Welcome from Kenny Rabson


It is my pleasure to present the second edition of Invest Insights, our bi-annual publication, with the latest thinking and developments within our industry.

2017 was another strong year for Discovery Invest. Our assets under management increased to more than *R75 billion as at end November 2017; we have consistently ranked within the top six retail asset takers by Morningstar despite a difficult and volatile investment environment, and the Discovery Balanced Fund has remained a favourite among investors as evidenced by its ranking in the top 10 takers of retail net flows in the unit trust market as per the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA).

November 2017 marked the 10th year of Discovery Invest creating exceptional value for clients through our unique shared-value model. For the 10 years to end November, the Discovery Balanced Fund returned a net 10.4% per annum and was ranked top in its category across three, five, seven and 10-year periods*.

The Discovery Moderate Balanced Fund, which has a shorter track record, also delivered solid returns to investors adding a net 10.7% per annum over five years. It is ranked top quartile over both three and five years*.

One of our newer global funds, the Discovery Global Value Equity Feeder Fund has added significant returns with gains of 14.02% over the last year to end December. *Read more about the investment philosophy behind each of our funds in our Fund View section. We also give you a glimpse of our very limited exposure to Capitec in this section. More detailed updates will follow throughout the year.

Discovery Invest ranked 8th in the Morningstar analysis of South African Domiciled Asset Managers in the fourth quarter of 2017, on an equally-weighted basis. 80% of our assets are rated as 4- or 5-star in this analysis.

In this issue, we look at the year ahead, both locally and abroad, with a number of thought-provoking articles. In Forecasting the World in 2018, compiled by Robert Armstrong, a number of Financial Times writers make bold predictions for the world this year. Sebastian Payne, Martin Wolf and Courtney Weaver – among others - answer questions such as:

  • Will a stable and liquid bitcoin futures market develop?
  • Will Zimbabwe's new leader hold — and win — fair elections? ; and
  • Will Trump trigger a trade war with China?

"South Africa enters 2018 buoyed by the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of the ANC – but significant risks remain as the party faithful has handed him a radical, populist 'to do' list." So writes popular political commentator, Justice Malala, who in this issue assesses the year ahead, looks at the implications of a Zuma departure, the challenges faced by Ramaphosa, and the key risks faced by South Africa and her leadership.

In A New World of Financial Advice, we look at Retail Distribution Review, which will be fully implemented this year. Many advisers are concerned about the potential impact to their business, however, if the UK roll-out is anything to go by, we can cease the anxiety and look forward to the improvement in professional standards, along with an increase in advisers’ average income.

We also hear from Michael Power, a strategist at Investec Asset Management, who compares Brexit to a difficult divorce. Power outlines the likelihood of three potential outcomes of Brexit, and discusses his views on the implications for the EU.

We trust you will enjoy this issue of Invest Insights. Please share your feedback with us via Kenny.Rabson@discovery.co.za.

*All performance figures are as at end November 2017, unless otherwise stated, and sourced from Investec Asset Management.

Yours sincerely

Kenny Rabson

Kenny Rabson
CEO Discovery Invest

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