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Reporting from the Helm March 2022

Staying calm during the Russia-Ukraine conflict

We enjoyed seeing all our clients who attended the Jeremy Gardiner events over the past month. It was wonderful to be back face-to-face, engaging and socialising, something which most of us have missed over the past two years. It’s hard to believe that after a positive start to 2022, we are now having to deal with another crisis. Far from home, the Russian -Ukraine crisis has been developing, and we are starting to feel the repercussions of this conflict. The most direct impact has been on the fuel price, which reached record highs at the beginning of the month, but far more significant has been the volatility we are witnessing in the investment markets.

It is well known that emotions drive financial markets. The uncertainty created by the conflict and the unpredictable future, and the steps taken to cut Russia off from the world, where they now have the most significant sanctions ever imposed on a country, leave the world markets in a fragile state. The South African market is also highly volatile, with the most significant impact being on Naspers, the largest company on the JSE. They have interests in Russian social media companies and high exposure to Asian tech businesses through its holdings in the Chinese tech giant Tencent. The technology sector has been the hardest hit across the globe. Naspers’ share price is down almost 40% since the start of the year, its lowest in two decades.

At this time, we believe it is prudent to remind you of our approach to investing and the importance of not panicking or making any irrational decisions. Our Investment Consultants, Morningstar, Portfoliometrix and Old Mutual Multi Managers draw on investment data from other significant historical events and work closely with their selected Fund Managers to ensure your investment strategy is well-positioned through this uncertainty, always knowing that markets inevitably correct themselves.

Our team at Chartered are here to discuss any concerns you may have through this uncertain time. As South Africans, we have learnt to be resilient, and these last two years have certainly tested this. Look after yourselves and make the most of the remaining few weeks of summer.

Warm regards,