Second Quarter 2017 – In Touch

mark jurgens at Tesla

On a recent trip t the USA, Mark Jurgens was part of a South African contingent of invited financial advisors.

One of many of the blue-chip companies visited was the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California.

This is one of the world’s most advanced automotive plants.

jurgens group Andrea

Andrea Collins joined Jurgens Group last year.  Her experience and efficient work-ethic

makes Andrea an asset to the Jurgens life and investment administration team.


Message from Mark

It seems like only yesterday that we were discussing hot weather and drought warnings – now we are thankfully no longer experiencing a drought (in Gauteng at least) and we are all reaching for our winter woolies and heaters!

I have recently returned from an investment business trip to the USA where I was fortunate enough to meet with various global companies.  These included a couple of investment companies, banks, as well as IT companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon.  The IT industry is growing at a rapid pace and the growth opportunities are abundant.  Their modern approach to office life and young start-up business was a true eye opener.  Our emerging youth have opportunities available to them that many of us have not yet begun to contemplate – an arena well worth researching!

Back on the home front, many of you are aware that we have allocated a generous portion of your investment portfolios to offshore investment opportunities.  This has been essential due to the political uncertainty over the last two years.

Year to date, the market is performing better than it has over recent years.  The R/USD exchange rate has a larger effect on investment returns than most people realize and our downgrade negatives may only be realised a few years down the line, as well as the possible implications of state capture.

To reiterate, the most important thing an investor can do in these uncertain times is remain calm, stick to their long-term investment plan and not make hasty decisions.

It is important to mention that all portfolios are managed on a daily basis. The relevant fund managers of the various companies, make adjustments within the funds, to counter-act the effects of our ever-changing economic environment.

There is a saying that “Winter is the season for recovery and preparation” – may this winter be just that!



The State of your Estate by Alan Botha

Taking an active approach to estate planning is critical, as it involves the alignment of estate planning instruments for a client’s benefit during their lifetime. A further consideration, is the benefit to the ultimate beneficiaries, which also requires adjustment from time to time due to changing personal needs and regulations.

There are four Estates that one must deal with in the estate planning process:

  • A client’s personal assets (these will be dealt with in their Will)
  • Trust assets (To be dealt with by the Trustees of the Trust according to Trust Deed).
  • Contractual arrangements such as life assurance proceeds and buy-and sell agreements (to be paid out to a nominated beneficiary or to the surviving business partners)
  • Retirement fund benefits. (The Pension Funds Act regulates these while you are a member of the fund. If you elect a living annuity after retirement, you will be able to nominate a beneficiary for such proceeds.

In addition to having four ‘Estates to consider’, life is not simple, and things change along the way – both good and bad. Estate planning must take these events (and potential events) into account and be flexible enough to meet your changing needs.

The following questions are fundamental to good Estate planning outcomes:

Do you have a strategic Estate plan in place? Do you have a plan in place that takes the ‘4 Estates’ and your personal requirements into account? Does the plan meet the long-term wishes you hold for your Estate? Is the plan flexible enough to allow you to change the structure should your circumstances change?

Do you have a signed and up-to-date will? This is the pivotal point of successful Estate planning – your plan may collapse without it. A Will must express your wishes, be valid, signed, and up-to-date.

If you have assets offshore, you can have a foreign Will in addition to a South African Will, or one Will dealing with both your local and foreign assets.

Have you used the R3.5m abatement to best effect? Each Estate is entitled to a deduction of R3 500 000. For spouses, the unused portion of the R3.5m abatement amount will ‘roll over’ to the surviving spouse’s Estate if not used.

Is ‘my’ family Trust at risk? Often in family Trust situations, risks are ignored and misunderstood. The control, ownership and benefits become so mixed up, that there is no Trust, the risk of which exists that the Trust assets vest in the ‘client’. This reduces the benefits of having a Trust as an instrument in Estate planning.

Are my Buy & Sell agreements going to protect my family? Research shows that 75% of Buy & Sell agreements don’t work to the benefit of the client. Typical problems include agreements not properly signed, agreements in conflict with a client’s Will, or in-community of property marriages not considered.

Are my policy beneficiary nominations up to date? It’s important to note that nominating a beneficiary can save on executor’s fees but won’t save on estate duty (as the policy still forms part of the estate).

Have I made sufficient provision for liquidity? An Estate Plan should also provide for liquidity for winding up expenses, to prevent dependants having to sell off assets to meet these expenses. A Life assurance policy is a reliable and convenient way to provide for liquidity within the Estate.

How will my retirement fund benefits be dealt with? Source Allan Gray

jurgens group chart

Will my family know what to do in the event of my death? Ensure that you, your spouse and family build a relationship with your financial adviser, who can assist with the financial intricacies at the time of loss of a family member. Also make sure that your family knows where to access a copy of your Will. The team at Jurgens Finance are well equipped and ready to assist in all estate planning considerations.

Short Term News Update from Greg Brits – Cyberattacks

In May this year, the world at large woke up to a very scary reality – we are all vulnerable to ransomware and other cyber-attacks, either directly in our personal capacity or indirectly through the services to which we rely upon daily.

Friday the 12th of May saw over 100,000 computers in over 70 countries hit by a strain of ransomware known as Wcry or WannaCry. A pop-up will then appear on the victim’s computer’s screen demanding a ransom of $300 in Bitcoin within three days. Failure to comply will result in the price doubling and after seven days, WannaCry will render the data permanently irretrievable.

Bitcoin is an online currency infamous for its anonymity and preferential status as a medium of exchange amongst black-market traders. While companies might be able to afford $300 to get their crucial information back, individuals in their personal capacity can hardly afford to do this – and there’s no guarantee of encryption release.

Through some intervention by a security researcher, the ransomware was prevented from replicating itself. Whilst infected computers remained encrypted, this stopped the further spread of the malware. By then over 126,000 computers in 104 countries (with more than half of the infection reports coming from Russia). However, this only managed to stop a single strain of the virus and as predicted, WannaCry 2.0 hit the web shortly after the initial victory.

By Sunday morning on 14 May, the latest count showed over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries – most of those victims being businesses.  Fortunately, a “patch” was created and could be downloaded for free, effectively blocking variants of WannaCry from infecting your computer.

Cyber Risks insurance is set to be a challenge for insurers – a risk which may prove to be the hailstorm of the cyber world crashing down on a global scale to put a dent in our day. Jurgens Group, in conjunction with various product suppliers, is well positioned in the cyber risks market and offers a comprehensive policy for this type of cover. Please contact Jurgens Insurance Brokers for further information.

Source: Extracts from Camargue Liability Management


Quote of the day……

” It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.

It is the one that is most adaptable to change”  Charles Dawin


Services offered by Jurgens Group:

Investments – Local & Offshore   –    Financial Advice  –

Life Assurance   –  Medical Insurance    –   Employee Benefits    –

Personal & Business   –   Short Term Insurance


Jurgens Group                                                                                       Jurgens Group

Jurgens Finance House                                                                       Jurgens Finance House

15 Bradford Road                                                                                   P O Box 75470,

Bedfordview                                                                                           Gardenview, 2047


FSP Number: 732 and 7980   Reg. No. 2012/138938/07    

Tel:  (011) 622-2061/2/3    Fax:  (011) 616-6673  

First Quarter 2017 – in Touch

jurgens group

jurgens group first quarter 2017

Jurgens Group at their Annual Staff Conference in Sedgefield

Estelle Susanna receiving the “Achiever of the Year Award         

presented by Mark and Greg                                                              

jurgens group awards

Nela Pereira receiving her 10 Year Long Service Award from Mark Jurgens

Good day to you all!

At our recent annual staff conference in Sedgefield, our theme for discussions and activities related to, amongst others, improving our levels of service, advancement in technology and upcoming legislative changes in our industry. The team building activity took place at a community and job creation centre, Masithandane which means, ‘let us love one another’. We enjoyed working alongside the mosaic crafters, mosaicing pavers which will form part of a colourful hopscotch court in the Sedgefield Mosaic Interactive Park.

The economic forecast for this year is expected to improve compared to last year – with the Rand /Dollar exchange rate likely to remain fairly stable, however, political stability is required. There are still some global economic issues on the horizon, which we need to keep in mind.

Elections in the Netherlands and in France could bring more surprises, in that the front-runners are wanting to exit the European Union. These events, with the unfolding of Bexit, could have serious repercussions to financial markets.

Time Magazine recently noted that the No. 1 risk of 2017, is having an “unpredictable America” under President Trump.

Having attended a number of investment presentations this year already, the sentiment of most portfolio managers is far more positive than seen in recent years.

Volatility in global markets can create opportunities, for example, the recent dramatic growth in American equities.

Moving back home, we have been blessed with significant rainfall over most of the country. Crop yields have increased and food inflation is expected to decrease. With overall inflation on a downward trend, we are hopeful of a possible decrease in interest rates in the latter part of the year.

As we head into Autumn, enjoy the burst of colours of the changing leaves and the crisp breeze – transformation and hope is in the air.



Budget Highlights 2017 from Alan Botha

The SA economy finds itself in a protracted period for global trade, lower commodity prices and a higher risk of external volatility. The 2017 Budget proposals aim to tighten fiscal policy, drive radical transformation of economic models, with the aim of inclusive growth. The proposals below were put in place to fill a R28bn in SA’s current budget deficit.

Highlights of the budget include the following:

  • A new top Personal Income Tax rate of 45% (previously 41%) for taxable incomes above R1.5m
  • Increase in dividend withholding tax rate from 15% to 20%
  • The highest effective capital gains tax (CGT) rate for individuals will increase from 16.4% to 18%.
  • Tax threshold increase from R75 000 to R75 750
  • Property transfer duty threshold increased from R750 000 to R900 000
  • Tax free savings annual allowance increased to R33 000 per tax year (previously R30 000)
  • Increase of 30 cents per litre in general fuel levy and 9 cents per litre in the road accident fund levy
  • Increase of excise duties for alcohol and tobacco of between 6% to 10%
  • Sugar tax proposal will be implemented later in 2017
  • Proposed carbon tax and its implementation to be considered further

The jump to the new tax tier of 45% as an alternative to introducing a wealth tax, which our current financial systems and infrastructure are not geared for. The next significant contributor to the R28bn under collection problem is a huge 33% increase in the dividend withholding tax, which is expected to bring in R6.8bn in additional revenue. This represents an easy collection method for government, as tax is withheld by corporates when dividends are paid out, they are then obliged to pay this over to SARS within 30 days. This increase was effective immediately negating any quick decisions to declare dividends before month end (28 February 2017). This increase also keeps the top individual marginal tax rate in line with the combined effect of the company tax rate including withholding tax at 42.4% (previously 38.8%). Regarding the taxation of interest free loans to trusts, a deemed interest rate of 8% will now be applied from 1st of March 2017. This interest component will then attract donations tax of 20%.

Taxpayers are however, able to utilize their annual individual donations tax exemption of R100 000 to offset this liability. In theory, only loans of more than R1 250 000 would attract tax, once the exemption described above has been catered for. A further proposal is aimed at extending anti-avoidance measures regarding interest free loans made to companies that are owned by trusts.

Further proposals in the future relating to retirement reform, refer to current legislation whereby persons of retirement age (age 55) are prohibited from transferring their funds to another approved retirement vehicle without being taxed. SARS is now looking to change this to ensure a person would only be taxed at the time of ‘’real’’ withdrawal. People are living and working longer, therefore a retiree should not be forced to retire from a fund, but able to elect to transfer tax free to another approved pension or provident fund.

Common consensus is that overall this was a sensible budget, and we emphasize that this article merely highlights some of the most pertinent points applicable to financial and business planning outcomes. Please contact our office directly, should you wish to discuss any of the proposals and how they may relate to your financial planning needs and objectives.

Short Term News Update from Greg Brits  

With all the recent wet weather we have had country-wide, we trust you are keeping dry and driving with caution. Its seems La Nina is in full swing as predicted by some analysts.  Its great news for our dams though as the Vaal Dam level is at 82% and increasing at the time of writing this article.

We have been looking at our stats on recoveries and thought it would be good to mention why some excesses are not recovered or why third party claims are abandoned. Unfortunately, the law is not being enforced by government for third party motor insurance, the cost factor being the reason given. If it were enforced, it would cost between R50 and R100 a month and would grow the risk pool of clients that are insured. It costs about R636 to fill up a vehicle with a 50 litre petrol tank, of which R239 is tax. Makes one think! One of the main reasons for non-recovery of accident related costs and excess payments, is that most people do not have insurance cover, some of whom, have no attachable assets to re-coup costs.


Other reasons for non-recovery is that information at the scene of an accident is often falsified. It is important to take photos of the licence disks, the drivers’ Licence, vehicle damage etc. This information is important as it enables Insurers to trace the third party.  At times in the event of an accident, the blame for the accident is shared and each party then covers their own claim / costs.  Some friendly reminders:

  • For driving safety purposes, it is important to ensure that your tyres’ tread is within the legal limit. The legal minimum tread depth of tyres in South Africa is 1.6 mm across the central three-quarter width, and around the entire circumference.
  • Please check that your Fire extinguishers are serviced annually.
  • Should the outstanding balance owed to the bank for your vehicle be greater than the retail insured value, then a top up policy is recommended to cover the shortfall. This can either be done via your insurance policy or the car-finance provider.