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In the middle of December 2020, veteran stockbroker David Shapiro called me out on Twitter. A couple of weeks earlier he had kindly invited me to take part in the inaugural Cristal Challenge, in which participants are asked to select five shares on the JSE, with performance being measured on an equally weighted basis over the ensuing 12 months. As the name of the competition suggests, the winner would receive a bottle of Louis Roederer’s finest, a snip at just over R5,000 from Makro and a staple of every after-party at the EFF national conference.

According to that tweet of David’s my tardy response at the time could probably be because I was ready to jump in front of a moving train, like other Arsenal fans. A lifelong support for the north London club is an affliction he and I share. That’s something I might write more about at some point; it’s just a bit too painful at the moment, with our club clinging on to second place in the Premiership after leading for most of the ...

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