BRIAN KANTOR: The shape of the JSE means go active or go home
The risks to investors on the JSE are too concentrated to justify a passive approach
To understand the performance of the JSE better, it helps to divide it into four parts: local economy plays, global plays, resource companies and, in an important category of its own, Naspers. The banks, retailers and many of the listed small and mid caps depend on the South African economy. They perform better when the rand strengthens unexpectedly, inflation and interest rates come down and spending by households and companies gathers momentum. The global consumer and property companies depend on the expected state of economies outside SA. Their share prices in dollars are determined mostly by investors offshore and then translated back into their rand equivalents at prevailing rates of exchange. Given the dollar value of their shares, the rand values go up and down as the rand weakens or strengthens.However, their dollar values may also be changing. The better their expected performance, the more valuable they become in dollars, and vice versa, translated almost simultaneously in...