Stephen Cranston Associate editor

Our love affair with unit trusts just keeps growing. There are now R2.3-trillion of assets in this vehicle in SA. And just short of R100bn was contributed to the sector in the 12 months to June. But before we get carried away, there are still some disappointments. One is the lack of recurring contribution business, a sector still dominated by the life insurers. It seems as though it will be many years before households earning less than R20,000 a month are exposed to unit trusts. It is a rich man’s product, which it was never supposed to be when it was first rolled out as a way for the common man to invest in the JSE for as little as R50 a month. No recurring contribution figures are disclosed, but it is known to represent less than 5% of industry inflows. The unit trust investor base needs to transform, just as the advisers who sell the product need to. The sector has kept very quiet about the success of retail and qualified hedge funds, now governed under the Collective Investment...

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