‘I don’t want a 50/50 scenario, anarchy odds are ominous’ – Magnus Heystek

Brenthurst Wealth Management founder Magnus Heystek doesn’t mince his words on a good day, yet alone on another day of suffering for South Africa. Magnus has been advising diversification and offshore investments for more than a decade with many local fund manager’s in disagreement despite his investment thesis proving correct. This time of crisis is of serious concern and offshore diversification has never been a more prudent strategy with many of the world’s largest banks downgrading the rand over the course of the week. – Justin Rowe-Roberts

Magnus Heystek on much of Afrikaans community being a step ahead in this time of national disaster:

The Afrikaans community and especially the farming community have been exposed for a very long time, over the last 20 to 25 years. They’ve been saying, whether you agree or not, that the farmers are being victimised, isolated and left defenceless. They were obliged to form their community security groupings, they have prepared better, they’ve linked up with WhatsApp and community radios – they’ve had a running start on what’s happening in other communities now.

On whether this living environment is the new norm for South Africans: 

I hope not. I hope that’s not the way we are going to live in this country. I woke up this morning – I don’t live too far away from Diepsloot – and I heard the bullets flying and the gunshots and the sirens. Last night we heard the helicopters so we knew there was problems in Diepsloot again. Our staff that live in Diepsloot did not come to work, we said stay away until the end of the week. The supermarkets in our area were empty, the Woolworths, the Spar, the Checkers – they were empty. Not that I would know, but I’ve been told, the Tops liquor stores in Broadacres in Fourways was looted and ransacked. That’s not the way you want to live, it’s simply not the way.

 On the incompetence of the government in the midst of a national disaster: 

We need some action from the government. You cannot have a situation where the ports are being closed. The Durban ports are partially closed. The petrol refinery has closed down. That produces one third of our petrol in the country. My wife tried to fill up our cars like many people – no petrol, no bread, no milk. That’s in Gauteng.

On diversification and investing in South Africa in these times of turmoil: 

Don’t do things in panic mode. It all makes sense and now people are realising the need to diversify at least a significant portion of your assets outside of South Africa. This applies to property investments, this applies to equity investments or bonds. That’s the golden rule, you cannot have all your eggs in one basket. What’s happening now in South Africa is a worst case scenario – anyone could’ve worked out 10 years ago that there are many scenarios for South Africa and the worst case scenario is about where we are now. There’s just total chaos and mob rule.

On whether South African is going the anarchy route: 

Regrettably so. If a smart guy like Clem Sunter says its a 50/50 then I get worried. Those are not good odds when it comes to the long-term planning for you and your family. Those are very bad odds. A 50/50 means that 50% of the time it can be right. If that is your view then you should be externalising 100% of your liquid assets if it’s possible. I don’t want to be in a 50/50 scenario when it comes to me and my family, my kids and my grandkids. Those odds are becoming very ominous.

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