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Fear and greed

Fear and greed

We bought dollars for a client recently at R12.60/$. It just seemed wrong; the rand is way under-valued and yet in the short to medium term there is absolutely no good news to suggest that it will get stronger any time soon. And yet it probably will. We know this because it has happened before. Remember 2000/2001 where the stories of people getting money out of SA at all cost are now the stuff of legend. Money in socks, money in friends’...

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Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor

It was while shaving one morning recently that Occam’s razor came to mind. William of Occam was a 14th century Franciscan Friar who studied logic and is credited as the first person to make known the “law of briefness”. In short he said that when faced with a problem, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the simplest solution/explanation is usually the best solution/explanation”. Sometimes I wonder about my subconscious but I...

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Sell low; buy high…Not!

Sell low; buy high…Not!

I remember a great radio ad a couple of years ago by one of the unit trust mancos that feautred 2 opera singers. One sang (in a very deep/low voice) “buy, buy, buy, buy” while the other one sang “sell, sell, sell, sell” in a very high voice. The point was well made and is one that every investor should heed – you need to buy low and sell high, definitely not the other way around. Which is why I find recent articles and comments by...

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Dear Old Mutual, Liberty, Sanlam, Momentum, Discovery, PPS et al (insert name of insurance company)

Dear Old Mutual, Liberty, Sanlam, Momentum, Discovery, PPS et al (insert name of insurance company)

Dear Old Mutual, Liberty, Sanlam, Momentum, Discovery, PPS et al (insert name of company) RE:EVERY SINGLE PART OF MY BEING HAS TO FIGHT THE URGE TO TAKE BUSINESS AWAY FROM YOUR COMPANY. There is a peculiar thing in this industry that if you are not the advisor on record because you don’t have a contract at a particular company (or the client transfer was not processes correctly) that you cant get information for your client from that...

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The value of advice…

If ever you doubted the role we play… Vanguard Research Quantifies the Value of Advice 10 Mar 2014  Advisors who follow best practices can add up to about 3% in net returns VALLEY FORGE, PA (March 10, 2014)—Financial advisors can add up to about 3% in net returns for their clients using Vanguard Advisor’s AlphaTM, a wealth management framework that focuses on portfolio construction, behavioral coaching, asset location, and...

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Risk free returns?

Risk free returns?

I recently saw an advert for RSA Retail Bonds that was advertising “risk-free” returns. This kind of thing really gets up my nose and in my opinion it smacks of false advertising…RSA Retail Bonds are not the only culprits – just about all of the banks do it too.  “No fees or commissions” or “Risk-free”. Let’s get this straight – there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. The reason they are advertised as...

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