ANALYSE THIS: Investec Equities’ David Smith
We analyse David Smith, senior analyst at Investec Equities.
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
JD.com. It’s Amazon for China but with better barriers to entry and less competition in the long term.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to function and be happy on four hours’ sleep a night.
What is your most treasured possession?
If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?
Education. It is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
Taking out a loan so I could go to university.
What was your worst investment mistake?
Buying Capital & Counties three months before Brexit.
What’s your favourite song?
"Black Betty" by Ram Jam.
If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?
I would try to be kinder.
On what occasion do you lie?
When my mom asks if I have been eating healthily.
How much was your first pay cheque and what did you do with it?
Officially it was R4,200 (first year of articles). I paid rent and then bought a case of beer for a house party.
What was your last purchase?
Coffee and wine (from Takealot). Lots of it.
Apple or Samsung?
Samsung — not sure I could function properly without it and Google.
Do you own bitcoin? And why?
Never. I don’t understand what the intrinsic value is. No-one does. It could cost twice as much, or half of what it is today in a year’s time and there’s no way for me to know. I only invest in industries I understand — and on which I have a view of their intrinsic value.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I buy more than 100 books a year and often don’t finish them.
What was your first-ever job?
A waiter at age 16. Always be nice to the person carrying your food.