Issued October 2023
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In this newsletter...
  Benchtest 09.2023 – best practice for retirement savings, provident fund tax loophole and more...  
Jump to...
  NAMFISA levies
  • Funds with October 2023 year-ends must submit their 2nd levy returns and payments by 24 November 2023;
  • Funds with April 2024 year-ends must submit their 1st levy returns and payments by 24 November 2023;
  • and funds with October 2022 year-ends must submit their final levy returns and payments by 31 October 2023.
Repo rate unchanged in September

BON announced after its September 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 'Tilman Friedrich's industry forum' we present...
  • Monthly review of portfolio performance – 30 September 2023
  • How do you invest when the Namibia Dollar is weak and political risks are high?
  • Best practices for maximising retirement savings and financial security
  • Tax evasion at retirement from a provident fund?
In Compliments, read...
  • A compliment from a Benchmark fund member
In ‘Benchmark: a note from Günter Pfeifer’, read about…
  • The Benefit Counsellor is now even more user-friendly
  • Benchmark and RFS welcome prestigious new participating employers
  • Benchmark appoints new trustee
  • Important circulars and notices issued by the fund
In 'News from RFS', read about...
  • Saying goodbye is never easy
  • Staff improving their competencies
  • Staff participate in the Paratus Namibian Cycle Classic
  • RFS helps souls connect
  • Annemarie Nel does it again
  • RFS donates to Future Hope CYDC
  • Important circulars issued by the fund 
  In News from NAMFISA', read about...
  • 14 September Industry Meeting minutes
In 'Legal snippets', read about...
  • Old Mutual vs Old Mutual Staff Pension Fund on withholding of benefit revisited
  • Can an employer really still withhold a benefit?
In 'Snippets for the pension funds industry,' read about...
  • Don’t accept losses from value investing
  • Key decisions to be made at retirement
In ‘Snippets of general interest', read about...
  • 4 Financial mistakes young people make and how to avoid them
  • Ranking the top ten universities in SA
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
Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance
to 30 September 2023
  In September 2023, the average prudential balanced portfolio returned -2.3% (August 2023: 0.4%). The top performer is Hangala Capital Absolute Balanced Fund, with -1.1%, while Namibia Coronation Balanced Plus Fund, with -4.0%, takes the bottom spot. For the three months, Allan Gray Namibia Fund takes the top spot, outperforming the 'average' by roughly 1.6%. On the other end of the scale, NinetyOne Managed Fund underperformed the 'average' by 1.9%. Note that these returns are before (gross of) asset management fees. (Refer to graphs 3.1.3 to 3.1.5 for a more insightful picture of the rolling long-term performances of the portfolios and the asset classes.)

The Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 30 September 2023 reviews portfolio performances and provides insightful analyses.  Download it here...
How do you invest when the Namibia Dollar is weak and political risks are high?
  Investing when the Namibia Dollar is heavily undervalued and global tensions - such as those arising from the Ukraine and Palestine conflicts, and not to forget the Taiwan tensions between the US and China - requires a strategic approach prioritising capital preservation and wealth protection. Diversifying your assets across different currencies and international markets can help mitigate the impact of a Namibia dollar devaluation and economic instability in the Common Monetary Area. Consulting with a financial advisor specialising in international investments may also be beneficial in developing a tailored strategy.
In the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 30 September 2023, we elaborate on the strategies an investor should follow under the above circumstances. It also reflects the editor’s views on current developments and their impact on investment markets.

Download the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 30 September 2023, here...
Best practices for maximising retirement savings and financial security
  Maximising retirement savings and achieving financial security is a long-term goal that requires careful planning and disciplined financial management. Here are some best practices to help you on your journey to financial security and a comfortable retirement:
  1. Set clear retirement goals
    Determine your retirement goals, including the age at which you want to retire, your desired lifestyle, and any specific financial objectives. You must express your desired lifestyle as a monthly amount you require to support it and the capital you must accumulate to provide the required income. At the same time, your financial objectives should consider your financial position and how you intend to adjust it at retirement.
  2. Create a retirement plan
    Develop a retirement plan that determines how much you must save to accumulate enough capital for your desired lifestyle after retirement. Consider your expected expenses and planned adjustments to your financial position and determine the investment strategy you must adopt to achieve your financial goals. Consider working with a financial advisor to create a personalised financial plan.
  3. Start saving early
    The power of compound interest means that the earlier you start saving for retirement, the less you'll need to save each month to reach your goals. Make regular contributions to the retirement fund. Capitalise on the tax-deductible N$ 150,000 per year regarding retirement fund contributions.
  4. Diversify investments
    Diversify your investment portfolio to spread risk. Consider a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets based on your risk tolerance and time horizon. Regularly review and rebalance your portfolio. Remember that your risk tolerance is determined by how much you save and how much capital you need at retirement. Suppose your monthly savings should accumulate more capital than you need under your financial plan. In that case, you can reduce your risk exposure for lower investment volatility and peace of mind. The opposite applies if your financial plan indicates that your current monthly savings would not accumulate enough capital at retirement.
  5. Minimize fees but beware of offerings that are too good to be true
    Pay attention to the fees associated with your investments. High fees can eat into your returns over time. Choose low-cost index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) when possible. Consider offerings regarding very low costs or high returns with circumspection. No one works for love and charity, and everything that goes up will come down - there is usually a catch.
  6. Automate savings
    Set up automatic transfers from your bank account to your retirement savings accounts. This ensures consistent contributions and reduces the temptation to spend the money.
  7. Live within your means
    Avoid overspending and accumulating high-interest debt. Budget your expenses and prioritise saving for retirement. Live a lifestyle that you can sustain through retirement. Resist the temptation to compete with your neighbour. He may have resources you do not have or be financially irresponsible.
  8. Emergency fund
    Build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses so you don't have to dip into your retirement savings prematurely. Ideally, the emergency fund should cover six months’ cost of living while you are still generating a monthly income. Once you start drawing a monthly income from your accumulated capital, your emergency fund should have been built up to one year’s cost of living.
  9. Stay informed
    Continuously educate yourself about financial matters, investments, and retirement planning. Be aware of tax and financial regulation changes that could impact your retirement.
  10. Healthcare planning
    Most employers stop subsidising medical aid contributions once you retire. Plan for healthcare costs in retirement. Understand your options for Medicare and supplemental insurance.
  11. Debt management
    Pay off high-interest debts before retirement to reduce financial stress. This includes credit card debt, high-interest loans, and mortgages. Remember that retirement fund investments usually earn returns of about 4% above inflation after fees. Any debt attracting a higher interest rate would reduce net wealth and should be paid off as soon as possible.
  12. Estate planning
    Create or update your estate plan, including your will, trusts, and beneficiary designations. This ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
  13. Regularly review and adjust
    Periodically review your retirement plan and make adjustments as needed. Life circumstances and financial goals may change over time.
  14. Seek professional advice
    Consider consulting with a certified financial planner or retirement advisor for guidance.
  15. Stay disciplined
    Stick to your retirement plan and resist the temptation to make impulsive financial decisions. Long-term discipline is critical to success in life and financial security. 
Remember that achieving financial security and a comfortable retirement is a gradual process that requires commitment and patience. The earlier you start and diligently follow these best practices, the better your chances of enjoying a financially secure retirement.
Tax evasion at retirement from a provident fund?
  When a provident fund member retires, he will be entitled to his total retirement benefit as a lump sum, and two-thirds will be taxed if he chooses to take it all in cash. Unfortunately, the Income Tax Act’s section 16(1)(z) offers a loophole. The retiring member can instruct the fund administrator to pay his tax-free one-third and transfer the remaining two-thirds to a preservation fund. Under section 16(1)(z), the transfer to a preservation fund is tax-free, and the Act or the NamRA’s administrative procedures do not require an indication if the transfer amount comprises the taxable portion. NamRA, therefore, cannot track the taxable portion transferred tax-free to a preservation fund.
An unscrupulous adviser and fund member can now transfer the untaxed two-thirds to a pension, provident or retirement annuity fund. The member can then retire again from that fund and get another one-third paid out tax-free.
Many years ago, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), realised that advisers exploited the loophole. To uncover the full extent of this tax evasion scheme, IRD instructed all administrators to provide comprehensive details of all retirements for the preceding ten years. This instruction was the proverbial ‘cat amongst the pigeons’. The industry was up in arms and pulled every lever to lobby against the IRD’s instruction.
Because of the editor’s nightmarish experience of extracting detailed 10-year history, RFS adopted an internal policy not to allow a provident fund to take a one-third tax-free portion and transfer the two-thirds taxable portion to a preservation fund, even if the fund rules permitted it. The internal policy requires the member to take all in cash or to transfer all to another fund.
Although it will be difficult for NamRA to uncover members using the loophole to evade income tax, section 95 gives NamRA the power to tax any transaction that “…was entered into or carried out solely or mainly for the purposes of the avoidance or the postponement of the liability for the payment of any tax, duty or levy …”. Should this happen, NamRA will impose penalties and interest for the late tax payment. If the misuse occurred many years ago, the penalty and interest could add up to a substantial amount. NamRA could even withdraw the tax approval of the fund with severe consequences for the employer and its employees.
I acknowledge that RFS’ internal policy restricting partial transfers from a provident fund at retirement has no legal basis. Still, it would not be in a fund’s or the member’s interest to overrule RFS’ internal policy, and we caution against it.
Compliment from a Benchmark fund member
Dated 6 October 2023
“Good morning J
Hope you are well. Thank you for the wonderful service that you have provided and always provide to me and all your customers. That's the reason I am transferring my pension from GIPF to RFS.”

Read more comments from our clients, here...
The Benefit Counsellor is now even more user-friendly
  The Benchmark Retirement Fund recently successfully migrated to the new Benefit Counsellor Platform.
The most significant change occurred in the WhatsApp interface, which now also offers all the online options and menus. If you are a member, please play with the WhatsApp feature to see what it offers.
Benchmark and RFS welcome prestigious new participating employers
  The Benchmark Retirement Fund (BRF) and RFS Fund Administrators (Pty) Ltd (RFS) are pleased to announce the addition of the following prestigious new clients as participating employers of the BRF and welcome the companies and all their employees:
  • Coca Cola Namibia
  • Letshego Bank Namibia
  • FirstRand Namibia Group
  • The Academy of Banking
The Benchmark Retirement Fund and RFS are excited to partner with them and help them achieve their business goals.
Benchmark has a proven track record of success in helping businesses of all sizes to improve their employee benefit programs. Benchmark and RFS are committed to these new clients with the highest level of service and support and are confident that this partnership will be mutually beneficial.
Benchmark and RFS look forward to a long and successful partnership with their new clients.
Benchmark appoints new trustee
  The Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Mr. Hermann Hentschel as independent trustee to the Benchmark Retirement Fund effective 1 November 2023.
Mr. Hentschel brings a wealth of experience to the Benchmark Board, having served as Chairperson of the FirstRand Namibia Board, Vice Chairperson of the FirstRand Namibia Pension Fund, and Trustee on the O&L Pension Fund.
Mr. Hentschel holds a Master of Science in Leadership and Change Management and a B-Com (Hons) in Management Accounting. He is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
The Board welcomes Mr. Hentschel to the Board and looks forward to the value he will add to the Benchmark Retirement Fund.
Important circulars issued by the Fund
  The Benchmark Retirement Fund issued the following circulars in September:
  • Announcement no. 6 – Benchmark Default Portfolio Annual Review
  • Announcement no. 7 – Developments in respect of the Benchmark Default Portfolio
  • Announcement no. 8 – Appointment of Trustee 
Clients are welcome to contact us if they require a copy of any circular.
Saying goodbye is never easy!
  We regret having to bid goodbye to Austin Thirion, who has served our clients in various capacities over the past ten years. Austin left RFS’ employ at the end of September to pursue other interests. We are grateful for Austin's dedication and commitment to RFS and our customers during this time. He will be missed greatly.
We thank Austin for his dedication to the company and our clients and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
Staff improving their competencies
RFS prioritises its staff's ongoing education and professional development. As Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the greatest equaliser," and by investing in the education and training of its employees, RFS is helping to create a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce.
By supporting its staff in their pursuit of further education, RFS is also investing in the long-term success of its business. As staff members become more skilled and knowledgeable, they are better equipped to provide high-quality service to clients and to help the company stay competitive in a rapidly changing market.
We wholeheartedly congratulate
  • Sebastian Frank-Schultz, for completing the postgraduate diploma in financial planning – well done; we share your pride in this achievement! Now it’s for the final round: the CFP board exam, and we already wish Sebastian all the best en route to being accorded the respected CFP® designation. We wish you a successful career in the pension funds management field under the coveted RFS brand!
  • Lainha Jesaya for obtaining her Bachelor of Accounting degree from NUST. May this contribute to a successful career, and we look forward to Lainha applying her acquired expertise to benefit her clients and the RFS team!
Staff participate in the Paratus Namibian Cycle Classic
Five cyclists represented RFS at this year’s Paratus Namibian Cycle Classic. We congratulate them on achieving their personal goals and proudly flying the RFS flag.
In the picture from left to right are Giovanni van Wyk (30 km), Timothy Wallenstein (60 km), Rudigar van Wyk (30 km), Aliza (30 km), and Marius Prinsloo (30 km).
RFS helps souls connect
Singing is the language of the heart, a universal expression of human emotion. It transcends barriers and connects souls, carrying the power to heal, uplift, and inspire. Through song, we find our truest selves, and in the process, we touch the hearts of others. Singing is not just a skill; it's a gift, a treasure that enriches our lives and brings people closer together. Andrea Bocelli, an Italian tenor and one of the most successful opera singers in the world, once said, "Singing is my passion, my first love and the secret of my energy. Music to me is like finding my inner self, my soul."
RFS has supported the Windhoek Men’s Choir (WMC) for many years. Over these years, the choir travelled Namibia far and wide, lighting up people’s hearts and lives. On 23 September, the WMC and the Camerata Vocale Ensemble staged the Spring Serenade evening at de Kayak in Olympia, as seen in the pictures below
Annemarie Nel does it again
Annemarie Nel, RFS manager: retail, scooped another Metropolitan Galaxy certificate of recognition in gold for 2022/2023. Well done, Annemarie; we are proud of you and that your client service focus is seen by others, too! We congratulate her for a well-deserved award. Keep up the excellent work!

In the picture below, Metropolitan’s Anna Mbandi hands over the award to Annemarie.
RFS donates to Future Hope CYDC
RFS recently donated inkjet printers, cartridges and office chairs to the Future Hope Child and Youth Development Centre. It is an initiative by Pastor Chris Claassen and his wife Wilmarien in Okuryangava and other informal settlements of Windhoek. They have set up a church building in the meantime and continue to provide soup and bread to the community weekly. RFS was involved in previous sponsorships of blankets and food items about three years back.
Thanking RFS for its generous donation, pastor Claassen said: “We will use this to print worksheets for the Sunday school classes we are currently conducting at our soup kitchen at Future Hope Church of the Nazarene in the Okuryangava suburb of Windhoek. We regularly host Vacation Bible Schools during school holidays, where this equipment will greatly benefit us. We aim to open a preschool in this informal settlement by next year to establish a nurturing environment for children in this area.
Below is Veueza Kangueehi from RFS handing over printers and cartridges and a picture of a Vacation Bible School conducted during the winter school holidays.
Important circulars issued by RFS
  RFS issued the following circulars in July:
  • Circular 2023.08-07 – ‘Confirmation of PI and Fidelity Cover’
Clients are welcome to contact us if they require a copy of any circular.
14 September industry meeting minutes
NAMFISA recently circulated the minutes of the Industry Meeting of 14 September 2023. The meeting was poorly attended, with only nine pension funds being represented.
The meeting minutes chaired by Ms. Lovisa Indongo-Namandje, General Manager of the Pension Funds and Friendly Societies Division at NAMFISA, provide an overview of the discussions and key points made during the meeting. Here are the summarised vital points:
  1. Mr Sydwill Scholtz from the RFIN raised several industry concerns and queries:
    • The need for NAMFISA to establish and publish a checklist, requirements, circulars, or directives for various types of applications submitted by the pension fund industry.
      • NAMFISA expressed a willingness to provide further guidance but emphasised the need for the industry to specify which applications were causing difficulties. Applications, such as rule amendments, already had criteria clearly defined in the Pension Funds Act. NAMFISA was open to providing additional clarity through notices, circulars, or form refinements but required industry input on specific areas of concern.
    • Seeking clarification on the practical implications of NAMFISA's Risk-Based Supervision (RBS) approach and requesting guidelines on RBS.
      • NAMFISA presented the Risk-Based Supervision (RBS) approach/methodology adopted by it. The industry was given insight into RBS and its implications for fund governance, risk appetite, and risk management. The contents of the presentation were noted, indicating transparency and openness in addressing this concern.
    • Requesting guidelines related to investing pension fund monies in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), especially close corporations (CCs) in Namibia.
      • NAMFISA acknowledged challenges of excluding close corporations (CCs) from unlisted investments. Due process, including consultations and research, had been followed, but the decision remained the same. The exclusion was primarily due to the high risk posed by the legal structure and largely unregulated status of CCs, which could jeopardise retirement savings.
    • Inquiring about measures to reduce process delays related to members receiving benefits.
      • NAMFISA explained that the regulator's role in addressing delays was limited due to each fund's unique internal processes and procedures. When a member complained, the first step was to check if they had approached their fund. If not, they were advised to do so before contacting NAMFISA. The complaints department also provided consumer education based on complaints received.
    • Questioning why RFIN was not included in National Pension Fund discussions and how the industry could participate in these discussions.
      • NAMFISA clarified that it was not involved in the proposed National Pension Fund (NPF) discussions. These discussions were primarily between the Social Securities Commission (SSC), the Ministry of Labour, Workers Unions, and Employer Federations. NAMFISA had been invited to observe a meeting where the SSC presented its proposal on the NPF. The industry's exclusion from these discussions was noted, and further participation possibilities were discussed.
  2. Feedback on Statutory Submissions: NAMFISA provided feedback on statutory submissions for the June 30, 2023 quarter.
  3. Complaints Lodged with NAMFISA: NAMFISA presented statistics regarding complaints lodged with NAMFISA related to the pension funds industry.
  4. Regulatory Framework: NAMFISA updated the regulatory framework, including issuing draft standards and the industry's comments on those standards. The question of the effective date of these standards and the implementation period was discussed.
  5. Committee of Insurance, Securities and Non-Banking Financial Authorities (CISNA): NAMFISA informed the meeting about the upcoming 46th CISNA Bi-annual Meeting in Swakopmund, scheduled for October 1 to 6, 2023. It explained CISNA's mandate and key focus areas and mentioned capacity-building workshops on various topics.
Old Mutual vs Old Mutual Staff Pension Fund on withholding of benefit revisited
  In Benchtest 12.2021, we had an article on this topic and issued a circular to private fund clients and Benchmark participating employers. These documents were based on a legal opinion regarding the 'Old Mutual vs Old Mutual Staff Pension Fund and another'.
We understood the legal opinion that there must either be a written employee acknowledgement or a judgment at the employee's exit date. This understanding questioned an SA judgment that indicated such a requirement would render section 37D(b) futile.
Having read this case, Old Mutual sought an interdict against the OM Staff Pension Fund pending the outcome of an action which Old Mutual wished to institute against its former employee. The former employee had invested money on behalf of a client, one Ms N, which was not a good investment, resulting in Ms N losing a considerable amount. An investigation by Old Mutual showed that there had been misconduct by the former employee, who had resigned from Old Mutual. Old Mutual sought to prevent the pension fund from paying out the former employee's pension, pending the outcome of an action. It transpired from a letter written by Ms N that she would hold Old Mutual vicariously liable for the second respondent's conduct.
After dwelling on the purpose of S37D(b) and its preconditions, Judge Maritz held that the threshold requirement contained in s 37D(b) was that the amount must be due by a member to his employer on the date of his retirement or on the date on which he ceased to be a member of the fund. In examining if that requirement has been satisfied, he concluded -
  1. that it was common cause that Ms N had not yet instituted action, and the possible cause of action had not been disclosed on the papers.
  2. Old Mutual failed to show that a cause of action against the former employee had arisen before he retired from the fund or when he ceased to be a member. 
In most cases RFS is dealing with, the employee was dismissed, resigned or absconded because of theft, fraud, dishonesty or misconduct he committed before his fund exit. At the time of his exit, he already owes the employer the loss he caused, even if it must still be proven or the quantum must still be determined. If the employee did not admit wrongdoing before exiting the fund, the employer's only remedy is to pursue legal action.
In the Old Mutual case, Ms N had not taken legal action by the time the matter was before the court. It then makes sense that the employer must refrain from withholding the benefit in anticipation of something that might never materialise.
Based on the preceding information, a fund should thus not deny an employer a request to withhold a benefit purely because the employee has not acknowledged his wrongdoing or obtained judgment when the employee exited
Can an employer still withhold a benefit?
  The Pension Funds Act prohibits employers from depriving employees of retirement fund benefits. However, there is an exception to this prohibition, which allows retirement funds to withhold benefits from employees who have caused financial damage to their employer due to theft, fraud, dishonesty or dishonest misconduct. This can only occur where the employee has admitted liability in writing or the employer has obtained a judgment against the employee.
The article discusses the case of Highveld Steel & Vanadium Corporation Limited v Oosthuizen, in which the court held that retirement fund trustees may exercise their discretion to withhold benefits from employees pending the outcome of legal action for damages, even if the employer has not yet obtained a judgment.

An employer may still withhold a pension fund benefit if the employee has caused financial damage to the employer due to theft, fraud, dishonesty or dishonest misconduct, and the employer has either obtained a judgment against the employee or the employee has admitted liability in writing. However, even if the employer has not yet obtained a judgment, the trustees of the retirement fund may exercise their discretion to withhold benefits pending the outcome of legal action for damages.

It is important to note that the trustees of the retirement fund have discretion in this matter, and they are not obliged to withhold benefits simply because the employer has requested them to do so. The trustees must consider all relevant factors, including the strength of the employer's case and the potential prejudice to the employee if benefits are withheld.

If you are an employer considering withholding a pension fund benefit from an employee, you should seek legal advice to ensure you comply with the law.
Read the article by Kenneth Coster and Nicolette van Vuuren of Webber Wentzel in Cover of 20 September, here...
Don’t accept losses from virtue investing
  The key messages of this article are as follows:
  1. Avoid seeing trading as a moral battleground: The article advises against labelling one side of a trade as "good" and the other as "bad." It emphasises that financial markets do not operate on a moral basis but rather on the principles of winners and losers based on accurate predictions of price movements.
  2. Emphasizing the lack of morality in the stock market: The article argues that the stock market doesn't care about individual moral beliefs, right or wrong. Success in trading is based on the ability to predict market movements and no moral significance should be attached to it.
  3. Caution about ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing: The article suggests that while ESG investing is often associated with virtuous intentions, it may lead to accepting losses or underperformance. It also highlights potential issues with conflicting standards among ESG rating agencies.
  4. Questioning the worth of ESG investing: The article prompts readers to consider if the potential underperformance associated with ESG investing is worth its financial sacrifice, suggesting that making a standard investment and donating to causes might be a more effective way to do good.
  5. maintaining a calm, confident mindset: The article observes that trading with anger or strong emotions tends to be unprofitable. It stresses that relaxed, confident, and happy traders are likelier to make money in the stock market.
  6. The writer's disapproval of angry short sellers: The author expresses discomfort with short sellers who make trading personal and see themselves as fighting for truth and justice. They argue that trading should not be based on personal grievances or idealism.
  7. Avoiding trades that involve wishing for others' misfortune. 
Read the article by Jared Dillian of Mauldin Economics of 17 August 2023, here...
Key decisions to be made at retirement
  The key messages in the article are:
  • Retirement planning is a complex process involving making several important decisions. It is essential to start planning early and seek professional advice to ensure you make the best decisions for your needs and circumstances.
  • One of the most important decisions is whether to purchase an annuity. Annuities can provide a guaranteed income stream in retirement, which can help to reduce your risk of outliving your savings. However, different types of annuities are available, each with advantages and disadvantages. It is essential to consider your needs and circumstances carefully before choosing an annuity.
  • Another critical decision is when to retire from your retirement annuity. If you retire early, you must start drawing down from your savings sooner. This could increase your risk of outliving your savings. However, if you retire later, you will have more time for your savings to grow. It is essential to carefully consider your financial situation and retirement goals before deciding when to retire from your retirement annuity.
  • If you own your home, you must decide when to sell it. Selling your home can free up equity that you can use to fund your retirement. However, it is essential to consider the emotional and logistical aspects of selling your home before deciding.
  • Choosing retirement accommodation is another critical decision. Several types of retirement accommodation are available, each with advantages and disadvantages. It is essential to consider your needs and circumstances carefully before choosing a retirement home.
  • Finally, it is essential to factor travel into your retirement planning. Travel is a high priority for many retirees. However, being realistic about your travel plans is critical, particularly as you get older. Travel can become more unpleasurable and expensive with age. It is essential to budget for travel accordingly and to take advantage of your good health to enjoy travel in the earlier years of retirement. 
The article also highlights the importance of seeking professional advice when planning retirement. A financial advisor can help you develop a retirement plan tailored to your needs and circumstances.
Read the article by Eric Jordaan, Crue Investments, in Moneyweb of 16 November 2023, here..
4 Financial mistakes young people make and how to avoid them
  The key message from the article is that young people should be aware of the common financial mistakes that others have made and take steps to avoid them. These mistakes include:
  • Using credit to overspend: Be mindful of your spending and avoid using credit cards to buy things you cannot afford. If you do have credit card debt, make sure to pay it off as quickly as possible.
  • Neglecting savings: It is essential to start saving money early, even if it is just a small amount each month. Compound interest can help your savings grow over time.
  • Not preparing for retirement: It is never too early to start preparing for retirement. Even if you are beginning your career, you should start contributing to a retirement fund.
  • Fear and financial illiteracy: Financial education is essential for making sound financial decisions. Many resources are available to help you learn about finance, so take advantage of them.Here are some tips to help you avoid these mistakes:
Create a budget and stick to it. This will help you track your income and expenses so that you can make sure that you are not overspending.
  • Set financial goals. What do you want to achieve with your money? Once you know your goals, you can develop a plan to achieve them.
  • Get educated about finance. Many books, articles, and websites can teach you about personal finance. You can also take financial planning classes or hire a financial advisor.
  • Automate your finances. Setting up automatic transfers from your cheque account to your savings account and retirement fund is a great way to ensure you save consistently.
By avoiding common financial mistakes and making wise financial decisions, you can set yourself up for financial success in the future.

Read the full article by Staff Writer in Businesstech of 7 October 2023, here...
Ranking the top 10 universities in SA
Webometrics has published its mid-year update to the global ranking of universities in 2023, with the University of Cape Town, yet again, coming out on top.
Webometrics said that the rankings are mainly based on three core indicators.
  • Visibility: The number of external networks (subnets) linking to the institution’s web pages ( weighted 50%)
  • Transparency or openness: The number of citations from the Top 310 authors, excluding the top 30 outliers (10%)
  • Excellence: The number of papers amongst the top 10% most cited in each one of all 27 disciplines of the entire database over the last five years (40%)Here are the ratings of SA’s top 10 universities:
  Read the full article by Luke Fraser in Businesstech of 13 September 2023, here...  
Wisdom from great philosophers
  "The greatest happiness you can have is to know that you do not necessarily require happiness." ~ Johan Wolfgang von Goethe  
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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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