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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.


Are you financially ready for your new arrival?

As newly expectant parents, the months preceding the arrival of a child are both incredibly exciting and busy. And between preparing your child’s room and stocking up on toys, clothes and nappies, it can be difficult to turn your mind back to the question of ensuring that you are financially prepared for the new addition to your family. However, Citadel Advisory Partner Anelisa Mti notes that if you want to avoid being caught out by any hidden surprises or expenses down the road, the sooner you adjust your budget and update your financial plan, the better. “Many new parents underestimate the hidden costs of having children, and without making room in your budget as early as possible, you cou

Mergence forms corporate finance arm

The Mergence group has acquired a controlling stake in Cadiz Corporate Solutions, with the team rebranded under the name Mergence Corporate Solutions, with a presence in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Well-known deal-maker Robbie Gonsalves will continue to lead the team of eight people, among them veteran mining analyst Peter Major. The Mergence Corporate Solutions team will continue to offer services in the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Restructuring, Capital Raising, Black Economic Empowerment, Business Valuations and Derivative Strategies. It will continue its partnerships with leading M&A practices in China through The Beijing Axis, and in India through Eternus. The team has

Who Works The Most Hours Every Year?

Wednesday is Labor Day in many countries. Our chart for this week takes a look at how many hours an average worker puts in every year across the world. While most Americans know May 1st as May Day, a holiday that once was celebrated with mayday poles and flowers, most people across the world know the day as Labor Day. The story of how May 1st became Labor Day actually begins in the U.S. in 1886. Workers across the U.S. coordinated a multi-day protest starting on May 1st in multiple cities to agitate for an eight-hour workday. On the second day of protests, violence between police and peaceful protestors broke out in Chicago at an event that became known as the Haymarket affair. By 1889, t

A New Global Emerging Markets Fund Announced

Emerging markets provide diversification and exposure to exciting innovative businesses 26 April 2019: The Nedgroup Investments Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund will be managed by NS Partners and is available immediately for investment in both a Rand denominated Feeder Fund and a Dollar denominated offshore Fund. Rob Johnson, Head of Investments at Nedgroup Investments, says the fund is designed to give investors targeted access to some of the fastest-growing economies and equity markets around the world. “Over the years, the emerging market universe has dynamically evolved thanks to improved accessibility and increased integration of financial markets. Relative valuations and the growth

Uncapping the Capped SWIX - Naspers to list international assets in Europe

Due to the increasing weight of South African media group Naspers within domestic equity indices over the past several years, many South African pension funds and investors have moved their domestic equity benchmarks from the FTSE/JSE SWIX All-Share Index (“SWIX”) to the FTSE/JSE Capped SWIX All-Share Index (“Capped SWIX”). Recent announcements by Naspers regarding their internet holdings have implications for these investors, and while the exact details remain unknown, the following highlights some of the anticipated changes. On 25 March, Naspers announced that it will list its non-South African assets on Euronext Amsterdam, as one of several steps to reduce the discount it trades to the v

FSCA warns the public against Dikwena Funeral Parlour CC and Dikwena Funeral Parlour (Pty) Ltd (Dikw

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) would like to warn the public to act with caution when dealing with Dikwena (FSP No. 43519) as the entity is unlawfully conducting unregistered long-term insurance business by selling and offering funeral policies to its funeral policyholders and general members of the public. It should be noted that Dikwena is authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (“FAIS Act”), to only render financial advisory and intermediary services in respect of long-term insurance subcategory A (“assistance policies”). The funeral insurance business involved an undertaking by Dikwena to its policyholders to provide funeral serv

Has Twitter Reached Its Natural Growth Limit?

For the last time, Twitter publicly disclosed its monthly active user count on Tuesday, revealing that an average of 330 million people a month used its service in the first quarter of 2019. While that's a slight improvement compared to the previous two quarters, it still marks a net loss of six million users compared to the same period of 2018. Over the past three years, Twitter has now added just 20 million monthly active users, with its user count hovering around 330 million for the better part of that period, indicating that the platform may have reached its growth limit. To address the problem at hand, Twitter is taking a page out of Apple’s playbook. Just like the iPhone-maker will n

The State Of World Press Freedom

The 2019 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders, was released last week. It found that hatred of journalists is degenerating into violence and that point was reinforced by the murder of Lyra McKee in Derry, Northern Ireland, on Thursday. Dissident republican group the "New IRA", admitted responsibility for the journalist's murder. The index found that the number of countries regarded as safe for journalists has continued to decline while authoritarian regimes are strengthening their grip over the media, resulting in a climate of fear. The index also stated that hostility expressed by political leaders towards the media is inciting violence and fuelling fear for jour

Avoid these investment pitfalls

As even the most experienced investors will attest, the world of investing is riddled with hidden pitfalls that can easily trap the unwary and prevent you from achieving your investment goals. Here are five common investment mistakes, as well as some tips for avoiding them on your own investment journey: 1. Ignoring your investment goals The first step in any successful investment strategy is to set clear investment goals, unique to your financial situation. Without these goals, or a clear sense of direction for your investment strategy, you could quickly fall prey to chasing fleeting market trends, selecting the wrong types of investments and continuously switching your portfolio with costl

Medical aid plan downgrades increase as tough economy bites

In an average year, only two to three percent of Alexander Forbes Health medical aid members change plans, either upgrading or downgrading, but these figures have more than doubled in the past two years. In 2018, Alexander Forbes Health saw a 5.2% of their clients making changes to their plans - almost equally up and down, and in 2019, there was a 6.7% average, reflecting a 3.8% downgrade and 2.9% upgrade. Health expenditure inflation in South Africa is rising faster than consumer inflation, and over the past five years, has outstripped CPI inflation by up to four percent. However, the 2019 contribution increases for some schemes are above this long term average, highlighting a concerning tr

Tired of Aspen? We have a drug (company) for that

Most South African investors will be well acquainted with Aspen, the global pharmaceutical business founded in Durban that achieved its position as a market leader through the purchase of drug franchises from global peers across key therapeutics such as anesthetics, oncology and blood clotting. However, investors who believe that pharmaceutical businesses, or healthcare businesses in general, represent attractive investment opportunities needn’t limit themselves to the one global pharmaceutical business available on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). South Africa represents just 1% of the global economy, and there is a plethora of other businesses available offshore including hospital gr

First Blockchain Solution for Employee Benefits

Article Sourced from: https://cointelegraph.com/news/accenture-generali-launch-blockchain-solution-for-employee-benefits Ireland-based global consulting firm Accenture and Italy-based insurance giant Generali Group’s employee benefits unit have debuted a blockchain solution for employee benefits. The partnership was announced in a press release from the firms on April 16. Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) is an employee benefit solutions provider and global business line of Italy’s largest insurance firm — and 8th largest globally. The press release states that GEB operates the largest employee benefits solutions network worldwide. The blockchain solution will reportedly facilitate data shari

Retirees need investment funds focused on income certainty

When you're saving for retirement and investment markets are volatile, the ups and downs in your retirement savings may affect you psychologically, but they don't immediately affect your lifestyle. However, when you're in retirement drawing an income from a living annuity, it's a different story. Your income is subject to that volatility. You need to invest in equities to get sufficient growth to see you through potentially many years in retirement — but how to generate a reliable, consistent income from your investments when they are volatile is a dilemma. The investment industry and advisers are, however, beginning to focus on strategies to help retirees who are drawing a pension from thei

From awareness to orange overalls

At a panel discussion in Stellenbosch recently, veteran prosecutor Gerrie Nel had a sobering reflection on the possibility of prosecutions following the reports of corruption surfacing almost daily. It is one thing to be aware of wrongdoing, he said, but something very different to secure a conviction in a criminal court. If anybody should know, it is Nel. Being indignant and outraged is one thing, having a solid legal case is something else. Investors who have been trying to join the class action against Steinhoff can testify to the almost impossible hoops they have to jump through just to get into the court process. Again, one can be outraged at Steinhoff, but the preparation of a successf

Default strategy may not always be the best option for retirees!

A new set of regulations kicked in at the start of March that will benefit you as a new retiree who is overwhelmed with choices in this new phase of your life, but you should not see it as an alternative to appropriate financial planning. Called the "default regulations", these new laws force pension funds to offer you a default annuity strategy if you have to, or don't want to, choose what happens with your retirement savings once you stop working. In these instances, the law now requires that the pension fund offers a default option that is the same for all members. It states that this default option be "reasonable", that fees be "fair" and that it is communicated well to all members. For

First-of-its-kind Intermediary Platform Will Change How You Do Business

Sanlam has just launched Sanlam Now Cover– a digital platform which enables intermediaries to complete a client’s application for death and disability cover in a single visit, in just 15 minutes. This ability to complete end-to-end applications in the matter of minutes is set to digitally transform intermediaries’ businesses, in line with the shifting customer expectations of today. Petrie Marx, Product Actuary at Sanlam, says Sanlam Now Cover is best in class for a number of reasons, “For intermediaries and clients, it enables a simple, fast and effortless end-to-end on-boarding process for risk cover that’s best-of-breed and excellent value for money.” The mobile-first dashboard has an int

Insurance Tips for a Safer Holiday Season

Without dampening holiday spirits, Alexander Forbes Insurance has issued a reminder to holiday makers not to let their guard down over the upcoming long weekend. As many people lock up their houses and head to holiday destinations, Alexander Forbes Insurance Executive, Dipesh Radia says there are three forms of insurance which people require before departing on vacation: motor vehicle, personal accident and personal property cover. Motor Vehicle Insurance Most road accidents occur as a result of negligence by one or more parties. The most frequent cause of road accidents are speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or not understanding how your vehicle performs in certain conditions. In

Pension fund boards must take climate change into account, or risk legal action

Just Share NPO and ClientEarth have published a new opinion which finds that the boards of South African pension and provident funds must fully consider climate risk when making investment decisions. Failure to do so exposes trustees to the threat of legal liability for losses incurred by the fund as a result. The legal opinion specifies that this is true for funds regulated by South Africa’s Pension Funds Act, and for those funds – like the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) – that are not. Pension funds are now being asked to show that their management is adequately addressing the risks to investments posed by climate change – as they are legally obliged to do. The aggregate value of

ASISA Retirement Savings Cost Disclosure Standard developed to build trust through meaningful disclo

ASISA has taken note of a number of media reports published over the past week, quoting one source who implied that the new ASISA Retirement Savings Cost (RSC) Disclosure Standard, which came into effect on 1 March 2019, was developed to “reveal” and “expose” hidden costs in the industry. The articles also suggested that umbrella fund administrators, mostly ASISA members, would find loopholes in the Standard to “hide” costs. Taryn Hirsch, senior policy consultant at ASISA, rejected the insinuations as ill-informed and short sighted. “The development of this Standard, as was the case with the Retail Effective Annual Cost Standard, was initiated by our members to build trust in the savings a

FSCA fines 36ONE Asset Management (Pty) Ltd R350 000

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (the Authority) imposed an administrative penalty of R350 000 on 36ONE Asset Management (Pty) Ltd, for contravening section 65 (3) of the Collective Investment Schemes Act, 45 of 2002 (CISCA). The Authority found that from August 2015 to 1 March 2018, 36ONE promoted investment into two unapproved funds, namely the 36ONE Hedge Portfolio and the 36ONE Offshore Portfolio. During the period of the contraventions, both these funds were registered in the Cayman Islands and were not approved by the Authority to be marketed to members of the South African public. When deciding on an appropriate penalty the Authority considered amongst other aggravating factors




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