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February 1999
Out, damn barbarians!

Letters to Time Magazine, published 8th February 1999
Crime is rapidly destabilising a nation that desperately needs every skilled person, regardless of race. The government’s “good riddance” remarks about people leaving help no one....

February 1999
Cash suggestion

Retirement funds often want to protect the capital value of their assets during a transitional phase, especially in times of volatile share markets. It should however be noted that guaranteed portfolios area not suited to serve as a temporary...

February 1999
Diversify for a change

In line with overseas experience, ‘new age’ asset classes - including private equity and hedge funds - look likely to move into the mainstream and feature alongside the traditional asset classes in South African retirement fund portfolios. That’s...

February 1999
Global safety

When exchange controls were relaxed on 1st July 1997 R15m was initially invested offshore, but soon tapered off to a trickle as investors adopted a wait-and-see attitude. One of the main reasons was that before the regulations were relaxed, life...

February 1999
Dispelling a myth

Financial advisers have often mentioned so-called ‘rand-hedge stock’ as being a preferred share investment. They argue that, with the continuing weak rand it makes sense to buy shares in those companies that do business overseas because their...

February 1999
Digest this

One of the best tips any insurer can give a policyholder is to update his or her insurance annually, says Herman de Meyer, Santam’s assistant GM underwriting. “Prices fluctuate constantly. This influences the value of possessions, which is one of...

February 1999
Avoiding tricks

Cardholders need to be educated in the importance of safeguarding their cards and their account information, says Mercantile Lisbon Bank. Unfortunately, very few cardholders realise how valuable their cards are and how much damage a fraudster can...

February 1999
The borrower’s nightmare

I suppose it is difficult to take to heart the injunction that we should not borrow. Costly though it may be, borrowing, especially to purchase ‘big ticket’ items, makes for convenience.
It goes without saying that entering into credit...

February 1999
Lower losses, heavy fatalities

In 1997, insured losses from natural and man-made catastrophes totalled US$6,7 billion. Adjusted to allow for inflation, this is around 50% less than the year before. This was mainly because no extremely costly natural or man-made catastrophes...

February 1999
The real need

The value of brands and intellectual property makes up more than 60% of the market capitalisation of companies in the food and consumer products sectors, yet most concentrate their insurance and risk management investments on protecting tangible...

February 1999
Cost of collection and administration

Because of the low level of knowledge of financial products in this market, both product design and promotional literature need to be simple and easily understood. As clients become more confident in products, they...

February 1999
Gauging risk

Deciding how to invest a lifetime’s savings in a way that maintains a balance between risk and growth, is surely the most difficult financial decision any of us has to make.
According to law, at least two-thirds of the proceeds from one’s...

February 1999
Big bucks

Sanlam estimated that some R20 billion would be released into the durable and semi-durable market as a result of the combined demutualisation of Sanlam and Old Mutual. This is according to preliminary research by Sanlam chief economist Jac...

February 1999
Tax loop-hole

A recent judgment by the Income Tax Court created a tax loophole when it ruled that pension interest — the value of an employee’s investment in a retirement fund — payable to an ex-spouse at the time of divorce is not taxable in the hands of the...

February 1999
Hotline service

The recently launched Santam fraudline has impacted significantly on the company and the industry as a whole, claims Hannes Wilken, GM finance at Santam Limited.
The response has been positive and meaningful, he adds. “Not only have the...

February 1999
American copy

The South African investment management industry is drafting investment performance reporting standards that should ensure ‘ethical, accurate and comparable information.’
A working group has been mandated with this task under the banner of...

February 1999
HIV at work

“With the escalating HIV/AIDS burden in South Africa it is apparent that the private sector will have to play an ever increasing role in managing the epidemic,” says Dr Bill Monday, leader of the medical research and development unit at Hollandia...

February 1999
Paperless at last?

The JSE plans to introduce STRATE (Share Transactions Totally Electronic) in pilot form in March 1999. The process is referred to in sophisticated markets as ‘dematerialisation’. Paper is replaced by securely held, instantly updated, digital data...