JSE Direct with Simon Brown

Podcast: Everything collapsing, even gold

In JSE Direct, Latest by Simon Brown

Simon Shares

  • Sasol (JSE code: SOL) is now talking a rights issue of some US$2billion, more than the current market cap. They hope to be able to avoid this by selling assets, finding a partner for Lake Charles and cutting costs. But the first two will be near impossible in the current climate, so expect the rights issue with a +50% dilution. In other words, a horror rights issue. Price will be weaker until those details and issuing of the rights. I am NOT buying, that may change when the rights issue hits. But not before.
  • Brent oil is under US$27.00 a barrel. Big ouch for Sasol. Good news for petrol prices.
  • I am seeing a flood of people wanting to get into the market, because it has fallen. On the one side, this is commendable. Yes cheap is best tine to get in. But this volatility is the worst time to try and start trading. If you want to start trading we have two series for traders, Boot Camp and Master Class. But frankly as always, ETFs the best place to start, especially in troubled times.
  • Everybody asking about gold, yes it is going down. When crisis hits everything goes down. Gold is great when one is worried about the future, but when that worrisome future arrives people want cash so gold gets sold like everything else.
  • MPC rate cut announcement this afternoon. No more 0.25%, surely? I think 2% – 2.5% is possible and the best response. Certainly nothing less than 1%.
  • Upcoming events;


COVID-19, my presentation of just two weeks ago warning on the virus and resulting market melt down, is already totally over taken by the reality on the ground. Read this take from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. It has flaws, but also has golden nuggets. If we manage this crisis well I still think the worst will be behind us by Q1 2021. But the worst is going to be worse than I had thought, and if we do this well, well then it is a horror show of epic scale.

It has solidly landed in South Arica and while still early days the confirmed case numbers are growing at the expected 33%, every day. So far government is doing a decent job lead by the NICD, President Ramaphosa the cabinet and especially the health department. But what matters more than anything is to #flattenthecurve. No large events, social distancing, washing hands, working from home if possible and limiting trips outside.

All of this will eventually slow the growth, but we’ll still end up with hundreds of thousands sick and many thousands dead ~ as a best case scenario. Yip it sounds wild, but that is the only way to slow the spread and stop it completely overwhelming our health services.

This of course means a massive hit to our economy and individual peoples financial well being, find our series on managing debt here. If you have debt and are worried about repaying, or if you’re in default already – this is a must read.

Our market, and in fact all global markets, remain under severe pressure and extreme volatility not seen since 1929. I’s not getting better any time soon. The global economy is grinding to a halt and there is no quick fix. Best estimates suggest twelve months of COBID-19 before as a planet we’re truly on top of it. So Q1 2021, at best.

For investors, we continue to tread cautiously and I continue to buy my monthly ETF allocation and will double the monthly purchase amount. But I am not whole sale buying stocks, because cheaper is very likely.

Traders, as I have said before. Reduce position size, widen stops and be disciplined. And of course, obey your stops 100%.

From a personal perspective, start planing for the long haul, I don’t expect this to all be resolved in a month when schools are due to go back. As example, I’ve downloaded online monopoly to play with my niece and nephew in Durban and have proposed every few days or so one of us will present (via zoom.us) on a topic that interests us. It’s going to be a very long school break house bound.

Lastly, let me know if we can help. I have no idea what or how, not money or food or handshakes. But if you got ideas how Just One Lap or I can help you or the broader community, let me know. Maybe it just something as simple as helping to set up Zoom.us or a weekly bookclub session on Zoom. Send ideas.

And very lastly, stay safe. Social distance and wash your hands.


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JSE Direct is an independent broadcast and is not endorsed or affiliated with, nor has it been authorised, or otherwise approved by JSE Limited. The views expressed in this programme are solely those of the presenter, and do not necessarily reflect the views of JSE Limited.


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