The gospel according to Peter Major, SA’s humble rock star investor

First time I met Peter Major he was ranked as the top asset manager in SA. Unlike many rock star investment professionals, award-winning Peter is a humble guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously.

He was gracious in demystifying complex facets of stock market investing and humoured me and a photographer by munching on bowls of cornflakes – his brain food – for a quirky photo shoot for the cover of a personal finance magazine.

There was nothing light-hearted about Major’s message at the BizNews Rational Radio webinar this week, though his sense of humour speckles his assessment that SA is not an appealing investment destination. There’s no sign of a turn-around in mining. As Major points out: ‘God gave us 10 commandments, Gwede Mantashe gave us 2,000 new regulations in mining and 3,000 policy changes… and you now have to give away 30%.’

‘This country has more minerals than America and Russia’ but policy makes it more attractive to delist than list. There are 200 or so countries in the world to invest in and this is the least attractive, before you factor Eskom woes into the picture, he says.

The bright side? Stockbroker David Shapiro says SA ‘probably can’t get worse’. The Rational Radio webinar is only open to BizNews Premium subscribers for attendees. But, stand by for snippets in this week’s Inside Investing podcast and be prepared to laugh and cry if you eavesdrop via the recording on YouTube.

PS: Your treat from BizNews: Access to the masterful biography on Cyril Ramaphosa by Anthony Butler, read by BizNews founder Alec Hogg. This chapter focuses on his subject’s successful mission to create a counterbalance to the Apartheid government. It details the events leading up to the fateful 10 August 1987 when 300,000 mineworkers went out on strike – forever changing the balance of power. Link here:


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I just wanted to comment on your Post- Script re Butler’s biography (hagiography?) of Ramaphosa. If my memory serves me, the strike that Cyril called against Anglo Gold in 1983 was a failure and many mine workers lost their jobs as a result.  The beginning of the change to South Africa’s body politic was as far back as 1973 when the stevedores in the ports, went on strike. Just thought I’d mention it for historical perspective.

Sylvia G

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