7 OCT, 2023
By Constanza Ramos
David Rabella, who has more than 20 years of professional experience in the sector, has held different positions related to investment management. He has been the Investment Director at Vall Banc and also the Director of third-party funds and alternative assets at Crèdit Andorrà, leading different teams of managers and analysts.
Previously he was Investment Director at Multi-Family Office Alkimia Capital, worked as a quantitative manager at Caixa Penedès, and was part of the Internal Audit department at Banco Sabadell.
Rabella holds a degree in Statistics from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and a master’s degree in Quantitative Finance. He also holds CAIA and CESGA certifications. He has also taught at the Instituto de Estudios Financieros (IEF) and the Instituto de Estudios Bursátiles (IEB).
When I was in high school I was fascinated by the stock market, especially from its more scientific side. It was the time when techniques related to computing (quantitative strategies) began to emerge and I thought I could combine two things that I really liked. I clearly studied Statistics to dedicate myself to the finance part, so I had it very clear from a very young age
Over the years I have realized that another of my vocations is teaching, especially with teenagers or adults. In fact, there are several times of the year when I teach personal finance classes to teenagers, which is something that fills me a lot on a personal level.
What I like most about my job is that every day is different. But the thumb rule is trying to distribute the time in three equal blocks (markets, team, and clients).
There is a part of understanding what happens in the market; following the day-to-day news but without losing perspective. It is also important to know the trades or portfolio changes made by the portfolio managers, trying to understand why reputable people make certain operations is very interesting to me. And also be up to date on investment products that are being marketed
Another part is the management of the advisory team, coordinating committees to share and debate ideas. But also coordination with other departments of the entity, which is essential to improve results and efficiency.
And last but not least is to serve customers, each one so different from the other one. This is perhaps the more challenging but at the same time inspiring and profitable in all angles part of the day.
After a year as difficult as 2022, the stock market rebound in 2023 was expected, but we also believe that in some parts it has gone too far. So we believe prudence in taking risks is important at this time.
On the other hand, in Fixed Income, we are having an interesting debate as to whether, after having been very prudent in terms of duration risk – we agreed that with the short-term “carry” it made no sense to take this risk – the current circumstances make us be somewhat more constructive; although with great prudence also in the part of credit risk.
And as always, we consider that in a vast majority of the portfolios, there is room for alternative products. Being a very large and not homogeneous asset class, obviously, you have to be selective but the liquidity premium and decorrelation with respect to other parts of the portfolio should be taken into account.
We are not too keen on highlighting sectors as a whole because they usually have winners and losers, overvalued stocks, or vice versa. Having said that, we continue to be more confident in quality stocks that, although they are not especially cheap, we do believe that they can continue to publish good figures and perform well in disparate economic scenarios.
We have the opinion that the market is “Priced to perfection” and we believe this positioning can be challenged in the short term.
As I mentioned earlier, we believe that in the Equity part, one must be cautious and especially avoid market “hypes” that do not justify very high valuations and excessive optimism. We clearly prefer stocks with little cyclicality, although stock picking is more important than any sector approach.
In Fixed Income, after many years of very adverse circumstances, we are in a different situation. The first is that there is a “carry” that has not been seen for a long time. We believe we can begin normalizing our allocation. To complete the picture, we remain really cautious on the credit side; the balance sheets of the companies and the financing needs do not make us think of a general crisis, but we need to be focused on trying to avoid specific and intrinsic risks.
Definitively the most important point is to have the ability to listen. This capacity allows you not only to understand the needs of your clients but also to go further and understand those things that often only come to light when things are not going as well as expected. Obviously, the advisor also has to be up to date with the macro and the markets and have technical capacity and experience so that the portfolios have a good performance in the medium/long term. Other characteristics that I think a good advisor must have are honesty, and being able to transmit the performance of the portfolios in good times and also in bad times.
Not because it is typical, it is not important to spend my free time with the family. Now that we are in Miami trying to get to know as many places as possible geographically and culturally. I love to visit museums. I also run and I play paddle to socialize. I follow Barça and I also really like listening to the radio as it is a very boomer way of feeling close to my roots. Oh, and having some WhatsApp chat to talk about politics with very different opinions I think would also fit into this category.