My son recently won a speech contest, and, amidst the understandable parental pride, I realised how life has changed for me since school. He spoke about how, when his dad was at school, he had to ask his parents to take him to the library to look up information for a school project. Now he just sits at his desk and googles all he needs to know.
Yes, times have changed and they will continue to do so.
I attended a global investment presentation recently and the presenter was speculating about who would own the consumer’s lounge in the future – Samsung or Apple – and used the possible answers as the basis for a discussion on which of the two was the better share to buy.
Our clients have similar concerns regarding investment: I am asked daily whether they should be taking their money overseas and investing there.
If we did not read the papers and listen to the news every day, I wonder how we would feel about our incredible country; we are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. Unfortunately, every day we are bombarded with bad news, and seemingly the noise just gets louder.
Let us cast our eyes across the ocean: economic stagnation, rising debt, corruption, extremism, the Ukraine conflict, Grexit (the possible exit of Greece from the Eurozone), rising nationalism, rising socialism. Viewed globally, we sit in a fairly negative emotional state.
The good news is that our local stock market is up 10% year to date and has outperformed many of the international stock markets over this period. The depreciation of the rand is often the most unsettling factor but this is in the context of only the US dollar that has strengthened significantly. It would have been more expensive to travel to Europe 18 months ago than it is now. As we have always said, there is no way we can time these decisions and we have to sit tight in well-balanced portfolios and take the good with the bad. 60% of the JSE is now in rand hedge stocks, so you may attribute much of the gain this year to the depreciating rand.
At Chartered, it’s business as usual: we continue to strengthen our team and build a business that is equipped to help you and your family through life’s transitions.