• Sharebar
February 2008
Of dead cats, pink elephants and giraffes

They say an elephant never forgets, yet humans seem to have short term memories, at least when it comes to things like investments. And, as if seeing pink elephants, we seem to delude ourselves through sentiment....

February 2008
Limiting benefits

Permanent health insurance (PHI) represents a very different underwrit¬ing proposition to ordinary life busi¬ness, as it is designed to replace in¬come during disability as opposed to after death.

On the...

February 2008
Avast there!

Now that we have secured the gateway to our computer (see Vol 20.10 November 2007 page 9) there should be a lot less for any antivirus program to do. Essentially what you want is to avoid an anti virus program from...

February 2008
Poor practice

In an article that recently appeared in “The Journal”, the author Kevin Pratt, stated that around 20% of businesses in the UK suffer a major loss every year and that 80% of such businesses closed down within 18 months...

February 2008
Expanding wings

IAU under the management of Jamie Illing has now tied up with Guardrisk and achieved an AA rating. This is welcome news in our market which struggles with the few insurers currently available. The market consists of...

February 2008
An economic reality

The current state of the local economy, with inflation not meeting Reserve Bank targets and the 400 basis point rise in interest rate since June 2006, has resulted in a certain degree of uncertainty with regard to...

February 2008
Pretty negative

The consensus view for 2008 is pretty negative, with many saying that America will enter recession in the next few months, if indeed it has not done so already. This pessimism was reflected in the American Association...

February 2008
Historical fact

Diversification is a useful tool in enabling investors to grow their wealth in excess of inflation over time. By diversification we mean including asset classes in a portfolio that react differently to prevailing...

February 2008
Bumpy ride

Investors may face a bumpy ride in the short term, but market prospects later in 2008 are relatively positive, at least according to Stanlib. It forecasts a rise of 18% in the JSE All Share Index over the next 12...

February 2008
Pressure cooker

Keeping an eye on interest rates will be key to a successful year. High interest rates and slower economic growth globally will see consumers feeling the pinch and tightening their belts.

Comments ...

February 2008
All twisted

A ‘sub prime’ housing loan is simply a mortgage offered at a rate lower than the ruling prime lending rate, but with a twist: it is often the last financing resort for borrowers in the US, and is granted with little...

February 2008
Postal steak

This is how you price yourself out of the market – and it takes a genius to do this who has a monopoly: you simply increase prices relentlessly way above the rate of inflation. Consumers get pushed into a corner, and...

February 2008
The long and the short of it

Despite insurance having been around for centuries, there still seems to be a general feeling among consumers that it’s a “grudge purchase”. By its nature, insurance is an intangible benefit, one that can only be...

February 2008
Losing interest

It was a year ago I wrote about Digital Planet (see Insurance Times & Investments Vol 20.1 page 21 February 2007). I think it is part of the Comztek Group. Anyway, loyal to a fault, I ordered more materials from...

February 2008
Shopping list

Consumers need to update their household contents policies at least once a year. The best time is probably after the Christmas celebrations, a time perhaps when one can focus on new acquisitions and take the...

February 2008
Public barriers

There is a curious tussle currently unfolding between the South African government and the private sector regarding private hospitals’ proposed price increases for this year. Recently, SA’s minister of health Manto...

February 2008
No will of your own

“Absolute control over the acquisition and disposal of your assets is something you enjoy during your lifetime only,” says Yvonne Boden, Estates and Trusts Director at Garlicke & Bousfield Inc Attorneys. Over the...

February 2008
Plan for the future

Choosing the right medical scheme could be one of the most important financial decisions you ever make. What many people don’t realise is that once they’ve signed up for the cover they think suits them they cannot...

February 2008
Misguided efforts

Last issue I raised the problem of interpretation of the proviso in Section 3 of the standard Aviation policy: standard that is except for one or two misguided efforts at rewriting the wordings that some brokers have...

February 2008
Unhappy dilemma

The Pension Funds Act was recently amended to make it compulsory for RA funds to allow members to transfer from one fund to another. This means that if you request to have your RA fund value transferred to another...

February 2008
Holding it together

Corporate South Africa is fast realising the benefit and importance of utilising sick leave management as the basis for their integrated risk management strategies.

This is today being integrated with...

February 2008
Time out for the broker

The newly established South African Broker Administration Centre (SABAC) is in all probability the most innovative development of the past century in the insurance industry. Brokers’ business is dramatically enhanced...

February 2008
Client focus

Alexander Forbes has appointed Nomkhita Nqweni as Managing Director of the Alexander Forbes Financial Services Division with effect from 1st March 2008. Incumbent Howard Walker assumes the Group’s Head of Strategy and...

February 2008
Strong growth

ACE INA International Holdings Limited has decided to commit a further R20 million in capital to its ACE Insurance operation in South Africa.

It says this is to cover strong premium growth and anticipate...

February 2008
Leveraged opportunities

Cell captives, among other benefits, provide the cell owner with the ability to act as an insurer legally without having to incur the expenses and burdens associated with founding and running his own insurance company...

February 2008
Shoulder surfing

More ATM users throughout the country are falling victim to so-called card-skimming. Criminals employ sophisticated hand-held card-readers, or devices that are placed over ATM card slots. The devices can quickly...

February 2008
Growth limits

Collective Investments achieved net inflows totalling R8,4 billion in the December quarter. This was despite of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and volatile world equity markets.
Says Association of...