ANALYSE THIS: Stanlib’s Marius Oberholzer
We analyse Marius Oberholzer, head of Absolute Return at Stanlib
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest, where would you put the money?
I’m not an adviser, but I would make some investments in future industries — quantum computing, medical science and bio/nano technology. I’d also buy into some form of clean energy, where I think the investment wave has just started.
What’s the wisest thing you could tell your 20-year-old self?
Do what makes your heart soar, embrace the uncertainty and fear — it will all be OK. Throw yourself into whatever you are doing 100%.
What was your first job?
I grew up on a fruit farm with my family. My first "job" as a young boy was trying to raise pigs with my younger brother. We had to feed, raise and eventually catch, slaughter and sell our pigs as Christmas ham. This was my first experience as an entrepreneur. All told, we made between R1,000 and R2,000 that year. We didn’t do it again.
If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be and how would you start doing that?
Education is a huge problem, and we need to embrace all alternatives to improve our critical thinking and breadth of knowledge.
Who do you admire in the investment community, and why?
Stanley Druckenmiller’s investment track record across a very long time horizon on a global basis stands out. I’m impressed locally with Clark Gardner of Summit Financial Partners, for highlighting the abuse of garnishee orders and winning a groundbreaking court victory on behalf of consumers.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made? And how much of it was due to luck?
At the end of my sporting career I followed my girlfriend to London without any money. London was never on my radar but I landed in the middle of the dot-com boom and was given a huge chance by the most wonderful firm, that led to a 12-year career with them in trading and managing money in a hedge fund.
The rewards were not insignificant — financially, experientially, and personally, with my now wife who made a long-term investment in me.
How do you control your emotions in the market?
You may be wrong more times than you are right. When you’re right, make lots of money — when you’re wrong, lose very little.
If you do that, you and your clients will make significant returns.
How much of a portfolio should be for wildcard selections?
Very little, if any. If you’re looking for thrills in investing, you’re really just gambling.
Would you buy your primary home or rent?
Everyone needs a place to live and it’s the place where gearing should work for a non-professional investor. It took me a long time to buy my first home and there was a notable sense of security that came with it. You just don’t get that feeling when you rent.
If you weren’t a fund manager, what would your dream job be?
From my first university vacation job on the old Joburg Stock Exchange, getting a taste of the industry, I wanted to be in the markets. I could not imagine not doing this. I have my dream job …
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