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Staying Up When Everything Seems Down

By Lee Hancox, 9 June 2020

“It is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

We are living in uncertain times and, for many of us, the prospect of not knowing what tomorrow may bring is pretty frightening.

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, many of us are worried, on various levels, about our health, families and livelihoods.

In fact, according to research done by Kantar, South Africans are amongst the most concerned populations globally with 83% of South Africans hugely concerned about the situation vs a 79.5% global benchmark.

In times like these, it is important to ensure that you get the right help to be as well prepared as possible to navigate the changes that lie ahead and to be ready to face a ‘new normal’, says Lee Hancox, Head of Channel and Segment Marketing at Sanlam SPF Distribution.

all told, a professional marketing research company, has been conducting weekly surveys during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the research shows that South Africans are spending 80% less per month during lockdown.

Petrol, dining out and clothing are the top three items that people are spending less on every month. The data shows, however, that people are not investing this money – preferring to keep it accessible ‘just in case’. Now would be a perfect opportunity to review your investment and savings portfolios with your financial planner in order to evaluate how best to invest these extra funds, thereby taking advantage of lower market conditions. Most financial planners offer this kind of consultation digitally, so it’s not always necessary to meet them in person.

Encouragingly, the all told research shows us that 80% of those surveyed are not considering switching their financial services provider currently, with 45% understanding that now is not the time to switch due to market turmoil.

History shows us that in the past, markets have always recovered after being hit by global turmoil – it may just take some time.

Making changes to your investment strategy could result in you not benefiting from investment returns when the market recovers.

If you are worried about market volatility and the impact it may have on your financial future, insights from a financial planner can also prove valuable. Together you can revise your savings and investment plan.

In a world that feels slightly out of control, now is the time to focus on things that can assist you in making a positive contribution towards your future financial security.

Talk to your financial planner on a regular basis and ask them to:

  • Keep you up to date with the latest investment and product information
  • Offer some tools, tips and support to help you improve your spending habits, behaviour and your financial plan, should you need to revise your monthly budget
  • Explain how to implement a long-term financial planning strategy that you can stick to
  • Explain how to make small changes to your budget that will make a significant difference in the long term

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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