If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
As I am a value investor, that would depend on the price and value of available investment alternatives. With markets at current levels and a lack of value in both equities and fixed income, a single investment of R100m would have to be in a local money market fund.
Which talent would you most like to have?
What was your first job?
I worked as an articled clerk at Deloitte Haskins & Sells in 1986.
What’s your biggest regret?
Regretting anything in the past saps your energy, preventing you from optimising the present and the future. I don’t have regrets.
What was your worst investment mistake?
My mistakes have generally been associated with failure to acknowledge the concept of "reversion to the mean". In my 20 years of investment experience, there have been very few, if any, companies that have been able to overcome this statistical certainty.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
Buying local retail stocks in the mid-2000 s.
If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won US$100m, what would you do?
That’s about R1.4bn at today’s exchange rate. I love what I’m doing, so I would continue to do that. I’d diversify globally. Locally, I would love to set up a foundation focus ed on arts and music ... anything that allows me help talented young people do what they love and help themselves.
Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?
All of the above allow us to talk to each other, but do we talk about what’s important? I’m probably closest to Nokia — I’m the proud owner of a Microsoft Lumia.
What’s your favourite song?
"Dani California" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
On what occasions do you lie?
Only if the truth will never set me free.
Your greatest extravagance?
Classical guitar lessons.
Name a place you’ve been to that lived up to the hype.
New York City.
If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?
The lack of belief in what we have and what we can achieve.