It’s difficult not to stifle a yawn when perusing the latest interim results from Reinet Investments. Someone made similar remarks about my tennis, and I can’t really argue against that after being bundled out in the mixed doubles quarterfinals on the weekend — despite having a one set advantage and a 5-3 lead (on my serve) in the second set. Sometimes percentage play just won’t win it for you.

Like my conservative tennis tactics, Reinet was never set up for the whizz-bang but rather as a redoubtable preserver of capital. Of course, a compound growth rate of 8.4% per year since early 2009 (including dividends) might be stretching the safety-first analogy. At the time of writing, Reinet’s shares on the JSE were attracting a discount of close to 40% to the net intrinsic value of about R85bn. (Incidentally, 40% is about the same chance as my mixed doubles partner opting to play with me again next year.) The big issue is that about three-quarters of the portfolio value resides in ...

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