Financially Speaking August 2008

What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.

Dear Client,

Investment chit-chat:

One of the Asset Managers we use in our growth portfolios is Foord. Many of you will see them in your portfolios, even on your pension/provident fund investment statement if your fund is through me. This is a smallish asset manager company and very conscience about corporate governance being absolutely correct. They don’t do presentations to financial advisors around the country and they hardly market themselves. One has to become aware of them and find them. They have also just picked up a Best-in-the-Sector award at the Micropal Fund Awards held in May.

Anyway, I sent them an email last week asking some questions and it was great to receive a personal phone call from the Managing Director himself, Paul Cluer. I had a long chat with him and was very impressed with how they position themselves, where they’re going, how they believe they produce value and how careful they are as to how they allow themselves to be accessed for clients. All good and re-enforcing the reasons that we use them. Then the next day I received another phone call from another guy at Foord who said he wanted to come and meet our investor group later this year. This will be good.

Then I had another good chat with the CEO of Marriott on the same day, Simon Pearce. This was around

hearing how their recent “Bosberaad” had gone with their international fund manager partners, Singer & Friedlander from Iceland. Marriott had invited them out to SA to be able to spend time with them. Singer & Friedlander co-manage Marriott’s strategies for and with them.

Then lastly, I was able to listen to Charles de Lame from Sarasin on Monday last week. He was out from London doing a presentation to a few advisers here in Pietermaritzburg. As those of you with offshore investments are aware, Sarasin are one of the exciting fund managers I use internationally. They are very optimistic about how they can take their thematic approach to investing forward in these times.

Good to have these conversations and necessary in my monitoring of funds for you, my client.

Monthly financial advice – Back to basics:

I have often been asked “What should a young individual do, in terms of insurance or investments, when they start working?” My standard advice is that with their very first salary, they should begin saving and they should take out disability cover. The saving should be split between retirement funding and shorter term savings for that first house deposit or car. Time, and the resultant compound interest growth, is all that most of us have to prepare ourselves for the day when we can no longer work. A level of disability cover should be taken up ASAP while the individual is still as healthy as possible and hasn’t developed ‘issues’.

Until next time

Please note that all the views expressed in this publication are based on my opinion and no action or advice is implied or intended.