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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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98% Of Chinese Internet Users Are Mobile

The Chinese government has announced that the country's internet population has just passed a major milestone. 802 million people are now actively using the internet in China, 57 percent of the population, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) which is a part of the Ministry of Industry and Education. By way of comparison, the United States has an estimated 300 million internet users. Interestingly, 788 million people are mobile users, 98 percent of the country's user base. That shows just how efficient China's roll out of network coverage has been as well as how mobile technology has become a vital part of everyday life across the country. Article published c

The Phones Emitting the Most Radiation

For most people nowadays, their smartphone is within arm's reach 24 hours a day. It's in their pocket while they're at work, it's in their hand on the train ride home and it's on their bedside table as they go to sleep. With this level of proximity and usage, many can't quite shake the niggling feeling that they might be risking damage to themselves in the long run. While conclusive longitudinal research on the effects of cell phone radiation is still hard to come by, for those looking to hedge their bets, this infographic shows the phones that emit the most radiation when held to the ear while calling. The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) has

How Often Do Smartphones "Phone Home"?

As most of you probably know, smartphones have the ability to gather a lot of information about its users. But how often do our favorite mobile devices actually “phone home” and share information with Google and Apple, i.e. the companies behind Android and iOS? According to a new study conducted by Professor Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, and published by Digital Content Next, Google in particular likes to keep tabs on its users. The study analyzed how often Android phones and iPhones send information to Google’s and Apple’s servers during a 24-hour period, distinguishing between the amount of data collected in idle mode and during normal use.

Are You A Good Financial Role Model To Your Child?

As a parent, how are you assessing, and ensuring, that you’re passing along the correct financial skills to your children? Are you raising children who will be sloppy in the way they manage money? Remember that children see almost everything. They don’t do what they are told but rather emulate what they see, so it’s critical to ensure you model a financial structure worth emulating. It is normal to struggle with your own economy, even as a parent. The important thing is to show your child the value in setting goals, saving and spending. Educating your children through your actions is about more than just telling them how much things cost, or answering questions such as, “are we rich?”. It is

Sygnia launches FAANG Plus Equity Fund

The Sygnia FAANG Plus Equity Fund is the first investment vehicle of its kind in South Africa, offering local investors concentrated access to the world’s leading disruptors across social media, technology, cloud storage, online retail and entertainment. The FAANG acronym stands for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google. Sygnia’s FAANG Plus Equity Fund, a unit trust, amalgamates those companies and a few more giants in the technology space, like Alibaba and Microsoft, to deliver easy investment access to companies that are shaping and redefining the future, and which have already achieved the critical mass needed to continue scaling up their respective offerings. Sygnia CEO

Re-wiring the business culture in financial services

This edition contains some particularly provocative pieces on why the business culture of financial service companies is so particularly important to the consumer. Our editor for this edition is Muitheri Wahome, a woman whose long history of monitoring the industry will soon appear in her own book on the history of asset management in South Africa. She leads off this edition with an introduction entitled: “Building the character and culture of a firm to ensure success. of a firm to ensure success.” This is then followed by these 8 excellent articles: p. 20 What drives trust? – Richard Rattue, managing director of Compli-Serve SA p. 22 It’s not only the role of regulators – Vanessa Bell, Dire

Will you outlive your savings?

Since the middle of the last century, life expectancy has increased rapidly. Studies by the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have found that, every 10 years, the average person’s lifespan has increased by three years. This means most people need to save enough money to cover their expenses until the age of 85. And by the time a person turns 85, they will need enough savings to survive until the age of 105. This is a global problem and the World Economic Forum expects a massive shortfall of retirement funding among retirees across the world within the next 30 years. Gross replacement rate for South Africans is 16% A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation a

Directors’ Sentiment Report 3rd Edition

Extract: 2018 marks the third iteration of the South African Directors’ Sentiment Index™ research project. The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (“IoDSA”) started this project in 2016 to gain insights into and understand the concerns and challenges faced by South African directors. The research followed a quantitative approach, where data was obtained by means of an online survey that was circulated to the IoDSA member database as well as a specified sample of non-IoDSA member directors drawn from a research company’s national panel. The overall aim of the research is to survey, document and monitor the sentiment of our country’s business leaders, by measuring their views on a variet

Living from pay cheque to pay cheque leaves no funds for a ‘rainy day’

We’ve all heard the expression ‘saving for a rainy day’, which suggests a future time of need that may never come. But the reality is nobody can predict the future and by having no extra funds to pay for an unforeseen expense, you leave yourself extremely vulnerable to falling into a debt trap. It’s important to realise that an emergency fund is not only useful to help you pay for unexpected car problems, household emergencies or unexpected hospital bills.According to Payprop’s latest figures, one in four South Africans are failing to keep up with their rent - this is clearly already a struggle. Given the rising cost of living in South Africa, bank balances that run dry every month could sta

Most important social media usage reasons by age group

This statistic presents the most common reasons for internet users worldwide to use social networks. During the fourth quarter 2017 survey, it was found one of the main social media usage reasons of Millennials worldwide was filling up spare time with a 43 percent response rate. Region - Worldwide Survey time period - Q4 2017 Age group - 16 to 64 years Special properties - internet users Method of interview - Online survey Article published courtesy of Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/282061/millennials-social-media-usage-drivers/

Teens & Screens

As anyone who has teenage kids or spends a lot of time around young people can probably confirm, it sometimes seems like the only chance to have a proper conversation with them is to have their smartphone surgically removed. While that is obviously just the bitter old man inside me talking, a recent Pew Research survey of parents in the United States found that 72 percent of them often or sometimes feel like their teenage kid is distracted by his or her phone when having a conversation. And it’s not just the parents who think that their kids’ smartphone use might be excessive. As the following chart illustrates, more than half of the teens interviewed by Pew think so themselves. Interesti

Winners of Inaugural Alexander Forbes Investments Asterisk Awards announced

Alexander Forbes Investments is for the first time sponsoring three new awards to recognise the leaders of the South African investment schemes industry and also identify the year’s most exceptional funds and fund managers. The inaugural annual awards, to be known as the Alexander Forbes Investments Asterisk*Awards, were presented at the annual Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI) gala dinner on 22 August 2018. The awards are the Best Equity Fund Award, Best Equity House Award and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Award. They are awarded to investment managers participating in the ASISA SA General Equity category. “The Alexander Forbes Investments Asterisk*Awards se

Unclaimed benefits - Fairheads is up to the challenge

The problem of unclaimed benefits is well known by now. There is reportedly more than R40 billion in unclaimed benefits in the retirement fund industry, and one wonders just how much in unpaid benefits may be sitting in the long-term insurance industry, another story altogether. These figures are not just figures – they have a very real human face, representing unused opportunities and potential personal growth for countless individuals and families around Southern Africa. There have been some efforts in recent times from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (formerly the Financial Services Board), to compel retirement funds to do more to pay out unclaimed benefits. This has largely taken

Ensuring financial security in retirement

Nowadays life is fast. We get agitated when people don’t respond to our text messages within minutes. We can watch any movie, listen to any song, buy any book at any hour without having to wait for it – we simply click and download. Even fast food has become faster; if the dot on the box is the wrong colour because the delivery took too long and the food inside the box is cold, we get it for free. We want more, and we want it now. It’s therefore no surprise that long-term financial security doesn’t feature too highly in our minds. Of course, it should! But, to be fair, many of us are just trying to get through today and have little time to worry about tomorrow. Somehow, though, long term fin

Who’s leading the AI race?

WHOSE MACHINES ARE LEARNING THE FASTEST? With all the technological breakthroughs coming from places like Silicon Valley and Shanghai, it’s easy to assume that the US and China are leading the way when it comes to tech in general. But a new giant is awakening. Data from the World Economic Forum shows that Bangalore is the number one destination in India for startups and home to 40% of the country’s IT industry. The number of startups in the city rivals those of technology hubs like San Francisco, and in 2015 research firm Compass rated Bangalore the second-fastest growing start-up ecosystem in the world, after Berlin. Furthermore, India is among the top exporters of information and communica

Thriving thirties: Thirty ways to make your money work for you

Growing up is not an exact science and reaching the big 30 might mean different things to different people. You may be married with kids, recently divorced and planning to work abroad or perhaps you’ve recently started a new company, a new job, or a new degree. You may be the older version of your super organised 16-year-old self, or you may have spent the last decade coming to terms with adulthood. But no matter where you find yourself, reaching your thirties is a reminder to re-calibrate, think seriously about your current and future plans and goals, and make decisions your future self will thank you for. Here are thirty things you can start doing today, along with a skilled financial pla

This year will be remembered as one of the biggest in the history of Old Mutual

In the 173 years that Old Mutual has been part of Africa’s financial fabric, it has seen many changes. The latest took place on 26 June this year when Old Mutual Limited had its primary listing on the JSE, underpinning its trust in African financial markets. The day was another milestone in Old Mutual’s history and marked the end of a three-year process to divide the group into four entities, each with its own identity and ambit. Moving away from an umbrella group structure will unlock shareholder value and, most importantly, create a business with a strong strategic focus on Africa. WHY NOW? I am very excited about this and the renewed energy in the company is palpable. It was encouraging a

Old Mutual Investment Group calls on SA CEOs to prioritise ESG risk in the promotion of growth

Old Mutual Investment Group has set out clear expectations of South Africa’s listed companies when it comes to their management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk. In a letter sent to the CEOs of SA’s top 100 companies, it called on their leaders to engage with it on a range of ESG issues, in an effort to work towards a joint vision of how to create shared value. “As one of the largest custodians of South Africans’ savings, we have a deep responsibility to our clients to manage and grow their assets in a sustainable manner. An important component of the returns we generate comes from the investments we make in listed firms such as yours. As such we rely on your leadership in

STANLIB’s investment platform programme wins global award

STANLIB’s Group Investment Platform programme, which is strengthening the organisation’s platform capabilities - including the recently launched INN8 - has beaten 16 other African countries to win the 2018 Africa PMO of the Year Award. The awards are made to the most outstanding project management offices (PMOs). The PMO Global Alliance, which hosts the awards, encourages organisations globally to share knowledge and experience, facilitating the evolution of the PMO community. Over 64 countries competed this year. Caroline Naylor-Renn, chief operating officer of STANLIB’s INN8 platform says “That our Group Investment Platform programme has won this award is indicative of the group’s status a

Know how to deal with the financial implications of divorce

In a recent social media post, radio and TV personality Masechaba Ndlovu announced her separation from her husband Vusi Ndlovu, shocking the nation with the saddening news. The star took to Instagram to post a heartfelt message detailing her decision and calling Vusi the “man of her dreams”, and her “ride or die”. Truth is, nobody gets married with the intention to divorce their spouse. But the harsh reality is that 40% of marriages end in divorce before the 10 year anniversary. The latest figures from StatsSA reveal that 25 326 divorces were granted in South Africa in 2016. One of the thorniest aspects of divorce is its financial implications. David Thomson, Senior Legal Adviser at Sanlam T

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