Economy

Is there really value hiding somewhere in the South African market?

I have always found the human brain to be a fascinating thing. In school, we had a pupil that was extremely gullible. He would come to school 100% healthy, but from time to time, his friends would play a prank on him by telling him that he didn’t look healthy at all. Lo and behold, […]

Economy

There goes the rand… Yet Again

As South Africans, we have this amazing ability to come up with catchy terms for big events that take place in our country. But just as the USA is running out of female names for hurricanes, it seems that we will also be running out of terms to label local catastrophic events soon, especially when […]

Economy

Cobbler, stick to your last

A few years ago, my sister and her then fiancé, asked me to be master of ceremonies (MC) at their wedding. While he is Dutch and she had settled in Amsterdam many years ago, they decided to have their wedding in South Africa. Shortly before their wedding day, however, I got a call from my […]

Economy

Just how defensive are defensive stocks right now?

Defensive stocks are predominantly found in industries where companies are mainly focused on delivering cheaper products or services that consumers find hard or impossible to manage without. Typical examples of areas where defensive investments can be found include food manufacturers and retailers, medical care and the tobacco and alcohol industries. The fact that delivering these […]

Economy

Winners do not always go hand-in-hand

I’m sure that most people are familiar with the saying about something going hand in hand with something else. Let’s use a cycling team in the Tour de France (TdF) as an example. A team consisting of Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish simply wouldn’t make sense, because their goals for this year’s TdF, and their […]

Economy

Is now the right time to sell your shares?

We find ourselves in the sixthmonth of 2019, a year that can definitely be described as a rollercoaster year. Just over a month ago investors were all excited to see the FTSE/JSE trading positive by 14.5% for this year (up to 23 April 2019) and there was a general feeling of optimism. Now the market […]

Economy

High unemployment figures make for a miserable country

In 1962, well-known American economist, Arthur Orkun, found that a 1% rise in unemployment figures had an approximate 2% adverse effect on the country’s GDP. He developed the Misery Index by adding the US unemployment rate to the inflation rate, the result of which should point out just how miserable the country is. The higher […]

Economy

How to avoid investment fraudsters

Nature never ceases to amaze me. A few years ago, during winter, our Border collie passed a little too close to our heater at home, and out of sheer curiosity about this heat-emitting wonder, walked away with a burnt snout. To this day, she avoids the heater by a few meters, even when it’s switched […]

Economy

Surprise earnings

I have found that it’s often the events that we look forward to the least, that turn out surprisingly well and that many events that we have looked forward to for a very long time, often tend to disappoint us. At the beginning of 2018, there were great expectations and hopes that our local stock […]

Economy

If you can measure it, you can manage it

Without numbers, terms such as “chances are” and “probably” would have no real meaning. Without chances and probability, the only way to approach risk would be through fate and destiny. Without numbers, risk would be based on nothing more than a hunch. We live in a world filled with numbers and calculations, whether its the […]

Economy

It will rain again – don’t try to predict, rather prepare

Important financial lessons learnt from the recent drought.   Last summer, Cape Town narrowly avoided a ‘Day Zero’ scenario. Had Day Zero manifested, Cape Town would have faced one of the biggest humanitarian crises in our history. The prospects of taps running dry (together with the measures taken), can teach us a number of important […]

Economy

Will the rand treat us to a repeat of its end-of-2017 performance?

They say that a week these days, can be a long time when it comes to our local market. So much can happen in such a short period of time, that just as you think that the “match” is going to end in total defeat, someone scores a six with the last ball of the […]

Economy

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 Numbeo.com, 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 […]

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, […]

Economy Financial Planning

How will the national budget affect your personal budget?

In Greek mythology, we are told about the infamous siren. The siren is a creature with the head of a woman and the body of a bird. According to mythology, they lived on an island where they lured passing sailors towards them with their enchanting and irresistible singing voices, causing ships to wreck on the […]

Economy

Research reports and standards

I’m lucky enough to truly enjoy my job. The markets have a heartbeat that just gives it a life of its own. No two days are the same in any stock market. This was made very clear recently with industry events and lead stories unfolding in the media. If you had asked me what I […]