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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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Megatrends persists

The most reliable way to forecast the future is to try and understand the present - John Naisbitt. One of the biggest criticisms of the retirement industry, which is being driven by societal changes, is that the future is so unpredictable that it is almost impossible to save for retirement. Therefore, the quote by Naisbitt offers a solution (albeit a vague one) to the biggest challenge that currently exists in the retirement industry. The solution does make sense if we take a step back and contemplate it. Any complicated mathematical or scientific equation can be solved if the equation is broken down into its basic parts. This was discussed at the 2019 Sanlam Benchmarks Survey. Everlasting F

In Trustees we trust to uphold the interests of minor beneficiaries

The role of beneficiary fund trustees in protecting the interests of minor beneficiaries cannot be underestimated. By doing their fiduciary duty, trustees play a critical part in changing children’s lives by helping them be financially resilient and as self-sufficient as possible as they approach adulthood. It can be a complex job. There are lots of tricky cases and, although the law governs decisions, trustees do often have final say. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of responsibilities. Here, Christopher Mwalo, Acting Operations Manager: Sanlam Beneficiary Funds and Umbrella Trusts, advises on the role of trustees and their importance. Firstly, he says it’s pivotal to

FirstRand promises climate risk disclosure roadmap in 2020

At FirstRand Limited’s AGM on 28 November 2019, a total of 99.9% of shareholders voted in favour of a climate risk shareholder resolution that requires the bank to adopt and disclose a policy on fossil fuel lending by end October 2020. FirstRand is the second South African company to table climate risk-related shareholder resolutions. The first was Standard Bank in April 2019. Unlike the Standard Bank board, the FirstRand board endorsed the resolution (ordinary resolution 6) and was almost unanimously supported in its recommendation. Ordinary resolution 6 was one of two resolutions co-filed by the RAITH Foundation and shareholder activist non-profit Just Share. If adopted, the second resolut

How to help your clients save for big edu goals

The recent twitter hashtag #SalaryDepression was an apt illustration of the collective low mood many people are experiencing when it comes to money matters, as we feel financially stretched to the limits. While a recent Sanlam survey shows most South Africans do prioritise saving for education, it’s often the end goal that can seem insurmountable. This is exactly where a financial intermediary can play an invaluable role in guiding people with a plan and tools to track education savings goals. Prioritisation is critical. So is simplification. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, most of us want clear, step-by-step directions and reassurance along the way. Kenosi Magosha, Head of Client Solution

Capitec Commentary: S&P Downgrade

S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”) has unfortunately revised its outlook for South Africa to negative. As a result the ratings of all financial institutions in the country will also be revised to negative. This is in line with S&P’s policy not to rate finance institutions higher than the long term outlook for a country. While the decision is regrettable for a country working hard to kickstart its economy, Capitec says it will maintain its unwavering focus of helping South Africans simplify their banking in order to live better. The bank is helping over 13.5-million South Africans improve their financial lives. Gerrie Fourie, CEO of Capitec and 2019 Business Leader of the Year at the Sunday Times Top

How South Africans are finding inflation beating returns in alternative asset investments

Private market investing is becoming mainstream in South Africa (SA) as investors shift to assets such as private equity, private debt, real estate and infrastructure. Institutional investors, high net worth individuals as well as regular investors are seeking inflation beating investments after a sustained period of low JSE returns. Private market assets, also referred to as alternative asset investments, refer to those not traded on a public exchange. All SA investors can now access an array of private market asset classes, which are not meant to replace the investor’s listed market allocation to fixed income, public equities and cash but rather to complement it - especially in the current

Pop Goes The Weasel !

‘Keep It Real’ - A Gryphon Op-Ed Series: Part 3 of 5 ‘A meaning which fits the theme of "that's the way the money goes" involves pawning one's coat in desperation to buy food and drink, as "weasel (and stoat)" is more usually and traditionally Cockney rhyming slang for "Coat" rather than throat and "pop" is a slang word for pawn. Therefore, "Pop goes the weasel" meant pawning a coat. Decent coats and other clothes were handmade, expensive and pawnable. The monkey on the table in verse two was the demand for payment of a mortgage or other secured loan. If knocked off the table or ignored it would go unpaid and accrue interest, requiring the coat to be pawned again. The stick itself may also b

Where the puck: The three drivers shaping markets

History is one of investors’ greatest teachers, offering rich lessons and valuable guiding principles. But this aspect of investing is very much a level playing field – the past is “open access”. The distinction of the skilled investor lies in the discipline of applying the lessons and principles from history to the future. As Wayne Gretzky – widely regarded as the greatest ice-hockey player ever –eloquently puts it: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” However, in applying Gretzky’s principle of figuring out the future, a material danger immediately presents itself in the form of forecasting. The seduction of forecasting is the precision with which it parades,

The Difference Between Saving And Investing

As the year unwinds and we head into the holiday season, I know what you are thinking. Now is the time to spend and spoil yourself for a year of hard work - however this time of the year gives you a chance to take a moment and think about savings and ways you can invest your hard-earned money. Saving vs Investing One reason you should be saving is it allows you to spend more in the future. Saving is delayed spending to fund near future expenses and short term goals. Investing is aimed at growing your wealth by investing in income-generating assets allowing you to accomplish bigger life goals in the long term future. The question should you save or invest, is the choice between what you want

Global Study reveals the true barometers of financial prosperity in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa

The world’s first Financial Prosperity Barometer investigated the concept of prosperity across multiple markets and global regions. The report focused on the relationship between financial services and prosperity in high-growth markets and discovered myriad views on what defines prosperity and financial inclusion. The report targeted Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa to gather insights from these high-growth African markets and to establish the limitations of financial inclusion, the value of financial services, and the key characteristics that define prosperity. Surprisingly, Kenya (88%), Nigeria (94%) and South Africa (70%) had an overwhelmingly positive view on how their household situation

Five trends that are reshaping wealth management

The wealth management industry has seen considerable changes in recent years, and those businesses which adapt to the new environment will be able to thrive while offering clients the best options available. From disruptive technology to aging populations, from a rise in a new wealth to an increasingly turbulent environment, wealth managers are facing an exciting outlook with new opportunities to help clients prepare for We see five key trends currently taking place: 1. Technology and artificial intelligence (AI) is significantly changing the way wealth managers do business. However, there is no “one size fits all” solution, and different companies will implement to varying degrees. AI has b

RisCura welcomes new Executive Director Isaac Ramputa

RisCura is pleased to announce the appointment of Isaac Ramputa as an executive director of RisCura Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the investment advisory subsidiary of RisCura in South Africa. He brings with him a wealth of financial services industry experience, having served in executive roles at organisations such as the Financial Sector Transformation Council, Batseta – Council of Retirement Funds of South Africa, the Association of Savings and Investment in South Africa, Business Unity South Africa and Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority. In addition to his directorship role, Isaac will contribute and advocate for the work RisCura is doing in the responsible and impact investment

Demystifying hedge funds

Hedge funds are an alternative asset class, using different investment strategies to enhance performance returns or reduce risk. Hedge funds can improve diversification by having a low correlation to traditional asset classes. This is made possible by employing a wide range of non-traditional investment strategies, such as leverage (borrowing) or net short (selling) positions. Gyongyi King, chief investment officer at Alexander Forbes Investments, debunks some misconceptions surrounding hedge funds and offers a better understanding of how they work. 1. Myth: Hedge funds are risky Alongside the misconception that hedge funds offer limited value for a higher cost relative to traditional asset

Teach your children the value of money

Learning the value of money makes it easier for children to develop good money management, says Alexander Forbes certified financial planner Mandy Porter Talk about money “Talking about money in a calm, relaxed way and making use of everyday opportunities to demonstrate healthy financial habits is vitally important. From a young age children witness how their parents interact with money, so demonstrating the value of money is vital,” she said. Pay cash, not card Porter said one way of demonstrating that money has value is to pay with cash when your children are around. “Paying with a credit card sends the message that anything is available just by swiping a magic piece of plastic. Have a con

The state of Stewardship today

If 2018 was a watershed year for stewardship, then this year certainly picked up where last year left off. It wasn’t long before some key ESG themes came squarely into the spotlight again as a number of companies became victims of their failure to manage material ESG risks appropriately. Fortunately, given the robustness of our ESG integration process and pro-active stewardship, we avoided some of the bigger controversies by selling down on our holdings prior to the destruction of value and material falls in those companies’ share prices. Here Tongaat comes to mind: prior to the admission by the company that their 2018 financials would need to be restated, we had already highlighted some key

Indexation With Purpose

In part 1 of this series, we raised the challenge of being realistic, both with your own idiosyncrasies and behaviour, as well as your expectations regarding your investment’s returns. Part of this challenge is bringing an illusion or myth that we hold dear into the light and dealing with the disappointment or disillusion that may need to be faced. Who of us has not felt disappointed by the outcomes in the lives of Hansie Cronje or Oscar Pistorius? While we are responsible for our own allocation of admiration and established expectations, it is nevertheless unnerving to review our position and accept truths that are not ours to control. The intention of this article is to shine some light on

A checklist to prepare your financial affairs for the inevitable

Natural or unexpected, your death can place a massive administrative burden on your loved ones long after you have passed if you do not have your financial affairs in order. Having a ‘ready to depart’ file with all the necessary documentation and information needed in the event of your passing will assist your family with access to your will, living will, passwords and title deeds for example – having all of these documents in a single file or folder allows for ease of reference and access during what is probably an extremely emotional and stressful time for them. In the event of an emergency or death the following documents are crucial to include in your personal ‘ready to depart’ file, whi

Self-Employed? Here’s How You Can Save for Your Retirement

“The most common mistake entrepreneurs make is confusing revenue with income,” says Ray Mhere, Johannesburg regional manager of Allan Gray. “Another mistake they make is not paying themselves a regular salary, which can negatively impact their long-term ability to invest.” Because of this, many entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals delay saving for their retirement. “Young Millennials are optimistic,” he says. “They believe they’re going to create their own businesses and make lots of money and they don’t need to worry about their retirement now.” But waiting too long can have disastrous consequences. “Rather set aside a smaller portion of your salary in your 20s and 30s for your ret

Planning for retirement in a risky world

Failing to plan is planning to fail, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to retirement planning. However, even a disciplined and well-advised retirement plan can come under threat due to certain pre- and post-retirement risks. Some of these risks are under our control, others are not. For example, saving too little is a major risk to accumulating sufficient funding for retirement. However, taking steps early on to ensure you save enough is firmly within your control. So is obtaining proper advice and ensuring your assets are well diversified and invested in suitable asset classes. On the other hand, illness, a market crash, retrenchment or public policy changes are not within your c

A just transition: How do we get there?

South Africa is a highly carbon-intensive economy; we’re one of the top 20 largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world and, on a per unit of GDP basis, we rank well above the global average. It is important that these statistics are seen in the context of the global effort to decouple economic growth from fossil fuel use. Winners will be those countries, and companies, that can decarbonise their growth. On this score South Africa’s participation in the global economic race comes with a handicap, one we can ill afford, especially considering our high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality. As a country we rely on coal to generate about 90% of our energy requirements and so

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