Sylvester Kobo. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Sylvester Kobo. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

We analyse Sylvester Kobo, fixed income portfolio manager at Stanlib.

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

It would definitely be MTN. The company is quite undervalued at the moment after regulators and the market punished it for its housekeeping issues in Nigeria. In my view, it’s still a solid business that will offer good returns for its shareholders in time.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Time travelling into the future — it would certainly make my job a lot easier.

What was your first job?

I worked as a bookseller at Exclusive Books in the evenings and on weekends during my university days. It was such a great job for someone who loves reading, and it paid for my studies.

What’s your biggest regret?

I don’t have any, for most regrets over time tend to become great life lessons.

What was your worst investment mistake?

Not cutting my losses and getting out of African Bank while I still could.

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

Buying Lonmin at very good levels, which returned handsomely (triple digits) in just a few months.

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

I would cash it and give 10% of the proceeds to a charity organisation as a token of appreciation to the universe. Then I’d take a long holiday to think, consult and plan how to spend and grow it further so that in time I could make enough from it to donate the whole $100m.

Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?

What’s a Samsung again? Definitely Apple!

What’s your favourite song?

I currently have Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio 2 album on repeat, and my favourite song on it is "I Stand Alone".

On what occasions do you lie?

When the recipient of the information is not ready to process it responsibly, such as when my son asks questions that his mind is not mature enough to handle.

Your greatest extravagance?

I am a sucker for speed, so when I bought my current car I was a bit extravagant. It’s a BMW 435i — the best stress reliever for an investment professional.

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

Definitely South Beach, Miami. It was everything I thought it would be and more. The beaches, the cars, the nightlife ... straight out of a movie scene.

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

I would create programmes that create, empower and promote entrepreneurship to improve growth and lower unemployment so people would be less reliant on the state. This would include incubator programmes and the deliberate channelling of funding to such initiatives.

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