Financially Speaking January 2007

Perspectives of the past, thoughts for the future; the job of History

Dear Client,

The silly season is over again and the clear winners by a long margin are ……. The Retail Stores!! Coming in a close second are the Banks with all the increased credit used for purchasing beyond budget and third, also not far off; all the spoilt children.

Amazing how many billions of Rands the retail stores have collected. A frenzy of activity; each year we all have something to mutter about it. And next year, we’ll all do it all again. The best parts of my Christmas were, firstly, my family being alone on Christmas Eve, singing Christmas Carols together in our lounge at the tops of our voices accompanied by a CD. Our kids loved it. And then secondly, being a kid with my kids on Christmas day, playing on a ‘slippy-slide’ with them, their cousins and their uncle on a small farm in the midlands. We were all a mess and covered in dish wash soap. Then we all jumped into an outdoor Jacuzzi and made it into a bubble bath.

These times create the memories, the laughs, the joy. They consume little money and are what memories are made of. Oh to increase the balance in our lives.

Investment issues – 2007: What does it hold?

Bulls or Bears for this year’s stock markets? Will the market go up or down? Who knows? A year ago it was at 19 000. Now it’s at 24 000 odd. All I know is that it will move. If you are investing for the right reasons then there should be nothing to worry about. If you are a speculator, well then that’s the game. My Lakeside Investors group and I are confident that if we’ve put you into the correct investment strategy then the Asset Managers that we are using will competently do the rest. 2006 was for us a year of buttoning down our investment strategies, asset managers and fund selections. 2007 will be the year where we fine-tune these strategies. I personally don’t think we’ll make many changes at all. I think we have done a job that is sound enough to last a couple of years. Our job remains to ensure that our chosen asset managers remain focused and on top of their game, to watch for any political instability within these fund houses, to make changes to you, our client’s portfolios when necessary.

Last year RMB Asset Management gave us a personal audience. Our goal this year is to see if we can get the same out of Allan Gray.

Monthly financial advice:

A simple and basic thing here:

When using a tap in your kitchen or bathroom for a brief moment to quickly rinse a toothbrush, swallow a tablet or take something off your finger etc, develop the habit of ensuring that you do not use the hot water tap for these quick, little things. Even though you are not running the tap for long enough to get hot water out of it, by emptying the pipe of the head of cold water, hot water from your geyser will have replaced that space in the pipe. As you draw these little bits of water out of your geyser, it has to pull in cold water to keep full. That cold water reduces the temperature in the geyser thereby causing the thermostat to switch the element on in order to raise the temperature again. This draws electricity which, as you can see, was actually a waste. The geyser is one of the greatest uses of electricity in your house. So do this and save. (Eskom should pay me for this!!)

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.