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Insights

Can companies have too much of a good thing?

by Rob Perrone

Orbis

In the centre of London, there is a market whose history stretches back to the first century. Built on the site of a Roman forum, Leadenhall was once the biggest market in Britain, with its merchants eventually selling poultry, cheese, meat, and fish.

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Have you chosen the right unit trust?

by Lettie Mzwinila

Allan Gray

It's a good idea to review your investments about once a year to make sure that things are on track. But what if they aren't? How can you tell if 'this, too, shall pass' or if you are invested in the wrong unit trust? And what should you do? Lettie Mzwinila explains.

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Finding value in frontier African markets

by Nick Ndiritu

Allan Gray

Across corporate boardrooms in South Africa, a number of management teams and institutional investors are grappling with a vexing question: Is investing in frontier African markets worth the hassle? Nick Ndiritu explains how we have wrestled with the uncertainty of investing in frontier markets.

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Why active investing beats passive in South Africa

by Johny Lambridis

Prudential

Passive investing is gaining ground in South Africa, mainly due to the (generally) lower fees involved compared to actively managed funds, but also based on some misperceptions stemming largely from the US experience. Fundamental differences with the local market mean that passive investing may not be as successful here as in the US.

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Amazon - Living in the future

by Tom Slater

Baillie Gifford

One common characteristic among the visionary leaders of the world's biggest companies is their calmness against a backdrop of market volatility. The reason for that, we have discovered, is their ability to look beyond what is happening today and focus on tomorrow's opportunities.

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SA's limited foreign debt helps to contain its credit risks

by Kevin Lings

Stanlib

Any economic risk assessment of South Africa would note a very noticeable deterioration in a wide range of key economic variables over the past nine years. These include a substantial rise in government debt, including a dramatic increase in financial support provided by government to the major state-owned enterprises (SOEs), a sharp slowdown in economic growth to an average of less than 1% over the past four years, and a further rise in the country's already-high level of unemployment.

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Avoiding the headline investing trap

by Nicholas Hops

Coronation

It is perilously easy for investors to get caught up in the sentiment of the day and buy into 'story stocks'. Not wanting to miss out on the next big thing, the market often drives up the price of favourably positioned assets far beyond their underlying intrinsic value and pushes the perceived losers far below theirs.

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Global equities: Identifying tomorrow's superstars

by Neil Robson

Columbia Threadneedle

After a bearish end to 2018, financial market participants have been asking whether a global downturn is imminent - despite equity indices staging a recovery this year. Yet they should be asking a different question: have they accounted for the way that technology and other factors are transforming business models?

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What role does luck play in achieving investment success?

by Maria Konnikova

Psychologist

Achieving investment success in today's world is uncertain, given that markets in the last decade have been extremely volatile. But the secret to creating long-term wealth is mastering your own behaviour.

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The next big things

by Tom Slater

Baillie Gifford

Baillie Gifford first invested in Amazon around 15 years ago. At that time, the company was regarded largely as an online disruptor of traditional bookshops.

We have subsequently followed with interest as Amazon has moved into other businesses.

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When is debt too much of a good thing?

by Johny Lambridis

Prudential

Debt, if used wisely, can be a valuable financial tool. But as the famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith warned: "All crises have involved debt that, in one fashion or another, has become dangerously out of scale in relation to the underlying means of payment."

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Opportunities in the step change in emerging markets

by Suhail Suleman

Coronation

Investment opportunities are created when economies modernise, increase in size and see a step change in financial sophistication. Just look at China and India. Both were poorly managed by their respective governments until the early 1980s and 1990s and it is no co-incidence that a loosening of regulation and an opening up of domestic markets to capital investment and competitive forces coincided with a significant increase in growth rates in these countries.

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Valuations matter

by Andrew Lapping

Allan Gray

Uncertainty abounds at present. Equity returns for the past few years have been underwhelming, political upheaval locally and internationally is causing waves, and there seems to simply be no sure bet. So what should investors do? Andrew Lapping takes a look at the context in which we must invest, explains why he believes that uncertainty presents opportunity and reminds us of the essence of the Allan Gray investment philosophy: valuations matter.

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Investing in property? Tread carefully, warn experts

by Kundayi Munzara

Sesfikile

An active investing strategy can help determine long-term investment opportunities in property.

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Enjoy the fruits of a vegan and value approach to life

by Roberta Barr

Schroders

There are some striking similarities between the emotional journey of buying a value stock and that of a (clearly purely hypothetical) 18-year-old girl becoming a vegan.

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