Bankers Bail Out

Last year was a haze of activity and small victories.  If you think about it, what with global warming, Bird flu, Aids, Everton, Flash floods and airplane engines that fall off, to name but a few, it is a small victory for all of us to simply survive from one year to the next.

Those big clocks at the airports, ticking down to the World Cup 2010, don’t help either. They are somehow sinister and scary. Every time I see them I’ve lost days off my life, it’s like a second coming or something, in 950 days FNB will take over the world! well let’s be honest that’s more likely than Bafana Bafana doing it!

Read More

Back to Square One

A starter for 10 points, no conferring please! What was the origin of the saying, “back to square one”? I will give you a clue: it dates back to 1932 and involves England and South Africa.

We will return to the answer a little later, but immediately let’s think about âback to square one for a while: what does it mean to you, anything? Does it mean to start again, does it mean to give up what you are doing and begin something else or does it just remind you of an old board game? It doesn’t matter that much, but for some it is a place in which you can suddenly find yourself!

Read More

First Cracks in the dam wall

Is it not true that the more that things change the more they stay the same. Take a newspaper twenty, ten or five years ago and although the faces and names may change the stories and issues are often very similar.

So it is even stranger when you read that things, in relation to certain areas of business, have never been so good, that we have broken or shifted paradigms, that there is now wealth being created in the world of such magnitude that bull runs, in multiple asset classes, can, nay will, continue indefinitely!

Read More

Boring Old Bourses

In the 90’s I wrote an article that appeared in the Weekend Argus each week called Money Talks. It was not meant to be hi brow just a snippet of news from overseas, a nibble of info on the FTSE and tit bits from the Dow. The point is that I once used the term BOURSE when describing an overseas exchange and I remember even then feeling a bit of a pompous prat, especially as the only bourse is really the CAC and lets face it, CAC just about sums up the word BOURSE, it’s so twee and knowing!

I mention this only as one of SA’s strangest TV channel’s, Summit, seems to have become addicted to the word. Once a day Sky News go to Summit TV, for an update on the African Markets. Suddenly an Asian girl with an American accent was speaking from Johannesburg, very cosmopolitan I thought, if not exactly politically correct. She then went on to enter the Guinness Book of Records by using the word BOURSE six times in approximately 45 seconds! I thought I was going to gag on it!

Read More

Take Care

As we continue to build our businesses and constantly review what we are doing and or how we operate, it is often refreshing to pull out old mantras that remind us over and over again of some truisms.

The number one for me, because it strikes to the very heart of the matter, is this.

Read More


So what makes a Professional in 2008, could it be some of the following?

Read More

A Deeper Meaning

Sometimes in life you just feel good about something. You just know in your heart and soul if something will be good, bad or indifferent. It steers us in and out of relationships, it directs us, at times, that hard-to-define “feel good” factor.

The year 2008 has that feel to me and hopefully, without tempting fate, I say it looks like it will be a good year.

It appears to be a good year to discard baggage and things that make me feel uncomfortable – and I am not talking of my clothing straining under the pressure of a Christmas and New Year well eaten!

Read More

Success and Succession

There are many times in our lives when we reach a crossroads and at each instance we have to make decisions, decisions that will govern how the remainder of our lives unfold.

These decisions can in many cases never be questioned, as we will never know what the alternate route would have brought us. Even when a decision brings us success we never know whether another route could have been even more fortuitous.

Read More

Exclusive Inclusiveness

I have never quite understood whether “Poles Apar” related to an electromagnetic or geographical opposite, but we all clearly understand it to be opposite viewpoints on the same subject. Over the last few months I have read several letters written by IFA’s, and talked to others, on a subject that seems to divide many service!

Client servicing means many different things to many financial advisors, but one point is clear as long as we are talking about it. We must, hopefully, be striving to improve it. Although I personally cannot abide the arrogance of anyone who dictates and preaches their own perceived virtues, as if they are the only way, it is interesting to listen to or read those who are so convinced of their divine correctness.

Read More

Virtual Service

There are always two sides to a coin, two sides to every argument and two views on service! Those in the business of delivering service will tell you that it is always getting better, while the rest of us, on the receiving end, find good service very hard to find.

Financial services is a key battle ground in the service war – Better, Faster, Greener, Today, Tommorow and very PC, whatever the slogan we are assailed by the PR campaigns of the banks, insurance companies and investment houses, but has service really improved?

Read More
1 16 17 18 19 20