The FORT Podcast: Rhett Carter

In Episode 13, Chris sits down with Rhett Carter, Founder and CEO of Heights Investment Partners. They discuss the market, generating ideas, entrepreneurship, as well as how the world of investing and stocks work.

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02:29 — Rhett’s Background

05:26 — How has having a mentor in your life changed you?

08:55 — What was the tipping point to start your own business?

11:03 — What was it that you felt like you could offer that you weren’t seeing in the market?

12:36 — Does getting larger push you farther away from the original thesis?

15:19 — How do you begin to think about an idea?

19:22 — How do you think about valuing tech stocks?

20:48 — Once you figure out a theme that you like, how do you learn?

23:43 — What was the experience getting to meet with Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos?

26:10 — How do you determine when something that was a good idea that is in your portfolio is no longer a good idea?

29:22 — How much time do you spend thinking about new ideas vs. ideas that you already have in your portfolio?

31:00 — How many new companies do you bring in on a given year?

31:57 — How do you think about un-learning?

35:47 — How do you think about a successful year?

38:42 — Do you think the temperament of investing can be learned?

39:44 — Was raising the initial capital difficult for you?

41:51 — Are you always raising capital?

43:05 — What is the most influential book that you have ever read?

44:53 — Do you put more emphasis on the future or the past when investing in companies?

45:40 — What trends are you seeing in the world?

49:53 — Rhett’s Thoughts on the Market

54:33 — How do you not get caught in groupthink?


Rhett Carter, CFA is the Founder and Managing Partner of Heights Investment Partners. Previously, Rhett served as a Vice President at Vaughan Nelson Investment Management, where he led research for an institutional equity portfolio. Prior to Vaughan Nelson, he was a Research Analyst at Tudor, Pickering, Holt and Company and UBS. Rhett serves as a Big Brother and Board Member for Big Brothers Big Sisters Houston.

Episode Summary

Carter commenced the dialogue by stressing the importance of thoughtful productivity. He emphasized that constant activity does not equate to productivity, advocating for a more reflective approach to work. This perspective sets a tone for the entire conversation, highlighting the necessity of strategic planning and decision-making in both personal and professional realms.

The conversation then transitioned into the intricacies of investment, with a particular focus on the real estate market and its comparison with stocks. Carter highlighted the dominance of institutions in the stock market, pointing out potential fee layers that investors might encounter when accessing asset managers through middlemen. This discussion provided listeners with a comprehensive understanding of the financial structures and dynamics of investment, emphasizing the need for transparency and awareness in financial dealings.

Carter further elaborated on investment strategies, drawing parallels between real estate investments and stock market ventures. He underscored the significance of adaptability and continuous learning, even for seasoned investors, citing Warren Buffett’s significant position in Apple as an example of an experienced investor adapting to market trends. This segment of the conversation underscored the importance of staying updated and being flexible in one’s investment approach, drawing attention to the evolving nature of markets and the need for investors to evolve alongside them.

Delving into the realm of personal development and adaptability, Carter introduced the concept of the adaptability quotient (AQ). He emphasized the necessity for individuals to reassess and adjust their perspectives multiple times throughout their lives, highlighting the balance between holding deep-rooted beliefs and remaining flexible enough to adapt to the ever-changing landscape. This insight is particularly relevant in the dynamic field of real estate, where market conditions and trends are constantly evolving.

In the final part of the conversation, Carter touched upon the digital transformation sweeping across various industries. He pointed out that some of the largest companies today have emerged in just the last few decades, primarily due to the digital revolution. This commentary underscored the significant impact of digitalization on industries, including real estate, emphasizing the importance of staying abreast of technological advancements and adapting business strategies accordingly.

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