ANALYSE THIS: Cratos Wealth's Ron Klipin
You can’t give the game away, or you might end up in a short squeeze or long drop
We analyse Ron Klipin, portfolio manager of Cratos Wealth.
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
AdvTech — it’s a shining example of the private education model. This is because of the various brands in junior schools and the strength of the tertiary colleges, which are larger, in terms of students enrolled in accredited degrees, than any SA public university except Unisa. These colleges are likely to become fully fledged private universities in due course.
Which talent would you most like to possess?
In a world of huge flows of information, the ability to disregard misinformation quickly, sorting the wheat from the chaff, enabling me to make faster, more informed decisions. Sometimes attempting to read all the analysts’ reports that come across my desk is like trying to drink water from a fire hose.
What was your first job?
I worked at a stockbroking firm in Johannesburg. This was soon followed by a stint in London, where I experienced the pulse of a big city.
What’s your biggest regret?
Not following through on all investment ideas — such as grabbing the bull by the horns in 2016 [so that I could benefit from] the spike in commodities.
What is the worst investment mistake you have made?
Following the herd many years ago and investing in the Health & Racquet Club, which went under and was subsequently rescued by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and eventually sold to investment holding company Brait.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
Besides marrying the love of my life and investing in my child’s education, it was buying into the strategy of Brian Joffe, Jannie Mouton, Markus Jooste and others who were able to think out of the box; and having the courage of my convictions to stay the course during periods of volatility.
Apple or Samsung ?
Apple, for its innovation and entrepreneurial flair — its ability to expand into new products, with a potential pipeline of new ideas.
So you have an Apple phone?
No, a Samsung.
If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won US$100m, what would you do?
I would pull out all the stops to find the owner. If I couldn’t find him or her, I would start a trust using $50m and manage it, with benefits going to worthy causes. The other $50m I would put into the Cratos Wealth local and offshore segregated portfolios.
What’s your favourite song?
Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.
On what occasions do you lie?
When competitors ask me, at results presentations, what trades I have open in the market. You can’t give the game away, or you might end up in a short squeeze or long drop.
Your greatest extravagance?
Travel is my extravagance. Experiencing the sounds, smells and tastes of other countries — even when the rand is weak — is a worthwhile endeavour and expands one’s horizons.
Name a place you’ve been to that lived up to the hype.
Definitely Tuscany, with its magnificent vistas, warm, welcoming locals — and food and wine to live for!
If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?
I’d like to bring factions of opposing political ideologies together to put SA first. This will create trust in legislators and public servants once more. A very close second is giving
the next generation’s workforce a fighting chance by providing them with quality education and training.