About companies, life and investing – a chat with Charlie Huggins

Archived article

Archived article: please remember tax and investment rules and circumstances can change over time. This article reflects our views at the time of publication.

Our Head of Equities and manager of the Quality Shares Portfolio, Charlie Huggins was recently interviewed by Peter Higgins for the London South East, Investing Matters podcast series.

In the interview, Charlie discusses his background, how he got into investing and his investment approach. He talks about the importance of cash, culture, companies he likes, those he avoids and much more. It is packed full of lessons for investors.  

The interview was recorded in one take. This means you get Charlie’s unvarnished views on investing – as ever he is very frank and doesn’t hold back.

You can play it here – or, if you prefer – you can read the transcript. I hope you find the interview as interesting and informative as I did.

Important: The information on individual company shares represents the view of Charlie as portfolio manager but it is not a personal recommendation to buy, sell or hold shares in any company. Experienced investors should form their own considered view or seek advice if unsure. Charlie holds shares in RELX, Diploma, Danaher and Microsoft Corporation. This article is original Wealth Club content.

Watch the interview

This interview was recorded and produced by Peter Higgins as part of London South East, Investing Matters Podcast series, published in June 2023. Please note this is not personal financial advice.

Interview highlights from Charlie

From Biochemistry to fund management

My interest in investing started early. In the interview I discuss how I got into investing, the first share I bought and what I learned from the 2008/09 financial crisis - including how it shaped my investment approach.

I also talk about my rather unconventional route into fund management:

  • Why I made the 180-degree shift from Biochemistry at Oxford to Hargreaves Lansdown (HL)
  • How I went from HL’s Graduate Scheme to being a fund manager running £0.5 billion in assets – and what lessons I learned along the way
  • Why I left HL to join Wealth Club

My investment approach and 60-point checklist

Every investor seems to have a different definition of ‘quality’. 

I discuss what a quality business means to me, the key things I look for and three company examples from the Quality Shares Portfolio – and why I rate them so highly.

I talk in depth about my 60-point investment checklist - the most critical part of my investment process – as well as:

  • Why it’s so important for investors to stick to their ‘circle of competence’
  • Why cold, hard cash matters more to me than anything else
  • Why meeting company management can be a double-edged sword

Companies I avoid

Half the battle of investing is knowing which companies to avoid. I discuss:

  • Why most businesses fail my investment checklist
  • Why I have not invested in Unilever or Amazon 
  • What could trigger an instant sell

Lessons for investors

I end by drawing out some general lessons for investors, including:

  • The importance of ‘getting rich slowly’
  • Mistakes to avoid and why you should never rely on share ‘tips’
  • Why investors should ignore management and culture at their peril

Apply online now: Quality Shares Portfolio, managed by Charlie Huggins 

The Quality Shares Portfolio, managed by Charlie Huggins and exclusively available through Wealth Club, is a portfolio specifically designed for people who are genuinely interested in investing.

It’s a portfolio of 15-20 global businesses chosen for their resilience, financial strength and pricing power.

It is profoundly different from any other investment you might hold in two key respects. The first is the level of information, insight and transparency it provides (you can see an example here). The second is in the investing approach itself.

You can invest in the Quality Shares Portfolio online, if you’re a high net worth or sophisticated investor. The minimum investment is £10,000; you can invest in an ISA, SIPP or in a General Investment Account, subscribing new money or transferring existing investments.

Liked this article? Register to receive the next one straight into your inbox.

See five-year performance of HL Select UK Growth Shares (Acc) during Charlie's tenure

Wealth Club aims to make it easier for experienced investors to find information on – and apply for – investments. You should base your investment decision on the offer documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. The information on this webpage is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy any of the investments mentioned, nor does it include any opinion as to the present or future value or price of these investments. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination.