Infinite Games – Launching the Compound Kings ETF and Building an Investment Process with Robert Cantwell of Upholdings

Robert Cantwell is Founder of Upholdings, the first hedge fund in the U.S. to convert into an ETF. In this episode, Robert and Daniel discuss the evolution of ETFs, why operators make the best investors, and the investment process behind Upholdings’ Compound Kings (KNGS) ETF.
Last updated
January 21, 2022
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Robert Cantwell was a growth investor at Elevation Partners and served as CFO at Everlane before founding Upholdings.
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“I think the best investors are operators and the best operators are investors.” – Robert Cantwell

In this episode of Outliers, I’m talking with Robert Cantwell about his thoughts on ETFs, how great investors tend to think like founders, and why blockchain is his latest investment interest.

Robert Cantwell is the Founder of Upholdings, the first hedge fund in the U.S. to convert into an ETF with the launch of Compound Kings (KNGS). Robert started his career as an Analyst at Elevation Partners, which was co-founded by U2’s lead singer Bono. He then worked at the long/short hedge fund Meru Capital before serving as Everlane’s CFO for 5 years. Robert founded Upholdings in 2019 and launched Compound Kings (KNGS) in 2020. To date, Compound Kings has dramatically outperformed the S&P 500.

Chapters in this interview:

  • 00:00:37 – Robert’s thoughts on the evolving ETF space
  • 00:04:12 – Why a concentrated portfolio is important
  • 00:10:19 – Robert’s business background that led him to found Upholdings
  • 00:15:10 – Robert’s experience with Elevation Partners working with Bono
  • 00:19:47 – Lessons learned as an investor vs. an operator
  • 00:24:43 – Background on Compound Kings (KNGS)
  • 00:32:27 – On share repurchases
  • 00:37:58 – Inspiring investors
  • 00:39:55 – On investing in Palm earlier in his career
  • 00:44:21 – Why now is the worst time to invest in technology and innovation, aside from blockchain
  • 00:51:49 – Why the best investors are operators and the best operators are investors
  • 01:00:55 – Misconceptions about Chinese technology companies
  • 01:13:50 – Upholdings’ investment process
  • 01:18:53 – Mandates and regulations around ETFs
  • 01:21:58 – Robert’s advice to investors

For more explore the transcript of this episode

Links from the Episode

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