We have passed the Easter Weekend mark and now we are heading towards the halfway mark for 2023. If you have been paying attention, you might have noticed some developments in both the investment and political landscape over the last few months. On the political side we have yet another soap opera, this time titled “What’s up with Thabo Bester?”. DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach has been ripping the security company G4S, responsible for Thabo’s escape, to pieces. There are talks of an EFF/ANC coalition after the 2024 elections, bound to end in tears; and of course the return of stage 6 load shedding, proving that it was not Andre De Ruyter’s fault alone.
On the investment side we are becoming used to the rand trading in the eighteen-something range to the dollar. Have you noticed that, just like getting used to the fact that you will not have electricity every day for the whole day, now we no longer comment on the rand trading at R18 to the dollar? Just the other day we were waiting for the rand to go back down to R14 to the dollar because that was deemed to be fair value! This phenomenon where you slowly get used to change is called the “Boiling Frog Syndrome”.
On the positive side of this barely noticeable but constantly changing life of ours, share prices in the USA have been rising and inflation fears are subsiding. Even some South African companies are elevating the JSE to above 78 000 points again! We are recovering some of the profits 2022 stole from us and if we can only avoid a deep recession, everything will be okay. And for those Bitcoin bulls amongst you, yes, you are making some money again with the price heading back towards 31 000. As our lives roll on over these undulating ups and downs, we can continue to trust in the proven pillars of investing, which remain diversification; time in the market; and keeping sufficient cash reserves to ride out long equity drawdowns.