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December 2009
A stage in life

The Washington Post published an article on Monday 11th October under the name “Huge losses throw public pension funds into crises”. The article mentions … “An analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers concludes that within an average of 15 years,...

December 2009
Less forbidding

The current amendments to the Income Tax Act promulgated in September see the conclusion of the process begun in 2007 of simplifying the taxation of funds withdrawn from retirement funds, whether by resignation, retrenchment or retirement....

December 2009
Brinson, Hood and Who?

Central to the creation and management of all our multi-asset class unit trusts is the pioneering work done by Gary Brinson, Randolph Hood and Gilbert Beebower ("BSB") in their seminal paper published in 1986 entitled Determinants of Portfolio...

December 2009
Missing out

Investors started abandoning money market unit trust funds during the third quarter of this year in favour of other unit trusts providing some equity exposure. As a result local money market unit trusts experienced net outflows of R5.8-billion...

December 2009
More allowance

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan announced late October that the once-off foreign investment allowance for individuals has been increased to R4 million. “With the stronger rand and the growth potential in emerging markets, it looks like a good...

December 2009
Time to buy

From Deeds data, using transactions by individuals only, and in areas deemed to be residential property-dominated, we have four metro area house price indices based on the average values of areas. Based on average volumes over a five-year period...

December 2009
Mortgage cover

Due to the increasing popularity of the product in AIG’s other markets worldwide, AIG South Africa has introduced a new offering that pays policyholders’ mortgages for up to six months in the event of a disaster that leaves them out of home....

December 2009
Getting cover

One in seven women will contract breast cancer, says the American Cancer Society. But there is hope - 95% of them will survive the illness if it is detected early. Apart from the emotional trauma associated with an illness such as cancer, however...

December 2009
What about close corporations?

One of the effects of the new Companies Act of 2008 is the phasing out of close corporations. No new close corporations may be formed once that Act comes into operation during 2010. Existing close corporations can elect to continue to exist until...

December 2009
Weird quasi-legal system

In yet another display of the weird quasi-legal system employed by the USA, it seems that a federal judge (that’s probably an exaggeration) in New Mexico found that US Airways were responsible for the passenger who had drunk too much and then...

December 2009
Accidental problem

Most of the factors driving premiums up have little to do with a vehicle’s value since over 90% of motor vehicle claims are for accident, not total loss. So, regardless of whether the overall value of the vehicle is decreasing, the costs of...

December 2009
Getting it right

Although it is still over a year until the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) is fully implemented it is vital that the interim is used to educate the consumer, and indeed the providers of goods and services on their respective rights and obligations...

December 2009
Standalone product

As families prepare to take to the open road for the festive season, Santam launches its Personal Accident Policy to provide protection to South African clients for accidents, whether on the road or elsewhere.
Santam will now provide cover...

December 2009
Making progress

The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) says it has spent over R40 million on consumer education to date. The industry’s recently concluded 2008/9 consumer education initiative was aimed at Living Standard Measure (LSM) 1 – 5, black people...

December 2009
Five trustee steps

Being a trustee of a pension fund is a lot like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Each task confronts myriad possibilities and permutations that must be taken into account in order to be correctly completed.
For the Rubik’s Cube puzzle to be...

December 2009
Longer term view

Investors are often advised to get out of equities close to retirement and invest their portfolio in less risky assets such as bonds and cash. “But this can have disastrous effects on the longevity of their pension,” says Marius Fenwick of Mazars...

December 2009
Let the nightmare begin

Surviving the world cup next year means planning ahead this year
A freak combination of extended school holidays, a series of ever larger local sports events and the usual glut of public holidays in March and April were always going to make...

December 2009
Repeat performance

Client service is essential to any company’s success especially in difficult economic times. Santam believes its strong client centric approach, which is driven by all its employees throughout the business, is the key to it being awarded for the...

December 2009
Tide is turning

It’s been a tale of two markets in the past year with the new vehicle market likely to close out 2009 down 26% while the used car market is heading for as much as 15% growth over the 12 month period.
For the industry as a whole, the tide...

December 2009
DOTS ON THE HORIZON with Nathi Kunene

Metropolitan brings you a new series, Dots on the Horizon, featuring in-depth interviews with top executives, providing insight into the issues currently facing the financial services industry and their vision for the future.
Nathi Kunene...

December 2009
Falling asleep

It was not too long ago that we had reports of crews – not just a single pilot – falling asleep on the job and having to be woken up by continuous radio messaging. There is obviously a connection to the flying hours and fatigue generally.

December 2009
Local hedging

From early October local investors have been able to trade in rand-denominated gold, platinum and sweet crude oil futures contracts for the first time on the JSE’s commodities derivatives market. This marks a new focus for the JSE. Until now,...

December 2009
Adapt to survive

The past year has been tough on local businesses – short-term insurance companies included.
According a report on the results for the South African short-term insurance industry by the Financial Services Board (FSB), six out of 25 insurance...

December 2009
Determined action

The Office of the Ombud for Financial Services providers has matured into a veritable forum for the correction of investor abuse with an amount of R32,9 million being placed in the hands of consumers in the past year.
Launching his 2008-09...