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I love economics. It’s part of me - Kevin Lings (Chief Economist, Stanlib)

28 September 2020 8:12 PM

Kevin Lings (Chief Economist, Stanlib) opens up about his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.) as part of his weekly “Make Money Mondays, Personal Edition” feature.

This week he interviewed Kevin Lings, Chief Economist at Stanlib Asset Management.


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Kevin Lings has been with Stanlib Asset Management for almost 20 years – he started in 2001 as an Economics Analyst.

Prior to that, he was a macroeconomic researcher for JP Morgan, providing analysis to South African asset managers.

Lings, a regular on The Money Show, is an internationally published researcher and a past winner of the Old Mutual Applied Mathematics competition.

He is a keen photographer and watchmaker.

  • What is it that Lings believes about money?

  • Does it keep him up at night?

  • Does he spend like crazy or save compulsively?

  • How did his childhood experiences shape his views on money?

I wanted to be a chartered accountant, but I had no idea why… I liked the world of money… I had a bursary from an auditing firm that I had to pay back within seven days [upon deciding to rather become an economist] … It was, financially, incredibly difficult… I was broke… but it was such a major relief!

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

I fell in love with economics. It’s my hobby. It’s my interest. It happens to be my profession. The books I read after hours – they’re economics books. It’s part of me.

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

My worst financial decision? That’s easy, it was gold! … I invested pretty much at the peak…

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

I was born in Johannesburg, in Hillbrow Hospital… I grew up all over the country… went to university at Wits…

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

The mines then had huge amounts of money that they were quite willing to squander… The mining community lived large… The mines provided everything… It wasn’t a bad lifestyle… It started to unravel quite quickly… mines assumed the party would continue forever…

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Many of the successful countries in the world – perhaps all of them – have a very vibrant small business element…

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

I try to make it [watchmaking] pay for itself…

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management



28 September 2020 8:12 PM

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