Simon’s weekly wrap: Times like these


I chatted with Sifiso Nkosi, stokvels and group savings head at FNB Cash Investments, about the evolution of one of the biggest savings schemes in South Africa – stokvels. They’re evolving beyond just the old school burial or savings clubs used by our elder relatives. These days they’re operating in work environments and expanding into investments and property (read the transcript).

Famous Brands has fully put its GBK disaster behind it and I spoke with CEO Darren Hele about [interim] profits returning to pre-pandemic levels. Operating margins are improving, but remain well behind the 2015 levels of over 20% and it’s having to pass on price increases to customers. However, it does expect good festive season trade (read the transcript).

Adrian Saville of Genera Capital is my go-to person when I need help with an economic issue that is concerning me. I asked him about the risk of rising interest rates on government and corporate debt which, while a slow burn, he said will put pressure on budgets across developed markets. He also commented that current interest rates remain far too low for current levels of inflation (read the transcript).

David Buckham published his latest book ‘The Age of Menace’ earlier this month and, while it didn’t predict the recent chaos in the UK parliament, it helps explain what happened. We also chatted about the rich and powerful thinking they have all the answers and how we’re seeing debate fade as the two sides of the political spectrum move further apart (read the transcript).

Also this week:

Nick Katzke of Satrix on investing during volatility: stick to the course, try to drown out the noise and scariness of the market, and try not to change your allocation too dramatically based on current news: (read the transcript).

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