To help decipher those business pages, see definitions below:

A bond is an interest-bearing debt instrument, traditionally issued by governments as part of their budget funding sources, and now also issued by local authorities (municipalities), parastatals (Eskom) and companies. Bonds issued by the central government are often called “gilts”. Bond issuers pay interest (called the “coupon”) to the bondholder every 6 months. The price/value of a bond has an inverse relationship to the prevailing interest rate, so if the interest rate goes up, the value goes down, and vice versa. Bonds/gilts generally have a lower risk than shares because the holder of a gilt has the security of knowing that the gilt will be repaid in full by government or semi-government authorities at a specific time in the future. An investment in this type of asset should be viewed with a 3 to 6 year horizon

An investment in cash usually refers to a savings or fixed-deposit account with a bank, or to a money market investment. Cash is generally regarded as the safest investment. Whilst it is theoretically possible to make a capital loss investing in cash, it is highly unlikely. An investment in this type of asset should be viewed with a 1 to 3 year horizon.

Collective Investments
Collective investments are investments in which investors‟ funds are pooled and managed by professional managers. Investing in shares has traditionally yielded unrivalled returns, offering investors the opportunity to build real wealth. Yet, the large amounts of money required to purchase these shares is often out of reach of smaller investors. The pooling of investors’ funds makes collective investments the ideal option, providing cost effective access to the world’s stock markets. This is why investing in collective investments has become so popular the world over and is considered a sound financial move by most investors.

Compound Interest
Compound interest refers to the interest earned on interest that was earned earlier and credited to the capital amount. For example, if you deposit R1 000 in a bank account at 10% and interest is calculated annually; your balance will be R1 100 at the end of the first year and R1 210 at the end of the second year. That extra R10, which was earned on the interest from the first year, is the result of compound interest (“interest on interest”). Interest can also be compounded on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or other basis.

Dividend Yields
The dividend yield is a financial ratio that shows how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its share price. The higher the yield, the more money you will get back on your investment.

When you buy equities offered by a company, you are effectively buying a portion of the company. Dividends are an investor’s share of a company’s profits, given to him or her as a part-owner of the company.

Earnings per share
Earnings per share is a measure of how much money the company has available for distribution to shareholders. A company’s earnings per share is a good indication of its profitability and is generally considered to be the most important variable in determining a company’s share price.

A share represents an institution/individual’s ownership in a listed company and is the vehicle through which they are able to “share” in the profits made by that company. As the company grows, and the expectation of improved profits increases, the market price of the share will increase and this translates into a capital gain for the shareholder. Similarly, negative sentiment about the company will result in the share price falling. Shares/equities are usually considered to have the potential for the highest return of all the investment classes, but with a higher level of risk i.e. share investments have the most volatile returns over the short term. An investment in this type of asset should be viewed with a 7 to 10 year horizon.

Financial Markets
Financial markets are the institutional arrangements and conventions that exist for the issue and trading of financial instruments.

Fixed Interest Funds
Fixed interest funds invest in bonds, fixed-interest and money market instruments. Interest income is a feature of these funds and, in general, capital should remain stable.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The Gross Domestic Product measures the total volume of goods and services produced in the economy. Therefore, the percentage change in the GDP from year to year reflects the country’s annual economic growth rate.

Growth Funds
Growth funds seek maximum capital appreciation by investing in rapidly growing companies across all sectors of the JSE. Growth companies are those whose profits are in a strong upward trend, or are expected to grow strongly, and which normally trade at a higher-than-average price/earnings ratio.

Industrial Funds
Industrial funds invest in selected industrial companies listed on the JSE, but excluding all companies listed in the resources and financial economic groups.

Investment Portfolio
An investment portfolio is a collection of securities owned by an individual or institution (such as a collective investment scheme). A funds‛ portfolio may include a combination of financial instruments such as bonds, equities, money market securities, etc. The theory is that the investments should be spread over a range of options in order to diversify and spread risk.

JSE Securities Exchange
The primary role of the JSE Securities Exchange is to provide a market where securities can be freely traded under regulated procedures.

Price to earnings ratio
Price to earnings ratio or p: e ratio is calculated by dividing the price per share by the earnings per share. This ratio provides a better indication of the value of a share, than the market price alone. For example, all things being equal, a R10 share with a P/E of 75 is much more “expensive” than a R100 share with a P/E of 20.

Property has some attributes of shares and some attributes of bonds. Property yields are normally stable and predictable because they comprise many contractual leases. These leases generate rental income that is passed through to investors. Property share prices however fluctuate with supply and demand and are counter cyclical to the interest rate cycle. Property is an excellent inflation hedge as rentals escalate with inflation, ensuring distribution growth, and property values escalate with inflation ensuring net asset value growth. This ensures real returns over the long term.

Resources and Basic Industries Funds
These funds seek capital appreciation by investing in the shares of companies whose main business operations involve the exploration, mining, distribution and processing of metals, minerals, energy, chemicals, forestry and other natural resources, or where at least 50 percent of their earnings are derived from such business activities, and excludes service providers to these companies.

Smaller Companies Funds
Smaller Companies Funds seek maximum capital appreciation by investing in both established smaller companies and emerging companies. At least 75 percent of the fund must be invested in small- to mid-cap shares which fall outside of the top 40 JSE-listed companies by market capitalisation.

Value Funds
These funds aim to deliver medium- to long-term capital appreciation by investing in value shares with low price/earnings ratios and shares which trade at a discount to their net asset value.