ANALYSE THIS: Economist Carmen Nel
We analyse economist & fixed income strategist at Matrix Fund Managers Carmen Nel
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
The saying of not putting all one’s eggs in one basket comes to mind, so I would probably not invest it all in a single company. I would probably opt for a broad emerging-market exchange traded fund that focuses on the more liquid and large counters. This way I would diversify my financial exposure to SA while benefiting from the secular emerging-market story.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Hyperpolyglotism (the ability to learn and use new languages quickly). What better way to connect with people than speaking to them in their mother tongue?
What was your first job?
I was a maths tutor while studying at university.
If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?
I would take opportunities sooner, when it still felt uncomfortable, rather than waiting until I felt sure.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
My subscription to Audible, which gives me access to audiobooks. I live in Cape Town, which is steadily becoming more congested, and sitting in traffic can be very frustrating and unproductive. So audiobooks not only help pass the time but are entertaining and educational.
If you could fix only one thing in SA today, what would it be?
The obvious answer is primary-level education. But this will take a generation or two, so we should ensure that SA has safe, clean, reliable transport available for all to use. People need to get to jobs, hospitals and schools safely and on time.
What’s your favourite song?
At the moment it is Believer by Imagine Dragons. It gets my children going, which is helpful on the morning school run.
What is your most treasured possession?
My ID document — one can do very little without an ID when living in SA.
On what occasion do you lie?
I would tell those little white lies — to save time, to spare someone’s feelings, to avoid a very detailed and long explanation, or when my children ask uncomfortable questions in public.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying jewellery and spoiling my children.
What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?
I make it each time I buy a car.
Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?
Apple. I know it is inferior to Samsung in most respects, but I find it easier to use and once you have integrated Apple into your life, it is really difficult to disentangle it.
Do you own bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies? And why?
No. I do not suffer from Fomo [fear of missing out], and I do not take risks I do not understand.