As we come to the end of a very interesting year, I would like to thank and wish everyone who has been part of our journey this year.

What started out with such optimism and hope for a bumper year in the markets quickly turned sour as Global events – in particular the threats of a trade war between the US and China – hammered emerging markets and our Rand went from one of the best performing emerging market currencies against the US Dollar in 2017 to one of the worst by October 2018.

These global trade tensions weren’t helped by our own domestic problems. Most notably the dark clouds of a number of corporate scandals, the financial condition of our State-Owned Enterprises and the unveiling of the true extent and blatancy of State capture through the State Capture Commission of Enquiry. I am not sure we have heard the last of the news from this enquiry, but I have to be encouraged that as these issues come to light, those good, honest people that have been waiting for the opportunity to climb in and fix things will be encouraged and embraced. Our nation needs you right now. We have clawed ourselves from the brink of disaster before. Let’s do it again.

Against this backdrop we have tried our very best to make sense of the markets from an asset allocation and fund manager selection perspective. We got many decisions right, and yes – a few wrong.  We remain optimistic about the future and as the markets continue to sell off, so the value of the well run and managed businesses – of which there are many – starts to look really appealing.   

To our clients – a very special thank you. For your trust,your patience and your understanding. Without you we would not have the pleasure of coming to work and applying our minds.  We have all earned a few grey hairs this year and, in the not too distant future, these times will be behind us and we will be able to recategorize the scars of 2018 to wisdom. 

I would also like to single out the team who write our weekly newsletters – thank you. You have challenged us, encouraged us and informed us, through this very difficult year and we look forward to your continued dissemination of your well researched articles and ideas next year.

And finally, I wish everyone all the very best over the holiday festive season. Travel safely, rest well and may we all return to a brighter 2019.  

With thanks,

Sean Farrell
CEO

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