Topline: Q3 2022 review

Sunél Veldtman, Thiart van der Merwe, | 27 October 2022

What were the main themes in the economy during the third quarter of 2022, and what can be expected in the last part of this year? 

Topline: Q2 2022 review

What were the main themes in the economy during the second quarter of 2022, and what can be expected in the second half of this year? 

Topline: Q1 2022 review

Thiart van der Merwe, | 27 April 2022

The first quarter of 2022 was characterised by a reversal of trends and surprising winners. The USA raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 following months of speculation. But have they left it too late? 

Look, Listen & Learn

Elke Zeki, | 21 April 2022

In this month’s edition, we discuss how misinformation can create false hope.  We also share an interesting video on human behaviour when buying insurance and offer some fear-fighting facts on bear markets.


Topline: Q4 2021 review

Thiart van der Merwe, | 31 January 2022

Local elections, inflation and the threat of a new variant grabbed most of the headlines as we ended off 2021. Governments across the world diverged, and continue to, on their approach to both the Covid pandemic as well as their stance on monetary policy. The effectiveness of covid-zero policies in countries like China & Australia has been questioned as other countries start planning for a world where Covid is part of reality. Policymakers have also battled to curb inflation and the divergence across countries will only become clearer as the year moves along. Let’s have a look at some of the major headlines that are driving markets.

Topline Quarterly Review: Q3 of 2021

Thiart van der Merwe, | 02 November 2021

This quarter was defined by riots in South Africa which pushed the country to the brink of a total shutdown. Covid maintains its influence on our lives, we saw some major regulation changes in China that sent markets into a frenzy, and some headwinds ahead as rising inflation remains a contentious topic. Read more here.

Topline Quarterly Review: Q2 of 2021 – Will the riots end the recovery?

Thiart van der Merwe, | 26 July 2021

When we planned this quarterly feedback, things were looking better in South Africa – business confidence was at an eight-year high boosted by significant gains in the fight against corruption, the South African equity market outperformed global markets for the first half of this year and the Rand was at its strongest levels in years...

How do I compare my investment returns?

The last year has given us a fascinating case study of how returns can vary over short periods. Let’s delve into the underworld of investment returns so that the next time your friends brag about their superior investment returns, you can challenge with sceptical realism.

Topline Quarterly Review: Q1 of 2021

Thiart van der Merwe, | 25 April 2021

Markets raced off to a good start in 2021, building on from 2020.  The sustainability of the pace will, however, be determined by the continued global success of vaccination roll-outs. This quarter will be pivotal in determining whether we can achieve a Covid-free second half of 2021, at least in some parts of the world.

How to Rest

Sunél Veldtman, | 15 December 2020

Rest has been a foreign concept to Western society during the past century. Even the use of the word in the English language has shown a steady decline. Until 2020. This year, the word occurred more frequently than at any other time during the last century.

What’s the story with prescribed assets?

Michelle le Roux, | 08 October 2020

For a while now, we have been reading with great interest about how the government wants to be able to control how our retirement savings are invested. This is usually referred to by its short name, “prescribed assets”, and advocates on either side of the argument have been keeping us glued to...

The truth about divorce

Michelle le Roux, Sunél Veldtman, | 20 September 2020

If your future depends on it, you should know about it. The lockdown has probably challenged most marriages. Some have been broken. Divorce attorneys are already dealing with the fall out as they report up to a 20% rise in divorce applications. The current economic climate will make these divorce...

Top tips to reduce your tax rate

Thiart van der Merwe, | 18 February 2020

“As investors, we often try to limit the taxes paid and look for products and opportunities that are less tax intensive. Although this is a major part of investing, it is not the only thing to consider."

Topline Quarterly Review: Q4 of 2019

29 January 2020

We believe that our clients’ needs regarding financial markets have changed.  There is now so much credible information available about financial markets, that our time and energy needs to focus on where we can best add value within that context.  However, we are also aware that our clients would like to know what our informed review and analysis is...

Time to reframe risk

Elke Zeki, | 21 November 2019

Risk is something that can be measured, and we, regardless of understanding the measurements, use it to make investment decisions. The problem is, we think we are concerned about risk, but we are not. Humans are much more concerned about uncertainty!

Prescribed assets: by the numbers

Thiart van der Merwe, | 21 November 2019

Is it still worthwhile to invest in a retirement annuity, pension or provident fund with Prescribed Assets on the cards? Our numbers conclude that the tax benefit outweighs the negatives, even taking a big capital loss into account.

Topline Quarterly Review: Q3 of 2019

18 October 2019

The third quarter of 2019 saw markets give up some of the gains made in the first half of the year. Oil jumped and retreated after an attack on a Saudi Arabian oil plant. Global markets are not sure what to make of the tit-for-tat trade war between the US and China. Locally, we...

Topline Quarterly Review: Q2 of 2019

25 July 2019

South Africa participated in the global equities rally as the United States confirmed that there will be no more interest rate hikes in 2019. Equity markets around the globe cheered the news with double digit growth achieved in most emerging market countries for 2019. Uncertainty has become a part of our everyday lives with the developed world leading the ...

Topline Quarterly Review: Q1 of 2019

25 April 2019

Recoveries, Buybacks and Politics The start of 2019 has seen most investors relieved by the recovery experienced on all fronts following a tough end to 2018. Markets bounced back sharply erasing most of the losses incurred in the fourth quarter. For investors that stayed the course the effects of 2018 are now negligible.  For those that jumped ...

Topline Quarterly Review: Q4 of 2018

24 January 2019

“Aren’t we glad that 2018 is behind us? That said – we’re all asking if there’s light at the end of the tunnel or if that’s actually a train approaching?”

Topline Quarterly Review: Q2 of 2018

18 July 2018

Quaterly market review, Q2 of 2018.

Topline Quarterly Review: A New Dawn of Hope

17 April 2018

“With all the political noise detracting from economic fundamentals, it is easy to think we are in a downward spiral. Compared to mid-December 2017, we believe we are on the right track building South Africa up to where it should be”

Topline Quarterly Review: Political Shifts and Renewed Optimism

Thiart van der Merwe, | 26 January 2018

-By Thiart van der Merwe - As we ended off 2017, the headlines were dominated by the ANC leadership race. It came down to two candidates who represented different factions within the ANC. In the end Ramaphosa edged out a marginal victory over Dlamini-Zuma. The Rand subsequently strengthened by more than 11% as investors welcomed a business-friendly ...

2017 and the case for a low return environment

Thiart van der Merwe, | 07 December 2017

-By Thiart van Der Merwe - A prolonged, low-growth environment and no real returns from our market were the main talking points as we entered 2017. With constant negative press on corruption and a deteriorating political landscape, one can understand the inclination to be pessimistic. Up to the midway point the pessimists were right. The stock market surprised ...

Topline: The Market This Quarter

Thiart van der Merwe, | 20 October 2017

-By Thiart van Der Merwe - Quarter 3 Review There’s been a rally in SA equities in the last quarter. Some sectors have done really well. If we compare the returns to the rest of the world however, we are lagging. Why? Own goals on the political front. Against our Emerging Market peers, we have underperformed by more ...

The Good News You’re Missing

Sunél Veldtman, | 08 September 2017

-By Sunél Veldtman - Recently, I have noticed how many conversations about the world lead to a conclusion that the world is a mess. We seem anxious and insecure about the future. If I look at my social media feed, it is no wonder. Bad news abounds. Korea is angling for war. Trump plans to block immigration. ...

A quarter marred by political instability: First Quarter 2017 Review

02 May 2017

A quarter marred by political instability: First Quarter 2017 Review.

Cry my Beloved Country

Thiart van der Merwe, Sunél Veldtman, | 31 March 2017

In a cabinet reshuffle that has been on the cards for some time, Zuma has finally pulled the trigger on Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. He also changed 18 other positions. Late Thursday night the finance minister was replaced with Home Affairs minister, Melusi Gigaba. The Rand has plunged 7.5% since ...

Market Overview: Q4 of 2016

01 February 2017

“There are decades where nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen.” Vladimir Lenin.

US Presidential Election 2016

10 November 2016

We haven’t paid much attention to US elections in the past…Democrats, Republicans, Bush, Clinton or Obama – there has been a broad acceptance of neo-liberal capitalist policies supported by globalisation. Yesterday, that changed.

Market Overview: Q3 of 2016

25 October 2016

This quarter we faced unanswered questions on Brexit, entered a new era of politics in the USA, and changed guard at local, municipal level.

What’s going on with world growth?

12 September 2016

Despite years of unprecedented stimulus from authorities all over the world, the global economy is sluggish. Global growth expectations are continually adjusted downwards and are still well below long-term averages. This year the World Bank adjusted its global growth forecast downwards to 2,4% from 2,9% in January. So, what’s happening with economic growth and why is ...

Market Overview: Q2 of 2016

25 July 2016

“Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away.” This famous saying by Jim Cramer pretty much sums up the second quarter of 2016, more specifically the last week of June.

Market Overview: Q1 of 2016

15 April 2016

While it is always difficult to predict where we were heading at the beginning of 2016, we could feel a bit more optimistic than we were at the start of the year. The constitution held up and a big victory for our democracy as the message was clear, no one is above the law in ...

The United States, a Declining Power or the “Indispensable Nation”?

03 March 2016

PortfolioMetrix’s Brandon Zietsman wrote an interesting piece on the possible shift of power away from America to the likes of China, and whether you should look at size in isolation or is there more to a power shift than just the production numbers of a country. An interesting read. American exceptionalism has defined the way Americans ...

Market Review 2015

27 January 2016

2015 was a tough year for markets around the world. The Rand crumbled to an all-time low. The currency lost 35% during the year and as at 31 December one dollar could get you R15.58 (compared to R11.56 at the beginning of the year). The only upside of this was that global investments held in dollars ...

Significant tax changes finalised in Taxation Laws Amendment Act

27 January 2016

Earlier this month, the Taxation Laws Amendment Act was passed in parliament. The Act included significant retirement reforms. Although these reforms follow years of negotiations, it has still been met with resistance especially by labour unions. What do these reforms mean for high net worth individuals and families? We believe these changes go some way to simplify ... Read more

Third Quarter Market Review: 2015

23 October 2015

The third quarter of 2015 presented challenging market conditions. Global equity markets declined by 11% measured in US Dollars. According to the MSCI Index this is the worst performance since the third quarter in 2011, when markets declined by over 20%. South African equities declined by 2% in local currency terms but by 17% in ...