As Superyacht Crew investing your money is important. But, lots of you don’t know where to start.
The next instalment in our series of case studies and interviews. Leo Davies, our head of investments and Regulated financial advisor talks to Brendan, a Superyacht Captain about his investments, and why he invested into CREWFO‘s venture capital fund (39% return in 2020)
Hi Brendan, thanks for being our first LP interviewee. Can you start off by letting our readers know what you do for a living?
I am a commercially qualified ship’s captain and have worked in the Superyacht Industry since 2001. Prior to this I worked in commercial shipping having started my career as a Naval Officer in Australia.
What is your current investment strategy?
My wife and I invest to facilitate a strong cashflow to support a future of reduced work (age 50 now). We do not see ‘retirement’ as a goal, rather reducing work to just accepting projects we enjoy and having passive income / liquid assets to enjoy our lives.
There is also the sense of leaving a platform, a legacy to our daughters (15 & 13).
What asset classes do you usually invest in and why?
Relatively simple and humble. Our heaviest weighting is to property, my wife and I completed a development in 2015 which has seven ski apartments and a wine bar/café. We operate this as a business, though the building itself is the real investment vehicle. All the apartments are presented as short-term let, though were built as stand-alone residences for a future release to the market. There are also another couple of properties within Austria we have acquired over time.
I am a resident of Austria, though Australian by birth and we also have an investment apartment on the coast in Western Australia.
In the past year I have thinned down direct equity holdings and have moved across to ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) investments for their simplicity. There are several products that we like and are spread well across a broad range of sectors.
I have equity positions in a few firms that are trading or soon to launch, all in Australia. One of these specifically is exciting, a commercial port soon to start construction.
What attracted you to invest in venture capital, and more specifically, Moscar?
With a conservative portfolio and linked conservative returns we sought something with a greater opportunity for a higher reward. The journey to find MOSCAR took a while, the ‘big badge’ VC firms were too large and too daunting for first time entrants on a limited investment budget.
When we discovered MOSCAR we realised we were speaking to the real people involved with investing and this made all the difference. Leo and Tim both spoke with passion about the firms they invested in and there was a sense they chose the path of a smaller firm for good reason.
The selection criteria and their approach to finding portfolio companies also matched our interests.
How did you find the onboarding process?
Diligent. I began a little flippantly and found that Vauban held me very accountable to all the obligations. Even though this at the time I found a little tedious, it made me much more comfortable that I was entering into a well-regulated relationship.
Do you have a favourite portfolio company?
Ethical Angel. I just like anything that removes friction in a process and can do so with a nobility of purpose.
And finally, where is your happy place and what are you doing when you’re there?
Manly Beach in Sydney Australia, meeting friends in the morning (0530) and swimming the one kilometre to Pretty Beach and back. After the swim we grab a coffee from the Surf Club and sit and watch the next group of swimmers.
As Superyacht crew, investing is important. But, the people who do this for you is just as important. If not more so. We look after 100’s of crew and their money. To do this properly you have to make sure;
- You have a relationship with your financial advisor. You need to understand each other.
- They need to be regulated. This is your money, you need to make sure it is safe
- You need to feel comfortable! If it doesn’t feel right, walk away!
Here at CREWFO Leo and his team have been looking after Superyacht crew investing since 2015 with an excellent track record. So, if you have been thinking about investing for a while but don’t know where to start, how about here?