BACKSTORY: Wayne McCurrie
We question Wayne McCurrie, portfolio manager at FNB Wealth & Investments on his top tip for doing a deal, his biggest regret and his lockdown routine
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Stay quiet and listen intensely.
What was your first job?
My first job that I got paid for was making number plates and signs that I delivered all around Kimberley on my bicycle. My first true job was articles of clerkship in Pietermaritzburg.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
I remember my first pay cheque well as an articled clerk. It was R135 per month. You couldn’t live on this and my parents helped me. Board and lodging in digs was R130. The rest was spent on social activities. This was a long time ago. Beer was 50c at the Polo Tavern in PMB.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Life is about balance.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I am an introvert.
What is your lockdown routine?
Other than not going out at all, lockdown is not that different. My office work still takes up most of the day. You could even argue that you do more work at home than at the office. I do lots of garage work — sanding, cutting, painting. One thing has changed: I’m really using my gas braai. It’s so easy. I have an early-evening braai snack every day between lunch and dinner. I’ve also discovered that a crunchy salad at lunchtime is fantastic. Never thought I would like that!
What is your biggest regret?
Where you are in life is a result of all the decisions you made. One true regret is that I have not kept in contact with old friends.
What has been your worst purchase?
My first car. An old automatic Renault TS. It could not go up a hill. You had to approach the hill at full speed and hope you got to the top!
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
Every investment person is influenced by the circumstances prevailing in their formative years. If you started in the early 1980s, you most likely love gold. If you started in the 1990s you hate property. I have unfortunately always been a little sceptical of ICT firms after the dot-com bubble, so I should have been earlier in ICT in the past 10 years.
What, if anything, would you have changed about SA’s approach to lockdown?
It’s always easy to criticise, but not an easy decision to make. The government seems to have consulted experts and followed the correct approach. Not allowing running or walking the dog may seem unnecessary where I live, but this may dramatically increase the risk of spreading the virus in densely occupied areas. Not that I run or walk the dog.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
A little less collaborative consulting.