War Talk and the Rand

According to Bianca Botes, treasury partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, the first full trading week of the new year will likely be a bumpy one after the killing of a top Iranian general at the end of last week in a US airstrike.

The rand is expected to come under pressure and Brexit and the US-China trade war will continue to be major market influencers as we start 2020.

After the assassination of Soleimani, a powerful Iranian general, the US and Iran fallout escalated, which saw oil going above $70 a barrel according to a Bloomberg report. 

On Monday, following a warning by the US State Department of an increased risk of missile attacks near energy facilities and military bases in Saudi Arabia, Brent Futures jumped by another 3%.

Threats of retaliation were repeated by Donald Trump if Iran were to do anything. He also vowed to place heavy sanctions against Iraq if they forced American troops to leave OPEC’s second largest producer, which resulted in a further price boost. 

Furthermore, Trump said that if Tehran reacts due to Soleimani’s killing then he is prepared to attack more than 50 sites and strike disproportionately. The Middle East nation has a score to settle with the US and would no longer adhere to limits on its enrichment of uranium. According to Bloomberg, the fallout has further deepened as Iraq’s parliament took a vote to expel US troops. 

The Iranian leadership has indicated that they will be mobilising its militia network across the region and they will most likely target US military installations and bases in the Middle East and Trump will be sending more troops to the Middle East. 

On top of these tensions that are affecting the rand, Eskom is still constrained, which led them to conducting power cuts over the weekend. 

Article Source: https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/364168/rand-weakens-on-war-talk/

It’s a New Year, so it’s Time to Get Your Money relationship in Order

When it comes to your personal finances, the most powerful tool you have is the budget, which is also one of the least attractive for many people. This is often because find that budgets are demanding and restrictive. So, even though budgets are useful, they don’t always work.

Some people do not like the idea of having to track every transaction and being limited to what they can and cannot buy. These restraints are too much for some and they throw away their budget altogether and go back to their old spending habits. 

On the other hand, some people find themselves so determined to stick to their budget that they deny themselves any pleasure they could get from their money. They are obsessed about being responsible, which results in them not spending money on anything that isn’t practical or necessary. However, if you have worked hard to get your money then you do have the right to get some joy from it. 

So, how do you find a balance with your budget?

Balance Your Budget

Instead of having a strict budget, you need to create one that allows you more freedom but also helps you to regulate your spending. 

The main benefit of a budget is that you are forced into thinking where your money is going. Monitoring your transactions will show you your spending habits. You can also compare your spending to your income and determine if it makes sense to allocate the money you earn in the way you do. 

With a budget, you can make sense of your money and see where you are overspending and you will become more conscious about the way you spend. 

Be Mindful of Spending

Before you buy anything, you should take a moment and consider if it is something that you really need and if it is going to add value to your life. This can help you to avoid overspending and buying things that you don’t really need. 

Whenever you make a purchase, make sure you get your receipt and note down why you made the purchase. It only has to be a few words that state what it is for and how you felt when you spent the money. Review your slips after a couple of months, look at what you bought and consider if you still feel the same way about how you spent the money. This can help you to avoid bad purchases in the future. 

If you are hit with buyer’s remorse soon after the purchases, then remember that you can take the purchase back and get your money back. 

Going over your slips can help you to appreciate purchases that did enhance your life or please you and help you to avoid any purchases that were a mistake in the future. 

When it comes to having a good relationship with your money, you will need a budget, but it is also about recognising where you are spending money, what we are spending money on and if these purchases are worth it. This will help to guide you away from spending money on the things you don’t really need or want and rather spending on the things you do need.