SA's swimming champion Cameron's stock is on the rise

By LUKE FOLB Time of article published Sep 30, 2018

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Cape Town - It’s been a big year for swimmer Cameron van der Burgh. After winning three medals at the Commonwealth Games he wed Nefeli Valakenis in Anavyssos, Greece. The couple have now moved to London where he will begin work as a stock trader.

Van der Burgh will take up a position with Andurand Capital Management, a hedge fund focused on the oil market. The Olympian’s interest in the world of trading stems from high school.

“I began trading in school by getting involved in the JSE Schools Challenge, which I won in Grade 11.

“This exposed me to investing at a young age, which ignited my passion for the financial markets.

“After school I went on to study financial management through Unisa and picked up some modules in economics to further my understanding of the global trade,” he said.

Van der Burgh said trading came as naturally to him as swimming and drew similarities from the two worlds. “I loved the competitive nature of trading. It’s very similar to competitive swimming where money is the score. Ones research is similar to training and then entering into a trade brings about a similarity to a race.”

Currently he manages a portion of his own capital and mostly trades commodities. He aims to become a full-time analyst and trader when he retires from swimming. But he has no plans for retirement any time soon.

Van der Burgh won a gold and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia in April. He upset favourite Adam Peaty for gold in the 50m breaststroke and claimed his other medals in the 100m breaststroke and 4x100m medley relay.

At the time he said he would probably retire from swimming after the 2020 Olympic Games due in Tokyo, Japan.

“I find myself happiest when in the pool and following the markets. I love politics too and that’s why I found my way into commodities. One needs to analyse all the supply and demand indicators and factor in the geopolitical risks involved,” he said.

Van der Burgh said his top pick at the moment would be to look at investing in Brent crude.

“There has been a huge underinvestment in new supply projects and demand is consistently growing due to global GDP.”

His advice for anyone looking to jump into a new career is to be practical about the pursuit. “Find a passion for something and it will be easy to become good at it. I love to read and learn about any material relating to swimming or the financial markets.

“The next step is practise. One cannot learn how to swim or trade by only reading a book,” Van Der Berg said.

Weekend Argus 

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