David Lerche

Financial Mail - - MONEY&INVESTING - Se­nior in­vest­ment an­a­lyst, San­lam Pri­vate Wealth

If some­one came to you to­mor­row with R100m to in­vest in just one com­pany, which would it be?

Sin­gle stock ideas are dan­ger­ous as you lose the ben­e­fits of di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion. I would choose US med­i­cal de­vice com­pany Medtronic, which has global di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, high cash con­ver­sion and a long growth run­way sup­ported by tech­nol­ogy and age­ing de­mo­graph­ics.

Which tal­ent would you most like to have?

I wish I could get away with less sleep.

What was your first job?

As an ar­ti­cled clerk at an au­dit­ing firm. The work was bor­ing and the pay low, but I learnt a lot about how the real world works.

What’s the best in­vest­ment you’ve ever made?

I had lit­tle money at the time, but I got my mom to place a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of her pen­sion in Naspers in May 2009. Oth­er­wise, ev­ery cent and minute I’ve spent on ed­u­ca­tion has de­liv­ered out­sized re­turns.

If you found a lottery ticket to­mor­row that had won $100m, what would you do with it?

Cash it in and en­sure my fam­ily needn’t worry about money. I would also use a por­tion to build and main­tain pub­lic-ac­cess sports fields.

What’s your favourite song?

Lose Your­self by Eminem.

On what oc­ca­sion do you lie?

My wife has no idea what all my sports equip­ment cost …

What was your most re­cent pur­chase?

Paraglid­ing lessons.

How much was your first pay cheque, and what did you do with it?

About R3,500 af­ter tax and de­duc­tions. I think I bought work clothes with the dis­pos­able por­tion.

What’s the worst in­vest­ment you’ve ever made?

I bought some shares in a mi­cro-cap ed­u­ca­tion stock last year. The shares are now sus­pended.

Do you own bit­coin or any other cryp­tocur­ren­cies? And why?

No. I can’t rec­on­cile in­vest­ing in some­thing that gen­er­ates no re­turn.

Name a place you’ve been to that lives up to the hype.

Ver­bier in Switzer­land – su­per-steep ski slopes and crazy nightlife.

If you could fix one thing in SA to­day, what would it be?

Ed­u­ca­tion. In my view, the great­est im­ped­i­ment to SA’S suc­cess is that the coun­try has yet to un­leash the po­ten­tial of its peo­ple.

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