Hope Springs Eternal

Oct 28, 2020 | General, HomePage, Lifestyle, Market & The Economy | 1 comment

Estimated Time To Read: 3 minute(s) 11 seconds

What seemed like an endless winter is behind us. Covid-19 infection rates have declined, and the healthcare system was not completely overwhelmed during the peak as many had predicted.  A second wave is likely, but the worst appears to be behind us, and our   healthcare workers have deservedly earned the gratitude of all South Africans.

While levels of vitriol are rising in the run-up to the US elections in early November, President Ramaphosa has set a better example, having sent out a very clear message that corruption in the ANC will not be tolerated.   Amid much criticism, he has not attempted to interfere with the independent legal process and we have at last seen a spate of long-awaited arrests by the Hawks.   It appears that the National Prosecuting Authority, under strong leadership, will soon be ready to start proceedings against many of the alleged beneficiaries of state capture.

There is much that still needs to be done, but it seems that the gods may be starting to smile (tentatively) on us.  In the Cape, our dams are overflowing after two good winters – a stroke of good luck.  The turnaround in consumer behaviour during “Day Zero” inspired a Netflix documentary, lest anyone forget just how resilient the SA nation can be in a crisis.   

Now that restrictions have eased to Level 1, most of the economy is back at work (although the tourism industry is a notable and worrying exception). Yet there is a clear sense that things are not back to normal just yet.

The SA economy, which was in recession even before Covid-19 struck, has taken a huge blow and will take years to recover. Some businesses and even whole industries might never fully bounce back.

On a more positive note, many of us have discovered new ways of working, and some have found good business opportunities during this time – online workouts, meal deliveries, digital media, to name a few.  The ability to work remotely provides the opportunity for a better work-life balance (and improved mental health for employees), less time lost sitting in traffic, and new career opportunities. We’ve learned to be everywhere and anywhere in the world without even leaving our homes.

We are nonetheless all still deeply concerned about the future of our country: the crime, the corruption, the swelling ranks of the unemployed. There have been many heart-breaking stories over the past few months, but also some heart-warming ones.   

While we may feel despair at times, hope keeps us going, because deep down we all know you cannot write this country off, and the majority of us really want to do what we can to stay positive and make a difference (yes, that does involve continuing to pay our taxes).  There will be disappointments, but it’s worth remembering that post-traumatic growth is about maintaining a sense of hope – that those who have experienced trauma not only survive but can also experience positive life changes as a result.   

Making emotional investment decisions based on hope, luck or despair, however, would more than likely jeopardise our financial futures.  And focussing on our longer-term goals is quite obviously a better strategy than feverishly watching market tickers in the vain hope of timing the market correctly.

The only thing we can be certain of is that we have no idea what’s going to happen next on the global stage.  A year ago, the events of 2020 would have looked like something out of a Stephen King novel.

Although not quite as exciting as crypto, we at Veritas Wealth will stick to our strategy of being appropriately diversified. This means spreading our investments globally so that no single outcome can wipe us out.  Markets are volatile and will continue to remain as such, but temporary declines are a short-term trade-off for a greater chance of longer-term financial security. 

We are also as resolute in sticking to our investment strategy as we are in caring for the well-being of our staff, our clients and others with whom we come into contact in our business and social lives.

We continue to refine our remote systems and structures to make it easier for some staff to work efficiently and effectively from home. This has worked well and given us a great measure of flexibility in our working and family lives. We also continue to be diligent about maintaining a safe office environment and adhering to all Financial Sector Conduct Authority health protocols.

Embracing change is never easy, but we are finding the challenge of adapting to the so-called new normal is one that we’re looking to approach with gusto.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the positive message. This will also eventually pass, BUT the lessons learned in 2020 will enable us to be better prepared for the next financial recession in a few years time. Asset allocation is KEY in “bullet proofing” an investment portfolio. The truth is, the BEST is yet to come!

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