Our industry is messy and full of acronyms, jargon, mantras and quotes. Put your hand up if you have never heard “it’s not about timing the market, but time IN the market” “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.” “Diversification is the only free lunch in investing.” “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t…pays it” And don’t get me started on the IFA’s within our FSP who are CFP’s studying towards their CFA or MBA, making use of FNA’s in order to select ETF’s, ESP’s, ETN’s or UT’s for their clients, ensuing they comply with FAIS, FICA, FATCA, AML… I could go on all day!
Now don’t get me wrong, Buffet, Einstein and many other phenomenal minds certainly deserve to be listened to, and there are many reasons for the complexity in our offerings to clients, as well as the tools we have for financial analysis and regulations we need to comply with. BUT as a normal person out there, no matter your title, qualifications and experience; what chance do you have of deciphering all the acronyms and jargon and keeping your financial plan in line with your investment and financial objectives, given the next great mantra or fad?! Nowadays with the plethora of news, information, facts and opinions being shared via multiple platforms, it has become harder and harder to filter through the noise and focus on the important parts. I for one love a restaurant with a small fresh menu that has enough to interest and fulfil my needs, but when the list of starters rolls onto the second page, I start twitching and getting nervous with all the decisions before me.
The same can be said for financial planning and investing. News flow in South Africa and globally is as sensational as ever; with Trump and his trade wars, the Venezuela crisis, Turkey floundering, the list goes on and on. We often get asked by our clients, should we not rather sit in
cash on the side-lines, or under our mattress and wait for things to settle before investing? While we can fully relate emotionally, and sometimes advise our clients to phase into volatile markets to ease their concerns somewhat and stop them from making the wrong short-term decisions that could have detrimental long-term effects. The truth is that no one knows exactly when the markets run, which asset class will shoot the lights out in exactly which month, nor the exact movement of any currency. You must keep your toes in the water, you have to stay invested. At Harbour, we certainly won’t advise you to cannonball into the deep end if you need to access to your capital in the short to medium term, but you need to stay swimming and invest as diversely as you can, with someone monitoring your investment choices and risk metrics. Who would have thought that after a dismal start to the year, our Harbour investment strategies would have their best return ever during the second quarter of this year, given the market volatility, a decline in GDP growth in South Africa and a hike in the VAT rate.
I guess the crux of my article is that you are not expected to do it all alone. At Harbour we take our role as continuous educators very seriously and strive to make the confusing world of investing, planning for retirement, estate planning and insurance as simple to understand as possible. Read, learn and investigate as much as you can but come and bounce your ideas off our qualified and experienced Wealth Planners. We strive for constant engagement with our clients, whether it be through face to face meetings, phone calls, skype sessions, viewing and discussing your personal dashboards online or via email. We may be able to confirm you are on the right track, save you fees/money, increase your income, offer you suitable alternative investments and/or provide a more tax efficient vehicle or structure for your existing financial plan. Either way its time well spent, we assure you!
We look forward to hearing from you.
The Harbour Wealth Team.