Prescribed assets: a high price

Damning new data shows how bad savers had it under apartheid’s prescribed assets. Just how much could local pension fund members lose out if the government went ahead with a prescribed assets push? A lot, as it turns out. Isaah Mhlanga, executive chief economist at Alexander Forbes Investment, says there was a huge opportunity cost in the prescribed assets regime between 1956 and 1989. Back then, the apartheid government forced…

The new tax return threshold set by SARS

You may have seen the latest announcement by the SARS commissioner to increase the qualifying threshold for certain taxpayers to submit a tax return from R350 000 to R500 000. However, as with all previous years, this only applies to certain taxpayers and so it is very important to check if you are one of these. The threshold applies to you only if you meet ALL of the criteria below:…

Where will you take us, Mr President?

When the global financial crisis hit in 2008,South Africa was sitting on reasonably strong macroeconomic fundamentals, including a healthier fiscal position and solid levels of business and consumer sentiment. The economy had grown by an average of 4.2% between 1999 and 2008, while the headline rate of unemployment had fallen to 22% under the presidency of Thabo Mbeki. Although the country managed to ride out the global storm given its…

The benefits of increasing offshore exposure in post-retirement

One of the most significant once-off life events a person will ever experience is retirement.  Therefore a large portion of an individual’s working life is committed towards preparing for this occurrence, as one does not get a second chance at it.  This transition from actively earning an income to passively generating an income while in retirement is so important that an entire profession (financial adviser) and industry (financial services) is…