Weekly Thoughts 03 August 2018

On Wednesday this week I listened to the clever people from Investec. Two fund managers covered various topics. Markets, Facebook’s loss of value, trends of electronic gadget dependence by the modern generations, the size of economies of individual cities in China being bigger than some countries, and a few other things. Then one of their Directors, always a good speaker, compared where we are now, and potentially going forward as a country, to where we would have been if Cyril Ramaphosa had not won in December. He is optimistic and believes that we are far better off, on various levels, now and for the future, then had the vote gone the other way. He wasn’t political, just objective.

Then this morning was my monthly breakfast session with a group of colleagues. The normal topics of investing, clients, motorbikes, our children… were touched on as usual. But a topic we spent a lot of time on today, was the real-life experiences of a colleague who has recently been through the cancer and treatment and medical bills experiences. And he’s not finished. You learn a lot when it’s a colleague, because we talk the language of benefits, medical aid, disability, income replacement, what one should have done….

He is on the same medical aid as I am, so his real time experience was of interest to me. I learnt that I have R220 000 per annum, per family member, of out-of-hospital oncology benefits. For him, this was about R200 000 short in the first year of treatment. I asked where he got those funds from. His dread disease pay-out, he said. OK, so I have that. Coping on monthly income? He had never taken out monthly income disability benefits – which could have paid a temporary benefit while incapacitated. I have that. Knowing how long you might live – this was more difficult. Because there is emotion.

He has since implemented some benefits on his children who are over 18 years old. I will do this. The day my son turns 18, I will begin some small amount of particular risk benefits. The day people start working, they should cover themselves enough to not have to go back to their parents to take care of them.