Robert Cowen Investments was started in 1982 by Robert Cowen in order to manage private client assets, and is now positioned as a niche investment house, specializing in family wealth management. Robert Cowen Investments prides itself on being able to provide a comprehensive investment, administration and accounting service with a great deal of emphasis on personal service.
Heading into February, we have seen the JSE following the lead of the US markets. The JSE is down 5.5% for the
month to the 12th of February, with both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average down 5.9%. This fall was
becoming overdue and only takes the S&P back to November levels. As the tax changes in America are going to
kick in in 2018, the forward Price Earnings ratio drops to 16x, at which level, it becomes reasonable value again.
RCI BCI Flexible Fund closed January at 368.32, down 1.20% for the month. We continue to see a strong Rand caused by Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as further strengthening from a potential Zuma exit.
RCI BCI Worldwide Flex closed January at 103.32, up 1.42%. The fund is up 2.62% over the past 12 months in Rand terms despite the Rand strengthening 12.17% over the same period. The fund is up 16.84% in Dollar terms since January 2017.
The primary areas for investment were equities, bonds and cash in the South African markets. Our focus was to invest in shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange unless clients had a need for income. Equities have been the only asset class to outperform inflation on a long-term basis.
Individuals have been allowed to send ever increasing capital sums offshore in the form of exchange control allowances, and portfolio managers have been able to send 30% of assets under management offshore in the form of asset swaps. This has enabled the South African investing public to participate not only in South African investments but also in investments of a global nature.
Depending on the individual’s circumstances, we recommend that an appropriate amount be transferred offshore and that the client keeps what is required locally to fund the individual’s chosen lifestyle, subject to exchange control regulations in force.