ANALYSE THIS: Glacier’s Darren Burns
We analyse Darren Burns, discretionary fund manager at Glacier by Sanlam
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
Coca-Cola. Though it is a relatively expensive company, it is a market leader and very defensive. Given its size it has the ability to withstand large market shifts, such as the current drive for people to consume less sugar and soft drinks. Coca-Cola has also traditionally always paid a healthy dividend and has managed to increase the value of this dividend year after year.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to be more creative. I see myself as a left-brain thinker and struggle to channel my inner artist/musician/imagination-user.
What was your first job?
My first paying job was working during school holidays as an assistant to my grandfather, who installed and repaired air-conditioners and refrigeration appliances.
If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?
In the past, my answer would have been to root out corruption. But I am appalled by the number of child abductions we now hear about almost daily. This needs to be stopped. Children should have the right to grow up without these fears.
What’s the best investment you’ve made?
Buying my first house as soon as I could afford it. With the rise in residential property prices in the Western Cape, the value has just short of tripled in the past six years.
If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won $100m, what would you do with it?
First, I would immediately settle any outstanding debt I had. Though debt is a necessary evil I find it immensely frustrating. The remainder of my winnings I would simply invest in a well-diversified portfolio with a long-term outlook.
What’s your favourite song?
Anything by Queen.
What was your most recent purchase?
A few craft beers for the rugby last weekend.
How much was your first pay cheque, and what did you do with it?
My first official pay cheque was for R7,500. I used every cent, plus some savings, to buy an LCD TV — they were still relatively new at the time.
Do you own bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies? And why?
No, I still find cryptocurrencies too speculative and am concerned about the security of the exchanges.
Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?
Samsung, I prefer having the flexibility to customise my devices to suit my needs more closely.
What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?
It was actually to not invest in something. When I was studying (about 2005) a friend failed to convince me to invest my savings in Capitec shares.