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.
Global markets have been incredibly volatile the last several months. MSCI World rose 3.8% in April and then fell 5% in May on the back of increased trade tensions between the USA and China and what the resulting impact could be to global growth. RCI BCI Worldwide Flexible Fund: Our unit trust which specialises in offshore shares is down 3.1% for the month, 12% for the year to date and 15% over 12 months when measured in Rands.
RCI BCI Flexible Fund closed May at 355.34c, down 4.18 % for the month and up 5.82% for the year to date. Despite South Africa’s national election result and subsequent cabinet appointments being judged as largely marketfriendly, as so often is the case, these domestic events were overshadowed by global geopolitical developments. The escalation once more in trade tensions between China and the US drove a broad-based correction in May, with the MSCI World Index down 5.7%. A slight depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar (1.7%) provided some support for rand-hedge shares, but with the FTSE/JSE Capped SWIX Index delivering a total return of -4.8% for the month of May, it was a bruising month nonetheless.
RCI BCI Worldwide Flex closed May at 120.48c, down 3.10% for the month and up 11.99% for the year to date. At least it is keeping much in line with inflation which most South African portfolios have been unable to do.
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.