We analyse Bradley Mitchell, co-manager at Sasfin Global Equity Fund.
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
Even though I would never feel comfortable investing in just one company, in essence I agree with Warren Buffett, who says: "Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they are doing." Having said that, Alphabet would be one of the companies I would most likely include in a portfolio, given its dominant search business — it processes more than 3.5bn searches every day, which drives its search revenue growth.
Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to gather and assess information faster. As the growth of data globally continues to explode, we need to find smarter ways to assess information and quickly distinguish the valuable from the worthless to make informed decisions faster.
What was your first job?
My first real job after university was as an actuarial analyst at a large employee benefits company in Johannesburg.
If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?
I would go back to the time either just before or just after completing university and strongly encourage my more naive self to not rush long-term decisions and seriously consider taking a year, maybe two, to travel the world and meet more people from different backgrounds to better understand the nuances influencing the way we interact with each other.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
Besides the personal ones of investing time and effort in my own education, marrying my wife and investing in my children’s education, it would be investing in Naspers from as early as I could. I did this on the belief in the longer-term technological advancements that I see driving the changes and improvements in our lives. Many have termed this era the "industrial evolution 4.0" — as opposed to "revolution" — as the analysis of data and rate of global interconnectedness influences and shapes the way we make decisions, hopefully for the better.
How much was your first pay cheque and what did you do with it?
It’s too long ago to recall exactly, but I managed to cover rent and groceries — just.
What’s your favourite song?
"Whom Shall I Fear" by Chris Tomlin.
What is your greatest extravagance?
That would be my car. It is not a supercar, but I still enjoy the sensation of a powerful motorcar on the open road ... allowed only when my wife isn’t a passenger.
Name a place you’ve been to that lived up to the hype.
St Moritz in the Swiss Alps.
On what occasions do you lie?
I try live by the values my wife and I teach our kids — therefore I try not to lie. As a result I am often accused of being too direct.
What was your last purchase?
A fish tank with bright yellow fish.