In this newsletter:
Benchtest 11.2013, Africa Cup of Investments Conference part 3, equity markets trending down, PMR diamond arrow again awarded to RFS, more staff pass exams in financial planning, season's greetings and more...
ESG idealism versus realism: overcoming doubts and demonstrating opportunities for returns
A CEO conversation
Read the full article here...
RFS congratulates its achievers
(for stakeholders of the retirement funds industry)
PFA orders death benefit allocations to be set aside
In these two cases complaints were lodged with the Pension Funds Adjudicator about the allocation made by the trustees. In ordering the funds to set aside the death benefit allocations, the PFA found that the trustees had fettered their discretion by not taking into account all the relevant factors in the distribution of the death benefit allocations.
The trustees should have conducted a proper investigation regarding the level of dependency, the age of the dependents, the wishes of the deceased, current financial affairs and future earning capacity of the dependants.
Read the full article in itinews of 21 November 2013, here...
I am retiring, help
In this article in Moneyweb of 9 December 2013, Felicity Duncan discusses common financial pitfalls retirees should avoid in retirement:
(for investors and business)
Financial adviser guilty of murder
A financial adviser has been found guilty of murdering his wealthy socialite client after stealing more than £300,000 from him. As Mr Troyan's financial adviser, David Jeffs was able to gain his trust but then quickly began to abuse that relationship to fund his own extravagant and excessive lifestyle.
Read this story on how far some persons are prepared to go in order to enrich themselves at the expense of others in BBC News of 29 November 2013 here...
Will the Rand weaken further?
In this interview by Hilton Tarrant of Moneyweb with Chris Gilmour of ABSA investments and Erna Moolman of Macquarie First South, on 11 December 2012, expert opinion is shared with the reader on how the Rand, inflation and the SARB repo rate are expected to develop over the next year. The view is that the Rand will weaken further, that inflation be under increasing pressure to the middle of next year and that the repo rate will only be raised in 2015.
Read the full article here...
Why 2014 will be a bad year for SA
In this article by Felicity Duncan in Moneyweb of 21 November, the writer comments that a "sword of Damocles" is hanging over emerging markets including SA.
The point is made that when the US Federal Reserve starts to reduce the size of its quantitative easing bond-buying programme emerging markets are likely to feel the pain. The Fed's enthusiastic bond-buying has been shoring up markets around the world by flooding them with liquidity. Emerging market stock exchanges, which are generally considered riskier than their peers in developed countries, have been a major beneficiary of the Fed boost. And that means that emerging markets stand to get burned when the spigots close.
Read the full article here...
John Mauldin in his 'Outside the Box' newsletter of 3 December makes reference to a very thought provoking quote worthwhile sharing with our readers, from Friedrich A. Hayek's lecture "The Pretense of Knowledge," delivered upon accepting the Nobel Prize in economics, Dec. 11, 1974:
"To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm. In the physical sciences there may be little objection to trying to do the impossible; one might even feel that one ought not to discourage the over-confident because their experiments may after all produce some new insights. But in the social field the erroneous belief that the exercise of some power would have beneficial consequences is likely to lead to a new power to coerce other men being conferred on some authority.
Even if such power is not in itself bad, its exercise is likely to impede the functioning of those spontaneous ordering forces by which, without understanding them, man is in fact so largely assisted in the pursuit of his aims. We are only beginning to understand on how subtle a communication system the functioning of an advanced industrial society is based-a communications system which we call the market and which turns out to be a more efficient mechanism for digesting dispersed information than any that man has deliberately designed.
If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.
There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, "dizzy with success," to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will. The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men's fatal striving to control society-a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals."