Blog

Cabinet reshuffle and what this means for Investors

By now the news of the latest Cabinet Reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma has been digested and 31 March 2017 may go down in history as South Africa’s Black Friday. As we have learnt in the past, changes to the South African Finance Ministry creates pandemonium in the short-term. This is especially true if the […]

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Budget Speech 2017 | What you need to know

On 22 February 2017, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the South African 2017/2018 budget changes. Our NMG Personal Wealth Senior Advisor, Ashley Horwitz has put together key points from the speech. These include tax rate changes, an increase in fuel levy and an increase revenue in alcohol and tobacco excess duties. Make yourself aware of […]

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Inflation the killer!

Understand the impact of inflation on investments This article deals with investment and inflation. Inflation is a financial killer and the importance of taking this into cognisance in your planning cannot be stressed enough.  

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Mispriced Markets

Analysis of previous market cycles shows that share prices can deviate substantially from reality, often for extended periods – over time share valuations are however supported by earnings which depend on sustained economic growth, and markets ultimately revert to normalised levels. It is particularly difficult to forecast the impact of new technology on earnings as […]

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Why do I need to be insured?

Article by Pierre van Zijl (NMG Personal Wealth) As Financial Advisers, we often experience resistance from clients when recommending life insurance. However, have you ever asked yourself the questions: “What would happen to my family if they no longer received an ongoing income as a result of my death or disability?” I was reminded of […]

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The Financial Planner

Yoren Chetty, NMG Financial Advisor, is featured on the latest Financial Planner magazine, addressing 10 tips on dealing with the harsh reality of retrenchment. 

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Discovery Health 2017 Benefit changes

On 20 September 2016, Discovery Medical Scheme announced changes in its benefits and contributions. These included the weighted average increase across all plans, increase per plan, general benefit changes, vitality amendments, the introduction of Gap Cover, and changes to the Smart Plan and KeyCare plans. Make yourself aware of these changes with the NMG Benefits […]

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Namibian Economic and Market Commentary

The Namibian economy has grown by a CAGR1 of 5.1% over the past 5 years (from 2010 to 2015). However, we expect the GDP growth for 2016 to marginally decrease from 4.5% recorded in 2015 by 0.2% to 4.3%. The main contributors to a lower GDP in 2016 are the restrained growth in the agricultural […]

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[INFOGRAPHIC] – 20 Facts about the Taxation Laws Amendment Act

NMG Benefits has produced an infographic which breaks down the Taxation Laws Amendment Act (TLAA) into 20 distinct facts for ease of reference. There has been  much confusion about what the new law means for retirement fund savers and the changes to retirement funds. This infographic explains in a step-by-step format why the TLAA is […]

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[INFOGRAPHIC] National Health Insurance White Paper: Theory versus practicality

NMG Benefits Actuarial and Specialised Services division has prepared a factual graphical summary of the White Paper focusing on the content that we see as the most important and relevant. This includes the structure and reimbursement of benefit packages, the review of funding structures including medical schemes and the implementation plan. We hope this will […]

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Key statistics and trends in the medical scheme industry

NMG Benefits Actuarial and Specialised Services division have analysed the key statistics and trends in the medical scheme industry derived from the latest Council for Medical Schemes’ (‘CMS’) Annual Report 2014-2015, in conjunction with the previous CMS reports. The 15 largest open medical schemes as well as the Government Employees Medical Scheme have been considered, […]

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Toska Kouskos Talks Low Cost Medical Schemes

Low Cost Benefit Option (“LCBO”) Framework Approved by the Council for Medical Schemes (“CMS”) Your scheme may launch a Low Cost Benefit Option on 1 January 2016! With mounting cost pressures in the healthcare space, we have seen a mushrooming of different products [outside of the Medical Schemes Act (‘the Act”)] to provide a solution […]

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Mercado Released [07 September 2015]: Emerging Markets Currencies Drop

Most commodities currencies have lost against the greenback this year. Currencies that are leading in losses are the Brazilian real and the Russian ruble. These currencies have declined 30.6% and 21.9% against the dollar, respectively this year. Currency volatility is on the rise especially for emerging markets because of subdued commodity prices and as investors […]

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Andrew Warren interviewed on Metrofm

  NMG Benefits CEO was interviewed on Metrofm by Rams Mabote. Issues covered were Employee Benefits for small businesses, BBB-EEE and procurement opportunities for small businesses at NMG. Also explored was NMG’S history of providing sound advice to all types of employers in South Africa.

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Mercado Released [17 August 2015]: THE CHINESE YUAN

China sent shock waves through the market on Tuesday as it took steps to boost the economy by devaluing the currency by the most in two decades. The central bank cut its daily reference rate by 1.9% which caused the currency to weaken. The move had ripple effects across the globe as world markets posted […]

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Decoding the investment universe

  To some the word “investment” can be intimidating and something that is only accessible to the wealthy. And as such it can leave those apathetic, resulting in a reluctance to understand the importance of investing and the critical role it plays in one’s future prosperity. Other jargon and seemingly technical areas such as taxation, […]

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Legal Update: Overview of new draft default regulations that affect retirement funds

National Treasury has published draft default proposals that follow from the Treasury paper, Charges in South African Retirement Funds, published in 2013. This paper highlighted the complex and opaque products with high charges in the SA retirement system. The draft default proposals are some of the first steps, together with the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) […]

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Mercado Released [27 July 2015]: SA: Interest Rate Hike

In a surprise move the South African Reserve Bank has hiked interest rates by 25 basis points to 6.0%. This was the first increase since July 2014. The Reserve Bank had maintained interest rates in order to assist the local economy which has battled with strikes and rolling black outs. Despite the fact that the […]

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Mercado Released [20 July 2015]:Chinese Economic Growth

China scored better-than-expected growth in the second quarter of 2015. The largest Asian economy managed to achieve a growth rate of 7.0% on a year-on-year basis, beating the consensus view of 6.9%. On a quarterly basis, the economy achieved a 1.7% increase, compared to 1.4% which was achieved in the previous quarter. It seems that […]

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Mercado Released [29 June 2015]:Whats for the Greeks?

Whats for the Greeks? If Greeks fail to pay the US$1.7 billion it owes the IMF tomorrow, might be worse for the lender than the Greeks. Under the fund’s policy, countries that miss payments are deemed to be in “arrears” rather than in “default.” If Greece fails this will blow the IMF’s reputation as the […]

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Mercado Released [22 June 2015]:FED

The Federal Reserve confirmed last week that they will not raise interest rates this month. The chairwoman of the Fed, Janet Yellen, stated that the central bank does plan to act as soon as possible, however she did not offer clear guidance of the path for US interest rate hikes. The Fed also released its […]

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Andrew Warren’s thoughts on his CEO SleepOut

So, the first South African CEO Sleepout has come and gone, and it was a privilege to be able to represent NMG Benefits and the broader NMG Group in this global initiative. I was among 250 CEOs who collectively raised over R25m for Girls and Boys Town, a South African charity focused on children in […]

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Mercado Released [15 June 2015]:MINING PRODUCTION & MINERAL SALES

Total mineral sales including gold decreased by 1.1% YoY from R33.3 billion to R32.9 billion. Excluding gold, the mineral sales decreased by R0.6 billion (2.1%) to R28.6 billion. Major negative contributors to sales were iron ore, coal, non-metallic minerals and manganese ore, which contributed -6.9%, -1.5%, -1.2% and -0.8%, respectively to the total mineral sales. […]

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Almost time for #CEOSleepOut

As South Africa commemorates the 39th anniversary of the Soweto uprising this Youth Month, it’s an apt time for a focus on youth development. At NMG, through our annual NMG Charity Challenge, we currently support three organisations that focus on youth development: Tembisa Child Welfare, Twilight Children’s Home in Hillbrow and the Elundini Centre for […]

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Mercado Released [8 June 2015]: OPEC MEETING UPDATE

OPEC kept its current output ceiling at 30 million barrels a day at a meeting in Vienna last Friday. The market expected OPEC’s decision. OPEC took comfort in a 33% rally in crude oil prices since January 2015 and a 56.9% drop in US drilling rigs since January 2015, cuts of billions of dollars in […]

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NMG Personal Wealth’s Jeanne Nel is interviewed on Classicfm

On the 8th of May NMG Personal Wealth hosted more than 120 professional women for breakfast at Bryanston Country Club. The goal: to address the fact the women do not as a rule take care of their own financial planning. According to Jeanne Nel, General Manager at NMG Personal Wealth, “This lack of foresight could […]

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Follow Andrew as he participates in the 702 CEO Sleepout Challenge

I would like to invite you to follow, support and experience my journey leading up to the night of the #CEOSleepOutZA, and on the night itself. I will be blogging, tweeting and sharing my experience on Twitter and LinkedIn. For every retweet or “share” I get from you, NMG will be donating ZAR5 to our […]

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Mercado Released [1 June 2015]: OPEC CRUDE OIL PRODUCTION

OPEC will meet on June 05, 2015 in Vienna to decide on the group’s production target for the next six months amid a glut that sent prices down about 50% last year. We are expecting OPEC to maintain their production target of 30 million barrels a day. In the last meeting held in November 2014, […]

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Mercado Released [25 May 2015]: SOUTH AFRICAN INTEREST RATES

The Reserve Bank has maintained South Africa’s interest rate at 5.75%, despite the uptick in inflation levels. Inflation rose less-than-expected to 4.5% on a YoY basis for April, whilst analysts had expected a gain of 4.6%. On a MoM basis, inflation climbed by 0.9%, whilst core inflation was slower at 5.6% from 5.7%. The SARB […]

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Mercado Released [18 May 2015]: EUROZONE ECONOMIC GROWTH

Eurozone economic growth accelerated in the first quarter of 2015, as both Italy and France attained positive growth rates for the period. The Euro area grew by 0.4% during the first three months of the year, beating the UK and US. This marks the fastest rate of growth the zone has seen in the past […]

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Mercado Released [11 May 2015]: US ECONOMIC GROWTH

The US economy grew at a slower rate than what was expected, achieving a growth rate of only 0.2% for the first three months of the year. Analysts had forecast a growth rate of 1.0% for the same period. Despite the fact that the US managed to achieve a high level of growth in 2014, […]

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Mercado Released [4 May 2015]: The Producer Price Index

Producer prices climbed in March, on the back of higher food, tobacco and beverage prices. PPI for the third month of the year moved to 3.1% on a year-on-year basis and 1.8% on a month-on-month basis. PPI is a relative measure of the average change in the price of a basket of representative goods and […]

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Low Cost Healthcare Solutions For Employers

Quarter 1 – 2015 Low cost healthcare solutions for employees – a minefield for the employer If you are facing the dilemma of “what solutions are there for my employees who cannot afford medical scheme cover?” you are not alone. Many employers across South Africa, face the same challenge. All medical schemes have to provide […]

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NMG Mercado Released [30 March 2015]

LOCAL MARKETS CLOSE IN POSTIVE TERRITORY South African markets closed in positive territory at the end of last week, as a recovery in industrial stocks gave markets a boost. Mining shares performed poorly throughout Friday, despite the stocks being considered as undervalued. The weaker local currency has failed to assist firms within the sector. Global […]

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NMG Mercado Released [23 March 2015]

The current account deficit narrowed to 5.1% of GDP for the fourth quarter of 2014, whilst economists had expected a gap of 5.8%. Exports gained during the last three months of the year, as a result of a decreased number of strikes and normal trading activity. On a year-on-year basis, the deficit narrowed to 5.4% […]

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Toska Kouskos Highlights 12 Healthcare Industry Hot Topics In Quarter 1, 2015

In my first Industry Update for 2015, I highlight 12 salient topics in the South African healthcare industry. Demarcation Debate Supplementary Levy for Medical Schemes CMS publication – Categorisation of Assets CMS publication – Guidelines for introduction of a Low Cost Benefit Option (LCBO) CMS Indaba feedback CMS Circular 20 of 2015 – Notice of […]

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NMG Mercado Released [9 March 2015]

Local markets ended the week in positive territory, supported by industrials and banks. Better-than-expected US payroll data assisted in boosting stocks, however the data also pushed the rand to its lowest level since 2001. The rand fell to R12.10 against the US dollar, from R11.73 in earlier trade. The rand looks to decline even further, […]

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NMG Mercado released[2 March 2015]: SA GDP in the spotlight

South Africa’s GDP grew by 4.1% during the last quarter of 2014, up from 2.1% achieved in the previous quarter. The fourth quarter’s growth was underpinned by gains in mining, manufacturing, finance, real estate and business sectors. Mining grew by 15.2%, whilst manufacturing increased at an annualised rate of 9.5%. The nominal GDP at market […]

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Review of Budget speech 2015

Yesterday, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene gave the budget speech for 2015. The speech seemed to shed a gloomy view for the year. The finance minister was tasked with a difficult assignment given the current state of the economy. The key points of the budget are as follows:

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Budget Speech: 11 issues that affect the Retirement Fund Industry

1. Resignations due to Retirement Reform and/or indebtedness 2. Twin Peaks 3. TCF 4. Tax-Free Savings Accounts 5. Withdrawal from retirement annuity funds by non-residents 6. A maximum age for the preservation of retirement assets 7.Estate duty and retirement funds 8. Harmonisation and annuitisation 9. Draft regulations on default preservation 10. Mandatory system under consideration […]

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Introducing NMG briefs: Stay on top of the latest employee benefits industry news

Quick useful snapshots of employee benefits news NMG Briefs is a new page on the NMG Benefits website where you can find a variety of the newsletters we produce across our divisions. You’ll be able to stay abreast with issues affecting Healthcare, Retirement, Investment and Actuarial industry news. Employers, employees and trustees, will all find […]

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Weighing up your healthcare options

Weighing up your healthcare options NMG Benefits’s Healthcare Director Toska Kouskos was quoted extensively in the Personal Finance section of the Weekend Argus and Weekend Star on 4 October. October 4 2014 at 06:10pm By Laura du Preez It’s that time of year again when medical schemes are sending out details of their benefit changes […]

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Welcome to NMG world

ANDREW WARREN Hello and welcome to the new NMG Benefits website. As part of the multi-national company NMG Group, we have joined our sister companies, NMG Consulting and NMG Capital in re-launching our web presence. I have the privilege of leading NMG Benefits, the South African business with more than 400 staff across South Africa […]

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Communicating the value of employee benefits to employees

TOSKA KOUSKOS Those who know me, recognise that I’m by no means a ‘techie’. However, when technologies are made available to communicate – I sit up and take notice. So, I thought I’d dedicate my first ever blog to the subject of “effectively communicating the value of employee benefits”, and specifically in my case – […]

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Smart Retirement Solutions..

Jennifer Grefen It’s an exciting time for NMG to be launching a new website because we have certainly got a lot to share with our clients, prospective clients and those looking to expand their knowledge about the retirement industry or employee benefits. The first bit of exciting news is that NMG Benefits is re-launching its […]

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