As this is my first newsletter of 2019, may I wish you all a very happy & healthy new year. In South Africa we also emphasize personal safety as a
priority when wishing our friends, families and customers well, so I would like to wish you & your loved ones a safe year ahead too, especially as we
have a general election in about 4 months’ time.
We have begun this year with our eyes wide open, this a little different from most years when it normally takes a while for trends to be established.
Two years ago though, China triggered a global market wobble, while after a seemingly benign January, 2018 soon became a difficult year for most,
especially for Emerging Market countries.
Brexit is clearly the most popular topic of discussion internationally, while renewed chaos in Zimbabwe keeps South Africans and ex-Rhodesians or ex-
Zimbabweans awake at night all over again.
Because these various global or regional issues are at the top of mind, will we manage to muddle through them without markets collapsing & (in other
words) will we deal with them better?
Our attitudes are critical in determining our behavior in general day to day life & they are still so when making our investment decisions. These
feelings (they really should be reached after logical analysis which leads to perceptions which in turn affect our feelings).
So then, what do we South Africans who have valuable assets such as property, stocks & capital market investments in our portfolios, think will happen
in the world’s stock markets over the next year? Or should I reword that and ask “What do we think will happen in our local & in overseas equity,
government & corporate bond markets as well as our investable commercial & residential property markets?”
In this rather gloomy early-year period it is seems as though collective wisdom, an oxymoron if there ever was one, believes that bad times will be had
meaning that confidence will not be high and that only the extremely brave will take risks (thereby creating jobs and money creation).
If this statement is correct, then this may well be a time for us followers (I’m speaking for most of us here) to do just that, i.e. to follow the risk takers
– after some waiting to allow for some reduction in volatility to improve our odds of being correct (but not improving our returns)…
But each of us lives different lives as we see things (everything, even colour and texture) differently from every other person. This means that actions
needs to be tailored to our individual needs.
Financial planning is a profession (we are desperately trying to develop it into one anyhow) which could mean something like “sensible consideration of
all one’s circumstances, one’s goals and one’s likely future life events in order to survive them, as desired, as well as in a healthy state financially.”
We advisors need your help to be able to assist you in achieving this.