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R1m investment strategy

Jul 28 2011 14:30

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EACH week we ask an expert to allocate a hypothetical lump sum of R1m. Investment ideas range from the stock market and stamps to art and wine.

Vincent Hays, director of Seed Investment Consultants, shares his thoughts:

When investing any amount of money, you have to approach it in three steps. Firstly, what is your long-term investment strategy: what is your required return, how much are you prepared to lose over a one-year period and what is your investment horizon?

Next, what are the current valuations of the asset classes: how expensive are equities, bonds, cash etc? Thirdly, we need to make the relevant investments in shares, unit trusts, and so on to get to the desired position.

Step 1:

Say for example you want a return of inflation plus 4% per year and you are prepared to lose 5% to 10% over a one-year period if the market drops significantly, but intend to invest in the portfolio for at least three years to ensure that there is enough time to recover from any potential short-term losses.

This would mean that you should invest in a "moderate" portfolio – say 35% of your assets would have to go in local equities, 10% in local protected or hedged equity, 10% in local bonds, 20% in local cash, 10% in local property, 9% in offshore equity and 6% in offshore bonds.

Step 2:

But we still need to do the groundwork and determine whether each asset is expensive or cheap (and therefore whether to under- or overweight the asset classes).

Based on our research, we have the following views of the current valuations of the different asset classes:



Asset                                                               Cheap     Fairly priced     Expensive    Very expensive

Local shares                                                                                                  X                
Local cash                                                                                                    X                 
Local bonds                                                                                                  X                
Local property                                                                            X                
Local hedge funds                                                                       X                
Global blue chip shares (dollar terms)                        X                
Global other shares (dollar terms)                                                                     X                
Global developed market bonds (dollar terms)                                                                              X            
Global developed market cash (dollar terms)                                                                                X            
Rand/dollar currency                                              X

We therefore have a large overweight investment in offshore blue chip equities, but avoid developed market cash and bonds (or funds that offer similar).

Step 3:

On the global side, we are concentrating on developed market equities. We like large cap, high quality multinationals, and especially branded goods companies. Such names include the likes of Nestlé, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, British American Tobacco (BAT), Johnson and Johnson, and so on.

On the local side, most assets aren't offering much value and we are therefore underweight. Our focus on local equities is companies offering high dividend yields priced at low price to earnings multiples as they offer a safety margin: Anglo American, BAT, Sasol, Old Mutual, Steinhoff and Nedbank.

Finally, property offers investors a decent initial yield with growth prospects in excess of inflation. Here the investor should focus on the yield, and be less concerned about capital fluctuations.

- Fin24

Previous Dream Big investment ideas:
Gregg Sneddon, financial adviser of The Financial Coach.
Viv Govender, senior analyst at Vunani Private Clients.
Robin von Holdt, CEO of Top 100 SA Wines.
Charl Bezuidenhout, owner of the Worldart-gallery.
Schalk Louw, head of Contego Asset Management.
Alan Rogers, president of the Philatelic Federation of SA.

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