The world beyond Ramaphosaphoria
THERE’S NOTHING I ENJOY MORE than the vagaries of the monthly publication. (That’s sarcasm, by the way.) There’s a lot that can happen between writing a story and the day the magazine is finally in the clutches of readers. So far (touch wood) we have not had any major disasters, and we do our best to limit “time sensitive” risks to our stories.
But as it happens, I had just sent our Pick of the Month on Hammerson down to the printers when big news dropped about a takeover bid that was pitched earlier in the month.
IM, which has a fair lag time between writing and actual production, is vulnerable to such developments. And it costs big bucks to pull back pages and reprint.
But, if anything, it shows that our expert property writer Joan Muller’s intuition around the value residing in Hammerson was spot on. And for that I am grateful. I hope readers still read the report in the context of these new developments.
Moving on, it seems to me that “Ramaphosaphoria” burnt off rather quickly, coinciding, naturally, with a cover story I penned for the Financial Mail on which stocks would thrive in the new political landscape. The curve balls are coming fast . . . land expropriation jitters, an unexpected digging-in around the mining charter and a last-minute attempt to switch off the longdelayed renewable energy surge.
Increasingly, I have found myself dribbling my dividend flows and spare cash into defensive counters such as British American Tobacco (see Cover Story) and Reinet Investments. I would have shunned these two counters at the end of 2017 — and readers may recall that I recently called a short position in Reinet in this very magazine.
My wife and I had a nasty spat when I tried to convince her not to ditch her holding in Investec Australia Property (IAP) for more shares in fast-growing tertiary education venture Stadio Holdings. I sounded, I’m ashamed to say, like a scaremonger in defending the IAP position.
Perhaps what’s spooking me is the underlying “political” narrative from some quarters, which has taken the form of a divisive (and convenient?) generalisation of complex economic issues. Emotions seem to be running dangerously high.
Then again, maybe I’m spending way too much time on Twitter — or I’m getting old and overly fretful (as my kids persistently argue).
Of course, SA tends to pull through its seemingly insurmountable political and economic challenges. Just think about what the country has been through in the past 50 years.
Common sense and calm minds usually prevail. I hope so . . . I really do.