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What Exactly is a "Quality" Investment?

What Exactly is a "Quality" Investment?

As a professional investor, I’m often asked about the characteristics we look for in a ‘good’ company and how we seek to identify the long-term winners.

In short, we favour investing in companies with ‘quality’ characteristics. They’re the firms that have established an enduring competitive edge, invest to grow their business and enjoy pricing power in their markets.

However, identifying those characteristics is not easy and there are no short-cuts. We analyse hundreds of independent factors to underpin our conviction to invest – or not.

As income investors we are particularly keen on companies that will grow their dividends over time. So we also carry-out additional credit analysis - normally used by bond managers - to understand how a company will operate across a range of financial climates.

Those tests assess whether corporate growth can fund consistent and progressive dividend increases even if earnings and cash flows fall.

Importantly, we also place significant emphasis on the sustainability credentials of a company: something we believe is closely aligned to its ability to deliver strong returns long into the future.

In this way we believe we can find quality firms that truly last the distance.

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Our stock-focused approach is driven by in-depth fundamental research and skilled portfolio construction. We invest for the long term to capture equity growth, but only when high-quality opportunities are identified at sensible valuations.

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