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The Stage
The ‘smoke and mirrors’ deceit: Speculators’ obsession with ‘instant everything’ drives tech shares to ridiculous valuations

I spent this morning watching a handful of investment videos on YouTube, dipping in and out of what some of the financial market gurus have to say about the US markets. There were plenty of thought-provoking snippets, with my favourite being an independent assessment of the world’s all-time greatest investor’s view on gold. The clip was shared by none other than Robert Kiyosaki, an American businessman and author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. He noted that Warren Buffett, a long-time critic of gold as, had completed a major acquisition in Barrick Gold. Berkshire Hathaway recently acquired 20.9 million shares in the mining company for north of US$500 million.

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Straight Talk
Prescribed assets will not pull South Africa Inc from the economic abyss

As the extent of the financial carnage caused by pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns becomes apparent, governments around the world are looking for ways to conjure up money to plug every manner of funding shortfall. The South African government is already making noises about dusting off the Apartheid era prescribed assets handbook to force private investors to queue up for its government and state-owned entity (SOE) bonds. Many financial services firms are opposed to the reintroduction of this policy, as evidenced by comments made by Dawie de Villiers, CEO at Alexander Forbes, during a webinar titled ‘partnering for better financial wellbeing outcomes’.

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Featured story
Big data gives local medical scheme an edge in assessing pandemic impact

One of the biggest challenges facing healthcare and insurance professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic is how to interpret the mortality, morbidity and treatment outcomes data being generated globally. They must consider hundreds of country-specific data sets alongside countless independent clinical studies that, although purporting to reflect similar statistical measures, are often wildly different. “We are probably in the second wave of pandemic [in developed countries] and at the peak of the first wave in many developing countries,” said Emile Stipp, chief actuary at Discovery. He added that the reported infection and mortality rates varied widely from one country to the next due to different testing protocols, among other factors. Stipp was presenting at a ‘Pandemic Progression Insights’ webinar.

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Getting on top of Employee Benefits legislation
Getting on top of Employee Benefits legislation

Once you have made the decision to grow your business by tapping into employee benefits, it is important that you get a solid understanding of the regulatory requirements applicable to this environment.

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Quick Polls

QUESTION

The intention with lockdown was to delay or flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and give both the private and public healthcare sectors time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. Did the strategy work?

ANSWER

No, the true numbers are not reflected. Almost a quarter of South Africans may already have been infected with Covid-19
It’s too soon to tell. We will likely get a second wave with stringent lockdown regulations in place again
Yes, South Africa bought enough time to make a significant difference. We saved lives and have passed our peak. The worst is over
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FAnews August 2020 Get the latest issue of FAnews

This month's headlines

Ethical behaviour - are you toeing the line?
Latest business interruption developments raise more questions than answers
Brokers remember: You are accountable...
A sustainable pension - How to manage living annuities in uncertain times
Claim stats… life can change in a heartbeat
Are South Africa’s income protection benefit providers ready for COVID-19?
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