ANALYSE THIS: Mergence Investment Managers’ Lulama Qongqo
We analyse investment analyst at Mergence Investment Managers Lulama Qongqo
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
Cisco, a tech company in the US.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Rationality. The fear of being the only wrong person can cause one to follow the crowd blindly. The ability to overcome that psychological discomfort is what separates great investors from mediocre ones.
What was your first job?
I was self-employed. I sold oranges at age five, handbags at 16 and jewellery at 17. I’ve always dreamt of creating new business ventures.
If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?
Access to nutrition — the very first challenge many young South Africans encounter from birth. The physiological damage related to insufficient nutrition has lifelong repercussions.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
Beige Holdings is my best realised investment so far; I bought it at 2c a share and sold it at 3c a share seven months later when it delisted. But 50% upside means nothing when the amount invested is not meaningful. I had very little money at the time.
What’s your favourite song?
Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes.
On what occasion do you lie?
When I buy unhealthy food at Woolworths, I strategically forget my loyalty card at home and swipe with my Capitec card instead of my FNB card just so I can be extra sure that Discovery won’t find out what I ate. Then, when I buy kale, I make sure Discovery finds out!
What travel experience is on your bucket list?
Venice, before it becomes Atlantis.
How much was your first pay cheque, and what did you do with it?
R11,000 (before tax). I started paying my student loans, which I am privileged to no longer have.
What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?
Woolworths. The anchoring-bias bug bit me at R80 and I’ve been afraid to cut my losses or average down ever since — I am paying school fees for being irrational.
What was your last purchase?
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking. It was only R15. I love second-hand bookshops.
Do you own bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies? And why?
Yes. I was experimenting with an arbitrage idea between exchanges when my coins got stuck on one exchange that didn’t seem to meet its liquidity requirements. I can’t withdraw it. I think I still own it.