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The Stage
Crypto assets: The round-trip from ‘no fundamentals’ to the moon

Few instruments have captured retail investors’ collective imagination as completely as cryptocurrencies. In fact, the frenzied price action of the best-known digital coin, bitcoin, has spawned a global community intent on milking the phenomenon for all it is worth. We are talking about consumers who now believe 10x is a normal construct in the world of financial market returns; exchanges that facilitate billions of dollars in crypto transactions daily; and social media influencers who proclaim “bitcoin to the moon” to anyone who will like and subscribe, among others. As we power through 2021, we are subject to a broad church of opinion re the asset class, ranging from Warren Buffett’s ‘bitcoin has zero fundamentals’; to former hedge fund manager, Raoul Pal, who reckons a 100% allocation to crypto makes perfect sense; to everything in between.

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Straight Talk
Trust… Make or break for brokers, insurer and UMAs

Brokers, insurers and underwriting management agencies (UMAs) have their work cut out to rebuild trust relationships with their clients following the often disappointing insurance outcomes during the pandemic year. Doug Laburn, Executive Head of Lombard Partnerships, told the audience at the 2021 SAUMA Conference that the industry had suffered “extreme trust erosion” due to the handling of various obligations arising from Covid-19. “Trust underpins our industry; but we emerged from 2020 less trusted than we were before, which is a real pity,” he said. Lombard was commenting during a discussion about UMA relationships within the broader insurance market, held as part of the 2021 SAUMA Conference.

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Featured story
Five regulatory discussion points for brokers to keep an eye on

South Africa’s financial services regulators have hardly skipped a beat through lockdown and pandemic, working feverishly on amendments to existing rules and standards and putting the finishing touches to the country’s long-awaited Conduct of Financial Institutions (COFI) Bill.

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latest quiz
Medical scheme cover… just what are clients looking for?
Medical scheme cover… just what are clients looking for?

The medical scheme environment is under pressure. Aside from downgrading, customers are complaining about their medical scheme cover, what is covered, what is not, the fees and out of pocket costs.

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Quick Polls

QUESTION

Healthcare brokers have long complained about inflation-plus medical scheme contribution increases; but pandemic may have changed things. What will pandemic-induced changes in hospital utilisation do to medical scheme contribution increase patterns?

ANSWER

Below inflation increase for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
Long-term trend of below inflation increases
Inflation-linked hikes for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
This is a 2-year hiccup, inflation-plus increase trend remains in place
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FAnews June 2021 Get the latest issue of FAnews

This month's headlines

Broker and insurer collaboration should not be a one-way street
Running on outdated systems… There's risks
Policy wordings with respect to COVID-19
Death or divorce... how best to split assets
Ethical investing… principles and moral codes
Portfolio positioning will serve investors well
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