Mohammed Mayet, analyst at ClucasGray. Picture: SUPPLIED
Mohammed Mayet, analyst at ClucasGray. Picture: SUPPLIED

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

Investing in a single company is a risky strategy. I would prefer buying shares in a diversified basket of companies, which would protect me from market volatility over the long term.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The power to instantly learn, speak and understand any language. Multilingualism is almost a superpower.

What was your first job?

At the age of 14 I took up a holiday job as a salesman at a clothing retail store. The salary was R40 a day, which was a lot of money for me at the time. I worked the entire December holiday and used the proceeds to buy a Nokia 3310 cellphone. Regrettably, it was stolen a week later.

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

The disparity between rich and poor. The gap in education, skill and income appears to be widening, and a large number of people are living below the poverty line. I think we South Africans owe it to ourselves to give back to underprivileged communities through sustainable education initiatives.

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

Pursuing my passion for the culinary arts by registering as a part-time student at chef school. It’s been a gruelling course, but very rewarding.

What’s your favourite song?

The most-played track on my playlist right now is Eastside by Benny Blanco, Halsey & Khalid.

On what occasion do you lie?

When I am asked by a woman whether a certain dress makes her look fat.

Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?

Huawei. A smartphone with similar features to its competitors at a lower price.

What travel experience is on your bucket list?

Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. The trail weaves its way through many ancient archaeological sites before culminating at the ruins of Machu Picchu. I am by fascinated by ancient civilisations, and there are few treks in the world that combine spectacular natural beauty with history.

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

I bought shares in Consolidated Infrastructure Group at the top, on the advice of a pundit. Six months and a profit warning later I had lost about 80% of my initial investment. I have learnt to be aware of the price paid for a share and to never buy without carrying out my own due diligence examination.

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

I received R7,000 as an articled clerk at EY. The money was spent mostly on some decent formal wear and a vintage briefcase for work. I used the remainder to treat my family members.

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

No, I don’t own any cryptocurrencies. When the price of an investment is driven by hype, fuelled by stories of 15-year-old bitcoin millionaires and price increases of 3,000%, people start to fear they are missing out. And greed and fear can tilt us away from common sense. I think that is the worst possible basis for making investment decisions.

If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?

I think I was responsible for placing undue pressure on myself from a young age to achieve my goals. This often left me very disappointed when setbacks occurred. I have since chosen to leave these matters to my trust in God. I take comfort in the fact that what is meant for me will not miss me.