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Taking stock and talking stocks

Anyone with a mediocre knowledge of investing will be familiar with the term “stock”.  But few people are aware that there common stocks and preferred stocks. And they’re fundamentally different. Stocks have been traded for over 400 years – the first common stocks were made available in 1602 through the Dutch East India Company. They form the building blocks of our modern-day economy and have taken on personalities of their own. In a nutshell, here’s what […]

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Three ways to survive a bear market

What do you do when a bear attacks? For many of us, we don’t live near any bears, so we’re likely to be unprepared. When it comes to a bear market, the situation is not too different. No one can predict a bear market, and for some it’s not even easy to recognise when a bear market begins and when it ends. The general agreement is that bear markets are characterized by a consistent drop in […]

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What lockdown taught us about wills

When lockdown happened, it happened fast. For some, there were only a few days to prepare for an indeterminate time of severe restrictions. For others, they had more to do and less time in which to do it. Travellers were stuck abroad in foreign countries and had to follow equally foreign regulations. At times like these, risk cover and emergency funding are a crucial crutch when our finances and our freedoms are crippled. Granted, few people […]

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The next best thing for investors…

Ray Dalio is an American billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist who has served as co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates since 1985. As a thought leader and industry pioneer, he also founded the world’s largest hedge fund and firmly advocates that “diversification is a wonderful, mechanical, good way to reduce risk without reducing expected return.”  So – what’s the next best thing for investors in our current market turmoil?  Diversification. Whilst it’s been a long […]

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Who wants to save more?

This is not such an easy question to answer. Many of us may shoot up our hands, quickly realizing that what follows is a tough call-to-action: “Then start saving!” So we shrivel back and think we’ll rather start saving next month, or when we get our next increase. Others, already encumbered with tough monthly expenses, may take a slightly more cynical response off the bat, realizing that saving often feels like an impossible task in our […]

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How much is enough?

Medical aid (including insurance products) contributions need to form part of our overall financial planning. Every year these products are adjusted slightly – both in how much they cost in monthly premiums and in what they cover. These increasing costs can feel burdensome and unnecessary to those who seldom use their medical cover, but they remain a crucial part of our financial planning. Unforeseen medical expenses can completely decimate our savings and future opportunities if we […]

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Pre-Lockdown vs Post-Lockdown Spending Trends

The largest factor in our wealth creation, and our wealth protection, is our behaviour. How we choose to save and how we choose to spend are the habits that will determine if we are able to grow our money over time, or if we will erode it over time. There are other factors, certainly. We can’t forecast all the transitional events in our life, nor precisely when they will happen – so attitude and external factors […]

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ETF not EFF

Not to be confused with the EFF (the South African political party or the lesser-known Electronic Frontier Foundation…), ETFs have been gaining popularity in investment portfolios for about a decade. ETFs (exchange-traded funds) were first developed in the early 1990s by Nathan Most, they offer both retail and institutional investors a great passive investment option. Nathan initially started thinking about the ETF option in this way: “I started thinking about a warehouse receipt holding the shares […]

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Markets don’t make you money

Markets don’t make you money; your habits… make you money. As creatures of habit, we ultimately become our own best friend, or our own worst enemy. This is why it’s important to be mindful of how our emotions affect our choices and influence our behaviour. We can remind ourselves of this time and time again, but still we might find ourselves slipping into old habits and allowing emotional decisions to vilify our investment strategies. This is […]

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The impact of the economy on small businesses

In a 2018 article, Tim Davis (President of The UPS Store) said this of small businesses: “Small business is the backbone of the economy. … It’s these businesses that are driving local economies, providing jobs for local residents and impacting key community organizations, through charity and service.” Whilst small businesses are crucial to the infrastructure of a robust economy, they are equally affected by the health of that very same economy that they drive. If we […]

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