Risk vs Reward – the future of doing business in South Africa
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By now it is no secret. People have spoken about the fork in the road that we as a country find ourselves at, as well as the knife’s edge on which our young democracy is balancing. There is no doubt that now will go down as a pivotal time in South Africa’s history. Economically, our environment is tough. Slow if not stagnant growth is not creating the jobs, wealth and economic opportunities that our people demand. Intense poverty and inequality is causing crises like Fees Must Fall, strikes and our high levels of crime. Politically, we find ourselves in one of the worst states that we have ever been in. A massive leadership chasm and severe corruption among the political elite leave us with our hands in our hair daily. Unfortunately, the international investment community does not care much for excuses. The probability of a downgrade to junk status is already being partially priced into the market, with political power struggles adding oil to the fire. A presidential budget speech and a finance ministry willing to stand up for our country goes a long way, but might not be enough to avoid losing our investment level status in December. The question must then be asked what the future holds for starting and growing businesses in the current chaos and uncertainty. Are there enough opportunities in this market to warrant the risk of building a company and a future here? Let’s look at some of the unique characteristics of RSA from […]

London-based Fintech Circle Innovate announces new Africa focussed partnership with South African based innovation hub CiTi

London based, FinTech Circle Innovate and The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) based in South Africa, have today announced a partnership geared at harnessing the potential of FinTech,  in a move that aims to fast track leading-edge FinTech and entrepreneurial development in South Africa and on the rest of the continent.   “The partnership with The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is a logical and obvious choice for us,” says Nicole Anderson, CEO and Co-founder of FinTech Circle Innovate. “We feel there’s a close strategic fit. We both understand how progressive enterprise businesses or public/private partnerships can stimulate innovation talent. CiTi has a long-standing history as the most experienced incubator in Africa, plus we are both leaders in innovation in our regions. The opportunity and use case for convergence in FinTech in Africa will be a significant focus for us. Africa is showing the world how FinTech is not just about displacing or enabling traditional financial services, but that it has huge potential to stimulate key economic sectors such as agriculture, retail and energy. It is our belief that sustainable innovation comes from collaboration between incumbent players and emerging or new world business models.   CiTi has already established the first specialised FinTech hub on the continent with members such as the Thomson Reuters Innovation Lab, Barclays Rise Africa and also the Blockchain Academy. “The purpose of our Innovation Clusters,” says Ian Merrington, CEO of CiTi, “is to actively identify, support and stimulate innovation and growth in key […]

Local is Lekker: The Advantages of Buying Local vs. International
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“Think globally, act locally.” At least, that’s how the saying goes. Long have governments implored their people to favour all things local over the international, and not much has changed. The idea of a “home grown” product continues to drive local political and economic arenas, and, with the current state of the Rand, more and more consumers are opting for locally-sourced products.   But what does our inclination towards local products have to say about us as consumers? The benefits of buying locally are not just price driven. There are a number of factors involved. For one thing, aside from the issue of price, there is a fundamental need for us to cling to the idea of ‘the traditional’ in the spirit of community. With this in mind, here are some disadvantages of buying internationally, and the benefits of buying locally:   The Disadvantages of Buying Internationally There are some risks involved when you purchase products offshore. Those aware of the ever-increasing urge to reduce our carbon footprint will know that buying internationally places some strain on the environment. Furthermore, people are starting to see the importance of knowing where exactly their desired products are manufactured, and under what conditions.   It is essential that buyers always understand the workings of international trade. Even though the prices of South African products have increased several times in recent years, they often still come in less than international prices.   There may be international regulations that your purchases could be subject to, […]

The Volatile Rand: Three Tips to Prepare Your Business for the Inevitable
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In today’s financial climate, trying to predict the performance of the Rand against other major currencies is about as easy as trying to predict the Lotto numbers: virtually impossible. Even the most experienced economists and currency experts will tell you that trying to prepare your business for what could (or could not) happen in a month or even a week’s time, is like playing the weather man: more often than not, you’re usually way off. People are starting to feel the pressure to make sure they are always prepared for any financial situation.   Here are some tips to prepare your business for the effects of any fluctuating exchange rates:   1.     Hedging (Forward Exchange Contracts) When it comes to protecting your funds or business, purchasing Forward Exchange Contracts could be a good move. Try and purchase Forward Cover whenever you can. That way, there will be little to no room for any exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. When you purchase Forward Cover, don’t speculate or make assumptions. Do your research and decide based on the facts. By hedging your funds, you are also protected against any sudden shifts in the exchange rate.     2.     Use Available Resources Businesses that rely on imports and exports in their daily operations should consider using available resources wherever they can. If you import on a regular basis, try and build up a reserve of foreign currency. Try and make use of foreign currency accounts when paying your overseas service providers. Doing business […]

Press Release: The Association of Zimbabwe Offshore Financial Advisors
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  HARARE: Termstrides Investments t/a Carrick Wealth is excited to announce the establishment of the Association of Zimbabwe Offshore Financial Advisors (AZOFA) as at 9th February 2016. The purposes of the Association will include inter alia engaging with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZIM) and the other relevant organisations. The council is predominantly made up of individuals identified as key players in the industry, based on their experience and expertise to provide guidance to the Association.   The duly elected office bearers are as follows: Chairman             :               Andrew Mhere (Termstrides Investments t/a Carrick Wealth Zimbabwe) Vice-Chairman  :               Joe Levey (OFS Zimbabwe) Treasurer            :               Chipo Chigumadzi (ProFinad Zimbabwe) Secretary             :               Marcus Cambell-Reynolds (Advanced Wealth Solutions t/a VFS International   Why was it important to establish the AZOFA? According to Mhere, Chairman of the newly formed AZOFA, one of the key objectives for AZOFA is to ensure fair and proportionate regulations for Members, and also provide clear, transparent and reliable guidance and support on the implications of changing regulations, as they apply to Members and their businesses. “AZOFA provides a recognised central organisation for all Zimbabwe Offshore Financial Advisers in order to safeguard the interests of the investing community and promote the professional and ethical conduct of Financial Advisers” said Mhere. The Association intends to assure the investing community of the existence of a class of Offshore Financial Advisers who can be relied on as being trustworthy and duly qualified to perform their duties. Furthermore, the Association aims to watch […]

Finding Courage
Digital daily

By: Kieron McRae   We all love a good conference. A couple of days out of the office, a chance to spend exorbitant amounts of money on nice venues and a few over-the-top parties, with the only cost to us being having to sit through “death-by-PowerPoint” conference sessions filled with mundane income, expense and profit graphs. At the Carrick Wealth Conference 2016, there wasn’t a PowerPoint presentation to be seen, and for good reason. For us it wasn’t about the “rah-rah” or the numbers. While that stuff is important (and we’re in no way being secretive about it) we have realised that conferences can be significant, value-adding tools that help re-align our focus, and regain and re-establish our vision. It’s important to start the year on the right foot, and acknowledge people who performed. We believe that conferences are an opportunity to be introspective, and also share and receive ideas from our strategic business partners. So, you could say that we wanted to do this intelligently. Absolutely, and this is why it was our intention to have a lasting purpose behind almost every item on our agenda.   Under the Spotlight Held at Kievits Kroon, North of Pretoria, we kicked off the conference with an open Q&A forum facilitated by journalist Astrid Ascar, where the Carrick Directors addressed questions posed by employees and suppliers before and during the session. The interaction was 100% intentional. We can’t think of anything more counterproductive than a one-sided conversation. In fact, that’s hardly a […]

Undisclosed Wealth Offshore? SARS has Your Number
Digital Daily

By Mike Fannin (Group Sales Director: Carrick Wealth) When the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is implemented in South Africa, SARS will have full access to all your financial accounts, and investors with undisclosed wealth offshore will face criminal charges. When it comes to the wealthy using offshore investments as a way to dodge local tax, South Africa has ranked higher than several developed countries. A recent assessment of money “hidden” in HSBC Swiss bank accounts shows that: “The money connected to SA was higher than money connected to France, eight times higher than that of the USA, and 3.5 times more than Spain.” At the time of the report the equivalent of 0.57% ($2 billion or approximately R28 billion at the current exchange rate) of SA’s GDP was being held by South African citizens in HSBC Swiss bank accounts. While 0.57% seems insignificant at first glance, it represents only one report from one bank in one tax haven. Domestic Tax Changes for RSA that could lead to a Silent Wealth Exodus The formation of the Davis committee in July 2013 to assess our tax policy framework issued a report of findings in early 2015. It aims at increasing estate duty from 1 billion rand to 15 billion. It suggested inter spouse abatement be withdrawn entirely or subject to certain limits. It proposed that contributions to a retirement fund be included in deceased estates for estate duty purposes. It suggested an attribution/conduit principle for domestic trusts, resulting in trust income being […]

Markit Opportunity crowned Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion
Markit Opportunity crowned Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion

Barclays Africa Group Limited (Barclays Africa) crowned Markit Opportunity the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion at a panel submission judging event held at The Bandwidth Barn Accelerator in Cape Town last night. The pan-African challenge, under the Rise in Africa umbrella, which launched in July, invited teams of innovators to submit ideas to redefine the supply chain process and enable economic growth across Africa. Represented by their CEO and Founder Ashley King-Bischof, Markit Opportunity, from Kenya, triumphed over four other innovative finalists, by demonstrating a scalable solution to improve incomes of smallholder farmers. Markit Opportunity incentivises regional trade by leveraging mobile technology and logistics to create trusted, transparent and efficient supply chains. The company provides a mobile platform that connects traders in urban markets to farmers with real-time supply and demand statistics, as well as market related pricing. The judging panel of industry experts including Erik Hersman, CEO of BRCK, Teju Ajani, regional content partnerships lead for YouTube and Ian Merrington, CEO of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative vigorously engaged the five finalists as they presented their concepts. “When it came to selection process, the very high calibre of submissions provided some testing conversations for the judging panel. Today’s finalists are a great reflection of the rich vein of innovation emanating from the African continent,” says Ashley Veasey, CIO, Barclays Africa and judging panel member. Markit Opportunity will receive $10 000 in support of their venture. In addition the judges were also so impressed by the Nigerian entrepreneur […]

Why Holistic Financial Planning is Best
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By Mike Potts Whenever a new client joins Carrick Wealth, we welcome them into a world of financial possibilities. We offer them a buffet of investment options with the security and stability that our experience and knowledge provides. A common misconception is that retirement planning and a pension portfolio are all you need to invest in. Retirement planning is simply not enough. There are several other questions to consider: How much is enough? Did you know that generally your pension should be enough to pay you 75% of the income you had been receiving while employment, during retirement? Global statistics tell us that less than 5% of people who retire can actually afford to do so and consequently are unable to maintain a lifestyle they are accustomed to or had hoped for in retirement Do you fully understand the “risks” associated with only investing into a pension? If you only save for retirement, and don’t cover your income with insurances, you run the risk of having to “eat” into your retirement pot due to unforeseen circumstances. How much are you expecting your investment to work for you when you have stopped working? Getting your retirement to work for you means you need to know what your investment options are. Check out our SIPPS, QROPS, and Retirement Trust pages so that you know what your options are. The Umbrella Effect When your approach to wealth management and investment is more holistic you are creating an umbrella of cover for yourself and your […]

The QROPS Fall Out
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By Mike Potts I don’t like to say “I told you so” but, I told you so (see blog…) With the most recent changes in the QROPS regulations, we predicted that Australia, New Zealand and Ireland would be most heavily affected. As of this month, all but one of the 3,500 Australian QROPS schemes have fallen off the list. All of Ireland’s QROPS have become disqualified, as well as most of New Zealand’s QROPS. What Happened? The number one transgression that these schemes are guilty of is the age when pensions can be accessed. These three countries allow people to get gain access to their pensions before the age of 55, which is before the approved access age for HMRC QROPS. How Does That Affect Me? If someone has already transferred their pension to a QROPS, they should be able to leave their QROPS in those countries. However, no new transfers can go through, going forward. If you are uncertain about your existing or planned QROPS in Australia, New Zealand or Ireland, please contact us. South Africa and QROPS From a South African perspective, Gibraltar has always been the primary destination of choice. The ability to transfer your funds, if you are a resident in South Africa, is still as strong as it ever was. What to Remember with QROPS: How QROPs Can Benefit You: You can withdraw up to 30% as a lump sum Enjoy greater investment options and flexibility You have the freedom to nominate your beneficiaries Currency […]