We analyse Victor Dima, executive director of research at Arqaam Capital.
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in
just one company, which would it be?
Shoprite Holdings. Though the stock rerated after negotiations with Steinhoff broke down, I think the equity story behind it has a long way to run with solid support pillars. I believe Shoprite will continue to gain preference among price minded SA consumers, gaining further market share from formal and informal grocers. In addition, Shoprite’s African expansion will help it maintain long-term EPS growth rates exceeding those of direct peers not only in SA but across the emerging markets.
Which talent would you most like to possess?
Prediction. Though prediction of financial outcomes for companies under coverage is part of my day-to-day responsibilities, it would be great to do it with more precision.
What was your first job?
Loan officer at a bank.
What’s your biggest regret?
Not getting into the stock markets earlier in my career. It took me a while to figure out that the stock market is the industry I enjoy the most.
What was the worst investment mistake you have made?
Investing in stocks in February 2008, following the market’s “irrational exuberance” when analysts were running out of arguments to explain strong stock performance.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
Investing time and effort in my family. It’s yielded the most rewarding returns thus far.
Apple or Samsung?
I’m an Apple advocate. I tried Android, but didn’t enjoy the switch.
If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won US$100m, what would you do?
I would probably keep half of it for myself and my family. I’d donate the other half to a charity that grants last wishes to critically ill children.
What’s your favourite song?
I love Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack from Inception.
On what occasions do you lie?
I try not to lie as a rule but I admit that a white lie can be a necessary breach of one’s morals. I broke this rule when I had to communicate diagnostics to a critically ill relative. In such circumstances I couldn’t see how the truth would have helped.
Your greatest extravagance?
Travelling through the countryside in Europe. For me it’s like going back in time.
Name a place you’ve been to that lived up to the hype.
New York during the week and Koh Samui Island during the weekend.
If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?
SA needs policy to support faster economic growth. Economic growth drives job creation which, in turn, brings prosperity to households.