Menachem Kay, Chief Executive Officer and Senior Financial Advisor

It’s amazing…it feels like it was only yesterday that I sat down to write the final newsletter introduction article for 2014. And here I am now, doing the same again at the end of another year!

This year seems to have flown by so quickly. Yet, when we stand back and look at the year that was, one overwhelming theme seemed to dominate the months – the V word. Yes, volatility!

The Webster dictionary describes volatility in the following two ways; both descriptions, I believe, are absolutely applicable to this past year.

The first is ‘likely to change in a very sudden or extreme way’, and the second is ‘having extreme and sudden changes in emotion’.

Whether we look at the local and offshore markets, global politics, local politics or just our erratic electricity supply, this has indeed been a year of definite flux.

Our markets have been incredibly volatile this year, with violent swings both to the positive and negative sides. The Middle East is on fire and the Russian Bear has awakened with vengeance in his eyes, intent on altering the course of this troubled region.

Despite our very best intentions, we cannot exert any influence over market volatility, and so we focus instead on the areas over which our influence will make a difference.

There are four key areas that we believe are vital to focus on when navigating our way through the malaise of these volatile times:

Full disclosure

It is core to our belief that absolute and full transparency must be adhered to by all at Octagon Financial.  We believe that the more information we can provide for you and the better informed you are, the more satisfying and sustainable our relationship will be.

Asset class balance

While we cannot control the markets or our volatile currency, we can exert a measure of control over the balance of your funds invested with us. We focus on ensuring that the correctly risk-profiled balance of cash, bonds, property, equity and offshore exposure is prevalent in all of our portfolios.

Total cost

Together with our corporate partners at Sanlam, we are able to negotiate competitive and preferential pricing across the board, from the various platforms and underlying funds that we use. Both of these translate directly into higher returns for you.

Investment simplicity

Too often we encounter complex, and in many cases, unnecessarily risky products. We strive to ensure that our products are easy to understand, correctly risk profiled and competitive.

In this vain, we are very proud of the spectacular returns of our investment funds. We are also very proud to confirm that, as promised, both our local unit trusts and offshore funds will go live in January.

Octagon Financial has had a very big year, and we are very excited to round it off with a merger with Sam Orelowitz and his team. Sam brings with him many years of industry experience and in particular, a keen focus on short term insurance. We look forward to introducing you to Sam and Mashi Zuckerman in the coming months.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and the phenomenal and dedicated Octagon staff for an amazing year.

We wish you a wonderful year-end break, safe travels and a fantastic festive season.