A lot of things in life have a binary outcome. It is either black or white; you either win or you lose; it is either a boy or a girl; etc. But, depending on your outlook on life, most things can have a subtly different hue of the absolute. Currently we are experiencing something that humanity has not experienced for a very long time, and for most of the people alive today, never. A pandemic as alarming as Covid-19 is, however, not the first crisis the world has dealt with. But it is one that affects both people’s health and the economy. Read More
Millennials – the people aged 23 to 38 – see the world differently. They do not want to own a car or a house, those cornerstone assets all the Baby Boomers – aged 55 to 75 – aspired to. They want a self-driving Uber to come pick them up; and they stay in a modern, fibre-connected apartment close to whichever area they are working from that month. They do not want to hold their smartphone in their hand and type on it, they want to talk to it. They want to have a conversation with Siri on Apple, Alexa on Amazon, or Google Assistant to order them a Starbucks coffee and sourdough salmon bagel for delivery to their front door in twenty minutes while they put on their make-up. They want Illumina to analyse their genes to make sure they will have a healthy baby and to grow themselves a spare heart in a petri dish for when they need a replacement at age 150. Read More
Looking at the size of various economies in the world, we once again have to remind ourselves that South Africa is relatively unimportant. But, as SA residents, we do feel that we should invest here – even though we are not forced to do so as before. The relaxation of exchange control regulations allows every person over 18 years to invest up to R1 million internationally without much hassle every year; and if you obtain approval from SARS you can take R10 million offshore annually. Read More
We started 2019 with a warning that cash as an asset class would not be king for the next five years owing to the valuation level of equities all over the world. We mentioned that the rand could show some strength and that Brexit as well as the US/China trade wars would command centre stage. Read More
SAA has gone into business rescue; our GDP contracted by 0,6% for the third quarter, which was worse than expected; and our JSE is barely positive for the year to date at 3,9%. But the worst news was the rolling blackouts experienced late last week, putting Eskom right back in the headlines. It is sad and frustrating to see how slowly the people in charge are moving to rescue our small economy. Read More
To get the South African economy going again we need business sentiment and participation to improve. Four of the most basic requirements for this to happen are:
- Make it easy to register a new business.
- Provide the business with the basic tools like power, water and manoeuvrability.
- Incentivise business with lower taxes and subsidies.
- Ensure taxes collected by SARS do not end up in the pockets of corrupt officials.
As we have discussed before, equity markets have historically performed well over the months of October, November and December. We have seen a steady rise in South African shares over the last 40 days and the US markets are hitting record highs. The rand has strengthened somewhat, even though Moody’s moved our credit rating from stable to negative. Read More