“It’s time for financial services firms to realise that they need to provide opportunities for all South Africans to access the stock market,” says Charles Savage, the CEO of Purple Group, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.
Do you want to hear how Purple Group helps make markets accessible to everyone? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2016.
Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?
"In the words of our Chairman, Mark Barnes, 'our stated purpose - making markets easily accessible to everyone - is founded on the notion of universal economic dignity. Across all demographics and economic strata of South African society, owning investment assets is, for most, a deferred dream. Ordinary people, inheritance aside, spend their entire economically active lives servicing the liabilities they incurred to fund aspirant lifestyles for themselves and better opportunities for their children. It does not have to be that way.'
"The opportunity to present at and be part of the Finance Indaba is an awesome one. We look forward to engaging and learning more!"
What will you be talking about?
"The primary focus will be around the changing landscape of the financial services sector. The time has come to break down the barriers of entry. It's time for financial services firms to realise that they need to provide opportunities for all South Africans to access the stock market. How is this possible? Well, through innovation and challenging the conventional spaces that exist in this environment. We will also touch on how we believe asset management firms of the future will be shaped: who are they, what do they look like and why the landscape needs to change."
What are the challenges you can help finance professionals with in 2016?
"A massive challenge that finance professionals face relates to the slow uptake of opportunities provided by the ever-changing social media landscape. The Internet and social media platforms are things that can no longer be ignored. Their energy needs to be harnessed and used to your benefit. You need to present in the online space!"
What kind of challenges did you face in establishing an online trading platform in SA?
"The biggest challenge in building a new investment platform for the retail investor was to make it easy. Stockbrokers, in general, like to make platforms sophisticated and complex, and we were no different. The key was to build a platform that the user wants and can use, instead of building a platform that the broker thinks the user wants."
What is your response to potential clients who may be hesitant to invest in the markets in troubled economic times?
"Time has shown that equities as an asset class are the number one wealth-building asset over the long term. Thus, if one has a longer-term view, the current market conditions present a buying opportunity. Tom de Lange, CIO at Emperor Asset Management, explains that 'as an investor, one needs to understand the investment cycle - market inflation-correction-recovery - and know where one is in the cycle. This understanding helps prevent emotional investing, which is the worst type of investing there is.' Thus, as hard as it is to remove emotion from the equation, one must do their best to do so. Wealth creation takes time and the longer your investment horizon, the better placed you are to take advantage of current market conditions."