…. and a good winter’s day to you all
As you can see from the above picture, I recently returned from an “eye- opening” trip to Japan where a small group of South African Advisors attended a conference which exposed us to Japan’s current economic climate. Japan has experienced deflation with markets performing badly for over two decades. Due to Government intervention in the form of quantitative easing, the objective is to achieve a 2% inflation rate. The devaluation of the Yen has also assisted in making exports more attractive. These factors are conducive to a more positive economy, with markets showing growth which is expected to continue going forward. With the above in mind, and the Government’s commitment, an increase in Japanese equities should be considered. Tokyo has a population of 13.5 million people who I found to be polite with immense respect for one another. The city itself is organised, efficient and litter free which was inspirational to witness.
…. and back to life in South Africa
The current situation with regard to our markets are that the JSE is considered fully priced. This means that investment returns from our local stock markets are not favourable, making it extremely important to ride out the day-to-day volatility as the share prices move up and down frequently, often falling sharply and quickly. However, on average the share prices move up over a longer period of time and one often has to ride the tides through this movement.
It is at times such as these that one must allow the financial planner to prevent one from reacting too hastily due to these movements and negative economic news. Often doing nothing is required to achieve long-term goals.
During the last quarter, Jurgens Group has had quite a few changes apart from the loss of Willington. We said good-bye to Kim who has been my Personal Assistant for over six years. Kim’s family won the jackpot and received their “Green Card” allowing them to immigrate to the USA. We wish Kim and her family the best of luck for the future. Kim has been replaced by Evita Gobel and I’m confident you will be in good hands going forward.
This chilly spell we are experiencing is killing off the bad germs, keeping us awake, alert and fired up to handle whatever comes our way, and the good news is we have reached the “half way mark” for winter.
Employee Benefits from Estelle Susanna
With effect from 1 March 2015, the Income tax Act has been amended to allow a member to choose when to retire if the rules of the Fund allow for it. Most Assurers will amend their rules to allow a member to defer their retirement to a date that suits them. This has been practiced by some Employers who allowed members to remain on their Fund post normal retirement age and continued to contribute to the Fund whilst remaining employed.
The new amendment allows a member who reaches normal retirement age and is compelled by his Company to leave employment to preserve his benefit within the Fund until a retirement date is chosen by the Member. Unfortunately, the Preservation rules have not been amended to allow for transfer to these products, hopefully this will be a consideration going forward or perhaps Annuity income products will be amended so that a member is not forced to take an income until the income is required.
Discovery Health – International Travel Benefit
When travelling outside South Africa, an active Discovery Health member has emergency cover for 90 days from date of departure (this benefit is built into your monthly premium).
Please note the following does NOT apply to members of the Key Care Plans.
Medical emergency cover is limited to R10 million for members on the Executive plan and R5 million for members on the Classic, Essential and Coastal plans. Please note this is per member and per journey. It is important to remember that an up-front co-payment will be required for out of hospital medical emergency treatments. Discovery Health cover out of hospital medical emergency claims after you have paid the first €100 or US$150 for each person on each journey.
If emergency hospitalisation while travelling overseas is required, it is necessary to notify International SOS as soon as possible after the emergency on +27 11 541 1222. Should you need assistance in contacting International SOS, you can also contact the international operator of the country you are visiting and request to be connected to International SOS on reverse call charges. International SOS will validate the membership and confirm any waiting periods, before they authorise the admission and issue a payment guarantee. Your medical savings account and other day-to-day benefits will not be affected.
It is not necessary to call or make arrangements for this benefit each time you travel to foreign countries. The only time it is necessary to make arrangements for the travel benefit claim form and letter is for Visa purposes.
For more information pertaining to the above, please contact Simone Heyman at Jurgens Finance, 011 622 2061 or Discovery Health Directly on 0860 99 88 77.
Short Term News from Russell Sourgen
Commercial Insurance In Challenging Times
Tough economic times have put tremendous pressure on most business owners.
Unfortunately, in a bid to cut costs, many business owners make the potentially fatal decision of reducing their insurance cover without fully understanding the implications of the risks involved. It is imperative that in this unfortunate environment, we as an industry, assist our clients to understand and insure against the risks that could adversely affect their business. In many instances, this relates to insuring against small financial losses such as damage to company vehicles. However, it is even more important to ensure that potentially crippling or catastrophic risks are mitigated.
In general, our clients know that improving their risk exposure has benefits however, it becomes difficult when these improvements require capital outlay – for example, sprinkler or alarm system installations. In tough economic times, many business owners cut back on such necessities, resulting in avoidable losses.
As Brokers, it is important to understand the risk exposure of each business and this is where Jurgens Insurance Brokers brings real value to the table – to assist our clients in avoiding claims.
In our ever changing environment, there are also many new risks which business owners need to be aware of and consider taking protection against; namely Cyber Crime, Directors & Officers Liability, Protection of Client Personal Information (POPI), Kidnap & Ransom, Gradual pollution, Professional Indemnity etc.
Where possible, we would look for alternative, more cost effective solutions for our clients. However, if there are no alternatives and we believe that the enhancement against risk is necessary and beneficial to the client, our requirements will be adhered to in the event of a claim. A further exacerbating factor is the belief that cheaper premiums are best. The truth here is that cheap premiums often result in uninsured losses and unnecessary, potentially crippling financial costs. Commercial brokers have an important responsibility to provide business owners with sound advice, appropriate products to meet their needs whilst still keeping affordable cover. This is not an easy task but one which Jurgens Insurance Brokers are in a position to provide. We at Jurgens believe that, if we work together with our clients, we can formulate an appropriate solution to satisfy all parties’ needs and best forms of protection of our client’s interests.
Jurgens Insurance Brokers are well positioned in the commercial market place and are able to supply insurance services to a wide spectrum of businesses – from the one-man business to the large corporate institutions.
We invite you to put us to the test. Call our office. (011) 622-2061/2/3
Our sales team consists of Greg, Russell and David who will be happy to assist you in this regard.