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Markets don’t make you money

Markets don’t make you money; your habits… make you money. As creatures of habit, we ultimately become our own best friend, or our own worst enemy. This is why it’s important to be mindful of how our emotions affect our choices and influence our behaviour. We can remind ourselves of this time and time again, but still we might find ourselves slipping into old habits and allowing emotional decisions to vilify our investment strategies. This is […]

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The impact of the economy on small businesses

In a 2018 article, Tim Davis (President of The UPS Store) said this of small businesses: “Small business is the backbone of the economy. … It’s these businesses that are driving local economies, providing jobs for local residents and impacting key community organizations, through charity and service.” Whilst small businesses are crucial to the infrastructure of a robust economy, they are equally affected by the health of that very same economy that they drive. If we […]

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What did you do with your first paycheck?

One thing we can always know for certain is the past; but with far less certainty, the future, and even ‘later today’… eludes us. Despite knowing this, we often fall into the trap of thinking that we should have done certain things better, because we can see (looking back…) what a difference it would have made in our lives today. Some of the lingo we repeatedly hear says: “Do something today that your future self will […]

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Lessons from the lighthouse

Here’s the thing about the lighthouse – it’s focus is always offshore. At the time of writing this article, the world is still flailing under the storm of the Coronavirus and the conditions have caused us all to rethink many of the foundations in our lives that we once thought secure. Just like the view from the lighthouse, the seas can go from calm to savage in a matter of hours, the visibility can decrease from […]

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What the low interest rate means for you

In light of the difficult times recently, Southern Africa has been awash in low interest rates. When South Africa significantly cut its base interest rate from an already-low 6.25% down to 4.25%, it officially became the lowest interest rate the country has ever had. In late 2019, the Bank of Namibia’s Monetary Policy Committee reduced the rate to 6.5% from 6.75%, then lending rates at Bank Windhoek were slashed further come 2020. Interest rates, particularly interest […]

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Ways to save when times are tough

Most of us are chronic under-savers even in the best of times. Yet with the current economic environment, lots of previously hypothetical concepts like ‘what if I’m retrenched or have my salary cut?’ are far more concrete – and, unfortunately, more likely to happen. There’s never been a time when saving is more important, but there’s also likely never been a time when it’s more difficult. Do you want to put something away for a rainy […]

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Are you a savings statistic?

Most Sub-Saharan African countries are chronic ‘dis-savers’. But, you don’t have to be. Before we look at the options, let’s take a snapshot of recent events. Last July, the South African Savings Institute gave the country a wakeup call when it said that the average household rate had fallen from 0.5% per month in 2018 to 0.4% in 2019.  While 2020 figures are not out yet (at the time of this blog) anywhere in the continent, […]

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How to emotionally distance when investing in tough times

Current investors have seen more ‘interesting times’, more black swans and market freefalls, than any other generation gone before. From the 2008 global financial crisis, followed by the longest bull run in history, to Brexit, several downgrades for South Africa and then the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s investors have run the gamut. Their emotions have run the gamut too, whether they realise it or not. Our brains on investing Like being chased by a lion or falling […]

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Tips for when markets recover

The last few years have seen more market volatility than anyone could have predicted, with the icing on the cake being the COVID-19 pandemic. But the best and worst thing about markets is their cyclical nature. All markets recover, eventually. We know what to do when there’s a downturn and experience has taught many investors some hard lessons with recent stock market crashes. But what about an upswing? What do you do when the markets recover […]

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Living annuities and how they affect your living

Oh, the ironies of life…  One of South Africa’s most contentious laws regarding annuities states that a retirement fund may not be completely withdrawn in a lump sum, but a minimum of two thirds must be invested into a compulsory living annuity in an attempt to aid preservation of retirement money. Even those who are well informed about their retirement money sometimes forget this element of their annuities. Then along came the Coronavirus pandemic with global […]

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