Stephen Cranston Associate editor

Given that a three-month negotiable certificate of deposit gave a return of 8.9% in 2018, beating the 11.4% loss from the all share index, it was certainly a year to take a risk-off approach. It is fairly easy to move in and out of cash, even if you are talking of the R100bn-plus deployed by large investment houses. It is trickier to get into the equities market when JSE prices are running against you. Nonetheless, fund managers should be able to add more value by finessing their cash holdings. It should be a commandment for fund managers not to lose their clients’ money, even in balanced funds, which have no explicit absolute-return mandate. Yet out of the 23 firms in the "Manager Watch Best Investment View" survey, only four portfolios made positive returns in the 11 months to November: Rezco Value Trend, Nedgroup Balanced (managed by Truffle), PSG and Oasis. Of these, PSG is the only one likely to remain a winner through the cycle. It has been an unusual period in which many of t...

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