2020 is set to be a nervous year for South African investors.
At home we have this triple whammy to look forward to… load shedding, a potential ratings downgrade and low growth.
Internationally we got Brexit, the US election and the ongoing trade war. And maybe even an actual war!
All this when many global indices are at record high and way overdue a reset.
In such an environment... ››› more
Most people have notoriously bad memories.
Less than a month ago, the entire country was going through one of the most serious bouts of load shedding we have ever had.
Remember stage 6!!!
Yet after just a few weeks of consistent power supply, many have forgotten what it felt like and that it can return any day now!
Let's recap what happened in December.
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While it may have been just another ordinary Thursday afternoon to you and me, for eight South Africans sitting around a table in a small boardroom in Pretoria, things looked very different.
These eight people held the fate of the country in their hands.
Call things right, and they may just put SA's ailing economy back on track. Call things wrong, and they could decimate the rand, stifle g... ››› more
Last Friday, ratings agency Moodys dropped their outlook for SA debt from stable to negative. This means within the next 6 to 24 months it's likely we'll see the last of the three major ratings agencies cut our government debt rating to junk.
As an economist, I am now all but certain the downgrade will happen. SA will become a junk status borrower.
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Imagine how much more successful you'd be if you had five chances to kick a penalty…
Five chances to sink a putt…
Five chances to nail that perfect landing…
Well that is exactly what my October Structured Product pick offers you: Five chances to make mega-profit.
And, best of all, you can customise this investment to suit your specific needs by choosing to invest in either Ra... ››› more
Meet Joe - a 60 year old man with pension savings of R3 million.
Like most pensioners, Joe's greatest fear is he'll run out of money before he dies.
After all, most retirement products only plan to look after you for 20 years.
Since South African men and women have a 50% chance of living beyond 83 and 87 respectively (the age most retirement plans work on for each gender), running out of... ››› more
Last week the Repo rate jumped more than 400%.
Now, I'm not talking about the South African rate which is set by the South African Reserve Bank.
I'm talking about the “real Repo rate”. The US one, which affects over trillions of dollars' worth of transfers each day.
This rate, which is normally just over 2% spiked up to 10% last Tuesday (17 of September) as global lending markets s... ››› more
The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa 2019 is currently taking place in Cape Town. During this three-day event, our most senior politicians will be out in full force to convince the international community South Africa remains investable.
They'll discuss lofty matters such as the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), sustainability, digitalisation and stability. And, if history is any indication... ››› more
I never thought I'd say this…
While President Cyril Ramaphosa may be less corrupt than Zuma, his economic theories are almost as bad.
I am too.
Like the rest of the market, I celebrated when Ramaphosa replaced Zuma. Aided by heroes of the anti-Zuma movement like Pravin Gordon, I truly hoped we'd see a “New Dawn” for South Africa and a turnaround for our economy.
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The rand has collapsed over the last two weeks. It moved from below R13,90/$ to worse than R15,30/$. That's more than 10% weaker in a fortnight. Obviously, many of you are worried you've lost your chance to get money out of SA at a reasonable exchange rate.
The question on everyone's mind: Should you get out now or wait for a better level?
The only way to answer this question is to look f... ››› more
By now, I assume, most investors would agree, having all your money invested in SA is a bad idea.
Our low growth, unstable politics and a volatile currency are important considerations. However, the most important reason to invest offshore, is the local investment universe is simply too small. At less than 0.6% of global GDP, South Africa is simply too small to provide you with enough opportun... ››› more
The rand has only just broken back below the key R14/$ level and I can tell from the client flows going through our treasury desk, many South Africans are once again keen to get money out of the country.
The USD/ZAR exchange rate was well over R15/$ just a few weeks ago.
This means, the rand has firmed up around +7.75% in the last month-and-a-half. Put another way, that's about a year's wo... ››› more
If you're approaching retirement, it's likely this question is keeping you up at night.
It doesn't really matter if you're wealthy, comfortable or just making ends meet. When you get to retirement age the world changes.
In the course of my life I've worked with high-flying executives living what can only be described as “the dream”. Owners of multiple businesses, in multiple countries.... ››› more
Almost everyone dreams of retirement as a time of peace and relaxation but, in reality, the retirement process is probably the riskiest financial event in your life.
There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, the decisions you make today will decide the quality of the rest of your life.
Secondly, it is virtually impossible to recover if you make a mistake. By definition this is as r... ››› more
Warren Buffett has many great investment quotes, but perhaps my favourite is “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1”. This has never been more applicable than now. The world is about to become a far more uncertain place for investors as a series of political and economic events threaten to derail the global economy.
Number one on the list of threats is the US-Ch... ››› more
The US/China trade war has continued to escalate as President Trump tries to lock in a victory ahead of next year's presidential elections.
Huawei, the Chinese smartphone maker, is the most recent target of his attacks. The company uses Google's Android operating system for its phones and due to US sanctions, it is likely that Google will be prevented from doing business with the company.
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Take a moment to look at following logos:
Behind these logos are some of the strongest, blue-chip companies on the planet.
These global companies have such a broad reach that even today, at the tip of Africa, you’ll likely recognize some, if not most, of the brands.
6 Shares... ››› more
If you have a JSE portfolio, you know the markets have been bad for the last few years.
From the start of January 2015 until the end of February 2019, the JSE top 40 is up less than 15%, which is less than 5% per year. This is much less than the “normal” return of about 15% per year.
The recent underperformance of the JSE is a key reason many retirees are now experiencing a shortfall i... ››› more
April is almost over, and I can't believe this is only my second structured product pick for 2018.
Originally, I planned to introduce at least one structured product per month, but the financial markets have just not played ball.
And, given the nature of these products, I would rather send you nothing than introduce you to a product that didn’t meet my stringent criteria.
You s... ››› more
Regular readers will recall I wrote an article a few weeks ago, which claimed that investing the full Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) allowance for your new-born child would turn him into a billionaire by the time he retired.
Even after the effects of inflation, this investment would mean R200,000 per month income, in today's money.
An explosive claim, I know, but one that I can back up wi... ››› more
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Editors or contributors may have an interest in investments commented on in this newsletter. However they have signed restraints to prevent the abuse of their position as contributors to this publication.