The following articles were authored by admin

Without Zuma, we are a screaming buy!

The following article by Dawie Roodt takes a look at our current status.

So, we got downgraded, as expected. In fact, the rating agencies gave us plenty of leeway to correct our sinful ways; to repent. But wickedness, rent seeking, dishonesty and plain evil lead to the inevitable.

But the markets expected a downgrade which lead to this surprisingly mooted reaction on the financial markets. This means, that we have been paying a very dear price for this destructive government for quite some time! We all expected a downgrade and once it happened, little happened! This point cannot be over-emphasised; the fact that the markets reacted very little to the announcement of a downgrade only proves the point that Zuma etal have been hugely damaging to our country for quite some time.

And the other rating agencies are likely to follow suit.

But what does it mean for us?

It probably means that if little does change on the political front, then the rand, the bond market, the economy, employment, poverty…, will all remain suppressed. It means that the bad times will be with us for longer.

But that is the good news! We have already paid the price for our awful political leadership. Sure, things can get worse but Zuma probably played his ace. All that’s left for him is more destruction and more isolation from the rest of his support base. Zuma is a spent force!

We have a massively undervalued currency, we have amazingly attractive yields on our bond market, we have fantastic companies to invest in. South Africa is a screaming buy! Yet, despite all of this, we probably need at the very least two years to regain our investment status; probably five.

All we need now is to change our political leadership and for that we need at least 50 ANC MP’S!!

This is enough, now it’s your conscience, not your careers that matter.

Dawie Roodt
Chief Economist of the Efficient Group

The new dominant class, and how they will squeeze you yet again

An interesting article by Dawie Roodt.  ”It’s budget time again and economists and analysts are expected to say what they think the minister of finance will announce in his speech. This is also a time when economists get the opportunity to ”advise” on all things fiscal: taxes, state spending, borrowing, debt, key ratios and mysterious things designated by incomprehensible acronyms. So here I go; but first some context.  Continue reading The new dominant class, and how they will squeeze you yet again

Four questions for 2017

As we exit 2016, I would like to share with you the following well written article by Izak Odendaal, Economist at Old Mutual Multi-Managers – expanded on by Private Client Securities – Four questions for 2017.

Please Read on…

Moral of the Story: Don’t push your luck with Insurance Companies

A somewhat “different”, but apparently – true story. Simply put (in Afrikaans) Slim vang sy baas!

Moral of the Story: Don’t push your luck with Insurance Companies – they have dealt with (just about) every trick in the book that man can throw at them. Continue reading Moral of the Story: Don’t push your luck with Insurance Companies

US interest rates: how they’ll affect SA

As long term investors, we need to ignore high-frequency economic data and short term forecasts. There will always be market or media pundits predicting or forecasting the next big crash or stock market meltdown. And in the words of the Oracle of Omaha, aka Warren Buffet – “market forecasters will fill your ear but will never fill your wallet”.

One of the major business cycle drivers in the world is the US GDP growth and the US interest rate cycle. It is well known and publicised that the US is growing (albeit below its long term average) and the prospect of higher interest rates in the world’s largest economy could come this year has already sent the dollar surging against most currencies, including the South African Rand.

The question is, what will happen to South African interest rates when the US Fed starts to raise interest rates?  Read on …. 

The week in economic perspective – The big bad wolf

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is certainly not the most popular statesman in the European Union (EU) after the stunt he pulled this week. Following his call for a national referendum on last week’s proposed EU debt deal he really painted himself as the EU’s big bad wolf. The deal, comprising a €130bn rescue package for the eurozone, including an €8bn slice for Greece, almost unravelled before it could kick in. Global financial markets tumbled in reaction, losing most of the progress made last week.  Read more

Does Financial News Matter?

Warren Ingram, CFP says financial news is noise: It might seem strange for a person who appears regularly in the media to state that financial news is noise.  I feel that very little financial reporting contains valuable information.  Real-time financial news actually inhibits good financial decision-making.  Most investors would be better off if they ignored financial news. Read on …

Has the outlook on tax planning in retirement changed?

Matthew Lester looks at ways to cut retirement income requirements so that less tax is payable to SARS.

In times gone by the universal approach adopted when retiring or withdrawing from a retirement fund (pension, provident or retirement annuity fund) was ‘take one-third of the capital in cash and the rest as an annuity. When dealing with provident funds, cash in everything.’ Some were even fortunate enough to be able to withdraw their entire accumulated actuarial value from their pension funds. It was all too good to last.

Times have changed. One needs to take into account the cumulative effect of tax reform over the past 20 years.  Read on….

The consequences of the currency by Dawie Roodt

Currency Consequences

Not too long ago certain labour movements, political parties and even a few economists called for “a weaker currency”. Now we have one; their silence is deafening!

Obviously a weaker currency will make it easier for exporters to compete internationally. Their input prices mostly remain rand based while they receive dollars (or another “hard” currency) for their exports. Initially these exporters may be a bit better off, but rising inflation and wage demands will eventually erode this short-term benefit and it won’t be too long before there are calls for a weaker currency again.

The disadvantages of a weaker currency are much more harmful than the possible benefits. The most obvious disadvantage is that we are all poorer because of the rand’s weakness. Everything that is denominated in rands is worth less today than before the collapse of the currency. This includes wages, shares, houses, pensions, gold, everything. Some prices adjusted automatically and quickly to the fall in the rand, like share prices and the oil price, but in most instances it will take a long time for all prices to “catch up” to previous levels. Wages and salaries are good examples of prices that will take time to reach previous levels.

Continue reading The consequences of the currency by Dawie Roodt

Comprehensive Research by Alexander Forbes reveals startling facts

I recently attended an interesting presentation by Alexander Forbes regarding one of the most comprehensive research exercises ever done on employee benefits in SA. The “Alexander Forbes Benefits Barometer” has been published “against the background of government concerns that South Africa has one of the lowest savings ratios in the world.

For example, the current national savings rate of about 16% of GDP is significantly lower than that of BRICS countries like China (53%)India (34%) and Russia (28%).

There is also concern about lack of preservation of retirement fund assets, which means that currently, only about 10% of working South Africans will be able to maintain their pre-retirement level of consumption after they retire”

This is a scary fact – how many of us are living in denial? Continue reading Comprehensive Research by Alexander Forbes reveals startling facts

This Christmas there’s no such thing as a free pudding!

I have found this little economic “exercise” delightfully interesting – with Christmas hardly a fortnight away!

Upon closer examination of the “menu” and after reading the notes at the end, I have decided not to “skip the pudding” over the festive season, but rather tighten my “financial belt” (budget effectively) and invest my savings in a concerted effort to build wealth during 2013 and beyond! How about joining me in a most worthwhile New Year’s Resolution and lets put together a plan to fight inflation in real terms and start experiencing a real sense of financial wellbeing and a feeling of accomplishment as we usher in our own new look wealth creation and wealth protection program during 2013.  Continue reading This Christmas there’s no such thing as a free pudding!

The Importance of a Financial Adviser

Many investors approach financial service providers directly because they believe they can get a better deal by cutting out the ‘middle man’, the financial advisor. Getting appropriate financial advice is, however, essential to your financial wellbeing.  Read on …

Fire wreaking havoc among modern homesteads in St Francis Bay

Whilst the previous article (“As a South African, what are your concerns?”) was still being prepared to be posted on the IIB website, disaster, only a few kilometers away from PE, was wreaking havoc among 75 homesteads in St Francis. This type of calamity (which presents in many different forms and circumstances) we have all, at some point in our lives, most likely seen – it could have been the destruction of a single home in our neighbourhood or a fire destroying a valuable business or commercial building or farmstead.

The fact is, fire remains a real threat to all and besides taking the normal precautionary measures to try and prevent such an occurrence, we do need to make sure that our Short Term Insurance is adequate to compensate for the financial loss which is likely to be suffered during such an unforeseen event!

As a South African, what are your concerns?

As a South African, what are your concerns? If they are of a financial nature, e.g. Life Assurance, Disability Protection, Income Protection, Motor, Home, Business Protection, or saving/investing for/at Retirement or any other purpose – INSURED INVESTMENT BROKERS is an unbiased, fully transparent independent brokerage able to offer appropriate professional advice and a selected range of the best insurance and investment solutions available in South Africa.

We can assist you whether you are an individual or a business.

A most outstanding component of our service offering is centered on our Investment Management Solutions, our Business and Employee Benefit Solutions and our Short Term Insurance Solutions for individuals and businesses.

A survey conducted by Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) in eight European countries has found that pressure at work/school, the financial crisis and concerns about the family,  keep Europeans awake at night.  Getting sick or losing a loved one is seen as their biggest risk by most.  Hence my question to South Africans…. What are your concerns?

If it’s about your financial wellbeing – the creation of wealth and the protection of what you already have, Insured Investment Brokers is able to assist.  Just as a matter of interest you may want to read further what else people in those other countries worry about.  Read on ….

The power of compounding returns

Compounding occurs when investment returns are added to your original investment and these additional amounts then start generating returns as well. Over time, you therefore earn returns on an increasingly larger investment, which magnifies the growth of your savings. In fact, Einstein himself referred to the effect of compounding as the “most powerful force in the universe”! Read on ….