|In this newsletter:
Benchtest 08.2017, regulation hindering the ease of doing business, regulators putting established service providers’ business in jeopardy and more...
Important notes and reminders
The RFIN Conference at the Dome in Swakopmund
From the panel discussion, Ms Mungunda intimated that the NPF is now imminent and may come into operation as soon as 2018. Although this sounded a bit optimistic considering that the process of crafting new legislation can be awfully long, it did provide an indication that the NPF may come into operation possibly in the next 2 years.
News from RFS
Ashley Thlabanello joined out team during March from Lady Pohamba Hospital and has already endeared himself with his super friendly demeanour to all his colleagues and not doubt to those of our clients he has visited. Ashley is our friendly interface with the outside world in his capacity as company driver responsible for the timely and smooth transition of documents and information between our clients and other stakeholders and the company. We extend a hearty welcome to Ashley and look forward to enjoy his warm-heartedness and effectiveness for many years to come!
Bonita Uris joined us from Old Mutual in April, where she served in various pensions related positions since 2006. She obtained a B Admin degree from UNAM in 2004 and now takes care of a portfolio of free-standing funds. Her friendliness will undoubtedly serve her well with her clients and take her a long way in her career. We welcome Bonita and look forward to her making her mark in the pensions industry with RFS!
Andrea van Wyk joined us in April as a trainee administrator in the Benchmark department. After she had temped for RFS for a short while, we realised that she had just the right personality and demeanour to fit perfectly into our team and to make in-roads in pension fund administration. We welcome Andrea and wish her well in her future career with RFS.
RFS visits Oude Rus
RFS recently visited Oude Rus Old Age Home in Windhoek to distribute gifts to the elderly.
Above, two elderly residents receive gift packages.
Nobody was excluded. Above, RFS Director Frieda Venter had a chat with staff of the home.
Above, the RFS team on the visit to the home. The visit is an annual highlight on the RFS social responsibility calendar.
Letters from our readers
Where is the pension funds industry heading?
In the previous newsletter I expressed my personal reservations about the future of retirement savings in the light of government increasing the minimum local investment and the impact of this on future investment returns. Here is a letter in a similar vein from a principal officer of a retirement fund that ‘the powers that be’ should not simply ignore.
“I’m also very much concerned regarding the future of pension funds in Namibia, and regulation is not making it easier or perhaps I’m paranoid but the fact that everybody wants something out of the Funds is scary and more than ever should we unite and stand our ground. The bigger part of the annual conference just focused on how the government and entities can get pension fund money for every project that they want, I’m scared, worried to the extent that I even want to quit my current position because I will not be able to tell the members, “your money is gone”, there is nothing!.”
Thank you to the principal officer for raising your concerns through this letter! We would also like to encourage all readers to voice their opinions on pension fund matters so that we can use this newsletter to give at least some publicity to well-founded concern.
Reader’s comment on the Benchtest 07.2017 newsletter
“This newsletter, once again, packed with valuable information. It is a paradise for a trustee and Principal Officer who has no choice but to share this information with colleagues, even with friends. Hence, why I usually make use of Benchtest when compiling member communiques because the information shared with us by RFS is just too valuable not to be shared. Kindly note the feedback regarding NAMFISA’s last meeting held on 28 July 2017 on the proposed amendments to Regulation 29 under the Pension Funds Act (PFA). Unfortunately, I was not one of the only 3 or 4 pension fund representatives. Thank you Marthinuz for giving us detailed feedback. Take a kit-kat break and start reading...”
Thank you principal officer for your feedback – always good to read how readers receive our newsletters.
(for stakeholders of the retirement funds industry)
Why is it so difficult to pick a winning fund manager?
“Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future success, or so the disclaimer warns. And yet, it arguably remains by far the most important factor many investors consider when they choose a fund manager. Research conducted by Fundhouse shows that of those South African General Equity Funds that managed to outperform over a ten-year period, only one in five (21%) were able to do so over the following five-year period. Twenty-four percent outperformed during the following ten years. The main reason for that (when you go and dig behind it) is change – that the manager or the business or the circumstance that led to this ten-year of out-performance is no longer there. Stats lie. Don’t use past performance alone to select funds…”
Read the full article by Ingé Lamprecht in Moneyweb of 1 August 2017, here...
Your tolerance for investment risk is probably not what you think
“Anybody who has ever been to a financial adviser knows the drill. The adviser begins by asking you to fill out a questionnaire, aimed at getting at a key measure: your appetite for risk. By knowing how much risk you’re able to tolerate, the adviser knows how much you’re willing to lose to get where you want to go. The adviser can then construct a portfolio that reflects your risk tolerance. Pretty simple, no? If only….”
Read the full article by Meir Statman in Wall Street Journal of 10 September 2017, here...
(for investors and business)
The secret dangers of sitting at your desk all day
“Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and colleagues at five other institutions, somehow managed to convince 7,985 people aged 45 and older to wear an Actical accelerometer which measures physical movement and energy expenditure—on their right hips for more than 10 hours a day over a stretch of at least four days.
After a median four years of post-study follow-up, those in the least sedentary quartile (sitting a mean 649 minutes a day in typically 6.5-minute bouts) had a dramatically lower rate of death from all causes than those in the most sedentary group (835 minutes at rest, in periods of relative motionless averaging just under 20 minutes each).
Not surprisingly, those who were more active also tended to be younger, have less body mass, and have fewer health issues (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease) in general…”
Read the full article by Clifton Leaf in Fortune of 12 September 2017, here...
JP Morgan slams Bitcoin as a fraud
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he would fire any employee trading Bitcoin for being “stupid.” The crypto currency “won’t end well,” he told an investor conference in New York on Tuesday, predicting it will eventually blow up. “It’s a fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs.” If a JPMorgan trader began trading in Bitcoin, he said, “I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”
Read the article by Hugh Son, Hannah Levitt and Brian Louis, in Bloomberg on 13 September 2017, here...
Something to smile about
This is from a book called 'Disorder in the American Courts' and are things people actually said in Court, word for word, taken down and now published by Court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?