Animal Spirits Podcast: Finding Growth Stocks Around the Globe

Rob Forker talks investing in small-cap growth stocks outside the U.S. with a business owner’s mindset

Podcast Highlights

In this episode of Talk Your Book with the Animal Spirits podcast, Rob Forker shares what drives his thinking as lead portfolio manager of the Polen International Small Company Growth strategy. He explains why he believes the international small cap space presents such compelling opportunities and how Polen’s process and philosophy aim to avoid the illusory growth of what he terms “sugar-high” companies in favor of durable, high-quality businesses.

Listen to the full Animal Spirits podcast here →

  • For U.S. investors, there are relatively few international small-cap stocks that are commonly known. Analyst coverage of these smaller overseas companies is less regular, suggesting the existence of a potentially larger “information edge” opportunity for active managers in this space.
  • Forker explains that many impressive smaller technology companies exist outside of Silicon Valley. Polen Capital invests in companies in Europe, Canada, and Japan that we believe are at the forefront of technological shifts. We think the gap between Silicon Valley and the rest of the world is narrowing.
  • When it comes to the addressable market for international small cap, Forker describes how the application of Polen’s investment guardrails to screen for the highest-quality companies winnows the universe from 4,300 stocks to approximately 500 prospects for deeper research and analysis.
  • There are several business models or technologies that proved successful in the U.S. and are now being carried over to other countries. While adoption curves in international markets may be slightly behind, we believe the same “recipes” have a good chance of winning there, given where their consumers are today.
  • Forker emphasizes the importance of understanding cultural factors when investing internationally. In our view, it’s essential to analyze the culture of the consumers and the company itself as it relates to leadership and decision-making.
  • At Polen Capital, we focus on consistently applying our investment guardrails and bringing a business owner’s long-term mindset when analyzing foreign companies. Our highly collaborative team process works to put any personal biases or emotions in check to pursue the best outcomes for clients.

We think the margin of safety on all the companies we own is the quality of the business.

—Rob Forker, Portfolio Manager & Analyst

Listen to the full Animal Spirits podcast here →

Important Disclosures
Please note that this document is a condensed summary of the full interview conducted by Animal Spirits. 

This information is provided for illustrative purposes only. Opinions and views expressed are as of the date of this podcast and may involve a number of assumptions and estimates which are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice or update. Although the information and any opinions or views given have been obtained from or based on sources believed to be reliable, no warranty or representation is made as to their correctness, completeness, or accuracy. Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends that are based on current market conditions constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice, including any forward-looking estimates or statements which are based on certain expectations and assumptions. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all clients. This document does not identify all the risks (direct or indirect) or other considerations which might be material to you when entering any financial transaction.

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