Billionaire pokies king Len Ainsworth has seen his fair share of market booms and busts during his 95 years.
The businessman collected a $473 million cheque for the sale of most of his shares in Ainsworth Game Technology in January, helping push he and his family’s estimated wealth to $4 billion. It makes him the 14th richest person on the Financial Review Rich List.
Mr Ainsworth retains a small parcel of shares in Ainsworth Game Technology.
Asked earlier this year what he’d do if he had just $100,000 left and wanted to splurge on something to make him happy, he simply responded that he’d save the cash because it would be “foolish to throw any money around if I survive longer than expected”.
When it comes to investing Mr Ainsworth made the following point to The Australian Financial Review. “We all dance to different music. It comes down to you pay your money and you take your chance, and don’t forget the luck factor.”
What do you look at when investing in companies?
Profits backed by solid assets and a corresponding dividend.
How do you measure the value of a non-income producing growth company?
An unwise investment.
Do you think we are in a fintech bubble?
Probably and bubbles are best avoided.
There are plenty of stocks trading on hefty multiples. Do you think the market is currently over valued?
When a stock goes past around 14 (times price to earnings) the rest is likely to be fresh air.
Which stocks are catching your eye?
Smaller banks (Bank of Queensland, Bendigo – both of which I have shares in) and to a lesser extent the larger banks, but they will win in the end.
What is the dream company you’d love to own (on the ASX) indiscriminate of its valuation?
The one I’ve just sold my majority share in (Ainsworth Gaming Technology), however, I’m well cashed up thank you.
Do you think value investing will make a comeback?
Perhaps it is a matter of your objectives.
Property markets are softening, what’s your expectations for the market over the next 12 months?
Property markets are softening and will probably ease back, but inflation and replacement costs have to be taken into value. I’m a buyer and holder.
Best bit of advice you can give someone with $50,000 to invest?
Before you invest your $50,000 make sure the backing of the company you wish to invest in equates with your investment and that the operators of the company have a reputation that is sound and honest.
Worst investment you’ve made?
Very few, the lesson learnt is to do your homework before you spend your money and regardless of any other considerations, luck always plays a part.
Do you have an investment idol or someone you admire?
I think (philanthropist, ANZ chairman David Gonski) can take pride of place in terms of both achievement and integrity.