Barry de Kock. Picture: SUPPLIED
Barry de Kock. Picture: SUPPLIED

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

RenaissanceRe.

Which talent would you most like to have?

A superhuman memory. I think it would be extremely powerful to be able to recall quickly everything you have ever read, experienced or otherwise learnt.

What was your first job?

As a teenager I worked as a waiter during the school holidays. It was a tip-only job, so I was quick to learn the origin of the expression "the customer is always right".

What was your best investment?

Moving money offshore a number of years ago was one of the better decisions I have made in my personal capacity. Investing in my education has also been hugely beneficial.

What’s your favourite song?

This changes frequently. At the moment it’s "Lazy Bones" by Desmond and the Tutus.

On which occasions do you lie?

Whenever I fail at something it’s easy to fall into the trap of lying to myself about the reasons for failure. Being blatantly honest with oneself and aware of one’s biases is difficult at times but always leads to better outcomes.

Do you own bitcoin? And why?

No. Investing in stocks is enough of a challenge.

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

While I was at varsity I worked for a promotions company with some friends. They gave us the job of dressing up as "airport angels" (wings and all), tasked to show travellers around the newly renovated airport in Cape Town in the weeks leading up to the 2010 soccer World Cup. I got paid around R8,000 for the job. I invested some of it and used some to travel to Mozambique and to buy tickets to the soccer matches.

What was your most recent purchase?

A tent, from Cash Converters. A few days later I saw an identical tent at a different store, selling at a substantial premium to what I paid, so it was a good purchase!

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

Buying Brait at R80 in my personal capacity because I was drawn in by the valuation.

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

Yosemite National Park in California. It is one of the most scenic, beautiful places I have ever been to and totally worth the drive from San Francisco.

What is your greatest extravagance?

To play an album or the guitar loudly when I get home from work on a Friday. The latter is a great indulgence, despite my very average musical talents.

Please sign in or register to comment.