If there is one thing more deeply entwined in every area of life than anything else – it’s money. Everything you do – from education to career to lifestyle – is about how you are going to earn it, save it, invest and benefit from it. Looking after it is paramount, but not that easy to do on your own. The benefits of engaging a professional advisor should far outweigh any fees you may be charged. The purpose is to increase your net value and secure your future. And perhaps there isn’t a price on that? When seeking financial advice, you need to know you are talking to someone who is not only qualified and thoroughly experienced, but also trustworthy, dependable, courteous, empathic, and genuinely concerned about what is best for you. Because it’s not only about making money – it’s about your life, dreams, family and future. Good financial decision-making is the key to enhancing standards of living, peace of mind and lifetime security. The numerous benefits of having sound professional financial advice: A well considered plan and strategy will provide an overall picture of your financial situation – and allow you to seize opportunities to monitor, review, and make the necessary changes to complement changes in your life circumstance. A financial advisor will give you not only the best of his or her mind, but also integrity, empathy and heart. A planner may often act as financial counsellor, coach and mentor to help motivate clients to live their lives and dreams to the fullest. An advisor is an important defense mechanism preventing you from deviating from your plan to your detriment. He or she is armed with the right tools and systems to help protect you from you, such as: cancelling investments or policies at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons. Advisors keep you focused on goals rather than the sensationalism of the media and unsettling, but usually transitory, world events. An advisor has the expertise and knowledge to help you choose . . .
If banks were waiting for a sign to kick mobile banking innovation into high gear – or indeed commence at all – the latest Think with Google report provides no clearer indication the time is now. According to the report, mobile usage is in an unthinkable boom. Focus once directed at Millennials should be consciously shifted to Generation Zs – a younger, demanding demographic who can’t imagine life without a mobile phone. Screen starters Attention must be paid to Generation Z’s digital reality. The report suggests the average age black teens get their first mobile phone is around twelve. This coincides with the age at which said teens start making their first purchasing decisions. Research shows this age of mobile adoption to be significantly earlier than their older counterparts, which was likely between the ages of 16 and 20. The younger generation is speedily catching up when it comes to e-commerce. A remarkable 66% of black teens are making purchasing decisions online, with the age group just above them (18-24) at around 88%. Of Generation Zs buying online, an astounding 52% are doing it from their mobile phones. Be prepared for the pioneers The behaviour and needs of Generation Zs is understandably difficult to predict, as they’re pioneers – the first generation who will never understand or have to imagine life without mobile phones. To correctly and affectively serve this market, financial service providers must be inconceivably agile in their offerings – and marketing thereof. A task made more difficult by the intrinsic nature of traditional financial institutions – particularly on the African continent – who’s very fabric is slow-moving, marble and glass structure. Banks are replete with red tape and have, up until now, been overtaken in the financial innovation race by Mobile Network Operators who’ve been quick to serve the up-and-coming digital generation. Financial service providers must do the same, if not to be excluded from the . . .
The Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa (IRC of SA) unanimously voted to welcome the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) as a member as of 15 March 2017. It is a prestigious appointment that benefits both the IRC of SA and SAIPA, providing professional growth and development opportunities across the board. “There are only eleven other organisational members, including one other IFAC accredited body in South Africa, which in itself is an achievement,” says Darren Gorton, Finance Executive, SAIPA. “The IRC of SA was founded in 2010 by Mervyn King, the creator of the King Report, and is focused on the need to develop better, and more sustainable, reporting standards. Our becoming a member of the institution is a privilege and forms part of our strategic vision for 2017 and beyond.” Chaired by Professor Mervyn King and boasting institutional members such as the JSE, the IOD, SAICA, CIMA, the IIA and the Banking Association of South Africa, the IRC of SA plays a fundamental role in developing guidelines and good practice for Integrated Reporting. The latter ignites the development of Integrated Thinking which delivers tangible value to both Professional Accountants and their clients. By becoming members of the IRC of SA, SAIPA now offers its own members the chance to build their portfolios and expertise within this exacting and rewarding field. “We are extremely focused on developing our own members and giving them the opportunities to become value creators,” explains Gorton. “This membership opens their access to learning and growth which will enhance their professional standing and capabilities.” Understanding integration The financial reporting landscape today is dominated by listed companies thanks to the Corporate Governance principles outlined in King IV, which replaced King III effective from 1 April 2017. This is driven by the fact that organisations which wish to remain listed have to show how they meet these . . .
The financial crisis of 2008 severely damaged the reputation of the banking sector. Nine years on, consumer surveys consistently find that the financial service industry is one of the least trusted sectors. Restoring that trust is imperative to creating a flourishing financial services sector that can fulfil its vital role in Africa’s economy Almost any consumer interaction with a financial services firm requires an act of trust on behalf of the consumer; it is therefore of crucial importance to the industry that consumers have a high level of trust in financial services providers. Trust in innovation In the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, it found that while only 54%of respondents trust the financial services industry as a whole, 62% feel the industry is acting responsibly in the way it is bringing electronic payments to the market. As an industry, it has responded quickly to shield consumers from liability on card fraud and is working collectively to protect broader financial systems. The above shows there is an opportunity if handled well, to use innovation to build trust. 69% of those surveyed by Edelman trust the innovation of new electronic and mobile payment options, thus were ready to leap forward to use them; they saw massive conveniences and greater personal efficiency even in the face of added risks. Earning trust in a complex continent Africa is a continent with a myriad of cultures, geography and incomes, but innovations that touch consumers on a personal level can counter balance security concerns, Edelman’s report found that 82% of those surveyed agreed that “makes my life easier” is an important trait for building trust. Look at Mpesa; the concept has made the lives of many in Kenya easier. Albeit they were forced to use it, but within the financial service the introduction of the platform was a game changer and is now trusted by millions. So what can companies do to take advantage of this opportunity? Focus on discovery, . . .
(Port Elizabeth) – BREXIT, a surprise US election and other global socio-economic and political upheavals are having direct effects on Nelson Mandela Bay businesses, which companies in the region simply cannot afford to take lightly. This is the warning from leading analyst and former Standard Bank Group chief economist Dr Iraj Abedian, who describes the current national and international conditions as “unprecedented” on a global scale. Abedian is heading to the Bay next week (May 10) as part of the NMMU Business School’s Strategic Conversations series of dialogues, during which he will address the impact of prevailing global geopolitical conditions with local business leaders. He is an honorary professor of economics and visiting lecturer in the NMMU Business School’s MBA programme in addition to his role as founder and chief executive officer of Pan-African Holdings. “The current instability is unprecedented not only in terms of the pace of change but also in the rate at which the known institutions of governance are decaying. The rising level of popular discontent is also at its highest pitch ever,” said Abedian. He described it as a “systemic problem” characterised by the twin traits of unsustainability and volatility, which, he added, business leaders should ignore at their peril. “No country, no business sector and no firm will be immune to any system disruption. As such, wherever we are, local businesses need to take a keen interest in such matters.” While he acknowledged the risks created by such global disruption, Abedian said there was also a positive aspect, which created opportunities for forward-thinking African business leaders. On the home front, he said businesses also needed to start thinking proactively about the issue of radical economic transformation, a phrase that has risen to prominence in the South African political discourse in recent weeks. “Whilst this term is thrown into the melting pot of the ANC succession . . .
Do you know that improved customer interaction is one of the main trends and predictions for financial institutions for 2017? By removing friction from the customer journey, financial institutions can create the optimal customer journey. Attend the Digital Customer Engagement Conference on 7 & 8 June 2017 at the Indaba Hotel, Johannesburg to find out more how banks, insurance companies and other players in the financial services industry can learn to create the optimal customer journey, making each step and touch point in the buying cycle stream-lined, efficient and personalised. Some of the themes to be addressed in the programme include digital marketing strategies to improve customer engagement, social media, e-metrics, loyalty and digital sales enablement. The event showcases a top speaker panel, all experts in the marketing and financial services arenas. Some of the companies represented include Experian, ClickMaven, P:Cubed, Compuscan, Digital Solutions Group, SAP Africa, EOH Digital, inQuba, Karabina, NXT and more. View brochure for more at: http://www.tci-sa.co.za/digital-customer-engagement-conference-download-page/ Targeting financial professionals dealing with customer engagement, the programme will highlight challenges, opportunities and the latest developments regarding digital channels and customer relationships. Conference Project Manager, Ryno van Ellewee, said banks and other financial institutions must engage customers at every stage of their purchase journey. By using digital channels, it will make the customer journey for financial institutions a reality, and improve customer on-boarding, cross-selling and retention. A highlight of the programme will include a panel discussion on how the use of digital channels will influence the customer journey in the foreseeable future. Van Ellewee said the event is aimed at professionals from the financial sector dealing with CRM, customer value management, customer insights & analytics, . . .
Most financially distressed companies have the same things in common: poor working capital controls and the employment of a reactive working capital management strategy rather than a proactive approach. Improving the company’s working capital through a proactive strategy can be a quick way to get your head above water without increasing sales or cutting cost. For companies in financial distress, that kind of improvement can be the first step to turning the company around. For healthy companies, the surplus cash flow can be reinvested in ways to create value for customers, be invested in a brand or expand your services or product range. The process of improving working capital can also highlight improvements in operations such as supply-chain management, human resource management, procurement, sales and non-value-added cost. The first step is to focus on your income and customers and to ask the how, who and when question. You need to understand exactly how your income is generated, who you will collect it from and when you will collect the income. Once you have established the above, you should focus on collecting all income due to you as soon as possible. This can be done by informing debtors of their balance due, following up on debtors to pay their outstanding balances, offering a discount on early settlement of their account or, as a last resort, taking legal action to recover the balance due. The focus should be to reduce your debtors’ collection days to as few as possible, while at the same time retaining the customer relationship. The second step is to focus on your inventory levels. Having a clear understanding of the demand and supply of your product or service is a key factor. You should establish the optimum amount of inventory to sustain your level of demand while maintaining a small buffer for unforeseen circumstances. The third step is to focus on your expenditure and, more importantly, the supply chain relationships that the company . . .
Most people work hard for their money, putting it to work so that they can secure a decent future for themselves. But now the Financial Services Board (FSB) is warning South Africans that they should be particularly careful when investing in funeral policies. There are irregularities within the industry. Unfortunately when these irregularities are brought to the attention of policyholders, it is already too late and their money is never refunded. At the moment the only way to stamp out funeral policy corruption and the host of illegal practices involved with it, to adopt a ‘prevention is better than cure’ attitude. In South Africa, there are several companies under investigation, but there are likely to be others who are providing fraudulent funeral cover. Some of these, among others, are Phela Ke Phele in the North West province, Zarra Funeral Home in Limpopo, Lisakhanya Prepaid Funeral in the Eastern Cape, Noah Funerals in the Eastern Cape, Blue Rain Funeral Services in Limpopo and Olitsoe Funeral Services in Gauteng. Make Doubly Sure the Funeral Company is Registered The secret to avoiding falling for these kinds of scamsters hook, line and sinker, according to Jacky Huma of Micro Insurance Supervision department is to ask for an FSP registration certificate from the provider. This Financial Services Provider certificate should be current and valid too. Where there is any uncertainty, you can call the FSB on 012 428 8000 or 0800 20 20 87 for assistance or visit their website. You want to make absolutely sure that the company is indeed registered so that they can provide the particular services you want. Don’t make the mistake of buying funeral cover from someone who appears to be registered to sell only retirement products but they end up selling you funeral products. Get every Query Answered When you’re investing your hard-earned money, you have every right to ask as many questions as you want. Licensed providers have an . . .
Technology has yet again afforded us an opportunity with the era of ‘the internet of money’. As the world’s first digital currency, Bitcoin is beginning to gain traction in mainstream market as the most used digital currency, with an increasing number of people and businesses who are finding solace in its value. Multibillion dollar companies like; Microsoft, Dell, PayPal, Amazon, Takealot and Virgin Atlantic which are amongst the over 300 000 companies worldwide already taking bitcoin directly. As economic pressures worldwide force companies to remain relevant in an ever-changing business environment, businesses are finding ways to buckle under such pressure. The blockchain technology which bitcoin is founded on, has opened a new way for businesses to conduct business, which sees companies widening their profit margin and bringing more fast, effective, value driven solutions to their consumers. “Companies who are at forefront of this innovative revolution, are profiting much more than their counterparts who are yet to understand the benefits of using Bitcoin in today’s world. As many have still not yet looked at Bitcoin critically to weigh its options, they are not benefiting,” says Shireen Ramjoo, of Liquid Crypto-Money. Some of the reasons why businesses should be learning more and looking at Bitcoin: 1. Bitcoin is a very secure and inexpensive way to handle payments. 2. Saving in Bitcoin, increases profit margins as Bitcoin is an appreciating currency. 3. Increasing your customer base and scope. Adding another payment option to consumers that are already using bitcoin for services. 4. Save a fortune on traditional banking fees. Currently you pay 0.01% fee whether you transfer R100 0r 1 million rands, if you use Bitcoin. A standard percentage of fee, will see business saving a lot on fee costs. 5. Protection against fraud. Businesses accepting credit cards or PayPal have issues of reversal of payments at times. Chargeback fraud is quite common . . .
The driving energy of economies is the stock market. It underpins our savings, investments, pensions, policies – in fact our very lifestyle, standard of living, achievements, aspirations and everyday experience. It is the engine of development, business, progress and the creation of wealth. It is the wheel of fortune, the genie jar and sometimes the deadly game of Russian roulette. But whichever way you look at it – it dictates our experience of life in one way or another. It is fundamental to how we have set up our monetary systems in the world. So why isn’t it taught at school? Basic banking, insurance and higher purchase is not taught either. We learn math, science, history, geography – all well and good. But the basic tool to real survival in the world is mostly ignored. The stock market doesn’t discriminate against poor or wealthy, race, creed or nationality…it operates indifferently and is only engaged in perception, sentiment and risk-tolerant minds ready to become versed in the volatility of sharp declines and heady success. THE BEAUTY OF COMPOUND INTEREST It is so important to explain to young people how this can work for them or against them. When interest is gathered on investments, reinvested to grow even higher interest, which is again reinvested – there is potential for enormous returns over time. However, too many people become familiar with compound interest on debt rather than its creative prospective in a unit trust account or share portfolio. They graduate with a desire to get stuff as soon as possible without understanding the importance of patience and budget planning. Once the positives of compound interest on savings are explained, students enter the working world with an understanding of what debt actually costs and the alternative effect of compound interest on long-term savings. If this basic distinction is taught, imagine how differently many of our young people might approach the start of their adult lives. THE LABYRINTH . . .