Investor spotlight: Ramon J. Thomas

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Follow: @RamonThomas

Age: 40

Job: Entrepreneur

Favourite quote: "Those who justify do not convince." - Lao Tzu

What he’d do with a million big ones:

  1. Pay off my mother's bond and do some renovations on her house R220 000
  2. Invest R100 000 in SA Government Retail bonds for 5 years
  3. Invest R30 000 into Tax Free Savings
  4. Spend R150 000 travelling to Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and Mauritius for a month
  5. Invest the remaining R500 000 in diversifying my share portfolio

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Ramon is a very ambitious guy from Port Elizabeth who is passionate about education and investing. Since the start of his professional life in 1996, he’s experimented with indirect investing with unit trusts and retirement annuities. He digs EasyEquities because it’s super simple and educational!

“I became interested in investing after reading books like The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason, which taught me the importance of saving 10% of your income. However, the most important book I've read on investing is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, which is a detailed survey and study of the millionaires in the USA. More recently I finished an MBA in China, with a majors in Financial Management and International Finance, and so I became more determined to invest directly in equities.

I’ve got a few clear investment goals in mind. My short term goals are to invest the maximum amount of R30 000 into my Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and to keep investing in Deutsche Bank ETF products for their Rand hedges. My medium term goal is to expand my investment portfolio more from equities into property and bonds. My long term strategy is to launch my own private equity fund with investors from China who want to expand into Africa.

When it comes to picking companies to invest in, my approach is to select them from industries where I have worked before, which includes banking and education. Overall I have expanded to look at value investing even when I do not have first-hand experience in the sector. For example private education has two major players: AdvTech and Curro Holdings. Both companies have a capex plan to spend R1 billion upgrading and building new schools. The more people believe government schools are performing poorly, the more likely families are to opt for private education. All the companies who are suppliers to these two giants are bound to be good investments with that kind of spending.

I also think AdvTech, Pioneer Foods and Aspen Parmacare are good brands to invest in.

For me, EasyEquities is like a dream come true. About five years ago I experimented with the FNB Share trading platforms and found them expensive and cumbersome. EasyEquities provides me with both an easy interface and ongoing educational marketing. I like that the platform doesn’t assume I know how everything works. This is what I love the most about EasyEquities; the constant teaching and learning.

If I had to give some advice to first-time investors I’d say they should start saving 10% of their income every month; learn to be disciplined in their monthly spending with a budget; and  to join the Investor Challenge (http://investorchallenge.co.za/). Sign up with EasyEquities as your broker!

Pssst!

Did you know we’ve got a little #easy going on everywhere – including in Ramon’s part of the country, the Eastern Cape. Jono Bruton (@jonobruton) heads up sales at our Eastern Cape office when he isn’t hitting the surf or giving fashion tips to Khuluma magazine readers! We’ve got pro’s in different area codes so that there’s someone to make things #easier for you – wherever you are.