Le­siba Mothata

Financial Mail - - MONEY&INVESTING - Ex­ec­u­tive chief econ­o­mist, Alexan­der Forbes In­vest­ments

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

Dana­her Corp, a US firm based in Wash­ing­ton, DC. In the past 30 years, its share price has in­creased 100-fold in value. It out­per­formed the mar­ket and its peers even dur­ing the 2008 global fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Its man­age­ment has a unique strat­egy of turn­ing busi­nesses around and adding value in a di­ver­si­fied fash­ion.

What was your first job?

As a va­ca­tion stu­dent, I worked for an as­set man­age­ment firm called Prodigy, based at the Water­front, Cape Town.

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

The pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with macroe­co­nomics in find­ing eco­nomic so­lu­tions for SA is mis­placed. Eco­nomic growth ought to be sought in the mi­cro as­pects of cities pe­riph­eral to the metropoli­tan ar­eas.

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

As a young­ster, shortly af­ter com­plet­ing my de­gree, in my first year of work, I pur­chased a house in the eastern suburbs — Kemp­ton Park. I sold the prop­erty for 2½ times the ini­tial value within five years, dur­ing the real es­tate boom in the early 2000s.

What’s your favourite song?

Dear Mama by Tu­pac Shakur. My favourite of all time.

On what oc­ca­sion do you lie?

Never, re­ally.

What is your great­est ex­trav­a­gance?

I have dis­cov­ered wine. I tend to look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to make a col­lec­tion of dif­fer­ent ones.

What travel ex­pe­ri­ence is on your bucket list?

Brazil. The soul and cul­ture of cities like Rio de Janeiro are ex­pe­ri­ences to look for­ward to.

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

Ac­quir­ing bon­sai trees. They needed spe­cial at­ten­tion and died shortly af­ter pur­chase.

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

It was R10,000. I gave 60% of it to my mother to in­stall a new kitchen.

What was your last pur­chase?

A tai­lored suit. I need to in­crease my ac­cu­mu­la­tion in this de­part­ment.

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

No. I tend to be more con­ser­va­tive when it comes to money mat­ters. I do not like to jump on band­wag­ons or fads. I do, how­ever, find the tech­nol­ogy be­hind cryp­tocur­ren­cies, blockchain, very use­ful and it will cer­tainly de­fine a lot of what gets done in the fu­ture. As for cryp­tocur­ren­cies, I will leave it to the en­thu­si­asts.

If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?

Noth­ing re­ally. I have grown to ap­pre­ci­ate that all things work out for the good. Wis­dom is found even in the deep­est re­grets and most painful mo­ments.

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