The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
The article was first published on 13 October 2021
*This content is brought to you by Shyft, the global money app, powered by Standard Bank
The past few years have been particularly challenging for South Africa’s economy. But, according to the South African Reserve Bank’s Quarterly Bulletin published in late September, there are signs of life. In Q2, South Africa recorded its first quarterly primary budget surplus since 2018, hinting that much-needed economic activity is improving. Here are seven more reasons to be optimistic about what South Africa has to offer, financially.
1. Local equities are lekker
Between 1900 and 2020, South African equities generated real returns of average 7.2%/ year in local currency, exceeding the returns of any other country, reports Credit Suisse. When benchmarking in dollar terms, our returns took the bronze spot to the U.S. and Australia’s. The impressive historical performance of local equities suggests that for those who are willing to play the long game, an investment therein may be very rewarding.
2. Dream home reality
This year, the demand for luxury residential property increased, undoubtedly fuelled by the record low interest rate environment. For those that think the grass will be greener on the international side, consider that the current buyer’s market means your dream home is now more accessible than ever.
3. Top emerging market currency
In 2021, Olympic record breakers Tatjana Schoenmaker and Ntando Mahlangu were not South Africa’s only top performers. Following the July unrest, the rand swiftly reclaimed its title as the strongest emerging market currency, prompting foreign investors to reassess their view of the country and appreciate the positives in its favour. For locals, now is an opportune time to use the resilient ZAR to purchase foreign currency and invest internationally.
4. The best city in Africa
Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards recently ranked Cape Town as the top city in Africa to travel to, and the 20th best in the world, in 2021. The city is also home to two World’s Best Restaurants 2021 selections, namely La Colombe and FYN. For non-Capetonians, living in South Africa means access to an international standard holiday destination, world-class dining, spectacular beaches, and globally significant heritage sites without having to break the bank.
5. Stay local, work global
With the global demand for remote workers experiencing an unprecedented boom, it is possible to work for an international company from the hinterlands of Tankwa or the hills of Underberg. For South Africans working in this distributed fashion, being part of the global virtual workforce is an opportunity to earn in dollars but spend in rands. Whether you’re looking to improve your quality of life (forget the Joneses and the Jeles) or reach your financial goals sooner, staying local makes it possible.
6. A well-regulated financial sector
South Africa is regarded as having a sophisticated, robust and well-regulated financial sector. While this is often overlooked by locals, it is in fact a key pillar of our economy and is what distinguishes us from our emerging market peers. With this solid foundation, it is not surprising that the sector is innovating at such pace. Between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, fintech app downloads in South Africa increased by 116%. One app worth taking note of is Shyft. Winner of the Best Financial Solution Award at the MTN Business App of the Year Awards 2021, Shyft allows users to buy, send and store local and foreign currency, and to invest in top U.S. shares and ETFs with ease from their mobile phone – thus enabling globally minded South Africans to participate in the international market from the comfort of home.
7. Stay local, invest global
Access to the international financial scene is a key factor in maintaining a diversified portfolio and ensuring long-term financial health – but it does not come cheaply. Thankfully, Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index 2021 scored four South African cities (Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban) in the 40.94 – 48.47 range, while the top 15 cities scored over 100.00. The lower costs of livin’ la vida local relative to overseas puts you in a better position to direct your resources to investing globally via the host of offshore options available locally – an all-round win for your finances. And investing in top U.S. shares and ETFs has never been simpler, thanks to Shyft. The app, from Standard Bank, features a long list of shares from global giants (think Apple, Nike, Amazon or Zoom) and promising companies in emerging industries, plus a variety of ETFs, which means that users can buy shares and watch their investments grow at the touch of a screen.
Download Shyft and register before 31 October 2021 and you will get R100 towards buying any shares and ETFs. Not yet ready to invest? Spend your R100 on forex, shop online with a virtual card, save it or send it to someone else. Ts & Cs apply.
This post was sponsored by Shyft, the global money app, powered by Standard Bank. With Shyft you can buy forex instantly anytime, anywhere, and at the best rates, and invest in top U.S. stocks and ETFs.
Visit https://getshyft.co.za/#get-the-app to download it now, no matter where you bank. Shyft operates under the license of The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP number 11287).
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.