I met up with Bright Khumalo for my sixth segment of #MindsoftheYouth at the Vestact Asset Management offices in Rosebank.
He is one of the most philosophical and practical guys I ever met. He is a Portfolio Manager at Vestact as well as a presenter for the show, Velocity on Business Day TV (BDTV) which airs every Tuesday at 18h30 and Thursday 20h45. The show looks at the latest market trends for both locally and abroad.
Bright’s unconventional schedule ranges from being a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner, money manager, an avid reader, runner, entrepreneur. He has undying love for harp and piano music just to name a few, and a self-proclaimed flâneur. Below is the conversion that I had with him and I must say, what a brilliant mind.
Tell me about your upbringing and where you come from?
I was born in the Drakensberg in the small town of Estcourt in KwaZulu Natal (KZN). At the age of two, I moved to the extension 4 in Doornkop in Soweto, Gauteng where I lived with my grandparents. I later moved to Tshepisong before moving back to KZN to live with my parents in Inchanga where I finished my primary and high school.
In layman’s terms, what do you do as a portfolio manager?
I help individuals who have money saved preserve it for retirement by investing it in companies that are going to use it more productively in order to earn some dividends and capital appreciation.
How old are you this year?
I turned 27 on the 14th of June.
What were your plans for this year?
Helping and convincing the youth to save, I came across this concept called the “10c challenge”. Simply put you save 10c aside on the first day, 20c second day, 30c third day and so forth. Basically, by the end of the year you could end up with almost R7000. You can track his progress on Twitter #SaveWithBright @briteless
My biggest dream was to build my family a home, which I was able to and for that I am most proud of the achievement.
What did you love to do in school and what were your favourite subjects?
I loved athletics, mathematics and hard sciences.
What did you study after high school and where?
BCom: Accounting at the University of Cape Town (UCT)
What are your quake books?
These four books changed my life:
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, Black Swan and Skin in the Game all written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I also love Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke
What are you most proud of in your life thus far?
Being alive whilst my family is also alive.
What is your personal philosophy?
Start a new day to paint on a new canvas – to inspire someone to save, to live a healthy lifestyle and to make more money.
A lot of people have lost hope not just in the economy but in themselves. For me a new day brings another opportunity to convert at least one person into thinking a little more positively.
What do you stand for?
I stand for capitalism. I think it is the other thing that keeps me going every day because it’s the only system by far which allows for equal opportunities (not to be confused with the Socialists equal outcome). Capitalism has transformed the world as we know it.
What are you currently battling with?
I haven’t weight lifted since 2012. So naturally I am struggling with some basic posture. I can’t wait to do a perfect deadlift again!
What’s the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning?
I go for a run.
What are you currently reading?
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg
Do you listen to podcasts?
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Some of my favourites include Bloomberg’s Masters in Business by Barry Ritholtz, Invest like the Best by Patrick O’Shaughnessy, NPR’s How I Built This, AQR’s The Curious Investor, The Knowledge Project, Masters of Scale, and The Meb Faber Show by Meb Faber. The best one by far is The Art of Manliness.
What would you say to someone who wants to start investing?
Start today by spending less than you earn, and investing the difference. How do you do that? Buy a diversified investment with low fees and invest for the long-term.
What is your favourite quote?
“The cowards never started and the weak died along the way.” – Phil Knight
In life and investing: “if we avoid the losers the winners will take care of themselves” – Howard Marks
“Always do more than you talk. And precede talk with action. For it will always remain that action without talk supersedes talk without action.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb