Almost seven years ago, I hoped to one day be able to write this letter to you. A potential investor at one of our first ever roadshows asked me how much money we thought we could effectively manage in Australia. My answer — $150m to $200m — seemed a long way from the $10m or so we raised in those first few months. It seemed even further away a few years later when the fund was still less than $20m and the return since inception had a minus sign in front of it.
Most funds management businesses fail. So I feel incredibly fortunate and proud to be writing to you telling you that those capacity constraints have started to bite. At the end of September, we were managing roughly $160m in ASX-focused funds.
The return to investors in the Forager Australian Shares Fund over the past five years has been 24.3% p.a., lifting the since-inception number to 167%. Someone who invested $100k with us when we first passed around the hat has $267k today, and that is a meaningful difference to many of our clients’ retirement plans.