Category: Chartered Blog

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What is happening to the Rand in this unprecedented time?

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As many of you may know, the Rand has depreciated against the US Dollar since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is a readily available graph online from www.XE.com to show you the drop in value.

From 1 February 2020 until 6 April 2020, the Rand has depreciated by approximately 26%.

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The Rand has also depreciated by similar values against the EURO and the UK Pound.

Why has this sudden depreciation happened? Is the COVID-19 the only reason for this?

When the COVID pandemic was first fully digested by the world, the reaction from a large percentage of the investment community was to do everything they could to get their investments into cash (particularly US Dollar) so that they could either reinvest into “safer” assets or use to help their investors with the predicted shortfall in liquidity. As with every previous crisis, the reaction by the investment community has been panicked and very emotional.

South African assets are seen as riskier assets due to our economy falling into the label of an “emerging market” (EM). Other major countries in this bracket are Brazil, Russia, Turkey and even China. When the rush to sell out of risky assets occurred, we saw many global investors sell EM assets first, which did not spare us. We further have not helped ourselves by Moddy’s recent downgrade to junk, but the overwhelming drive of the exchange rate depreciation has been the sale of risk assets by the global investment community.

How does this affect me as a South African citizen and client of Chartered Wealth Solutions?

As a South African, the first thing that this does is make overseas travel that much more expensive!

From a local living point of view, the exchange rate can have some blanket effects on you as some goods that we purchase are imported and priced in foreign currency. By far the biggest good is oil and directly, the price of petrol.

We have been extremely fortunate that as this exchange rate has been depreciating, the oil price has hit historic lows. This has countered any increase we would have ordinarily seen due to the weakening Rand. We may not be driving nearly as much as we would during this lockdown but goods that we purchase still need to make it to the shops and our homes which entail transport. These transport costs will remain stable for a while.

From an investment point of view, all local investment strategies that our clients hold have meaningful direct and indirect exposure to foreign currency. The direct offshore exposure is through fund managers who directly invest your money into foreign shares and bonds. This will proportionately increase your investment when the Rand depreciates, assuming the underlying asset at least keeps its same value.

The indirect offshore exposure is through the South African shares you hold as the vast majority of companies have diversified their operations offshore. This means that their earnings are in foreign currency and increase the value of the company when the Rand depreciates. Depending on your personalised portfolio, the South African companies you invest in could have a combined offshore earnings percentage of up to 70%.

We are very comfortable and confident that the asset consultant that looks after your Financial Plan strategy is very well positioned and equipped to make sure you have the right mix of local and offshore assets. By taking the risk of the exchange rate into account, they are always testing to make sure that your portfolios are positioned as best they can be to deliver your investment strategy.

Please speak to your RetiremeantTM Specialist if you have anything further you want to discuss on this topic!

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Keeping an open mind while adapting

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As we come to the end of day six, the novelty of the Lockdown is starting to wear off, and the reality of the situation is setting in. I am fortunate to have my wife and four children, ranging in age from 12 to 19, at home. We have enjoyed many firsts as a family, including touch rugby in the garden, basketball competitions and very short golf chipping competitions. We are each taking turns to prepare a meal – this is not a strength of mine, so when my turn comes, it may be a braai.

The news continues to be dominated by the coronavirus, and we seem to be spending endless hours trying to differentiate between fake and real news. These hours could be more wisely spent educating ourselves about the virus. Cyril Ramaphosa continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities; he has taken this head-on and continues to impress us with his strategy and foresight. This is a somewhat desperate situation as we have a significant population that can barely be expected to stay in their shacks for extended periods.

At Chartered, although all at home, business continues as usual, we just no longer have the temptation of Moses’ cappuccinos and the delicious cake. Our online meetings are productive, and many of you may have engaged with us over the past two weeks in either a Teams or Zoom online meeting. I am struggling without the human element; it’s just not the same. We are fortunate in our business to spend our days face- to -face meeting with all kinds of people, each with their own story. These various meetings and conversations from markets to families and holidays help us maintain such a connection with people, something, which during these times, we value more than anything.

Our team is incredible in the way that they have adapted to this new norm. There are often 25 of us in an online meeting, looking at each other in our homes, with the occasional squawk from a child or even a coffee delivery from a partner.

With each news alert, it has become a habit to reach over to my phone and look at what impact the event may have on the markets. This has been a rollercoaster like never before, to the extent that a 3 or 4 % move by the market in a day is met with relief. However, we all know that we need to sit tight during these times and not make any irrational decisions. Markets go up over time.

An exciting development is the launch of our new Chartered App. This can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google for Android devices. Many of you have probably transitioned from using internet banking on your computers to mobile banking on your phones or tablets. This tech world in which we are living is all about speed and convenience. We felt it would be prudent to develop an app that can deliver newsletters, invitations to events, instant access to your Retiremeant™ specialist and their team, social media links and interactive tools. During the months ahead, we will explain to you the process of getting your investment statements off the app and have access to specific documents in your client folder, etc. The best part of all is that it can be done from the comfort of your couch. We are very conscious of the security requirements, and you will need to log in with a username and password to enjoy all the benefits. We will be sending out instructions on how to set up the app in due course.

In closing, I encourage you all to avoid the noise, keep healthy, embrace and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones, these times will pass, and we will all emerge a little more resilient and appreciative of the small things in life.

Warm regards
John

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Chartered Wealth Solutions App Guide

PLEASE NOTE: As important documents are shared on the Chartered Wealth Solutions App, we encourage you to be mindful of the security passwords put in place for the sake of your confidentiality.

We have noted that there are slight differences between Android and Apple devices when accessing the Chartered Wealth Solutions App. The appropriate instructions are given to help you navigate your way around the App.

If you have any further queries please contact kate@charteredwealth.co.za or on 011 502 2800

Step 1

ANDROID
On your mobile home screen, you will find a ‘Play Store’ icon.
Click on the ‘Play Store’ icon.

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APPLE
On your mobile home screen, you will find a ‘App Store’ icon.
Click on the ‘App Store’ icon.

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Step 2

  • Select the search bar and type in ‘Chartered Wealth Solutions’.
  • Click on the search (magnifying glass) at the bottom to direct you to the next step.
Android Guide 2
Apple Guide 2
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Step 3
Select the ‘Chartered Wealth Solutions’ App.

Android Guide 3
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Step 4

ANDROID
Click on ‘Install’ and wait a few seconds for the Chartered App to download onto your mobile device.

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APPLE
Click on ‘Get’ and wait a few seconds for the Chartered App to download onto your mobile device.

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Step 5
Click on ‘Open’ – The Chartered Wealth Solutions App will automatically open the home page.

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Step 6

  • Below are the Chartered Wealth Solutions App home pages.
  • It is important that you click on to ‘My Profile’ (on the second home page) in order to login to your personal account.
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Swipe left to access the second home page

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Step 7
Click on ‘Log in’

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Step 8
Login using your email address and the password supplied to you.

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Step 9

  • You will then be required to set a ‘new password’. When setting a new password choose a password that you will remember, and make a note of it somewhere safe as confidential documents may be shared/accessed on the App.
  • Once you have inserted a new password, make sure to ‘Confirm new password’ before clicking on ‘Log In’.
  • Lastly, click on ‘Done’ to take you to your personal account.
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Step 10
Your personal account will include the necessary icons and look like the following:

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Step 11

  • Once you have accessed your personal account, we encourage you to adjust your settings in order to improve your overall Chartered Wealth Solutions App experience.
  • First, click on ‘My Profile’, then click on ‘Account Settings’ – here you will be able to change your personal details. Don’t forget to click ‘Save’ once you have made any changes to your account settings.
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Step 12

  • To access your statements please contact your RetiremeantTM specialist. With permission they will upload your statements onto your Chartered App account.
  • You can find your RetiremeantTM Specialist Team under ‘Your Planner’.
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Read the latest Client Stories through our mobile App.

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Take the Balance Test on our mobile App.

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Access our closed RetiremeantTM Community Facebook group on the App.

We encourage all Chartered Wealth Solutions clients to join the closed RetiremeantTM Community Facebook group. Included is a guide on how to join the closed group.

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Access our Newsletters on the App

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Access our Websites on the App.

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Connect with us on our social media platforms.

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Covid-19 and your Spending Plan

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“How long will my money last?” and “will I have enough to retire on?” are probably the most asked questions during RetiremeantTM Planning. Our aim as Planners is to make your money graph last beyond the age of 100 years, and during these discussions, the most likely responses we receive from clients are “don’t worry, I will be gone long before then!” or “I hope I don’t live that long!”

Whilst we fully understand this sentiment, we do need to be prudent with your RetiremeantTM capital and consider the unforeseen and “what if” events which could impact your RetiremeantTM journey. The 2008 sub-prime lending crisis is a prime example; unexpected illness or life changing events leading to unplanned expenditure is another – and so is Covid-19.

The aim of our Planning approach is to ensure that our clients maintain their lifestyles, in spite of market volatility or unforeseen events – we certainly don’t want you to have to cut back on your spending or tighten your belts when markets don’t perform the way we hope. But no-one could have foreseen the drastic impact of Covid-19 on our finances. Not only are the markets affected, but our lives have been impacted as well.

I write this article sitting at my dining room table, pondering where I can tighten my own belt (which is tough because working from home means my kitchen is only five steps away.) But I do have to revisit my budget, and I’d like to share some tips and thoughts to keep in mind in case you’re doing the same:

1. Automatic savings
None of us will be travelling or going on holiday in the near future. We won’t be going out for dinners or enjoying a weekend braai with friends or family, and we can only shop for essential items such as medicine and food. Our travel and fuel expenses will also reduce.

2. Payment holidays
This term has typically been linked to mortgages. Basically, it means that you take a break from your monthly payment, for a short period of time of one to three months. At the end of the holiday, your payments must start again. This means that your payment term will extend, for example by three months.

Insurers have also been facilitating payment breaks. You must be aware that you stand the risk of not having cover for the month that your premium is not paid.

Before making any adjustments to your monthly payments, please make sure you fully understand the consequence. We encourage you not to make use of payment holidays or breaks where possible.

3. Services that you are not using
Gyms across the country have been forced to close, with the larger gyms freezing your membership during the lockdown and therefore, your monthly payment.

Personal grooming trips to the hairdresser or barber, manicures and other treatments will also fall away in the lockdown period. I am sure many of us will use this time to pamper ourselves at home – at greatly reduced costs.

Domestic help is a tough one. Even though your gardener and domestic helper cannot come to work, we do encourage you to continue supporting them where you can.

4. Payments which may increase
Staying connected and reaching out to our friends, loved ones, and others in need with the help of technology, has been a positive experience. We are all learning much more about the technology available to us and it allows us to feel a sense of togetherness. We are using more data, but many internet and cellular providers have announced that they have reduced their data prices, which should be a big help.

If technology is unchartered territory, keep a lookout for Chartered Tips on how to stay connected with technology.

5. Non- negotiables
Covid-19 is a health risk. Your medical aid premiums and proper nutrition are more important than ever. We encourage you not to cut back in this area. Continue your medical aid premiums, eat healthily and stay as active as you can within the confines of your home. If you are left with no alternative, rather opt for a less comprehensive plan than cancelling your medical aid entirely.

Remember that your Planners are available telephonically or to meet with you online to discuss any question you have relating to your budget, the prevailing market conditions, or planning in general. We will get through this together – as American singer, Jimmy Dean said: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Podcast

In an environment where we have little control over what’s happening, it’s worth considering the areas we can control. Tiffany Havinga and Kim Potgieter discuss some ideas on changes that can be made to your budget as a result of the Covid-19 virus and the impact it has had on our lifestyles and investments.

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Life is a Rollercoaster

Stephanie Bakhuis

When I sit back and look at what has happened over the past six to eight weeks, I realise that we are living in a period that we will remember forever and that in all likelihood will be spoken about when we are no longer around. It feels as if we are all on a rollercoaster, both emotionally, and in terms of the markets. We have experienced the gut-wrenching first decent, we are at the bottom, hanging upside down and patiently, or not so patiently, waiting to turn around and come back up.

Who knew that a simple coronavirus could cause so much mayhem? There was a video on Twitter where Professor Hugh Montgomery explained how infectious this virus is. He describes it like this – if you get regular flu, you will infect on average 1.3/1.4 people. When those people pass it on, that would be the second time it is passed on, and once this has happened ten times, you would have been responsible for 14 cases of flu. With Covid-19, however, if you get it, you are likely to pass it onto three people on average.

Although this doesn’t sound like much, if this also happens ten times, you are responsible for infecting 59 000 people.

When you look at it this way, it is not surprising that countries have had to go into lockdown to slow this rate of infection. It is also not surprising that we have seen a drastic decline in markets both locally and globally.

John Campbell mentioned in his letter, (Reporting from the Helm,) that the JSE (prior to recent positive days) lost approximately 31% of its value. We were not alone on this, although South Africa was hit particularly harder given the unstable economic environment we were in to start with.

What makes this market crash so significant and “different” to others is that it impacted all asset classes apart from cash. Asset classes are shares, bonds, property and cash – local and offshore. When we see our money going down, it is tough not to get emotional.

So, what is essential to remember while we feel like we are left hanging at the bottom of the rollercoaster route with your feet dangling in mid-air?

  • While the impact on investment portfolios is significant, we must remember that this is not likely to be a long-term event.
  • While this market crash feels different, and it absolutely is, keep in mind that we felt like it was different in every prior market crash (2008, 2003, 1998 and the list goes on).
  • We rely on our professional investment consultants to make any strategic decisions in our portfolios. They can do this without the emotion that we feel, which enables them to make the correct decision for long term growth.
  • Since markets are down, this also means that there is a great opportunity out there for managers to take advantage. For example, shares are looking cheaper than they have in a long time. Further to this, bonds and property are also offering opportunity.
  • While the recent price war in the oil industry caused extra havoc for markets globally, a low oil price is good for consumers. This could even help counter some of the effects that we may see coming out of South Africa’s downgrade to junk status.

The most important thing to remember over these periods is to stick to your investment strategy. The risk of switching to cash (safe haven) now is that you may miss out on the recovery.

While we don’t know if markets are out of the woods yet, historically when markets have recovered, a significant portion of this recovery has taken place in the first 60 days. The graph below illustrates this on four previous market crashes (1987, 1998, 2003 and 2008).

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If at the bottom of the crash in 1998, for example, you had R100 at that point. Your R100 would have grown to R120 by remaining invested in the JSE All Share Index. This is a return of 20% in just 60 days, not to mention the positive gains that followed the 60 days. This is far more than an entire year worth of interest that you could earn in the money market (cash). Hence, we do not want to miss out on a recovery as the long-term effect of missing this recovery is significant.

And so, I leave you with one more graph below, that we received from Old Mutual, which represents what the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) has done since 1974.

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I am sure you can identify a few memorable events along the way to get us to where we are today. The red arrows mark the market corrections and the dotted arrows, the time it took to full recovery. The general long-term trend has been upward. This period that we are in is going to mark another memorable event in our history, locally and globally. I hope this gives you some peace of mind.

Remember these positive points while you feel like you are hanging upside down at the bottom of your rollercoaster.

Podacast

Kim Potgieter interviews Stephanie Bakhuis to get her insights on COVID-19, what countries are doing to adapt and what’s happening in markets globally and locally. What are the opportunities for growth beyond this?

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Rebalancing Your Portfolio – Why do PortfolioMetrix do this?

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Rebalancing your portfolio is a key function of what we entrust PortfolioMetrix (PMX) to do while managing your investment.

The reason they rebalance your portfolio is twofold:

  1. To make sure the asset allocation (how much you own in shares, property, bonds and cash) is still the right mix to achieve your specific investment strategy.
    The risk you take in investing is PMX’s number priority and so rebalancing the asset allocation mix makes sure they are taking on the least risk possible to achieve your investment strategy return.
  2. To take advantage of good opportunities in asset classes and therefore generate a real return, over time.
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What changes are PMX making to my Portfolio?

With the recent drop in local shares and local property, PMX are going to be moving money from local cash, local bonds, global bonds, global equity and global property back into local shares and local property.
This is exactly what we entrust PMX to do, especially in volatile times when they need to stick to their philosophy and process.
The simplistic graphic below shows you the process described above:

When will this happen, and what do I need to do?

PMX will implementing this rebalance starting on the 7th of April 2020 and will be using the month of April to make sure all client portfolios are fully and correctly rebalanced.
This is done entirely by them through your administrator, and you do not need to do anything.

Importantly, you will still receive any income from your investment, and you will be able to make contributions, at any stage in this process, to your investment.

If you have any further questions, please contact your RetiremeantTM Specialist.

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Moody’s Downgrade

Moody’s Downgrade Announcement – Finally it Happens!

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On Friday, the 27th of March, Moody’s rating agency downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to a level below investment grade, also known as “Junk”. Moody’s finally confirmed what we had spoken about and anticipated for close on two years.

Given that our government’s financial position has deteriorated over the past ten years, it is no surprise that Moody’s did downgrade us. Our government simply does not receive enough income from taxes (our GDP growth figure is too low) to enable it to spend efficiently on infrastructure and services. We have to borrow to pay for these annual expenses, and this level of borrowing has increased by nearly double in the last ten years.

What practically happens now that we are downgraded?

The practical effects of this type of downgrade are that global asset managers that manage money for individuals/corporates/government pensions/etc. could have rules about which level of credit rating they are allowed to invest in.

South Africa has been a popular destination for these asset managers over the past ten years to some degree, as we offer high-interest rate returns on government debt, often referred to as “yield”. Our exchange rate has depreciated against the major currencies. Still, despite this currency depreciation, the real return offered by government debt for global asset managers has been enticing enough for them to take the risk.

With Moody’s announcement on Friday, we expect that some global asset managers will now have to disinvest from South Africa in the bond market, as their investment rules do not allow them to invest in countries that do not hold an investment-grade rating. The flow of money out from South Africa has the potential to increase the interest rate that our government can offer for their bonds. This will directly impact the government’s debt repayments.

What is the short and medium-term consequence of the downgrade for South Africa?

Although some global asset managers will be taking money out of South Africa post this downgrade, many other asset managers are allowed to invest in South African bonds. As mentioned, this decision by Moody’s was widely expected by the investment community, and that has already reflected in the rate of interest offered by the South African government on their bonds. We can always expect an overreaction from the market in the short term, and this could result in the Rand weakening further against major currencies. Our interest rates payable on bonds could increase too, but this will come back down in time.

Brazil was downgraded into sub-investment grade in February 2016. South Africa’s economy is similar in terms of its structure (commodities dominant, unemployment rate, etc.) even though our population is much smaller.
After Brazil was graded as Junk, its stock market has increased by approximately 215% in the past four years. Their government bond yield was at 16.5% in February 2016, and it now sits at 7.8%. The downgrade forced the Brazilian government to make significant changes to their economy, and this resulted in the advantageous moves in the stock market and bond yields.

Of course, the big overlaying factor is the current COVID 19 pandemic, and the effect this will have on our economy and the world. We believe that it is better for this downgrade to have happened now rather than when the world returns to a new normal. We can now focus on changing the economic landscape that our country so desperately needs.

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Investing is a patience game

John-Cambell

I find it hard to believe that it was only a month ago when I shared with clients around the country the positive 2019 market returns. Jeremy Gardiner spoke about the global economic and political arena. He touched on the Coronavirus and the chaos it was causing in China. This virus to us was foreign, probably not dissimilar to Ebola and SARS. In the space of weeks this disease spread across the world, we were the 79th country to have our first case, and now we are one of 168 countries around the globe who are dealing with this pandemic.

With this genuine scare and rapid infection rate comes panic; not only is it a deadly virus, but it is on our doorsteps and a very real threat to us all. Every three days, the figure of those infected doubles, which has seen SA go from 1 case on the 5th March to 927 cases 3 weeks later. These figures alone justify the extreme lockdown which our President has imposed. Fellow South Africans have justifiably applauded him, and he stands out above many of the leaders of the largest economies in the world, including the US and UK, who have not moved as swiftly.

Our lives are all impacted in many ways, and for most of us, fear and uncertainty prevail. Many employees have lost their jobs, and most South Africans have lost their job security. Calling our team in, and sharing what this potentially means for Chartered, was the hardest day of my 26-year career.

I must commend our clients on how they have handled the news over the past three weeks. Personally, as an avid reader of current affairs, it has been challenging to keep one’s wits about one’s self. The panic and extreme uncertainty have created a very volatile market, every week, new records are broken both in upward and downward swings.

So, where does this leave us all today? We have seen our JSE come off 31% from a high to a low this past month, as of today, 25th March, the market has recovered almost 17% from the low, all in the last three days. This rebound could be a great example of the initial panic selling. Then slowly, sense has prevailed, supported by quantitative easing by the government. I don’t think we are out of the woods yet, but let’s bank this week as a good week. The rand has weakened by approximately 14% over the last month. This depreciation has helped cushion the blow from international markets, which have not been as impacted as our local market.

In Summary, no one knows whether our market will be up or down today, tomorrow, or the next. Our investment consultants, Portfoliometrix and Old Mutual Multi Managers, decide on your asset allocations. They then choose fund managers to manage the various asset classes, being bonds, property and equities. These investment managers are doing all the work in which we feel so eager to meddle. When stock markets go down, they always go back up. Investing is a patience game, sit tight, we will get through this.

Wishing you good health as you spend the next 21 days in your homes. All the staff at Chartered are working from home, and we are here to assist you wherever possible.

All the best
John

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Chartered offices closed but business as usual

John-Cambell

Who would have thought that our lives could change so drastically in just a few weeks. As the Coronavirus has emerged and spread, we have watched the world’s reaction with fascination and fear. The transmission patterns have been unpredictable and hard to detect. It’s these two variables that have left people panicked, with much uncertainty of what lies ahead, and no one knowing how to respond effectively.

For all of us, our health is of primary importance, and especially for our older clients and those whose health is compromised. It is for this reason that we have decided to close our offices as of this past Friday 20 March 2020.

We have spent this last week at Chartered preparing for the inevitable shut down of our offices. We have installed software on all of our mobile phones enabling clients who phone the office to have access to any of our staff wherever they are. Our team has all received training on how to have online meetings, both internal and external. We can do a full financial planning review with you while we are all seated in our respective homes. We intend to help our clients over the weeks ahead, enable you to get online and have face to face engagements via computer. We can show you presentations, documents of interest, etc. For any clients who are wishing to do any transactions, we will be doing this in a paperless environment. We will share with you how we will do online signing etc. Both Chartered Tax and Legacy will continue to work under these new conditions and are also available to assist you as required. These new initiatives will take some patience and perseverance. I am confident that we will grow through this time, and new opportunities will emerge.

You have all heard of social distancing, and this is something we now need to do at work, at home, and in our communities. We don’t know how long this will last, but we do know we will need to encourage each other at this time and be true to our resolve to overcome the weeks and months ahead. Please embrace this moment with the gravity it requires, keep fit and healthy, and, most of all, enjoy this downtime with your loved ones; this only comes once in a lifetime.

Although our offices are closed, the business continues as usual, and our team at Chartered are all looking forward to our engagements over the weeks ahead. Please contact me or your Retiremeant™ Specialist should you have any concerns. We will be communicating more frequently over the weeks ahead, if you do not get The Beacon and Inflight communications please email info@charteredwealth.co.za to be added to the list.

Warm regards
John

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Kind and calm thoughts are contagious

As I prepared for a day of Dare to Lead learning with my Chartered family last week, I briefly wondered if there weren’t more urgent projects to focus on with the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. As the day progressed, I realised again how important the work that I brought home from Brené Brown’s facilitation course last year is. It prepares us as a company to lean into our vulnerability, engage in tough conversations and mentor and coach our clients with empathy and understanding in the face of the uncertainty and fear that COVID-19 brings.

Let me share some take-outs from the teachings of Brené Brown that may just help as we prepare to keep living our best lives in the next few week and months in the midst of all the uncertainty.

We are all going to feel extremely vulnerable. Brené defines vulnerability as “the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” You have to consciously accept this emotion, and recognise that vulnerability is not a weakness. Vulnerability is the underlying emotion that we’re all feeling. When you accept that you are feeling vulnerable, you can lean into your vulnerability, rather than avoid or become anxious because of it. This gives you the strength and the courage to face your fear and uncertainty.

We are all going to need to be brave. Anxiety and panic are natural reactions to scary events. But, we cannot allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with fearful emotions. When we’re overwhelmed by uncertainty or fear, the rational parts of our brain shuts down – and we panic! We make our worst decisions in this state of panic.

We need to remind ourselves of our most important values and stay true to them. Check in with your values regularly and let them guide your behaviour. Knowing what you value above all else is a powerful tool and makes you feel in control of your actions. This is especially helpful in situations where you feel you have little or no control.

And lastly, keep practising gratitude. There may be many events that you have no control over as the government guides our country through the crisis. Reflect on what you are grateful for and replace anxious thoughts with rewarding behaviours that make you feel good. Be grateful for your part in minimising the spread of COVID-19; spend more time with your immediate family; reach out to those in need; pamper yourself, spoil your partner and connect with your inner peace.

We may not be able to connect with our colleagues or loved ones in the same way we always have. We will probably hug less and miss our face-to-face meetings, but our thoughts and love for one another will pull us through this pandemic as a collective.

We may be separate, but through kind words and brave thoughts we are much stronger together,

Kim

Johannesburg Office
Tel: +27 11 502 2800
Eastern Cape Office
Tel: +27 41 001 1026
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Tel: +27 21 001 0048
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