ANALYSE THIS: Ann Sebastian
We question Ann Sebastian, portfolio manager at Stanlib Index Investments
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest, where would you put the money?
Equity. If you think about it, your entire work life is a bond, with all the monthly salaries you receive up until the lump sum at retirement, so if you apply that perspective, up your equity!
Who do you admire in the investment community, and why?
Jannie Mouton, PSG’s founder. His ability to bounce back from failure is crucial in life and in investments.
What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?
Investing a portion of my personal savings in a private school many years back. The market research was compelling — shortage of schools in Nelspruit, demand for schooling from locals and bordering countries like Mozambique. What could go wrong? Plenty. All I have left is some school chairs and lessons learnt.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made? And how much of it was due to luck?
My education. In varsity as a science major, it was sheer luck that I bumped into someone who told me about an honours programme that incorporated maths and stats with investments. That resulted in me being in the industry today. Besides this, Naspers.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Food — specifically fine dining. This allows me to try cuisine I don’t have the skill or tools to replicate at home.
Big Tech or old-fashioned industrial stalwarts?
Big Tech, for what it represents: disruption through innovation.
How much of a portfolio should be for wildcard selections?
Zero. A portfolio should only represent a manager’s best views.
Art, wine, rare books or cars?
None. I don’t understand art, I don’t drink wine, cars are a dead investment (and my husband already spends enough here) and I like to read, but don’t see books as an investment.
Would you buy your primary home, or rent?
Buy. Buying or renting your primary home is not just an investment decision, it’s personal, because it’s where your family live. There is a sense of security you get from owning your home that you just don’t get from renting.
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