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Must Growth Investors Learn to Expect Less?

Jason Stipp

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp with Morningstar. With the economy still looking to get a foothold and the markets having run up quite a bit from March 2009 lows, what are the prospects and opportunities for growth investors? Here with me to weigh in is Goldman Sachs Asset Management's Steven Barry. He's the CIO of the growth strategies. Thanks so much for joining me, Steve.

Steven Barry: Thank you, Jason.

Stipp: So first question for you, there's a lot of talk out there about a new normal and expectations of much lower growth than what we've seen in the past. This doesn't sound like very good news for growth investors. What's your take on that, and do you think that we're going to have to ratchet down our expectations going forward?

Barry: Well, must of this conversation and talk really stems from obviously the financial crisis, but what people forget is how strong growth was coming into that crisis and how equally represented it was around the world. Everywhere was growing.

And what we think in this new normal, as you call it and I think many are calling it, the growth will be less democratized. And it will be in much more pockets of not only industries and maybe regions of the world, but very importantly from the way that Goldman Sachs invests, at individual company levels.

Stipp: Sure, so that certainly means that we need to have a much more global perspective when we're looking for opportunities. But does that mean that you have to leave the U.S. borders? Is it only emerging markets is where you're going to find the growth, or do you see opportunities elsewhere?

Barry: Well, we think it's pretty much consensus belief, and we share this thought, that the emerging markets around the world and particularly those that have been called the BRIC countries are well positioned to grow from a combination of the fiscal policies, the monetary policies, the strong balance sheets of many of those countries, and the emerging middle class. So there's a great demand out of those parts of the world.

But importantly, when we think about those who are going to serve that demand, you don't have to be domiciled or a company indigenous to that land. And in fact, when we think about the businesses around the world that are best positioned to leverage that growth or benefit from that growth, it's likely to be the big multinational corporations that are focused not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and other parts.

So we think it would be a disservice to investors to shift from U.S.-centric specific investing to ... to BRIC investing [exclusively]. I think also importantly particularly as you're doing research, organizations that have global expertise, and I'm proud to say Goldman Sachs is one of those having teams around the world in these very exciting areas. We'll put stock-picking and research really in the forefront of creating values for shareholders.