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Oskar Sandvik from Folksam is our Fund Selector of the Month

Oskar Sandvik from Folksam is our Fund Selector of the Month

Discover the interview of our Fund Selector of the Month, Oskar Sandvik from Folksam.
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15 NOV, 2023

By Johanna Zidani from RankiaPro Europe


Oskar Sandvik has 17 years’ experience in the financial sector and joined Folksam as a fund specialist in 2021, where he is responsible for fund selection and asset allocation. He started his fund career in 2009 at Norwegian fund company ODIN Forvaltning and later joined Movestic Liv & Pension as a senior fund analyst responsible for fund selection, asset allocation and as an assistant portfolio manager for its in-house managed fund of funds. He has a master’s in business administration and economics from Stockholm University.

When and how did you start your career in the financial sector?

My financial career started back in 2007 when I joined Danske Bank and their Corporate & Institutional Banking team as a summer employee. I worked there for two summers while I was studying my master´s in business administration and economics at Stockholm University. 

In 2009 I joined the Norwegian fund company, ODIN Fund Management. That was my first job after my graduation from the University. I joined their back-office team, and if you ask me, that is the perfect role to learn and get involved in the fund business. You really understand and learn the core of how everything works in a fund company, everything from trading, reporting and regulatory matters.

What does a typical workday look like for you? How do you organize your time?

The best thing about my job is the great variety that is offered. No two days are alike. I am lucky to have an employer like Folksam that offers flexibility in many ways. Both the possibility to work in the office and remote from home but also that I can work under my own responsibility. As a parent of two kids who attend kindergarten and school you have an eternal life puzzle to solve, and the flexibility that Folksam offers is priceless. A normal workday at the office would consist of many meetings. Both internally and meetings with fund companies. Maybe you attend an investment forum or a breakfast seminar. But when working from home you focus more on reading, analyzing, and writing.   

What aspects do you consider most important when selecting a fund for a portfolio?

I would use the words “knowledge and needs” as a good aspect when selecting funds. Maybe it is because I am a Swede and we use the word “lagom” (there is no word for it in English, but “moderate” or “good enough” would describe the meaning) I usually say that I, in my profession, never will be able to find or recommend the best global equity fund or the best Swedish small cap fund, but I really hope that I can convey the importance of having one fund that is “good enough” in each category in your long-term portfolio. 

Given the knowledge of one's needs, there are two other aspects I would consider. How long is the savings horizon (time) and how much risk are you willing to take (diversification)? 

Many of Folksams customers have a very long-time saving horizon and have pension savings that will grow for decades. Based on the investment's savings horizon, many customers tend to take too little risk. Given how many years are left until the customer retires, their savings portfolio should consist of more equity funds than it does in many cases. 

Finally, when you construct the final portfolio, you should try see to what the fund ads to the portfolio. Are you looking for a cornerstone investment or a little extra spice for your portfolio? Risk on or risk off? Invest in equities or bonds, or is a mix the best? Are you cost conscious or not, should you choose index funds or active funds? Which question is the most important? Well how long is a rope?

What is the current asset allocation of your model portfolios?

We offer model portfolios based upon three different allocations / risk levels. Aggressive, moderate, and cautious. They contain a mixture of global equities, Swedish equities, global and Swedish bonds all weighted based on the portfolio's risk level.   

What mistakes are most frequently made in fund selection?

The worst things in life come free to us, as Ed Sheeran once sang. But honestly, we all make mistakes. And hopefully you learn from them. But just don´t let criticism destroy your dreams. The only person who never makes a mistake is someone who does nothing.

What have you been reading recently? 

I prefer listening to books than reading, although I like to read a book when there is time. I really like autobiographies. The latest book I read is the autobiography "Världens Bästa Karlsson" (The World's best Karlsson) about the football player and AIK icon Per Karlsson. The book is not only a story about a unique player's career who is loyal to his club throughout his career, but a piece of Swedish football history behind the scenes during twenty transformative years.

When you have free time, what do you like to do?

I like to spend a lot of time with my family. We really like the Swedish mountains. During holidays we spend time there both hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. I value exercise and working out and getting fresh air when I'm free, although I occasionally like to relax in the sofa in front of a football game.

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