What Brexit means for investors

coinsSo, on June 23rd 2016 Britain decided to exit the European Union (EU). This move has been called “Brexit” and when it happened it shook the world. It also seemed to happen really quickly and out of nowhere.

While we still wait for the defined outcomes of what Brexit actually means and what changes to expect, many are concerned and speculate that we could very well be faced with a negative global economic impact. some, however, think this is the belief of naysayers and that the effects could be positive in the long term.

Things went pear shaped immediately but all is not lost

The immediate effect was that stocks fell, predominantly in the U.S. and Europe. However, long term effects might be that Britain will no longer be operating with the restrictions of EU and have to pay related expenses. As an independent state, Britain can create regulations and policies that are specifically suitable to their needs. And, there are many who believe that every country should operate independently of any unions or the like.

Brexit presents opportunities too

There are many financial gurus and money managers who believed Brexit would cause a series of immediate problems for investors. However there are many who’ve contradicted this belief and are of the thought that there are now Brexit investment opportunities. Brexit supporters are keeping alert and watching the markets with a magnifying glass but they’re remaining invested. In other words, don’t run and hide with your investments just remain aware as there may be some geopolitical shocks that come about.

This is a big deal for Africa’s relationship with the UK

Africa in particular has a long-standing history with the UK. Many South Africans have roots in Britain due to previous members of their family having been born of British descent. Also, many Africans have immigrated to the UK but they still have family who live in Africa. In the early 2000s many young South Africans scrambled to get working visas so they might secure a career and future in the UK and they’re still there today. Because it was the easiest place to immigrate to. And on the political and business front, trade agreements between the UK and various African countries are strong and significant to both parties. So Brexit and all other politics or changes in various policies really matter to the African continent.

South African finance experts have weighed in on the subject matter many times after it happened

Shortly after Brexit happened, ratings agency Moody’s weighed in on the subject of investment and Brexit. They noted how South Africa is the most exposed country in Africa to experience the shockwaves from Brexit. And even though the rand and the JSE have returned to their pre-brexit levels, South Africa operates with an account deficit. This debt could leave the country vulnerable when it comes to any capital outflows.

Also, thwarted growth in the UK is likely to affect SA negatively, even if only slightly. Moody’s states, “Although we expect that SA will avoid a recession in 2016, the speed of any likely economic recovery and medium-term growth, which are already constrained by structural impediment, could be adversely affected if Brexit were to lead to increased risk aversion and reduced investor appetite towards emerging markets.”

Finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, also had some thoughts on the topic when he spoke to Bloomberg TV in London: “These things are all relative. When you have the extreme uncertainty of right wing populism and other political developments in the European context, then we actually look relatively stable and a good place to be in.” Minister Gordhan believes that Brexit assists with making South Africa an ideal investment destination. He went on to list his three top reasons why he believes this, “Firstly, because South Africa has the best business infrastructure on the African continent. Secondly, because we have many South African firms that have an excellent penetration in the African market. And, thirdly, because Africa for the next 20 years is the world’s future in terms of growth, in terms of demand, in terms of the demographic dividend.”


Salary advice for employers


These days salaries of employees can’t simply be changed when an employer feels like doing so. There are laws which protect employees against wrongful acts against their salary. All of which include unlawfully withholding pay, paying someone below the average wage and not paying someone according to their hours worked. With the implementation of law comes a series of questions an employee may ask their employer. In the interest of your business read up the latest guidelines of corporate finance and employee wages.


Are you underpaying an employee?


There are many reasons why an employee may decide to leave the company. One of the most common reasons is that employees feel they are being underpaid for the amount of work they do. Some employees don’t feel it’s necessary to speak up. They simply assume their employer ought to know what is right. If a person’s financial needs aren’t met by their company, they will soon seek out a new place of work which will meet their needs. Be sure to recognise you employee’s skills and experience in order to adequately pay them a fair wage.


Be wary of overpaying an employee


Employees who are paid more than their worth, could start to feel a sense of entitlement. The last thing any employer wants is for an employee to start slacking. They might not put in the extra effort because they’re already receiving a nifty reward. All employees need to have a goal they work towards. Not only will it increase work productivity, but employees will feel a sense of accomplishment for their efforts.


How to set employee salaries


Before making a decision about the salary of an employee, do the necessary research about various wage scales in their field. Once you’ve compared the current market rate, you will be able to make a sound financial decision regarding the salary of an employee and your company. You will then be sure not overpay or underpay an employee. To avoid any labour law disputes, be sure to follow up on South African Labour Law to keep track of any amendments. Evaluate your employee and give them an increase based on their performance level, as well as annually adjusting their salary, if possible.

The right time to hire a personal secretary


If you’re overwhelmed by your workload and continually forget to complete your admin tasks, you might need a secretary. A secretary should have qualities which will push your business forward. He or she needs to be a people’s person who is a joy to work with. The secretary and the boss of a company will constantly be in each other’s company, so the person you hire needs to be trustworthy and reliable. They should have basic computer literacy skills, be efficient and organised.


Effective at communicating


If you’re too busy to answer calls, or can’t keep track of the sticky notes stating who you need to call back, a secretary should be on your priority list. You need someone who’ll be able to manage your calls, take messages and respond to emails. Having someone who can communicate effectively will be able to concisely report back with meeting minutes and write up reports or executive summaries for you.


Technology is their forte


Being internet savvy is skillset most people should have by now. If you require them to do a fair amount of research, having basic knowledge of e-commerce will be beneficial. Especially if you need to find a product or service, they should be able to assist you.


Great interpersonal skills


If you give your personal secretary a task which might put them off, they should be able to suck it up and do the job at hand. The biggest requirement of the job is to perhaps do unexpected tasks. They are there to assist you and make your life easier. When clients step through the door, they should feel welcomed by your secretary. If something should go wrong or there’s a slip up with a manufacturer, they should be able to think on their feet.


Expectations of a secretary


Your secretary shouldn’t be expected to do your job. Don’t expect them to sit in on conference calls on your behalf. If your secretary happens to have completed human resource management courses, then you may have them assist in the HR department. The secretary is there to make your day lighter. Try your best to only have them do work-related tasks. While some secretaries do take on personal tasks from their employer such as picking up laundry, keep personal tasks to a minimum. The secretary is there to work in the office, not your home.

The right way bank tellers need to address conflict

Angry businessman

It’s not always smooth sailing for bank tellers. They sometimes face clients who lose their temper with the only people who can find a solution for their problem. Bank tellers need to respectfully handle each scenario with care, as they are representatives of the bank and any wrong word from them could cost them their job. This is when they need to learn the art of keeping composure no matter the situation.


Check your tone of voice


Your body may seem relaxed and there may be a smile on your face but your tone of voice can give it all away in an instant. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it. Speak slowly to keep check of your tone of voice when dealing with an unruly client. By not raising your voice and being mindful of your tone of voice you can do wonders to ease a tense situation. In a heated moment, make a conscious decision to speak a little slower than natural to you. Talking fast can make you sound nervous and frustrate the other person and only adds to the chaos.


If you are unable to deal with a difficult client, call your department manager to diffuse the situation. Never tolerate being disrespected for the sake of keeping a client happy.


Respect your client


Respect your client enough not to chase them through the mantrap of the bank, no matter how upset you are. As a representative of the bank and for the sake of your own reputation, never allow yourself to lose control of the situation. Always envision yourself in the same situation as the client. This will help you perhaps understand their grievances.


Be firm


Being patient and empathetic can only get you so far when dealing with a rude client, but know where to draw the line. Look your client in the eye and firmly tell them their behaviour is unacceptable. There is a right way to tell someone to behave themselves, this is where tone of voice plays a major part in respectfully bringing the message across. Tell the person you’re dealing with if they can’t conduct themselves professionally, you will walk away.


Get going with your transportation business


Starting a brand new business may seem like a tough call to make, but once you have all your figures sorted and your business plan on the go, you can take the final steps into opening up your own business. If only it was as simple as going to the bank and asking, “May I have a loan please?” Your bank will loan you the funds if they know that your business can be an asset to others and if you’re going to make secure financial decisions. They need to ensure you won’t plunder away all the funds. Set up a winning transportation business plan and be confident in yourself.


Protect your credit record


Bad credit will negatively impact your chances of getting a loan from the bank. No matter what your reasons may be, to the bank you’ll be seen as a risk. It’s a tough situation, you want to start your business to get out of debt, but you can’t get a leg up from the bank if you are in debt. Be sure to have the correct documents to apply for a business loan. Contact the bank before hand to inquire what you need to bring along with your application.


Talk about your expertise


The bank would want to know what is your motivation behind starting your own business. They also want to know how you will be able to sustain your transportation company. If you have any expertise in the field of travel logistics then mention this in your proposal. Remember, you’re selling yourself, and need to know what you’re talking about. They are more likely to provide a loan to someone who has background knowledge than to someone who has none. Tell them how you plan to start out, if it’s with one used nissan bakkie, then so be it. It shows determination to start small and work your way up.


If there’s no luck at the bank


If the bank declines your application for a business loan, there’s still hope. Look into government funding for small business operators. There is a range of government funds available for those who are looking to establish new enterprises. Government Funds is an organisation which provides South Africa’s historically disadvantaged people the opportunity to start their own businesses. A helping hand like this could provide you with the leg up you need to get your business going.