BACK STORY: Experian SA MD Simon Russell
Temperance is overrated, he says — unlike Apple shares when he passed them up back in 2001
Financial Mail questions Experian SA MD Simon Russell
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
Has to be in Apple shares. I thought about investing in it in 2001 and hesitated … a huge mistake.
What was your first job?
Teaching people to sail Hobie Catamarans in Hout Bay in the summer of 1983.
What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?
Small Data: The tiny clues that uncover huge trends, by Martin Lindstrom. The book everyone should read before they die is Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Definitely temperance — life is incredibly short and there is so much to explore and experience — and it’s best done with friends and family over a few beers.
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
Kite boarding — one of the most exhilarating sports I have tried — a real combination of board riding, sailing and aviation.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Collecting and restoring old Land Rovers.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
"Onwards and upwards."
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
The original Ian Fleming James Bond as described in the collection of short stories For Your Eyes Only. For his invincibility, cavalier take on life, and his charisma.
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
I think Lagos International has to clinch it.
What’s your top tip for doing a deal?
Ensure that for both parties there is clarity of expectations and a win-win mind-set.
What is your most treasured possession?
My four year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, Dino.
What is your biggest regret?
Not learning to play a musical instrument at school. I would love to entertain friends and family when out camping in the bush.
When and where were you happiest?
My honeymoon! Raig (my wife) and I spent three weeks exploring the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. More recently, I’m happiest when we, as a family, find the time to sail with friends, drop off the grid and live off the sea.
Which living person do you most admire? Elon Musk.