China increasingly important but not without risks

The year has barely crawled out of its shell and we are again facing headlines dominated by China and its enigmatic ability to keep the world economy afloat. Given the increasing size and importance of the Chinese economy, the economic and political changes in this country will have a growing impact on the rest of […]

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Foreign investments – look before you leap

Any client looking to invest a sizeable amount should include foreign investments as part of their total portfolio.  This is the view of Marcel Bradshaw, head of Glacier by Sanlam’s new international division, Glacier International. There are, however, an equal amount of opportunities and risks attached to investing internationally and clients need to have a […]

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Outlook on Latin America

Latin American markets experienced a tremendous surge in 2009 and outperformed their emerging market counterparts, with the MSCI EM Latin America Index rising 104.19% in U.S.-dollar terms. The surge in prices was a result of many factors, probably the most significant of which was the rapid increase in liquidity supplied by governments globally to prevent […]

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Time to reflect your position

The rand remains strong and our local exchange continues to out-perform all developed markets; one of the reasons is the 2010 FIFA World Cup. South Africans are really behind it and positive sentiment continues unabated – all good news for our currency and markets. As we know, markets are forward thinking and have probably discounted […]

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The benefits and pitfalls of foreign diversification

Most South African investors looking to diversify will choose to include offshore assets in their portfolio, particularly now that exchange controls have been further relaxed. The trick is to select the right combination of foreign assets and asset managers in order to achieve diversification without sacrificing long-term performance, says Chris du Toit, an analyst at […]

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Offshore investment as part of a retirement fund portfolio

An important objective for a retirement portfolio is to protect the buying power of an individual’s capital which was earned through many years of hard work. A crucial priority for institutions and private investors is therefore to construct portfolios which should consistently outperform inflation over time; hence the popularity of inflation (CPIX) plus type products […]

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Offshore Investing: A lost decade, but don’t give up now

South Africans who put their savings into offshore equity markets when exchange controls were eased in the late 1990s have been disappointed over the past decade: the MSCI World Index has returned 2.8% per year in rand terms and the average SA unit trust in the Foreign Equity sector returned only 3.3% per year in […]

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Healing but not fixed

2010 has seen a welcome dose of reality return to global stock markets. Aside from a miserable first quarter, last year was characterised by strong equity markets. They blissfully ignored any bad news, as they rocketed up, almost eclipsing the carnage of the previous 9 months. Markets revelled in a recovering world, leaving many who […]

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How long is long term?

Because markets can be volatile over the short term, investors are often encouraged to invest for the long term. But is this always appropriate, and exactly how long is long-term? Greg Fury, Chief Operating Officer of Allan Gray, says “that depends.” Your ability to bear risk, and even your understanding of what risk is, is […]

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Be active, be wealthy

Medical practitioners often emphasise the importance of staying active to maintain good health. This seemingly simple advice can be applied to the investment world too. Odds are that investing in a passive index fund is unlikely to get you as financially healthy as proponents of the strategy would have you believe. For investors to gain […]

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