Financial Planning

High costs attached to retirement annuities are a myth

I recently co-consulted a client with another adviser with the aim of addressing the client’s retirement needs. The adviser recommended that the client invests in a retirement annuity (RA). Without a moment’s hesitation, the client said, “I’m not interested. I invested in a retirement annuity 30 years ago and it hasn’t grown in value since. […]

Markets & Equities

Fear and greed in one index

Click here to see this most recent updated version of the Fear & Greed South Africa Index. Warren Buffet remains one of the most famous investors out there, so it’s no coincidence that his sayings are equally famous. One of my favourite Warren Buffett sayings has to do with two key emotions in the investment […]

Markets & Equities

How well have the different factor investors done so far in 2018?

At the time of writing, the Springboks were getting ready for their first test match against one of the northern hemisphere’s teams: England. As they were announcing the South African team, I couldn’t help but think that this actually presented the perfect opportunity to explain how factor investments work. Although Faf de Klerk may be […]

Markets & Equities

Stats and themes

Flying back home recently from OR Tambo international airport, I couldn’t help but notice that by putting some distance between myself and the earth below, we get to see things from a completely different perspective. On the ground, everything seems to be moving constantly, but as the airplane goes higher and higher, the movement and […]

Markets & Equities

Is the payment worth the risk?

I’m sure that most readers are familiar with the term ‘danger pay’. For many years, it was a term that was associated mainly with soldiers that had to do service in very dangerous areas. These days it can even include extra insurance benefits against events like kidnappings for families whose occupations require them to relocate […]

Financial Planning

Is it wise to only invest in your house?

South Africans like to consider their homes as investments. As with all investments, it is worth revisiting your assumptions from time to time. Currently, there’s a lot of debate surrounding the prices of especially residential properties. The FNB South African House Price Index shows us that house prices have declined by 21% in real terms […]

Markets & Equities

The right time to list a company

All entrepreneurs must dream of the day when their business grows to such an extent that it justifies a listing on a recognised stock exchange such as the JSE. Let’s suggest that this company grows even more and that one of its departments or subsidiaries becomes so large that it justifies its own listing. Now […]

Financial Planning

Lowering your investment risk may be risky

There is an old saying that goes, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. Of course, the opposite is also true, because you cannot lose anything if nothing is ventured either. As an example, let’s use someone with an extreme fear of the ocean. This person feels that people risk too much by playing in the waves, as […]

Markets & Equities

Buying on the dips

We often hear people say that “he’s a big fish in a small pond”, or “he’s a small fish in a big pond.” I experienced the literal version of this saying in my own fishpond at home. I bought a few Koi and placed them in my tiny fishpond. Soon, however, they grew quite large […]

Markets & Equities

Finding the (relatively) cheaper asset classes

Relativity in the investment world is as important as it is in the real world. Let’s use the Tour de France 2018 as an example: Chris Froome entered this year’s Tour de France as the ultimate favourite, after winning last year’s Tour de France, followed by winning the Vuelta a Espana, and (earlier this year) […]


No Turkish Delight for the South African Rand

If you have a trip scheduled to Turkey, recent developments could mean that you end up paying less than you bargained for. Something like a local beer, according to, would have cost you around R27.20 in Istanbul during December 2017, while the very same beer would have cost you only R17.42 as at 13 […]

Markets & Equities Portfolio DIY

10 shares with potential for high dividend yields

I don’t want to sound like a Masterchef contender, but we all know that you can bake an amazing bread with a relatively small piece of dough. This is possible, because prior to baking, the dough should be left to rise properly in the oven, and then baked to perfection. If you (like me) become […]

Economy Politics

Measuring misery – what the numbers say

It is with shock that we learnt recently that not only is our local labour market still struggling, but that the situation has also worsened, with unemployment figures for the second quarter of 2018 showing an increase to 27.2% from last quarter’s 26.7%. But let’s dig a little deeper to place this in context: Obviously, […]

Financial Planning

Four things to consider before you start saving

We’re halfway through the month of July, as well as SASI’s (South African Savings Institute) National Savings Month campaign and I’m sure that by now most readers are well aware of any shortcomings in terms of their personal savings. Let’s hope they decided to address these shortcomings by compiling a proper budget, decided to make […]