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The changing seasons

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Isn’t it incredible to think that we are through winter and spring has arrived, the fear around winter and one’s health was quite real. With the threat of COVID all around, the slightest sniff or cough would undoubtedly get our minds thinking, could this be it? The move to level two, and the allowance for interprovincial travel has given us all the opportunity to pack a bag and escape our homes for a night or two. I managed to get the family up to Tendele in the Drakensberg for two nights, where we enjoyed a hike up the Tugela gorge. It was wonderful to escape into the mountains and enjoy what our country has to offer.

We have all gone through a massive transition over the past five months as we have all been forced to engage more with technology than ever before. It has been fascinating watching the share prices of companies like Zoom and Netflix, and how the increase in demand for these platforms has sent the shares through the roof. It is quite common to see the term FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) in the media now, almost daily the world watches as these shares continue to fly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an index which tracks the top 30 stocks in the US. The S&P 500, is an index which tracks the top 500 stocks in the US, both have returned around 10% this last month which makes it the best August in US markets since 1984. While this run is incredible to witness, there is an element of disbelief and concern as the world economy is probably in its darkest place since the 1930s. This is what makes investing so tricky, as you want to be part of all the action, but at the same time, don’t want to lose any money. This is why we hand this role to fund managers who make all these hard calls for us and have access to far more information than we do, allowing them to make informed decisions.

Although the Chartered offices have been open for the last two months, we have had very few staff in the office. We have decided to return to the office at the beginning of October formally, and will work on a rotational basis, with half the company in one week and the other half the following week. We will still be offering our full online service and don’t expect, or encourage our clients to come to the office. Yet, in saying that, you are most welcome to come in should you so wish. We have all the health protocols in place and will be managing the environment meticulously, ensuring that no one’s health is compromised.

Enjoy the spring weather, and hopefully, some early rains.

Warm regards,
John

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