Around dinner tables last year, the JSE was all but forgotten amid the frenzied talk about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Those who prefer to invest in companies with actual assets will have taken some comfort from the JSE’s 17% rise last year. Don’t be fooled — this is no reflection of the SA market, as those gains were almost entirely due to a few megacaps. But the good news is, 2018 will be much, much better … In a year when breathtaking cryptocurrency gains became the stuff of legend, the stodgy stock markets seemed passé. But just when you thought it was safe to lean back and languish in the calm liquidity of the JSE’s top 40, the giant retail conglomerate Steinhoff International was torpedoed by its own arsenal of accounting tricks. The ominous fizzle — and subsequent bounce off the floor — in Steinhoff’s share price made the sporadic dips in cryptocurrencies look like a Sunday school picnic.For those investors who resisted the allure of bitcoin (up 1,318%), ethereum (up 9,162%...

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