Bulls, bears and everything in between!
Author: Menachem Kay
What a year this has been. Thinking back to last December, I distinctly recall my happiness that the difficult year was over. I remember returning from my holiday in January ready to take on the new year, but still feeling battered and bruised from the agonisingly tough 2016.
How different it is this year! As we head into the December break, we are all undoubtedly more than a little relieved that global markets have performed better. I am extremely proud to report that the Octagon Financial range of local and offshore funds have had a truly spectacular year.
Still, there is much to be cautious of going forward. So, during this time of reflection, I though it prudent to highlight some of the events of this past year and the resulting issues on which we are keeping a very close eye.
Our beautiful country is consistently tested by President Zuma, as he continues to enrich a select few at the expense of the electorate who voted him in. We recently had yet another cabinet reshuffle, with our President apparently impervious to the damage his actions bring.
We can, however, be thankful that we live in a democracy that allows us the freedom of press and expression – South Africans are finding their voices! At the time of writing this, we were three weeks away from the all-important ANC Elective Conference. So much of the future of this country will be determined by the outcome of this event, alongside the future and sustainability of the once-glorious ANC itself.
We certainly are living through very confusing, if not risky, times, which begs the question, ‘how does all of this translate into wealth management?’ There are a number of very real scenarios that could play out depending on whom the ANC votes in as their next leader: the rand could strengthen or weaken; our stock market could rise or fall; we could see further downgrades or an about-turn in our economic status; and we could continue to grow as a democracy or shrivel under an autocrat. Either way, we as Octagon Financial have to ensure we position our funds to capitalise on growth opportunities while simultaneously providing our clients with downside protection.
How will we do that? We believe the answer lies in a balanced approach. As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, at Octagon Financial we focus on three pillars when blending our Fund of Fund portfolios: cost, innovation and balance. By ensuring we adopt a balanced approach to risk and wealth management in general, with exposure to the various asset classes and multiple strategies employed, we are comfortable that our funds are well positioned to navigate through these challenging times.
I thank you for trusting us with your wealth, and assure you of our absolute focus on the sound management of your investments at all times.
I would like to wish all our clients safe travels during the holidays, and a wonderful, restful and energising break.