We analyse Sonja Saunderson, chief investment officer at Momentum Investments.

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

It obviously depends on that person’s needs but it is virtually impossible to prefer one stock above others in the current uncertain economic and political environment. Instead I believe in a diverse portfolio that takes into account multiple unpredictable events and helps me sleep easy and remain invested.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to use sign language to communicate effectively as the art of using this language has always fascinated me.

What was your first job?

I was a junior lecturer in the statistics department at North West University. And it was a big shock to move from student hours to a lecturer’s working hours.

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

I would have worked less, stressed less and invested more time in myself, family and friends. The rest I would probably do exactly the same as before.

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

To pay off my debt as fast as I could.

What’s your favourite song?

The Story by Brandi Carlile or any of the remakes subsequent to that. It is such an emotional and honest song of devotion.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I like to buy and collect interesting art pieces. Not only do they make for good investments, but I am intrigued by the stories behind them.

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

If I recall it was R16,000 and I thought I had made it to the big leagues. I was very responsible as I started saving from that day, but I also recall the satisfaction of buying a new handbag to go with my new responsibilities.

On what occasions do you lie?

I am brutally honest and only ever lie to spare someone else’s feelings. I call it my white lies for a good cause.

What was your last purchase?

The biography about Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance titled Elon Musk. How the billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is shaping our future.

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

Help my three best friends by repaying their remaining debt, spoil my family with a world cruise and invest the rest in a well-diversified basket of real assets and other geographically spread investment opportunities.

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

The places I enjoyed most were Jordan, Iran and the Isle of Patmos in Greece. All of these were interesting for very different reasons but all were extremely memorable places. It included being on the Aegean Sea during the roughest storm they had had in 28 years, and getting separated from my friends in the Jordanian desert. But these are stories for another day.

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