Livewire | Why it's time to put down the last decade's playbook

Discover why the old investing playbook won't work in today's changing market. Mark Landau, Co-Founder of L1 Capital, shares insights in this must-listen episode.
Mark LandauJoint Managing Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer
56 mins
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This article was first published by Chris Conway in Livewire Markets on 29 March, 2023.

The old adage that “past performance is not an indicator of future returns” is possibly more relevant in today’s market than ever before.

When the market is driven by momentum, as it has been through the past decade, piling into winners pays off. And why wouldn’t it? Earnings have been easy to fuel when debt costs next to nothing, in a market where shareholders reward the blind pursuit of market share – no matter how it’s achieved.

But we’re now in a new paradigm. Inflation, rates, and therefore the cost of debt have all gone up. Oh, and growth is slowing amid fears of recession. So transposing the winning strategy from last decade to this decade just isn’t going to work.

In this episode of The Rules of Investing, David Thornton sits down with Mark Landau, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at L1 Capital.

Mark started L1 in 2007, alongside Raphael Lamm. Their flagship long/short strategy has returned a whopping 18.7% per annum since inception and was ranked in an HSBC survey as the ‘Best Performing Hedge Fund Globally’ in 2015 and a ‘Top 20 Hedge Fund Globally’ in 2016, 2017 and 2021.

The episode covers an enormous amount of ground. We discuss everything from the uniqueness of today’s market, where L1 is deploying capital, what makes earnings sustainable, and the importance of balance sheets. Mark also shares why the investing playbook of the last decade should be put back on the shelf.

Listen to the episode here. This episode was recorded on Monday October 10, 2022.


1:15 | The origins of L1 Capital
3:20 | Lessons from the GFC
5:30 | The problem with long-only investing
6:00 | Pursuing a ‘quality value’ strategy
8:10 | Today’s unprecedented market cycle
10:00 | No quick fix for inflation
19:55 | How macro informs L1’s bottom-up approach
22:30 | Where L1 is deploying capital
24:30 | Overpriced defensives
28:00 | The need for sustainable earnings
30:30 | Go for under-geared balance sheets
31:10 | Why pricing power is key
32:00 | Management teams on notice
35:30 | The key to finding a good short
42:50 | The single biggest thing investors are getting wrong about markets
47:00 | L1’s big wins and losses
51:10 | The gambling stock Mark would put in the bottom drawer

Additional resources

Learn more about the L1 Capital Long Short Strategy

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