A message from Mark Jurgens
Spring is such an uplifting and positive time of the year as it starts to warm up and bring about colour and new life.
You may recall we covered an article on Environmental Social Governance (ESG) funds in our previous Newsletter. Investec Bank will be launching a SA-Domiciled version of the Global Sustainable Equity (GSE) Fund, originally launched in Guernsey. The fund should be available from this month.
I personally support the ESG initiatives globally and believe that these portfolios will outperform those companies who do not endorse this philosophy. Consumers appear to be more committed than companies and businesses regarding the way in which they value and support ESG principles. How business views the importance of supporting ESG, needs to be addressed.
The world is increasingly embracing the goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Investec will use its own screening methodology to decide which companies to include in its GSE fund, with capital to be allocated only to companies it believes are making a net-positive contribution to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
These goals target around 17 variables that include poverty alleviation, clean water, reduced inequality, education, gender equality and other sustainability-linked goals, with a deadline of 2030.
Investec’s GSE fund will hold 30 to 50 investments in growth-orientated global stocks across a variety of sectors provided they meet its environmental, social and governance standards, and sustainability requirements.
At present top holdings in the fund include Microsoft, Prudential, Apple, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Roche, Medtronic, Novartis, Unilever, and Nike. About 85% of the stocks held in the fund are covered by Investec’s global equity research team with the bulk of the remaining allocations outsourced to third-party funds including the Schroders Global Energy Transition fund. The Investec GSE fund will be benchmarked against the MSCI world index and will be overseen by a committee based largely in SA and the UK.
As a Fund Manager at Investec states, “ESG will soon no longer be nice-to-have for shareholders and asset owners and will ultimately become a default expectation in terms of any long-term asset managers fiduciary responsibility.”
Stay well and regards
Quote of the Day
‘Psychology of Money” from Alan Botha
Investing is not the study of finance – it’s the study of human behaviour. That’s how award-winning columnist Morgan Housel framed it in his discussion at a recent Allan Gray investment Summit, with a talk on “The Psychology of Money.”
Housel used storytelling to explore how investors make decisions around risk, fear, greed, and uncertainty. His goal was to discover how we can think about risk in a more productive way.
The Wright Brothers: Timing is meaningless, but time is everything
In hindsight, it’s hard to overstate how important the first flight was to human history. Nothing was the same afterwards. You don’t need scientific expertise to hold a childlike wonder at the sight of a large metal machine soaring through the air. Yet, in the moment, news of the Wright Brothers’ accomplishment was hardly news at all. The only newspaper that did eventually cover their endeavours did so out of sympathy for their “silly little flying machine” with the headline “Dayton Boys Solve Problem.”
Housel’s lesson: patience is a competitive advantage.
While most investors consider themselves to be in it for the long term, they often define that as only 3-5 years – sometimes as little as a single year. Housel contrasted this to the fact that 99% of Warren Buffet’s net worth was earned after his 75th birthday. His secret has largely been time horizon. When progress is measured generationally, results shouldn’t be measured quarterly. The central problem investors fall for is underestimating the amount of time needed to put the odds of long-term success in their favour.
Stephen Hawking: Stop moving the goalposts
Stephen Hawking was asked how he could remain so happy despite the extremely unfortunate circumstances of living with a disease that slowly paralyzed his body. His response was remarkable, as usual. “My expectations were reduced to zero. Everything since then has been a bonus.”
Housel’s lesson: expectations are more powerful than circumstances.
Many people identify the 1950s as America’s best economic time, even though it is very easy to prove that it was no better than today. Now our incomes are doubled, but our expectations more than doubled. We’re never going to be satisfied with any amount of money if our expectations grow faster than our wealth. “Enough” is most important word in managing money. It’s different for everyone, but you need to clearly define it for yourself.
Harry Houdini: Real risk is what you don’t see
Known for his daring escapes, Harry Houdini’s other trick was stomaching a gut punch from the largest man in his crowd without even flinching. When a skinny college kid hit him while he wasn’t expecting it, however, it injured him in a way that eventually resulted in his death.
Housel’s lesson: how risky something is, depends on whether you are prepared for it or not.
Our biggest economic risk is what no one is talking about because if no one is talking about it, then no one is prepared for it. If no one is prepared for it, the damage will be amplified when it arrives.
We spent all our time talking about Obama and Trump, but it was COVID that ended up being the real risk. Unforeseen events such as September 11 and Pearl Harbour made similar impacts.
Earthquakes: Everyone has a different view of the world
When people think about risk, they don’t do it in an analytical way – they do it in a cultural way.
Californians can’t predict when their next major earthquake will come, but they are always prepared for one. The state is constantly reminded of this risk by frequent small earthquakes, which makes it easier for voters to approve safeguarding measures.
People in the state of Washington face the same threat of a major earthquake. However, they experience smaller earthquakes at a much lower frequency than California. Without that persistent reminder of the bigger risk, Washington has proven to be much less proactive in safeguarding against it.
Housel’s lesson: nothing is more persuasive than what you’ve experienced in your own life. We become prisoners to our own past and personal experiences.
In closing, people who make different decisions than you are not always crazy, they are merely acting on different experiences. Therefore, personal finance and financial planning is more personal than it is finance, and this is a significant factor to overcome, in making good choices in securing your financial future.
With thanks to Morgan Housel and the Moneta Group.
Short Term News Update from Greg Brits
During the past few months’, there has been an increase in claims being submitted where the risk profile applicable to a client’s premises has changed. In cases where such claims have not been met, they are largely due to changes having been made without our offices being notified.
As a valued client, and to offer you protection against non-payment of claims, we urge you to please contact our office with all changes made to your premises.
Below are a few areas of concern where vitally important information needs to be disclosed to your Insurer:
- Moving or relocating to new premises, suburb, or migration to a different province. This will allow us to update your address accordingly and advise you if any additional requirements may be imposed by your Insurer.
- Please inform our offices should the security at your premises change, or if you have disconnected your linked alarm to an armed response company. Your policy is based on your risk profile and your security system is a crucial change which could lead to a possible rejection when submitting a claim.
- We have also noticed changes to the occupation criteria of a residence in some instances. For example, this could be converting part of the home into a Bed & Breakfast or Air B&B. This would definitely be considered a risk profile change and warrants disclosure to Insurers. This would also apply to any form of business activities taking place from your residential premises as opposed to elsewhere.
- Fire extinguishers play a vital role in risk management, and it is therefore extremely important to have this equipment serviced each year. Commercial and Business policies are subject to this condition, as well as personal residences that have thatch roofs or thatch Lapa’s.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions regarding the above, or the required advice we can provide should you be planning to run a business from home.