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Keeping an open mind while adapting

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