We question Russell Lamberti, founder and strategist of ETM Macro Advisors.
What’s your most treasured possession?
I’m not sentimental and not much of a materialist, so I guess, like 3bn other people, it’s my damned smartphone.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be an expert drummer or pianist.
Which living person do you most admire?
My wife — she is strength, grace and beauty personified.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
Unfortunately it’s "socialism" because there is just so much socialist nonsense that needs to be debunked these days.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
Kraalbaai Beach and the Postberg section of the West Coast National Park. Stunning.
What’s your biggest indulgence?
Banks Burger in Newlands, Cape Town. It’s a weakness — and UberEats isn’t helping matters.
When and where are or were you happiest?
I’m happiest with my wife, watching my kids play together. Also, when macro analysis "clicks" and I discover insights I know my clients won’t have seen elsewhere.
What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?
I’m currently reading Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions. Everyone should read When Money Destroys Nations, by my buddy Phil Haslam and me! Oh, and the Book of Proverbs is essential reading.
What was your first job?
Rock lyricist and drummer — unpaid. Security guard in London (with uniform and all) — paid.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
It’s a tie between Rod Tidwell and Jerry Maguire in Jerry Maguire. They both found "the kwan" through authenticity.
What is your biggest regret?
Not buying Bitcoin in 2011 after convincing myself it was a good idea. And not learning more languages when I was younger.
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
Cape Town International Airport departures, because it usually means I’m leaving my family for a while on business.
Is there such a thing as "enough money" and, if so, how much is it?
As a monetary economist, I believe there is always enough money — the problem is that there is usually not enough capital! On a personal level, the simple things in life go a long way with me.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Balance. Balance is hugely important, but sometimes it gets in the way of real progress or achievement or truth. Sometimes the situation calls for a lack of balance.
How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips for handling stress?
I try to live by a rule: if your success requires stress, it’s the wrong kind of success. I find living debt free and within my means, focusing on quality over quantity work, and not working weekends allows me to live relatively stress free.