The following articles were authored by admin

Economic Dashboard October 2012

All economies move in cycles: good times follow bad times which again follow the good times. The trend over time is upward. Though each cycle will have its own
unique characteristics, depth and duration, the chart below presents a simplified view of the business cycle. Below the chart is an explanation of the four typical
stages of the business cycle, and the economic indicators associated with each chart. Read on…

Should I set aside cash for my withdrawals?

A person drawing down from their investments can choose from a number of different withdrawal strategies. One popular strategy is to set aside enough cash at the beginning of each year to meet that year’s spending requirements. The cash set aside earns money market interest rates at very low risk, while the rest of the investment portfolio is subject to the vagaries (and volatility) of the equity markets. Read on…

Kleinsakeondernemings het ? hupstootjie nodig

Sanlam Besigheids- en Professionele Markte,  Ekonomiese Oorsig : September 2012

Klein sakeondernemings, het dikwels hoë rathefboom-verhoudings en is geneig om tydens periodes waar rentekoerse skerp daal en groei  sterk versnel, goed te presteer.  Een voorbeeld is die tydperk vanaf middel-2003 tot en met laat in 2007 toe die reële Bruto Binnelandse Produk (BBP) groei gedurende die meeste van hierdie tydperk  5% oorskry het.  Dit het saamgeval met ‘n 6.5% afname in die prima- oortrekkingskoers.
Maar tans is die vraag waarom die verdienste van klein besighede onderdruk is, ten spyte van die sakesiklusopswaai teen die agtergrond van besonder lae rentekoerse.  Inderdaad,   die jaarlikse groei in die verdienste van genoteerde klein sakeondernemings het afgeneem tot lae enkelsyfers.
Eerstens is konstruksie en vervaardiging redelik goed in die JSE se Kleinkapitaalindeks verteenwoordig.  Ekonomiese aktiwiteit in hierdie bedrywe is gewoonlik meer siklies as, byvoorbeeld, dienstebedrywe.  Maar ten spyte van die sakesiklusopswaai het konstruksie en vervaardiging se reële BBP met slegs 2.4% en 1.7% onderskeidelik gegroei tot en met die tweede kwartaal van 2012 – wat ? swak woonhuismark en matige groei in plaaslike en buitelandse aanvraag weerspieël, vergeleke met die vorige sakesiklusopswaai.
Tweedens weerspieël die swak verdienstemomentum by kleinsake eenvoudig die vaal prestasie van die totale ekonomie.  Die huidige sakesiklusopswaai is duidelik nie so dinamies soos die vorige groei-omgewing in die aanloop na 2007 toe nie.
Sleutel- uitvoerkommoditeite se pryse het sedert verlede jaar gedaal en die land se ruilvoet (“terms of trade”) het  klaarblyklik teen die agtergrond van teleurstellende wêreldwye ekonomiese groei hul hoogtepunt bereik.  Dit strem binnelandse inkomstegroei.
En derdens is die groei  in kredietverlening aan privaat besighede  matig, ten spyte van die laagste Reserwebank-beleidskoers sedert die vroeë 1980’s.  Teen  huidige lae rentekoersvlakke behoort  die aanvraag na krediet sterk toe te neem.  Maar, dit wil voorkom dat die aanbod van  krediet deur kredietverskaffers ingekort is.   Teen die huidige lae vlak van reële rentekoerse meen  banke waarskynlik dat hulle nie genoegsaam vergoed word  vir die  risiko verbonde aan lenings aan klein besighede nie. Klein sakeondernemings is geneig om onvoorspelbare verdiensteopbrengste  te lewer.  Verder is die vereistes van Basel III, insluitende voorskrifte oor banke se likiditeitsratio’s, daarop gemik om kredietverskaffing deur banke te beperk.
Wat kan gedoen word om die verdienstemomentum van kleinsake ? hupstootjie te gee?  Hulle is per slot van rekening die bron van vernuwing en daarom ook van BBP en  werkskepping .
My kollega, Vanessa van Vuuren, die Portefeuljebestuurder vir die SIM Kleinkapitaalfonds,  let op dat klein besighede tydens die resessie deur ? proses van rasionalisering moes gaan.  Dit behoort te lei tot verbeterde verdiensteprestasie indien ekonomiese groei volgehou word.
Maar, uiteindelik  is kleinsake-ontwikkeling slegs deur middel van volgehoue,  produktiwiteitsverbetering moontlik.  Dit moet, terloops, nie die verlaging van die geldeenheid insluit nie, omdat laasgenoemde die mededingendheid van pryse slegs tydelik verbeter.  Ter inligting dui my skattings daarop dat die Rand billik teen sowat USDZAR8.40 gewaardeer is.
Suksesvolle afhandeling van die regering se infrastruktuurbestedingsprogram sal eerder ? beter beginpunt wees.
Verder behoort die regering se Vervaardigingsmededingendheidsverbeteringprogram, wat daarop gemik is om produktiwiteit en mededingendheid aan te wakker deur die aanbied van aansporings in arbeidsinstensiewe bedrywe ook te help. Bedrywe wat reeds by aansporings baat (motorvoertuie, klere, tekstiel, leer en skoeisel) word egter uitgesluit. .  Die Nasionale Tesourie se Begrotingsoorsig van Maart 2012 dui aan dat belegging in vaste kapitaal, produkontwikkeling, standaarde-akkreditasie, prosesherontwerp, en lewensvatbaarheid- en bemarkingstudies vir die aansporing kwalifiseer (p. 20).  In totaal het die Tesourie R5.7 miljard oor die volgende drie finansiële jare, insluitende 2012/13, aan die program, wat deur die Departement van Handel en Nywerheid geadministreer word, toegeken.
Maar aansporings kan slegs so vêr strek en sal waarskynlik nie die tamheid wat in die binnelandse sake-omgewing, insluitende kleinsake heers, oplos nie.
Dit is teleurstellend dat Suid-Afrika so sleg vaar in die wêreldwye entrepreneurskapsopnames.  Ons is vêr agter by talle ontluikende markte soos Argentinië, Peru, China, Brasilië, Hongarye en Uganda.  Dit dui daarop aan dat ons  ? kwantumsprong in vaardigheidsontwikkeling nodig het om die vestiging van Klein & Medium Sakeondernemings te bevorder.
Artikel geskryf deur Arthur Kamp, Beleggingsekonoom, Sanlam Beleggingsbestuur

Confessions of an unreconstructed neo-liberal fundamentalist

Let us consider what Dawie Roodt has to say here about “Confessions of an unreconstructed neo-liberal fundamentalist” and follow his views in the next four editions of his newsletter which will be “dedicated to his plan for the economy”.  This should make for both interesting and thought provoking reading – which, coming from Dawie, is usually not too difficult to digest after he’s already chewed the proverbial cud for us. Continue reading Confessions of an unreconstructed neo-liberal fundamentalist

The future of offshore investments in SA

Prof. Matthew Lester addresses a topic here which, over a number of years, has become a taboo subject matter for many investors and would-be investors.  I can fully understand why, but I would hasten to caution that you re-evaluate your personal standpoint on this important matter against the backdrop of – past and present – sketched by Prof Lester.  Individual circumstances would however have to be at the forefront of any decisions taken and you would be well advised to enter into dialogue with your financial planner.  Read on…

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

Back in 1696 the then Bank of England was facing financial strain. To rectify the situation, King William III instituted a Window Tax. Under the new tax, each house would pay tax based on the number of windows that it had. In theory this tax was well conceived. It was easy to assess (counting the number of windows is straight forward enough) and the rich would have bigger houses and therefore pay more. In practice, the tax was extremely unpopular as it was considered to be a tax on “light and air”. Taxation of access to facilities that have always been (and should be) free is most likely to upset the populace. The term “Daylight Robbery” is considered to have arisen in part as a reference to this tax. As with many unpopular taxes an avoidance scheme for the daylight robbery tax flourished and the scars can still be seen in modern day England. Read More

Dividends Witholding Tax – FAQ

DWT is a tax on dividends received by a shareholder and is a ‘withholding’ tax. This means that the entity paying the dividend must subtract the tax from the dividend and withhold the tax before paying the net dividend to the shareholder. Click here to read more …..

The search for yield becomes order of the day

The low interest rate environment is not helpful to people who are dependent on income, plus a high degree of capital stability.  A favorable alternative to money market funds, i.e. Cash Plus Funds, could possibly be considered for providing stable income or stable yield to investors seeking returns in excess of money market funds without taking on much more risk.  “The search for yield becomes order of the day” is food for thought offered by Arno Lawrenz, one of our Industry’s respected experts in managing cash-type and income generating funds.  For further discussion and appropriate advice that will suit your needs, give us a call on 041-365 1303. Continue reading The search for yield becomes order of the day

What We Know For Sure

According to Delphine Govender, portfolio manager, Allan Gray, “We know for sure that we don’t know where the South African stock market might move to in the short term”. What we also know for sure is that there are a number of “Key investing truths” which we would be well advised to be mindful of.  Read the rest of this entry

The Simple Truths by Money Marketing

My advice to my clients as well as prospective clients is – please do yourselves a good act and read these simple truths presented here by Money Marketing about investing.  The contents bear out what I often emphasise in my practice to clients and which, unfortunately, are not always acted upon – to their own long term detriment.  Here you have it in writing – be wise and read on…. Continue reading The Simple Truths by Money Marketing

The danger of appointing an Executor who faces a conflict of interest

We hear a lot nowadays about the importance of avoiding a conflict of interest, and a recent court case illustrates, somewhat dramatically, the effects of an unresolved conflict. This case is Elena van Niekerk v Kathleen van Niekerk and the Master of the High Court 2011 (2) SA 145 (KZP). Mr Basil van Niekerk divorced his wife Kathleen in 1987, and in 2005 travelled to Russia where he married Elena Karipova in Volgograd according to Russian law. Returning to South Africa, the couple got married in 2008 under SA law by ante-nuptial contract. Read on

A single professional financial advisor is the future of financial planning

It is often required of me to “educate” new clients to understand just how important it is to approach their financial planning from a holistic point of view and not from a single need, product driven point of view.  Holistic planning takes more time, but it is the right thing to do if you’re serious about protecting your assets and creating wealth.  

The following article taken from the 05/2011 edition of FIA-Inform, highlights the value of a single, professional financial planner’s role as apposed to utilising the services of different agents/advisors/brokers promoting particular products to address a single need – whether that particular product made sense within the broader context of the clients’ life, overall financial obligations or long term financial plans, was irrelevant.  Continue reading A single professional financial advisor is the future of financial planning

Money Marketing – When will the rand weaken – and against what?

In my practice I am regularly asked by some clients to give my views on the direction of the Rand relative to their investments or those portions of their investments that are exposed to other geographic regions and currencies of the world.  This, of course, calls for extreme caution on my part as I am led in my views by the opinions of the experts on these matters and even they can’t stick their necks out too far in terms of prediction.  What they, however, do is to study the trends and various global influences on currencies in order to arrive at their respective, qualified opinions.  
 
Paul Stewart, managing director of Plexus Asset Management has the following to say: “Ultimately the direction in which a currency trends is a function of aggregate demand and aggregate supply of the currency versus other currencies.  The demand for currencies is largely affected by exports, imports, service payments, portfolio investments, domestic fixed investment, foreign fixed investment and speculation on future expectations.  Based on these factors, how is the SA rand likely to perform in the foreseeable future?  As a general observation, the SA rand is overwhelmingly viewed as overvalued at present and that a sharp devaluation is imminent,” says Stewart.  “In fact, many respected commentators have publicly stated their view that investors should currently accumulate foreign currency exposure, in anticipation of a great unwinding of the rand’s value.”

…….“currency diversification needs to be seriously reconsidered in this new world.  Non-South African exposure for diversification reasons needs to be much more carefully considered. A higher emerging market currency exposure, especially to the best quality emerging markets, should be a core part of one’s investment policy.”
 
In order to bring the above into context  Continue reading Money Marketing – When will the rand weaken – and against what?

Retirement Fund Deductions: One door closes, another opens

According to the 2011 Budget Review, 1 March 2012 will see the introduction of a new dispensation for permissible deductions towards retirement funds. There is a clear twofold message behind these changes, particularly when read together with the taxation of lump sum benefits:

- higher income earners will have to make additional provision for retirement outside of tax incentivised retirement funds; and

- retirement fund benefits are intended to provide annuities at retirement and not tax free lump sum benefits on withdrawal and retirement.

Read On …

Money Marketing Newsletter – Inflation – how to interpret it……

Inflation – how to interpret it – how to measure it – how to combat it – how to relate to it in our own financial plans?  These are questions we often ask.  This week’s Money Marketing offers an easy-to-relate-to view on Inflation/CPI worth reading.  In my own office I have an interesting visual aid that has been up on my wall for many years illustrating the effect of inflation. When you visit my office, make sure you take a look at it. The basic story: In 1972, for example, the following mode of transport could be purchased (new) for only one thousand rand (R1 000): a Motor Car. Today it is not uncommon to pay R1 000 or more for a pair of shoes or for your child’s roller skates.  We know the story!  But what are we doing about it?  Continue reading Money Marketing Newsletter – Inflation – how to interpret it……