Spring – this usually means spring cleaning your home and life. How can you apply this principle to breathe life into your finances as the new season starts?

 

A good starting point is always to take stock. Organise your bank statements, regular bills and your financial statements. Categorise them for easy reference. Make sure you know where you are spending your money- it is so easy to miss the R100 out of your bank account here and there without knowing what you’ve spent it on, yet it all adds up at the end of the month.

 

This is also often the time of year where life insurers increase their monthly premiums, so make sure you know exactly which premiums have increased and by how much. If you are not happy, discuss this with your financial advisor.

 

Your investments during this new season

Diversification of your investment portfolio remains key, whether through shares, commodities or property investments.

 

Secondly, always consider costs. A saving of 2% per year over 40 years, can make a difference of 60% in your retirement planning. Doing this now will already build momentum in the form of compound interest.

 

In essence, always ensure that basic investment principles are applied.

 

Market news

Amid political uncertainty, the rand has strengthened by 1% and closed at R14.40 against the dollar. New GDP numbers will be released and according to economist this will be roughly a 2% improvement. What this means for South Africa is that we will then not show negative results for two consecutive quarters and will thus not go into recession.

 

Good news for South Africa is that although R10 billion left the market, international investors have invested even more and the JSE All Share Index grew by 1%. The Top 40 strengthened by 1.59%  ans is currently trading at 47 079 points, which is a clear indication to investors that there are still very good investment opportunities within South Africa.

 

What to focus on when making investment decisions

Do not focus on political noise, but rather focus on characteristics in the market which will benefit you. A common mistake made by investors and asset managers is to join a fund once it has shown positive growth or profits, however, this is too late. It is important to ensure you are one step ahead to benefit in the profits. Therefore, ensure your financial advisor knows how to manage your portfolio.