The only constant is change

That was what 6th century Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, believed. And looking back at the events that have unfolded since our last newsletter in December 2015, it’s safe to say that is certainly true!

We have had Nenegate and the subsequent currency disaster; the #feesmustfall campaign that flowed into the #zumamustfall campaign; and the much-trumpeted State of the Nation Address from President Zuma.

Our reinstated Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, has given what was undoubtedly the most important budget speech since our democracy; our university campuses have become hotbeds of racial tension and violence, fueled by the ANC’s desperate attempt to hold onto power; and we will soon be going into municipal elections, which means more election rhetoric.

And on top of all that, there has been our parliamentary comedy show – laugh rather than cry! – that has perhaps revealed just how challenging the South African environment can be.

Looking further afield, we have had a massive slowdown in China and seen the effects of the lack of demand on world markets. As I write this, world markets have had an aggressive week-long potential start to recovery off the back of apparent increased raw material demand from China.

The geopolitical landscape continues to be a difficult one, with ISIS terrifying the Middle Eastern regions, a potential ‘Brexit’ with the UK considering leaving the EU, and the somewhat entertaining (and at times, terrifying) US election campaigns.

Looking forward, we have serious headwind ahead of us. But I take comfort knowing we have been here before. We have seen and weathered many market corrections and market crashes; we have seen politicians behaving questionably, and we have seen the rand being buffeted to and fro. As an emerging market, we have experienced the world’s love/hate relationship many times, and watched geopolitical tensions rise and recede.

A little closer to home there have been further changes afoot, with us significantly enhancing the Octagon Financial product offering.

Since our last newsletter, our investment team – led by Chief Investment Officer Steven Crouse – has successfully launched our South African unit trusts and our much-anticipated London-based offshore wrap funds. We have worked closely with our asset consultants both locally and abroad to create well-balanced, exceptionally well-priced and top-performing investment options for our local and offshore offerings.

Samantha Booyens in our Cape Town office together with the formidable Faatima Moola, head of our back office (the engine room that makes all your advisors’ promises come true!), are in the process of rolling out our new back office reporting system. This has been many months in the making and we have just completed the testing phase. The system is specifically designed to make our reporting of your investments, life cover, medical aid, short-term insurance and employee benefits easier for you to understand.

Our marketing team has also finalised our new branding, and our new website will follow shortly. We are also working on some very exciting client communication and marketing strategies. Watch this space!

As I have said before, we can’t control markets or currencies, but we can control your investments. In the months ahead, we will continue to focus our attention on being the best wealth managers and financial advisors we possibly can. Our continued commitment to you is our obsession with brilliance.

We wish you a 2016 filled with health, security and the greatest success.