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As a central knowledge portal to the retirement and related industries, EBnet publishes a range of daily articles submitted by a range of industry organisations, experts and contributors. Readers can also comment on and contribute to articles.

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Nedgroup Investments Fund awarded prestigious Gold Rating by Morningstar

The Nedgroup Investments Global Flexible Fund has been awarded a Gold rating by Morningstar Analyst Ratings. This prestigious, internationally recognised independent award is based on the analyst's forward-looking conviction in the fund's ability to outperform its peer group and/or relevant benchmark on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. Morningstar's manager-research analysts assign these ratings based on their evaluation of five pillars; people, process, performance, parent and price. A Gold rating is the highest possible rating and reflects Morningstar analysts’ high regard for the fund and their expectations that the fund will outperform over a full market cycle of at least five y

Expert retirement savings tips for late starters

Medical advancements mean that we can hope to live much longer lives, but this raises the key question: how do you save enough money to ensure that your retirement funds don’t dry up too soon – especially if you’re a late starter? The answer, says BayHill Capital Wealth Advisor Mbulelo Musa, is to make sure that you start saving as soon as possible, and to think carefully about the way in which you save and invest. “Longevity risk, or the possibility that you could outlive your savings, is one the greatest financial threats that you will face,” he warns. “And with life expectancy on the rise in South Africa, careful pre-retirement and post-retirement planning is more important than ever if y

Is rand weakness a foregone conclusion?

A broad review of recent market commentary shows that many local asset managers believe the rand is overvalued and have positioned their portfolios accordingly. However, not all fund managers consider this a foregone conclusion. “We do not make currency forecasts and don’t build our portfolios on a directional rand view. As such, we do not believe investors should rule out the possibility that the rand could be stronger than anticipated for a sustained period,” says Lyle Sankar, fund manager of the PSG Money Market Fund. “Current rand strength is partly attributed to ‘Ramaphoria’,” he continues. “Many therefore argue that after the sharp re-pricing of South African assets since November, bon

Discover the Africa Equity Opportunities Fund

The Ashburton Africa Equities Opportunities Fund gives you access to the continent of growth and opportunity. More about the fund This fund identifies and invests in undervalued listed African equities (ex South Africa) across various sectors to achieve long-term capital growth. At least 80% of the fund will be invested in companies listed on African stock exchanges, with a mandate that allows for up to 10% of the portfolio to be invested in selected opportunities. Why select this fund? High growth forecasts The IMF estimates combined African (ex South Africa) GDP growth of 4.01% for 2018 compared to 2.0% for advanced economies. Markets set to mature 28 recognised stock exchanges in Africa,

A tough first quarter for local collective investment schemes

The local Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) industry reported a 3.2% drop in assets under management for the first quarter of this year as a result of difficult market conditions and subdued net inflows on the back of bruised investor sentiment. According to the CIS industry statistics for the quarter and year ended March 2018, released today by the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), asset under management dropped to R2.18 trillion over the first quarter of this year from R2.25 trillion at the end of December 2017. Sunette Mulder, senior policy adviser at ASISA, says not only did the JSE All Share Index (ALSI) report a drop of 6% in the first quarter of this year

Intermediaries should gain the upper hand

Considering the regulatory wave, will intermediaries find it easy to thrive in the uncertainty of technology and Artificial intelligence (AI) and adapt to a new way of doing business? It is after all, a world of complete opposites - man versus machine. FAnews spoke to a few industry professionals about their views on this and whether they believe artificial intelligence will be the death of the intermediary or the complete opposite. Let’s face the music “AI will not be the downfall of intermediaries. The human touch will still be necessary in the customer relationship. In the future, machines/technology will no doubt grow in sophistication and perform ever more complex tasks to assist humans

Five financial tips for savvy female entrepreneurs

Casting off the security of a nine-to-five job to kick-start your own business can be both enormously challenging and rewarding, especially for aspiring female entrepreneurs making their way in traditionally male-dominated fields. It’s therefore encouraging to see more and more women taking the leap and pursuing their ambitions than ever before, says Citadel Advisory Partner Anelisa Mti. Pointing to the 2016/17 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, she notes for example that for every ten male entrepreneurs in South Africa, there were an estimated seven female entrepreneurs, demonstrating a gradual closing of the gender gap. “Small and medium enterprises play an absolutely vital role

50 Not Out: What An Innings, Now For The Century

Turning 50 is a milestone for many reasons: Children are grown and the big debts, such as saving for tertiary and the bond, make less of a dent. Financial planning in this decade is tricky, however, and hugely important. For many, the target retirement age is now in sight. As you get older, time seems to move faster as well. You really understand how quickly 15 years can get by you and the importance of avoiding bad money choices as retirement nears. I have spoken extensively about the importance of retirement planning in my previous articles, so I won’t do so in this one. If by now, having read my financial literacy articles, you still don’t understand how important it is to be saving for y

The Hidden Risks of Investing: Are Asset Managers Doing Enough?

The ongoing accounting issues at Steinhoff have again highlighted the need for better governance and risk oversight in the world of investing. Steinhoff has impacted South African as well as global investors who have suffered financial losses, and it unfortunately will not be the last. This is because despite increased regulation, more sophisticated markets and better-informed investors, the risks of investing remain and, in many cases, increase over time, in both size and quantum. In recent years, operational risks have been at the forefront of the risks facing investment institutions, as evident in the fundamental paradigm shift seen since the last global financial crisis. The dial has mov

Citadel incubates a black wealth management company

Since 1994, there has been a significant increase in net emerging wealth in South Africa, as evidenced by the ANC’s recent claim that black middle class has grown from approximately 1.7 million people to 6 million people over the past 24 years. Despite this, there remains a dearth of wealth management companies that reinvest back into the economy for the specific purpose of building the emerging market segment, says Citadel Chief Executive Officer Andrew Möller. With 25 years expertise in wealth management in South Africa, Citadel has been consistently committed to the creation of an inclusive, sustainable economy through taking the concept of wealth management to a broad spectrum of society

Is it the end of the interest rate cutting cycle?

The South African Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced the view to keep interest rates unchanged at 6.5% and is aligned to market expectations. The outcome was anticipated due to the initial effects of the 1% VAT rate increase manifesting in the latest inflation figure, which rose to a four-month high from 3.8% in March to 4.5% in April. In an attempt to better understand the conundrum of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) being unwilling to cut interest rates when inflation is at the midpoint of the 3% to 6% target band, one needs to consider the expectations of the factors at play. Firstly, inflation has been kept low - in part by significant rand strength and due to the low

Women Work More Than Men

Traditionally in most cultures, it is the man which would spend the most hours each day at work and, as analysis from MenCare's 'State of the World's Fathers' report shows, this is still generally the case in most parts of the world. There can though, be a difference between being 'at work' and 'working'. For many people, 'working' doesn't entail going to the office or the factory, but staying at home or in the local community as a caregiver. This kind of work doesn't usually come with a financial benefit, of course, and according to the UN this unpaid care can include "meal preparation, cleaning, washing clothes, water and fuel collection and direct care of persons (including children, olde

Sanlam announces free Retirement Benefits Counselling for clients

Sanlam has stolen a march on the retirement funding industry by announcing that it will provide free Retirement Benefits Counselling to all qualifying retirement fund administration clients. All retirement funds have to implement this capability prior to 1 March 2019 yet, according to Sanlam’s Benchmark Research, most are not sure of the shape that such counselling will take nor whether they will actually be able to do so in time. “The form that counselling will take for funds will depend on whether trustees simply aim to comply with the legislation, which is neither difficult or impactful, or whether they actively implement a capability that empowers fund members with accurate and understan

When personal liability kicks in, the consequences for trustees of retirement funds can be dire.

In a trial that goes before the South Gauteng High Court next week, four erstwhile trustees of the IF pension and provident funds will be hoping for relief from a determination by the Pension Funds Adjudicator that they be held personally liable for some R17m in expenses which the funds had incurred. The Adjudicator is not party to the litigation. Should judgment go against the former trustees, each of them would be exposed to pay over R4m from their own pockets. Plus costs of the litigation. Plus legal expenses in the protracted run-up. Whichever way the court decides, the warnings for existing and aspirant trustees are stark (see box). The two IF funds are umbrella arrangements for a few d

More insights into Investing in Africa – from our fund managers

If you enjoyed the Guide to Investing in Africa, you’ll really enjoy these insights from our fund managers. Has Zimbabwe become more investor friendly? Under new leadership, the country appears to be more investor friendly, with the scrapping of the indigenization policy of 51% local ownership for companies. The Reserve Bank has created the Sim Portfolio Investment Fund to encourage new investors, but the country is still plagued with currency shortages. Click here to read more Active Management in Africa Watch Kathy Davey, Africa investment specialist at Ashburton Investments talk about the following: What are the advantages of choosing active management over a tracker in Africa? Cost mean

Choosing the right indexation-based fund

It is no secret that most active fund managers consistently underperform the market. Some returns are so poor that it can take years for investors to recover. Investors that utilized passive- or indexation-based products in the past performed substantially better than their “outperformance-seeking” friends. In South Africa, the trend of funds migrating to passive management is still in its infancy, however, international trends are emerging here, and investors have much to benefit by moving a portion of their equity exposure to an indexation-based strategy. Many investors are keen to find security in their investments and don’t enjoy seeing their returns eaten up by fees and other costs. Tha

The Importance of Operational Due Diligence

When overseeing an institutional investment program, the predominant focus is invariably on investment returns and risk management. Asset owners are inundated with information and resources to help manage their investment portfolios. In contrast, operational risks and costs associated with investment implementation and the use of third-party service providers have typically received limited attention in the past. However, prescient investors recognize the increasing complexity of operational processes, regulations and compliance and the costs and risks associated with the same. Mercer is of the opinion that a comprehensive risk assessment should include a thorough overview of the front, midd

FIS Group and Conceptual Fund Managers Form Strategic Partnership

FIS Group and Conceptual Fund Managers Form Strategic Partnership to Offer Southern Africa Region Institutional Investors a Range of Multi-Manager Investment Solutions FIS Group, a $5.5 billion (USD) investment firm based in Philadelphia, PA, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cape Town-based Conceptual Fund Managers (Pty) Ltd., creating a unique strategic partnership for the purpose of jointly managing investment mandates of global equities for clients in the Southern Africa region (“SADC”). With this strategic partnership, FIS Group becomes the investment manager for all active U.S., Developed Global and Developed Non-U.S. equity strategies on behalf of Conceptual Fund M

Ombud report points to the industry’s strength

When an industry Ombudsman describes a specific period as unremarkable, it is a sign that progress is being made in the industry and that the objectives of Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) are being adhered to. This was the case when the Office of the Long Term Ombudsman released its 2016/17 Annual Report on 15 May. Running the numbers During the period under review, the Ombud received 5 435 chargeable complaints. During this same period, the Ombud resolved 3 371 cases; 85% of these cases were resolved within a six month period and 29% of these cases were resolved wholly or partially in favour of complainants. Of concern is the fact that the total cost to resolve a standard case was R3 707. T

FSCA warns the public against Donafin (Pty) Ltd

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) would like to warn the public to act with caution when dealing with an entity called Donafin (Pty) Ltd (“Donafin”) and its representatives Sean Westcott (“Mr Westcott”) and Leon Lincoln (“Mr Lincoln”). Donafin, Mr Lincoln and Mr Westcott are not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (“FAIS Act”), to render any financial advice and intermediary services. Donafin is rendering financial services to the public, including charging a fee for the claiming of pension fund benefits, alleging that these funds were invested overseas and that they have been fighting to have them returned to the members of the publi

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