Sentiment in South Africa is extremely low.  We have seen the lowest 10-year return in our market since 1979.  But let’s put this into perspective:

Firstly, South Africa has struggled in the past 10 years, but relative to the US market, so has the rest of the world. 




Secondly, if we look at returns for the 10 years from 2000 to 2010, you will see that SA equity dramatically outperformed the US market.




Volatility and divergence are therefore not unusual, and while we should not be blindly ignorant of what is happening in the market, we should also be careful not to extrapolate our current experiences into the future. Recent experience may lead us to believe that SA Equities will remain weak relative to other markets, but a small change in sentiment could change the picture completely. 



Money is important.  It enables you to live with less stress and have more optionality. It enhances the possibility of living a happy life. Typically, this is enabled by financial planning.  However,  not all financial planning is equal.  Holistic financial planning goes beyond the money. It steers the conversation in many other directions, such as health, purpose, and giving back. It works to create a financial freedom that goes beyond just the money. 

In Robin Sharma’s most recent book, The Wealth Money Can’t Buy, Sharma shares 8 forms of wealth to help us live abundantly.  These forms include:

  1. Growth
  2. Wellness
  3. Family
  4. Craft
  5. Money
  6. Community
  7. Adventure
  8. Service


I didn’t find any new ideas in this book, but I thought it was a wonderful summary of how we think about wealth at Foundation. We have always believed that money is only one element to living a happy life. It’s something we focus on helping our clients unpack what wealth means to them and then helping them plan for, and achieve, their vision of financial freedom so that they can live the lives they dream of.

Sharma’s book is a powerful one that will help you reflect on each of these forms of wealth in your life, including money.  It’s filled with short stories and reflections, which makes it easy to read as a daily journal. 

In which areas are you living abundantly, and which areas need more attention?

Here is a podcast where Sharma discusses his new book with Jay Shetty from the On Purpose podcast series.



Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez is a profound exploration of how gender data gaps affect women's lives. The book exposes an issue in society where data, often seen as objective, carries deep biases because it’s predominantly based on male-dominated samples. Caroline shows, through her research, that skewed data leads to real-world impacts on women’s health, safety, and economic well-being.

In the book, she shares examples where women encounter systems and devices that are not designed for them, such as smartphones that are too large for the average woman's hand or medical dosages that are calibrated for men's bodies.

A gender gap exists within financial planning and advice too. It is an industry that has traditionally focussed more on men than women, although this is changing.

A study by  Merrill Lynch reveals that 63% of married women under the age of 45 say they are the primary financial decision-makers in their households. For married women over 55, 37% identify themselves as the household’s financial decision-makers. By contrast, two decades ago in the year 2000, only 12.8% of women reported that they had the final say when it came to finances. 

Families have therefore seen a big shift when it comes to finances and decision making.  It begs the question of whether financial advisors have increased their awareness and training to overcome ingrained stereotypes and biases.

This critically acclaimed book has won several prestigious awards and highlights an important and ongoing issue.  Well worth reading. 



In this section, I invite you to take a moment and think about a question I may pose or thought I may share.

Novelist Toni Morrison had this to say about beauty:

"I think of beauty as an absolute necessity. I don't think it's a privilege or an indulgence, it's not even a quest. I think it's almost like knowledge, which is to say, it's what we were born for. I think finding, incorporating, and then representing beauty is what humans do. With or without authorities telling us what it is, I think it would exist in any case.

The startle and the wonder of being in this place. This overwhelming beauty—some of it is natural, some of it is man-made, some of it is casual, some of it is a mere glance—is an absolute necessity. I don't think we can do without it any more than we can do without dreams or oxygen."

What does beauty represent in your life?



“Oenophilia simply refers to the enjoyment of wine, often by laymen.”

We spent a week in the bush, soaking up the last autumn sun and enjoying the quiet.  Nowhere do we unwind and relax the way we do in the bush. It has become essential in our ever-demanding and busy lives. 

A friend brought along a bottle of Colmant Blanc de Blancs to enjoy after our game drive, and it's one of the best bottles of bubbly I have had in a long time.  This smooth, elegant, fresh MCC is made from Chardonnay grapes and is perfect for sundowners with a cheese platter. 



I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition.  

Stay curious,

Elke Zeki