Christo Wiese talks exclusivity, investments and Africa | Fin24

Christo Wiese talks exclusivity, investments and Africa

Nov 15 2016 16:06
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Part of the problem of the world today is exclusivity, billionaire businessman Christo Wiese said on Tuesday.

He was the guest of honour at the launch of #Invest, an innovative investment product introduced by radio personality Gareth Cliff and Anthea Gardner (Cartesian Capital).

#Invest is an investment product consisting of four portfolios across the risk return spectrum, from conservative income, to stable growth and income, balanced growth and aggressive growth. It aims to make share investments accessible to the broader public, even to those who can only invest small amounts.

"Too many people think they are excluded - the idea of populism. That is why I think and hope your product will be a great success, because of its inclusivity approach - to think nothing is reserved just for a certain group of people," Wiese told Cliff and Gardner.

"Actually, there is one way to make quick money: go to the casino or the race track. But then you can also go home without your money."

Wiese said making money is a brick-by-brick or step-by-step approach for which one needs a time horizon spanning decades. He said he know a lot of people who made a lot of money in a lot of different ways - and all hopefully legal.

"I often look at Ponzi schemes and wonder how people can be so stupid not to realise what it is. These schemes are based on the promise of easy money made to look so simple," said Wiese.

"People often have the perception that making money is only for the select few. People who are not in the stock market develop a view that the people who make money have some secret recipe - some recipe that only they and their associates know about and understand - and that they huddle in a room somewhere and share the secret on making money.

"Then the fraudster comes along and says he is one of those guys in the know and will let you in on the secret. He makes you think that if you give him your money you are in the inner circle and he will make money for you as he claims to know the secret."

READ: Billionaire Christo Wiese invests over R24bn more in Steinhoff

In answer to a question about his approach to investing, Wiese said he is certainly not constantly "looking at screens".

"But I cannot wait in the morning to get the newspaper – Die Burger – to see whether I have grown poorer or if I'm bit better off – that is just a habit. Then I ask what difference is this making in my life today – and the answer is nil," he said.

Wiese told Fin24 that he is an optimist and an Afro-optimist.

"I really do believe it is the time of Africa. Despite all the upheavals, Africa offers opportunities to the people who believe in Africa and who can reconcile themselves with the rhythm of Africa as Africa is not and never will be Switzerland," said Wiese.

"If you have the right approach to life in general and Africa in particular it is a wonderful place to be. People all over the world have problems and challenges - just look at Brexit and the protests after the Trump election.

"Of course we see stupid things happen in Africa, but good things happen too. We are here and must deal with our problems here and we have the added bonus of living in paradise."

He agreed with Cliff and Gardner about the importance of educating people on investing - including young people.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

gareth cliff  |  christo wiese  |  sa economy  |  investments


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