Out of the fire and into the blue.

As we end the year and look forward to the summer holidays, we reflect on what has been one of the most challenging years in investment markets for quite some time. It is during times like these that the value of experienced Wealth Managers and good planning make all the difference in helping clients achieve their investment goals. With the massive adoption of social media, the noise in the system can scare people into abandoning even the best laid out plans. Amidst this clatter the separation of sound market analysis and hype becomes even more critical.

One of the unusual things about this year was that there was nowhere to hide with both equities and traditional safe havens, like bonds, suffering heavy losses. Unfortunately, it is impossible to control market direction and returns which, when good, seduce many into believing investing is easy.

Fortunately, our years of experience in the industry have helped us develop investment methodologies that control the variables we can, those being risk and costs.

Our approach to cash flow management has meant our retired clients, or those drawing income from their investments, have not had to sell distressed assets to fund their income and thereby locking in irrecoverable losses. Rather, our clients have been able to safely navigate these trying conditions whilst providing space for growth assets to breath and recover.

Our local and offshore structured product solutions, through our local and global partner banks, have delivered superior outcomes with capital protection. These solutions provide a great example of how risk can be managed while gaining exposure to market beating returns.

Our approach to fees has been based on a simple premise that clients pay us for advice and not for products.

The lower the fees the less your investments are eroded by costs. We believe the industry will be forced to lower their fees, in time, to our level of 0.50%pa, and we have proven it can be sustainable while still attracting exceptionally skilled people. In addition, our role is not only to find the best managers for your money, but to negotiate the best prices for their funds.

To this end the collective fee savings for our clients last year, when compared to traditional Family Offices and Wealth Management firms, was R80 million.

I cover these two points to provide our clients with comfort that we will continue working hard at managing the controllable facets of wealth management. We will continue to deliver market beating performance by finding the best fund managers and indices worldwide and applying our exceptional teams’ skills to build optimal portfolios that deliver on their mandates.

Finally, and most importantly I would like to thank you our clients for the continued trust you bestow upon us.

Without you we don’t exist. During these past two years of volatility and market chaos we have demonstrated that this trust is not misplaced. We thank you for staying the course through these challenging times. Managing money is always easier than managing peoples’ emotions through all the bad news and volatility. We appreciate your courage to stay committed to the advice and plans we build together. These times will pass. They will also create opportunities that we will constantly be looking to capitalize from in order to help our clients achieve the better outcomes that we promise.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a time to reflect and recharge for a prosperous 2023.