the sizeable investment at Platinum Asset Management.
She may still find it hard to work the room at networking events but she knows her way around pharmaceutical investments. Bianca recommends beginner investors take their lead from a German nun.
As Fund Manager at Platinum Asset Management Limited, Bianca says she works less like a financial analyst and more like a business development manager.
“I look at the whole universe and say ‘This company, they’re developing something maybe another company would like,’” Bianca says.
In healthcare, bio-tech and pharmaceuticals, innovation just keeps coming, providing a spread of opportunities for investors.
“Healthcare never stands still, there will always be great opportunities, it’s always somewhere you’ll find growth.”
She’s keenly watching developments in the immunotherapy space, which is widely considered the future of cancer treatment.
“It’s very exciting. You basically turn the immune system back on to the tumor. It’s quite technical, there are a lot of new targets, new opportunities and new companies formed on that.”
She’s had her share of investments that have turned sour but she’s also learnt not to divest too quickly and echoes the sentiment of so many other skilled investors.
“What I’ve learnt is you have to have patience. There have been things in the portfolio that I got bored with or just wasn’t moving, I’d had it for a couple of years, it just wasn’t happening and I divested it. But in the end, those came good. So, you must step back and say I must sit through this and they’re doing the right things and giving the right signs, which is very important”
Bianca sums up her advice for anyone inexperienced in investing but wanting to begin, by pointing to the recent headline making story of a German nun.
Educate yourself and just get started.
The nun from Mariendonk in Germany, in a bid to raise more money for repairs to the nunnery, turned her hand to investing. She began by studying the financial pages of German newspapers and her banks financial research notes.
She now runs a portfolio of approximately $2.6 million from her convent office.
“I think it’s research, to try and understand what you’re putting your money into. There’s a lot of jargon out there that can put you off.”
“Go and find a quiet place, there’s so much on Google to help you understand, research it and ask questions,” she says.
What she’s learnt through her own experience with investing is to listen keenly to your gut feelings.
“There’s so much going on and so much information that in the end, you may have to make the judgement,” she says.
“I would never follow just blindly. Do your own research.”