Weekly Thoughts 7 June 2019

I attended a day at Coronation’s Head Office in Cape Town this past week. We were a bunch of advisors meeting and listening to their clever people, the bosses and fund managers. They all have these funny words at the ends of their names: BBusSci, BScEng etc. I counted that they all have words made up of eight to 18 letters after their names. Some should probably add AdHd. The best speakers were the economist, she was informative and entertaining, and then the Chief Investment Officer himself.

In the evening they took us all out to one of those fancy restaurants where you choose from two items per course and where the food takes up 3 cm by 3 cm on a large plate. Way beyond my culinary culture. The KZN guys secured a table for ourselves at the dinner with our local consultant joining us. The fund manager who is the head of fixed interest also joined us and was sitting opposite me. Fixed Interest comprises the asset classes of Money Market funds and Bonds. A brief explanation: The Reserve Bank sets the interest rate for lending money in the country. Investment Managers can invest into various Bank’s Money Market funds and give you a rate of interest on your money. They also buy bonds issued by various corporates including governments. They might buy a bond that is to last for two years (the money stays here for two years) and the rate of interest paid to the bond holder is, say, 8.3% per annum, for example. These are fixed rates of interest. Hence the label ‘Fixed Interest’. These sort of assets will form a part of your Balanced Funds within your unit trust investments.

Anyway, so I was sitting opposite the guy who heads up this team at Coronation. A good guy. Much more fun at dinner than he was when presenting. There he was totally boring. I said to him that what us guys (ladies included in the term) listened to today, was information overload and that most of us would not have understood 50% of what they spoke about. On a deep technical level that is. I said that what is always important to me, is for me to get a feel that you know what you’re talking about and that you guys look after my client’s money in a very good and conscientious way. He got that. And this is what I came away with. That Coronation still does a very good job of looking after your money, have very clever people doing it, have a very stable staff complement and do what they are supposed to do well, never compromising.

As a teacher, the one problem I have is that most speakers don’t know how to get to the point and not go on for too long. But this is a skill they are not expected to have neither employed for. Just me being difficult!!