Letter to investors

Letter to investors

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The beginning of the New Year is a wonderful time to re-evaluate your investment goals. Honest reflection and sensible, realistic forward planning are two vital components to successful investing. We regard our primary role as assisting you in achieving your goals, and focusing on what we can do to increase the odds of you achieving investment success. An obvious part of this is identifying and selecting exceptional independent managers, who we believe have a sustainable edge, to manage your money. This best of breed model which we pioneered celebrated its 10th birthday in 2013 and we are extremely proud of the long-term results we have delivered to our clients. 

A less obvious role we play is ensuring that we communicate in a clear, transparent and easily understandable manner to ensure you make informed decisions. Your actions, such as when you invest or disinvest, or when you switch funds, are at least as important as how our underlying funds perform. We are therefore committed to providing you with as much relevant information as possible. 

In this newsletter we address a wide range of issues that will hopefully provide insights into how our managers think, as well as various regulatory and personal investing insights. 

David O’Leary from Morningstar provides three useful tips when attempting to select winning funds. Wilhelm Hertzog, one of the investment managers of the Nedgroup Investments Managed Fund, provides some insight into the investment case for Discovery. Investment analyst Jannie Leach explores the sensitive and critical question “Can you afford to retire?” and Vuyo Nogantshi, our Head of Institutional Business attempts to simplify the sometimes complex world of annuities. 

2014 marks the tenth anniversary of appointing Abax Investments and Anthony Sedgwick to manage the Nedgroup Investments Entrepreneur Fund. We have been delighted with the returns the fund has delivered over the period and Anthony’s article highlights how their consistent investment approach has paid handsome dividends.

Andrew Headley, fund manager of the Nedgroup Investments Global Equity Fund, discusses the risks investors should be aware of when comparing managers to benchmarks over short periods of time. He highlights the fact that successful long-term investors have to swim against the tide and look unconventionally and uncomfortably wrong at certain times in the cycle. 

For quite some time, we have commented that we saw greater value in offshore markets than in South Africa. With the depreciation of the rand and strong performance from developed markets, those who invested offshore this year have been well rewarded. Andrew Yeadon, Head of Investments of our London office, attempts to answer the million dollar question “Is it too late to buy into equities?”

We have made a number of changes to our website this year to make it easier to do business with us. I encourage you to register online as this will enable you to easily monitor your investments. To register go to www.nedgroupinvestments.co.za and click on the register button on the top right – it’s a simple process that should only take a couple of minutes. Once you have registered online, you will also be able to access our unit trust app on the Nedbank app suite. The app offers a convenient way to check your balances, look at your asset allocation or email yourself your most recent statement. 

Many thanks for your continued support in 2013. It is much appreciated and we will do everything we can to ensure our service and long-term performance meets your expectations. May 2014 be another successful year which takes you one step closer to achieving your long-term investment goals!