David Lerche. Picture: SUPPLIED
David Lerche. Picture: SUPPLIED

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

Single stock ideas are dangerous as you lose the benefits of diversification. I would choose US medical device company Medtronic, which has global diversification, high cash conversion and a long growth runway supported by technology and ageing demographics.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could get away with less sleep.

What was your first job?

As an articled clerk at an auditing firm. The work was boring and the pay low, but I learnt a lot about how the real world works.

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

I had little money at the time, but I got my mom to place a significant portion of her pension in Naspers in May 2009. Otherwise, every cent and minute I’ve spent on education has delivered outsized returns.

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

Cash it in and ensure my family needn’t worry about money. I would also use a portion to build and maintain public-access sports fields.

What’s your favourite song?

Lose Yourself by Eminem.

On what occasion do you lie?

My wife has no idea what all my sports equipment cost …

What was your most recent purchase?

Paragliding lessons.

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

About R3,500 after tax and deductions. I think I bought work clothes with the disposable portion.

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

I bought some shares in a micro-cap education stock last year. The shares are now suspended.

Do you own bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies? And why?

No. I can’t reconcile investing in something that generates no return.

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

Verbier in Switzerland – super-steep ski slopes and crazy nightlife.

If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?

Education. In my view, the greatest impediment to SA’s success is that the country has yet to unleash the potential of its people.

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