2020 amm invite 600
  Benchtest Newsletter
Issued August 2023
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In this newsletter

Benchtest 07.2023 – is RFS really inflexible, the ILO’s NPF Model, Facebook censored in Namibia and more...

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Important notes & reminders

  NAMFISA levies
  • Funds with August 2023 year-ends must submit their 2nd levy returns and payments by 22 September 2023;
  • Funds with February 2024 year-ends must submit their 1st levy returns and payments by 22 September 2023;
  • and funds with September 2022 year-ends must submit their final levy returns and payments by 29 September 2023.
Repo rate unchanged in August

BON announced after its August meeting that the repo rate remains unchanged at 7.75%. The interest rate on funds’ direct loans remains at 11.75%.

Registered service providers

Certain pension fund service providers must register with NAMFISA and report to NAMFISA. Download a list of service providers registered as of June 2023, here...
  Retirement calculator

Use our web-based retirement and risk shortfall calculator for your personal retirement planning. Find it here...

If you need help with your financial planning, get in touch with
  • Annemarie Nel (tel 061-446 073)
  • Christina Linge (061-446 6075)
Toolbox for trustees

RFS provides comprehensive support for trustees. Find a list of download documents to assist with governance and management of private funds, registered as of June 2022, here...



In this newsletter, we address the following topics:
  In 'A Note from the Managing Director' we present...
  • Why RFS may sometimes come across as being inflexible
In 'Tilman Friedrich's industry forum' we present...
  • Monthly review of portfolio performance – 31 July 2023
  • How will the de-dollarisation impact global financial markets?
  • The ILO and its National Pension Fund Model
  • Social media is censored even in Namibia! 
In Compliments, read...
  • A compliment from the principal officer of a large fund
In ‘Benchmark: a note from Günter Pfeifer’, read about…
  • Important circulars issued by the fund
In 'News from RFS', read about...
  • RFS welcomes new staff members
  • Long-service awards complement our business philosophy.
  • RFS donates activity board to Môreson Special School 
  • Important circulars issued by the fund
  In 'Legal snippets'. read about...
  • Estate Agency Affairs Board’s CEO goes rogue
  • The Trust Administration Act
In 'Snippets for the pension funds industry,' read about...
  • Three vital themes for investing over the next decade
  • Don’t bank on wishful thinking: Practical solution for a secure retirement
In ‘Snippets of general interest', read about...
  • The importance of ‘the balcony’ and how to build the reflective muscle
  • Elon Musk’s global load-shedding warning
And make a point of reading what our clients say about us in the ‘Compliments’ section. It should give you a good appreciation of who and what we are!

As always, your comment is welcome, so open a new mail and drop us a note!


Tilman Friedrich
Marthinuz Fabianus
A note from the Managing Director
Why RFS may sometimes come across as being inflexible
As we were celebrating our compliments the other day, I could not help but think about the different feedback we receive from clients!
At times, we also receive some complaints, which are also recorded and reported by our internal audit team to the internal audit committee and to the board of directors, and attention is given to how these complaints were resolved.
Then we receive verbal feedback from clients from different settings, such as on the side of or after a trustee meeting, during breakfast or lunch appointments with clients, etc.
From time to time, clients point out that they are extremely happy with our services, but the problem they have with us is that “RFS is inflexible”! It does not easily accommodate them, and things are only done the RFS way. There is some truth in this statement, though one has to add context to it. We state in our promotional material that “RFS offers rigid quality standards”. We also publicly acknowledge that “clients who prefer to do their business without following their fund rules and without paying attention to the law will experience our service as frustrating”.
However, we also say that “RFS is humble”. We recognise that we may sometimes come across as arrogant towards our clients in our insistence on things being done correctly. However,  given the appropriate perspective, clients will acknowledge that RFS always tries to accommodate their requirements. Where necessary, we would always offer an alternative to protect clients and their members against risks they often did not realise!
Clearly, it is often difficult to find a balance between what clients would like to achieve and what is in their best interests, and clients are bound sometimes to be frustrated in the first instance, but we are committed to maintaining the correct balance and going the extra mile!

Marthinuz Fabianus graduated from Namibian University of Science & Technology with a Diploma in Commerce and Bachelors in Business Management. He completed a senior management development programme at University of Stellenbosch and various short courses including a macro-economic policy course which he completed at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy. Marthinuz serves as trustee on the board of the Benchmark Retirement Fund and served two separate terms on the board of the Retirement Funds Institute of Namibia. Marthinuz also served as a Commissioner on the Social Security Commission from 2015-2017.
Tilman Friedrich's industry forum
Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance
to 31 July 2023

In July 2023, the average prudential balanced portfolio returned 1.1% (June 2023: 2.4%). The top performer is Momentum Namibia Growth Fund with 2.1%, while Ninety One Namibia Managed Fund with 0.3% takes the bottom spot. For the three months NAM Coronation Balanced Plus Fund takes the top spot, outperforming the 'average' by roughly 2.0%. NinetyOne Managed Fund underperformed the 'average' by 2.3% on the other end of the scale. Note that these returns are before (gross of) asset management fees.

The Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 July 2023 provides a full review of portfolio performances and other insightful analyses.  Download it here...
How will the de-dollarisation impact global financial markets?

De-dollarisation is the process of reducing reliance on the U.S. dollar in global transactions and financial systems. It has been a topic of significant debate among experts and economists.
The ongoing trend of de-dollarisation has garnered attention from both developed and emerging economies. While the pace and extent of de-dollarisation can vary across countries, its potential impact on global financial markets is undeniable.
Firstly, de-dollarisation could lead to increased currency and interest rate volatility. As countries diversify their foreign exchange reserves away from the dollar, the demand for other major currencies, such as the euro, yen, and yuan, may rise. This could result in fluctuations in exchange rates, affecting international trade and investment. Countries will use the local interest rate to cushion currency volatility. Companies engaged in cross-border transactions would need to manage increased currency risk, potentially impacting their profitability.
Secondly, the shift away from the dollar could alter the dynamics of sovereign debt markets. Historically, many countries have issued bonds denominated in U.S. dollars to tap into the deep and liquid dollar-denominated markets. A move towards issuing bonds in local currencies or alternative currencies could reshape the global bond landscape. Investors may face challenges in assessing the creditworthiness of sovereigns issuing debt in non-dollar currencies, leading to increased credit risk considerations….

The Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 July 2023 also reflects the editor’s views on current developments and their impact on investment markets. Download it here...
The ILO and its National Pension Fund Model
When the Canadian expert on social security systems from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently visited Namibia to present his proposals to local audiences, he got hold of our article in a previous newsletter, wherein we raised various concerns about the ILO model.
He then found it necessary to issue a 20-page addendum to his presentation, wherein he refuted and discredited each of the concerns we had raised, referring as ‘myths’, and referring to the ILO position as ‘reality’.
Some of the ‘realities’ contrasting our ‘myths’ are very insightful.
He claims that the cross-subsidisation between higher and lower income brackets is a minimal of 0.58% of the higher income brackets’ contribution. Unfortunately, he did not present numbers. How many contributors who currently participate in approved pension funds would contribute, and how many of those not covered by these funds would contribute?
We made the point that ILO labour statistics of 260 countries show that the average unemployment rate was 6%, contrasted with Namibia’s 33%, and the latter excludes 17% informally employed plus another 21% ‘vulnerably employed. The unemployed, informally employed and vulnerably employed are likely not covered by existing funds and would outnumber those in existing funds by 2.5 to one, contrasted with the global average of one unemployed to 17 employed. It already indicates that Namibia’s model cannot be anywhere similar to the ideal ILO model.
The expert suggests that its model must still find ways to cover these three categories of persons (own account workers, subsistence farmers and unpaid family workers). The higher income brackets and the government must each subsidise them. So the ILO does not yet know how to cover these groups, but in the meantime, we will set up an NPF for those already covered by the existing industry! Furthermore, if the cross-subsidisation element is so immaterial, why are the ILO and the Ministry’s labour adviser so dead-set on obliging everyone to contribute to an NPF, which will uproot the existing industry and create a parallel national system? Most pension fund members would rather pay off another tax of 0.23% and look after their retirement capital than be forced into another inefficient, intransparent and inflexible government-controlled institution.
The problem with a defined benefit system is that it does not cater for a sudden currency collapse or hyperinflation, unlike defined contribution systems. Your benefits are a function of your salary, no matter what happens to the currency and inflation. In a DC fund, investment returns are linked to financial markets and a collapse of the currency or hyperinflation is typically compensated by high investment returns. Zimbabwe government employees who retired before the collapse of the Zim Dollar and the resulting hyperinflation were left destitute after it happened! I rather pay more towards management costs for the benefit of flexibility, transparency and control!
This brings me to another ‘myth’ that the existing industry will become economically unviable. The expert acknowledges the serious impact of the ILO model on the existing industry, but his ‘reality’ is that the NPF will accumulate significant assets that will need to be properly invested and that, at least at the beginning of the NPF, it will rely on outside expertise for the investment management by these asset managers.
Is this ‘reality’ a sign of a lack of insight into the Namibian pensions industry or a total disregard for all the other players in the industry? He states that in many countries with a DB social insurance scheme, there are also flourishing retirement funds industries. Does he understand our industry and its history? Namibia would have had no social protection had it not been for the private sector’s introduction of private pension funds to which the pension industry caters. In the ‘many countries with flourishing industries’, I suspect that governments were first to introduce social protection or introduced it alongside the private sector introducing its own arrangements. Many of these countries probably still offer economies of scale for service providers to private pension funds despite a national social protection fund. If our industry is left with only 60,000 members, it is hardly enough to allow one administrator (as an example) to run a viable operation, meaning there will be no competition with all the negative consequences of such a situation. The same will apply to many of the other specialised service providers!
Another ‘myth is that the SSC model envisaged a funding rate of 13% in contrast to the ILO model’s 15.9%. The expert points out that the latter rate would actually be very similar to the SSC’s rate if the ILO were using the SSC actuary’s assumptions. My question is, why does the ILO not use the same assumptions, or has it concluded that it has superior statistics?
Our argument that a market crash impacts DC and DB funds in the same manner is a ‘myth’. According to the expert, the ‘reality’ is that it impacts 100% of the DC fund’s assets. Because the ILO model envisages only partial funding, such as 30% in Canada, where only 30% of the assets were impacted by the Global Financial Crisis. The question is, who carries the difference between the value of the 100% liability and the 30% asset? The expert’s answer is that it is carried by its members collectively over a very long period without affecting the members’ pension.
So the ILO model cannot avoid the problem but merely transfers it to future generations, hoping that today’s assumptions will still be applicable in 100 years. After the Global Financial Crisis, US pension funds panicked about large actuarial deficits underwritten by the government. He makes the point that by smoothing investment returns in a DC fund, those retiring after a crash will be pleased, while those retiring after a bull run will not be. By implication, he says that because I can relate my benefit in a DC fund to developments in financial markets but have no insight and cannot do so in the ILO model, the latter is a superior arrangement.
He does not consider the smoothing in the ILO model as socialist but understands that it is based on ‘social solidarity and collective financing’. If a member of the NPF has no ownership despite being obliged to contribute, he has no interest in its success. It helps the government to monopolise another national asset at the expense of the private sector. To me, this is a socialist principle, but call it anything else!
The ILO expert declares a few other concerns as ‘myths’ with suspect arguments. Unfortunately, it serves little purpose to put forward meaningful arguments against the ILO’s NPF if the ILO and the ministry’s labour adviser have their say. The ILO experts stated categorically that it is about Namibia complying with the ILO Convention 102 (minimum standards). A DC scheme cannot be taken into account to assess compliance with ILO C.102. To sweeten what must be a bitter pill for Namibia adopting its model, the ILO offers its ‘Global Accelerator’ programme aimed at job creation. I am always very sceptical of someone wanting to sell something using a sales incentive. At the end of the day, the cost of a sales incentive is always built into the cost of the product.
Social media is censored even in Namibia!
In a previous newsletter, we reported to the models for a National Pension Fund that the ILO recently presented to various audiences here in Windhoek. Our efforts to boost this article on Facebook were unsuccessful. Apparently, the abbreviation ILO is protected against any public discourse – even in Namibia!

Tilman Friedrich is a chartered accountant and a Namibian Certified Financial Planner® practitioner, specialising in pensions. He is a co-founder, shareholder, Chairman of the RFS Board, retired chairperson, and now a trustee of the Benchmark Retirement Fund.
Compliment from a principal officer of a large fund
Dated 2 August 2023
 You have an excellent Team here
 Thank you RFS”

Read more comments from our clients here...
Benchmark: a note from Günter Pfeifer
Important circulars issued by the Fund

The Benchmark Retirement Fund issued the following circular in May and June:
  • Announcement no. 6 – Developments in respect of the Benchmark Default Portfolio
Clients are welcome to contact us if they require a copy of any circular.
Günter Pfeifer was the Principal Officer and a trustee of the Benchmark Retirement Fund for many years. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Cum Laude). Günter completed his articles with Deloitte & Touche in Windhoek. He completed the De Beers ‘Program For Management Development’ at Gordon Institute for Business Science and the Advanced Development Program at the London Business School. He was formerly the Financial Manager of De Beers Marine.
News from RFS
RFS welcomes new staff members

We are delighted to announce that Hermine Podewiltz will be joining our permanent staff as a portfolio manager in the Benchmark division on 14 August 2023. Hermine gained valuable experience in our industry during her 7 years of service with Alex Forbes, where she started in January 2016 as a junior administrator and worked her way up to be an Administration Manager. She worked on most of the bigger funds of Alex Forbes.
She matriculated at Otjiwarongo High School in 2011, and she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UNAM in 2016. She also obtained an Honours Degree in Strategic Human Resources Management from UNAM in 2017.
We warmly welcome Hermine to the team and look forward to her contribution to helping our Benchmark clients to rest easy, knowing that RFS is attending to their funds' business. We are confident that Hermine’s expertise and experience will be a valuable addition to our team, and we wish her all the best in her new role!

Long service awards complement our business philosophy

RFS’ business is primarily about people. Whenever a fund changes its administrator, it loses fund information and knowledge. Similarly, every time the administrator loses a staff member, our clients lose corporate memory. As a small Namibian organisation, we cannot compete with large multinationals technology-wise because of the economies of scale, and sophistication global IT systems offer. We differentiate ourselves through excellent personal service and commitment to our clients, and IT systems that are more flexible, versatile and adaptable, and more appropriate for the Namibian environment. We are proud of our staff retention as we know that it is the key to our success!
We express our sincere gratitude for his loyalty and support over the past ten years to Giovanni van Wyk (19 August), client manager of the Benchmark Retirement Fund. We look forward to his continued dedication and commitment to the company, our clients, and our colleagues!

RFS donates activity board to Môreson Special School

Sensory play is a vital tool in the development of cognitively impaired learners. Rudigar van Wyk as the husband of a teacher at the Môreson Special School took the initiative to approach RFS for the sponsorship of an activity board for the beginners phase 1 (juniors), but after the principal, Mrs Anita Kreft, saw the impact it had on the children, she now wants to implement it across the school. The school currently has 185 learners.
Thank you, Rudigar, for this great initiative.  May this serve as a wonderful example of social responsibility for other colleagues to strive for, and may the activity board lasting results for many learners at the Môreson Special School!

Rudigar van Wyk with Mrs Petronella Nyazo, head of department, at the handover.
Teacher Candice with a few aspiring engineers.   An artist in the making!
Important circulars issued by RFS
RFS issued the following circulars in July:
  • Circular 2023.07-04 – ‘Late payment interest and tax’
  • Circular 2023.07-05 – ‘Cash management arrangement’
Clients are welcome to contact us if they require a copy of any circular.
Legal snippets
Estate Agency Affairs Board’s CEO goes rogue

In a bizarre complaint lodged with the Adjudicator, the board of directors of the Estate Agency Affairs Board South Africa (“employer”) complained inter alia about the conduct of its own CEO in relation to the employer’s failure to deduct and remit pension contributions to the Estate Agency Affairs Board Pension and Life Assurance Scheme (“fund”) in respect of certain affected employees.
Notwithstanding that the rules of the fund provide that every permanent employee must be registered as a member of the fund, the CEO instructed the human resources department of the employer to not make deductions in respect of five of its employees. This was done apparently to afford the affected employees an opportunity to consider their financial position and whether they could afford the deductions. The CEO’s instructions to the HR department were in direct conflict with instructions given to her by the board of directors and it is not clear whether disciplinary action ensued. However, there was an exchange of legal opinions and legal memoranda expressing different views on the issue.
Obviously concerned about the implications of such conduct, the board of the employer approached the FSCA for guidance. The FSCA inter alia guided that the matter be referred to the Adjudicator and that a criminal complaint be laid. The matter was trite – the employer is bound by the rules of the fund and section 13A of the Act. Further, section 37(1)(a) of the Act makes non-compliance with section 13A a criminal offence for which one can be held liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding R10 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both [in Namibia the fines under the PFA are paltry, but the FIMA fines will be comparable to SA fines]. After a proper analysis of the facts and the law, including the rules of the fund, the Adjudicator ordered registration of the affected employees with the fund, payment of arrear contributions, and the submission of all schedules to the fund.
The Trust Administration Act (Act 11 of 2023)

The Trust Administration Act relates to the regulation of trusts and the responsibilities of individuals and institutions involved in the creation, administration, and control of trusts. It is a new law that replaces the Trust Moneys Protect Act, 1934 and comprises one of the legislative changes that had to be hurried through the parliament to avoid Namibia’s greylisting.

Having been hurried through the parliament, it is likely that the new Act will present many new challenges. One of these challenges is that it overlaps with the PFA and the FIMA in that the description of a ‘trust’ Section 2, seemingly includes pension funds. Although it would be non-sensial, as the law stands it seemingly means that pensin funds, their trustees and service providers would have to comply with the Trust Administration Act.

Here's a summary of the key points covered in this law:

Applicability and Definitions (Section 1)
  • Applies to individuals, entities, and institutions involved in creating, administering, and controlling trusts in Namibia (note that pension funds are not explicitly excluded).
  • Introduces key definitions establishing framework and terms. Here are some of the new or less commonly understood definitions:
    • Accountable institution: A registered legal practitioner; estate agent; accountant or auditor carrying out money or real estates transactions on behalf of clients; trust and company service providers; banks, casinos; money lenders (e.g. Agribank, NHE, DBN) mineral traders; financial instrument traders; investment adviser or broker; Nampost; bureau de change; NSX member; L-T Insurer, UT/ UT man com; micro lender; friendly society.
    • Accountant: a person who has obtained a degree or equivalent qualification in accounting and who is a member of a body in Namibia which is recognised as the professional body for accountants;
    • Beneficial owner: A person who owns or controls a client, incl a natural person; owns or controls more than 20% or more of the shares or voting rights of a legal person; receives a large % tage of the dividends; exercises control over the management
    • Beneficiary: a person who has received, or who will or may receive, a benefit under a trust and includes a discretionary beneficiary, which is a person who may benefit under a trust at the discretion of the trustee but which person does not have a fixed, vested, or contingent interest in the trust property.
Creation and Characteristics of Trusts (Sections 2 and 3)
  • Trust transfers ownership of property to trustee for beneficiaries' benefit.
  • Trust must be created with intent, permitted purpose, clear property/object definitions.
  • Beneficiaries must be identifiable.
  • Oral trusts invalid post-law commencement. 
Validity and Registration of Trusts (Sections 5 to 9)
  • Trust valid if follows instrument terms.
  • Invalid if contrary to Namibian law or confers unlawful rights/powers.
  • Trusts require registration and authorization for administration.
  • Trust instrument details required.
  • Master approves registration, issues certificate, or refuses with reasons.
  • Non-compliance leads to fines or imprisonment. 
Disqualification to Act as Trustee or Trust Practitioner (Section 10)
  • Disqualifications include insolvency, judicial management, disqualifications as company director, certain convictions, minors, mental incapacity. 
Appointment of Trustees (Section 11)
  • Nominated/appointed trustees need Master's written authorization.
  • Application with information, documents, and fees required. 
Foreign Trustees (Section 12)
  • Trustees of foreign trusts with Namibian property need Master's authorization.
  • Non-resident trustees require resident co-trustee if all trustees are non-resident. 
Security (Section 13)
  • Trustee provides security to Master, unless exempted.
  • Master can adjust security, issue directives. 
Duties of Trustees (Section 14)
  • Trustees act diligently, honestly, in good faith.
  • Act according to trust instrument, for beneficiaries' benefit.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest, treat beneficiaries as per instrument.
  • Limited remuneration as allowed. 
  • Trustees to Act Jointly (Section 15)
  • Multiple trustees must act jointly. 
Restriction on Exemption and Indemnity Provisions (Section 16)
  • Trust instrument can't limit/exclude liability for breach of trust due to dishonesty, misconduct, negligence.
  • Can't indemnify trustees against such liabilities. 
Keeping Trust Property Separate (Section 17)
  • Trustees keep trust property distinct, enhance its value.
  • Record-keeping, registration requirements. 
Notifying Address of Trustee (Section 18)
  • Trustees provide address for notices, communicate changes. 
Duty to Prepare Financial Statements and Furnish Information (Section 19)
  • Accountant prepares annual financial statements.
  • Trustees prepare tax returns, provide tax clearance certificates. 
Keeping of Books (Section 20)
  • Trustees maintain records about founder, beneficiaries, trustees, trust property, transactions, etc.
  • Changes communicated to Master. 
Trust Account (Section 21)
  • Trustees deposit trust funds into designated account.
  • Trustee roles disclosed, relationships with institutions communicated. 
Trustees and Beneficial Ownership
  • Must establish, record beneficial ownership at registration.
  • Maintain records, communicate changes, make register available. 
Resignation of Trustee
  • Trustee resigns by written notice to Master, co-trustees, beneficiaries.
  • Resignation effective if not contrary to trust instrument or approved by Master. 
Death of Trustee
  • Surviving trustees maintain trust property up to 30 days.
  • Sole trustee's death: Master appoints replacement trustee with beneficiaries' concurrence. 
Trust Practitioners
  • Trustees can employ registered trust practitioners.
  • Must be registered, fulfill eligibility criteria.
  • Provide various trust-related services, receive remuneration. 
Accountants and Auditors
  • Must not conflict with trust instruments.
  • Submit financial statements, report irregularities to Master.
  • May be removed, sanctioned for non-compliance. 
  • Appoints suitable trustees when vacancies arise.
  • Keeps basic information and beneficial ownership registers.
  • Issues directives, provides certified copies. 
  • Approves amendments to trust instruments.
  • Orders trustee compliance, removal.
  • Trustee removal by Master, interested parties, court in specific circumstances. 
Inspection of Books and Investigation
  • Master inspects, audits trustee books.
  • Inspector/auditor ensures compliance. 
Powers and Functions of Inspectors
  • Inspectors enter premises, require production, search.
  • Seize items for investigation.
  • Entry to homes may need warrant/consent. 
Administrative Sanctions
  • Master imposes sanctions for non-compliance.
  • Penalties include warnings, reprimands, fines. 
  • Prohibition of Disclosure of Confidential Information
  • Certain individuals can't disclose confidential info except as required by law. 
  • Master issues guidelines for interpreting and applying the Act. 
Limitation of Liability
  • Master, inspectors not personally liable for actions in good faith. 
  • Minister makes regulations on forms, procedures, fees, penalties. 
Delegation of Powers and Assignment of Functions
  • Master delegates powers, assigns functions to Ministry staff. 
Repeal of Laws
  • Repeals the Trust Moneys Protection Act, 1934. 
Transitional and Savings Provisions
  • Existing roles continue, subject to terms.
  • Non-authorized must apply within 90 days.
  • Trust certificates under repealed Act valid.
  • Certain actions under repealed Act deemed under new Act. 
Please consult the full legal text for precise understanding.

Snippets for the pension fund industry
Three vital themes for investing over the next decade
These themes are the environment, infrastructure, and innovation. Companies operating profitably in these areas are likely to have a prosperous future.
  1. Environment: The article emphasizes the significant threat posed by environmental challenges in the coming decade. It discusses companies that are dedicated to addressing these threats.
  2. Infrastructure: The article discusses the substantial global infrastructure gap of $15 trillion, which presents a significant investment opportunity.
  3. Innovation: The third theme focuses on innovation-driven companies that excel in their areas of expertise. 
The article also acknowledges the widespread applications of artificial intelligence (AI) across various sectors, such as healthcare, finance, education, e-commerce, and manufacturing. The author mentions their specialized AI team focused on understanding AI implications for investments.
In conclusion, the article underscores the need for a shift in investment strategies over the next decade due to the anticipated exponential changes and challenges. Long-term success will depend on recognizing and capitalizing on opportunities within the environment, infrastructure, and innovation sectors.

Read the article by Fabiana Fedeli of M&G Investments in MoneyMarketing of 4 August 2023, here…
Don’t bank on wishful thinking: Practical solution for a secure retirement
Retirement is a time that many people may look forward to, envisioning a golden phase of life filled with relaxation, pursuing hobbies, and spending quality time with friends and family. However, wishful thinking about affording retirement can create significant challenges down the line.
Here we will explore three common ways that people deceive themselves about retirement and the importance of considering realistic options to secure a comfortable future.
  • Something will happen to save me
  • I will pass away before finances become a problem in retirement
  • My children will help me 
While wishful thinking can bring temporary comfort, it is crucial to face the reality of retirement planning head-on.
The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time your investments will have to grow, enabling you to purchase an adequate income-generating product when you retire, such as a guaranteed annuity or a living annuity…”

Read the article by Clive Lazar of Just SA, in Cover of 20 July 2023, here…

Snippets of general interest

The importance of ‘the balcony’ and how to build the reflective muscle
“Adaptability is not just about being successful in a changing world, evolutionary biology identifies it as essential to survival.
One of the most important of the adaptive skills is that of ‘getting on the balcony’.
Inherent in the Adaptive Leadership model is this powerful (and very helpful) analogy of the ‘Balcony and the Dance floor’.
It is all about perspective and from where it is that we view things. Most of us (and worryingly so, many leaders) operate for the majority of our time from the dance floor. It is about ‘doing’, being ‘active’, and being continually involved...

Here are some ways to help you cultivate this vital reflective habit that is so essential for adaptability:

Review your past 6 leadership agendas: how much of your agenda is driven entirely by operational issues? If this is the case, then you / your team are neglecting the balcony. Introduce some agenda items that force you to step back and observe / ‘look out the window’
  • Author Meg Wheatley suggests that "thinking is the place where all intelligent action starts".
  • Diarise 30-60 minutes over the next week to find a quiet place where you can go with a notebook and pen and do some thinking….”
Read the full article by Caryn Edwards in TomorrowToday Insight of 18 July 2023, here…
Elon Musk’s global load-shedding warning
Elon Musk has warned that the world could soon face electricity shortages due to increased power demand from the growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and power-hungry technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).
The Wall Street Journal reports that the CEO of the world’s biggest fully-electric car manufacturer — Tesla —  raised his concerns on various occasions in the past few weeks.
The most recent was at a conference held by one of the US’s biggest power utilities — PG&E — on Tuesday, where Musk called on energy executives to shorten the time scale for new projects and encouraged a high sense of urgency.
“My biggest concern is that there’s insufficient urgency,” Musk said. “If you have a fairly static electricity demand, which has been the case in the US for a while, it hasn’t changed a lot, then having projects take a long time is okay.”
“But in a rapidly changing scenario, where electricity demand is increasing, we have to move much faster.”
Musk recently also told an energy conference in Austin that he couldn’t emphasise enough the need for more electricity.
“However much electricity you think you need, more than that is needed.”…

Read the full article in Businesstech of 31 July 2023, here…

And finally...
Wisdom from great philosophers

Here's a famous quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca, known for his wisdom on various aspects of life, including finances:

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."
— Seneca

This quote reminds us that true wealth isn't solely measured by the amount of possessions or money we have. Instead, it highlights the importance of contentment and managing our desires. By focusing on what we truly need and finding satisfaction in simpler things, we can achieve a sense of wealth and financial well-being that goes beyond material accumulation.


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Whilst we have taken all reasonable measures to ensure that the results reflected herein are correct, Benchmark Retirement Fund and RFS Fund Administrators (Pty) Ltd do not accept any liability for the accuracy of the information and no decision should be taken on the basis of the information contained herein before confirming the detail with the relevant portfolio manager.

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